Induction of the cell cycle is emerging as an intervention to treat heart failure. Here, we tested the hypothesis that enhanced cardiomyocyte renewal in transgenic mice expressing cyclin D2 would be beneficial during hemodynamic overload. We induced pressure overload by transthoracic aortic constriction (TAC) or volume overload by aortocaval shunt in cyclin D2–expressing and WT mice. Although cyclin D2 expression dramatically improved survival following TAC, it did not confer a survival advantage to mice following aortocaval shunt. Cardiac function decreased following TAC in WT mice, but was preserved in cyclin D2–expressing mice. On the other hand, cardiac structure and function were compromised in response to aortocaval shunt in both WT and cyclin D2–expressing mice. The preserved function and improved survival in cyclin D2–expressing mice after TAC was associated with an approximately 50% increase in cardiomyocyte number and exaggerated cardiac hypertrophy, as indicated by increased septum thickness. Aortocaval shunt did not further impact cardiomyocyte number in mice expressing cyclin D2. Following TAC, cyclin D2 expression attenuated cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, fibrosis, calcium/calmodulin–dependent protein kinase IIδ phosphorylation, brain natriuretic peptide expression, and sustained capillarization. Thus, we show that cyclin D2–induced cardiomyocyte renewal reduced myocardial remodeling and dysfunction after pressure overload but not after volume overload.
Karl Toischer, Wuqiang Zhu, Mark Hünlich, Belal A. Mohamed, Sara Khadjeh, Sean P. Reuter, Katrin Schäfer, Deepak Ramanujam, Stefan Engelhardt, Loren J. Field, Gerd Hasenfuss
Unbiased, “nontargeted” metabolite profiling techniques hold considerable promise for biomarker and pathway discovery, in spite of the lack of successful applications to human disease. By integrating nontargeted metabolomics, genetics, and detailed human phenotyping, we identified dimethylguanidino valeric acid (DMGV) as an independent biomarker of CT-defined nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the offspring cohort of the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) participants. We verified the relationship between DMGV and early hepatic pathology. Specifically, plasma DMGV levels were correlated with biopsy-proven nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in a hospital cohort of individuals undergoing gastric bypass surgery, and DMGV levels fell in parallel with improvements in post-procedure cardiometabolic parameters. Further, baseline DMGV levels independently predicted future diabetes up to 12 years before disease onset in 3 distinct human cohorts. Finally, we provide all metabolite peak data consisting of known and unidentified peaks, genetics, and key metabolic parameters as a publicly available resource for investigations in cardiometabolic diseases.
John F. O’Sullivan, Jordan E. Morningstar, Qiong Yang, Baohui Zheng, Yan Gao, Sarah Jeanfavre, Justin Scott, Celine Fernandez, Hui Zheng, Sean O’Connor, Paul Cohen, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Michelle T. Long, James G. Wilson, Olle Melander, Thomas J. Wang, Caroline Fox, Randall T. Peterson, Clary B. Clish, Kathleen E. Corey, Robert E. Gerszten
Atherosclerosis is the underlying etiology of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Atherosclerosis is a heterogeneous disease in which only a small fraction of lesions lead to heart attack, stroke, or sudden cardiac death. A distinct type of plaque containing large necrotic cores with thin fibrous caps often precipitates these acute events. Here, we show that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase γ (CaMKIIγ) in macrophages plays a major role in the development of necrotic, thin-capped plaques. Macrophages in necrotic and symptomatic atherosclerotic plaques in humans as well as advanced atherosclerotic lesions in mice demonstrated activation of CaMKII. Western diet–fed LDL receptor–deficient (Ldlr–/–) mice with myeloid-specific deletion of CaMKII had smaller necrotic cores with concomitantly thicker collagen caps. These lesions demonstrated evidence of enhanced efferocytosis, which was associated with increased expression of the macrophage efferocytosis receptor MerTK. Mechanistic studies revealed that CaMKIIγ-deficient macrophages and atherosclerotic lesions lacking myeloid CaMKIIγ had increased expression of the transcription factor ATF6. We determined that ATF6 induces liver X receptor-α (LXRα), an Mertk-inducing transcription factor, and that increased MerTK expression and efferocytosis in CaMKIIγ-deficient macrophages is dependent on LXRα. These findings identify a macrophage CaMKIIγ/ATF6/LXRα/MerTK pathway as a key factor in the development of necrotic atherosclerotic plaques.
Amanda C. Doran, Lale Ozcan, Bishuang Cai, Ze Zheng, Gabrielle Fredman, Christina C. Rymond, Bernhard Dorweiler, Judith C. Sluimer, Joanne Hsieh, George Kuriakose, Alan R. Tall, Ira Tabas
The master cytokine TGF-β mediates tissue fibrosis associated with inflammation and tissue injury. TGF-β induces fibroblast activation and differentiation into myofibroblasts that secrete extracellular matrix proteins. Canonical TGF-β signaling mobilizes Smad2 and Smad3 transcription factors that control fibrosis by promoting gene expression. However, the importance of TGF-β–Smad2/3 signaling in fibroblast-mediated cardiac fibrosis has not been directly evaluated in vivo. Here, we examined pressure overload–induced cardiac fibrosis in fibroblast- and myofibroblast-specific inducible Cre-expressing mouse lines with selective deletion of the TGF-β receptors Tgfbr1/2, Smad2, or Smad3. Fibroblast-specific deletion of Tgfbr1/2 or Smad3, but not Smad2, markedly reduced the pressure overload–induced fibrotic response as well as fibrosis mediated by a heart-specific, latency-resistant TGF-β mutant transgene. Interestingly, cardiac fibroblast–specific deletion of Tgfbr1/2, but not Smad2/3, attenuated the cardiac hypertrophic response to pressure overload stimulation. Mechanistically, loss of Smad2/3 from tissue-resident fibroblasts attenuated injury-induced cellular expansion within the heart and the expression of fibrosis-mediating genes. Deletion of Smad2/3 or Tgfbr1/2 from cardiac fibroblasts similarly inhibited the gene program for fibrosis and extracellular matrix remodeling, although deletion of Tgfbr1/2 uniquely altered expression of an array of regulatory genes involved in cardiomyocyte homeostasis and disease compensation. These findings implicate TGF-β–Smad2/3 signaling in activated tissue-resident cardiac fibroblasts as principal mediators of the fibrotic response.
Hadi Khalil, Onur Kanisicak, Vikram Prasad, Robert N. Correll, Xing Fu, Tobias Schips, Ronald J. Vagnozzi, Ruijie Liu, Thanh Huynh, Se-Jin Lee, Jason Karch, Jeffery D. Molkentin
Defective protein quality control (PQC) systems are implicated in multiple diseases. Molecular chaperones and co-chaperones play a central role in functioning PQC. Constant mechanical and metabolic stress in cardiomyocytes places great demand on the PQC system. Mutation and downregulation of the co-chaperone protein BCL-2–associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) are associated with cardiac myopathy and heart failure, and a BAG3 E455K mutation leads to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, the role of BAG3 in the heart and the mechanisms by which the E455K mutation leads to DCM remain obscure. Here, we found that cardiac-specific Bag3-KO and E455K-knockin mice developed DCM. Comparable phenotypes in the 2 mutants demonstrated that the E455K mutation resulted in loss of function. Further experiments revealed that the E455K mutation disrupted the interaction between BAG3 and HSP70. In both mutants, decreased levels of small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) were observed, and a subset of proteins required for cardiomyocyte function was enriched in the insoluble fraction. Together, these observations suggest that interaction between BAG3 and HSP70 is essential for BAG3 to stabilize sHSPs and maintain cardiomyocyte protein homeostasis. Our results provide insight into heart failure caused by defects in BAG3 pathways and suggest that increasing BAG3 protein levels may be of therapeutic benefit in heart failure.
Xi Fang, Julius Bogomolovas, Tongbin Wu, Wei Zhang, Canzhao Liu, Jennifer Veevers, Matthew J. Stroud, Zhiyuan Zhang, Xiaolong Ma, Yongxin Mu, Dieu-Hung Lao, Nancy D. Dalton, Yusu Gu, Celine Wang, Michael Wang, Yan Liang, Stephan Lange, Kunfu Ouyang, Kirk L. Peterson, Sylvia M. Evans, Ju Chen
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease, and developing therapies to promote its regression is an important clinical goal. We previously established that atherosclerosis regression is characterized by an overall decrease in plaque macrophages and enrichment in markers of alternatively activated M2 macrophages. We have now investigated the origin and functional requirement for M2 macrophages in regression in normolipidemic mice that received transplants of atherosclerotic aortic segments. We compared plaque regression in WT normolipidemic recipients and those deficient in chemokine receptors necessary to recruit inflammatory Ly6Chi (Ccr2–/– or Cx3cr1–/–) or patrolling Ly6Clo (Ccr5–/–) monocytes. Atherosclerotic plaques transplanted into WT or Ccr5–/– recipients showed reduced macrophage content and increased M2 markers consistent with plaque regression, whereas plaques transplanted into Ccr2–/– or Cx3cr1–/– recipients lacked this regression signature. The requirement of recipient Ly6Chi monocyte recruitment was confirmed in cell trafficking studies. Fate-mapping and single-cell RNA sequencing studies also showed that M2-like macrophages were derived from newly recruited monocytes. Furthermore, we used recipient mice deficient in STAT6 to demonstrate a requirement for this critical component of M2 polarization in atherosclerosis regression. Collectively, these results suggest that continued recruitment of Ly6Chi inflammatory monocytes and their STAT6-dependent polarization to the M2 state are required for resolution of atherosclerotic inflammation and plaque regression.
Karishma Rahman, Yuliya Vengrenyuk, Stephen A. Ramsey, Noemi Rotllan Vila, Natasha M. Girgis, Jianhua Liu, Viktoria Gusarova, Jesper Gromada, Ada Weinstock, Kathryn J. Moore, P’ng Loke, Edward A. Fisher
Congenital heart disease (CHD) represents the most prevalent inborn anomaly. Only a minority of CHD cases are attributed to genetic causes, suggesting a major role of environmental factors. Nonphysiological hypoxia during early pregnancy induces CHD, but the underlying reasons are unknown. Here, we have demonstrated that cells in the mouse heart tube are hypoxic, while cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) expressing islet 1 (ISL1) in the secondary heart field (SHF) are normoxic. In ISL1+ CPCs, induction of hypoxic responses caused CHD by repressing
Xuejun Yuan, Hui Qi, Xiang Li, Fan Wu, Jian Fang, Eva Bober, Gergana Dobreva, Yonggang Zhou, Thomas Braun
Philipp S. Wild, Janine F. Felix, Arne Schillert, Alexander Teumer, Ming-Huei Chen, Maarten J.G. Leening, Uwe Völker, Vera Großmann, Jennifer A. Brody, Marguerite R. Irvin, Sanjiv J. Shah, Setia Pramana, Wolfgang Lieb, Reinhold Schmidt, Alice V. Stanton, Dörthe Malzahn, Albert Vernon Smith, Johan Sundström, Cosetta Minelli, Daniela Ruggiero, Leo-Pekka Lyytikäinen, Daniel Tiller, J. Gustav Smith, Claire Monnereau, Marco R. Di Tullio, Solomon K. Musani, Alanna C. Morrison, Tune H. Pers, Michael Morley, Marcus E. Kleber, AortaGen Consortium, Jayashri Aragam, Emelia J. Benjamin, Joshua C. Bis, Egbert Bisping, Ulrich Broeckel, CHARGE-Heart Failure Consortium, Susan Cheng, Jaap W. Deckers, Fabiola Del Greco M, Frank Edelmann, Myriam Fornage, Lude Franke, Nele Friedrich, Tamara B. Harris, Edith Hofer, Albert Hofman, Jie Huang, Alun D. Hughes, Mika Kähönen, KNHI investigators, Jochen Kruppa, Karl J. Lackner, Lars Lannfelt, Rafael Laskowski, Lenore J. Launer, Margrét Leosdottir, Honghuang Lin, Cecilia M. Lindgren, Christina Loley, Calum A. MacRae, Deborah Mascalzoni, Jamil Mayet, Daniel Medenwald, Andrew P. Morris, Christian Müller, Martina Müller-Nurasyid, Stefania Nappo, Peter M. Nilsson, Sebastian Nuding, Teresa Nutile, Annette Peters, Arne Pfeufer, Diana Pietzner, Peter P. Pramstaller, Olli T. Raitakari, Kenneth M. Rice, Fernando Rivadeneira, Jerome I. Rotter, Saku T. Ruohonen, Ralph L. Sacco, Tandaw E. Samdarshi, Helena Schmidt, Andrew S.P. Sharp, Denis C. Shields, Rossella Sorice, Nona Sotoodehnia, Bruno H. Stricker, Praveen Surendran, Simon Thom, Anna M. Töglhofer, André G. Uitterlinden, Rolf Wachter, Henry Völzke, Andreas Ziegler, Thomas Münzel, Winfried März, Thomas P. Cappola, Joel N. Hirschhorn, Gary F. Mitchell, Nicholas L. Smith, Ervin R. Fox, Nicole D. Dueker, Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, Olle Melander, Martin Russ, Terho Lehtimäki, Marina Ciullo, Andrew A. Hicks, Lars Lind, Vilmundur Gudnason, Burkert Pieske, Anthony J. Barron, Robert Zweiker, Heribert Schunkert, Erik Ingelsson, Kiang Liu, Donna K. Arnett, Bruce M. Psaty, Stefan Blankenberg, Martin G. Larson, Stephan B. Felix, Oscar H. Franco, Tanja Zeller, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Marcus Dörr
Diseases caused by gene haploinsufficiency in humans commonly lack a phenotype in mice that are heterozygous for the orthologous factor, impeding the study of complex phenotypes and critically limiting the discovery of therapeutics. Laboratory mice have longer telomeres relative to humans, potentially protecting against age-related disease caused by haploinsufficiency. Here, we demonstrate that telomere shortening in NOTCH1-haploinsufficient mice is sufficient to elicit age-dependent cardiovascular disease involving premature calcification of the aortic valve, a phenotype that closely mimics human disease caused by NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency. Furthermore, progressive telomere shortening correlated with severity of disease, causing cardiac valve and septal disease in the neonate that was similar to the range of valve disease observed within human families. Genes that were dysregulated due to NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency in mice with shortened telomeres were concordant with proosteoblast and proinflammatory gene network alterations in human NOTCH1 heterozygous endothelial cells. These dysregulated genes were enriched for telomere-contacting promoters, suggesting a potential mechanism for telomere-dependent regulation of homeostatic gene expression. These findings reveal a critical role for telomere length in a mouse model of age-dependent human disease and provide an in vivo model in which to test therapeutic candidates targeting the progression of aortic valve disease.
Christina V. Theodoris, Foteini Mourkioti, Yu Huang, Sanjeev S. Ranade, Lei Liu, Helen M. Blau, Deepak Srivastava
Ischemic heart disease resulting from myocardial infarction (MI) is the most prevalent form of heart disease in the United States. Post-MI cardiac remodeling is a multifaceted process that includes activation of fibroblasts and a complex immune response. T-regulatory cells (Tregs), a subset of CD4+ T cells, have been shown to suppress the innate and adaptive immune response and limit deleterious remodeling following myocardial injury. However, the mechanisms by which injured myocardium recruits suppressive immune cells remain largely unknown. Here, we have shown a role for Hippo signaling in the epicardium in suppressing the post-infarct inflammatory response through recruitment of Tregs. Mice deficient in epicardial YAP and TAZ, two core Hippo pathway effectors, developed profound post-MI pericardial inflammation and myocardial fibrosis, resulting in cardiomyopathy and death. Mutant mice exhibited fewer suppressive Tregs in the injured myocardium and decreased expression of the gene encoding IFN-γ, a known Treg inducer. Furthermore, controlled local delivery of IFN-γ following MI rescued Treg infiltration into the injured myocardium of YAP/TAZ mutants and decreased fibrosis. Collectively, these results suggest that epicardial Hippo signaling plays a key role in adaptive immune regulation during the post-MI recovery phase.
Vimal Ramjee, Deqiang Li, Lauren J. Manderfield, Feiyan Liu, Kurt A. Engleka, Haig Aghajanian, Christopher B. Rodell, Wen Lu, Vivienne Ho, Tao Wang, Li Li, Anamika Singh, Dasan M. Cibi, Jason A. Burdick, Manvendra K. Singh, Rajan Jain, Jonathan A. Epstein