Journal: Circ Res

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Abstract

Implementing the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute\'s Strategic Vision in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences-2022 Update.

Grant MG, Pratt C, Wong RP, Addou E, ... Fine L, Goff DC
Spurred by the 2016 release of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute\'s Strategic Vision, the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences developed its Strategic Vision Implementation Plan-a blueprint for reigniting the decline in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates, improving health equity, and accelerating translation of scientific discoveries into better cardiovascular health (CVH). The 6 scientific focus areas of the Strategic Vision Implementation Plan reflect the multifactorial nature of CVD and include (1) addressing social determinants of CVH and health inequities, (2) enhancing resilience, (3) promoting CVH and preventing CVD across the lifespan, (4) eliminating hypertension-related CVD, (5) reducing the burden of heart failure, and (6) preventing vascular dementia. This article presents an update of strategic vision implementation activities within Division of Cardiovascular Sciences. Overarching and cross-cutting themes include training the scientific workforce and engaging the extramural scientific community to stimulate transformative research in cardiovascular sciences. In partnership with other NIH Institutes, Federal agencies, industry, and the extramural research community, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences strategic vision implementation has stimulated development of numerous workshops and research funding opportunities. Strategic Vision Implementation Plan activities highlight innovative intervention modalities, interdisciplinary systems approaches to CVD reduction, a life course framework for CVH promotion and CVD prevention, and multi-pronged research strategies for combatting COVID-19. As new knowledge, technologies, and areas of scientific research emerge, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences will continue its thoughtful approach to strategic vision implementation, remaining poised to seize emerging opportunities and catalyze breakthroughs in cardiovascular sciences.



Circ Res: 30 Sep 2022; 131:713-724
Grant MG, Pratt C, Wong RP, Addou E, ... Fine L, Goff DC
Circ Res: 30 Sep 2022; 131:713-724 | PMID: 36173825
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Abstract

A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in Promotes Hypertension Development and Renal Damage.

Alexander MR, Hank S, Dale BL, Himmel L, ... Levy D, Madhur MS
Rationale
SH2B3 (SH2B adaptor protein 3) is an adaptor protein that negatively regulates cytokine signaling and cell proliferation. A common missense single-nucleotide polymorphism in SH2B3 (rs3184504) results in substitution of tryptophan for arginine at amino acid 262 and is a top association signal for hypertension in human genome-wide association studies. Whether this variant is causal for hypertension, and if so, the mechanism by which it impacts pathogenesis is unknown.
Objectives
Test the hypothesis that the tryptophan-encoding allele of rs3184504 promotes hypertension development and end-organ damage through loss of SH2B3-mediated repression of cytokine signaling to enhance T-cell activation.
Methods and results
We used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to create mice homozygous for the major (arginine/arginine) and minor (tryptophan/tryptophan) alleles of this SH2B3 polymorphism. Tryptophan/tryptophan mice exhibited 10 mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure during chronic Ang II (angiotensin II) infusion compared with arginine/arginine controls. Renal injury and perivascular fibrosis were exacerbated in tryptophan/tryptophan mice compared with arginine/arginine controls following Ang II infusion. In addition, renal and ex vivo stimulated splenic CD8+ T cells from Ang II-infused tryptophan/tryptophan mice produced significantly more IFN (interferon)-γ compared with arginine/arginine controls. IL (Interleukin)-12-induced IFN-γ production was greater in tryptophan/tryptophan compared with arginine/arginine CD8+ T cells. In addition, IL-12 enhanced Stat4 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 4) phosphorylation to a greater degree in tryptophan/tryptophan compared with arginine/arginine CD8+ T cells, suggesting that tryptophan-encoding SH2B3 exhibits less negative regulation of IL-12 signaling to promote IFN-γ production. Finally, we demonstrated that a multi-single-nucleotide polymorphism model genetically predicting increased SH2B3 expression in lymphocytes is inversely associated with hypertension and hypertensive chronic kidney disease in humans.
Conclusions
Taken together, these results suggest that the tryptophan-encoding allele of rs3184504 is causal for blood pressure elevation and renal dysfunction, in part through loss of SH2B3-mediated repression of T-cell IL-12 signaling leading to enhanced IFN-γ production.



Circ Res: 28 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320625; epub ahead of print
Alexander MR, Hank S, Dale BL, Himmel L, ... Levy D, Madhur MS
Circ Res: 28 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320625; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36169218
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Abstract

Orai1 Inhibitors as Potential Treatments for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Masson B, Le Ribeuz H, Sabourin J, Laubry L, ... Capuano V, Antigny F
Background
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by progressive distal pulmonary artery (PA) obstruction, leading to right ventricular hypertrophy and failure. Exacerbated intracellular calcium (Ca2+) signaling contributes to abnormalities in PA smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), including aberrant proliferation, apoptosis resistance, exacerbated migration, and arterial contractility. Store-operated Ca2+ entry is involved in Ca2+ homeostasis in PASMCs, but its properties in PAH are unclear.
Methods
Using a combination of Ca2+ imaging, molecular biology, in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo approaches, we investigated the roles of the Orai1 SOC channel in PA remodeling in PAH and determined the consequences of pharmacological Orai1 inhibition in vivo using experimental models of pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Results
Store-operated Ca2+ entry and Orai1 mRNA and protein were increased in human PASMCs (hPASMCs) from patients with PAH (PAH-hPASMCs). We found that MEK1/2, NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells), and NFκB (nuclear factor-kappa B) contribute to the upregulation of Orai1 expression in PAH-hPASMCs. Using siRNA and Orai1 inhibitors, we found that Orai1 inhibition reduced store-operated Ca2+ entry, mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, aberrant proliferation, apoptosis resistance, migration, and excessive calcineurin activity in PAH-hPASMCs. Orai1 inhibitors reduced agonist-evoked constriction in human PAs. In experimental rat models of PH evoked by chronic hypoxia, monocrotaline, or Sugen/hypoxia, administration of Orai1 inhibitors (BTP2, JPIII, or 5J4) protected against PH.
Conclusions
In human PAH and experimental PH, Orai1 expression and activity are increased. Orai1 inhibition normalizes the PAH-hPASMCs phenotype and attenuates PH in rat models. These results suggest that Orai1 should be considered as a relevant therapeutic target for PAH.



Circ Res: 27 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321041; epub ahead of print
Masson B, Le Ribeuz H, Sabourin J, Laubry L, ... Capuano V, Antigny F
Circ Res: 27 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321041; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36164973
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Abstract

Attenuates CKD via Butyrate-Renal GPR43 Axis.

Li HB, Xu ML, Xu XD, Tang YY, ... Joe B, Yang T
Background
Despite available clinical management strategies, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with severe morbidity and mortality worldwide, which beckons new solutions. Host-microbial interactions with a depletion of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in CKD are reported. However, the mechanisms about if and how F prausnitzii can be used as a probiotic to treat CKD remains unknown.
Methods
We evaluated the microbial compositions in 2 independent CKD populations for any potential probiotic. Next, we investigated if supplementation of such probiotic in a mouse CKD model can restore gut-renal homeostasis as monitored by its effects on suppression on renal inflammation, improvement in gut permeability and renal function. Last, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the probiotic-induced beneficial outcomes.
Results
We observed significant depletion of Faecalibacterium in the patients with CKD in both Western (n=283) and Eastern populations (n=75). Supplementation of F prausnitzii to CKD mice reduced renal dysfunction, renal inflammation, and lowered the serum levels of various uremic toxins. These are coupled with improved gut microbial ecology and intestinal integrity. Moreover, we demonstrated that the beneficial effects in kidney induced by F prausnitzii-derived butyrate were through the GPR (G protein-coupled receptor)-43.
Conclusions
Using a mouse CKD model, we uncovered a novel beneficial role of F prausnitzii in the restoration of renal function in CKD, which is, at least in part, attributed to the butyrate-mediated GPR-43 signaling in the kidney. Our study provides the necessary foundation to harness the therapeutic potential of F prausnitzii for ameliorating CKD.



Circ Res: 27 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320184; epub ahead of print
Li HB, Xu ML, Xu XD, Tang YY, ... Joe B, Yang T
Circ Res: 27 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320184; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36164984
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Abstract

Mammalian Sterile 20-Like Kinase 1 Suppresses Atherosclerosis.

Quan M, Lv H, Liu Z, Li K, ... Zhu Y, Ai D
Background
Atherosclerosis occurs mainly at arterial branching points exposed to disturbed blood flow. How MST1 (mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1), the primary kinase in the mechanosensitive Hippo pathway modulates disturbed flow induced endothelial cells (ECs) activation and atherosclerosis remains unclear.
Methods
To assess the role of MST1 in vivo, mice with EC-specific Mst1 deficiency on ApoE-/- background (Mst1iECKOApoE-/-) were used in an atherosclerosis model generated by carotid artery ligation. Mass spectrometry, immunoprecipitation, proximity ligation assay, and dye uptake assay were used to identify the functional substrate of MST1. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human aortic endothelial cells were subjected to oscillatory shear stress that mimic disturbed flow in experiments conducted in vitro.
Results
We found that the phosphorylation of endothelial MST1 was significantly inhibited in oscillatory shear stress-exposed regions of human and mouse arteries and ECs. Ectopic lenti-mediated overexpression of wild-type MST1, but not a kinase-deficient mutant of MST1, reversed disturbed flow-caused EC activation and atherosclerosis in EC-specific Mst1 deficiency on ApoE-/- background (Mst1iECKOApoE-/-). Inhibition of MST1 by oscillatory shear stress led to reduced phosphorylation of Cx43 (connexin 43) at Ser255, the Cx43 hemichannel open, EC activation, and atherosclerosis, which were blocked by TAT-GAP19, a Cx43 hemichannel inhibitory peptide. Mass spectrometry studies identified that Filamin B fueled the translocation of Cx43 to lipid rafts for further hemichannel open. Finally, lenti-mediated overexpression of the Cx43S255 mutant into glutamate to mimic phosphorylation blunted disturbed flow-induced EC activation, thereby inhibiting the atherogenesis in both ApoE-/- and Mst1 iECKOApoE-/- mice.
Conclusions
Our study reveals that inhibition of the MST1-Cx43 axis is an essential driver of oscillatory shear stress-induced endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis, which provides a new therapeutic target for the treatment of atherosclerosis.



Circ Res: 27 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321322; epub ahead of print
Quan M, Lv H, Liu Z, Li K, ... Zhu Y, Ai D
Circ Res: 27 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321322; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36164986
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Abstract

LncRNA PSR Regulates Vascular Remodeling Through Encoding a Novel Protein Arteridin.

Yu J, Wang W, Yang J, Zhang Y, ... Wu G, Zeng C
Rationale
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) phenotype switch from contractile to proliferative phenotype is a pathological hallmark in various cardiovascular diseases. Recently, a subset of long noncoding RNAs was identified to produce functional polypeptides. However, the functional impact and regulatory mechanisms of long noncoding RNAs in VSMCs phenotype switching remain to be fully elucidated.
Objectives
To illustrate the biological function and mechanism of a VSMC-enriched long noncoding RNA and its encoded peptide in VSMC phenotype switching and vascular remodeling.
Results
We identified a VSMC-enriched transcript encoded by a previously uncharacterized gene, which we called phenotype switching regulator (PSR), which was markedly upregulated during vascular remodeling. Although PSR was annotated as a long noncoding RNA, we demonstrated that the lncPSR also encoded a protein, which we named arteridin. In VSMCs, both arteridin and lncPSR were necessary and sufficient to induce phenotype switching. Mechanistically, arteridin and lncPSR regulate downstream genes by directly interacting with a transcription factor YBX1 (Y-box binding protein 1) and modulating its nuclear translocation and chromatin targeting. Intriguingly, the PSR transcription was also robustly induced by arteridin. More importantly, the loss of PSR gene or arteridin protein significantly attenuated the vascular remodeling induced by carotid arterial injury. In addition, VSMC-specific inhibition of lncPSR using adeno-associated virus attenuated Ang II (angiotensin II)-induced hypertensive vascular remodeling.
Conclusions
PSR is a VSMC-enriched gene, and its encoded transcript (lncPSR) and protein (arteridin) coordinately regulate transcriptional reprogramming through a shared interacting partner, YBX1. This is a previously uncharacterized regulatory circuit in VSMC phenotype switching during vascular remodeling, with lncPSR/arteridin as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of VSMC phenotype switching-related vascular remodeling.



Circ Res: 22 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321080; epub ahead of print
Yu J, Wang W, Yang J, Zhang Y, ... Wu G, Zeng C
Circ Res: 22 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321080; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36134578
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Abstract

Transcriptional and Immune Landscape of Cardiac Sarcoidosis.

Liu J, Ma P, Lai L, Villanueva A, ... Lavine KJ, Lin CY
Background
Cardiac involvement is an important determinant of mortality among sarcoidosis patients. Although granulomatous inflammation is a hallmark finding in cardiac sarcoidosis, the precise immune cell populations that comprise the granuloma remain unresolved. Furthermore, it is unclear how the cellular and transcriptomic landscape of cardiac sarcoidosis differs from other inflammatory heart diseases.
Methods
We leveraged spatial transcriptomics (GeoMx digital spatial profiler) and single-nucleus RNA sequencing to elucidate the cellular and transcriptional landscape of cardiac sarcoidosis. Using GeoMX digital spatial profiler technology, we compared the transcriptomal profile of CD68+ rich immune cell infiltrates in human cardiac sarcoidosis, giant cell myocarditis, and lymphocytic myocarditis. We performed single-nucleus RNA sequencing of human cardiac sarcoidosis to identify immune cell types and examined their transcriptomic landscape and regulation. Using multichannel immunofluorescence staining, we validated immune cell populations identified by single-nucleus RNA sequencing, determined their spatial relationship, and devised an immunostaining approach to distinguish cardiac sarcoidosis from other inflammatory heart diseases.
Results
Despite overlapping histological features, spatial transcriptomics identified transcriptional signatures and associated pathways that robustly differentiated cardiac sarcoidosis from giant cell myocarditis and lymphocytic myocarditis. Single-nucleus RNA sequencing revealed the presence of diverse populations of myeloid cells in cardiac sarcoidosis with distinct molecular features. We identified GPNMB (transmembrane glycoprotein NMB) as a novel marker of multinucleated giant cells and predicted that the MITF (microphthalmia-associated transcription factor) family of transcription factors regulated this cell type. We also detected additional macrophage populations in cardiac sarcoidosis including human leukocyte antigen-DR isotype+ macrophages, SYTL3 (synaptotagmin-like protein 3)+ macrophages and CD163+ resident macrophages. Human leukocyte antigen-DR isotype+ macrophages were found immediately adjacent to GPMMB+ giant cells, a distinct feature compared with other inflammatory cardiac diseases. SYTL3+ macrophages were located scattered throughout the granuloma and CD163+ macrophages, CD1c+ dendritic cells, nonclassical monocytes, and T cells were located at the periphery and outside of the granuloma. Finally, we demonstrate mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway activation is associated with proliferation and is selectively found in human leukocyte antigen-DR isotype+ and SYLT3+ macrophages.
Conclusions
In this study, we identified diverse populations of immune cells with distinct molecular signatures that comprise the sarcoid granuloma. These findings provide new insights into the pathology of cardiac sarcoidosis and highlight opportunities to improve diagnostic testing.



Circ Res: 16 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320449; epub ahead of print
Liu J, Ma P, Lai L, Villanueva A, ... Lavine KJ, Lin CY
Circ Res: 16 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320449; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36111531
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Abstract

The Amino Acid Homoarginine Inhibits Atherogenesis by Modulating T-Cell Function.

Nitz K, Lacy M, Bianchini M, Wichapong K, ... Lutgens E, Atzler D
Background
Amino acid metabolism is crucial for inflammatory processes during atherogenesis. The endogenous amino acid homoarginine is a robust biomarker for cardiovascular outcome and mortality with high levels being protective. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We investigated the effect of homoarginine supplementation on atherosclerotic plaque development with a particular focus on inflammation.
Methods
Female ApoE-deficient mice were supplemented with homoarginine (14 mg/L) in drinking water starting 2 weeks before and continuing throughout a 6-week period of Western-type diet feeding. Control mice received normal drinking water. Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry were used for plaque- and immunological phenotyping. T cells were characterized using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, by functional in vitro approaches, for example, proliferation and migration/chemotaxis assays as well as by super-resolution microscopy.
Results
Homoarginine supplementation led to a 2-fold increase in circulating homoarginine concentrations. Homoarginine-treated mice exhibited reduced atherosclerosis in the aortic root and brachiocephalic trunk. A substantial decrease in CD3+ T cells in the atherosclerotic lesions suggested a T-cell-related effect of homoarginine supplementation, which was mainly attributed to CD4+ T cells. Macrophages, dendritic cells, and B cells were not affected. CD4+ T-cell proteomics and subsequent pathway analysis together with in vitro studies demonstrated that homoarginine profoundly modulated the spatial organization of the T-cell actin cytoskeleton and increased filopodia formation via inhibition of Myh9 (myosin heavy chain 9). Further mechanistic studies revealed an inhibition of T-cell proliferation as well as a striking impairment of the migratory capacities of T cells in response to relevant chemokines by homoarginine, all of which likely contribute to its atheroprotective effects.
Conclusions
Our study unravels a novel mechanism by which the amino acid homoarginine reduces atherosclerosis, establishing that homoarginine modulates the T-cell cytoskeleton and thereby mitigates T-cell functions important during atherogenesis. These findings provide a molecular explanation for the beneficial effects of homoarginine in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.



Circ Res: 14 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321094; epub ahead of print
Nitz K, Lacy M, Bianchini M, Wichapong K, ... Lutgens E, Atzler D
Circ Res: 14 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321094; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36102188
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Abstract

Impaired Dynamic Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca Buffering in Autosomal Dominant CPVT2.

Wleklinski MJ, Kryshtal DO, Kim K, Parikh SS, ... Iyer VR, Knollmann BC
Background
Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is a potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmia syndrome triggered by catecholamines released during exercise, stress, or sudden emotion. Variants in the calsequestrin-2 gene (CASQ2), encoding the major calcium (Ca) binding protein in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), are the second most common cause of CPVT. Recently, several CASQ2 gene variants, such as CASQ2-K180R, have been linked to an autosomal dominant form of Casq2-linked CPVT (CPVT2), but the underlying mechanism is not known.
Methods
A K180R mouse model was generated using CRIPSR/Cas9. Heterozygous and homozygous K180R mice were studied using telemetry ECG recordings in vivo. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated and studied using fluorescent Ca indicators and patch clamp. Expression levels and localization of SR Ca-handling proteins were evaluated using Western blotting and immunostaining. Intra-SR Ca kinetics were quantified using low-affinity Ca indicators.
Results
K180R mice exhibit an autosomal dominant CPVT phenotype following exercise or catecholamine stress. Upon catecholamine stress, K180R ventricular cardiomyocytes exhibit increased spontaneous SR Ca release events, triggering delayed afterdepolarizations and spontaneous beats. K180R had no effect on levels of Casq2, Casq2 polymers, or other SR Ca-handling proteins. Intra-SR Ca measurements revealed that K180R impaired dynamic intra-SR Ca buffering, resulting in a more rapid rise of free Ca in the SR during diastole. Steady-state SR Ca buffering and total SR Ca content were not changed. Consistent with the reduced dynamic intra-SR buffering, K180R causes reduced SR Ca release refractoriness.
Conclusions
CASQ2-K180R causes CPVT2 via a heretofore unknown mechanism that differs from CASQ2 variants associated with autosomal recessive CPVT2. Unlike autosomal recessive CASQ2 variants, K180R impairs the dynamic buffering of Ca within the SR without affecting total SR Ca content or Casq2 protein levels. Our data provide insight into the molecular mechanism underlying autosomal dominant CPVT2.



Circ Res: 14 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320661; epub ahead of print
Wleklinski MJ, Kryshtal DO, Kim K, Parikh SS, ... Iyer VR, Knollmann BC
Circ Res: 14 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320661; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36102198
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Abstract

Extracellular Vesicles Regulate Sympatho-Excitation by Nrf2 in Heart Failure.

Tian C, Gao L, Rudebush TL, Yu L, Zucker IH
Background
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is associated with redox imbalance. Downregulation of Nrf2 (nuclear factor [erythroid-derived 2]-like 2) plays important roles in disrupting myocardial redox hemostasis and mediating sympathetic nerve activity in the setting of CHF. However, it is unclear if circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) elicit sympathetic excitation in CHF by disrupting central redox homeostasis. We tested the hypothesis that cardiac-derived EVs circulate to the presympathetic rostral ventrolateral medulla and contribute to oxidative stress and sympathetic excitation via EV-enriched microRNA-mediated Nrf2 downregulation.
Methods
Data were collected on rats with CHF post-myocardial infarction (MI) and on human subjects with ischemic CHF. EVs were isolated from tissue and plasma, and we determined the miRNAs cargo that related to targeting Nrf2 translation. We tracked the distribution of cardiac-derived EVs using in vitro labeled circulating EVs and cardiac-specific membrane GFP+ transgenic mice. Finally, we tested the impact of exogenously loading of antagomirs to specific Nrf2-related miRNAs on CHF-EV-induced pathophysiological phenotypes in normal rats (eg, sympathetic and cardiac function).
Results
Nrf2 downregulation in CHF rats was associated with an upregulation of Nrf2-targeting miRNAs, which were abundant in cardiac-derived and circulating EVs from rats and humans. EVs isolated from the brain of CHF rats were also enriched with Nrf2-targeting miRNAs and cardiac-specific miRNAs. Cardiac-derived EVs were taken up by neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla. The administration of cardiac-derived and circulating EVs from CHF rats into the rostral ventrolateral medulla of normal rats evoked an increase in renal sympathetic nerve activity and plasma norepinephrine compared with Sham-operated rats, which were attenuated by exogenously preloading CHF-EVs with antagomirs to Nrf2-targeting miRNAs.
Conclusions
Cardiac microRNA-enriched EVs from animals with CHF can mediate crosstalk between the heart and the brain in the regulation of sympathetic outflow by targeting the Nrf2/antioxidant signaling pathway. This new endocrine signaling pathway regulating sympathetic outflow in CHF may be exploited for novel therapeutics.



Circ Res: 13 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320916; epub ahead of print
Tian C, Gao L, Rudebush TL, Yu L, Zucker IH
Circ Res: 13 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320916; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36098045
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Abstract

Differences in Metabolomic Profiles Between Black and White Women and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: an Observational Study of Women From Four US Cohorts.

Hu J, Yao J, Dseng S, Balasubramanian R, ... Clish CB, Rexrode KM
Background
Racial differences in metabolomic profiles may reflect underlying differences in social determinants of health by self-reported race and may be related to racial disparities in coronary heart disease (CHD) among women in the United States. However, the magnitude of differences in metabolomic profiles between Black and White women in the United States has not been well-described. It also remains unknown whether such differences are related to differences in CHD risk.
Methods
Plasma metabolomic profiles were analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in the WHI-OS (Women\'s Health Initiative-Observational Study; 138 Black and 696 White women), WHI-HT trials (WHI-Hormone Therapy; 156 Black and 1138 White women), MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis; 114 Black and 219 White women), JHS (Jackson Heart Study; 1465 Black women with 107 incident CHD cases), and NHS (Nurses\' Health Study; 2506 White women with 136 incident CHD cases). First, linear regression models were used to estimate associations between self-reported race and 472 metabolites in WHI-OS (discovery); findings were replicated in WHI-HT and validated in MESA. Second, we used elastic net regression to construct a racial difference metabolomic pattern (RDMP) representing differences in the metabolomic patterns between Black and White women in the WHI-OS; the RDMP was validated in the WHI-HT and MESA. Third, using conditional logistic regressions in the WHI (717 CHD cases and 719 matched controls), we examined associations of metabolites with large differences in levels by race and the RDMP with risk of CHD, and the results were replicated in Black women from the JHS and White women from the NHS.
Results
Of the 472 tested metabolites, levels of 259 (54.9%) metabolites, mostly lipid metabolites and amino acids, significantly differed between Black and White women in both WHI-OS and WHI-HT after adjusting for baseline characteristics, socioeconomic status, lifestyle factors, baseline health conditions, and medication use (false discovery rate <0.05); similar trends were observed in MESA. The RDMP, composed of 152 metabolites, was identified in the WHI-OS and showed significantly different distributions between Black and White women in the WHI-HT and MESA. Higher RDMP quartiles were associated with an increased risk of incident CHD (odds ratio=1.51 [0.97-2.37] for the highest quartile comparing to the lowest; Ptrend=0.02), independent of self-reported race and known CHD risk factors. In race-stratified analyses, the RDMP-CHD associations were more pronounced in White women. Similar patterns were observed in Black women from the JHS and White women from the NHS.
Conclusions
Metabolomic profiles significantly and substantially differ between Black and White women and may be associated with CHD risk and racial disparities in US women.



Circ Res: 02 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320134; epub ahead of print
Hu J, Yao J, Dseng S, Balasubramanian R, ... Clish CB, Rexrode KM
Circ Res: 02 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320134; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36052690
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Abstract

Fibroblast GSK-3α Promotes Fibrosis via RAF-MEK-ERK Pathway in the Injured Heart.

Umbarkar P, Tousif S, Singh AP, Anderson JC, ... Woodgett J, Lal H
Background
Heart failure is the leading cause of mortality, morbidity, and health care expenditures worldwide. Numerous studies have implicated GSK-3 (glycogen synthase kinase-3) as a promising therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases. GSK-3 isoforms seem to play overlapping, unique and even opposing functions in the heart. Previously, we have shown that of the 2 isoforms of GSK-3, cardiac fibroblast GSK-3β acts as a negative regulator of myocardial fibrosis in the ischemic heart. However, the role of cardiac fibroblast-GSK-3α in the pathogenesis of cardiac diseases is completely unknown.
Methods
To define the role of cardiac fibroblast-GSK-3α in myocardial fibrosis and heart failure, GSK-3α was deleted from fibroblasts or myofibroblasts with tamoxifen-inducible Tcf21- or Postn-promoter-driven Cre recombinase. Control and GSK-3α KO mice were subjected to cardiac injury and heart parameters were evaluated. The fibroblast kinome mapping was carried out to delineate molecular mechanism followed by in vivo and in vitro analysis.
Results
Fibroblast-specific GSK-3α deletion restricted fibrotic remodeling and preserved function of the injured heart. We observed reductions in cell migration, collagen gel contraction, α-SMA protein levels, and expression of ECM genes in TGFβ1-treated KO fibroblasts, indicating that GSK-3α is required for myofibroblast transformation. Surprisingly, GSK-3α deletion did not affect SMAD3 activation, suggesting the profibrotic role of GSK-3α is SMAD3 independent. The molecular studies confirmed decreased ERK signaling in GSK-3α-KO CFs. Conversely, adenovirus-mediated expression of a constitutively active form of GSK-3α (Ad-GSK-3αS21A) in fibroblasts increased ERK activation and expression of fibrogenic proteins. Importantly, this effect was abolished by ERK inhibition.
Conclusions
GSK-3α-mediated MEK-ERK activation is a critical profibrotic signaling circuit in the injured heart, which operates independently of the canonical TGF-β1-SMAD3 pathway. Therefore, strategies to inhibit the GSK-3α-MEK-ERK signaling circuit could prevent adverse fibrosis in diseased hearts.



Circ Res: 02 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321431; epub ahead of print
Umbarkar P, Tousif S, Singh AP, Anderson JC, ... Woodgett J, Lal H
Circ Res: 02 Sep 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321431; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36052698
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Abstract

L-2-Hydroxyglutarate Protects Against Cardiac Injury via Metabolic Remodeling.

He H, Mulhern RM, Oldham WM, Xiao W, ... Liao R, Loscalzo J
Background
L-2-hydroxyglutarate (L2HG) couples mitochondrial and cytoplasmic energy metabolism to support cellular redox homeostasis. Under oxygen-limiting conditions, mammalian cells generate L2HG to counteract the adverse effects of reductive stress induced by hypoxia. Very little is known, however, about whether and how L2HG provides tissue protection from redox stress during low-flow ischemia (LFI) and ischemia-reperfusion injury. We examined the cardioprotective effects of L2HG accumulation against LFI and ischemia-reperfusion injury and its underlying mechanism using genetic mouse models.
Methods and results
L2HG accumulation was induced by homozygous (L2HGDH [L-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase]-/-) or heterozygous (L2HGDH+/-) deletion of the L2HGDH gene in mice. Hearts isolated from these mice and their wild-type littermates (L2HGDH+/+) were subjected to baseline perfusion or 90-minute LFI or 30-minute no-flow ischemia followed by 60- or 120-minute reperfusion. Using [13C]- and [31P]-NMR spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography, real-time quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, ELISA, triphenyltetrazolium staining, colorimetric/fluorometric spectroscopy, and echocardiography, we found that L2HGDH deletion induces L2HG accumulation at baseline and under stress conditions with significant functional consequences. In response to LFI or ischemia-reperfusion, L2HG accumulation shifts glucose flux from glycolysis towards the pentose phosphate pathway. These key metabolic changes were accompanied by enhanced cellular reducing potential, increased elimination of reactive oxygen species, attenuated oxidative injury and myocardial infarction, preserved cellular energy state, and improved cardiac function in both L2HGDH-/- and L2HGDH+/- hearts compared with L2HGDH+/+ hearts under ischemic stress conditions.
Conclusion
L2HGDH deletion-induced L2HG accumulation protects against myocardial injury during LFI and ischemia-reperfusion through a metabolic shift of glucose flux from glycolysis towards the pentose phosphate pathway. L2HG offers a novel mechanism for eliminating reactive oxygen species from myocardial tissue, mitigating redox stress, reducing myocardial infarct size, and preserving high-energy phosphates and cardiac function. Targeting L2HG levels through L2HGDH activity may serve as a new therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular diseases related to oxidative injury.



Circ Res: 31 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321227; epub ahead of print
He H, Mulhern RM, Oldham WM, Xiao W, ... Liao R, Loscalzo J
Circ Res: 31 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321227; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36043417
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Abstract

Retinol and Retinol Binding Protein 4 Levels and Cardiometabolic Disease Risk.

Schiborn C, Weber D, Grune T, Biemann R, ... Schulze MB, Wittenbecher C
Background
Despite mechanistic studies linking retinol and RBP4 (retinol binding protein 4) to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), epidemiological evidence is still conflicting. We investigated whether conflicting results of previous studies may be explained by differences in the association of retinol and RBP4 with cardiometabolic risk across subgroups with distinct sex, hypertension state, liver, or kidney function.
Methods
We used case-cohorts nested in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition)-Potsdam cohort (n=27 548) comprising a random sample of participants (n=2500) and all physician-verified cases of incident CVD (n=508, median follow-up time 8.2 years) and T2D (n=820, median follow-up time 6.3 years). We estimated nonlinear and linear multivariable-adjusted associations between the biomarkers and cardiometabolic diseases by restricted cubic splines and Cox regression, respectively, testing potential interactions with hypertension, liver, and kidney function. Additionally, we performed 2-sample Mendelian Randomization analyses in publicly available data.
Results
The association of retinol with cardiometabolic risk was modified by hypertension state (P interaction CVD<0.001; P interaction T2D<0.001). Retinol was associated with lower cardiometabolic risk in participants with treated hypertension (hazard ratioper SD, 95% CI: CVD, 0.71 [0.56-0.90]; T2D, 0.81 [0.70-0.94]) but with higher cardiometabolic risk in normotensive participants (CVD, 1.32 [1.06-1.64]; T2D, 1.15 [0.98-1.36]). Our analyses also indicated a significant interaction between RBP4 and hypertension on CVD risk (P interaction=0.04). Regarding T2D risk, we observed a u-shaped association with RBP4 in women (P nonlinearity=0.01, P effect=0.02) and no statistically significant association in men. The biomarkers\' interactions with liver or kidney function were not statistically significant. Hypertension state-specific associations for retinol concentrations with cardiovascular mortality risk were replicated in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest a hypertension-dependent relationship between plasma retinol and cardiometabolic risk and complex interactions of RBP4 with sex and hypertension on cardiometabolic risk.



Circ Res: 26 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321295; epub ahead of print
Schiborn C, Weber D, Grune T, Biemann R, ... Schulze MB, Wittenbecher C
Circ Res: 26 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321295; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36017698
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Abstract

ADAR1 Prevents Autoinflammatory Processes in the Heart Mediated by IRF7.

Garcia-Gonzalez C, Dieterich C, Maroli G, Wiesnet M, ... Schneider A, Braun T
Background
ADAR1 (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA-1)-mediated adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing plays an essential role for distinguishing endogenous from exogenous RNAs, preventing autoinflammatory ADAR1 also regulates cellular processes by recoding specific mRNAs, thereby altering protein functions, but may also act in an editing-independent manner. The specific role of ADAR1 in cardiomyocytes and its mode of action in the heart is not fully understood. To determine the role of ADAR1 in the heart, we used different mutant mouse strains, which allows to distinguish immunogenic, editing-dependent, and editing-independent functions of ADAR1.
Methods
Different Adar1-mutant mouse strains were employed for gene deletion or specific inactivation of ADAR1 enzymatic activity in cardiomyocytes, either alone or in combination with Ifih1 or Irf7 gene inactivation. Mutant mice were investigated by immunofluorescence, Western blot, RNAseq, proteomics, and functional MRI analysis.
Results
Inactivation of Adar1 in cardiomyocytes resulted in late-onset autoinflammatory myocarditis progressing into dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure at 6 months of age. Adar1 depletion activated interferon signaling genes but not NFκB (nuclear factor kappa B) signaling or apoptosis and reduced cardiac hypertrophy during pressure overload via induction of Irf7. Additional inactivation of the cytosolic RNA sensor MDA5 (melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5; encoded by the Ifih1 gene) in Adar1 mutant mice prevented activation of interferon signaling gene and delayed heart failure but did not prevent lethality after 8.5 months. In contrast, compound mutants only expressing catalytically inactive ADAR1 in an Ifih1-mutant background were completely normal. Inactivation of interferon regulatory factor 7 (Irf7) attenuated the phenotype of Adar1-deficient cardiomyocytes to a similar extent as Ifih1 depletion, identifying IRF7 (interferon regulatory factor 7) as the main mediator of autoinflammatory responses caused by the absence of ADAR1 in cardiomyocytes.
Conclusions
Enzymatically active ADAR1 prevents IRF7-mediated autoinflammatory reactions in the heart triggered by endogenous nonedited RNAs. In addition to RNA editing, ADAR1 also serves editing-independent roles in the heart required for long-term cardiac function and survival.



Circ Res: 24 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320839; epub ahead of print
Garcia-Gonzalez C, Dieterich C, Maroli G, Wiesnet M, ... Schneider A, Braun T
Circ Res: 24 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320839; epub ahead of print | PMID: 36000401
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Abstract

Targeting SIRT1 Rescues Age- and Obesity-Induced Microvascular Dysfunction in Ex Vivo Human Vessels.

Mengozzi A, Costantino S, Paneni F, Duranti E, ... Virdis A, Masi S
Background
Experimental evidence suggests a key role of SIRT1 (silent information regulator 1) in age- and metabolic-related vascular dysfunction. Whether these effects hold true in the human microvasculature is unknown. We aimed to investigate the SIRT1 role in very early stages of age- and obesity-related microvascular dysfunction in humans.
Methods
Ninety-five subjects undergoing elective laparoscopic surgery were recruited and stratified based on their body mass index status (above or below 30 kg/m2) and age (above or below 40 years) and in 4 groups: Young Nonobese, Young Obese, Old Nonobese, and Old Obese. we measured small resistance arteries\' endothelial function by pressurized micromyography before and after incubation with a SIRT1 agonist (SRT1720) and a mitochondria reactive oxygen species scavenger (MitoTEMPO). We assessed vascular levels of mitochondria ROS and nitric oxide availability by confocal microscopy and vascular gene expression of SIRT1 and mitochondrial proteins by qPCR. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was employed to investigate SIRT1-dependent epigenetic regulation of mitochondrial proteins.
Results
Compared with Young Nonobese, obese and older patients showed lower vascular expression of SIRT1 and antioxidant proteins (FOXO3 [forkhead box protein O3] and SOD2) and higher expression of pro-oxidant and aging mitochondria proteins p66Shc and Arginase II. Old Obese, Young Obese and Old Nonobese groups endothelial dysfunction was rescued by SRT1720. The restoration was comparable to the one obtained with mitoTEMPO. These effects were explained by SIRT1-dependent chromatin changes leading to reduced p66Shc expression and upregulation of proteins involved in mitochondria respiratory chain.
Conclusions
SIRT1 is a novel central modulator of the earliest microvascular damage induced by age and obesity. Through a complex epigenetic control mainly involving p66Shc and Arginase II, it influences mitochondria ROS levels, NO availability, and the expression of proteins of the mitochondria respiratory chain. Therapeutic modulation of SIRT1 restores obesity- and age-related endothelial dysfunction. Early targeting of SIRT1 might represent a crucial strategy to prevent age- and obesity-related microvascular dysfunction.



Circ Res: 15 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320888; epub ahead of print
Mengozzi A, Costantino S, Paneni F, Duranti E, ... Virdis A, Masi S
Circ Res: 15 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320888; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35968712
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Abstract

Ischemia-Selective Cardioprotection by Malonate for Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury.

Prag HA, Aksentijevic D, Dannhorn A, Giles AV, ... Murphy MP, Krieg T
Background
Inhibiting SDH (succinate dehydrogenase), with the competitive inhibitor malonate, has shown promise in ameliorating ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, key for translation to the clinic is understanding the mechanism of malonate entry into cells to enable inhibition of SDH, its mitochondrial target, as malonate itself poorly permeates cellular membranes. The possibility of malonate selectively entering the at-risk heart tissue on reperfusion, however, remains unexplored.
Methods
C57BL/6J mice, C2C12 and H9c2 myoblasts, and HeLa cells were used to elucidate the mechanism of selective malonate uptake into the ischemic heart upon reperfusion. Cells were treated with malonate while varying pH or together with transport inhibitors. Mouse hearts were either perfused ex vivo (Langendorff) or subjected to in vivo left anterior descending coronary artery ligation as models of ischemia/reperfusion injury. Succinate and malonate levels were assessed by LC-MS/MS, in vivo by mass spectrometry imaging, and infarct size by TTC staining.
Results
Malonate was robustly protective against cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury, but only if administered at reperfusion and not when infused before ischemia. The extent of malonate uptake into the heart was proportional to the duration of ischemia. Malonate entry into cardiomyocytes in vivo and in vitro was dramatically increased at the low pH (≈6.5) associated with ischemia. This increased uptake of malonate was blocked by selective inhibition of MCT1 (monocarboxylate transporter 1). Reperfusion of the ischemic heart region with malonate led to selective SDH inhibition in the at-risk region. Acid-formulation greatly enhances the cardioprotective potency of malonate.
Conclusions
Cardioprotection by malonate is dependent on its entry into cardiomyocytes. This is facilitated by the local decrease in pH that occurs during ischemia, leading to its selective uptake upon reperfusion into the at-risk tissue, via MCT1. Thus, malonate\'s preferential uptake in reperfused tissue means it is an at-risk tissue-selective drug that protects against cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury.



Circ Res: 12 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320717; epub ahead of print
Prag HA, Aksentijevic D, Dannhorn A, Giles AV, ... Murphy MP, Krieg T
Circ Res: 12 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320717; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35959683
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Abstract

Gut Dysbiosis Promotes Preeclampsia by Regulating Macrophages and Trophoblasts.

Jin J, Gao L, Zou X, Zhang Y, ... Wang Z, Zhan Q
Background
Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and is characterized by hypertension, inflammation, and placental dysfunction. Gut microbiota plays key roles in inflammation and hypertension. However, its roles and mechanisms in preeclampsia have not been fully elucidated.
Methods
16S rRNA gene sequencing and targeted metabolomics were conducted on stool samples from 92 preeclamptic patients and 86 normal late-pregnant women. Then, fecal microbiota transplantation and in vitro and in vivo functional experiments were performed to explore the roles and mechanisms of gut microbiota in preeclampsia development.
Results
We revealed the gut microbiota dysbiosis in preeclamptic patients, including significant reductions in short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria and short-chain fatty acids. The gut microbiota of preeclamptic patients significantly exacerbated pathologies and symptoms of preeclamptic rats, whereas the gut microbiota of healthy pregnant women had significant protective effects. Akkermansia muciniphila, propionate, or butyrate significantly alleviated the symptoms of preeclamptic rats. Mechanistically, they significantly promoted autophagy and M2 polarization of macrophages in placental bed, thereby suppressing inflammation. Propionate also significantly promoted trophoblast invasion, thereby improved spiral arterial remodeling. Additionally, we identified a marker set consisting of Akkermansia, Oscillibacter, and short-chain fatty acids that could accurately diagnose preeclampsia.
Conclusions
Our study revealed that gut microbiota dysbiosis is an important etiology of preeclampsia. Gut microbiota and their active metabolites have great potential for the treatment and diagnosis of preeclampsia. Our findings enrich the gut-placenta axis theory and contribute to the development of microecological products for preeclampsia.



Circ Res: 11 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320771; epub ahead of print
Jin J, Gao L, Zou X, Zhang Y, ... Wang Z, Zhan Q
Circ Res: 11 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320771; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35950704
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Abstract

Interaction of ARRDC4 With GLUT1 Mediates Metabolic Stress in the Ischemic Heart.

Nakayama Y, Mukai N, Kreitzer G, Patwari P, Yoshioka J
Background
An ancient family of arrestin-fold proteins, termed alpha-arrestins, may have conserved roles in regulating nutrient transporter trafficking and cellular metabolism as adaptor proteins. One alpha-arrestin, TXNIP (thioredoxin-interacting protein), is known to regulate myocardial glucose uptake. However, the in vivo role of the related alpha-arrestin, ARRDC4 (arrestin domain-containing protein 4), is unknown.
Methods
We first tested whether interaction with GLUTs (glucose transporters) is a conserved function of the mammalian alpha-arrestins. To define the in vivo function of ARRDC4, we generated and characterized a novel Arrdc4 knockout (KO) mouse model. We then analyzed the molecular interaction between arrestin domains and the basal GLUT1.
Results
ARRDC4 binds to GLUT1, induces its endocytosis, and blocks cellular glucose uptake in cardiomyocytes. Despite the closely shared protein structure, ARRDC4 and its homologue TXNIP operate by distinct molecular pathways. Unlike TXNIP, ARRDC4 does not increase oxidative stress. Instead, ARRDC4 uniquely mediates cardiomyocyte death through its effects on glucose deprivation and endoplasmic reticulum stress. At baseline, Arrdc4-KO mice have mild fasting hypoglycemia. Arrdc4-KO hearts exhibit a robust increase in myocardial glucose uptake and glycogen storage. Accordingly, deletion of Arrdc4 improves energy homeostasis during ischemia and protects cardiomyocytes against myocardial infarction. Furthermore, structure-function analyses of the interaction of ARRDC4 with GLUT1 using both scanning mutagenesis and deep-learning Artificial Intelligence identify specific residues in the C-terminal arrestin-fold domain as the interaction interface that regulates GLUT1 function, revealing a new molecular target for potential therapeutic intervention against myocardial ischemia.
Conclusions
These results uncover a new mechanism of ischemic injury in which ARRDC4 drives glucose deprivation-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress leading to cardiomyocyte death. Our findings establish ARRDC4 as a new scaffold protein for GLUT1 that regulates cardiac metabolism in response to ischemia and provide insight into the therapeutic strategy for ischemic heart disease.



Circ Res: 11 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321351; epub ahead of print
Nakayama Y, Mukai N, Kreitzer G, Patwari P, Yoshioka J
Circ Res: 11 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321351; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35950500
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Abstract

Arterial Stiffness and Diabetes Risk in Framingham Heart Study and UK Biobank.

Cohen JB, Mitchell GF, Gill D, Burgess S, ... Townsend RR, Chirinos JA
Background
Microvascular damage from large artery stiffness (LAS) in pancreatic, hepatic, and skeletal muscles may affect glucose homeostasis. Our goal was to evaluate the association between LAS and the risk of type 2 diabetes using prospectively collected, carefully phenotyped measurements of LAS as well as Mendelian randomization analyses.
Methods
Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) and brachial and central pulse pressure were measured in 5676 participants of the FHS (Framingham Heart Study) without diabetes. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate the association of CF-PWV and pulse pressure with incident diabetes. We subsequently performed 2-sample Mendelian randomization analyses evaluating the associations of genetically predicted brachial pulse pressure with type 2 diabetes in the UKBB (United Kingdom Biobank).
Results
In FHS, individuals with higher CF-PWV were older, more often male, and had higher body mass index and mean arterial pressure compared to those with lower CF-PWV. After a median follow-up of 7 years, CF-PWV and central pulse pressure were associated with an increased risk of new-onset diabetes (per SD increase, multivariable-adjusted CF-PWV hazard ratio, 1.36 [95% CI, 1.03-1.76]; P=0.030; central pulse pressure multivariable-adjusted CF-PWV hazard ratio, 1.26 [95% CI, 1.08-1.48]; P=0.004). In United Kingdom Biobank, genetically predicted brachial pulse pressure was associated with type 2 diabetes, independent of mean arterial pressure (adjusted odds ratio, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.00-1.35]; P=0.049).
Conclusions
Using prospective cohort data coupled with Mendelian randomization analyses, we found evidence supporting that greater LAS is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes. LAS may play an important role in glucose homeostasis and may serve as a useful marker of future diabetes risk.



Circ Res: 10 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320796; epub ahead of print
Cohen JB, Mitchell GF, Gill D, Burgess S, ... Townsend RR, Chirinos JA
Circ Res: 10 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320796; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35946401
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Abstract

LPA Contributes to Vascular Endothelium Homeostasis and Cardiac Remodeling After Myocardial Infarction.

Pei J, Cai L, Wang F, Xu C, ... Zheng Z, Chen X
Rationale
Myocardial infarction (MI) is one of the most dangerous adverse cardiovascular events. Our previous study found that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is increased in human peripheral blood after MI, and LPA has a protective effect on the survival and proliferation of various cell types. However, the role of LPA and its receptors in MI is less understood.
Objectives
To study the unknown role of LPA and its receptors in heart during MI.
Methods and results
In this study, we found that mice also had elevated LPA level in peripheral blood, as well as increased cardiac expression of its receptor LPA2 in the early stages after MI. With adult and neonate MI models in global Lpar2 knockout (Lpar2-KO) mice, we found Lpar2 deficiency increased vascular leak leading to disruption of its homeostasis, so as to impaired heart function and increased early mortality. Histological examination revealed larger scar size, increased fibrosis, and reduced vascular density in the heart of Lpar2-KO mice. Furthermore, Lpar2-KO also attenuated blood flow recovery after femoral artery ligation with decreased vascular density in gastrocnemius. Our study revealed that Lpar2 was mainly expressed and altered in cardiac endothelial cells during MI, and use of endothelial-specific Lpar2 knockout mice phenocopied the global knockout mice. Additionally, adenovirus-Lpar2 and pharmacologically activated LPA2 significantly improved heart function, reduced scar size, increased vascular formation, and alleviated early mortality by maintaining vascular homeostasis owing to protecting vessels from leakage. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that LPA-LPA2 signaling could promote endothelial cell proliferation through PI3K-Akt/PLC-Raf1-Erk pathway and enhanced endothelial cell tube formation via PKD1-CD36 signaling.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that endothelial LPA-LPA2 signaling promotes angiogenesis and maintains vascular homeostasis, which is vital for restoring blood flow and repairing tissue function in ischemic injuries. Targeting LPA-LPA2 signal might have clinical therapeutic potential to protect the heart from ischemic injury.



Circ Res: 03 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321036; epub ahead of print
Pei J, Cai L, Wang F, Xu C, ... Zheng Z, Chen X
Circ Res: 03 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321036; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35920162
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Abstract

Modulating Lysine Crotonylation in Cardiomyocytes Improves Myocardial Outcomes.

Cai W, Xu D, Zeng C, Liao F, ... Wei J, Duan J
Background
Ischemic heart disease is a major global public health challenge, and its functional outcomes remain poor. Lysine crotonylation (Kcr) was recently identified as a post-translational histone modification that robustly indicates active promoters. However, the role of Kcr in myocardial injury is unknown. In this study, we aimed to clarify the pathophysiological significance of Kcr in cardiac injury and explore the underlying mechanism.
Methods
We investigated the dynamic change of both the Kcr sites and protein level in left ventricular tissues at 2 time points following sham or cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury, followed by liquid chromatography-coupled tandem mass tag mass spectrometry. After validation of the enriched protein Kcr by immunoprecipitation and Western blot, the function and mechanism of specific Kcr sites were further investigated in vitro and in vivo by gain- or loss-of-function mutations targeting Kcr sites of selected proteins.
Results
We found that cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury triggers preferential Kcr of proteins required for cardiomyocyte contractility, including mitochondrial and cytoskeleton proteins, which occurs largely independently of protein-level changes in the same proteins. Those exhibiting Kcr changes were associated not only with disruption of cardiomyocyte mitochondrial, sarcomere architecture, and gap junction but also with cardiomyocyte autophagy and apoptosis. Modulating site-specific Kcr of selected mitochondrial protein IDH3a (isocitrate dehydrogenase 3 [NAD+] alpha) at K199 and cytoskeletal protein TPM1 (tropomyosin alpha-1 chain) at K28/29 or enhancing general Kcr via sodium crotonate provision not only protects cardiomyocyte from apoptosis by inhibiting BNIP3 (Bcl-2 adenovirus E18 19-kDa-interacting protein 3)-mediated mitophagy or cytoskeleton structure rearrangement but also preserves postinjury myocardial function by inhibiting fibrosis and apoptosis.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that Kcr modulation is a key response of cardiomyocytes to ischemia-reperfusion injury and may represent a novel therapeutic target in the context of ischemic heart disease.



Circ Res: 03 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321054; epub ahead of print
Cai W, Xu D, Zeng C, Liao F, ... Wei J, Duan J
Circ Res: 03 Aug 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321054; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35920168
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Abstract

Targeting PDE4B (Phosphodiesterase-4 Subtype B) for Cardioprotection in Acute Myocardial Infarction via Neutrophils and Microcirculation.

Wan Q, Xu C, Zhu L, Zhang Y, ... Liu DP, Wang M
Background
Timely and complete restoration of blood flow is the most effective intervention for patients with acute myocardial infarction. However, the efficacy is limited by myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R) injury. PDE4 (phosphodiesterase-4) hydrolyzes intracellular cAMP and it has 4 subtypes A-D. This study aimed to delineate the role of PDE4B (phosphodiesterase-4 subtype B) in MI/R injury.
Methods
Mice were subjected to 30-minute coronary artery ligation, followed by 24-hour reperfusion. Cardiac perfusion was assessed by laser Doppler flow. Vasomotor reactivities were determined in mouse and human coronary (micro-)arteries.
Results
Cardiac expression of PDE4B, but not other PDE4 subtypes, was increased in mice following reperfusion. PDE4B was detected primarily in endothelial and myeloid cells of mouse and human hearts. PDE4B deletion strikingly reduced infarct size and improved cardiac function 24-hour or 28-day after MI/R. PDE4B in bone marrow-derived cells promoted MI/R injury and vascular PDE4B further exaggerated this injury. Mechanistically, PDE4B-mediated neutrophil-endothelial cell interaction and PKA (protein kinase A)-dependent expression of cell adhesion molecules, neutrophil cardiac infiltration, and release of proinflammatory cytokines. Meanwhile, PDE4B promoted coronary microcirculatory obstruction and vascular permeability in MI/R, without affecting flow restriction-induced thrombosis. PDE4B blockade increased flow-mediated vasodilatation and promoted endothelium-dependent dilatation of coronary arteries in a PKA- and nitric oxide-dependent manner. Furthermore, postischemia administration with piclamilast, a PDE4 pan-inhibitor, improved cardiac microcirculation, suppressed inflammation, and attenuated MI/R injury in mice. Incubation with sera from patients with acute myocardial infarction impaired acetylcholine-induced relaxations in human coronary microarteries, which was abolished by PDE4 inhibition. Similar protection against MI/R-related coronary injury was recapitulated in mice with PDE4B deletion or inhibition, but not with the pure vasodilator, sodium nitroprusside.
Conclusions
PDE4B is critically involved in neutrophil inflammation and microvascular obstruction, leading to MI/R injury. Selective inhibition of PDE4B might protect cardiac function in patients with acute myocardial infarction designated for reperfusion therapy.



Circ Res: 28 Jul 2022:CIRCRESAHA122321365; epub ahead of print
Wan Q, Xu C, Zhu L, Zhang Y, ... Liu DP, Wang M
Circ Res: 28 Jul 2022:CIRCRESAHA122321365; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35899614
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Abstract

Endothelial UCP2 Is a Mechanosensitive Suppressor of Atherosclerosis.

Luo JY, Cheng CK, He L, Pu Y, ... Jo H, Huang Y
Background
Inflamed endothelial cells (ECs) trigger atherogenesis, especially at arterial regions experiencing disturbed blood flow. UCP2 (Uncoupling protein 2), a key mitochondrial antioxidant protein, improves endothelium-dependent relaxation in obese mice. However, whether UCP2 can be regulated by shear flow is unknown, and the role of endothelial UCP2 in regulating inflammation and atherosclerosis remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the mechanoregulation of UCP2 expression in ECs and the effect of UCP2 on endothelial inflammation and atherogenesis.
Methods
In vitro shear stress simulation system was used to investigate the regulation of UCP2 expression by shear flow. EC-specific Ucp2 knockout mice were used to investigate the role of UCP2 in flow-associated atherosclerosis.
Results
Shear stress experiments showed that KLF2 (Krüppel-like factor 2) mediates fluid shear stress-dependent regulation of UCP2 expression in human aortic and human umbilical vein ECs. Unidirectional shear stress, statins, and resveratrol upregulate whereas oscillatory shear stress and proinflammatory stimuli inhibit UCP2 expression through altered KLF2 expression. KLF2 directly binds to UCP2 promoter to upregulate its transcription in human umbilical vein ECs. UCP2 knockdown induced expression of genes involved in proinflammatory and profibrotic signaling, resulting in a proatherogenic endothelial phenotype. EC-specific Ucp2 deletion promotes atherogenesis and collagen production. Additionally, we found endothelial Ucp2 deficiency aggravates whereas adeno-associated virus-mediated EC-Ucp2 overexpression inhibits carotid atherosclerotic plaque formation in disturbed flow-enhanced atherosclerosis mouse model. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed FoxO1 (forkhead box protein O1) as the major proinflammatory transcriptional regulator activated by UCP2 knockdown, and FoxO1 inhibition reduced vascular inflammation and disturbed flow-enhanced atherosclerosis. We showed further that UCP2 level is critical for phosphorylation of AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), which is required for UCP2-induced inhibition of FoxO1.
Conclusions
Altogether, our studies uncover that UCP2 is novel mechanosensitive gene under the control of fluid shear stress and KLF2 in ECs. UCP2 expression is critical for endothelial proinflammatory response and atherogenesis. Therapeutic strategies enhancing UCP2 level may have therapeutic potential against atherosclerosis.



Circ Res: 28 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321187; epub ahead of print
Luo JY, Cheng CK, He L, Pu Y, ... Jo H, Huang Y
Circ Res: 28 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321187; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35899624
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Abstract

Endothelial Loss of ETS1 Impairs Coronary Vascular Development and Leads to Ventricular Non-Compaction.

Wang L, Lin L, Qi H, Chen J, Grossfeld P
Rationale
Jacobsen syndrome is a rare chromosomal disorder caused by deletions in the long arm of human chromosome 11, resulting in multiple developmental defects including congenital heart defects. Combined studies in humans and genetically engineered mice implicate that loss of ETS1 (E26 transformation specific 1) is the cause of congenital heart defects in Jacobsen syndrome, but the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are unknown.
Objective
To determine the role of ETS1 in heart development, specifically its roles in coronary endothelium and endocardium and the mechanisms by which loss of ETS1 causes coronary vascular defects and ventricular noncompaction.
Methods and results
ETS1 global and endothelial-specific knockout mice were used. Phenotypic assessments, RNA sequencing, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis were performed together with expression analysis, immunofluorescence and RNAscope in situ hybridization to uncover phenotypic and transcriptomic changes in response to loss of ETS1. Loss of ETS1 in endothelial cells causes ventricular noncompaction, reproducing the phenotype arising from global deletion of ETS1. Endothelial-specific deletion of ETS1 decreased the levels of Alk1, Cldn5, Sox18, Robo4, Esm1, and Kdr, 6 important angiogenesis-relevant genes in endothelial cells, causing a coronary vasculature developmental defect in association with decreased compact zone cardiomyocyte proliferation. Downregulation of ALK1 expression in endocardium due to the loss of ETS1, along with the upregulation of TGF (transforming growth factor)-β1 and TGF-β3, occurred with increased TGFBR2/TGFBR1/SMAD2 signaling and increased extracellular matrix expression in the trabecular layer, in association with increased trabecular cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate the importance of endothelial and endocardial ETS1 in cardiac development. Delineation of the gene regulatory network involving ETS1 in heart development will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying ventricular and coronary vascular developmental defects and will lead to improved approaches for the treatment of patients with congenital heart disease.



Circ Res: 27 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121319955; epub ahead of print
Wang L, Lin L, Qi H, Chen J, Grossfeld P
Circ Res: 27 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121319955; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35894043
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Abstract

Gut Microbially Produced Indole-3-Propionic Acid Inhibits Atherosclerosis by Promoting Reverse Cholesterol Transport and Its Deficiency Is Causally Related to Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.

Xue H, Chen X, Yu C, Deng Y, ... Yang Y, Ling W
Background
Accumulating evidence has shown that disorders in the gut microbiota and derived metabolites affect the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). However, which and how specific gut microbial metabolites contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis and the clinical relevance of their alterations remain unclear.
Methods
We performed integrated microbiome-metabolome analysis of 30 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls to identify CAD-associated microbial metabolites, which were then assessed in an independent population of patients with ASCVD and controls (n=256). We further investigate the effect of CAD-associated microbial metabolites on atherosclerosis and the mechanisms of the action.
Results
Indole-3-propionic acid (IPA), a solely microbially derived tryptophan metabolite, was the most downregulated metabolite in patients with CAD. Circulating IPA was then shown in an independent population to be associated with risk of prevalent ASCVD and correlated with the ASCVD severity. Dietary IPA supplementation alleviates atherosclerotic plaque development in ApoE-/- mice. In murine- and human-derived macrophages, administration of IPA promoted cholesterol efflux from macrophages to ApoA-I through an undescribed miR-142-5p/ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter A1) signaling pathway. Further in vivo studies demonstrated that IPA facilitates macrophage reverse cholesterol transport, correlating with the regulation of miR-142-5p/ABCA1 pathway, whereas reduced IPA production contributed to the aberrant overexpression of miR-142-5p in macrophages and accelerated the progression of atherosclerosis. Moreover, the miR-142-5p/ABCA1/reverse cholesterol transport axis in macrophages were dysregulated in patients with CAD, and correlated with the changes in circulating IPA levels.
Conclusions
Our study identify a previously unknown link between specific gut microbiota-derived tryptophan metabolite and ASCVD. The microbial metabolite IPA/miR-142-5p/ABCA1 pathway may represent a promising therapeutic target for ASCVD.



Circ Res: 27 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321253; epub ahead of print
Xue H, Chen X, Yu C, Deng Y, ... Yang Y, Ling W
Circ Res: 27 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122321253; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35893593
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Abstract

Association of Physical Activity With Bioactive Lipids and Cardiovascular Events.

Hoshi RA, Liu Y, Luttmann-Gibson H, Tiwari S, ... Demler OV, Mora S
Background
To clarify the mechanisms underlying physical activity (PA)-related cardioprotection, we examined the association of PA with plasma bioactive lipids (BALs) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. We additionally performed genome-wide associations.
Methods
PA-bioactive lipid associations were examined in VITAL (VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL)-clinical translational science center (REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.
Clinicaltrials
gov; Unique identifier: NCT01169259; N=1032) and validated in JUPITER (Justification for the Use of statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin)-NC (NCT00239681; N=589), using linear models adjusted for age, sex, race, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, total-C, and smoking. Significant BALs were carried over to examine associations with incident CVD in 2 nested CVD case-control studies: VITAL-CVD (741 case-control pairs) and JUPITER-CVD (415 case-control pairs; validation).
Results
We detected 145 PA-bioactive lipid validated associations (false discovery rate <0.1). Annotations were found for 6 of these BALs: 12,13-diHOME, 9,10-diHOME, lysoPC(15:0), oxymorphone-3b-D-glucuronide, cortisone, and oleoyl-glycerol. Genetic analysis within JUPITER-NC showed associations of 32 PA-related BALs with 22 single-nucleotide polymorphisms. From PA-related BALs, 12 are associated with CVD.
Conclusions
We identified a PA-related bioactive lipidome profile out of which 12 BALs also had opposite associations with incident CVD events.



Circ Res: 19 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320952; epub ahead of print
Hoshi RA, Liu Y, Luttmann-Gibson H, Tiwari S, ... Demler OV, Mora S
Circ Res: 19 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320952; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35862024
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Abstract

Unfolded Protein Response Differentially Modulates the Platelet Phenotype.

Jain K, Tyagi T, Du J, Hu X, ... Martin KA, Hwa J
Background
Unfolded protein response (UPR) is a multifaceted signaling cascade that alleviates protein misfolding. Although well studied in nucleated cells, UPR in absence of transcriptional regulation has not been described. Intricately associated with cardiovascular diseases, platelets, despite being anucleate, respond rapidly to stressors in blood. We investigate the UPR in anucleate platelets and explore its role, if any, on platelet physiology and function.
Methods
Human and mouse platelets were studied using a combination of ex vivo and in vivo experiments. Platelet lineage-specific knockout mice were generated independently for each of the 3 UPR pathways, PERK (protein kinase RNA [PKR]-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase), XBP1 (X-binding protein), and ATF6 (activating transcription factor 6). Diabetes patients were prospectively recruited, and platelets were evaluated for activation of UPR under chronic pathophysiological disease conditions.
Results
Tunicamycin induced the IRE1α (inositol-requiring enzyme-1alpha)-XBP1 pathway in human and mouse platelets, while oxidative stress predominantly activated the PERK pathway. PERK deletion significantly increased platelet aggregation and apoptosis and phosphorylation of PLCγ2, PLCβ3, and p38 MAPK. Deficiency of XBP1 increased platelet aggregation, with higher PLCβ3 and PKCδ activation. ATF6 deletion mediated a relatively modest effect on platelet phenotype with increased PKA (protein kinase A). Platelets from diabetes patients exhibited a positive correlation between disease severity, platelet activation, and protein aggregation, with only IREα-XBP1 activation. Moreover, IRE1α inhibition increased platelet aggregation, while clinically approved chemical chaperone, 4-sodium 4-phenylbutyrate reduced the platelet hyperactivation.
Conclusions
We show for the first time, that UPR activation occurs in platelets and can be independent of genomic regulation, with selective induction being specific to the source and severity of stress. Each UPR pathway plays a key role and can differentially modulate the platelet activation pathways and phenotype. Targeting the specific arms of UPR may provide a new antiplatelet strategy to mitigate thrombotic risk in diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.



Circ Res: 18 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320530; epub ahead of print
Jain K, Tyagi T, Du J, Hu X, ... Martin KA, Hwa J
Circ Res: 18 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA121320530; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35862006
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Abstract

Calcineurin Controls Hypothalamic NMDA Receptor Activity and Sympathetic Outflow.

Zhou JJ, Shao JY, Chen SR, Pan HL
Rationale
Hypertension is a common and serious adverse effect of calcineurin inhibitors, including cyclosporine and tacrolimus (FK506). Although increased sympathetic nerve discharges are associated with calcineurin inhibitor-induced hypertension, the sources of excess sympathetic outflow and underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Calcineurin (protein phosphatase-2B) is broadly expressed in the brain, including the paraventricular nuclear (PVN) of the hypothalamus, which is critically involved in regulating sympathetic vasomotor tone.
Objective
We determined whether prolonged treatment with the calcineurin inhibitor causes elevated sympathetic output and persistent hypertension by potentiating synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity in the PVN.
Methods and results
Telemetry recordings showed that systemic administration of FK506 (3 mg/kg per day) for 14 days caused a gradual and profound increase in arterial blood pressure in rats, which lasted at least 7 days after discontinuing FK506 treatment. Correspondingly, systemic treatment with FK506 markedly reduced calcineurin activity in the PVN and circumventricular organs, but not rostral ventrolateral medulla, and increased the phosphorylation level and synaptic trafficking of NMDA receptors in the PVN. Immunocytochemistry labeling showed that calcineurin was expressed in presympathetic neurons in the PVN. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices revealed that treatment with FK506 increased baseline firing activity of PVN presympathetic neurons; this increase was blocked by the NMDA or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor antagonist. Also, treatment with FK506 markedly increased presynaptic and postsynaptic NMDA receptor activity of PVN presympathetic neurons. Furthermore, microinjection of the NMDA or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor antagonist into the PVN of anesthetized rats preferentially attenuated renal sympathetic nerve discharges and blood pressure elevated by FK506 treatment. In addition, systemic administration of memantine, a clinically used NMDA receptor antagonist, effectively attenuated FK506 treatment-induced hypertension in conscious rats.
Conclusions
Our findings reveal that normal calcineurin activity in the PVN constitutively restricts sympathetic vasomotor tone via suppressing NMDA receptor activity, which may be targeted for treating calcineurin inhibitor-induced hypertension.



Circ Res: 15 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320976; epub ahead of print
Zhou JJ, Shao JY, Chen SR, Pan HL
Circ Res: 15 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320976; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35862168
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Abstract

Mural Cell SRF Controls Pericyte Migration, Vessel Patterning and Blood Flow.

Orlich MM, Diéguez-Hurtado R, Muehlfriedel R, Sothilingam V, ... Adams RH, Nordheim A
Background
Pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells, collectively known as mural cells, are recruited through PDGFB (platelet-derived growth factor B)-PDGFRB (platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta) signaling. MCs are essential for vascular integrity, and their loss has been associated with numerous diseases. Most of this knowledge is based on studies in which MCs are insufficiently recruited or fully absent upon inducible ablation. In contrast, little is known about the physiological consequences that result from impairment of specific MC functions. Here, we characterize the role of the transcription factor SRF (serum response factor) in MCs and study its function in developmental and pathological contexts.
Methods
We generated a mouse model of MC-specific inducible Srf gene deletion and studied its consequences during retinal angiogenesis using RNA-sequencing, immunohistology, in vivo live imaging, and in vitro techniques.
Results
By postnatal day 6, pericytes lacking SRF were morphologically abnormal and failed to properly comigrate with angiogenic sprouts. As a consequence, pericyte-deficient vessels at the retinal sprouting front became dilated and leaky. By postnatal day 12, also the vascular smooth muscle cells had lost SRF, which coincided with the formation of pathological arteriovenous shunts. Mechanistically, we show that PDGFB-dependent SRF activation is mediated via MRTF (myocardin-related transcription factor) cofactors. We further show that MRTF-SRF signaling promotes pathological pericyte activation during ischemic retinopathy. RNA-sequencing, immunohistology, in vivo live imaging, and in vitro experiments demonstrated that SRF regulates expression of contractile SMC proteins essential to maintain the vascular tone.
Conclusions
SRF is crucial for distinct functions in pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells. SRF directs pericyte migration downstream of PDGFRB signaling and mediates pathological pericyte activation during ischemic retinopathy. In vascular smooth muscle cells, SRF is essential for expression of the contractile machinery, and its deletion triggers formation of arteriovenous shunts. These essential roles in physiological and pathological contexts provide a rationale for novel therapeutic approaches through targeting SRF activity in MCs.



Circ Res: 14 Jul 2022:CIRCRESAHA122321109; epub ahead of print
Orlich MM, Diéguez-Hurtado R, Muehlfriedel R, Sothilingam V, ... Adams RH, Nordheim A
Circ Res: 14 Jul 2022:CIRCRESAHA122321109; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35862101
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Abstract

DC ENaC-Dependent Inflammasome Activation Contributes to Salt-Sensitive Hypertension.

Pitzer A, Elijovich F, Laffer CL, Ertuglu LA, ... Kleyman T, Kirabo A
Background
Salt sensitivity of blood pressure is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The exact mechanism by which salt intake increases blood pressure and cardiovascular risk is unknown. We previously found that sodium entry into antigen-presenting cells (APCs) via the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel EnaC (epithelial sodium channel) leads to the formation of IsoLGs (isolevuglandins) and release of proinflammatory cytokines to activate T cells and modulate salt-sensitive hypertension. In the current study, we hypothesized that ENaC-dependent entry of sodium into APCs activates the NLRP3 (NOD [nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain]-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3) inflammasome via IsoLG formation leading to salt-sensitive hypertension.
Methods
We performed RNA sequencing on human monocytes treated with elevated sodium in vitro and Cellular Indexing of Transcriptomes and Epitopes by Sequencing analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from participants rigorously phenotyped for salt sensitivity of blood pressure using an established inpatient protocol. To determine mechanisms, we analyzed inflammasome activation in mouse models of deoxycorticosterone acetate salt-induced hypertension as well as salt-sensitive mice with ENaC inhibition or expression, IsoLG scavenging, and adoptive transfer of wild-type dendritic cells into NLRP3 deficient mice.
Results
We found that high levels of salt exposure upregulates the NLRP3 inflammasome, pyroptotic and apoptotic caspases, and IL (interleukin)-1β transcription in human monocytes. Cellular Indexing of Transcriptomes and Epitopes by Sequencing revealed that components of the NLRP3 inflammasome and activation marker IL-1β dynamically vary with changes in salt loading/depletion. Mechanistically, we found that sodium-induced activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is ENaC and IsoLG dependent. NLRP3 deficient mice develop a blunted hypertensive response to elevated sodium, and this is restored by the adoptive transfer of NLRP3 replete APCs.
Conclusions
These findings reveal a mechanistic link between ENaC, inflammation, and salt-sensitive hypertension involving NLRP3 inflammasome activation in APCs. APC activation via the NLRP3 inflammasome can serve as a potential diagnostic biomarker for salt sensitivity of blood pressure.



Circ Res: 12 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320818; epub ahead of print
Pitzer A, Elijovich F, Laffer CL, Ertuglu LA, ... Kleyman T, Kirabo A
Circ Res: 12 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320818; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35862128
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Abstract

Flavin Containing Monooxygenase 2 Prevents Cardiac Fibrosis via CYP2J3-SMURF2 Axis.

Ni C, Chen Y, Xu Y, Zhao J, ... Wang J, Hu X
Background
Cardiac fibrosis is a common pathological feature associated with adverse clinical outcome in postinjury remodeling and has no effective therapy. Using an unbiased transcriptome analysis, we identified FMO2 (flavin-containing monooxygenase 2) as a top-ranked gene dynamically expressed following myocardial infarction (MI) in hearts across different species including rodents, nonhuman primates, and human. However, the functional role of FMO2 in cardiac remodeling is largely unknown.
Methods
Single-nuclei transcriptome analysis was performed to identify FMO2 after MI; FMO2 ablation rats were generated both in genetic level using the CRISPR-cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat-associated 9) technology and lentivirus-mediated manner. Gain-of-function experiments were conducted using postn-promoter FMO2, miR1a/miR133a-FMO2 lentivirus, and enzymatic activity mutant FMO2 lentivirus after MI.
Results
A significant downregulation of FMO2 was consistently observed in hearts after MI in rodents, nonhuman primates, and patients. Single-nuclei transcriptome analysis showed cardiac expression of FMO2 was enriched in fibroblasts rather than myocytes. Elevated spontaneous tissue fibrosis was observed in the FMO2-null animals without external stress. In contrast, fibroblast-specific expression of FMO2 markedly reduced cardiac fibrosis following MI in rodents and nonhuman primates associated with diminished SMAD2/3 phosphorylation. Unexpectedly, the FMO2-mediated regulation in fibrosis and SMAD2/3 signaling was independent of its enzymatic activity. Rather, FMO2 was detected to interact with CYP2J3 (cytochrome p450 superfamily 2J3). Binding of FMO2 to CYP2J3 disrupted CYP2J3 interaction with SMURF2 (SMAD-specific E3 ubiquitin ligase 2) in cytosol, leading to increased cytoplasm to nuclear translocation of SMURF2 and consequent inhibition of SMAD2/3 signaling.
Conclusions
Loss of FMO2 is a conserved molecular signature in postinjury hearts. FMO2 possesses a previously uncharacterized enzyme-independent antifibrosis activity via the CYP2J3-SMURF2 axis. Restoring FMO2 expression exerts potent ameliorative effect against fibrotic remodeling in postinjury hearts from rodents to nonhuman primates. Therefore, FMO2 is a potential therapeutic target for treating cardiac fibrosis following injury.



Circ Res: 05 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320538; epub ahead of print
Ni C, Chen Y, Xu Y, Zhao J, ... Wang J, Hu X
Circ Res: 05 Jul 2022:101161CIRCRESAHA122320538; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35861735
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