There are limited systematic data on the incidence, clinical characteristics and outcomes of congestive heart failure (CHF) in patients with hyperthyroidism. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence, clinical characteristics and outcome of CHF as the initial presentation in patients with primary hyperthyroidism.
The prevalence, clinical characteristics and outcome of CHF was studied in 591 consecutive patients (mean (SD) age 45 (1) years, 140 men) who presented with primary hyperthyroidism.
CHF was the presenting condition in 34 patients (5.8%) with hyperthyroidism. The presence of atrial fibrillation at presentation (OR 37.4, 95% CI 9.72 to 144.0, p<0.001) was an independent predictor for the occurrence of CHF. Of the 34 patients with CHF, 16 (47%) had systolic left ventricular dysfunction with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)<50%. They were predominantly male (OR 26.6, 95% CI 2.6 to 272.5, p = 0.006) and had a lower serum thyroxine level (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.99, p = 0.044) than patients with preserved left ventricular systolic function. In these patients, LVEF (55 (4)% vs 30 (2)%, p<0.001) and New York Heart Association functional class (1.2 (0.1) vs 2.5 (0.2), p<0.001) improved significantly 3 months after achieving euthyroid status. Systolic left ventricular dysfunction (mean (SD) LVEF 38 (4)%) persisted on long‐term follow‐up in five patients: no clinical parameter could be identified to predict the occurrence of this persistent cardiomyopathy (p>0.05).
CHF was the initial clinical presentation in approximately 6% of patients with hyperthyroidism, and half of them had left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Symptoms of CHF subsided and LVEF improved after treatment for hyperthyroidism. Nonetheless, one‐third of these patients developed persistent dilated cardiomyopathy.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are responsible for angiogenesis and maintenance of microvascular integrity, the number of EPCs is correlated with oxidative stress. Their relation to myocardial dysfunction in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is nonetheless unknown.
Eighty-seven patients with T2DM and no history of coronary artery disease were recruited. Transthoracic echocardiography and detailed evaluation of left ventricular (LV) systolic function by 2-dimensional (2D) speckle tracking derived strain analysis in 3 orthogonal directions was performed. Four subpopulations of EPCs, including CD34+, CD133+, CD34+/kinase insert domain-containing receptor (KDR) + and CD133+/KDR + EPCs, were measured by flow cytometry. Oxidative stress was assessed by superoxide dismutase (SOD).
The mean age of the patients was 62 ± 9 years and 39.6% were male. Those with an impaired longitudinal strain had a lower number of CD34+ EPCs (2.82 ± 1.87% vs. 3.74 ± 2.12%, P < 0.05) than those with preserved longitudinal strain. When compared with those with preserved circumferential strain, patients with an impaired circumferential strain had a lower number of CD34+ EPCs (2.63 ± 1.80% vs. 3.87 ± 2.10%, P < 0.01) and SOD level (0.13 ± 0.06U/ml vs. 0.20 ± 0.08U/ml, P < 0.01). Patients with an impaired radial strain nonetheless had a lower number of CD34+ EPCs (2.62 ± 2.08% vs. 3.69 ± 1.99%, P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that only impaired global circumferential strain remained significantly associated with CD34 + EPCs and SOD.
LV global circumferential strain was independently associated with number of CD34+ EPCs and SOD. These findings suggest that myocardial dysfunction in patients with T2DM is related to depletion of EPCs and increased oxidative stress.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Myocardial injury; Endothelial progenitor cells
We identified an autosomal dominant non-sense mutation (R225X) in exon 4 of the lamin A/C (LMNA) gene in a Chinese family spanning 3 generations with familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In present study, we aim to generate induced pluripotent stem cells derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) from an affected patient with R225X and another patient bearing LMNA frame-shift mutation for drug screening.
METHODS and RESULTS
Higher prevalence of nuclear bleb formation and micronucleation was present in LMNAR225X/WT and LMNAFramshift/WT iPSC-CMs. Under field electrical stimulation, percentage of LMNA-mutated iPSC-CMs exhibiting nuclear senescence and cellular apoptosis markedly increased. shRNA knockdown of LMNA replicated those phenotypes of the mutated LMNA field electrical stress. Pharmacological blockade of ERK1/2 pathway with MEK1/2 inhibitors, U0126 and selumetinib (AZD6244) significantly attenuated the pro-apoptotic effects of field electric stimulation on the mutated LMNA iPSC-CMs.
LMNA-related DCM was modeled in-vitro using patient-specific iPSC-CMs. Our results demonstrated that haploinsufficiency due to R225X LMNA non-sense mutation was associated with accelerated nuclear senescence and apoptosis of iPSC- CMs under electrical stimulation, which can be significantly attenuated by therapeutic blockade of stress-related ERK1/2 pathway.
Dilated cardiomyopathy; induced pluripotent stem cells; LMNA
Previous experimental studies suggested that mesenchymal stem cell transplantation causes cardiac nerve sprouting; however, whether bone marrow (BM)-derived mononuclear cells (MNC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) can also lead to cardiac nerve sprouting and alter gap junction expression remains unclear. We investigated the effect of electroanatomical mapping-guided direct intramyocardial transplantation of BM-MNC (n = 8) and CD31+EPC (n = 8) compared with saline control (n = 8) on cardiac nerve sprouting and gap junction expression in a swine model of chronic ischemic myocardium. At 12 weeks after transplantation, the distribution and density of cardiac nerve sprouting were determined by staining of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and growth associated protein 43(GAP-43) and expression of connexin 43 in the targeted ischemic and remote normal myocardium. After 12 weeks, no animal developed sudden death after the transplantation. There were no significant differences in the number of cells with positive staining of TH and GAP-43 in the ischemic and normal myocardium between three groups. Furthermore, expression of connexin 43 was also similar in the ischemic and normal myocardia in each group of animals (P > 0.05). The results of this study demonstrated that intramyocardial BM-derived MNC or EPC transplantation in a large animal model of chronic myocardial ischemia was not associated with increased cardiac nerve sprouting over the ischemic myocardium.
Bone marrow cells; Ischemia; Arrhythmia; Nerve sprouting; Connecxin 43
Recent clinical and experimental evidences demonstrate an association between augmented circulating lipocalin-2 [a pro-inflammatory adipokine] and cardiac dysfunction. However, little is known about the pathophysi-ological role of lipocalin-2 in heart. The present study was designed to compare the heart functions of mice with normal (WT) or deficient lipocalin-2 (Lcn2-KO) expression.
Methods and results
Echocardiographic analysis revealed that the myocardial contractile function was significantly improved in hearts of Lcn2-KO mice, under both standard chow and high fat diet conditions. The heart function before and after I/R injury (20-min of global ischemia followed by 60-min of reperfusion) was assessed using the Langendorff perfusion system. Compared to WT littermates, hearts from Lcn2-KO mice showed improved functional recovery and reduced infarct size following I/R. Under baseline condition, the mitochondrial function of Lcn2-KO hearts was significantly enhanced, as demonstrated by biochemical analysis of respiratory chain activity and markers of biogenesis, as well as electron microscopic investigation of the mitochondrial ultrastructure. Acute or chronic administration of lipocalin-2 impaired cardiac functional recovery to I/R and dampened the mitochondrial function in hearts of Lcn2-KO mice. These effects were associated with an extensive modification of the fatty acyl chain compositions of intracellular phospholipids. For example, lipocalin-2 facilitated the redistribution of linoleic acid (C18:2) among different types of phospholipids, including cardiolipin, a structurally unique phospholipid located mainly on the inner membrane of mitochondria.
Lack of lipocalin-2 improved the functional recovery of isolated mice hearts subjected to I/R, which is associated with restoration of mitochondrial function and phospholipids remodeling.
Lipocalin-2; adipokine; heart; mitochondria; phospholipids
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) have increased risk of endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness. Levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are also reduced in hyperglycemic states. However, the relationships between glycemic control, levels of EPCs and arterial stiffness are unknown.
We measured circulating EPCs and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) in 234 patients with type 2 DM and compared them with 121 age- and sex-matched controls.
Patients with DM had significantly lower circulating Log CD34/KDR+ and Log CD133/KDR+ EPC counts, and higher Log baPWV compared with controls (all P < 0.05). Among those 120/234 (51%) of DM patients with satisfactory glycemic control (defined by Hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c < 6.5%), they had significantly higher circulating Log CD34/KDR+ and Log CD133/KDR+ EPC counts, and lower Log baPWV compared with patients with poor glycemic control (all P < 0.05). The circulating levels of Log CD34/KDR+ EPC (r = -0.46, P < 0.001) and Log CD133/KDR+ EPC counts (r = -0.45, P < 0.001) were negatively correlated with Log baPWV. Whilst the level of HbA1c positively correlated with Log baPWV (r = 0.20, P < 0.05) and negatively correlated with circulating levels of Log CD34/KDR+ EPC (r = -0.40, P < 0.001) and Log CD133/KDR+ EPC (r = -0.41, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that HbA1c, Log CD34/KDR+ and Log CD133/KDR+ EPC counts were independent predictors of Log baPWV (P < 0.05).
In patients with type 2 DM, the level of circulating EPCs and arterial stiffness were closely related to their glycemic control. Furthermore, DM patients with satisfactory glycemic control had higher levels of circulating EPCs and were associated with lower arterial stiffness.
A better understanding of the ionic mechanisms for cardiac automaticity can lead to better strategies for engineering bio-artificial pacemakers. Here, we attempted to better define the relative contribution of If and IK1 in the generation of spontaneous action potentials (SAPs) in cardiomyocytes (CMs).
Methods and results
Monolayers of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) were transduced with a recombinant adenovirus (Ad) to express a gating-engineered HCN1 construct (HCN1-ΔΔΔ) for patch-clamp and multielectrode array (MEA) recordings. Single NRVMs exhibited a bi-phasic response in the generation of SAPs (62.6 ± 17.4 b.p.m., Days 1–2; 194.3 ± 12.3 b.p.m., Days 3–4; 73% quiescent, Days 9–10). Although automaticity time-dependently decreased and subsequently ceased, If remained fairly stable (−5.2 ± 1.1 pA/pF, Days 1–2; −5.1 ± 1.4 pA/pF, Days 7–8; −4.3 ± 1.3 pA/pF, Days 13–14). In contrast, IK1 declined rapidly (from −16.9 ± 2.7 pA/pF on Days 1–2 to −4.4 ± 1.6 pA/pF on Days 5–6). Maximum diastolic potential/resting membrane potential (r = 0.89) and action potential duration at 50% (APD50, r = 0.73) and 90% (APD90, r = 0.75) but not the firing rate (r = −0.3) were positively correlated to the IK1. Similarly, monolayer NRVMs ceased to spontaneously fire after long-term culture. Ad-HCN1-ΔΔΔ transduction restored pacing in silenced individual and monolayer NRVMs but with reduced conduction velocity and field potential amplitude.
We conclude that the combination of IK1 and If primes CMs for bio-artificial pacing by determining the threshold. However, If functions as a membrane potential oscillator to determine the basal firing frequency. Future engineering of automaticity in the multicellular setting needs to have conduction taken into consideration.
If; IK1; HCN; Automaticity; Action potential
Cardiomyocytes generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are suggested as the most promising candidate to replenish cardiomyocyte loss in regenerative medicine. Little is known about their calcium homeostasis, the key process underlying excitation-contraction coupling.
We investigated the calcium handling properties of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and compared with those from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).
Methods and Results
We differentiated cardiomyocytes from hiPSCs (IMR90 and KS1) and hESCs (H7 and HES3) with established protocols. Beating outgrowths from embryoid bodies were typically observed 2 weeks after induction. Cells in these outgrowths were stained positively for tropomyosin and sarcomeric alpha-actinin. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction studies demonstrated the expressions of cardiac-specific markers in both hiPSC- and hESC-derived cardiomyocytes. Calcium handling properties of 20-day-old hiPSC- and hESC-derived cardiomyocytes were investigated using fluorescence confocal microscopy. Compared with hESC-derived cardiomyocytes, spontaneous calcium transients from both lines of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes were of significantly smaller amplitude and with slower maximal upstroke velocity. Better caffeine-induced calcium handling kinetics in hESC-CMs indicates a higher sacroplasmic recticulum calcium store. Furthermore, in contrast with hESC-derived cardiomyocytes, ryanodine did not reduce the amplitudes, maximal upstroke and decay velocity of calcium transients of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. In addition, spatial inhomogeneity in temporal properties of calcium transients across the width of cardiomyocytes was more pronounced in hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes than their hESC counterpart as revealed line-scan calcium imaging. Expressions of the key calcium-handling proteins including ryanodine recptor-2 (RyR2), sacroplasmic recticulum calcium-ATPase (SERCA), junction (Jun) and triadin (TRDN), were significantly lower in hiPSC than in hESCs.
The results indicate the calcium handling properties of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes are relatively immature to hESC counterparts.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12015-011-9273-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Human induced pluripotent stem cells; Cardiomyocytes; Calcium handling
The term laminopathies defines a group of genetic disorders caused by defects in the nuclear envelope, mostly the lamins. Lamins are the main constituents of the nuclear lamina, a filamentous meshwork associated with the inner nuclear membrane that provides mechanical stability and plays important roles in processes such as transcription, DNA replication and chromatin organization. More than 300 mutations in lamin A/C have been associated with diverse clinical phenotypes, understanding the molecular basis of these diseases may provide a rationale for treating them. Here we describe the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a patient with inherited dilated cardiomiopathy and 2 patients with distinct accelerated forms of aging, atypical Werner syndrome and Hutchinson Gilford progeria, all of which are caused by mutations in lamin A/C. These cell lines were pluripotent and displayed normal nuclear membrane morphology compared to donor fibroblasts. Their differentiated progeny reproduced the disease phenotype, reinforcing the idea that they represent excellent tools for understanding the role of lamin A/C in normal physiology and the clinical diversity associated with these diseases.
reprogramming; induced pluripotent stem cells; lamin A/C; dilated cardiomyopathy; atypical Werner syndrome; Hutchinson Gilford progeria
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from human adult somatic cells through reprogramming hold great promises for future regenerative medicine. However, exposure of human iPSCs to animal feeder and serum in the process of their generation and maintenance imposes risk of transmitting animal pathogens to human subjects, thus hindering the potential therapeutic applications. Here, we report the successful generation of human iPSCs in a feeder-independent culture system with defined factors. Two stable human iPSC lines were established from primary human dermal fibroblasts of two healthy volunteers. These human iPSCs expressed a panel of pluripotency markers including stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-4, tumor-rejection antigen (TRA)-1-60, TRA-1-81, and alkaline phosphatase, while maintaining normal karyotypes and the exogenous reprogramming factors being silenced. In addition, these human iPSCs can differentiate along lineages representative of the three embryonic germ layers upon formation of embryoid bodies, indicating their pluripotency. Furthermore, subcutaneous transplantation of these cells into immunodeficient mice resulted in teratoma formation in 6 to 8 weeks. Our findings are an important step toward generating patient-specific iPSCs in a more clinically compliant manner by eliminating the need of animal feeder cells and animal serum.
Normal heart rhythms originate in the sinoatrial node. HCN-encoded funny current (If) and the Kir2-encoded inward rectifier (IK1) counteract each other by respectively oscillating and stabilizing the negative resting membrane potential, controlling action potential firing. Therefore, IK1 suppression and If overexpression have been independently exploited to convert cardiomyocytes (CMs) into AP-firing bioartificial pacemakers. Although the two strategies have been largely assumed synergistic, their complementarity has not been investigated.
Methods and Results
We explored the inter-relationships of automaticity, If and IK1 by transducing single left ventricular (LV) CMs isolated from guinea pig hearts with the recombinant adenoviruses Ad-CMV-GFP-IRES-HCN1-ΔΔΔ and/or Ad-CGI-Kir2.1 to mediate their current densities via whole-cell patch clamp technique at 37°C. Results showed that Ad-CGI-HCN1-ΔΔΔ- but not Ad-CGI-Kir2.1-transduction induced automaticity (181.1±13.1 bpm). Interestingly, Ad-CGI-HCN1-ΔΔΔ/Ad-CGI-Kir2.1 cotransduction significantly promoted the induced firing frequency (320.0±15.8 bpm; p<0.05). Correlation analysis revealed that the firing frequency, phase 4 slope and APD90 of AP-firing LV CMs were correlated to If (R2>0.7) only when -2>IK1>-4 pA/pF but not to IK1 over the entire If ranges examined (0.02If>-4 pA/pF. As anticipated, however, APD90 was correlated to IK1 (R2=0.4).
We conclude that an optimal level of IK1 maintains a voltage range for If to operate most effectively during a dynamic cardiac cycle.
If; IK1; bioartificial pacemaker; automaticity; synergism
Recent studies suggested that bone marrow (BM) cell implantation in patients with severe chronic coronary artery disease (CAD) resulted in modest improvement in symptoms and cardiac function. This study sought to investigate the functional changes that occur within the chronic human ischaemic myocardium after direct endomyocardial BM cells implantation by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR).
Methods and Results
We compared the interval changes of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), myocardial perfusion reserve and the extent of myocardial scar by using late gadolinium enhancement CMR in 12 patients with severe CAD. CMR was performed at baseline and at 6 months after catheter-based direct endomyocardial autologous BM cell (n = 12) injection to viable ischaemic myocardium as guided by electromechanical mapping. In patients randomized to receive BM cell injection, there was significant decrease in percentage area of peri-infarct regions (-23.6%, P = 0.04) and increase in global LVEF (+9.0%, P = 0.02), the percentage of regional wall thickening (+13.1%, P= 0.04) and MPR (+0.25%, P = 0.03) over the target area at 6-months compared with baseline.
Direct endomyocardial implantation of autologous BM cells significantly improved global LVEF, regional wall thickening and myocardial perfusion reserve, and reduced percentage area of peri-infarct regions in patients with severe CAD.
If (or Ih), encoded by the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN1–4) channel gene family, contributes significantly to cardiac pacing. Bradycardic agents such as ZD7288 that target HCN channels have been developed, but the molecular configuration of their receptor is poorly defined. Here, we probed the drug receptor by systematically introducing alanine scanning substitutions into the selectivity filter (C347A, I348A, G349A, Y350A, G351A in the P-loop), outer (P355A, V356A, S357A, M358A in the P-S6 linker), and inner (M377A, F378A, V379A in S6) pore vestibules of HCN1 channels. When heterologously expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells for patch-clamp recordings, I348A, G349A, Y350A, G351A, P355A, and V356A did not produce measurable currents. The half-blocking concentration (IC50) of wild type (WT) for ZD7288 was 25.8 ± 9.7 μM. While the IC50 of M358A was identical to WT, those of C347A, S357A, F378A, and V379A markedly increased to 137.6 ± 56.4, 113.3 ± 34.1, 587.1 ± 167.5, and 1726.3 ± 673.4 μM, respectively (p < 0.05). Despite the proximity of the S6 residues studied, M377A was hypersensitive (IC50 = 5.1 ± 0.7 μM; p < 0.05) implicating site specificity. To explore the energetic interactions among the S6 residues, double and triple substitutions (M377A/F378A, M377A/V379A, F378A/V379A, and M377A/F378A/V379A) were generated for thermodynamic cycle analysis. Specific interactions with coupling energies (ΔΔG) >1 kT for M377–F378 and F378–V379 but not M377–V379 were identified. Based on these new data and others, we proposed a refined drug-blocking model that may lead to improved antiarrhythmics and bioartificial pacemaker designs.
Drug; Inner pore; ZD7288; Pacemaker channels; HCN
Although fibroblast-to-myocyte electrical coupling is experimentally suggested, electrophysiology of cardiac fibroblasts is not as well established as contractile cardiac myocytes. The present study was therefore designed to characterize ion channels in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts.
Methods and Findings
A whole-cell patch voltage clamp technique and RT-PCR were employed to determine ion channels expression and their molecular identities. We found that multiple ion channels were heterogeneously expressed in human cardiac fibroblasts. These include a big conductance Ca2+-activated K+ current (BKCa) in most (88%) human cardiac fibroblasts, a delayed rectifier K+ current (IKDR) and a transient outward K+ current (Ito) in a small population (15 and 14%, respectively) of cells, an inwardly-rectifying K+ current (IKir) in 24% of cells, and a chloride current (ICl) in 7% of cells under isotonic conditions. In addition, two types of voltage-gated Na+ currents (INa) with distinct properties were present in most (61%) human cardiac fibroblasts. One was a slowly inactivated current with a persistent component, sensitive to tetrodotoxin (TTX) inhibition (INa.TTX, IC50 = 7.8 nM), the other was a rapidly inactivated current, relatively resistant to TTX (INa.TTXR, IC50 = 1.8 µM). RT-PCR revealed the molecular identities (mRNAs) of these ion channels in human cardiac fibroblasts, including KCa.1.1 (responsible for BKCa), Kv1.5, Kv1.6 (responsible for IKDR), Kv4.2, Kv4.3 (responsible for Ito), Kir2.1, Kir2.3 (for IKir), Clnc3 (for ICl), NaV1.2, NaV1.3, NaV1.6, NaV1.7 (for INa.TTX), and NaV1.5 (for INa.TTXR).
These results provide the first information that multiple ion channels are present in cultured human cardiac fibroblasts, and suggest the potential contribution of these ion channels to fibroblast-myocytes electrical coupling.
OBJECTIVE—To investigate the association between raised blood pressure and dysglycemia.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We studied the association between raised blood pressure and dysglycemia in 1,862 subjects in the Hong Kong Cardiovascular Risk Factor Prevalence Study cohort. We determined the factors predicting the development of diabetes and hypertension in 1,496 subjects who did not have either condition at baseline.
RESULTS—Diabetes and hypertension were both related to age, obesity indexes, blood pressure, glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Of subjects with diabetes, 58% had raised blood pressure. Of subjects with hypertension, 56% had dysglycemia. BMI and blood glucose 2 h after a 75-g oral glucose load were independent predictors of new-onset diabetes. Age, systolic blood pressure, and 2-h glucose were independent predictors of new-onset hypertension. BMI, systolic blood pressure, and 2-h glucose were independent predictors of the development of diabetes and hypertension together.
CONCLUSIONS—Diabetes and hypertension share common etiological factors. Patients with diabetes or hypertension should be screened and managed for the precursor of the other condition.
Although both the H1 and HES2 human embryonic stem cell lines (NIH codes: WA01 and ES02, respectively) are capable of forming all three germ layers and their derivatives, various lines of evidence including the need for using different protocols to induce cardiac differentiation hint that they have distinctive preferences to become chamber-specific heart cells. However, a direct systematic comparison has not been reported. Here we electrophysiologically demonstrated that the distributions of ventricular-, atrial- and pacemaker-like derivatives were indeed different (ratios=39:61:0 and 64:33:3 for H1 and HES2, respectively). Based on these results, we hypothesized the differences in their cardiogenic potentials are imprinted in the proteomes of undifferentiated H1 and HES2. Using the multiplexing, high-resolution 2-D Differential In Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE) to minimize gel-to-gel variations that are common in conventional 2D gels, a total of 2000 individual protein spots were separated. Of which, 55 were >2-fold differentially expressed in H1 and HES2 (p<0.05) and identified by mass spectrometery. Bioinformatic analysis of these protein differences further revealed candidate pathways that contribute to the H1 and HES2 phenotypes. We conclude that H1 and HES2 have predetermined preferences to become ventricular, atrial and pacemaker cells due to discrete differences in their proteomes. These results improve our basic understanding of hESCs and may lead to mechanism-based methods for their directed cardiac differentiation into chamber-specific cardiomyocytes.
The hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-modulated channel gene family (HCN1-4) encodes the membrane depolarizing current that underlies pacemaking. Although the topology of HCN resembles Kv channels, much less is known about their structure-function correlation. Previously, we identified several pore residues in the S5-P linker and P-loop that are externally accessible and/or influence HCN gating, and proposed an evolutionarily conserved pore-to-gate mechanism. Here we sought dynamic evidence by assessing the functional consequences of Cys-scanning substitutions in the unexplored P-S6 linker (residues 352–359), the HCN1-R background (that is, resistant to sulfhydryl-reactive agents). None of A352C, Q353C, A354C, P355C, V356C, S357C, M358C, or S359C produced functional currents; the loss-of-function of Q353C, A354C, S357C, and M358C could be rescued by the reducing agent dithiothreitol. Q353C, A354C, and S357C, but not M358C and HCN1-R, were sensitive to Cd2+ blockade (IC50 = 3–12 μM vs. >1 mM). External application of the positively charged covalent sulfhydryl modifier MTSET irreversibly reduced I−140mV of Q353C and A354C to 27.9 ± 3.4% and 58.2 ± 13.1% of the control, respectively, and caused significant steady-state activation shifts (∆V1/2 = –21.1 ± 1.6 for Q353C and −10.0 ± 2.9 mV for A354C). Interestingly, MTSET reactivity was also state dependent. MTSET, however, affected neither S357C nor M358C, indicating site specificity. Collectively, we have identified novel P-S6 residues whose extracellular accessibility was sterically and state dependent and have provided the first functional evidence consistent with a dynamic HCN pore-to-gate model.
Outer pore; Pacemaker channels; HCN
Although If, encoded by the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide-modulated (HCN) channel gene family, is known to be functionally important in pacing, its mechanistic action is largely inferential and indeed somewhat controversial. To dissect in detail the role of If, we investigated the functional consequences of overexpressing in adult guinea pig left ventricular cardiomyocytes (LVCMs) various HCN1 constructs that have been engineered to exhibit different gating properties.
Methods and Results
We created the recombinant adenoviruses Ad-CMV-GFP-IRES (CGI), Ad-CGI-HCN1, Ad-CGI-HCN1-ΔΔΔ, and Ad-CGI-HCN1-Ins, which mediate ectopic expression of GFP alone, WT, EVY235-7ΔΔΔ, and Ins HCN1 channels, respectively; EVY235-7ΔΔΔ and Ins encode channels in which the S3—S4 linkers have been shortened and lengthened to favor and inhibit opening, respectively. Ad-CGI-HCN1, Ad-CGI-HCN1-ΔΔΔ, and Ad-CGI-HCN1-Ins, but not control Ad-CGI, transduction of LVCMs led to robust expression of If with comparable densities when fully open (≈-22 pA/pF at -140 mV; P>0.05) but distinctive activation profiles (V1/2=-70.8±0.6, -60.4±0.7, and -87.7±0.7 mV; P<0.01, respectively). Whereas control (nontransduced or Ad-CGI—transduced) LVCMs were electrically quiescent, automaticity (206±16 bpm) was observed exclusively in 61% of Ad-HCN1-ΔΔΔ—transduced cells that displayed depolarized maximum diastolic potential (-60.6±0.5 versus -70.6±0.6 mV of resting membrane potential of control cells; P<0.01) and gradual phase 4 depolarization (306±32 mV/s) that were typical of genuine nodal cells. Furthermore, spontaneously firing Ad-HCN1-ΔΔΔ—transduced LVCMs responded positively to adrenergic stimulation (P<0.05) but exhibited neither overdrive excitation nor suppression. In contrast, the remaining 39% of Ad-HCN1-ΔΔΔ—transduced cells exhibited no spontaneous action potentials; however, a single ventricular action potential associated with a depolarized resting membrane potential and a unique, incomplete “phase 4—like” depolarization that did not lead to subsequent firing could be elicited on simulation. Such an intermediate phenotype, similarly observed in 100% of Ad-CGI-HCN— and Ad-CGI-HCN1-Ins—transduced LVCMs, could be readily reversed by ZD7288, hinting at a direct role of If. Correlation analysis revealed the specific biophysical parameters required for If to function as an active membrane potential oscillator.
Our results not only contribute to a better understanding of cardiac pacing but also may advance current efforts that focus primarily on automaticity induction to the next level by enabling bioengineering of central and peripheral cells that make up the native sinoatrial node.
genes; ion channels; pacemakers; sinoatrial node; tissue engineering
To determine whether protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) modulates volume-sensitive chloride current (ICl.vol) in human atrial myocytes and to identify the PTKs involved, we studied the effects of broad-spectrum and selective PTK inhibitors and the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) inhibitor orthovanadate (VO4−3). ICl.vol evoked by hyposmotic bath solution (0.6-times isosmotic, 0.6T) was enhanced by genistein, a broad-spectrum PTK inhibitor, in a concentration-dependent manner (EC50 = 22.4 μM); 100 μM genistein stimulated ICl.vol by 122.4 ± 10.6%. The genistein-stimulated current was inhibited by DIDS (4,4′-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid, 150 μM) and tamoxifen (20 μM), blockers of ICl.vol. Moreover, the current augmented by genistein was volume dependent; it was abolished by hyperosmotic shrinkage in 1.4T, and genistein did not activate Cl− current in 1T. In contrast to the stimulatory effects of genistein, 100 μM tyrphostin A23 (AG 18) and A25 (AG 82) inhibited ICl.vol by 38.2 ± 4.9% and 40.9 ± 3.4%, respectively. The inactive analogs, daidzein and tyrphostin A63 (AG 43), did not alter ICl.vol. In addition, the PTP inhibitor VO4−3 (1 mM) reduced ICl.vol by 53.5 ± 4.5% (IC50 = 249.6 μM). Pretreatment with VO4−3 antagonized genistein-induced augmentation and A23- or A25-induced suppression of ICl.vol. Furthermore, the selective Src-family PTK inhibitor PP2 (5 μM) stimulated ICl.vol, mimicking genistein, whereas the selective EGFR (ErbB-1) kinase inhibitor tyrphostin B56 (AG 556, 25 μM) reduced ICl.vol, mimicking A23 and A25. The effects of both PP2 and B56 also were substantially antagonized by pretreatment with VO4−3. The results suggest that ICl.vol is regulated in part by the balance between PTK and PTP activity. Regulation is complex, however. Src and EGFR kinases, distinct soluble and receptor-mediated PTK families, have opposing effects on ICl.vol, and multiple target proteins are likely to be involved.
cell volume; Src family kinases; EGFR kinase; protein tyrosine phosphatase; orthovanadate
We previously found that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) exerted immunomodulatory effects on Th2-mediated allergic rhinitis in vitro. However, their contribution to the asthma and allergic rhinitis in animal models remains unclear. In this study, we developed a mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic inflammation in both the upper and lower airways and evaluated the effects of the systemic administration of human iPSC-MSCs and bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) on allergic inflammation. Our results showed that treatments with both the iPSC-MSCs and BM-MSCs before the challenge phase protected the animals from the majority of allergy-specific pathological changes. This protection included an inhibition of inflammatory cell infiltration and mucus production in the lung, a reduction in eosinophil infiltration in the nose, and a decrease in inflammatory cell infiltration in both the bronchoalveolar and nasal lavage fluids. In addition, treatment with iPSC-MSCs or BM-MSCs before the challenge phase resulted in reduced serum levels of Th2 immunoglobulins (e.g., IgE) and decreased levels of Th2 cytokines including interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, or IL-13 in the bronchoalveolar and/or nasal lavage fluids. Similar therapeutic effects were observed when the animals were pretreated with human iPSC-MSCs before the sensitization phase. These data suggest that iPSC-MSCs may be used as an alternative strategy to adult MSCs in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis. Stem Cells 2012;30:2692–2699
Induced pluripotent stem cells; Mesenchymal stem cells; Allergy; Immunomodulation
Functional endothelial-like cells (EC) have been successfully derived from different cell sources and potentially used for treatment of cardiovascular diseases; however, their relative therapeutic efficacy remains unclear. We differentiated functional EC from human bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-EC), human embryonic stem cells (hESC-EC) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-EC), and compared their in-vitro tube formation, migration and cytokine expression profiles, and in-vivo capacity to attenuate hind-limb ischemia in mice. Successful differentiation of BM-EC was only achieved in 1/6 patient with severe coronary artery disease. Nevertheless, BM-EC, hESC-EC and hiPSC-EC exhibited typical cobblestone morphology, had the ability of uptaking DiI-labeled acetylated low-density-lipoprotein, and binding of Ulex europaeus lectin. In-vitro functional assay demonstrated that hiPSC-EC and hESC-EC had similar capacity for tube formation and migration as human umbilical cord endothelial cells (HUVEC) and BM-EC (P>0.05). While increased expression of major angiogenic factors including epidermal growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, placental growth factor and stromal derived factor-1 were observed in all EC cultures during hypoxia compared with normoxia (P<0.05), the magnitudes of cytokine up-regulation upon hypoxic were more dramatic in hiPSC-EC and hESC-EC (P<0.05). Compared with medium, transplanting BM-EC (n = 6), HUVEC (n = 6), hESC-EC (n = 8) or hiPSC-EC (n = 8) significantly attenuated severe hind-limb ischemia in mice via enhancement of neovascularization. In conclusion, functional EC can be generated from hECS and hiPSC with similar therapeutic efficacy for attenuation of severe hind-limb ischemia. Differentiation of functional BM-EC was more difficult to achieve in patients with cardiovascular diseases, and hESC-EC or iPSC-EC are readily available as “off-the-shelf” format for the treatment of tissue ischemia.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular events. Unfortunately traditional risk assessment scores, including the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), have only modest accuracy in cardiovascular risk prediction in these patients.
We sought to determine the prognostic values of different non-invasive markers of atherosclerosis, including brachial artery endothelial function, carotid artery atheroma burden, ankle-brachial index, arterial stiffness and computed tomography coronary artery calcium score (CACS) in 151 T2DM Chinese patients that were identified low-intermediate risk from the FRS recalibrated for Chinese (<20% risk in 10 years). Patients were prospectively followed-up and presence of atherosclerotic events documented for a mean duration of 61 ± 16 months.
A total of 17 atherosclerotic events in 16 patients (11%) occurred during the follow-up period. The mean FRS of the study population was 5.0 ± 4.6% and area under curve (AUC) from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for prediction of atherosclerotic events was 0.59 ± 0.07 (P = 0.21). Among different vascular assessments, CACS > 40 had the best prognostic value (AUC 0.81 ± 0.06, P < 0.01) and offered significantly better accuracy in prediction compared with FRS (P = 0.038 for AUC comparisons). Combination of FRS with CACS or other surrogate vascular markers did not further improve the prognostic values over CACS alone. Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified CACS > 40 as an independent predictor of atherosclerotic events in T2DM patients (Hazards Ratio 27.11, 95% Confidence Interval 3.36-218.81, P = 0.002).
In T2DM patients identified as low-intermediate risk by the FRS, a raised CACS > 40 was an independent predictor for atherosclerotic events.
Vascular markers of atherosclerosis; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
To evaluate the presence of myocardial structural alterations and subtle myocardial dysfunction during familial screening in asymptomatic mutation carriers without hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) phenotype.
Methods and Findings
Sixteen HCM families with pathogenic mutation were studied and 46 patients with phenotype expression (Mut+/Phen+) and 47 patients without phenotype expression (Mut+/Phen−) were observed. Twenty-five control subjects, matched with the Mut+/Phen− group, were recruited for comparison. Echocardiography was performed to evaluate conventional parameters, myocardial structural alteration by calibrated integrated backscatter (cIBS) and global and segmental longitudinal strain by speckle tracking analysis. All 3 groups had similar left ventricular dimensions and ejection fraction. Basal anteroseptal cIBS was the highest in Mut+/Phen+ patients (−14.0±4.6 dB, p<0.01) and was higher in Mut+/Phen− patients as compared to controls (−17.0±2.3 vs. −22.6±2.9 dB, p<0.01) suggesting significant myocardial structural alterations. Global and basal anteroseptal longitudinal strains (−8.4±4.0%, p<0.01) were the most impaired in Mut+/Phen+ patients as compared to the other 2 groups. Although global longitudinal strain was similar between Mut+/Phen− group and controls, basal anteroseptal strain was lower in Mut+/Phen− patients (−14.1±3.8%, p<0.01) as compared to controls (−19.9±2.9%, p<0.01), suggesting a subclinical segmental systolic dysfunction. A combination of >−19.0 dB basal anteroseptal cIBS or >−18.0% basal anteroseptal longitudinal strain had a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 72% in differentiating Mut+/Phen− group from controls.
The use of cIBS and segmental longitudinal strain can differentiate HCM Mut+/Phen− patients from controls with important clinical implications for the family screening and follow-up of these patients.
The cardioprotective effects of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA-I) are well documented, but their effects in the direction of the cardiac differentiation of embryonic stem cells are unknown. We evaluated the effects of exogenous apoA-I expression on cardiac differentiation of ESCs and maturation of ESC-derived cardiomyocytes. We stably over-expressed full-length human apoA-I cDNA with lentivirus (LV)-mediated gene transfer in undifferentiated mouse ESCs and human induced pluripotent stem cells. Upon cardiac differentiation, we observed a significantly higher percentage of beating embryoid bodies, an increased number of cardiomyocytes as determined by flow cytometry, and expression of cardiac markers including α-myosin heavy chain, β-myosin heavy chain and myosin light chain 2 ventricular transcripts in LV-apoA-I transduced ESCs compared with control (LV-GFP). In the presence of noggin, a BMP4 antagonist, activation of BMP4-SMAD signaling cascade in apoA-I transduced ESCs completely abolished the apoA-I stimulated cardiac differentiation. Furthermore, co-application of recombinant apoA-I and BMP4 synergistically increased the percentage of beating EBs derived from untransduced D3 ESCs. These together suggests that that pro-cardiogenic apoA-I is mediated via the BMP4-SMAD signaling pathway. Functionally, cardiomyocytes derived from the apoA-I-transduced cells exhibited improved calcium handling properties in both non-caffeine and caffeine-induced calcium transient, suggesting that apoA-I plays a role in enhancing cardiac maturation. This increased cardiac differentiation and maturation has also been observed in human iPSCs, providing further evidence of the beneficial effects of apoA-I in promoting cardiac differentiation. In Conclusion, we present novel experimental evidence that apoA-I enhances cardiac differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs and promotes maturation of the calcium handling property of ESC-derived cardiomyocytes via the BMP4/SMAD signaling pathway.
Mouse (m) and human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) are known to exhibit immature Ca2+ dynamics such as small whole-cell peak amplitude and slower kinetics relative to those of adult. In this study, we examined the maturity and efficiency of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release in m and hESC-CMs, the presence of transverse (t) tubules and its effects on the regional Ca2+ dynamics. In m and hESC-CMs, fluorescent staining and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to detect the presence of t-tubules, caveolin-3, amphiphysin-2 and colocalization of dihydropyridine receptors (DHPRs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs). To avoid ambiguities, regional electrically-stimulated Ca2+ dynamics of single ESC-CMs, rather than spontaneously beating clusters, were measured using confocal microscopy. m and hESC-CMs showed absence of dyads, with neither t-tubules nor colocalization of DHPRs and RyRs. Caveolin-3 and amphiphysin-2, crucial for the biogenesis of t-tubules with robust expression in adult CMs, were also absent. Single m and hESC-CMs displayed non-uniform Ca2+ dynamics across the cell that is typical of CMs deficient of t-tubules. Local Ca2+ transients exhibited greater peak amplitude at the peripheral than at the central region for m (3.50 ± 0.42 vs. 3.05 ± 0.38) and hESC-CMs (2.96 ± 0.25 vs. 2.72 ± 0.25). Kinetically, both the rates of rise to peak amplitude and transient decay were faster for the peripheral relative to the central region. Immature m and hESC-CMs display unsynchronized Ca2+ transients due to the absence of t-tubules and gene products crucial for their biogenesis. Our results provide insights for driving the maturation of ESC-CMs.