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1.  Developmental alterations in centrosome integrity contribute to the post-mitotic state of mammalian cardiomyocytes 
eLife  null;4:e05563.
Mammalian cardiomyocytes become post-mitotic shortly after birth. Understanding how this occurs is highly relevant to cardiac regenerative therapy. Yet, how cardiomyocytes achieve and maintain a post-mitotic state is unknown. Here, we show that cardiomyocyte centrosome integrity is lost shortly after birth. This is coupled with relocalization of various centrosome proteins to the nuclear envelope. Consequently, postnatal cardiomyocytes are unable to undergo ciliogenesis and the nuclear envelope adopts the function as cellular microtubule organizing center. Loss of centrosome integrity is associated with, and can promote, cardiomyocyte G0/G1 cell cycle arrest suggesting that centrosome disassembly is developmentally utilized to achieve the post-mitotic state in mammalian cardiomyocytes. Adult cardiomyocytes of zebrafish and newt, which are able to proliferate, maintain centrosome integrity. Collectively, our data provide a novel mechanism underlying the post-mitotic state of mammalian cardiomyocytes as well as a potential explanation for why zebrafish and newts, but not mammals, can regenerate their heart.
eLife digest
Muscle cells in the heart contract in regular rhythms to pump blood around the body. In humans, rats and other mammals, the vast majority of heart muscle cells lose the ability to divide shortly after birth. Therefore, the heart is unable to replace cells that are lost over the life of the individual, for example, during a heart attack. If too many of these cells are lost, the heart will be unable to pump effectively, which can lead to heart failure. Currently, the only treatment option in humans with heart failure is to perform a heart transplant.
Some animals, such as newts and zebrafish, are able to replace lost heart muscle cells throughout their lifetimes. Thus, these species are able to fully regenerate their hearts even after 20% has been removed. This suggests that it might be possible to manipulate human heart muscle cells to make them divide and regenerate the heart. Recent research has suggested that structures called centrosomes, known to be required to separate copies of the DNA during cell division, are used as a hub to integrate the initial signals that determine whether a cell should divide or not.
Here, Zebrowski et al. studied the centrosomes of heart muscle cells in rats, newts and zebrafish. The experiments show that the centrosomes in rat heart muscle cells are dissembled shortly after birth. Centrosomes are made of several proteins and, in the rat cells, these proteins moved to the membrane that surrounded the nucleus. On the other hand, the centrosomes in the heart muscle cells of the adult newts and zebrafish remained intact.
Further experiments found that that breaking apart the centrosomes of heart muscle cells taken from newborn rats stops these cells from dividing. Zebrowski et al.'s findings suggest that the loss of centrosomes after birth is a possible reason why the hearts of adult humans and other mammals are unable to regenerate after injury. In the future, these findings may aid the development of methods to regenerate human heart muscle and new treatments that may limit division of cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4541494  PMID: 26247711
cardiomyocyte; newt; primary cilium; MTOC; terminal differentiation; centrosome; cardiomyocyte proliferation; heart regeneration; mouse; rat; zebrafish; other
2.  Regeneration of Cryoinjury Induced Necrotic Heart Lesions in Zebrafish Is Associated with Epicardial Activation and Cardiomyocyte Proliferation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18503.
In mammals, myocardial cell death due to infarction results in scar formation and little regenerative response. In contrast, zebrafish have a high capacity to regenerate the heart after surgical resection of myocardial tissue. However, whether zebrafish can also regenerate lesions caused by cell death has not been tested. Here, we present a simple method for induction of necrotic lesions in the adult zebrafish heart based on cryoinjury. Despite widespread tissue death and loss of cardiomyocytes caused by these lesions, zebrafish display a robust regenerative response, which results in substantial clearing of the necrotic tissue and little scar formation. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration appear to be similar to those activated in response to ventricular resection. In particular, the epicardium activates a developmental gene program, proliferates and covers the lesion. Concomitantly, mature uninjured cardiomyocytes become proliferative and invade the lesion. Our injury model will be a useful tool to study the molecular mechanisms of natural heart regeneration in response to necrotic cell death.
PMCID: PMC3075262  PMID: 21533269
3.  Effects of cromolyn sodium on isolated rat's trachea 
Allergy & Rhinology  2011;2(2):e46-e50.
Cromolyn sodium (cromolyn) effectively inhibits both antigen- and exercise-induced asthma when used as an aerosol. Intranasal cromolyn is also recommended for preventing and treating allergic rhinitis. By inhibiting the degranulation of sensitized mast cells, cromolyn reduces the release of mediators that trigger inflammation and the allergic response. The precise pharmacologic activity of cromolyn has not been fully elucidated. This study evaluated the effect of cromolyn on isolated rat's trachea. The following assessments of cromolyn were performed: (1) effect on tracheal resting tension, (2) effect on contraction caused by 10−6 M of methacholine as a parasympathetic mimetic, and (3) effect of the drug on electrically induced tracheal contractions. The results indicated cromolyn could inhibit electrical field stimulation-induced spike contraction when the preparation was increased to 10−4M. Adding cromolyn at doses of ≥10−8 M did not elicit a relaxation or contraction response to 10−6 M of methacholine-induced contraction. It alone had a minimal effect on the basal tension of the trachea as the concentration increased. This study indicates cromolyn had no cholinergic or anticholinergic effect and high concentrations of cromolyn might actually inhibit parasympathetic function of the trachea. Inhibiting parasympathetic function of the trachea through stabilizing the presynaptic nerve by cromolyn may be responsible for protecting patients against antigen- and exercise-induced asthma.
PMCID: PMC3390115  PMID: 22852116
Cromolyn; in vitro study smooth muscle; trachea

Results 1-3 (3)