Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are shed into the bloodstream from primary and metastatic tumor deposits. Their isolation and analysis hold great promise for the early detection of invasive cancer and the management of advanced disease, but technological hurdles have limited their broad clinical utility. We describe an inertial focusing–enhanced microfluidic CTC capture platform, termed “CTC-iChip,” that is capable of sorting rare CTCs from whole blood at 107 cells/s. Most importantly, the iChip is capable of isolating CTCs using strategies that are either dependent or independent of tumor membrane epitopes, and thus applicable to virtually all cancers. We specifically demonstrate the use of the iChip in an expanded set of both epithelial and nonepithelial cancers including lung, prostate, pancreas, breast, and melanoma. The sorting of CTCs as unfixed cells in solution allows for the application of high-quality clinically standardized morphological and immunohistochemical analyses, as well as RNA-based single-cell molecular characterization. The combination of an unbiased, broadly applicable, high-throughput, and automatable rare cell sorting technology with generally accepted molecular assays and cytology standards will enable the integration of CTC-based diagnostics into the clinical management of cancer.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of adherent epithelial cells to a migratory mesenchymal state has been implicated in tumor metastasis in preclinical models. To investigate its role in human cancer, we characterized EMT in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from breast cancer patients. Rare primary tumor cells simultaneously expressed mesenchymal and epithelial markers, but mesenchymal cells were highly enriched in CTCs. Serial CTC monitoring in 11 patients suggested an association of mesenchymal CTCs with disease progression. In an index patient, reversible shifts between these cell fates accompanied each cycle of response to therapy and disease progression. Mesenchymal CTCs occurred as both single cells and multicellular clusters, expressing known EMT regulators, including transforming growth factor (TGF)–β pathway components and the FOXC1 transcription factor. These data support a role for EMT in the blood-borne dissemination of human breast cancer.
Substantial evidence suggests the involvement of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of congestive heart failure and its antecedent conditions such as cardiac hypertrophy and adverse remodelling after MI. Oxidative stress describes an imbalance between antioxidant defences and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which at high levels cause cell damage but at lower levels induce subtle changes in intracellular signalling pathways (termed redox signalling). ROS are derived from many sources including mitochondria, xanthine oxidase, uncoupled nitric oxide synthases and NADPH oxidases. The latter enzymes are especially important in redox signalling, being implicated in the pathophysiology of hypertension and atherosclerosis, and activated by diverse pathologically relevant stimuli. We review the contribution of ROS to heart failure pathophysiology and discuss potential therapies that may specifically target detrimental redox signalling. Indeed, drugs such as ACE inhibitors and statins may act in part through such mechanisms. A better understanding of redox signalling mechanisms may enable the development of new targeted therapeutic strategies rather than the non‐specific antioxidant approaches that have to date been disappointing in clinical trials.
Vascular blood flow and its distribution among different vascular beds are regulated by changes in microvascular tone. Nitric oxide (NO) plays a key role in the local paracrine regulation of vessel tone both under resting conditions and when blood flow increases in response to agonist stimulation or increased shear stress. The conventional notion that endothelial NO synthase (eNOS)-derived NO is largely responsible for both effects has been challenged by first-in-human studies with a selective inhibitor of neuronal NOS (nNOS), S-methyl-l-thiocitrulline (SMTC). These studies reveal that SMTC causes a reduction in basal blood flow in the normal human forearm and coronary circulations (that is reversed by l-arginine), without affecting the eNOS-mediated vasodilatation elicited by acetylcholine, substance P, or increased shear stress. S-methyl-l-thiocitrulline also inhibits mental stress-induced vasodilatation. These results are consistent with a significant body of experimental studies suggesting that nNOS plays an important role in the local regulation of vessel tone in other species, independent of the effects of nNOS-derived NO in the central nervous system. These emerging data suggest that eNOS and nNOS have distinct roles in the physiologic local regulation of human microvascular tone in vivo and pave the way for further detailed investigation of the relative contribution of nNOS and eNOS in vascular regulation in human disease.
Microfluidic systems for affinity-based cell isolation have emerged as a promising approach for the isolation of specific cells from complex matrices (i.e., circulating tumor cells in whole blood). However, these technologies remain limited by the lack of reliable methods for the innocuous recovery of surface captured cells. Here, we present a biofunctional sacrificial hydrogel coating for microfluidic chips that enables the highly efficient release of isolated cells (99% ± 1%) following gel dissolution. This covalently crosslinked alginate biopolymer system is stable in a wide variety of physiologic solutions (including EDTA treated whole blood) and may be rapidly degraded via backbone cleavage with alginate lyase. The capture and release of EpCAM expressing cancer cells using this approach was found to have no significant effect on cell viability or proliferative potential and recovered cells were demonstrated to be compatible with downstream immunostaining and FISH analysis.
Low concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein-1 (IGFBP1) are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. We investigated whether increasing IGFBP1 levels can prevent the development of these disorders. Metabolic and vascular phenotype were examined in response to human IGFBP1 overexpression in mice with diet-induced obesity, mice heterozygous for deletion of insulin receptors (IR+/−), and ApoE−/− mice. Direct effects of human (h)IGFBP1 on nitric oxide (NO) generation and cellular signaling were studied in isolated vessels and in human endothelial cells. IGFBP1 circulating levels were markedly suppressed in dietary-induced obese mice. Overexpression of hIGFBP1 in obese mice reduced blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, and increased insulin-stimulated NO generation. In nonobese IR+/− mice, overexpression of hIGFBP1 reduced blood pressure and improved insulin-stimulated NO generation. hIGFBP1 induced vasodilatation independently of IGF and increased endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) activity in arterial segments ex vivo, while in endothelial cells, hIGFBP1 increased eNOS Ser1177 phosphorylation via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling. Finally, in ApoE−/− mice, overexpression of hIGFBP1 reduced atherosclerosis. These favorable effects of hIGFBP1 on insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, NO production, and atherosclerosis suggest that increasing IGFBP1 concentration may be a novel approach to prevent cardiovascular disease in the setting of insulin resistance and diabetes.
Macrophage migration and infiltration is an important first step in many pathophysiological processes, in particular inflammatory diseases. Redox modulation of the migratory signalling processes has been reported in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts. However the redox modulation of the migratory process in macrophages and in particular that from the NADPH oxidase-2 (Nox2) dependent ROS has not been established. To investigate the potential role of Nox2 in the migratory response of macrophages, bone marrow derived macrophages were obtained from WT and NOX2 knockout mice (Nox2KO) and subjected to CSF-1 stimulation. We report here that loss of Nox2 expression in BMM resulted in a significant reduction in the CSF-1 induced spreading response suggesting that Nox2 can modulate cytoskeletal events. Moreover, Nox2KO BMMs were deficient in cellular displacement in the presence of CSF-1. More significantly, when challenged with a gradient of CSF-1, Nox2KO BMMs showed a complete loss of chemotaxis accompanied by a reduction in cell migration speed and directional migration persistence. These results point to a specific role for Nox2KO downstream of CSF-1 during the BMM migratory response. Indeed, we have further found that Nox2KO BMMs display a significant reduction in the levels of ERK1/2 phosphorylation following stimulation with CSF-1.Thus Nox2 is important in BMM cellular motion to CSF-1 stimulation and necessary for their directed migration towards a CSF-1 gradient, highlighting Nox2 dependent signalling as a potential anti-inflammatory target.
Perhexiline is a potent anti-anginal drug used for treatment of refractory angina and other forms of heart disease. It provides an oxygen sparing effect in the myocardium by creating a switch from fatty acid to glucose metabolism through partial inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 and 2. However, the precise molecular mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects elicited by perhexiline are not fully understood. The present study employed a combined proteomics, metabolomics and computational approach to characterise changes in murine hearts upon treatment with perhexiline. According to results based on difference in-gel electrophoresis, the most profound change in the cardiac proteome related to the activation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Metabolomic analysis by high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed lower levels of total creatine and taurine in hearts of perhexiline-treated mice. Creatine and taurine levels were also significantly correlated in a cross-correlation analysis of all metabolites. Computational modelling suggested that far from inducing a simple shift from fatty acid to glucose oxidation, perhexiline may cause complex rebalancing of carbon and nucleotide phosphate fluxes, fuelled by increased lactate and amino acid uptake, to increase metabolic flexibility and to maintain cardiac output. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Focus on Cardiac Metabolism".
► Mice were fed perhexiline to achieve steady state concentrations. ► Hearts were analysed using a combined proteomic and metabolomic approach. ► Computer modelling was used to cross-validate the findings. ► Perhexiline has more wide-ranging and complex metabolic effects than previously thought.
CPT, carnitine palmitoyltransferase; DIGE, difference in-gel electrophoresis; FCS, foetal calf serum; FDR, false discovery rate; GO, Gene ontology; 1H NMR, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; LC-MS/MS, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; TCA, tricarboxylic acid; Metabolomics; Proteomics; Cardioprotection; Metabolism; Heart failure
Cellular constituents such as proteins, DNA, and RNA form a complex web of interactions that regulate biochemical homeostasis and determine the dynamic cellular response to external stimuli. It follows that detailed understanding of these patterns is critical for the assessment of fundamental processes in cell biology and pathology. Representation and analysis of cellular constituents through network principles is a promising and popular analytical avenue towards a deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms in a system-wide context.
We present Functional Genomics Assistant (FUGA) - an extensible and portable MATLAB toolbox for the inference of biological relationships, graph topology analysis, random network simulation, network clustering, and functional enrichment statistics. In contrast to conventional differential expression analysis of individual genes, FUGA offers a framework for the study of system-wide properties of biological networks and highlights putative molecular targets using concepts of systems biology.
FUGA offers a simple and customizable framework for network analysis in a variety of systems biology applications. It is freely available for individual or academic use at http://code.google.com/p/fuga.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by immunological cells is known to cause damage to pathogens. Increasing evidence accumulated in the last decade has shown, however, that ROS (and redox signals) functionally regulate different cellular pathways in the host-pathogen interaction. These especially affect (i) pathogen entry through protein redox switches and redox modification (i.e., intra- and interdisulfide and cysteine oxidation) and (ii) phagocytic ROS production via Nox family NADPH oxidase enzyme and the control of phagolysosome function with key implications for antigen processing. The protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) family of redox chaperones is closely involved in both processes and is also implicated in protein unfolding and trafficking across the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and towards the cytosol, a thiol-based redox locus for antigen processing. Here, we summarise examples of the cellular association of host PDI with different pathogens and explore the possible roles of pathogen PDIs in infection. A better understanding of these complex regulatory steps will provide insightful information on the redox role and coevolutional biological process, and assist the development of more specific therapeutic strategies in pathogen-mediated infections.
Host; pathogen; redox; endoplasmic reticulum; parasites; PDI; Nox
NADPH oxidase-4 (Nox4) is an important modulator of redox signaling that is inducible at the level of transcriptional expression in multiple cell types. By contrast to other Nox enzymes, Nox4 is continuously active without requiring stimulation. We reported recently that expression of Nox4 is induced in the adult heart as an adaptive stress response to pathophysiological insult. To elucidate the potential downstream target(s) regulated by Nox4, we performed a microarray screen to assess the transcriptomes of transgenic (tg) mouse hearts in which Nox4 was overexpressed. The screen revealed a significant increase in the expression of many antioxidant and detoxifying genes regulated by Nrf2 in tg compared to wild-type (wt) mouse hearts, and this finding was subsequently confirmed by Q-PCR. Expression of glutathione biosynthetic and recycling enzymes was increased in tg hearts and associated with higher levels of both GSH and the ratio of reduced:oxidised GSH, compared to wt hearts. The increases in expression of the antioxidant genes and the changes in glutathione redox effected by Nox4 were ablated in an Nrf2-null genetic background. These data therefore demonstrate that Nox4 can activate the Nrf2-regulated pathway, and suggest a potential role for Nox4 in the regulation of GSH redox in cardiomyocytes.
NADPH, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate; Nrf2, NF-E2-related factor 2; Q-PCR, quantitative polymerase chain reaction; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; EB, embryoid body; αMHC, α myosin heavy chain; βMHC, β myosin heavy chain; MLC2v, myosin regulatory light chain 2; RT, reverse transcriptase; DTT, dithiothreitol; PAGE, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; ECL, enhanced chemiluminescence; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; PVDF, polyvinylidene difluoride; SEM, standard error of the mean; ELISA, enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assay; Nox4; Nrf2; Cardiomyocytes; Glutathione; Reactive oxygen species
NADPH oxidase family enzymes (or NOXs) are the major sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are implicated in the pathophysiology of many cardiovascular diseases. These enzymes appear to be especially important in the modulation of redox-sensitive signalling pathways that underlie key cellular functions such as growth, differentiation, migration and proliferation. Seven distinct members of the family have been identified of which four (namely NOX1, 2, 4 and 5) may have cardiovascular functions. In this article, we review our current understanding of the roles of NOX enzymes in several common cardiovascular disease states, with a focus on data from genetic studies and clinical data where available.
NADPH oxidase; Cardiovascular; Redox signaling; Cardiac hypertrophy; Hypertension; Atherosclerosis
Doxorubicin is a highly effective cancer treatment whose use is severely limited by dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. It is well established that doxorubicin increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In this study, we investigated contributions to doxorubicin cardiotoxicity from Nox2 NADPH oxidase, an important ROS source in cardiac cells, which is known to modulate several key processes underlying the myocardial response to injury. Nox2-deficient mice (Nox2−/−) and wild-type (WT) controls were injected with doxorubicin (12 mg/kg) or vehicle and studied 8 weeks later. Echocardiography indicated that doxorubicin-induced contractile dysfunction was attenuated in Nox2−/− versus WT mice (fractional shortening: 29.5±1.4 vs 25.7±1.0 %; P<0.05). Similarly, in vivo pressure-volume analysis revealed that systolic and diastolic function was preserved in doxorubicin-treated Nox2−/− versus WT mice (ejection fraction: 52.6±2.5 vs 28.5±2.3 %, LVdPdtmin: −8379±416 vs −5198±527 mmHg s−1, EDPVR: 0.051±0.009 vs 0.114±0.012; P<0.001). Furthermore, in response to doxorubicin, Nox2−/− mice exhibited less myocardial atrophy, cardiomyocyte apoptosis and interstitial fibrosis, together with reduced increases in profibrotic gene expression (procollagen IIIαI, TGF-β3, connective tissue growth factor) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity, versus WT controls. These alterations were associated with beneficial changes in NADPH oxidase activity, oxidative/nitrosative stress and inflammatory cell infiltration. We found that adverse effects of doxorubicin were attenuated by acute or chronic treatment with the AT1 receptor antagonist, losartan, which is commonly used to reduce blood pressure. Our findings suggest that ROS specifically-derived from Nox2 NADPH oxidase make a substantial contribution to several key processes underlying development of cardiac contractile dysfunction and remodeling associated with doxorubicin chemotherapy.
NADPH oxidase; reactive oxygen species; doxorubicin; cardiac remodeling; contractile function
NADPH oxidase (Nox)-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to be involved in angiotensin II-induced hypertension and endothelial dysfunction. Several Nox isoforms are expressed in the vessel wall, among which Nox2 is especially abundant in the endothelium. Endothelial Nox2 levels rise during hypertension but little is known about the cell-specific role of endothelial Nox2 in vivo. To address this question, we generated transgenic mice with endothelial-specific overexpression of Nox2 (Tg) and studied the effects on endothelial function and blood pressure. Tg had an about twofold increase in endothelial Nox2 levels which was accompanied by an increase in p22phox levels but no change in levels of other Nox isoforms or endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Basal NADPH oxidase activity, endothelial function and blood pressure were unaltered in Tg compared to wild-type littermates. Angiotensin II caused a greater increase in ROS production in Tg compared to wild-type aorta and attenuated acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation. Both low and high dose chronic angiotensin II infusion increased telemetric ambulatory blood pressure more in Tg compared to wild-type, but with different patterns of BP change and aortic remodeling depending upon the dose of angiotensin II dose. These results indicate that an increase in endothelial Nox2 levels contributes to angiotensin II-induced endothelial dysfunction, vascular remodeling and hypertension.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00395-011-0179-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Endothelium; Vascular tone; NADPH oxidase; Hypertension; Reactive oxygen species
The heart has complex mechanisms that facilitate the maintenance of an oxygen supply–demand balance necessary for its contractile function in response to physiological fluctuations in workload as well as in response to chronic stresses such as hypoxia, ischemia, and overload. Redox-sensitive signaling pathways are centrally involved in many of these homeostatic and stress-response mechanisms. Here, we review the main redox-regulated pathways that are involved in cardiac myocyte excitation–contraction coupling, differentiation, hypertrophy, and stress responses. We discuss specific sources of endogenously generated reactive oxygen species (e.g., mitochondria and NADPH oxidases of the Nox family), the particular pathways and processes that they affect, the role of modulators such as thioredoxin, and the specific molecular mechanisms that are involved—where this knowledge is available. A better understanding of this complex regulatory system may allow the development of more specific therapeutic strategies for heart diseases.
AIF, apoptosis-inducing factor; ARC, apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain; CamKII, calmodulin kinase II; CTGF, connective tissue growth factor; EB, embryoid body; ECC, excitation–contraction coupling; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; ES, embryonic stem; ETC, electron transport chain; G6PDH, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; GPCR, G-protein-coupled receptor; HDAC, histone deacetylase; Hif, hypoxia-inducible factor; MAO-A, monoamine oxidase-A; MI, myocardial infarction; MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; MPTP, mitochondrial permeability transition pore; mtDNA, mitochondrial DNA; NCX, Na/Ca exchanger; NOS, nitric oxide synthase; PHD, prolyl hydroxylase dioxygenase; PKA, protein kinase A; PKC, protein kinase C; PKG, protein kinase G; ROS, reactive oxygen species; RyR, ryanodine receptor; SERCA, sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase; SR, sarcoplasmic reticulum; Trx1, thioredoxin1; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor-α; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor; Cardiac myocyte; Reactive oxygen species; Redox signaling; Hypertrophy; Heart failure; NADPH oxidase; Mitochondria; Free radicals
Genome-wide expression patterns in physiological cardiac hypertrophy. Co-expression patterns in physiological cardiac hypertrophy
In this study, the first large-scale analysis of publicly available genome-wide expression data of several in vivo murine models of physiological LVH was carried out using network analysis. On evaluating 3 million gene co-expression patterns across 141 relevant microarray experiments, it was found that physiological adaptation is an evolutionarily conserved processes involving preservation of the function of cytochrome c oxidase, induction of autophagy compatible with cell survival, and coordinated regulation of angiogenesis.
This analysis not only identifies known biological pathways involved in physiological LVH, but also offers novel insights into the molecular basis of this phenotype by identifying key networks of co-expressed genes, as well as their topological and functional properties, using relevant high-quality microarray experiments and network inference.
Increased activation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) and an increase in oxidative stress are both implicated in age-related cardiac remodeling but their precise interrelationship and linkage to underlying molecular and cellular abnormalities remain to be defined. Recent studies indicate that NADPH oxidases are major sources of oxidative stress and are activated by the RAAS. This study investigated the relationship between the NADPH oxidase system, age-related cardiac remodeling and its underlying mechanisms. We studied male Fisher 344 cross Brown Norway rats aged 2 months (young rats), 8 months (young adult rats) or 30 months (old rats). Aging-dependent increases in blood pressure, cardiomyocyte area, coronary artery remodeling and cardiac fibrosis were associated with increased myocardial NADPH oxidase activity attributable to the Nox2 isoform. These changes were accompanied by evidence of local RAAS activation, increased expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and TGF-β1, and a significant activation of MMP-2 and MT1-MMP. The changes in old rats were replicated in 8 month old rats that were chronically treated with angiotensin II for 28 days. Increased RAAS activation may drive age-related cardiac remodeling through the activation of Nox2 NADPH oxidase and subsequent increases in MMP activation, fibrosis and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.
NADPH oxidase; Aging; Matrix metalloproteases; Angiotensin II; Remodeling; Oxidative stress
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) signalling is implicated in the growth of the heart during development and in response to stress. However, its precise role remains unclear. We set out to characterize developmental growth and response to chronic isoproterenol (ISO) stress in knockin (KI) mice lacking the critical N-terminal serines, 21 of GSK-3α and 9 of GSK-3β respectively, required for inactivation by upstream kinases.
Methods and results
Between 5 and 15 weeks, KI mice grew more rapidly, but normalized heart weight and contractile performance were similar to wild-type (WT) mice. Isolated hearts of both genotypes responded comparably to acute ISO infusion with increases in heart rate and contractility. In WT mice, chronic subcutaneous ISO infusion over 14 days resulted in cardiac hypertrophy, interstitial fibrosis, and impaired contractility, accompanied by foetal gene reactivation. These effects were all significantly attenuated in KI mice. Indeed, ISO-treated KI hearts demonstrated reversible physiological remodelling traits with increased stroke volume and a preserved contractile response to acute adrenergic stimulation. Furthermore, simultaneous pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3 in KI mice treated with chronic subcutaneous ISO recapitulated the adverse remodelling phenotype seen in WT hearts.
Expression of inactivation-resistant GSK-3α/β does not affect eutrophic myocardial growth but protects against pathological hypertrophy induced by chronic adrenergic stimulation, maintaining cardiac function and attenuating interstitial fibrosis. Accordingly, strategies to prevent phosphorylation of Ser-21/9, and consequent inactivation of GSK-3α/β, may enable a sustained cardiac response to chronic β-agonist stimulation while preventing pathological remodelling.
GSK-3; Cardiac hypertrophy; Remodelling
OBJECTIVE—Insulin resistance is an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular atherosclerosis. A key step in the development of atherosclerosis is endothelial dysfunction, manifest by a reduction in bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO). Insulin resistance is associated with endothelial dysfunction; however, the mechanistic relationship between these abnormalities and the role of impaired endothelial insulin signaling versus global insulin resistance remains unclear.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—To examine the effects of insulin resistance specific to the endothelium, we generated a transgenic mouse with endothelium-targeted overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant human insulin receptor (ESMIRO). This receptor has a mutation (Ala-Thr1134) in its tyrosine kinase domain that disrupts insulin signaling. Humans with the Thr1134 mutation are insulin resistant. We performed metabolic and vascular characterization of this model.
RESULTS—ESMIRO mice had preserved glucose homeostasis and were normotensive. They had significant endothelial dysfunction as evidenced by blunted aortic vasorelaxant responses to acetylcholine (ACh) and calcium ionophore. Furthermore, the vascular action of insulin was lost in ESMIRO mice, and insulin-induced endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation was blunted. Despite this phenotype, ESMIRO mice demonstrate similar levels of eNOS mRNA and protein expression to wild type. ACh-induced relaxation was normalized by the superoxide dismutase mimetic, Mn(III)tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridyl) porphyrin pentachloride. Endothelial cells of ESMIRO mice showed increased superoxide generation and increased mRNA expression of the NADPH oxidase isoforms Nox2 and Nox4.
CONCLUSIONS—Selective endothelial insulin resistance is sufficient to induce a reduction in NO bioavailability and endothelial dysfunction that is secondary to increased generation of reactive oxygen species. This arises independent of a significant metabolic phenotype.
Humans with inactivating mutations in peroxisomal proliferators activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) typically develop a complex metabolic syndrome characterized by insulin resistance, diabetes, lipodystrophy, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia which is likely to increase their cardiovascular risk. Despite evidence that the activation of PPARγ may prevent cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy, recent evidence has suggested that pharmacological activation of PPARγ causes increased cardiovascular mortality. In this study, we investigated the effects of defective PPARγ function on the development of cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy in a murine model carrying a human dominant-negative mutation in PPARγ.
Methods and results
Mice with a dominant-negative point mutation in PPARγ (P465L) and their wild-type (WT) littermates were treated with either subcutaneous angiotensin II (AngII) infusion or saline for 2 weeks. Heterozygous P465L and WT mice developed a similar increase in systolic blood pressure, but the mutant mice developed significantly more severe cardiac fibrosis to AngII that correlated with increased expression of profibrotic genes. Both groups similarly increased the heart weight to body weight ratio compared with saline-treated controls. There were no differences in fibrosis between saline-treated WT and P465L mice.
These results show synergistic pathogenic effects between the presence of defective PPARγ and AngII-induced hypertension and suggest that patients with PPARγ mutation and hypertension may need more aggressive therapeutic measures to reduce the risk of accelerated cardiac fibrosis.
Hypertension; Left ventricular hypertrophy; Interstitial fibrosis; Dominant-negative PPARγ; Lipodystrophy
Sepsis-associated cardiac dysfunction represents an intrinsic impairment of cardiomyocyte function due in part to a decrease in myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity associated with a sustained increase in cardiac troponin I (cTnI) phosphorylation at Ser23/24. Dephosphorylation of cTnI is under regulatory control. Thus, muscarinic and adenosine A1-receptor agonists antagonize β-adrenergic stimulation via activation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). The aim of this study was to determine whether modulation of PP2A and thus cTnI phosphorylation could improve sepsis-induced contractile dysfunction.
Methods and results
Cardiomyocytes were isolated from control or septic mice 16–18 h after an injection of vehicle or lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 9 mg/kg ip) respectively. Protein expression and phosphatase activity were determined in homogenates of control and septic hearts. Our data showed that LPS significantly increased cTnI phosphorylation at Ser23/24 in cardiomyocytes and reduced contraction amplitude without affecting Ca2+-transients. Treatment of cardiomyocytes with the A1 agonist cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) or the protein kinase A inhibitor H89 significantly attenuated the LPS-induced contractile dysfunction without effect on Ca2+-transients. Co-treatment with CPA and H89 completely reversed the contractile dysfunction. Increased cTnI phosphorylation in septic hearts was associated with a significant reduction in the protein expression of both the catalytic and regulatory subunits (B56α) of PP2A and a decrease in PP2A activity. CPA treatment of septic hearts increased PP2A activity. An increase in the protein expression of demethylated PP2A and a decrease in the PP2A-methyltransferase (PPMT; the methyltransferase that catalyses this reaction) were also observed.
These data support the hypothesis that sustained cTnI phosphorylation underlies the contractile dysfunction seen in sepsis.
Troponin I; Cardiomyocytes; Myofilaments; Phosphorylation; Protein phosphatase 2A
Chronic heart failure, secondary to left ventricular hypertrophy or myocardial infarction, is a condition with increasing morbidity and mortality. Although the mechanisms underlying the development and progression of this condition remain a subject of intense interest, there is now growing evidence that redox-sensitive pathways play an important role. This article focuses on the involvement of reactive oxygen species derived from a family of superoxide-generating enzymes, termed NADPH oxidases (NOXs), in the pathophysiology of ventricular hypertrophy, the accompanying interstitial fibrosis and subsequent heart failure. In particular, the apparent ability of the different NADPH oxidase isoforms to define the response of a cell to a range of physiological and pathophysiological stimuli is reviewed. If confirmed, these data would suggest that independently targeting different members of the NOX family may hold the potential for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of cardiac disease.
NADPH oxidase; heart; hypertrophy; heart failure; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) receptor-associated factors (TRAFs) play important roles in TNF-α signaling by interacting with downstream signaling molecules, e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). However, TNF-α also signals through reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent pathways. The interrelationship between these pathways is unclear; however, a recent study suggested that TRAF4 could bind to the NADPH oxidase subunit p47phox. Here, we investigated the potential interaction between p47phox phosphorylation and TRAF4 binding and their relative roles in acute TNF-α signaling. Exposure of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) to TNF-α (100 U/ml; 1 to 60 min) induced rapid (within 5 min) p47phox phosphorylation. This was paralleled by a 2.7- ± 0.5-fold increase in p47phox-TRAF4 association, membrane translocation of p47phox-TRAF4, a 2.3- ± 0.4-fold increase in p47phox-p22phox complex formation, and a 3.2- ± 0.2-fold increase in NADPH-dependent O2− production (all P < 0.05). TRAF4-p47phox binding was accompanied by a progressive increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and p38MAPK activation, which was inhibited by an O2− scavenger, tiron. TRAF4 predominantly bound the phosphorylated form of p47phox, in a protein kinase C-dependent process. Knockdown of TRAF4 expression using siRNA had no effect on p47phox phosphorylation or binding to p22phox but inhibited TNF-α-induced ERK1/2 activation. In coronary microvascular EC from p47phox−/− mice, TNF-α-induced NADPH oxidase activation, ERK1/2 activation, and cell surface intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression were all inhibited. Thus, both p47phox phosphorylation and TRAF4 are required for acute TNF-α signaling. The increased binding between p47phox and TRAF4 that occurs after p47phox phosphorylation could serve to spatially confine ROS generation from NADPH oxidase and subsequent MAPK activation and cell surface ICAM-1 expression in EC.