Journal: Circulation

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Abstract

Variant Intronic Enhancer Controls Expression and Heart Conduction.

Man JCK, Bosada FM, Scholman KT, Offerhaus JA, ... Barnett P, Christoffels VM
Background
Genetic variants in SCN10A, encoding the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.8, are strongly associated with atrial fibrillation, Brugada syndrome, cardiac conduction velocities, and heart rate. The cardiac function of SCN10A has not been resolved, however, and diverging mechanisms have been proposed. Here, we investigated the cardiac expression of SCN10A and the function of a variant-sensitive intronic enhancer previously linked to the regulation of SCN5A, encoding the major essential cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5.
Methods
The expression of SCN10A was investigated in mouse and human hearts. With the use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, the mouse intronic enhancer was disrupted, and mutant mice were characterized by transcriptomic and electrophysiological analyses. The association of genetic variants at SCN5A-SCN10A enhancer regions and gene expression were evaluated by genome-wide association studies single-nucleotide polymorphism mapping and expression quantitative trait loci analysis.
Results
We found that cardiomyocytes of the atria, sinoatrial node, and ventricular conduction system express a short transcript comprising the last 7 exons of the gene (Scn10a-short). Transcription occurs from an intronic enhancer-promoter complex, whereas full-length Scn10a transcript was undetectable in the human and mouse heart. Expression quantitative trait loci analysis revealed that the genetic variants in linkage disequilibrium with genetic variant rs6801957 in the intronic enhancer associate with SCN10A transcript levels in the heart. Genetic modification of the enhancer in the mouse genome led to reduced cardiac Scn10a-short expression in atria and ventricles, reduced cardiac sodium current in atrial cardiomyocytes, atrial conduction slowing and arrhythmia, whereas the expression of Scn5a, the presumed enhancer target gene, remained unaffected. In patch-clamp transfection experiments, expression of Scn10a-short-encoded NaV1.8-short increased NaV1.5-mediated sodium current. We propose that noncoding genetic variation modulates transcriptional regulation of Scn10a-short in cardiomyocytes that impacts NaV1.5-mediated sodium current and heart rhythm.
Conclusions
Genetic variants in and around SCN10A modulate enhancer function and expression of a cardiac-specific SCN10A-short transcript. We propose that noncoding genetic variation modulates transcriptional regulation of a functional C-terminal portion of NaV1.8 in cardiomyocytes that impacts on NaV1.5 function, cardiac conduction velocities, and arrhythmia susceptibility.



Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:229-242
Man JCK, Bosada FM, Scholman KT, Offerhaus JA, ... Barnett P, Christoffels VM
Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:229-242 | PMID: 33910361
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Abstract

Composite Metric for Benchmarking Site Performance in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Results From the STS/ACC TVT Registry.

Desai ND, O\'Brien SM, Cohen DJ, Carroll J, ... Badhwar V, Bavaria JE
Background
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a transformative therapy for aortic stenosis. Despite rapid improvements in technology and techniques, serious complications remain relatively common and are not well described by single outcome measures. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is site-level variation in TAVR outcomes in the United States using a novel 30-day composite measure.
Methods
We performed a retrospective cohort study using data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapies Registry to develop a novel ranked composite performance measure that incorporates mortality and serious complications. The selection and rank order of the complications for the composite was determined by their adjusted association with 1-year outcomes. Sites with risk-adjusted outcomes significantly more or less frequent than the national average based on a 95% probability interval were classified as performing worse or better than expected.
Results
The development cohort consisted of 52 561 patients who underwent TAVR between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017. Based on associations with 1-year risk-adjusted mortality and health status, we identified 4 periprocedural complications to include in the composite risk model in addition to mortality. Ranked empirically according to severity, these included stroke, major, life-threatening or disabling bleeding, stage III acute kidney injury, and moderate or severe perivalvular regurgitation. Based on these ranked outcomes, we found that there was significant site-level variation in quality of care in TAVR in the United States. Overall, better than expected site performance was observed in 25/301 (8%) sites, performance as expected was observed in 242/301 sites (80%), and worse than expected performance was observed in 34/301 (11%) sites. Thirty-day mortality; stroke; major, life-threatening, or disabling bleeding; and moderate or severe perivalvular leak were each substantially more common in sites with worse than expected performance as compared with other sites. There was good aggregate reliability of the model.
Conclusions
There are substantial variations in the quality of TAVR care received in the United States and 11% of sites were identified as providing care below the average level of performance. Further study is necessary to determine structural, process-related, and technical factors associated with high- and low-performing sites.



Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:186-194
Desai ND, O'Brien SM, Cohen DJ, Carroll J, ... Badhwar V, Bavaria JE
Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:186-194 | PMID: 33947202
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Abstract

Cyclin D2 Overexpression Enhances the Efficacy of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes for Myocardial Repair in a Swine Model of Myocardial Infarction.

Zhao M, Nakada Y, Wei Y, Bian W, ... Walcott GP, Zhang J
Background
Human induced pluripotent stem cells with normal (wild-type) or upregulated (overexpressed) levels of CCND2 (cyclin D2) expression were differentiated into cardiomyocytes (CCND2WTCMs or CCND2OECMs, respectively) and injected into infarcted pig hearts.
Methods
Acute myocardial infarction was induced by a 60-minute occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Immediately after reperfusion, CCND2WTCMs or CCND2OECMs (3×107 cells each) or an equivalent volume of the delivery vehicle was injected around the infarct border zone area.
Results
The number of the engrafted CCND2OECMs exceeded that of the engrafted CCND2WTCMs from 6- to 8-fold, rising from 1 week to 4 weeks after implantation. In contrast to the treatment with the CCND2WTCMs or the delivery vehicle, the administration of CCND2OECM was associated with significantly improved left ventricular function, as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging. This correlated with reduction of infarct size, fibrosis, ventricular hypertrophy, and cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and increase of vascular density and arterial density, as per histologic analysis of the treated hearts. Expression of cell proliferation markers (eg, Ki67, phosphorylated histone 3, and Aurora B kinase) was also significantly upregulated in the recipient cardiomyocytes from the CCND2OECM-treated than from the CCND2WTCM-treated pigs. The cell proliferation rate and the hypoxia tolerance measured in cultured human induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes were significantly greater after treatment with exosomes isolated from the CCND2OECMs (CCND2OEExos) than from the CCND2WTCMs (CCND2WTExos). As demonstrated by our study, CCND2OEExos can also promote the proliferation activity of postnatal rat and adult mouse cardiomyocytes. A bulk miRNA sequencing analysis of CCND2OEExos versus CCND2WTExos identified 206 and 91 miRNAs that were significantly upregulated and downregulated, respectively. Gene ontology enrichment analysis identified significant differences in the expression profiles of miRNAs from various functional categories and pathways, including miRNAs implicated in cell-cycle checkpoints (G2/M and G1/S transitions), or the mechanism of cytokinesis.
Conclusions
We demonstrated that enhanced potency of CCND2OECMs promoted myocyte proliferation in both grafts and recipient tissue in a large mammal acute myocardial infarction model. These results suggest that CCND2OECMs transplantation may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the repair of infarcted hearts.



Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:210-228
Zhao M, Nakada Y, Wei Y, Bian W, ... Walcott GP, Zhang J
Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:210-228 | PMID: 33951921
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Abstract

Effect of Neprilysin Inhibition on Left Ventricular Remodeling in Patients With Asymptomatic Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction Late After Myocardial Infarction.

Docherty KF, Campbell RT, Brooksbank KJM, Dreisbach JG, ... Petrie MC, McMurray JJV
Background
Patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction after myocardial infarction are at a high risk of developing heart failure. The addition of neprilysin inhibition to renin angiotensin system inhibition may result in greater attenuation of adverse LV remodeling as a result of increased levels of substrates for neprilysin with vasodilatory, antihypertrophic, antifibrotic, and sympatholytic effects.
Methods
We performed a prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, active-comparator trial comparing sacubitril/valsartan 97/103 mg twice daily with valsartan 160 mg twice daily in patients ≥3 months after myocardial infarction with a LV ejection fraction ≤40% who were taking a renin angiotensin system inhibitor (equivalent dose of ramipril ≥2.5 mg twice daily) and a β-blocker unless contraindicated or intolerant. Patients in New York Heart Association class ≥II or with signs and symptoms of heart failure were excluded. The primary outcome was change from baseline to 52 weeks in LV end-systolic volume index measured using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Secondary outcomes included other magnetic resonance imaging measurements of LV remodeling, change in NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I, and a patient global assessment of change questionnaire.
Results
From July 2018 to June 2019, we randomized 93 patients with the following characteristics: mean age, 60.7±10.4 years; median time from myocardial infarction, 3.6 years (interquartile range, 1.2-7.2); mean LV ejection fraction, 36.8%±7.1%; and median NT-proBNP, 230 pg/mL (interquartile range, 124-404). Sacubitril/valsartan, compared with valsartan, did not significantly reduce LV end-systolic volume index; adjusted between-group difference, -1.9 mL/m2 (95% CI, -4.9 to 1.0); P=0.19. There were no significant between-group differences in NT-proBNP, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I, LV end-diastolic volume index, left atrial volume index, LV ejection fraction, LV mass index, or patient global assessment of change.
Conclusions
In patients with asymptomatic LV systolic dysfunction late after myocardial infarction, treatment with sacubitril/valsartan did not have a significant reverse remodeling effect compared with valsartan. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03552575.



Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:199-209
Docherty KF, Campbell RT, Brooksbank KJM, Dreisbach JG, ... Petrie MC, McMurray JJV
Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:199-209 | PMID: 33983794
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Abstract

Recognition, Prevention, and Management of Arrhythmias and Autonomic Disorders in Cardio-Oncology: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Fradley MG, Beckie TM, Brown SA, Cheng RK, ... Singh JP, Olshansky B
With the advent of novel cancer therapeutics and improved screening, more patients are surviving a cancer diagnosis or living longer with advanced disease. Many of these treatments have associated cardiovascular toxicities that can manifest in both an acute and a delayed fashion. Arrhythmias are an increasingly identified complication with unique management challenges in the cancer population. The purpose of this scientific statement is to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding arrhythmia identification and treatment in patients with cancer. Atrial tachyarrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, are most common, but ventricular arrhythmias, including those related to treatment-induced QT prolongation, and bradyarrhythmias can also occur. Despite increased recognition, dedicated prospective studies evaluating true incidence are lacking. Moreover, few studies have addressed appropriate prevention and treatment strategies. As such, this scientific statement serves to mobilize the cardio-oncology, electrophysiology, and oncology communities to develop clinical and scientific collaborations that will improve the care of patients with cancer who have arrhythmias.



Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:e41-e55
Fradley MG, Beckie TM, Brown SA, Cheng RK, ... Singh JP, Olshansky B
Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; 144:e41-e55 | PMID: 34134525
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Abstract

Myocarditis with COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines.

Bozkurt B, Kamat I, Hotez PJ
Myocarditis has been recognized as a rare complication of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA vaccinations, especially in young adult and adolescent males. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), myocarditis/pericarditis rates are approximately 12.6 cases per million doses of second dose mRNA vaccine among 12-39-year-olds. In reported cases, patients with myocarditis invariably presented with chest pain, usually 2-3 days after a second dose of mRNA vaccination and had elevated cardiac troponin levels. ECG was abnormal with ST elevations in most, and cardiac MRI was suggestive of myocarditis in all tested patients. There was no evidence of acute COVID-19 or other viral infections. In one case, a cardiomyopathy gene panel was negative, but autoantibody levels against certain self-antigens and frequency of natural killer cells were increased. Although the mechanisms for development of myocarditis are not clear, molecular mimicry between the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and self-antigens, trigger of preexisting dysregulated immune pathways in certain individuals, immune response to mRNA and activation of immunological pathways, and dysregulated cytokine expression have been proposed. The reasons for male predominance in myocarditis cases are unknown, but possible explanations relate to sex hormone differences in immune response and myocarditis, and also under-diagnosis of cardiac disease in women. Almost all patients had resolution of symptoms and signs, and improvement in diagnostic markers and imaging with or without treatment. Despite rare cases of myocarditis, the benefit-risk assessment for COVID-19 vaccination shows a favorable balance for all age and sex groups; therefore COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years of age and older.



Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Bozkurt B, Kamat I, Hotez PJ
Circulation: 19 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34281357
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Abstract

Therapeutic Inhibition of Acid Sensing Ion Channel 1a Recovers Heart Function After Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.

Redd MA, Scheuer SE, Saez NJ, Yoshikawa Y, ... Macdonald PS, Palpant NJ
Background: Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is one of the major risk factors implicated in morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease. During cardiac ischemia, the build-up of acidic metabolites results in decreased intracellular and extracellular pH that can reach as low as 6.0-6.5. The resulting tissue acidosis exacerbates ischemic injury and significantly impacts cardiac function.
Methods:
We used genetic and pharmacological methods to investigate the role of acid sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) in cardiac IRI at the cellular and whole organ level. Human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) as well as ex vivo and in vivo models of IRI were used to test the efficacy of ASIC1a inhibitors as pre- and post-conditioning therapeutic agents.
Results:
Analysis of human complex trait genetics indicate that variants in the ASIC1 genetic locus are significantly associated with cardiac and cerebrovascular ischemic injuries. Using hiPSC-CMs in vitro and murine ex vivo heart models, we demonstrate that genetic ablation of ASIC1a improves cardiomyocyte viability after acute IRI. Therapeutic blockade of ASIC1a using specific and potent pharmacological inhibitors recapitulates this cardioprotective effect. We used an in vivo model of myocardial infarction (MI) and two models of ex vivo donor heart procurement and storage as clinical models to show that ASIC1a inhibition improves post-IRI cardiac viability. Use of ASIC1a inhibitors as pre- or post-conditioning agents provided equivalent cardioprotection to benchmark drugs, including the sodium-hydrogen exchange inhibitor zoniporide. At the cellular and whole organ level, we show that acute exposure to ASIC1a inhibitors has no impact on cardiac ion channels regulating baseline electromechanical coupling and physiological performance. Conclusions: Collectively, our data provide compelling evidence for a novel pharmacological strategy involving ASIC1a blockade as a cardioprotective therapy to improve the viability of hearts subjected to IRI.




Circulation: 14 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Redd MA, Scheuer SE, Saez NJ, Yoshikawa Y, ... Macdonald PS, Palpant NJ
Circulation: 14 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34264749
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Abstract

International Observational Analysis of Evolution and Outcomes of Chronic Stable Angina: The Multinational Observational CLARIFY Study.

Mesnier J, Ducrocq G, Danchin N, Ferrari R, ... Steg PG, CLARIFY Investigators
Background: Although angina is common in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD), limited data are available on its prevalence, natural evolution, and outcomes in the era of effective cardiovascular drugs and widespread use of coronary revascularization.
Methods:
Using data from 32 691 patients with stable CAD from the prospective observational CLARIFY registry, anginal status was mapped each year in patients without new coronary revascularization or new myocardial infarction. The use of medical interventions in the year preceding angina resolution was explored. The effect of 1-year changes in angina status on 5-year outcomes was analyzed using multivariable analysis.
Results:
Among 7212 (22.1%) patients who reported angina at baseline, angina disappeared (without coronary revascularization) in 39.6% at 1 year, with further annual decreases. In patients without angina at baseline, 2.0-4.8% developed angina each year. During 5-year follow-up, angina was controlled in 7773 patients, in whom resolution of angina was obtained with increased use of antianginal treatment in 11.1%, with coronary revascularization in 4.5%, and without any changes in medication or revascularization in 84.4%. Compared to patients without angina at baseline and 1 year, persistence of angina and occurrence of angina at 1 year with conservative management were each independently associated with higher rates of cardiovascular death or myocardial infarction (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12-1.55 for persistence of angina; adjusted HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.11-1.70 for occurrence of angina) at 5 years. Patients whose angina had resolved at 1 year with conservative management were not at higher risk of cardiovascular death or myocardial infarction than those who never experienced angina (adjusted HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.82-1.15). Conclusions: Angina affects almost one-quarter of patients with stable CAD but resolves without events or coronary revascularization in most patients. Resolution of angina within 1 year with conservative management predicted outcomes similar to lack of angina, while persistence or occurrence was associated with worse outcomes. As most patients with angina are likely to experience resolution of symptoms, and as there is no demonstrated outcome benefit to routine revascularization, this study emphasizes the value of conservative management of stable CAD. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://www.isrctn.com; Unique identifier: ISRCTN43070564.




Circulation: 14 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Mesnier J, Ducrocq G, Danchin N, Ferrari R, ... Steg PG, CLARIFY Investigators
Circulation: 14 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34261331
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Abstract

A Call to Action for New Global Approaches to Cardiovascular Disease Drug Solutions.

Figtree GA, Broadfoot K, Casadei B, Califf R, ... Xiao J, Zannad F
While we continue to wrestle with the immense challenge of implementing equitable access to established evidence-based treatments, substantial gaps remain in our pharmacotherapy armament for common forms of cardiovascular disease including coronary and peripheral arterial disease, heart failure, hypertension, and arrhythmia. We need to continue to invest in the development of new approaches for the discovery, rigorous assessment, and implementation of new therapies. Currently, the time and cost to progress from lead compound/product identification to the clinic, and the success rate in getting there reduces the incentive for industry to invest, despite the enormous burden of disease and potential size of market. There are tremendous opportunities with improved phenotyping of patients currently batched together in syndromic \"buckets.\" Use of advanced imaging and molecular markers may allow stratification of patients in a manner more aligned to biological mechanisms that can, in turn, be targeted by specific approaches developed using high-throughput molecular technologies. Unbiased \"omic\" approaches enhance the possibility of discovering completely new mechanisms in such groups. Furthermore, advances in drug discovery platforms, and models to study efficacy and toxicity more relevant to the human disease, are valuable. Re-imagining the relationships among discovery, translation, evaluation, and implementation will help reverse the trend away from investment in the cardiovascular space, establishing innovative platforms and approaches across the full spectrum of therapeutic development.



Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:159-169
Figtree GA, Broadfoot K, Casadei B, Califf R, ... Xiao J, Zannad F
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:159-169 | PMID: 33876947
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Abstract

Fibroblast-Specific Proteotranscriptomes Reveal Distinct Fibrotic Signatures of Human Sinoatrial Node in Nonfailing and Failing Hearts.

Kalyanasundaram A, Li N, Gardner ML, Artiga EJ, ... Mohler PJ, Fedorov VV
Background
Up to 50% of the adult human sinoatrial node (SAN) is composed of dense connective tissue. Cardiac diseases including heart failure (HF) may increase fibrosis within the SAN pacemaker complex, leading to impaired automaticity and conduction of electric activity to the atria. Unlike the role of cardiac fibroblasts in pathologic fibrotic remodeling and tissue repair, nothing is known about fibroblasts that maintain the inherently fibrotic SAN environment.
Methods
Intact SAN pacemaker complex was dissected from cardioplegically arrested explanted nonfailing hearts (non-HF; n=22; 48.7±3.1 years of age) and human failing hearts (n=16; 54.9±2.6 years of age). Connective tissue content was quantified from Masson trichrome-stained head-center and center-tail SAN sections. Expression of extracellular matrix proteins, including collagens 1 and 3A1, CILP1 (cartilage intermediate layer protein 1), and POSTN (periostin), and fibroblast and myofibroblast numbers were quantified by in situ and in vitro immunolabeling. Fibroblasts from the central intramural SAN pacemaker compartment (≈10×5×2 mm3) and right atria were isolated, cultured, passaged once, and treated ± transforming growth factor β1 and subjected to comprehensive high-throughput next-generation sequencing of whole transcriptome, microRNA, and proteomic analyses.
Results
Intranodal fibrotic content was significantly higher in SAN pacemaker complex from HF versus non-HF hearts (57.7±2.6% versus 44.0±1.2%; P<0.0001). Proliferating phosphorylated histone 3+/vimentin+/CD31- (cluster of differentiation 31) fibroblasts were higher in HF SAN. Vimentin+/α-smooth muscle actin+/CD31- myofibroblasts along with increased interstitial POSTN expression were found only in HF SAN. RNA sequencing and proteomic analyses identified unique differences in mRNA, long noncoding RNA, microRNA, and proteomic profiles between non-HF and HF SAN and right atria fibroblasts and transforming growth factor β1-induced myofibroblasts. Specifically, proteins and signaling pathways associated with extracellular matrix flexibility, stiffness, focal adhesion, and metabolism were altered in HF SAN fibroblasts compared with non-HF SAN.
Conclusions
This study revealed increased SAN-specific fibrosis with presence of myofibroblasts, CILP1, and POSTN-positive interstitial fibrosis only in HF versus non-HF human hearts. Comprehensive proteotranscriptomic profiles of SAN fibroblasts identified upregulation of genes and proteins promoting stiffer SAN extracellular matrix in HF hearts. Fibroblast-specific profiles generated by our proteotranscriptomic analyses of the human SAN provide a comprehensive framework for future studies to investigate the role of SAN-specific fibrosis in cardiac rhythm regulation and arrhythmias.



Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:126-143
Kalyanasundaram A, Li N, Gardner ML, Artiga EJ, ... Mohler PJ, Fedorov VV
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:126-143 | PMID: 33874740
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Abstract

Salt Transiently Inhibits Mitochondrial Energetics in Mononuclear Phagocytes.

Geisberger S, Bartolomaeus H, Neubert P, Willebrand R, ... Kempa S, Müller DN
Background
Dietary high salt (HS) is a leading risk factor for mortality and morbidity. Serum sodium transiently increases postprandially but can also accumulate at sites of inflammation affecting differentiation and function of innate and adaptive immune cells. Here, we focus on how changes in extracellular sodium, mimicking alterations in the circulation and tissues, affect the early metabolic, transcriptional, and functional adaption of human and murine mononuclear phagocytes.
Methods
Using Seahorse technology, pulsed stable isotope-resolved metabolomics, and enzyme activity assays, we characterize the central carbon metabolism and mitochondrial function of human and murine mononuclear phagocytes under HS in vitro. HS as well as pharmacological uncoupling of the electron transport chain under normal salt is used to analyze mitochondrial function on immune cell activation and function (as determined by Escherichia coli killing and CD4+ T cell migration capacity). In 2 independent clinical studies, we analyze the effect of a HS diet during 2 weeks (URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02509962) and short-term salt challenge by a single meal (URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT04175249) on mitochondrial function of human monocytes in vivo.
Results
Extracellular sodium was taken up into the intracellular compartment, followed by the inhibition of mitochondrial respiration in murine and human macrophages. Mechanistically, HS reduces mitochondrial membrane potential, electron transport chain complex II activity, oxygen consumption, and ATP production independently of the polarization status of macrophages. Subsequently, cell activation is altered with improved bactericidal function in HS-treated M1-like macrophages and diminished CD4+ T cell migration in HS-treated M2-like macrophages. Pharmacological uncoupling of the electron transport chain under normal salt phenocopies HS-induced transcriptional changes and bactericidal function of human and murine mononuclear phagocytes. Clinically, also in vivo, rise in plasma sodium concentration within the physiological range reversibly reduces mitochondrial function in human monocytes. In both a 14-day and single meal HS challenge, healthy volunteers displayed a plasma sodium increase of [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] respectively, that correlated with decreased monocytic mitochondrial oxygen consumption.
Conclusions
Our data identify the disturbance of mitochondrial respiration as the initial step by which HS mechanistically influences immune cell function. Although these functional changes might help to resolve bacterial infections, a shift toward proinflammation could accelerate inflammatory cardiovascular disease.



Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:144-158
Geisberger S, Bartolomaeus H, Neubert P, Willebrand R, ... Kempa S, Müller DN
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:144-158 | PMID: 33906377
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Abstract

Late Outcomes of the RAPID-TnT Randomized Controlled Trial: 0/1-Hour High-Sensitivity Troponin T Protocol in Suspected ACS.

Lambrakis K, Papendick C, French JK, Quinn S, ... Cullen LA, Chew DP
Background
High-sensitivity troponin assays are increasingly being adopted to expedite evaluation of patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes. Few direct comparisons have examined whether the enhanced performance of these assays at low concentrations leads to changes in care that improves longer-term outcomes. This study evaluated late outcomes of participants managed under an unmasked 0/1-hour high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) protocol compared with a 0/3-hour masked hs-cTnT protocol.
Methods
We conducted a multicenter prospective patient-level randomized comparison of care informed by unmasked 0/1-hour hs-cTnT protocol (reported to <5 ng/L) versus standard practice masked hs-cTnT testing (reported to ≤29 ng/L) assessed at 0/3 hours and followed participants for 12 months. Participants included were those presenting to metropolitan emergency departments with suspected acute coronary syndromes, without ECG evidence of coronary ischemia. The primary end point was time to all-cause death or myocardial infarction using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for clustering within hospitals.
Results
Between August 2015 and April 2019, we randomized 3378 participants, of whom 108 withdrew, resulting in 12-month follow-up for 3270 participants (masked: 1632; unmasked: 1638). Among these, 2993 (91.5%) had an initial troponin concentration of ≤29 ng/L. Deployment of the 0/1-hour hs-cTnT protocol was associated with reductions in functional testing. Over 12-month follow-up, there was no difference in invasive coronary angiography (0/1-hour unmasked: 232/1638 [14.2%]; 0/3-hour masked: 202/1632 [12.4%]; P=0.13), although an increase was seen among patients with hs-cTnT levels within the masked range (0/1-hour unmasked arm: 168/1507 [11.2%]; 0/3-hour masked arm: 124/1486 [8.3%]; P=0.010). By 12 months, all-cause death and myocardial infarction did not differ between study arms overall (0/1-hour: 82/1638 [5.0%] versus 0/3-hour: 62/1632 [3.8%]; hazard ratio, 1.32 [95% CI, 0.95-1.83]; P=0.10). Among participants with initial troponin T concentrations ≤29 ng/L, unmasked hs-cTnT reporting was associated with an increase in death or myocardial infarction (0/1-hour: 55/1507 [3.7%] versus 0/3-hour: 34/1486 [2.3%]; hazard ratio, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.05-2.46]; P=0.030).
Conclusions
Unmasked hs-cTnT reporting deployed within a 0/1-hour protocol did not reduce ischemic events over 12-month follow-up. Changes in practice associated with the implementation of this protocol may be associated with an increase in death and myocardial infarction among those with newly identified troponin elevations. Registration: URL: https://www.anzctr.org.au; Unique identifier: ACTRN12615001379505.



Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:113-125
Lambrakis K, Papendick C, French JK, Quinn S, ... Cullen LA, Chew DP
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:113-125 | PMID: 33998255
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Abstract

Ten-Year All-Cause Death According to Completeness of Revascularization in Patients With Three-Vessel Disease or Left Main Coronary Artery Disease: Insights From the SYNTAX Extended Survival Study.

Takahashi K, Serruys PW, Gao C, Ono M, ... Holmes DR, SYNTAX Extended Survival Study Investigators
Background
Ten-year all-cause death according to incomplete (IR) versus complete revascularization (CR) has not been fully investigated in patients with 3-vessel disease and left main coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) versus coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Methods
The SYNTAX Extended Survival study (Synergy Between PCI With TAXUS and Cardiac Surgery: SYNTAX Extended Survival [SYNTAXES]) evaluated vital status up to 10 years in patients who were originally enrolled in the SYNTAX trial. In the present substudy, outcomes of the CABG CR group were compared with the CABG IR, PCI CR, and PCI IR groups. In addition, in the PCI cohort, the residual SYNTAX score (rSS) was used to quantify the extent of IR and to assess its association with fatal late outcome. The rSS of 0 suggests CR, whereas a rSS>0 identifies the degree of IR.
Results
IR was more frequently observed in patients with PCI versus CABG (56.6% versus 36.8%) and more common in those with 3-vessel disease than left main coronary artery disease in both the PCI arm (58.5% versus 53.8%) and the CABG arm (42.8% versus 27.5%). Patients undergoing PCI with CR had no significant difference in 10-year all-cause death compared with those undergoing CABG (22.2% for PCI with CR versus 24.3% for CABG with IR versus 23.8% for CABG with CR). In contrast, those with PCI and IR had a significantly higher risk of all-cause death at 10 years compared with CABG and CR (33.5% versus 23.7%; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.48 [95% CI, 1.15-1.91]). When patients with PCI were stratified according to the rSS, those with a rSS≤8 had no significant difference in all-cause death at 10 years as the other terciles (22.2% for rSS=0 versus 23.9% for rSS>0-4 versus 28.9% for rSS>4-8), whereas a rSS>8 had a significantly higher risk of 10-year all-cause death than those undergoing PCI with CR (50.1% versus 22.2%; adjusted hazard ratio, 3.40 [95% CI, 2.13-5.43]).
Conclusions
IR is common after PCI, and the degree of incompleteness was associated with 10-year mortality. If it is unlikely that complete (or nearly complete; rSS<8) revascularization can be achieved with PCI in patients with 3-vessel disease, CABG should be considered. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00114972. URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03417050.



Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:96-109
Takahashi K, Serruys PW, Gao C, Ono M, ... Holmes DR, SYNTAX Extended Survival Study Investigators
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:96-109 | PMID: 34011163
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Impact:
Abstract

Mechanical Complications of Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Damluji AA, van Diepen S, Katz JN, Menon V, ... American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; and Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing
Over the past few decades, advances in pharmacological, catheter-based, and surgical reperfusion have improved outcomes for patients with acute myocardial infarctions. However, patients with large infarcts or those who do not receive timely revascularization remain at risk for mechanical complications of acute myocardial infarction. The most commonly encountered mechanical complications are acute mitral regurgitation secondary to papillary muscle rupture, ventricular septal defect, pseudoaneurysm, and free wall rupture; each complication is associated with a significant risk of morbidity, mortality, and hospital resource utilization. The care for patients with mechanical complications is complex and requires a multidisciplinary collaboration for prompt recognition, diagnosis, hemodynamic stabilization, and decision support to assist patients and families in the selection of definitive therapies or palliation. However, because of the relatively small number of high-quality studies that exist to guide clinical practice, there is significant variability in care that mainly depends on local expertise and available resources.



Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:e16-e35
Damluji AA, van Diepen S, Katz JN, Menon V, ... American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; and Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; 144:e16-e35 | PMID: 34126755
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Abstract

Hyperglycaemia Induces Trained Immunity in Macrophages and Their Precursors and Promotes Atherosclerosis.

Edgar L, Akbar N, Braithwaite AT, Krausgruber T, ... Carnicer R, Choudhury RP
Background: Cardiovascular risk in diabetes remains elevated despite glucose lowering therapies. We hypothesised that hyperglycaemia induces trained immunity in macrophages, promoting persistent pro-atherogenic characteristics.
Methods:
Bone marrow derived macrophages from control and mice with diabetes were grown in physiological glucose (5 mM) and subject to RNA-sequencing (n=6), ATAC-sequencing (n=6) and ChIP-sequencing (n=6) for determination of hyperglycaemia-induced trained immunity. Bone marrow transplantation from mice with (n=9) or without (n=6) diabetes into [normoglycaemic] Ldlr -/- mice was used to assess its functional significance in vivo. Evidence of hyperglycaemia-induced trained immunity was sought in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with diabetes (n=8) compared with case controls (n=16) and in human atherosclerotic plaque macrophages excised by laser capture microdissection.
Results:
In macrophages, high extracellular glucose promoted pro-inflammatory gene expression and pro-atherogenic functional characteristics, through glycolysis-dependent mechanisms. Bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) from diabetic mice, retained these characteristics, even when cultured in physiological glucose, indicating hyperglycaemia-induced trained immunity. Bone marrow transplantation from diabetic mice into [normoglycaemic] Ldlr -/- mice increased aortic root atherosclerosis, confirming a disease-relevant and persistent form of trained innate immunity. Integrated ATAC-seq, ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analyses of haematopoietic stem cells and BMDM revealed a pro-inflammatory \"priming effect\" in diabetes. The pattern of open chromatin implicated transcription factor, RUNX1, while transcriptomes of atherosclerotic plaque macrophages and peripheral leukocytes in patients with type 2 diabetes were enriched for RUNX1 targets, consistent with a potential role in human disease. Pharmacological inhibition of RUNX1 in vitro inhibited the trained phenotype. Conclusions: Hyperglycaemia-induced trained immunity may explain why targeting elevated glucose is ineffective in reducing macrovascular risk in diabetes and suggests new targets for disease prevention and therapy.




Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Edgar L, Akbar N, Braithwaite AT, Krausgruber T, ... Carnicer R, Choudhury RP
Circulation: 12 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34255973
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Abstract

Epigenetic Regulation by Suv4-20h1 in Cardiopulmonary Progenitor Cells is Required to Prevent Pulmonary Hypertension and COPD.

Qi H, Liu H, Pullamsetti SS, Günther S, ... Yuan X, Braun T
Background: The etiology of life-threatening cardiopulmonary diseases such as Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) originates from a complex interplay of environmental factors and genetic predispositions, which is not fully understood. Likewise, little is known about developmental abnormalities or epigenetic dysregulations that might predispose for PH or COPD in adult individuals.
Methods:
To identify pathology-associated epigenetic alteration in diseased lung tissues, we screened a cohort of human PH and COPD patients for changes of histone modifications by immunofluorescence staining. To analyze the function of H4K20me2/3 in lung pathogenesis, we developed a series of Suv4-20h1 knockout mouse lines targeting cardiopulmonary progenitor cells (CPPs) and different heart and lung cell types, followed by hemodynamic studies and morphometric assessment of tissue samples. Molecular, cellular and biochemical techniques were applied to analyze the function of Suv4-20h1-dependent epigenetic processes in cardiopulmonary progenitor cells and their derivatives.
Results:
We discovered a strong reduction of the histone modifications H4K20me2/3 in human COPD but not PH patients, which depend on the activity of the H4K20 di-methyltransferase SUV4-20H1. Loss of Suv4-20h1 in CPPs caused a COPD-like/PH phenotype in mice including formation of perivascular tertiary lymphoid tissue and goblet cell hyperplasia, hyper-proliferation of smooth muscle cells/myofibroblasts, impaired alveolarization and maturation defects of the microvasculature leading to massive right ventricular dilatation and premature death. Mechanistically, SUV4-20H1 binds directly to the 5\'-upstream regulatory element of superoxide dismutase 3 (Sod3) gene to repress its expression. Increased levels of the extracellular SOD3 enzyme in Suv4-20h1 mutants increases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentrations, causing vascular defects and impairing alveolarization. Conclusions: Our findings reveal a pivotal role of the histone modifier SUV4-20H1 in cardiopulmonary co-development and uncover developmental origins of cardiopulmonary diseases. We assume that the study will facilitate the understanding of pathogenic events causing PH and COPD, and aid the development of epigenetic drugs for treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases.




Circulation: 11 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Qi H, Liu H, Pullamsetti SS, Günther S, ... Yuan X, Braun T
Circulation: 11 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34247492
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Impact:
Abstract

Assessing and Addressing Cardiovascular Health in People Who Are Transgender and Gender Diverse: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Streed CG, Beach LB, Caceres BA, Dowshen NL, ... American Heart Association Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; Council on Hypertension; and Stroke Council
There is growing evidence that people who are transgender and gender diverse (TGD) are impacted by disparities across a variety of cardiovascular risk factors compared with their peers who are cisgender. Prior literature has characterized disparities in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality as a result of a higher prevalence of health risk behaviors. Mounting research has revealed that cardiovascular risk factors at the individual level likely do not fully account for increased risk in cardiovascular health disparities among people who are TGD. Excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is hypothesized to be driven in part by psychosocial stressors across the lifespan at multiple levels, including structural violence (eg, discrimination, affordable housing, access to health care). This American Heart Association scientific statement reviews the existing literature on the cardiovascular health of people who are TGD. When applicable, the effects of gender-affirming hormone use on individual cardiovascular risk factors are also reviewed. Informed by a conceptual model building on minority stress theory, this statement identifies research gaps and provides suggestions for improving cardiovascular research and clinical care for people who are TGD, including the role of resilience-promoting factors. Advancing the cardiovascular health of people who are TGD requires a multifaceted approach that integrates best practices into research, health promotion, and cardiovascular care for this understudied population.



Circulation: 07 Jul 2021:CIR0000000000001003; epub ahead of print
Streed CG, Beach LB, Caceres BA, Dowshen NL, ... American Heart Association Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; Council on Hypertension; and Stroke Council
Circulation: 07 Jul 2021:CIR0000000000001003; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34235936
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Abstract

MicroRNA-21 Controls Circadian Regulation of Apoptosis in Atherosclerotic Lesions.

Schober A, Blay RM, Saboor Maleki S, Zahedi F, ... Weber C, Nazari-Jahantigh M
Background: The necrotic core partly formed by ineffective efferocytosis increases the risk of an atherosclerotic plaque rupture. microRNAs contribute to necrotic core formation by regulating efferocytosis and macrophage apoptosis. Atherosclerotic plaque rupture occurs at increased frequency in the early morning, indicating diurnal changes in plaque vulnerability. Although circadian rhythms play a role in atherosclerosis, the molecular clock output pathways that control plaque composition and rupture susceptibility are unclear.
Methods:
Circadian gene expression, necrotic core size, and apoptosis and efferocytosis in aortic lesions were investigated at different times of the day in Apoe-/-Mir21+/+ mice and Apoe-/- Mir21-/- mice after consumption of a high-fat diet for 12 weeks feeding. Genome-wide gene expression and lesion formation were analyzed in bone marrow (BM)-transplanted mice. Diurnal changes in apoptosis and clock gene expression were determined in human atherosclerotic lesions.
Results:
The expression of molecular clock genes, lesional apoptosis, and necrotic core size were diurnally regulated in Apoe-/- mice. Efferocytosis did not match the diurnal increase in apoptosis at the beginning of the active phase. However, in parallel with apoptosis, expression levels of oscillating Mir21 strands decreased in the mouse atherosclerotic aorta. Mir21 knockout abolished circadian regulation of apoptosis and reduced necrotic core size, but did not affect core clock gene expression. Further, Mir21 knockout upregulated expression of pro-apoptotic XIAP associated factor 1 (Xaf1) in the atherosclerotic aorta, which abolished circadian expression of Xaf1. The anti-apoptotic effect of Mir21 was mediated by non-canonical targeting of Xaf1 through both Mir21 strands. Mir21 knockout in BM cells also reduced atherosclerosis and necrotic core size. Circadian regulation of clock gene expression was confirmed in human atherosclerotic lesions. Apoptosis oscillated diurnally in phase with XAF1 expression, demonstrating an early morning peak anti-phase to that of the Mir21 strands. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the molecular clock in atherosclerotic lesions induces a diurnal rhythm of apoptosis regulated by circadian Mir21 expression in macrophages that is not matched by efferocytosis, thus increasing the size of the necrotic core.




Circulation: 07 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Schober A, Blay RM, Saboor Maleki S, Zahedi F, ... Weber C, Nazari-Jahantigh M
Circulation: 07 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34233454
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Abstract

Towards Replacing Late Gadolinium Enhancement with Artificial Intelligence Virtual Native Enhancement for Gadolinium-Free Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Tissue Characterization in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Zhang Q, Burrage MK, Lukaschuk E, Shanmuganathan M, ... Piechnik SK, HCMR investigators
Background: Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is the gold standard for non-invasive myocardial tissue characterization, but requires intravenous contrast agent administration. It is highly desired to develop a contrast-agent-free technology to replace LGE for faster and cheaper CMR scans.
Methods:
A CMR Virtual Native Enhancement (VNE) imaging technology was developed using artificial intelligence. The deep learning model for generating VNE uses multiple streams of convolutional neural networks to exploit and enhance the existing signals in native T1-maps (pixel-wise maps of tissue T1 relaxation times) and cine imaging of cardiac structure and function, presenting them as LGE-equivalent images. The VNE generator was trained using generative adversarial networks. This technology was first developed on CMR datasets from the multi-center Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Registry (HCMR), using HCM as an exemplar. The datasets were randomized into two independent groups for deep learning training and testing. The test data of VNE and LGE were scored and contoured by experienced human operators to assess image quality, visuospatial agreement and myocardial lesion burden quantification. Image quality was compared using nonparametric Wilcoxon test. Intra- and inter-observer agreement was analyzed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Lesion quantification by VNE and LGE were compared using linear regression and ICC.
Results:
1348 HCM patients provided 4093 triplets of matched T1-maps, cines, and LGE datasets. After randomization and data quality control, 2695 datasets were used for VNE method development, and 345 for independent testing. VNE had significantly better image quality than LGE, as assessed by 4 operators (n=345 datasets, p<0.001, Wilcoxon test). VNE revealed characteristic HCM lesions in high visuospatial agreement with LGE. In 121 patients (n=326 datasets), VNE correlated with LGE in detecting and quantifying both hyper-intensity myocardial lesions (r=0.77-0.79, ICC=0.77-0.87; p<0.001) and intermediate-intensity lesions (r=0.70-0.76, ICC=0.82-0.85; p<0.001). The native CMR images (cine plus T1-map) required for VNE can be acquired within 15 minutes. Producing a VNE image takes less than one second. Conclusions: VNE is a new CMR technology that resembles conventional LGE, without the need for contrast administration. VNE achieved high agreement with LGE in the distribution and quantification of lesions, with significantly better image quality.




Circulation: 06 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Zhang Q, Burrage MK, Lukaschuk E, Shanmuganathan M, ... Piechnik SK, HCMR investigators
Circulation: 06 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34229451
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Abstract

Red Blood Cell and Endothelial eNOS Independently Regulate Circulating Nitric Oxide Metabolites and Blood Pressure.

Leo F, Suvorava T, Heuser SK, Li J, ... Kelm M, Cortese-Krott MM
Background: Current paradigms suggest that nitric oxide (NO) produced by endothelial cells (ECs) via endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in the vessel wall is the primary regulator of blood flow and blood pressure. However, red blood cells (RBCs) also carry a catalytically active eNOS, but its role is controversial and remains undefined. This study aimed to elucidate the functional significance of red cell eNOS compared to EC eNOS for vascular hemodynamics and NO metabolism.
Methods:
We generated tissue-specific \"loss-\" and \"gain-of-function\" models for eNOS by using cell-specific Cre-induced gene inactivation or reactivation. We created two founder lines carrying a floxed eNOS (eNOSflox/flox) for Cre-inducible knock out (KO), as well as gene construct with an inactivated floxed/inverted exon (eNOSinv/inv) for a Cre-inducible knock in (KI), which respectively allow targeted deletion or reactivation of eNOS in erythroid cells (RBC eNOS KO or RBC eNOS KI mice) or endothelial cells (EC eNOS KO or EC eNOS KI mice). Vascular function, hemodynamics, and NO metabolism were compared ex vivo and in vivo.
Results:
The EC eNOS KOs exhibited significantly impaired aortic dilatory responses to acetylcholine, loss of flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. RBC eNOS KO mice showed no alterations in acetylcholine-mediated dilation or FMD but were hypertensive. Treatment with the NOS inhibitor L-NAME further increased blood pressure in RBC eNOS KOs, demonstrating that eNOS in both ECs and RBCs contributes to blood pressure regulation. While both EC eNOS KOs and RBC eNOS KOs had lower plasma nitrite and nitrate concentrations, the levels of bound NO in RBCs were lower in RBC eNOS KOs as compared to EC eNOS KOs. Crucially, reactivation of eNOS in ECs or RBCs rescues the hypertensive phenotype of the eNOSinv/inv mice, while the levels of bound NO were restored only in RBC eNOS KI mice. Conclusions:These data reveal that eNOS in ECs and RBCs contribute independently to blood pressure homeostasis.




Circulation: 06 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print
Leo F, Suvorava T, Heuser SK, Li J, ... Kelm M, Cortese-Krott MM
Circulation: 06 Jul 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34229449
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Abstract

Diagnosis and Management of Myocarditis in Children: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Law YM, Lal AK, Chen S, Čiháková D, ... Towbin JA, American Heart Association Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplantation Committee of the Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young and Stroke Council
Myocarditis remains a clinical challenge in pediatrics. Originally, it was recognized at autopsy before the application of endomyocardial biopsy, which led to a histopathology-based diagnosis such as in the Dallas criteria. Given the invasive and low-sensitivity nature of endomyocardial biopsy, its diagnostic focus shifted to a reliance on clinical suspicion. With the advances of cardiac magnetic resonance, an examination of the whole heart in vivo has gained acceptance in the pursuit of a diagnosis of myocarditis. The presentation may vary from minimal symptoms to heart failure, life-threatening arrhythmias, or cardiogenic shock. Outcomes span full resolution to chronic heart failure and the need for heart transplantation with inadequate clues to predict the disease trajectory. The American Heart Association commissioned this writing group to explore the current knowledge and management within the field of pediatric myocarditis. This statement highlights advances in our understanding of the immunopathogenesis, new and shifting dominant pathogeneses, modern laboratory testing, and use of mechanical circulatory support, with a special emphasis on innovations in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Despite these strides forward, we struggle without a universally accepted definition of myocarditis, which impedes progress in disease-targeted therapy.



Circulation: 06 Jul 2021:CIR0000000000001001; epub ahead of print
Law YM, Lal AK, Chen S, Čiháková D, ... Towbin JA, American Heart Association Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplantation Committee of the Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young and Stroke Council
Circulation: 06 Jul 2021:CIR0000000000001001; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34229446
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Abstract

Cooperative Binding of ETS2 and NFAT Links Erk1/2 and Calcineurin Signaling in the Pathogenesis of Cardiac Hypertrophy.

Luo Y, Jiang N, May HI, Luo X, ... Gillette TG, Hill JA
Background
Cardiac hypertrophy is an independent risk factor for heart failure, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. The calcineurin/NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) pathway and the MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)/Erk (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) pathway contribute to the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy as an interdependent network of signaling cascades. How these pathways interact remains unclear and few direct targets responsible for the prohypertrophic role of NFAT have been described.
Methods
By engineering cardiomyocyte-specific ETS2 (a member of the E26 transformation-specific sequence [ETS] domain family) knockout mice, we investigated the role of ETS2 in cardiac hypertrophy. Primary cardiomyocytes were used to evaluate ETS2 function in cell growth.
Results
ETS2 is phosphorylated and activated by Erk1/2 on hypertrophic stimulation in both mouse (n=3) and human heart samples (n=8 to 19). Conditional deletion of ETS2 in mouse cardiomyocytes protects against pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy (n=6 to 11). Silencing of ETS2 in the hearts of calcineurin transgenic mice significantly attenuates hypertrophic growth and contractile dysfunction (n=8). As a transcription factor, ETS2 is capable of binding to the promoters of hypertrophic marker genes, such as ANP, BNP, and Rcan1.4 (n=4). We report that ETS2 forms a complex with NFAT to stimulate transcriptional activity through increased NFAT binding to the promoters of at least 2 hypertrophy-stimulated genes: Rcan1.4 and microRNA-223 (=n4 to 6). Suppression of microRNA-223 in cardiomyocytes inhibits calcineurin-mediated cardiac hypertrophy (n=6), revealing microRNA-223 as a novel prohypertrophic target of the calcineurin/NFAT and Erk1/2-ETS2 pathways.
Conclusions
Our findings point to a critical role for ETS2 in calcineurin/NFAT pathway-driven cardiac hypertrophy and unveil a previously unknown molecular connection between the Erk1/2 activation of ETS2 and expression of NFAT/ETS2 target genes.



Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:34-51
Luo Y, Jiang N, May HI, Luo X, ... Gillette TG, Hill JA
Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:34-51 | PMID: 33821668
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Abstract

Evidence-Based Assessment of Genes in Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Jordan E, Peterson L, Ai T, Asatryan B, ... Ware J, Hershberger RE
Background
Each of the cardiomyopathies, classically categorized as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, has a signature genetic theme. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy are largely understood as genetic diseases of sarcomere or desmosome proteins, respectively. In contrast, >250 genes spanning >10 gene ontologies have been implicated in DCM, representing a complex and diverse genetic architecture. To clarify this, a systematic curation of evidence to establish the relationship of genes with DCM was conducted.
Methods
An international panel with clinical and scientific expertise in DCM genetics evaluated evidence supporting monogenic relationships of genes with idiopathic DCM. The panel used the Clinical Genome Resource semiquantitative gene-disease clinical validity classification framework with modifications for DCM genetics to classify genes into categories on the basis of the strength of currently available evidence. Representation of DCM genes on clinically available genetic testing panels was evaluated.
Results
Fifty-one genes with human genetic evidence were curated. Twelve genes (23%) from 8 gene ontologies were classified as having definitive (BAG3, DES, FLNC, LMNA, MYH7, PLN, RBM20, SCN5A, TNNC1, TNNT2, TTN) or strong (DSP) evidence. Seven genes (14%; ACTC1, ACTN2, JPH2, NEXN, TNNI3, TPM1, VCL) including 2 additional ontologies were classified as moderate evidence; these genes are likely to emerge as strong or definitive with additional evidence. Of these 19 genes, 6 were similarly classified for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and 3 for arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Of the remaining 32 genes (63%), 25 (49%) had limited evidence, 4 (8%) were disputed, 2 (4%) had no disease relationship, and 1 (2%) was supported by animal model data only. Of the 16 evaluated clinical genetic testing panels, most definitive genes were included, but panels also included numerous genes with minimal human evidence.
Conclusions
In the curation of 51 genes, 19 had high evidence (12 definitive/strong, 7 moderate). It is notable that these 19 genes explain only a minority of cases, leaving the remainder of DCM genetic architecture incompletely addressed. Clinical genetic testing panels include most high-evidence genes; however, genes lacking robust evidence are also commonly included. We recommend that high-evidence DCM genes be used for clinical practice and that caution be exercised in the interpretation of variants in variable-evidence DCM genes.



Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:7-19
Jordan E, Peterson L, Ai T, Asatryan B, ... Ware J, Hershberger RE
Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:7-19 | PMID: 33947203
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Abstract

Regulation of the Methylation and Expression Levels of the BMPR2 Gene by SIN3a as a Novel Therapeutic Mechanism in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Bisserier M, Mathiyalagan P, Zhang S, Elmastour F, ... Sahoo S, Hadri L
Background
Epigenetic mechanisms are critical in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Previous studies have suggested that hypermethylation of the BMPR2 (bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2) promoter is associated with BMPR2 downregulation and progression of PAH. Here, we investigated for the first time the role of SIN3a (switch-independent 3a), a transcriptional regulator, in the epigenetic mechanisms underlying hypermethylation of BMPR2 in the pathogenesis of PAH.
Methods
We used lung samples from PAH patients and non-PAH controls, preclinical mouse and rat PAH models, and human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Expression of SIN3a was modulated using a lentiviral vector or a siRNA in vitro and a specific adeno-associated virus serotype 1 or a lentivirus encoding for human SIN3a in vivo.
Results
SIN3a is a known transcriptional regulator; however, its role in cardiovascular diseases, especially PAH, is unknown. It is interesting that we detected a dysregulation of SIN3 expression in patients and in rodent models, which is strongly associated with decreased BMPR2 expression. SIN3a is known to regulate epigenetic changes. Therefore, we tested its role in the regulation of BMPR2 and found that BMPR2 is regulated by SIN3a. It is interesting that SIN3a overexpression inhibited human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells proliferation and upregulated BMPR2 expression by preventing the methylation of the BMPR2 promoter region. RNA-sequencing analysis suggested that SIN3a downregulated the expression of DNA and histone methyltransferases such as DNMT1 (DNA methyltransferase 1) and EZH2 (enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb repressive complex 2) while promoting the expression of the DNA demethylase TET1 (ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase 1). Mechanistically, SIN3a promoted BMPR2 expression by decreasing CTCF (CCCTC-binding factor) binding to the BMPR2 promoter. Last, we identified intratracheal delivery of adeno-associated virus serotype human SIN3a to be a beneficial therapeutic approach in PAH by attenuating pulmonary vascular and right ventricle remodeling, decreasing right ventricle systolic pressure and mean pulmonary arterial pressure, and restoring BMPR2 expression in rodent models of PAH.
Conclusions
All together, our study unveiled the protective and beneficial role of SIN3a in pulmonary hypertension. We also identified a novel and distinct molecular mechanism by which SIN3a regulates BMPR2 in human pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Our study also identified lung-targeted SIN3a gene therapy using adeno-associated virus serotype 1 as a new promising therapeutic strategy for treating patients with PAH.



Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:52-73
Bisserier M, Mathiyalagan P, Zhang S, Elmastour F, ... Sahoo S, Hadri L
Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:52-73 | PMID: 34078089
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Impact:
Abstract

Improving the Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions for Depression and Anxiety in Cardiac Rehabilitation: PATHWAY-A Single-Blind, Parallel, Randomized, Controlled Trial of Group Metacognitive Therapy.

Wells A, Reeves D, Capobianco L, Heal C, ... Doherty P, Fisher P
Background
Depression and anxiety in cardiovascular disease are significant, contributing to poor prognosis. Unfortunately, current psychological treatments offer mixed, usually small improvements in these symptoms. The present trial tested for the first time the effects of group metacognitive therapy (MCT; 6 sessions) on anxiety and depressive symptoms when delivered alongside cardiac rehabilitation (CR).
Methods
A total of 332 CR patients recruited from 5 National Health Service Trusts across the North-West of England were randomly allocated to MCT+CR (n=163, 49.1%) or usual CR alone (n=169, 50.9%). Randomization was 1:1 via minimization balancing arms on sex and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores within hospital site. The primary outcome was Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale total after treatment (4-month follow-up). Secondary outcomes were individual Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales, traumatic stress symptoms, and psychological mechanisms including metacognitive beliefs and repetitive negative thinking. Analysis was intention to treat.
Results
The adjusted group difference on the primary outcome, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale total score at 4 months, significantly favored the MCT+CR arm (-3.24 [95% CI, -4.67 to -1.81], P<0.001; standardized effect size, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.291 to 0.750]). The significant difference was maintained at 12 months (-2.19 [95% CI, -3.72 to -0.66], P=0.005; standardized effect size, 0.33 [95% CI, 0.101 to 0.568]). The intervention improved outcomes significantly for both depression and anxiety symptoms when assessed separately compared with usual care. Sensitivity analysis using multiple imputation of missing values supported these findings. Most secondary outcomes favored MCT+CR, with medium to high effect sizes for psychological mechanisms of metacognitive beliefs and repetitive negative thinking. No adverse treatment-related events were reported.
Conclusions
Group MCT+CR significantly improved depression and anxiety compared with usual care and led to greater reductions in unhelpful metacognitions and repetitive negative thinking. Most gains remained significant at 12 months. Study strengths include a large sample, a theory-based intervention, use of longer-term follow-up, broad inclusion criteria, and involvement of a trials unit. Limitations include no control for additional contact as part of MCT to estimate nonspecific effects, and the trial was not intended to assess cardiac outcomes. Nonetheless, results demonstrated that addition of the MCT intervention had broad and significant beneficial effects on mental health symptoms. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: ISRCTN74643496.



Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:23-33
Wells A, Reeves D, Capobianco L, Heal C, ... Doherty P, Fisher P
Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:23-33 | PMID: 34148379
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Impact:
Abstract

Incorporating SGLT2i and GLP-1RA for Cardiovascular and Kidney Disease Risk Reduction: Call for Action to the Cardiology Community.

Nelson AJ, Pagidipati NJ, Aroda VR, Cavender MA, ... McGuire DK, Granger CB
Multiple sodium glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2i) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) have been shown to impart significant cardiovascular and kidney benefits, but are underused in clinical practice. Both SGLT-2i and GLP-1RA were first studied as glucose-lowering drugs, which may have impeded uptake by cardiologists in the wake of proven cardiovascular efficacy. Their significant effect on cardiovascular and kidney outcomes, which are largely independent of glucose-lowering effects, must drive a broader use of these drugs. Cardiologists are 3 times more likely than endocrinologists to see patients with both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, thus they are ideally positioned to share responsibility for SGLT-2i and GLP-1RA treatment with primary care providers. In order to increase adoption, SGLT-2i and GLP-1RA must be reframed as primarily cardiovascular and kidney disease risk-reducing agents with a side effect of glucose-lowering. Coordinated and multifaceted interventions engaging clinicians, patients, payers, professional societies, and health systems must be implemented to incentivize the adoption of these medications as part of routine cardiovascular and kidney care. Greater use of SGLT-2i and GLP-1RA will improve outcomes for patients with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular and kidney disease.



Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:74-84
Nelson AJ, Pagidipati NJ, Aroda VR, Cavender MA, ... McGuire DK, Granger CB
Circulation: 05 Jul 2021; 144:74-84 | PMID: 34228476
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Impact:
Abstract

Interleukin-1α (IL-1α) is a Central Regulator of Leukocyte-Endothelial Adhesion in Myocardial Infarction and in Chronic Kidney Disease.

Schunk SJ, Triem S, Schmit D, Zewinger S, ... Ampofo E, Speer T
Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are highly prevalent, aggravate each other, and account for substantial mortality. Both conditions are characterized by activation of the innate immune system. The alarmin IL-1α is expressed in a variety of cell types promoting (sterile) systemic inflammation. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of IL-1α in mediating inflammation in the setting of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and CKD.
Methods:
We assessed the expression of IL-1α on the surface of monocytes from patients with AMI and patients with CKD and determined its association with atherosclerotic CVD events during follow-up in an explorative clinical study. Furthermore, we assessed the inflammatory effects of IL-1α in several organ injury models in Il1a-/- and Il1b-/- mice and investigated the underlying mechanisms in vitro in monocytes and endothelial cells.
Results:
IL-1α is strongly expressed on the surface of monocytes from patients with AMI and CKD compared to healthy controls. Higher IL-1α surface expression on monocytes from patients with AMI and CKD was associated with a higher risk for atherosclerotic CVD events, which underlines the clinical relevance of IL-1α. In mice, IL-1α, but not IL-1β, mediates leukocyte-endothelial adhesion as determined by intravital microscopy. IL-1α promotes accumulation of macrophages and neutrophils in inflamed tissue in vivo. Furthermore, IL-1α on monocytes stimulates their homing at sites of vascular injury. A variety of stimuli such as free fatty acids or oxalate crystals induce IL-1α surface expression and release by monocytes, which then mediates their adhesion to the endothelium via IL-1 receptor-1. Besides, IL-1α promotes expression of the vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) on endothelial cells thereby fostering the adhesion of circulating leukocytes. IL-1α induces inflammatory injury after experimental AMI and abrogation of IL-1α prevents the development of CKD in oxalate or adenine-fed mice. Conclusions: IL-1α represents a key mediator of leukocyte-endothelial adhesion and inflammation in AMI and CKD. Inhibition of IL-1α may serve as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment strategy.




Circulation: 30 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Schunk SJ, Triem S, Schmit D, Zewinger S, ... Ampofo E, Speer T
Circulation: 30 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34192892
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Impact:
Abstract

Evidence-Based Practices in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Bangalore S, Barsness GW, Dangas GD, Kern MJ, ... American Heart Association Interventional Cardiovascular Care Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; and Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health
Cardiac catheterization procedures have rapidly evolved and expanded in scope and techniques over the past few decades. However, although some practices have emerged based on evidence, many traditions have persisted based on beliefs and theoretical concerns. The aim of this review is to highlight common preprocedure, intraprocedure, and postprocedure catheterization laboratory practices where evidence has accumulated over the past few decades to support or discount traditionally held practices.



Circulation: 29 Jun 2021:CIR0000000000000996; epub ahead of print
Bangalore S, Barsness GW, Dangas GD, Kern MJ, ... American Heart Association Interventional Cardiovascular Care Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; and Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health
Circulation: 29 Jun 2021:CIR0000000000000996; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34187171
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Abstract

Defective Flow-Migration Coupling Causes Arteriovenous Malformations in Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia.

Park H, Furtado J, Poulet M, Chung M, ... Schwartz MA, Eichmann A
Background: Activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) is an endothelial transmembrane serine threonine kinase receptor for BMP family ligands that plays a critical role in cardiovascular development and pathology. Loss-of-function mutations in the ALK1 gene cause type 2 hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), a devastating disorder that leads to arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Here we show that ALK1 controls endothelial cell polarization against the direction of blood flow and flow-induced endothelial migration from veins through capillaries into arterioles.
Methods:
Using Cre lines that recombine in different subsets of arterial, capillary-venous or endothelial tip cells, we showed that capillary-venous Alk1 deletion was sufficient to induce AVM formation in the postnatal retina.
Results:
ALK1 deletion impaired capillary-venous endothelial cell polarization against the direction of blood flow in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, ALK1 deficient cells exhibited increased integrin signaling interaction with VEGFR2, which enhanced downstream YAP/TAZ nuclear translocation. Pharmacological inhibition of integrin or YAP/TAZ signaling rescued flow migration coupling and prevented vascular malformations in Alk1 deficient mice. Conclusions: Our study reveals ALK1 as an essential driver of flow-induced endothelial cell migration and identifies loss of flow-migration coupling as a driver of AVM formation in HHT disease. Integrin-YAP/TAZ signaling blockers are new potential targets to prevent vascular malformations in HHT patients.




Circulation: 28 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Park H, Furtado J, Poulet M, Chung M, ... Schwartz MA, Eichmann A
Circulation: 28 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34182767
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Abstract

Lay Stakeholders in Science and Research Initiative: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association.

Roach WH, Bischoff JM, Dennis B, Donalson M, ... Wold LE, American Heart Association Research Committee
The American Heart Association (AHA) is the largest not-for-profit funder of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease research in the United States. It has supported research of independent scientists for 7 decades with the goal of finding novel discoveries that will reduce death and disability from these diseases and ultimately improve overall health. In 2014, the AHA approved a pilot initiative to include lay stakeholders (patients, caregivers, and passionate advocates) in its research and science operations. The initiative was based on the premise that lay stakeholders would add a unique and necessary perspective that would improve decisions concerning research funding, research direction, and scientific guidelines. The AHA developed a framework for the initiative that defined lay stakeholder, created a volunteer recruitment and training program, established policies for incorporating lay stakeholders into science operations, and set metrics for evaluating the initiative over time. It has instituted creative ways to engage lay volunteers and to foster lay and scientist cooperation. Program assessments have been consistently positive and have identified needed future improvements. The benefits of lay/scientist collaboration have far exceeded the AHA\'s expectations. The AHA will continue to strengthen lay volunteer engagement throughout its science and research operations; to focus on developing a larger, diverse group of qualified lay stakeholders; to educate scientists on how to communicate research effectively to the public and donors; and to retain the respect of donors for the rigors of its research funding, scientific statements, and clinical guidelines.



Circulation: 27 Jun 2021:CIR0000000000000999; epub ahead of print
Roach WH, Bischoff JM, Dennis B, Donalson M, ... Wold LE, American Heart Association Research Committee
Circulation: 27 Jun 2021:CIR0000000000000999; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34176278
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Abstract

Cardiac Troponin Thresholds and Kinetics to Differentiate Myocardial Injury and Myocardial Infarction.

Wereski R, Kimenai DM, Taggart C, Doudesis D, ... Chapman AR, Mills NL
Background: Whilst the 99th percentile is the recommended diagnostic threshold for myocardial infarction, some guidelines also advocate the use of higher troponin thresholds to rule-in myocardial infarction at presentation. It is unclear whether the magnitude or change in troponin concentration can differentiate causes of myocardial injury and infarction in practice.
Methods:
In a secondary analysis of a multi-centre randomized controlled trial, we identified 46,092 consecutive patients presenting with suspected acute coronary syndrome without ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I concentrations at presentation and on serial testing were compared between patients with myocardial injury and infarction. The positive predictive value (PPV) and specificity were determined at the sex-specific 99th percentile upper reference limit (URL), and rule-in thresholds of 64 ng/L and 5-fold of the URL for a diagnosis of type 1 myocardial infarction.
Results:
Troponin was above the 99th percentile in 8,188 (18%) patients. The diagnosis was type 1 or type 2 myocardial infarction in 50% and 14%, and acute or chronic myocardial injury in 20% and 16%, respectively. Troponin concentrations were similar at presentation in type 1 (median [25th percentile - 75th percentile] 91 [30-493] ng/L) and type 2 (50 [22-147] ng/L) myocardial infarction, and in acute (50 [26-134] ng/L) and chronic (51 [31-130] ng/L) myocardial injury. The 99th percentile and rule-in thresholds of 64 ng/L and 5-fold URL gave a PPV of 57% (95% confidence interval [CI] 56-58%), 59% (58-61%) and 62% (60-64%), and a specificity of 96% (96-96%), 96% (96-96%) and 98% (97-98%), respectively. The absolute, relative and rate of change in troponin concentration was highest in patients with type 1 myocardial infarction (P<0.001 for all). Discrimination improved when troponin concentration and change in troponin were combined compared to troponin concentration at presentation alone (area under curve, 0.661 [0.642-0.680] versus 0.613 [0.594-0.633]). Conclusions: Although we observed important differences in the kinetics, cardiac troponin concentrations at presentation are insufficient to distinguish type 1 myocardial infarction from other causes of myocardial injury or infarction in practice and should not guide management decisions in isolation. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01852123.




Circulation: 24 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Wereski R, Kimenai DM, Taggart C, Doudesis D, ... Chapman AR, Mills NL
Circulation: 24 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34167318
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Abstract

Derivation and Validation of a 10-Year Risk Score for Symptomatic Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: A Cohort Study of Nearly 500,000 Individuals.

Welsh P, Welsh CE, Jhund PS, Woodward M, ... Forbes J, Sattar N
Background: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can occur in patients who are ineligible for routine ultrasound screening. A simple AAA risk score was derived and compared to current guidelines used for ultrasound screening of AAA.
Methods:
UK Biobank participants without previous AAA were split into a derivation cohort (n=401,820, 54.6% women, mean age 56.4 years, 95.5% white race) and validation cohort (n=83,816). Incident AAA was defined as first hospital inpatient diagnosis of AAA, death from AAA, or an AAA-related surgical procedure. A multivariable Cox model was developed in the derivation cohort into an AAA risk score that did not require blood biomarkers. To illustrate the sensitivity and specificity of the risk score for AAA, a theoretical threshold to refer patients for ultrasound at 0.25% 10-year risk was modelled. Discrimination of the risk score was compared to a model of US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) AAA screening guidelines.
Results:
In the derivation cohort there were 1,570 (0.40%) cases of AAA over a median 11.3 years of follow-up. Components of the AAA risk score were age (stratified by smoking status), weight (stratified by smoking status), antihypertensive and cholesterol lowering medication use, height, diastolic blood pressure, baseline cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In the validation cohort, over ten years of follow-up, the C-index for the model of the USPSTF guidelines was 0.705 (95% CI 0.678, 0.733). The C-index of the risk score as a continuous variable was 0.856 (95%CI 0.837-0.878). In the validation cohort, the USPSTF model yielded sensitivity 63.9% and specificity 71.3%. At the 0.25% 10-year risk threshold, the risk score yielded sensitivity 82.1% and specificity 70.7%, while also improving the net reclassification index (NRI) compared to the USPSTF model +0.176 (95%CI 0.120, 0.232). A combined model, whereby risk scoring was combined with the USPSTF model, also improved prediction compared to USPSTF alone (NRI +0.101, 95%CI 0.055, 0.147). Conclusions: In an asymptomatic general population, a risk score based on patient age, height, weight and medical history may improve identification of asymptomatic patients at risk for clinical events from AAA. Further development and validation of risk scores to detect asymptomatic AAA is needed.




Circulation: 24 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Welsh P, Welsh CE, Jhund PS, Woodward M, ... Forbes J, Sattar N
Circulation: 24 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34167317
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Abstract

Dysregulated Phenylalanine Catabolism Plays a Key Role in the Trajectory of Cardiac Aging.

Czibik G, Mezdari Z, Altintas DM, Bréhat J, ... Sawaki D, Derumeaux G
Background: Aging myocardium undergoes progressive cardiac hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis with diastolic and systolic dysfunction. Recent metabolomics studies shed light on amino acids in aging. The present study aimed to dissect how aging leads to elevated plasma levels of the essential amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) and how it may promote age-related cardiac dysfunction.
Methods:
We studied cardiac structure and function, together with Phe catabolism in wild-type (WT) and p21-/- mice (male; 2 to 24 months), the latter known to be protected from cellular senescence. To explore Phe\'s effects on cellular senescence and ectopic Phe catabolism we treated cardiomyocytes (primary adult rat or human AC-16) with Phe. To establish a role for Phe in driving cardiac aging, WT male mice were treated twice a day with Phe (200 mg/kg) for a month. We also treated aged WT mice with tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4; 10 mg/kg), the essential cofactor for the Phe-degrading enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), or restricted dietary Phe intake. The impact of senescence on hepatic Phe catabolism was explored in vitro in AML12 hepatocytes treated with Nutlin3a (a p53 activator), with or without p21-targeting siRNA or BH4, with quantification of PAH and tyrosine levels.
Results:
Natural aging is associated with a progressive increase in plasma Phe levels concomitant with cardiac dysfunction, whilst p21 deletion delayed these changes. Phe treatment induced premature cardiac deterioration in young WT mice, strikingly akin to that occurring with aging, whilst triggering cellular senescence, redox and epigenetic changes. Pharmacological restoration of Phe catabolism with BH4 administration or dietary Phe restriction abrogated the rise in plasma Phe and reversed cardiac senescent alterations in aged WT mice. Observations from aged mice and human samples implicated age-related decline in hepatic Phe catabolism as a key driver of elevated plasma Phe levels and showed increased myocardial PAH-mediated Phe catabolism, a novel signature of cardiac aging. Conclusions: Our findings establish a pathogenic role for increased Phe levels in cardiac aging, linking plasma Phe levels to cardiac senescence via dysregulated Phe catabolism along a hepatic-cardiac axis. They highlight Phe/PAH modulation as a potential therapeutic strategy for age-associated cardiac impairment.




Circulation: 23 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Czibik G, Mezdari Z, Altintas DM, Bréhat J, ... Sawaki D, Derumeaux G
Circulation: 23 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34162223
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Abstract

Functional Calsequestrin-1 Is Expressed in the Heart and Its Deficiency Is Causally Related to Malignant Hyperthermia-Like Arrhythmia.

Sun Z, Wang L, Han L, Wang Y, ... Zheng Y, Luo D
Background: Calsequestrins (Casqs), comprising the Casq1 and Casq2 isoforms, buffer Ca2+ and regulate its release in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of skeletal and cardiac muscle, respectively. Human inherited diseases associated with mutations in CASQ1 or CASQ2 include malignant hyperthermia/environmental heat stroke (MH/EHS) and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. However, patients with an MH/EHS event often suffer from arrhythmia for which the underlying mechanism remains unknown.
Methods:
Working hearts from conventional (Casq1-KO) and cardiac-specific (Casq1-CKO) Casq1 knockout mice were monitored in vivo and ex vivo by electrocardiogram and electrical mapping, respectively. MH was induced by 2% isoflurane and treated intraperitoneally with dantrolene. Time-lapse imaging was used to monitor intracellular Ca2+ activity in isolated mouse cardiomyocytes or neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) with knockdown, over-expression or truncation of the Casq1 gene. Conformational change in both Casqs was determined by crosslinking Western blot analysis.
Results:
Like MH/EHS patients, Casq1-KO and Casq1-CKO mice had faster basal heart rate, and ventricular tachycardia upon exposure to 2% isoflurane, which could be relieved by dantrolene. Basal sinus tachycardia and ventricular ectopic electrical triggering also occurred in Casq1-KO hearts ex vivo. Accordingly, the ventricular cardiomyocytes from Casq1-CKO mice displayed dantrolene-sensitive increased Ca2+ waves and diastole premature Ca2+ transients/oscillations upon isoflurane. NRVMs with Casq1-knockdown had enhanced spontaneous Ca2+ sparks/transients upon isoflurane, while cells over-expressing Casq1 exhibited decreased Ca2+ sparks/transients that were absent in cells with truncation of 9 amino acids at the C-terminus of Casq1. Structural evaluation showed that most of the Casq1 protein was present as a polymer and physically interacted with RyR2 in the ventricular SR. The Casq1 isoform was also expressed in human myocardium. Mechanistically, exposure to 2% isoflurane or heating at 41ºC induced Casq1 oligomerization in mouse ventricular and skeletal muscle tissues, leading to a reduced Casq1/RyR2 interaction and increased RyR2 activity in the ventricle. Conclusions: Casq1 is expressed in the heart, where it regulates SR Ca2+ release and heart rate. Casq1 deficiency independently causes MH/EHS-like ventricular arrhythmia by trigger-induced Casq1 oligomerization and a relief of its inhibitory effect on RyR2-mediated Ca2+ release, thus revealing a new inherited arrhythmia and a novel mechanism for MH/EHS arrhythmogenesis.




Circulation: 23 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Sun Z, Wang L, Han L, Wang Y, ... Zheng Y, Luo D
Circulation: 23 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34162222
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Abstract

Pravastatin versus Placebo in Pregnancies at High Risk of Term Preeclampsia.

Döbert M, Varouxaki AN, Mu AC, Syngelaki A, ... Wright D, Nicolaides KH
Background: Effective screening for term preeclampsia is provided by a combination of maternal factors with measurements of mean arterial pressure, serum placental growth factor and serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 at 35 to 37 weeks of gestation, with detection rate of about 75%, at screen positive rate of 10%. However, there is no known intervention to reduce the incidence of the disease.
Methods:
In this multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 1,120 women with singleton pregnancies at high-risk of term preeclampsia to receive pravastatin, at a dose of 20 mg per day, or placebo from 35 to 37 weeks of gestation until delivery or 41 weeks. The primary outcome was delivery with preeclampsia at any time after randomization. The analysis was performed according to intention-to-treat.
Results:
A total of 29 women withdrew consent during the trial. Preeclampsia occurred in 14.6% (80/548) participants in the pravastatin group and in 13.6% (74/543) in the placebo group. Allowing for the effect of risk at the time of screening and participating centre, the mixed effects Cox regression showed no evidence of an effect of pravastatin; hazard ratio (statin/placebo) 1.08 (95% confidence interval: 0.78, 1.49; p=0.65). There was no evidence of interaction between the effect of pravastatin, estimated risk of preeclampsia, previous pregnancy history, adherence and aspirin treatment. There was no significant between-group difference in the incidence of any secondary outcomes, including gestational hypertension, stillbirth, abruption, delivery of small for gestational age neonates, neonatal death or neonatal morbidity. There was no significant between-group difference in the treatment effects on serum placental growth factor and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 concentrations 1 and 3 weeks after randomization Adherence was good, with reported intake of 80% or more of the required number of tablets in 89% of participants. There were no significant between-group differences in neonatal adverse outcomes or other adverse events. Conclusions: Pravastatin in women at high risk of term preeclampsia did not reduce the incidence of delivery with preeclampsia. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://www.isrctn.com Unique Identifier ISRCTN16123934.




Circulation: 23 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Döbert M, Varouxaki AN, Mu AC, Syngelaki A, ... Wright D, Nicolaides KH
Circulation: 23 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34162218
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Abstract

Metabolic Syndrome Mediates ROS-miR-193b-NFYA-Dependent Down Regulation of sGC and Contributes to Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hypertension in HFpEF.

Satoh T, Wang L, Espinosa-Diez C, Wang B, ... McTiernan CF, Gladwin MT
Background: Many patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have metabolic syndrome and develop exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension (EIPH). Increases in pulmonary vascular resistance in patients with HFpEF portend a poor prognosis; this phenotype is referred to as combined pre-and post-capillary PH (CpcPH). Therapeutic trials for EIPH and CpcPH have been disappointing, suggesting the need for strategies that target upstream mechanisms of disease. This work reports novel rat EIPH models and mechanisms of pulmonary vascular dysfunction centered around the transcriptional repression of the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) enzyme in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PAVSMCs).
Methods:
We used obese ZSF-1 leptin-receptor knock-out rats (HFpEF model), obese ZSF-1 rats treated with SU5416 to stimulate resting PH (Obese+sugen, CpcPH model), and Lean ZSF-1 rats (controls). Right and left ventricular hemodynamics were evaluated via implanted-catheters during treadmill exercise. PA function was evaluated using MRI and myography. Overexpression of NFYA, a transcriptional-enhancer of sGCβ1, was performed by PA delivery of adeno-associated-virus 6 (AAV6). Treatment groups received SGLT2 inhibitor Empagliflozin in drinking water. PAVSMCs from rats and humans were cultured with Palmitic acid, Glucose, and Insulin (PGI) to induce metabolic-stress.
Results:
Obese rats showed normal resting right ventricular systolic pressures (RVSP) which significantly increased during exercise, modeling EIPH. Obese+sugen rats showed anatomical PA remodeling and developed elevated RVSP at rest, which was exacerbated with exercise, modeling CpcPH. Myography and MRI during dobutamine-challenge revealed PA functional impairment of both obese groups. PAs of obese rats produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased sGCβ1 expression. Mechanistically, cultured PAVSMCs from obese rats, humans with diabetes or treated with PGI, showed increased mitochondrial-ROS, which enhanced miR-193b-dependent RNA-degradation of NFYA, resulting in decreased sGCβ1-cGMP signaling. Forced NYFA expression by AAV6 delivery increased sGCβ1 levels and improved exercise-PH in Obese+sugen rats. Treatment of Obese+sugen rats with Empagliflozin improved metabolic syndrome, reduced mitochondrial ROS and miR-193b levels, restored NFYA/sGC activity, and prevented EIPH. Conclusions: In HFpEF and CpcPH models, metabolic syndrome contributes to pulmonary vascular dysfunction and EIPH through enhanced ROS and miR-193b expression, which down-regulates NFYA-dependent sGCβ1 expression. AAV-mediated NFYA overexpression and SGLT2 inhibition restores NFYA-sGCβ1-cGMP signaling and ameliorates EIPH.




Circulation: 22 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Satoh T, Wang L, Espinosa-Diez C, Wang B, ... McTiernan CF, Gladwin MT
Circulation: 22 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34157861
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Abstract

Extracellular Vesicles From Epicardial Fat Facilitate Atrial Fibrillation.

Shaihov-Teper O, Ram E, Ballan N, Brzezinski RY, ... Gepstein L, Leor J
Background
The role of epicardial fat (eFat)-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation (AF) has never been studied. We tested the hypothesis that eFat-EVs transmit proinflammatory, profibrotic, and proarrhythmic molecules that induce atrial myopathy and fibrillation.
Methods
We collected eFat specimens from patients with (n=32) and without AF (n=30) during elective heart surgery. eFat samples were grown as organ cultures, and the culture medium was collected every 2 days. We then isolated and purified eFat-EVs from the culture medium, and analyzed the EV number, size, morphology, specific markers, encapsulated cytokines, proteome, and microRNAs. Next, we evaluated the biological effects of unpurified and purified EVs on atrial mesenchymal stromal cells and endothelial cells in vitro. To establish a causal association between eFat-EVs and vulnerability to AF, we modeled AF in vitro using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.
Results
Microscopic examination revealed excessive inflammation, fibrosis, and apoptosis in fresh and cultured eFat tissues. Cultured explants from patients with AF secreted more EVs and harbored greater amounts of proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines, and profibrotic microRNA, as well, than those without AF. The proteomic analysis confirmed the distinctive profile of purified eFat-EVs from patients with AF. In vitro, purified and unpurified eFat-EVs from patients with AF had a greater effect on proliferation and migration of human mesenchymal stromal cells and endothelial cells, compared with eFat-EVs from patients without AF. Last, whereas eFat-EVs from patients with and without AF shortened the action potential duration of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, only eFat-EVs from patients with AF induced sustained reentry (rotor) in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.
Conclusions
We show, for the first time, a distinctive proinflammatory, profibrotic, and proarrhythmic signature of eFat-EVs from patients with AF. Our findings uncover another pathway by which eFat promotes the development of atrial myopathy and fibrillation.



Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2475-2493
Shaihov-Teper O, Ram E, Ballan N, Brzezinski RY, ... Gepstein L, Leor J
Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2475-2493 | PMID: 33793321
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Abstract

Systems Approach to Discovery of Therapeutic Targets for Vein Graft Disease: PPARα Pivotally Regulates Metabolism, Activation, and Heterogeneity of Macrophages and Lesion Development.

Decano JL, Singh SA, Gasparotto Bueno C, Ho Lee L, ... Aikawa E, Aikawa M
Background
Vein graft failure remains a common clinical challenge. We applied a systems approach in mouse experiments to discover therapeutic targets for vein graft failure.
Methods
Global proteomics and high-dimensional clustering on multiple vein graft tissues were used to identify potential pathogenic mechanisms. The PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors) pathway served as an example to substantiate our discovery platform. In vivo mouse experiments with macrophage-targeted PPARα small interfering RNA, or the novel, selective activator pemafibrate demonstrate the role of PPARα in the development and inflammation of vein graft lesions. In vitro experiments further included metabolomic profiling, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, flow cytometry, metabolic assays, and single-cell RNA sequencing on primary human and mouse macrophages.
Results
We identified changes in the vein graft proteome associated with immune responses, lipid metabolism regulated by the PPARs, fatty acid metabolism, matrix remodeling, and hematopoietic cell mobilization. PPARα agonism by pemafibrate retarded the development and inflammation of vein graft lesions in mice, whereas gene silencing worsened plaque formation. Pemafibrate also suppressed arteriovenous fistula lesion development. Metabolomics/lipidomics, functional metabolic assays, and single-cell analysis of cultured human macrophages revealed that PPARα modulates macrophage glycolysis, citrate metabolism, mitochondrial membrane sphingolipid metabolism, and heterogeneity.
Conclusions
This study explored potential drivers of vein graft inflammation and identified PPARα as a novel potential pharmacological treatment for this unmet medical need.



Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2454-2470
Decano JL, Singh SA, Gasparotto Bueno C, Ho Lee L, ... Aikawa E, Aikawa M
Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2454-2470 | PMID: 33821665
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Impact:
Abstract

Effect of Denosumab or Alendronic Acid on the Progression of Aortic Stenosis: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial.

Pawade TA, Doris MK, Bing R, White AC, ... Newby DE, Dweck MR
Background
Valvular calcification is central to the pathogenesis and progression of aortic stenosis, with preclinical and observational studies suggesting that bone turnover and osteoblastic differentiation of valvular interstitial cells are important contributory mechanisms. We aimed to establish whether inhibition of these pathways with denosumab or alendronic acid could reduce disease progression in aortic stenosis.
Methods
In a single-center, parallel group, double-blind randomized controlled trial, patients >50 years of age with calcific aortic stenosis (peak aortic jet velocity >2.5 m/s) were randomized 2:1:2:1 to denosumab (60 mg every 6 months), placebo injection, alendronic acid (70 mg once weekly), or placebo capsule. Participants underwent serial assessments with Doppler echocardiography, computed tomography aortic valve calcium scoring, and 18F-sodium fluoride positron emission tomography and computed tomography. The primary end point was the calculated 24-month change in aortic valve calcium score.
Results
A total of 150 patients (mean age, 72±8 years; 21% women) with calcific aortic stenosis (peak aortic jet velocity, 3.36 m/s [2.93-3.82 m/s]; aortic valve calcium score, 1152 AU [655-2065 AU]) were randomized and received the allocated trial intervention: denosumab (n=49), alendronic acid (n=51), and placebo (injection n=25, capsule n=25; pooled for analysis). Serum C-terminal telopeptide, a measure of bone turnover, halved from baseline to 6 months with denosumab (0.23 [0.18-0.33 µg/L] to 0.11 µg/L [0.08-0.17 µg/L]) and alendronic acid (0.20 [0.14-0.28 µg/L] to 0.09 µg/L [0.08-0.13 µg/L]) but was unchanged with placebo (0.23 [0.17-0.30 µg/L] to 0.26 µg/L [0.16-0.31 µg/L]). There were no differences in 24-month change in aortic valve calcium score between denosumab and placebo (343 [198-804 AU] versus 354 AU [76-675 AU]; P=0.41) or alendronic acid and placebo (326 [138-813 AU] versus 354 AU [76-675 AU]; P=0.49). Similarly, there were no differences in change in peak aortic jet velocity or 18F-sodium fluoride aortic valve uptake.
Conclusions
Neither denosumab nor alendronic acid affected progression of aortic valve calcification in patients with calcific aortic stenosis. Alternative pathways and mechanisms need to be explored to identify disease-modifying therapies for the growing population of patients with this potentially fatal condition. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT02132026.



Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2418-2427
Pawade TA, Doris MK, Bing R, White AC, ... Newby DE, Dweck MR
Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2418-2427 | PMID: 33913339
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Impact:
Abstract

Efficacy and Safety of Using Dual Versus Monotherapy Antiplatelet Agents in Secondary Stroke Prevention: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials.

Trifan G, Gorelick PB, Testai FD
Background
Dual antiplatelet treatment (DAPT) with aspirin plus clopidogrel for a limited time is recommended after minor noncardioembolic stroke.
Methods
We performed a meta-analysis of all major studies that compared the efficacy and safety of DAPT versus monotherapy for the secondary prevention of recurrent stroke or transient ischemic attack. The primary outcomes were stroke and the composite of stroke, transient ischemic attack, acute coronary syndrome, and death from any cause. The safety outcome was major hemorrhage. Relative risk (RR) and 95% CIs were calculated. Heterogeneity was assessed by I2 and Cochrane Q statistics.
Results
The analysis included 27 358 patients, the quality of evidence was moderate to low, and the heterogeneity for all the comparisons was low (I2≤25%). Compared with monotherapy, DAPT reduced the risk of recurrent stroke (RR, 0.71 [95% CI, 0.63-0.81]) and composite outcome (RR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.69-0.83]) but increased the risk of major bleeding (RR, 2.17 [95% CI, 1.45-3.25]). In the subgroup analysis, ≤30 days of DAPT increased the risk of hemorrhage relative to monotherapy (RR, 1.94 [95% CI, 1.08-3.52]). In the sensitivity analysis, the risk for hemorrhage with ≤30 days of DAPT after excluding the combination of aspirin plus ticagrelor was comparable to monotherapy (RR, 1.42 [95% CI, 0.77-2.60]). However, the risk for stroke recurrence and composite outcomes in the subgroup and sensitivity analyses remain decreased compared with monotherapy.
Conclusions
DAPT decreases the risk of recurrent stroke and composite events compared with monotherapy. DAPT increases the risk of major hemorrhage, except if the treatment is limited to 30 days and does not include the combination of aspirin plus ticagrelor.



Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2441-2453
Trifan G, Gorelick PB, Testai FD
Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2441-2453 | PMID: 33926204
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Abstract

Evaluation and Management of Aortic Stenosis in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Shroff GR, Bangalore S, Bhave NM, Chang TI, ... Pibarot P, American Heart Association Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Council
Aortic stenosis with concomitant chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents a clinical challenge. Aortic stenosis is more prevalent and progresses more rapidly and unpredictably in CKD, and the presence of CKD is associated with worse short-term and long-term outcomes after aortic valve replacement. Because patients with advanced CKD and end-stage kidney disease have been excluded from randomized trials, clinicians need to make complex management decisions in this population that are based on retrospective and observational evidence. This statement summarizes the epidemiological and pathophysiological characteristics of aortic stenosis in the context of CKD, evaluates the nuances and prognostic information provided by noninvasive cardiovascular imaging with echocardiography and advanced imaging techniques, and outlines the special risks in this population. Furthermore, this statement provides a critical review of the existing literature pertaining to clinical outcomes of surgical versus transcatheter aortic valve replacement in this high-risk population to help guide clinical decision making in the choice of aortic valve replacement and specific prosthesis. Finally, this statement provides an approach to the perioperative management of these patients, with special attention to a multidisciplinary heart-kidney collaborative team-based approach.



Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:e1088-e1114
Shroff GR, Bangalore S, Bhave NM, Chang TI, ... Pibarot P, American Heart Association Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Council
Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:e1088-e1114 | PMID: 33980041
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Abstract

Prevention of Cardiac Dysfunction During Adjuvant Breast Cancer Therapy (PRADA): Extended Follow-Up of a 2×2 Factorial, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Candesartan and Metoprolol.

Heck SL, Mecinaj A, Ree AH, Hoffmann P, ... Gulati G, Omland T
Background
Adjuvant breast cancer therapy containing anthracyclines with or without anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 antibodies and radiotherapy is associated with cancer treatment-related cardiac dysfunction. In the PRADA trial (Prevention of Cardiac Dysfunction During Adjuvant Breast Cancer Therapy), concomitant treatment with the angiotensin receptor blocker candesartan attenuated the reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in women receiving treatment for breast cancer, whereas the β-blocker metoprolol attenuated the increase in cardiac troponins. This study aimed to assess the long-term effects of candesartan and metoprolol or their combination to prevent a reduction in cardiac function and myocardial injury.
Methods
In this 2×2 factorial, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, single-center trial, patients with early breast cancer were assigned to concomitant treatment with candesartan cilexetil, metoprolol succinate, or matching placebos. Target doses were 32 and 100 mg, respectively. Study drugs were discontinued after adjuvant therapy. All 120 validly randomized patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The primary outcome measure was change in LVEF assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging from baseline to extended follow-up. Secondary outcome measures included changes in left ventricular volumes, echocardiographic peak global longitudinal strain, and circulating cardiac troponin concentrations.
Results
A small decline in LVEF but no significant between-group differences were observed from baseline to extended follow-up, at a median of 23 months (interquartile range, 21 to 28 months) after randomization (candesartan, 1.7% [95% CI, 0.5 to 2.8]; no candesartan, 1.8% [95% CI, 0.6 to 3.0]; metoprolol, 1.6% [95% CI, 0.4 to 2.7]; no metoprolol, 1.9% [95% CI, 0.7 to 3.0]). Candesartan treatment during adjuvant therapy was associated with a significant reduction in left ventricular end-diastolic volume compared with the noncandesartan group (P=0.021) and attenuated decline in global longitudinal strain (P=0.046) at 2 years. No between-group differences in change in cardiac troponin I and T concentrations were observed.
Conclusions
Anthracycline-containing adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer was associated with a decline in LVEF during extended follow-up. Candesartan during adjuvant therapy did not prevent reduction in LVEF at 2 years, but was associated with modest reduction in left ventricular end-diastolic volume and preserved global longitudinal strain. These results suggest that a broadly administered cardioprotective approach may not be required in most patients with early breast cancer without preexisting cardiovascular disease. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01434134.



Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2431-2440
Heck SL, Mecinaj A, Ree AH, Hoffmann P, ... Gulati G, Omland T
Circulation: 21 Jun 2021; 143:2431-2440 | PMID: 33993702
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Abstract

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Yeghiazarians Y, Jneid H, Tietjens JR, Redline S, ... Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation; Stroke Council; and Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by recurrent complete and partial upper airway obstructive events, resulting in intermittent hypoxemia, autonomic fluctuation, and sleep fragmentation. Approximately 34% and 17% of middle-aged men and women, respectively, meet the diagnostic criteria for OSA. Sleep disturbances are common and underdiagnosed among middle-aged and older adults, and the prevalence varies by race/ethnicity, sex, and obesity status. OSA prevalence is as high as 40% to 80% in patients with hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease, pulmonary hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and stroke. Despite its high prevalence in patients with heart disease and the vulnerability of cardiac patients to OSA-related stressors and adverse cardiovascular outcomes, OSA is often underrecognized and undertreated in cardiovascular practice. We recommend screening for OSA in patients with resistant/poorly controlled hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, and recurrent atrial fibrillation after either cardioversion or ablation. In patients with New York Heart Association class II to IV heart failure and suspicion of sleep-disordered breathing or excessive daytime sleepiness, a formal sleep assessment is reasonable. In patients with tachy-brady syndrome or ventricular tachycardia or survivors of sudden cardiac death in whom sleep apnea is suspected after a comprehensive sleep assessment, evaluation for sleep apnea should be considered. After stroke, clinical equipoise exists with respect to screening and treatment. Patients with nocturnally occurring angina, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, or appropriate shocks from implanted cardioverter-defibrillators may be especially likely to have comorbid sleep apnea. All patients with OSA should be considered for treatment, including behavioral modifications and weight loss as indicated. Continuous positive airway pressure should be offered to patients with severe OSA, whereas oral appliances can be considered for those with mild to moderate OSA or for continuous positive airway pressure-intolerant patients. Follow-up sleep testing should be performed to assess the effectiveness of treatment.



Circulation: 20 Jun 2021:CIR0000000000000988; epub ahead of print
Yeghiazarians Y, Jneid H, Tietjens JR, Redline S, ... Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation; Stroke Council; and Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia
Circulation: 20 Jun 2021:CIR0000000000000988; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34148375
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Abstract

Targeting E3 Ubiquitin-Ligase WWP1 Prevents Cardiac Hypertrophy Through Destabilizing DVL2 via Inhibition of K27-Linked Ubiquitination.

Zhao D, Zhong G, Li J, Pan J, ... Li Y, Ling S
Background: Without adequate treatment, pathological cardiac hypertrophy induced by sustained pressure overload eventually leads to HF (HF). WW domain- containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1 (WWP1) is an important regulator of aging-related pathologies, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of WWP1 in pressure overload-induced cardiac remodeling and HF is yet to be determined.
Methods:
To examine the correlation of WWP1 with hypertrophy, we analyzed WWP1 expression in patients with HF and mice subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) by Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining. TAC surgery was performed on WWP1 knockout (KO) mice to assess the role of WWP1 in cardiac hypertrophy, heart function was examined by echocardiography and related cellular and molecular markers were examined. Mass spectrometry and coimmunoprecipitation assays were conducted to identify the proteins that interacted with WWP1. Pulse-chase assay, ubiquitination assay, reporter gene assay and an in vivo mouse model via adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) were used to explore the mechanisms by which WWP1 regulates cardiac remodeling. AAV9 carrying cTnT promoter driven small hairpin RNA targeting WWP1 (AAV9-cTnT-shWWP1) was administered to investigate its rescue role in TAC-induced cardiac dysfunction.
Results:
The WWP1 level was significantly increased in the hypertrophic hearts from patients with HF and mice subjected to TAC. The results of echocardiography and histology demonstrated that WWP1 KO protected the heart from TAC-induced hypertrophy. There was a direct interaction between WWP1 and disheveled segment polarity protein 2 (DVL2). DVL2 was stabilized by WWP1 mediated K27-linked polyubiquitination. The role of WWP1 in pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy was mediated by the DVL2/CaMKII/HDAC4/MEF2C signaling pathway. Therapeutic targeting WWP1 almost abolished TAC induced heart dysfunction, suggesting WWP1 as a potential target for treating cardiac hypertrophy and failure. Conclusions: We identified WWP1 as a key therapeutic target for pressure overload induced cardiac remodeling. We also found a novel mechanism regulated by WWP1. WWP1 promotes atypical K27-linked ubiquitin multichain assembly on DVL2 and exacerbates cardiac hypertrophy by the DVL2/CaMKII/HDAC4/MEF2C pathway.




Circulation: 17 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Zhao D, Zhong G, Li J, Pan J, ... Li Y, Ling S
Circulation: 17 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34139860
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Abstract

Prioritizing the Role of Major Lipoproteins and Subfractions as Risk Factors for Peripheral Artery Disease.

Levin MG, Zuber V, Walker VM, Klarin D, ... Damrauer SM, VA Million Veteran Program
Background: Lipoprotein-related traits have been consistently identified as risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, largely on the basis of studies of coronary artery disease (CAD). The relative contributions of specific lipoproteins to risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD) have not been well-defined. We leveraged large-scale genetic association data to investigate effects of circulating lipoprotein-related traits on PAD risk.
Methods:
Genome-wide association study summary statistics for circulating lipoprotein-related traits were used in the MR Bayesian model averaging framework to prioritize the most likely causal major lipoprotein and subfraction risk factors for PAD and CAD. MR was used to estimate the effect of ApoB-lowering on PAD risk using gene regions proxying lipid-lowering drug targets. Genes relevant to prioritized lipoprotein subfractions were identified using transcriptome-wide association studies.
Results:
ApoB was identified as the most likely causal lipoprotein-related risk factor for both PAD (marginal inclusion probability [MIP] 0.86, p = 0.003) and CAD (MIP 0.92, p = 0.005). Genetic proxies for ApoB (apolipoprotein B)-lowering medications were associated with reduced risk of both PAD (OR 0.87 per 1 standard deviation decrease in ApoB, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.91, p = 9 x 10-10) and CAD (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.69, p = 4 x 10-73), with a stronger predicted effect of ApoB-lowering on CAD (ratio of effects 3.09, 95% CI 2.29 to 4.60, p < 1 × 10-6). Extra-small-VLDL particle concentration (XS.VLDL.P) was identified as the most likely subfraction associated with PAD risk (MIP 0.91, p = 2.3 x 10-4), while large-LDL particle concentration (L.LDL.P) was the most likely subfraction associated with CAD risk (MIP 0.95, p = 0.011). Genes associated with XS.VLDL.P and L.LDL.P included canonical ApoB-pathway components, although gene-specific effects were variable. Lipoprotein(a) was associated with increased risk of PAD, independent of ApoB (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.04, 95% CI 1.0 x 10-33). Conclusions: ApoB was prioritized as the major lipoprotein fraction causally responsible for both PAD and CAD risk. However, ApoB-lowering drug targets and ApoB-containing lipoprotein subfractions had diverse associations with ASCVD, and distinct subfraction-associated genes suggest possible differences in the role of lipoproteins in the pathogenesis of PAD and CAD.




Circulation: 17 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Levin MG, Zuber V, Walker VM, Klarin D, ... Damrauer SM, VA Million Veteran Program
Circulation: 17 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34139859
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Abstract

Association of Serum Aldosterone and Plasma Renin Activity With Ambulatory Blood Pressure in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study.

Joseph JJ, Pohlman NK, Zhao S, Kline D, ... Shimbo D, Golden SH
Background
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is an important driver of blood pressure (BP), but the association of the RAAS with ambulatory BP (ABP) and ABP monitoring phenotypes among African Americans has not been assessed.
Methods
ABP and ABP monitoring phenotypes were assessed in 912 Jackson Heart Study participants with aldosterone and plasma renin activity (PRA). Multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the association of aldosterone and PRA with clinic, awake, and asleep systolic BP and diastolic BP (DBP) and ABP monitoring phenotypes, adjusting for important confounders.
Results
The mean age of participants was 59±11 years and 69% were female. In fully adjusted models, lower log-PRA was associated with higher clinic, awake, and asleep systolic BP and DBP (all P<0.05). A higher log-aldosterone was associated with higher clinic, awake, and asleep DBP (all P<0.05). A 1-unit higher log-PRA was associated with lower odds of daytime hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0.59 [95% CI, 0.49-0.71]), nocturnal hypertension (OR, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.58-0.79]), daytime and nocturnal hypertension (OR, 0.59 [95% CI, 0.48-0.71]), sustained hypertension (OR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.39-0.70]), and masked hypertension (OR 0.75 [95% CI, 0.62-0.90]). A 1-unit higher log-aldosterone was associated with higher odds of nocturnal hypertension (OR, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.05-1.81]). Neither PRA nor aldosterone was associated with percent dipping, nondipping BP pattern, or white-coat hypertension. Patterns for aldosterone:renin ratio were similar to patterns for PRA.
Conclusions
Suppressed renin activity and higher aldosterone:renin ratios were associated with higher systolic BP and DBP in the office and during the awake and asleep periods as evidenced by ABP monitoring. Higher aldosterone levels were associated with higher DBP, but not systolic BP, in the clinic and during the awake and asleep periods. Further clinical investigation of novel and approved medications that target low renin physiology such as epithelial sodium channel inhibitors and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists may be paramount in improving hypertension control in African Americans.



Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2355-2366
Joseph JJ, Pohlman NK, Zhao S, Kline D, ... Shimbo D, Golden SH
Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2355-2366 | PMID: 33605160
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Abstract

Development and Validation of Machine Learning-Based Race-Specific Models to Predict 10-Year Risk of Heart Failure: A Multicohort Analysis.

Segar MW, Jaeger BC, Patel KV, Nambi V, ... de Lemos JA, Pandey A
Background
Heart failure (HF) risk and the underlying risk factors vary by race. Traditional models for HF risk prediction treat race as a covariate in risk prediction and do not account for significant parameters such as cardiac biomarkers. Machine learning (ML) may offer advantages over traditional modeling techniques to develop race-specific HF risk prediction models and to elucidate important contributors of HF development across races.
Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of 4 large, community cohort studies (ARIC [Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities], DHS [Dallas Heart Study], JHS [Jackson Heart Study], and MESA [Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis]) with adjudicated HF events. The study included participants who were >40 years of age and free of HF at baseline. Race-specific ML models for HF risk prediction were developed in the JHS cohort (for Black race-specific model) and White adults from ARIC (for White race-specific model). The models included 39 candidate variables across demographic, anthropometric, medical history, laboratory, and electrocardiographic domains. The ML models were externally validated and compared with prior established traditional and non-race-specific ML models in race-specific subgroups of the pooled MESA/DHS cohort and Black participants of ARIC. The Harrell C-index and Greenwood-Nam-D\'Agostino χ2 tests were used to assess discrimination and calibration, respectively.
Results
The ML models had excellent discrimination in the derivation cohorts for Black (n=4141 in JHS, C-index=0.88) and White (n=7858 in ARIC, C-index=0.89) participants. In the external validation cohorts, the race-specific ML model demonstrated adequate calibration and superior discrimination (Black individuals, C-index=0.80-0.83; White individuals, C-index=0.82) compared with established HF risk models or with non-race-specific ML models derived with race included as a covariate. Among the risk factors, natriuretic peptide levels were the most important predictor of HF risk across both races, followed by troponin levels in Black and ECG-based Cornell voltage in White individuals. Other key predictors of HF risk among Black individuals were glycemic parameters and socioeconomic factors. In contrast, prevalent cardiovascular disease and traditional cardiovascular risk factors were stronger predictors of HF risk in White adults.
Conclusions
Race-specific and ML-based HF risk models that integrate clinical, laboratory, and biomarker data demonstrated superior performance compared with traditional HF risk and non-race-specific ML models. This approach identifies distinct race-specific contributors of HF.



Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2370-2383
Segar MW, Jaeger BC, Patel KV, Nambi V, ... de Lemos JA, Pandey A
Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2370-2383 | PMID: 33845593
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Abstract

Cost-Effectiveness of Hypertension Treatment by Pharmacists in Black Barbershops.

Bryant KB, Moran AE, Kazi DS, Zhang Y, ... Bibbins-Domingo K, Bellows BK
Background
In LABBPS (Los Angeles Barbershop Blood Pressure Study), pharmacist-led hypertension care in Los Angeles County Black-owned barbershops significantly improved blood pressure control in non-Hispanic Black men with uncontrolled hypertension at baseline. In this analysis, 10-year health outcomes and health care costs of 1 year of the LABBPS intervention versus control are projected.
Methods
A discrete event simulation of hypertension care processes projected blood pressure, medication-related adverse events, fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease events, and noncardiovascular disease death in LABBPS participants. Program costs, total direct health care costs (2019 US dollars), and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were estimated for the LABBPS intervention and control arms from a health care sector perspective over a 10-year horizon. Future costs and QALYs were discounted 3% annually. High and intermediate cost-effectiveness thresholds were defined as <$50 000 and <$150 000 per QALY gained, respectively.
Results
At 10 years, the intervention was projected to cost an average of $2356 (95% uncertainty interval, -$264 to $4611) more per participant than the control arm and gain 0.06 (95% uncertainty interval, 0.01-0.10) QALYs. The LABBPS intervention was highly cost-effective, with a mean cost of $42 717 per QALY gained (58% probability of being highly and 96% of being at least intermediately cost-effective). Exclusive use of generic drugs improved the cost-effectiveness to $17 162 per QALY gained. The LABBPS intervention would be only intermediately cost-effective if pharmacists were less likely to intensify antihypertensive medications when systolic blood pressure was ≥150 mm Hg or if pharmacist weekly time driving to barbershops increased.
Conclusions
Hypertension care delivered by clinical pharmacists in Black barbershops is a highly cost-effective way to improve blood pressure control in Black men.



Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2384-2394
Bryant KB, Moran AE, Kazi DS, Zhang Y, ... Bibbins-Domingo K, Bellows BK
Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2384-2394 | PMID: 33855861
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Abstract

Racial Diversity Among American Cardiologists: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future.

Johnson AE, Talabi MB, Bonifacino E, Culyba AJ, ... Wilson JD, South-Paul JE
In the United States, race-based disparities in cardiovascular disease care have proven to be pervasive, deadly, and expensive. African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native/Indigenous American individuals are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and are less likely to receive high-quality, evidence-based medical care as compared with their White American counterparts. Although the United States population is diverse, the cardiovascular workforce that provides its much-needed care lacks diversity. The available data show that care provided by physicians from racially diverse backgrounds is associated with better quality, both for minoritized patients and for majority patients. Not only is cardiovascular workforce diversity associated with improvements in health care quality, but racial diversity among academic teams and research scientists is linked with research quality. We outline documented barriers to achieving workforce diversity and suggest evidence-based strategies to overcome these barriers. Key strategies to enhance racial diversity in cardiology include improving recruitment and retention of racially diverse members of the cardiology workforce and focusing on cardiovascular health equity for patients. This review draws attention to academic institutions, but the implications should be considered relevant for nonacademic and community settings as well.



Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2395-2405
Johnson AE, Talabi MB, Bonifacino E, Culyba AJ, ... Wilson JD, South-Paul JE
Circulation: 14 Jun 2021; 143:2395-2405 | PMID: 34125564
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Abstract

TET2 Protects Against VSMC Apoptosis and Intimal Thickening in Transplant Vasculopathy.

Ostriker AC, Xie Y, Chakraborty R, Sizer AJ, ... Hwa J, Martin KA
Background: Coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a devastating sequelae of heart transplant in which arterial intimal thickening limits coronary blood flow. There are currently no targeted therapies to prevent or reduce this pathology that leads to transplant failure. Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotypic plasticity is critical in CAV neointima formation. TET methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (TET2) is an important epigenetic regulator of VSMC phenotype, but the role of TET2 in the progression of CAV is unknown.
Methods:
We assessed TET2 expression and activity in human CAV and renal transplant samples. We also employed the sex-mismatched murine aortic graft model of graft arteriopathy (GA) in wild type and inducible smooth muscle-specific Tet2 knockout mice; and in vitro studies in murine and human VSMCs using knockdown, overexpression, and transcriptomic approaches to assess the role of TET2 in VSMC responses to IFNу, a cytokine elaborated by T cells that drives CAV progression.
Results:
In the present study, we found that TET2 expression and activity is negatively regulated in human CAV and renal transplant samples and in the murine aortic graft model of GA. IFNу was sufficient to repress TET2 and induce an activated VSMC phenotype in vitro. TET2 depletion mimicked the effects of IFNу, and TET2 overexpression rescued IFNу-induced dedifferentiation. VSMC-specific TET2 depletion in aortic grafts, and in the femoral wire restenosis model, resulted in increased VSMC apoptosis and medial thinning. In GA, this apoptosis was tightly correlated with proliferation. In vitro, TET2 deficient VSMCs undergo apoptosis more readily in response to IFNγ and expressed a signature of increased susceptibility to extrinsic apoptotic signaling. Notably, enhancing TET2 enzymatic activity with high-dose ascorbic acid rescued the effect of GA-induced VSMC apoptosis and intimal thickening in a TET2-dependent manner. Conclusions: TET2 is repressed in CAV and GA, likely mediated by IFNу. TET2 serves to protect VSMCs from apoptosis in the context of transplant vasculopathy or IFNу stimulation. Promoting TET2 activity in vivo with systemic ascorbic acid reduces VSMC apoptosis and intimal thickening. These data suggest that promoting TET2 activity in CAV may be an effective strategy for limiting CAV progression.




Circulation: 10 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Ostriker AC, Xie Y, Chakraborty R, Sizer AJ, ... Hwa J, Martin KA
Circulation: 10 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34111946
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Abstract

Nanoparticle Delivery of STAT3 Alleviates Pulmonary Hypertension in a Mouse Model of Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia.

Sun F, Wang G, Pradhan A, Xu K, ... Molkentin JD, Kalinichenko VV
Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication in patients with Alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACDMPV), a severe congenital disorder associated with mutations in the FOXF1 gene. While the loss of alveolar microvasculature causes PH in ACDMPV patients, it is unknown whether increasing neonatal lung angiogenesis could prevent PH and right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy.
Methods:
We used echocardiography, RV catheterization, immunostaining and biochemical methods to examine lung and heart remodeling and RV output in Foxf1WT/S52F mice carrying the S52F Foxf1 mutation (identified in ACDMPV patients). The ability of Foxf1WT/S52F mutant embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to differentiate into respiratory cell lineages in vivo was examined using blastocyst complementation. Intravascular delivery of nanoparticles with a non-integrating Stat3 expression vector was used to improve neonatal pulmonary angiogenesis in Foxf1WT/S52F mice and determine its effects on PH and RV hypertrophy.
Results:
Foxf1WT/S52F mice developed PH and RV hypertrophy after birth. The severity of PH in Foxf1WT/S52F mice directly correlated with mortality, low body weight, pulmonary artery muscularization and increased collagen deposition in the lung tissue. Increased fibrotic remodeling was found in human ACDMPV lungs. Mouse ESCs carrying the S52F Foxf1 mutation were used to produce chimeras via blastocyst complementation and to demonstrate that Foxf1WT/S52F ESCs have a propensity to differentiate into pulmonary myofibroblasts. Intravascular delivery of nanoparticles carrying Stat3 cDNA protected Foxf1WT/S52F mice from RV hypertrophy and PH, improved survival and decreased fibrotic lung remodeling. Conclusions: Nanoparticle therapies increasing neonatal pulmonary angiogenesis may be considered to prevent PH in ACDMPV.




Circulation: 10 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Sun F, Wang G, Pradhan A, Xu K, ... Molkentin JD, Kalinichenko VV
Circulation: 10 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34111939
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Abstract

PKM1 Exerts Critical Roles in Cardiac Remodeling Under Pressure Overload in the Heart.

Li Q, Li C, Elnwasany A, Sharma G, ... Fu G, Wang ZV
Background: Metabolic remodeling precedes most alterations during cardiac hypertrophic growth under hemodynamic stress. The elevation of glucose utilization has been recognized as a hallmark of metabolic remodeling. However, its role in cardiac hypertrophic growth and heart failure in response to pressure overload remains to be fully illustrated. Here, we aimed to dissect the role of cardiac PKM1 (pyruvate kinase muscle isozyme 1) in glucose metabolic regulation and cardiac response under pressure overload.
Methods:
Cardiac specific deletion of PKM1 was achieved by crossing the floxed PKM1 mouse model with the cardiomyocyte-specific Cre transgenic mouse. PKM1 transgenic mice were generated under the control of tetracycline response elements, and cardiac specific overexpression of PKM1 was induced by doxycycline administration in adult mice. Pressure overload was triggered by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Primary neonatal rat ventricular myocytes were used to dissect molecular mechanisms. Moreover, metabolomics and NMR spectroscopy analyses were conducted to determine cardiac metabolic flux in response to pressure overload.
Results:
We found that PKM1 expression is reduced in failing human and mouse hearts. Importantly, cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of PKM1 exacerbates cardiac dysfunction and fibrosis in response to pressure overload. Inducible overexpression of PKM1 in cardiomyocytes protects the heart against TAC-induced cardiomyopathy and heart failure. At the mechanistic level, PKM1 is required for the augmentation of glycolytic flux, mitochondrial respiration, and ATP production under pressure overload. Furthermore, deficiency of PKM1 causes a defect in cardiomyocyte growth and a decrease in pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity at both in vitro and in vivo levels. Conclusions: These findings suggest that PKM1 plays an essential role in maintaining a homeostatic response in the heart under hemodynamic stress.




Circulation: 08 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Li Q, Li C, Elnwasany A, Sharma G, ... Fu G, Wang ZV
Circulation: 08 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34102853
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Abstract

Cerebral Embolic Protection and Outcomes of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Results From the Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry.

Butala NM, Makkar R, Secemsky EA, Gallup D, ... Yeh RW, Cohen DJ
Background
Stroke remains a devastating complication of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which has persisted despite refinements in technique and increased operator experience. While cerebral embolic protection devices (EPDs) have been developed to mitigate this risk, data regarding their impact on stroke and other outcomes after TAVR are limited.
Methods
We performed an observational study using data from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry. Patients were included if they underwent elective or urgent transfemoral TAVR between January 2018 and December 2019. The primary outcome was in-hospital stroke. To adjust for confounding, the association between EPD use and clinical outcomes was evaluated using instrumental variable analysis, a technique designed to support causal inference from observational data, with site-level preference for EPD use within the same quarter of the procedure as the instrument. We also performed a propensity score-based secondary analysis using overlap weights.
Results
Our analytic sample included 123 186 patients from 599 sites. The use of EPD during TAVR increased over time, reaching 28% of sites and 13% of TAVR procedures by December 2019. There was wide variation in EPD use across hospitals, with 8% of sites performing >50% of TAVR procedures with an EPD and 72% performing no procedures with an EPD in the last quarter of 2019. In our primary analysis using the instrumental variable model, there was no association between EPD use and in-hospital stroke (adjusted relative risk, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.68-1.13]; absolute risk difference, -0.15% [95% CI, -0.49 to 0.20]). However, in our secondary analysis using the propensity score-based model, EPD use was associated with 18% lower odds of in-hospital stroke (adjusted odds ratio, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.69-0.97]; absolute risk difference, -0.28% [95% CI, -0.52 to -0.03]). Results were generally consistent across the secondary end points, as well as subgroup analyses.
Conclusions
In this nationally representative observational study, we did not find an association between EPD use for TAVR and in-hospital stroke in our primary instrumental variable analysis, and found only a modestly lower risk of in-hospital stroke in our secondary propensity-weighted analysis. These findings provide a strong basis for large-scale randomized, controlled trials to test whether EPDs provide meaningful clinical benefit for patients undergoing TAVR.



Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2229-2240
Butala NM, Makkar R, Secemsky EA, Gallup D, ... Yeh RW, Cohen DJ
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2229-2240 | PMID: 33619968
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Impact:
Abstract

Antihypertrophic Memory After Regression of Exercise-Induced Physiological Myocardial Hypertrophy Is Mediated by the Long Noncoding RNA Mhrt779.

Lin H, Zhu Y, Zheng C, Hu D, ... Bin J, Liao Y
Background
Exercise can induce physiological myocardial hypertrophy (PMH), and former athletes can live 5 to 6 years longer than nonathletic controls, suggesting a benefit after regression of PMH. We previously reported that regression of pathological myocardial hypertrophy has antihypertrophic effects. Accordingly, we hypothesized that antihypertrophic memory exists even after PMH has regressed, increasing myocardial resistance to subsequent pathological hypertrophic stress.
Methods
C57BL/6 mice were submitted to 21 days of swimming training to develop PMH. After termination of exercise, PMH regressed within 1 week. PMH regression mice (exercise hypertrophic preconditioning [EHP] group) and sedentary mice (control group) then underwent transverse aortic constriction or a sham operation for 4 weeks. Cardiac remodeling and function were evaluated with echocardiography, invasive left ventricular hemodynamic measurement, and histological analysis. LncRNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, and comprehensive identification of RNA-binding proteins by mass spectrometry and Western blot were used to investigate the role of Mhrt779 involved in the antihypertrophic effect induced by EHP.
Results
At 1 and 4 weeks after transverse aortic constriction, the EHP group showed less increase in myocardial hypertrophy and lower expression of the Nppa and Myh7 genes than the sedentary group. At 4 weeks after transverse aortic constriction, EHP mice had less pulmonary congestion, smaller left ventricular dimensions and end-diastolic pressure, and a larger left ventricular ejection fraction and maximum pressure change rate than sedentary mice. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that the long noncoding myosin heavy chain-associated RNA transcript Mhrt779 was one of the markedly upregulated lncRNAs in the EHP group. Silencing of Mhrt779 attenuated the antihypertrophic effect of EHP in mice with transverse aortic constriction and in cultured cardiomyocytes treated with angiotensin II, and overexpression enhanced the antihypertrophic effect. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay and quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we found that EHP increased histone 3 trimethylation (H3K4me3 and H3K36me3) at the a4 promoter of Mhrt779. Comprehensive identification of RNA-binding proteins by mass spectrometry and Western blot showed that Mhrt779 can bind SWI/SNF related, matrix associated, actin dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily a, member 4 (Brg1) to inhibit the activation of the histone deacetylase 2 (Hdac2)/phosphorylated serine/threonine kinase (Akt)/phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase 3β(p-GSK3β) pathway induced by pressure overload.
Conclusions
Myocardial hypertrophy preconditioning evoked by exercise increases resistance to pathological stress via an antihypertrophic effect mediated by a signal pathway of Mhrt779/Brg1/Hdac2/p-Akt/p-GSK3β.



Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2277-2292
Lin H, Zhu Y, Zheng C, Hu D, ... Bin J, Liao Y
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2277-2292 | PMID: 33757294
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Abstract

Suppression of Myocardial Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α Compromises Metabolic Adaptation and Impairs Cardiac Function in Patients With Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease During Puberty.

Liu Y, Luo Q, Su Z, Xing J, ... Yan F, Zhang H
Background
Cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCHD) is a complex pathophysiological condition involving systemic chronic hypoxia (CH). Some patients with CCHD are unoperated for various reasons and remain chronically hypoxic throughout their lives, which heightens the risk of heart failure as they age. Hypoxia activates cellular metabolic adaptation to balance energy demands by accumulating hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α (HIF-1α). This study aims to determine the effect of CH on cardiac metabolism and function in patients with CCHD and its association with age. The role of HIF-1α in this process was investigated, and potential therapeutic targets were explored.
Methods
Patients with CCHD (n=25) were evaluated for cardiac metabolism and function with positron emission tomography/computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Heart tissue samples were subjected to metabolomic and protein analyses. CH rodent models were generated to enable continuous observation of changes in cardiac metabolism and function. The role of HIF-1α in cardiac metabolic adaptation to CH was investigated with genetically modified animals and isotope-labeled metabolomic pathway tracing studies.
Results
Prepubertal patients with CCHD had glucose-dominant cardiac metabolism and normal cardiac function. In comparison, among patients who had entered puberty, the levels of myocardial glucose uptake and glycolytic intermediates were significantly decreased, but fatty acids were significantly increased, along with decreased left ventricular ejection fraction. These clinical phenotypes were replicated in CH rodent models. In patients with CCHD and animals exposed to CH, myocardial HIF-1α was upregulated before puberty but was significantly downregulated during puberty. In cardiomyocyte-specific Hif-1α-knockout mice, CH failed to initiate the switch of myocardial substrates from fatty acids to glucose, thereby inhibiting ATP production and impairing cardiac function. Increased insulin resistance during puberty suppressed myocardial HIF-1α and was responsible for cardiac metabolic maladaptation in animals exposed to CH. Pioglitazone significantly reduced myocardial insulin resistance, restored glucose metabolism, and improved cardiac function in pubertal CH animals.
Conclusions
In patients with CCHD, maladaptation of cardiac metabolism occurred during puberty, along with impaired cardiac function. HIF-1α was identified as the key regulator of cardiac metabolic adaptation in animals exposed to CH, and pubertal insulin resistance could suppress its expression. Pioglitazone administration during puberty might help improve cardiac function in patients with CCHD.



Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2254-2272
Liu Y, Luo Q, Su Z, Xing J, ... Yan F, Zhang H
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2254-2272 | PMID: 33663226
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Impact:
Abstract

High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin on Presentation to Rule Out Myocardial Infarction: A Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

Anand A, Lee KK, Chapman AR, Ferry AV, ... Mills NL, HiSTORIC Investigators†
Background
High-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays enable myocardial infarction to be ruled out earlier, but the safety and efficacy of this approach is uncertain. We investigated whether an early rule-out pathway is safe and effective for patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome.
Methods
We performed a stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial in the emergency departments of 7 acute care hospitals in Scotland. Consecutive patients presenting with suspected acute coronary syndrome between December 2014 and December 2016 were included. Sites were randomized to implement an early rule-out pathway where myocardial infarction was excluded if high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I concentrations were <5 ng/L at presentation. During a previous validation phase, myocardial infarction was ruled out when troponin concentrations were <99th percentile at 6 to 12 hours after symptom onset. The coprimary outcome was length of stay (efficacy) and myocardial infarction or cardiac death after discharge at 30 days (safety). Patients were followed for 1 year to evaluate safety and other secondary outcomes.
Results
We enrolled 31 492 patients (59±17 years of age [mean±SD]; 45% women) with troponin concentrations <99th percentile at presentation. Length of stay was reduced from 10.1±4.1 to 6.8±3.9 hours (adjusted geometric mean ratio, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.73-0.83]; P<0.001) after implementation and the proportion of patients discharged increased from 50% to 71% (adjusted odds ratio, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.45-1.75]). Noninferiority was not demonstrated for the 30-day safety outcome (upper limit of 1-sided 95% CI for adjusted risk difference, 0.70% [noninferiority margin 0.50%]; P=0.068), but the observed differences favored the early rule-out pathway (0.4% [57/14 700] versus 0.3% [56/16 792]). At 1 year, the safety outcome occurred in 2.7% (396/14 700) and 1.8% (307/16 792) of patients before and after implementation (adjusted odds ratio, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.74-1.40]; P=0.894), and there were no differences in hospital reattendance or all-cause mortality.
Conclusions
Implementation of an early rule-out pathway for myocardial infarction reduced length of stay and hospital admission. Although noninferiority for the safety outcome was not demonstrated at 30 days, there was no increase in cardiac events at 1 year. Adoption of this pathway would have major benefits for patients and health care providers. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03005158.



Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2214-2224
Anand A, Lee KK, Chapman AR, Ferry AV, ... Mills NL, HiSTORIC Investigators†
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2214-2224 | PMID: 33752439
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Abstract

Association of Blood Pressure Classification Using the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Blood Pressure Guideline With Risk of Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation.

Kaneko H, Yano Y, Itoh H, Morita K, ... Yasunaga H, Komuro I
Background
Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are growing in prevalence worldwide. Few studies have assessed to what extent stage 1 hypertension in the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association blood pressure (BP) guidelines is associated with incident HF and AF.
Methods
Analyses were conducted with a nationwide health claims database collected in the JMDC Claims Database between 2005 and 2018 (n=2 196 437; mean age, 44.0±10.9 years; 58.4% men). No participants were taking antihypertensive medication or had a known history of cardiovascular disease. Each participant was categorized as having normal BP (systolic BP <120 mm Hg and diastolic BP <80 mm Hg; n=1 155 885), elevated BP (systolic BP 120-129 mm Hg and diastolic BP <80 mm Hg; n=337 390), stage 1 hypertension (systolic BP 130-139 mm Hg or diastolic BP 80-89 mm Hg; n=459 820), or stage 2 hypertension (systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg; n=243 342). Using Cox proportional hazards models, we identified associations between BP groups and HF/AF events. We also calculated the population attributable fractions to estimate the proportion of HF and AF events that would be preventable if participants with stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension were to have normal BP.
Results
Over a mean follow-up of 1112±854 days, 28 056 incident HF and 7774 incident AF events occurred. After multivariable adjustment, hazard ratios for HF and AF events were 1.10 (95% CI, 1.05-1.15) and 1.07 (95% CI, 0.99-1.17), respectively, for elevated BP; 1.30 (95% CI, 1.26-1.35) and 1.21 (95% CI, 1.13-1.29), respectively, for stage 1 hypertension; and 2.05 (95% CI, 1.97-2.13) and 1.52 (95% CI, 1.41-1.64), respectively, for stage 2 hypertension versus normal BP. Population attributable fractions for HF associated with stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension were 23.2% (95% CI, 20.3%-26.0%) and 51.2% (95% CI, 49.2%-53.1%), respectively. The population attributable fractions for AF associated with stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension were 17.4% (95% CI, 11.5%-22.9%) and 34.3% (95% CI, 29.1%-39.2%), respectively.
Conclusions
Both stage 1 hypertension and stage 2 hypertension were associated with a greater incidence of HF and AF in the general population. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association BP classification system may help identify adults at higher risk for HF and AF events.



Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2244-2253
Kaneko H, Yano Y, Itoh H, Morita K, ... Yasunaga H, Komuro I
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2244-2253 | PMID: 33886370
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Abstract

Histidine Triad Nucleotide Binding Protein 1 Attenuates Cardiac Hypertrophy via Suppressing Homeobox A5 Expression.

Zhang Y, Da Q, Cao S, Yan K, ... Xie L, Ji Y
Background: Cardiac hypertrophy is an important pre-pathology of heart failure, which will ultimately lead to heart failure. However, the mechanisms underlying pathological cardiac hypertrophy remain largely unknown. The aim of this study is to elucidate the effects and mechanisms of histidine triad nucleotide binding protein 1 (HINT1) in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
Methods:
HINT1 was down-regulated in human hypertrophic heart samples compared with non-hypertrophic samples by mass spectrometry analysis. Hint1 knockout mice were challenged with TAC (transverse aortic constriction) surgery. Cardiac specific overexpression of HINT1 mice by intravenous injection of adeno-associated viral (AAV9) encoding Hint1 under the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) promoter were subjected to TAC. Unbiased transcriptional analyses were used to identify the downstream targets of HINT1. AAV9 bearing shRNA against Homeobox A5 (Hoxa5) was administrated to investigate whether the effects of HINT1 on cardiac hypertrophy were HOXA5 dependent. RNA-Seq analysis was performed to recapitulate possible changes in transcriptome profile. Co-immunoprecipitation assays and cellular fractionation analyses were conducted to examine the mechanism by which HINT1 regulates the expression of HOXA5.
Results:
The reduction of HINT1 expression was observed in the hearts from hypertrophic patients and pressure overloaded-induced hypertrophic mice, respectively. In Hint1 deficient mice, cardiac hypertrophy was deteriorated after TAC. Conversely, cardiac specific overexpression of HINT1 alleviated cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. Unbiased profiler PCR-array showed Homeobox A5 (HOXA5) is one target for HINT1, and the cardioprotective role of HINT1 was abolished by HOXA5 knockdown in vivo. Hoxa5 was identified to affect hypertrophy through TGF-β signal pathway. Mechanically, HINT1 inhibited PKCβ1 membrane translocation and phosphorylation via direct interaction, attenuating MEK/ERK/YY1 signal pathway, down-regulating HOXA5 expression and eventually attenuating cardiac hypertrophy. Conclusions: HINT1 protects against cardiac hypertrophy through suppressing HOXA5 expression. These findings indicate that HINT1 may be a potential target for therapeutic interventions in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.




Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print
Zhang Y, Da Q, Cao S, Yan K, ... Xie L, Ji Y
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34098726
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Impact:
Abstract

HDL in the 21st Century: A Multifunctional Roadmap for Future HDL Research.

Rohatgi A, Westerterp M, von Eckardstein A, Remaley A, Rye KA
Low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) characterizes an atherogenic dyslipidemia that reflects adverse lifestyle choices, impaired metabolism, and increased cardiovascular risk. Low HDL-C is also associated with increased risk of inflammatory disorders, malignancy, diabetes, and other diseases. This epidemiologic evidence has not translated to raising HDL-C as a viable therapeutic target, partly because HDL-C does not reflect high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function. Mendelian randomization analyses that have found no evidence of a causal relationship between HDL-C levels and cardiovascular risk have decreased interest in increasing HDL-C levels as a therapeutic target. HDLs comprise distinct subpopulations of particles of varying size, charge, and composition that have several dynamic and context-dependent functions, especially with respect to acute and chronic inflammatory states. These functions include reverse cholesterol transport, inhibition of inflammation and oxidation, and antidiabetic properties. HDLs can be anti-inflammatory (which may protect against atherosclerosis and diabetes) and proinflammatory (which may help clear pathogens in sepsis). The molecular regulation of HDLs is complex, as evidenced by their association with multiple proteins, as well as bioactive lipids and noncoding RNAs. Clinical investigations of HDL biomarkers (HDL-C, HDL particle number, and apolipoprotein A through I) have revealed nonlinear relationships with cardiovascular outcomes, differential relationships by sex and ethnicity, and differential patterns with coronary versus noncoronary events. Novel HDL markers may also have relevance for heart failure, cancer, and diabetes. HDL function markers (namely, cholesterol efflux capacity) are associated with coronary disease, but they remain research tools. Therapeutics that manipulate aspects of HDL metabolism remain the holy grail. None has proven to be successful, but most have targeted HDL-C, not metrics of HDL function. Future therapeutic strategies should focus on optimizing HDL function in the right patients at the optimal time in their disease course. We provide a framework to help the research and clinical communities, as well as funding agencies and stakeholders, obtain insights into current thinking on these topics, and what we predict will be an exciting future for research and development on HDLs.



Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2293-2309
Rohatgi A, Westerterp M, von Eckardstein A, Remaley A, Rye KA
Circulation: 07 Jun 2021; 143:2293-2309 | PMID: 34097448
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Impact:
Abstract

Natural History of Patients with Ischemia and No Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease: The CIAO-ISCHEMIA Study.

Reynolds HR, Picard MH, Spertus JA, Peteiro J, ... Maron DJ, Hochman JS
Background: Ischemia with no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA) is common and has an adverse prognosis. We set out to describe the natural history of symptoms and ischemia in INOCA.
Methods:
CIAO-ISCHEMIA (Changes in Ischemia and Angina over One year in ISCHEMIA trial screen failures with INOCA) was an international cohort study conducted from 2014-2019 involving angina assessments (Seattle Angina Questionnaire [SAQ]) and stress echocardiograms 1-year apart. This was an ancillary study that included patients with history of angina who were not randomized in the ISCHEMIA trial. Stress-induced wall motion abnormalities were determined by an echocardiographic core laboratory blinded to symptoms, coronary artery disease (CAD) status and test timing. Medical therapy was at the discretion of treating physicians. The primary outcome was the correlation between changes in SAQ Angina Frequency score and change in echocardiographic ischemia. We also analyzed predictors of 1-year changes in both angina and ischemia, and compared CIAO participants with ISCHEMIA participants with obstructive CAD who had stress echocardiography before enrollment, as CIAO participants did.
Results:
INOCA participants in CIAO were more often female (66% of 208 vs. 26% of 865 ISCHEMIA participants with obstructive CAD, p<0.001), but the magnitude of ischemia was similar (median 4 ischemic segments [IQR 3-5] both groups). Ischemia and angina were not significantly correlated at enrollment in CIAO (p=0.46) or ISCHEMIA stress echocardiography participants (p=0.35). At 1 year, the stress echocardiogram was normal in half of CIAO participants and 23% had moderate or severe ischemia (≥3 ischemic segments). Angina improved in 43% and worsened in 14%. Change in ischemia over one year was not significantly correlated with change in angina (rho=0.029). Conclusions:Improvement in ischemia and improvement in angina were common in INOCA, but not correlated. Our INOCA cohort had a similar degree of inducible wall motion abnormalities to concurrently enrolled ISCHEMIA participants with obstructive CAD. Our results highlight the complex nature of INOCA pathophysiology and the multifactorial nature of angina. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov Unique Identifier: NCT02347215.




Circulation: 31 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Reynolds HR, Picard MH, Spertus JA, Peteiro J, ... Maron DJ, Hochman JS
Circulation: 31 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34058845
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Impact:
Abstract

Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Uncovers Paracrine Functions of the Epicardial-Derived Cells in Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy.

Yuan P, Cheedipudi SM, Rouhi L, Fan S, ... Gurha P, Marian AJ
Background
Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) manifests with sudden death, arrhythmias, heart failure, apoptosis, and myocardial fibro-adipogenesis. The phenotype typically starts at the epicardium and advances transmurally. Mutations in genes encoding desmosome proteins, including DSP (desmoplakin), are major causes of ACM.
Methods
To delineate contributions of the epicardium to the pathogenesis of ACM, the Dsp allele was conditionally deleted in the epicardial cells in mice upon expression of tamoxifen-inducible Cre from the Wt1 locus. Wild type (WT) and Wt1-CreERT2:DspW/F were crossed to Rosa26mT/mG (R26mT/mG) dual reporter mice to tag the epicardial-derived cells with the EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) reporter protein. Tagged epicardial-derived cells from adult Wt1-CreERT2:R26mT/mG and Wt1-CreERT2: R26mT/mG:DspW/F mouse hearts were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell staining and sequenced by single-cell RNA sequencing.
Results
WT1 (Wilms tumor 1) expression was progressively restricted postnatally and was exclusive to the epicardium by postnatal day 21. Expression of Dsp was reduced in the epicardial cells but not in cardiac myocytes in the Wt1-CreERT2:DspW/F mice. The Wt1-CreERT2:DspW/F mice exhibited premature death, cardiac dysfunction, arrhythmias, myocardial fibro-adipogenesis, and apoptosis. Single-cell RNA sequencing of ≈18 000 EGFP-tagged epicardial-derived cells identified genotype-independent clusters of endothelial cells, fibroblasts, epithelial cells, and a very small cluster of cardiac myocytes, which were confirmed on coimmunofluorescence staining of the myocardial sections. Differentially expressed genes between the paired clusters in the 2 genotypes predicted activation of the inflammatory and mitotic pathways-including the TGFβ1 (transforming growth factor β1) and fibroblast growth factors-in the epicardial-derived fibroblast and epithelial clusters, but predicted their suppression in the endothelial cell cluster. The findings were corroborated by analysis of gene expression in the pooled RNA-sequencing data, which identified predominant dysregulation of genes involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and dysregulation of 146 genes encoding the secreted proteins (secretome), including genes in the TGFβ1 pathway. Activation of the TGFβ1 and its colocalization with fibrosis in the Wt1-CreERT2:R26mT/mG:DspW/F mouse heart was validated by complementary methods.
Conclusions
Epicardial-derived cardiac fibroblasts and epithelial cells express paracrine factors, including TGFβ1 and fibroblast growth factors, which mediate epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and contribute to the pathogenesis of myocardial fibrosis, apoptosis, arrhythmias, and cardiac dysfunction in a mouse model of ACM. The findings uncover contributions of the epicardial-derived cells to the pathogenesis of ACM.



Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2169-2187
Yuan P, Cheedipudi SM, Rouhi L, Fan S, ... Gurha P, Marian AJ
Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2169-2187 | PMID: 33726497
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Impact:
Abstract

Novel Supreme Drug-Eluting Stents With Early Synchronized Antiproliferative Drug Delivery to Inhibit Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation After Drug-Eluting Stents Implantation in Coronary Artery Disease: Results of the PIONEER III Randomized Clinical Trial.

Lansky AJ, Kereiakes DJ, Baumbach A, Windecker S, ... Leon MB, PIONEER III Trial Investigators
Background
Accelerated endothelial healing after targeted antiproliferative drug delivery may limit the long-term inflammatory response of drug-eluting stents (DESs). The novel Supreme DES is designed to synchronize early drug delivery within 4 to 6 weeks of implantation, leaving behind a prohealing permanent base layer. Whether the Supreme DES is safe and effective in the short term and can improve long-term clinical outcomes is not known.
Methods
In an international, 2:1 randomized, single-blind trial, we compared treatment with Supreme DES to durable polymer everolimus-eluting stents (DP-EES) in patients with acute and chronic coronary syndromes. The primary end point was target lesion failure-a composite of cardiac death, target vessel myocardial infarction, or clinically driven target lesion revascularization. The trial was designed to demonstrate noninferiority (margin of 3.58%) of the Supreme DES at 12 months compared with DP-EES (URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03168776).
Results
From October 2017 to July 2019, a total of 1629 patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to the Supreme DES (N=1086) or DP-EES (N=543). At 12 months, target lesion failure occurred in 57 of 1057 patients (5.4%) in the Supreme DES group and in 27 of 532 patients (5.1%) in the DP-EES group (absolute risk difference, 0.32% [95% CI, -1.87 to 2.5]; Pnoninferiority=0.002]. There were no significant differences in rates of device success, clinically driven target lesion revascularization, or stent thrombosis at 12 months, and the safety composite of cardiovascular death and target vessel myocardial infarction was 3.5% versus 4.6% (hazard ratio, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.46-1.25]) with Supreme DES compared with DP-EES, although rates of combined clinically and non-clinically driven target lesion revascularization at 12 months were higher with Supreme DES.
Conclusions
Among patients with acute and chronic coronary syndromes undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, the Supreme DES proved to be noninferior to the standard DP-EES. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03168776.



Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2143-2154
Lansky AJ, Kereiakes DJ, Baumbach A, Windecker S, ... Leon MB, PIONEER III Trial Investigators
Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2143-2154 | PMID: 33820424
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Impact:
Abstract

Randomized Clinical Comparison of the Dual-Therapy CD34 Antibody-Covered Sirolimus-Eluting Combo Stent With the Sirolimus-Eluting Orsiro Stent in Patients Treated With Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: The SORT OUT X Trial.

Jakobsen L, Christiansen EH, Freeman P, Kahlert J, ... Hansen HS, Jensen LO
Background
Target lesion failure remains an issue with contemporary drug-eluting stents. Thus, the dual-therapy sirolimus-eluting and CD34+ antibody-coated Combo stent (DTS) was designed to further improve early healing. This study aimed to investigate whether the DTS is noninferior to the sirolimus-eluting Orsiro stent (SES) in an all-comers patient population.
Methods
The SORT OUT X (Combo Stent Versus Orsiro Stent) trial, was a large-scale, randomized, multicenter, single-blind, 2-arm, noninferiority trial with registry-based follow-up. The primary end point target lesion failure was a composite of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, or target lesion revascularization within 12 months, analyzed using intention-to-treat. The trial was powered for assessing target lesion failure noninferiority of the DTS compared with the SES with a predetermined noninferiority margin of 0.021.
Results
A total of 3146 patients were randomized to treatment with the DTS (1578 patients; 2008 lesions) or SES (1568 patients; 1982 lesions). At 12 months, intention-to-treat analysis showed that 100 patients (6.3%) assigned the DTS and 58 patients (3.7%) assigned the SES met the primary end point (absolute risk difference, 2.6% [upper limit of 1-sided 95% CI, 4.1%]; P (noninferiority)=0.76). The SES was superior to the DTS (incidence rate ratios for target lesion failure, 1.74 [95% CI, 1.26-2.41]; P=0.00086). The difference was explained mainly by a higher incidence of target lesion revascularization in the DTS group compared with the SES group (53 [3.4%] vs. 24 [1.5%]; incidence rate ratio, 2.22 [95% CI, 1.37-3.61]; P=0.0012).
Conclusions
The DTS did not confirm noninferiority to the SES for target lesion failure at 12 months in an all-comer population. The SES was superior to the DTS mainly because the DTS was associated with an increased risk of target lesion revascularization. However, rates of death, cardiac death, and myocardial infarction at 12 months did not differ significantly between the 2 stent groups. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03216733.



Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2155-2165
Jakobsen L, Christiansen EH, Freeman P, Kahlert J, ... Hansen HS, Jensen LO
Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2155-2165 | PMID: 33823606
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Impact:
Abstract

Cardiac Late Sodium Channel Current Is a Molecular Target for the Sodium/Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitor Empagliflozin.

Philippaert K, Kalyaanamoorthy S, Fatehi M, Long W, ... Dyck JRB, Light PE
Background
SGLT2 (sodium/glucose cotransporter 2) inhibitors exert robust cardioprotective effects against heart failure in patients with diabetes, and there is intense interest to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms that afford this protection. Because the induction of the late component of the cardiac sodium channel current (late-INa) is involved in the etiology of heart failure, we investigated whether these drugs inhibit late-INa.
Methods
Electrophysiological, in silico molecular docking, molecular, calcium imaging, and whole heart perfusion techniques were used to address this question.
Results
The SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin reduced late-INa in cardiomyocytes from mice with heart failure and in cardiac Nav1.5 sodium channels containing the long QT syndrome 3 mutations R1623Q or ΔKPQ. Empagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and canagliflozin are all potent and selective inhibitors of H2O2-induced late-INa (half maximal inhibitory concentration = 0.79, 0.58, and 1.26 µM, respectively) with little effect on peak sodium current. In mouse cardiomyocytes, empagliflozin reduced the incidence of spontaneous calcium transients induced by the late-INa activator veratridine in a similar manner to tetrodotoxin, ranolazine, and lidocaine. The putative binding sites for empagliflozin within Nav1.5 were investigated by simulations of empagliflozin docking to a three-dimensional homology model of human Nav1.5 and point mutagenic approaches. Our results indicate that empagliflozin binds to Nav1.5 in the same region as local anesthetics and ranolazine. In an acute model of myocardial injury, perfusion of isolated mouse hearts with empagliflozin or tetrodotoxin prevented activation of the cardiac NLRP3 (nuclear-binding domain-like receptor 3) inflammasome and improved functional recovery after ischemia.
Conclusions
Our results provide evidence that late-INa may be an important molecular target in the heart for the SGLT2 inhibitors, contributing to their unexpected cardioprotective effects.



Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2188-2204
Philippaert K, Kalyaanamoorthy S, Fatehi M, Long W, ... Dyck JRB, Light PE
Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2188-2204 | PMID: 33832341
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Impact:
Abstract

Health-Related Quality of Life and Mortality in Heart Failure: The Global Congestive Heart Failure Study of 23 000 Patients From 40 Countries.

Johansson I, Joseph P, Balasubramanian K, McMurray JJV, ... Yusuf S, G-CHF Investigators
Background
Poor health-related quality of life (HRQL) is common in heart failure (HF), but there are few data on HRQL in HF and the association between HRQL and mortality outside Western countries.
Methods
We used the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire-12 (KCCQ-12) to record HRQL in 23 291 patients with HF from 40 countries in 8 different world regions in the G-CHF study (Global Congestive Heart Failure). We compared standardized KCCQ-12 summary scores (adjusted for age, sex, and markers of HF severity) among regions (scores range from 0 to 100, with higher score indicating better HRQL). We used multivariable Cox regression with adjustment for 15 variables to assess the association between KCCQ-12 summary scores and the composite of all-cause death, HF hospitalization, and each component over a median follow-up of 1.6 years.
Results
The mean age of participants was 65 years; 61% were men; 40% had New York Heart Association class III or IV symptoms; and 46% had left ventricular ejection fraction ≥40%. Average HRQL differed between regions (lowest in Africa [mean± SE, 39.5±0.3], highest in Western Europe [62.5±0.4]). There were 4460 (19%) deaths, 3885 (17%) HF hospitalizations, and 6949 (30%) instances of either event. Lower KCCQ-12 summary score was associated with higher risk of all outcomes; the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for each 10-unit KCCQ-12 summary score decrement was 1.18 (95% CI, 1.17-1.20) for death. Although this association was observed in all regions, it was less marked in South Asia, South America, and Africa (weakest association in South Asia: HR, 1.08 [95% CI, 1.03-1.14]; strongest association in Eastern Europe: HR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.21-1.42]; interaction P<0.0001). Lower HRQL predicted death in patients with New York Heart Association class I or II and III or IV symptoms (HR, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.14-1.19] and HR, 1.14 [95% CI, 1.12-1.17]; interaction P=0.13) and was a stronger predictor for the composite outcome in New York Heart Association class I or II versus class III or IV (HR 1.15 [95% CI, 1.13-1.17] versus 1.09 [95% CI, [1.07-1.11]; interaction P<0.0001). HR for death was greater in ejection fraction ≥40 versus <40% (HR, 1.23 [95% CI, 1.20-1.26] and HR, 1.15 [95% CI, 1.13-1.17]; interaction P<0.0001).
Conclusion
HRQL is a strong and independent predictor of all-cause death and HF hospitalization across all geographic regions, in mildly and severe symptomatic HF, and among patients with preserved and reduced ejection fraction. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03078166.



Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2129-2142
Johansson I, Joseph P, Balasubramanian K, McMurray JJV, ... Yusuf S, G-CHF Investigators
Circulation: 30 May 2021; 143:2129-2142 | PMID: 33906372
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Abstract

Relationship Between Residual Mitral Regurgitation and Clinical and Quality-of-Life Outcomes After Transcatheter and Medical Treatments in Heart Failure: The COAPT Trial.

Kar S, Mack MJ, Lindenfeld J, Abraham WT, ... Grayburn PA, Stone GW
Background: In the randomized COAPT trial, among 614 heart failure (HF) patients with 3+ or 4+ secondary mitral regurgitation (MR), transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) with the MitraClip reduced MR, HF hospitalizations (HFH), and mortality and improved quality of life compared with guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) alone. We sought to examine the prognostic relationship between MR reduction and outcomes after TMVr and GDMT alone.
Methods:
Outcomes in COAPT between 30 days and 2 years were examined based on the severity of residual MR at 30 days.
Results:
TMVr-treated patients had less severe residual MR at 30 days than GDMT-treated patients (0/1+, 2+, and 3+/4+: 72.9%, 19.9%, and 7.2% versus 8.2%, 26.1%, and 65.8%, respectively, P<0.0001). The rate of composite death or HFH between 30 days and 2 years was lower in patients with 30-day residual MR of 0/1+ and 2+ compared with 3+/4+ (37.7% versus 49.5% versus 72.2%, respectively, P<0.0001). This relationship was consistent in the TMVr and GDMT arms (Pinteraction=0.92). The improvement in KCCQ score from baseline to 30 days was maintained between 30 days and 2 years in patients with 30-day MR ≤2+ but deteriorated in those with 30-day MR 3+/4+ (-0.3±1.7 versus -9.4±4.6, P=0.0008) consistently in both groups (Pinteraction=0.95). Conclusions: In the COAPT trial, reduced MR at 30 days was associated with greater freedom from death or HFH and improved quality of life through 2-year follow-up whether the MR reduction was achieved by TMVr or GDMT. Clinical Trial Registration: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov Unique Identifier: NCT01626079.




Circulation: 26 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Kar S, Mack MJ, Lindenfeld J, Abraham WT, ... Grayburn PA, Stone GW
Circulation: 26 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34039025
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Abstract

Extracellular Tuning of Mitochondrial Respiration Leads to Aortic Aneurysm.

Oller J, Gabandé-Rodríguez E, Ruiz-Rodríguez MJ, Desdín-Micó G, ... Miguel Redondo J, Mittelbrunn M
Background
Marfan syndrome (MFS) is an autosomal dominant disorder of the connective tissue caused by mutations in the FBN1 (fibrillin-1) gene encoding a large glycoprotein in the extracellular matrix called fibrillin-1. The major complication of this connective disorder is the risk to develop thoracic aortic aneurysm. To date, no effective pharmacologic therapies have been identified for the management of thoracic aortic disease and the only options capable of preventing aneurysm rupture are endovascular repair or open surgery. Here, we have studied the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the progression of thoracic aortic aneurysm and mitochondrial boosting strategies as a potential treatment to managing aortic aneurysms.
Methods
Combining transcriptomics and metabolic analysis of aortas from an MFS mouse model (Fbn1c1039g/+) and MFS patients, we have identified mitochondrial dysfunction alongside with mtDNA depletion as a new hallmark of aortic aneurysm disease in MFS. To demonstrate the importance of mitochondrial decline in the development of aneurysms, we generated a conditional mouse model with mitochondrial dysfunction specifically in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) by conditional depleting Tfam (mitochondrial transcription factor A; Myh11-CreERT2Tfamflox/flox mice). We used a mouse model of MFS to test for drugs that can revert aortic disease by enhancing Tfam levels and mitochondrial respiration.
Results
The main canonical pathways highlighted in the transcriptomic analysis in aortas from Fbn1c1039g/+ mice were those related to metabolic function, such as mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial complexes, whose transcription depends on Tfam and mitochondrial DNA content, were reduced in aortas from young Fbn1c1039g/+ mice. In vitro experiments in Fbn1-silenced VSMCs presented increased lactate production and decreased oxygen consumption. Similar results were found in MFS patients. VSMCs seeded in matrices produced by Fbn1-deficient VSMCs undergo mitochondrial dysfunction. Conditional Tfam-deficient VSMC mice lose their contractile capacity, showed aortic aneurysms, and died prematurely. Restoring mitochondrial metabolism with the NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside rapidly reverses aortic aneurysm in Fbn1c1039g/+ mice.
Conclusions
Mitochondrial function of VSMCs is controlled by the extracellular matrix and drives the development of aortic aneurysm in Marfan syndrome. Targeting vascular metabolism is a new available therapeutic strategy for managing aortic aneurysms associated with genetic disorders.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2091-2109
Oller J, Gabandé-Rodríguez E, Ruiz-Rodríguez MJ, Desdín-Micó G, ... Miguel Redondo J, Mittelbrunn M
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2091-2109 | PMID: 33709773
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Abstract

ALDH1A3 Coordinates Metabolism With Gene Regulation in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Li D, Shao NY, Moonen JR, Zhao Z, ... Snyder MP, Rabinovitch M
Background
Metabolic alterations provide substrates that influence chromatin structure to regulate gene expression that determines cell function in health and disease. Heightened proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMC) leading to the formation of a neointima is a feature of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and systemic vascular disease. Increased glycolysis is linked to the proliferative phenotype of these SMC.
Methods
RNA sequencing was applied to pulmonary arterial SMC (PASMC) from PAH patients with and without a BMPR2 (bone morphogenetic receptor 2) mutation versus control PASMC to uncover genes required for their heightened proliferation and glycolytic metabolism. Assessment of differentially expressed genes established metabolism as a major pathway, and the most highly upregulated metabolic gene in PAH PASMC was aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1 member 3 (ALDH1A3), an enzyme previously linked to glycolysis and proliferation in cancer cells and systemic vascular SMC. We determined if these functions are ALDH1A3-dependent in PAH PASMC, and if ALDH1A3 is required for the development of pulmonary hypertension in a transgenic mouse. Nuclear localization of ALDH1A3 in PAH PASMC led us to determine whether and how this enzyme coordinately regulates gene expression and metabolism in PAH PASMC.
Results
ALDH1A3 mRNA and protein were increased in PAH versus control PASMC, and ALDH1A3 was required for their highly proliferative and glycolytic properties. Mice with Aldh1a3 deleted in SMC did not develop hypoxia-induced pulmonary arterial muscularization or pulmonary hypertension. Nuclear ALDH1A3 converted acetaldehyde to acetate to produce acetyl coenzyme A to acetylate H3K27, marking active enhancers. This allowed for chromatin modification at NFYA (nuclear transcription factor Y subunit α) binding sites via the acetyltransferase KAT2B (lysine acetyltransferase 2B) and permitted NFY-mediated transcription of cell cycle and metabolic genes that is required for ALDH1A3-dependent proliferation and glycolysis. Loss of BMPR2 in PAH SMC with or without a mutation upregulated ALDH1A3, and transcription of NFYA and ALDH1A3 in PAH PASMC was β-catenin dependent.
Conclusions
Our studies have uncovered a metabolic-transcriptional axis explaining how dividing cells use ALDH1A3 to coordinate their energy needs with the epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of genes required for SMC proliferation. They suggest that selectively disrupting the pivotal role of ALDH1A3 in PAH SMC, but not endothelial cells, is an important therapeutic consideration.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2074-2090
Li D, Shao NY, Moonen JR, Zhao Z, ... Snyder MP, Rabinovitch M
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2074-2090 | PMID: 33764154
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Abstract

Oxygen Pathway Limitations in Patients With Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension.

Howden EJ, Ruiz-Carmona S, Claeys M, De Bosscher R, ... Delcroix M, Claessen G
Background
Exertional intolerance is a limiting and often crippling symptom in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Traditionally the pathogenesis has been attributed to central factors, including ventilation/perfusion mismatch, increased pulmonary vascular resistance, and right heart dysfunction and uncoupling. Pulmonary endarterectomy and balloon pulmonary angioplasty provide substantial improvement of functional status and hemodynamics. However, despite normalization of pulmonary hemodynamics, exercise capacity often does not return to age-predicted levels. By systematically evaluating the oxygen pathway, we aimed to elucidate the causes of functional limitations in patients with CTEPH before and after pulmonary vascular intervention.
Methods
Using exercise cardiac magnetic resonance imaging with simultaneous invasive hemodynamic monitoring, we sought to quantify the steps of the O2 transport cascade from the mouth to the mitochondria in patients with CTEPH (n=20) as compared with healthy participants (n=10). Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of pulmonary vascular intervention (pulmonary endarterectomy or balloon angioplasty) on the individual components of the cascade (n=10).
Results
Peak Vo2 (oxygen uptake) was significantly reduced in patients with CTEPH relative to controls (56±17 versus 112±20% of predicted; P<0.0001). The difference was attributable to impairments in multiple steps of the O2 cascade, including O2 delivery (product of cardiac output and arterial O2 content), skeletal muscle diffusion capacity, and pulmonary diffusion. The total O2 extracted in the periphery (ie, ΔAVo2 [arteriovenous O2 content difference]) was not different. After pulmonary vascular intervention, peak Vo2 increased significantly (from 12.5±4.0 to 17.8±7.5 mL/[kg·min]; P=0.036) but remained below age-predicted levels (70±11%). The O2 delivery was improved owing to an increase in peak cardiac output and lung diffusion capacity. However, peak exercise ΔAVo2 was unchanged, as was skeletal muscle diffusion capacity.
Conclusions
We demonstrated that patients with CTEPH have significant impairment of all steps in the O2 use cascade, resulting in markedly impaired exercise capacity. Pulmonary vascular intervention increased peak Vo2 by partly correcting O2 delivery but had no effect on abnormalities in peripheral O2 extraction. This suggests that current interventions only partially address patients\' limitations and that additional therapies may improve functional capacity.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2061-2073
Howden EJ, Ruiz-Carmona S, Claeys M, De Bosscher R, ... Delcroix M, Claessen G
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2061-2073 | PMID: 33853383
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Abstract

Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Powell-Wiley TM, Poirier P, Burke LE, Després JP, ... St-Onge MP, American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; and Stroke Council
The global obesity epidemic is well established, with increases in obesity prevalence for most countries since the 1980s. Obesity contributes directly to incident cardiovascular risk factors, including dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep disorders. Obesity also leads to the development of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease mortality independently of other cardiovascular risk factors. More recent data highlight abdominal obesity, as determined by waist circumference, as a cardiovascular disease risk marker that is independent of body mass index. There have also been significant advances in imaging modalities for characterizing body composition, including visceral adiposity. Studies that quantify fat depots, including ectopic fat, support excess visceral adiposity as an independent indicator of poor cardiovascular outcomes. Lifestyle modification and subsequent weight loss improve both metabolic syndrome and associated systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. However, clinical trials of medical weight loss have not demonstrated a reduction in coronary artery disease rates. In contrast, prospective studies comparing patients undergoing bariatric surgery with nonsurgical patients with obesity have shown reduced coronary artery disease risk with surgery. In this statement, we summarize the impact of obesity on the diagnosis, clinical management, and outcomes of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias, especially sudden cardiac death and atrial fibrillation. In particular, we examine the influence of obesity on noninvasive and invasive diagnostic procedures for coronary artery disease. Moreover, we review the impact of obesity on cardiac function and outcomes related to heart failure with reduced and preserved ejection fraction. Finally, we describe the effects of lifestyle and surgical weight loss interventions on outcomes related to coronary artery disease, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:e984-e1010
Powell-Wiley TM, Poirier P, Burke LE, Després JP, ... St-Onge MP, American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; and Stroke Council
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:e984-e1010 | PMID: 33882682
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Impact:
Abstract

Preterm Delivery and Long-Term Risk of Stroke in Women: A National Cohort and Cosibling Study.

Crump C, Sundquist J, Sundquist K
Background
Stroke has a high burden of disease in women, and adverse pregnancy outcomes have been identified as important risk factors for stroke later in life. However, long-term risks of stroke associated with preterm delivery and whether such risks are attributable to familial confounding are unclear. Such knowledge is needed to improve long-term risk assessment and stroke prevention in women.
Methods
A national cohort study was conducted of all 2 188 043 women with a singleton delivery in Sweden in 1973 through 2015 who were followed up for stroke identified from nationwide diagnoses through 2015. Cox regression was used to compute adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for stroke associated with pregnancy duration, and cosibling analyses assessed for confounding by shared familial (genetic or environmental) factors.
Results
In 48.0 million person-years of follow-up, 36 372 (1.7%) women were diagnosed with stroke. In the 10 years after delivery, the aHR for stroke associated with preterm delivery (gestational age <37 weeks) was 1.61 (95% CI, 1.45-1.79) and further stratified was 2.81 (95% CI, 2.02-3.91) for extremely preterm (22-27 weeks), 2.07 (95% CI, 1.74-2.46) for very preterm (28-33 weeks), 1.38 (95% CI, 1.21-1.57) for late preterm (34-36 weeks), and 1.15 (95% CI, 1.06-1.24) for early term (37-38 weeks), compared with full-term (39-41 weeks) delivery. These risks remained similarly elevated at 10 to 19 years after delivery (preterm versus full-term: aHR, 1.61 [95% CI, 1.50-1.74]) and then declined but remained significantly elevated at 20 to 29 years (aHR, 1.35 [95% CI, 1.28-1.44]) and 30 to 43 years (aHR, 1.35 [95% CI, 1.27-1.42]). Preterm delivery was associated with both hemorrhagic (aHR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.25-1.38]) and ischemic (aHR, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.47-1.61]) stroke across the entire follow-up period (up to 43 years). These findings were not explained by shared determinants of preterm delivery and stroke within families. Stroke risks were higher after either spontaneous or medically indicated preterm delivery, and recurrent preterm delivery was associated with further increases in risk.
Conclusions
In this large national cohort, preterm delivery was associated with higher future risks of both hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. These associations remained substantially elevated at least 40 years later, and were largely independent of covariates and shared familial factors. Preterm delivery should be recognized as a risk factor for stroke in women across the life course.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2032-2044
Crump C, Sundquist J, Sundquist K
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2032-2044 | PMID: 33966449
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Impact:
Abstract

Impact of Socioeconomic Status, Race and Ethnicity, and Geography on Prenatal Detection of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Transposition of the Great Arteries.

Krishnan A, Jacobs MB, Morris SA, Peyvandi S, ... Donofrio MT, Fetal Heart Society
Background
Prenatal detection (PND) has benefits for infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and transposition of the great arteries (TGA), but associations between sociodemographic and geographic factors with PND have not been sufficiently explored. This study evaluated whether socioeconomic quartile (SEQ), public insurance, race and ethnicity, rural residence, and distance of residence (distance and driving time from a cardiac surgical center) are associated with the PND or timing of PND, with a secondary aim to analyze differences between the United States and Canada.
Methods
In this retrospective cohort study, fetuses and infants <2 months of age with HLHS or TGA admitted between 2012 and 2016 to participating Fetal Heart Society Research Collaborative institutions in the United States and Canada were included. SEQ, rural residence, and distance of residence were derived using maternal census tract from the maternal address at first visit. Subjects were assigned a SEQ z score using the neighborhood summary score or Canadian Chan index and separated into quartiles. Insurance type and self-reported race and ethnicity were obtained from medical charts. We evaluated associations among SEQ, insurance type, race and ethnicity, rural residence, and distance of residence with PND of HLHS and TGA (aggregate and individually) using bivariate analysis with adjusted associations for confounding variables and cluster analysis for centers.
Results
Data on 1862 subjects (HLHS: n=1171, 92% PND; TGA: n=691, 58% PND) were submitted by 21 centers (19 in the United States). In the United States, lower SEQ was associated with lower PND in HLHS and TGA, with the strongest association in the lower SEQ of pregnancies with fetal TGA (quartile 1, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.64-0.85], quartile 2, 0.77 [95% CI, 0.64-0.93], quartile 3, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.69-1.00], quartile 4, reference). Hispanic ethnicity (relative risk, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.72-0.99]) and rural residence (relative risk, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.64-0.95]) were also associated with lower PND in TGA. Lower SEQ was associated with later PND overall; in the United States, rural residence and public insurance were also associated with later PND.
Conclusions
We demonstrate that lower SEQ, Hispanic ethnicity, and rural residence are associated with decreased PND for TGA, with lower SEQ also being associated with decreased PND for HLHS. Future work to increase PND should be considered in these specific populations.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2049-2060
Krishnan A, Jacobs MB, Morris SA, Peyvandi S, ... Donofrio MT, Fetal Heart Society
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2049-2060 | PMID: 33993718
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Abstract

Fate and State of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Atherosclerosis.

Miano JM, Fisher EA, Majesky MW
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) have long been associated with phenotypic modulation/plasticity or dedifferentiation. Innovative technologies in cell lineage tracing, single-cell RNA sequencing, and human genomics have been integrated to gain unprecedented insights into the molecular reprogramming of VSMCs to other cell phenotypes in experimental and clinical atherosclerosis. The current thinking is that an apparently small subset of contractile VSMCs undergoes a fate switch to transitional, multipotential cells that can adopt plaque-destabilizing (inflammation, ossification) or plaque-stabilizing (collagen matrix deposition) cell states. Several candidate mediators of such VSMC fate and state changes are coming to light with intriguing implications for understanding coronary artery disease risk and the development of new treatment modalities. Here, we briefly summarize some technical and conceptual advancements derived from 2 publications in Circulation and another in Nature Medicine that, collectively, illuminate new research directions to further explore the role of VSMCs in atherosclerotic disease.



Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2110-2116
Miano JM, Fisher EA, Majesky MW
Circulation: 24 May 2021; 143:2110-2116 | PMID: 34029141
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Impact:
Abstract

Recommendations for Statistical Reporting in Cardiovascular Medicine: A Special Report From the American Heart Association.

Althouse AD, Below JE, Claggett BL, Cox NJ, ... Roger VL, American Heart Association Scientific Publishing Committee Statistics Task Force
Statistical analyses are a crucial component of the biomedical research process and are necessary to draw inferences from biomedical research data. The application of sound statistical methodology is a prerequisite for publication in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal portfolio. The objective of this document is to summarize key aspects of statistical reporting that might be most relevant to the authors, reviewers, and readership of AHA journals. The AHA Scientific Publication Committee convened a task force to inventory existing statistical standards for publication in biomedical journals and to identify approaches suitable for the AHA journal portfolio. The experts on the task force were selected by the AHA Scientific Publication Committee, who identified 12 key topics that serve as the section headers for this document. For each topic, the members of the writing group identified relevant references and evaluated them as a resource to make the standards summarized herein. Each section was independently reviewed by an expert reviewer who was not part of the task force. Expert reviewers were also permitted to comment on other sections if they chose. Differences of opinion were adjudicated by consensus. The standards presented in this report are intended to serve as a guide for high-quality reporting of statistical analyses methods and results.



Circulation: 24 May 2021:CIRCULATIONAHA121055393; epub ahead of print
Althouse AD, Below JE, Claggett BL, Cox NJ, ... Roger VL, American Heart Association Scientific Publishing Committee Statistics Task Force
Circulation: 24 May 2021:CIRCULATIONAHA121055393; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34032474
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Impact:
Abstract

Integrated Single Cell Atlas of Endothelial Cells of the Human Lung.

Schupp JC, Adams TS, Cosme C, Raredon MSB, ... Rosas IO, Kaminski N
Background: The cellular diversity of the lung endothelium has not been systematically characterized in humans. Here, we provide a reference atlas of human lung endothelial cells (ECs) to facilitate a better understanding of the phenotypic diversity and composition of cells comprising the lung endothelium.
Methods:
We reprocessed human control single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) data from six datasets. EC populations were characterized through iterative clustering with subsequent differential expression analysis. Marker genes were validated by fluorescent microscopy and in situ hybridization. scRNAseq of primary lung ECs cultured in-vitro was performed. The signaling network between different lung cell types was studied. For cross species analysis or disease relevance, we applied the same methods to scRNAseq data obtained from mouse lungs or from human lungs with pulmonary hypertension.
Results:
Six lung scRNAseq datasets were reanalyzed and annotated to identify over 15,000 vascular EC cells from 73 individuals. Differential expression analysis of EC revealed signatures corresponding to endothelial lineage, including pan-endothelial, pan-vascular and subpopulation-specific marker gene sets. Beyond the broad cellular categories of lymphatic, capillary, arterial and venous ECs, we found previously indistinguishable subpopulations: among venous EC, we identified two previously indistinguishable populations, pulmonary-venous ECs (COL15A1neg) localized to the lung parenchyma and systemic-venous ECs (COL15A1pos) localized to the airways and the visceral pleura; among capillary EC, we confirmed their subclassification into recently discovered aerocytes characterized by EDNRB, SOSTDC1 and TBX2 and general capillary EC. We confirmed that all six endothelial cell types, including the systemic-venous EC and aerocytes, are present in mice and identified endothelial marker genes conserved in humans and mice. Ligand-receptor connectome analysis revealed important homeostatic crosstalk of EC with other lung resident cell types. scRNAseq of commercially available primary lung ECs demonstrated a loss of their native lung phenotype in culture. scRNAseq revealed that the endothelial diversity is maintained in pulmonary hypertension. Our manuscript is accompanied by an online data mining tool (www.LungEndothelialCellAtlas.com). Conclusions: Our integrated analysis provides the comprehensive and well-crafted reference atlas of lung endothelial cells in the normal lung and confirms and describes in detail previously unrecognized endothelial populations across a large number of humans and mice.




Circulation: 24 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Schupp JC, Adams TS, Cosme C, Raredon MSB, ... Rosas IO, Kaminski N
Circulation: 24 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34030460
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Impact:
Abstract

Arrhythmia Mechanism and Dynamics in a Humanized Mouse Model of Inherited Cardiomyopathy Due to Phospholamban R14del Mutation.

Raad N, Bittihn P, Cacheux M, Jeong D, ... Stillitano F, Akar FG
Background: Arginine (Arg) 14 deletion (R14del) in the calcium regulatory protein phospholamban (hPLNR14del) has been identified as a disease-causing mutation in patients with an inherited cardiomyopathy. Mechanisms underlying the early arrhythmogenic phenotype that predisposes carriers of this mutation to sudden death with no apparent structural remodeling remain unclear.
Methods:
To address this, we performed high spatio-temporal resolution optical mapping of intact hearts from adult knock-in mice harboring the human PLNWT (WT, N=12) or the heterozygous human PLNR14del mutation (R14del, N=12) before and after ex-vivo challenge with isoproterenol and rapid pacing.
Results:
Adverse electrophysiological remodeling was evident in the absence of significant structural or hemodynamic changes. R14del hearts exhibited increased arrhythmia susceptibility compared to WT. Underlying this susceptibility was preferential right ventricular (RV) action potential prolongation that was unresponsive to β-adrenergic stimulation. A steep repolarization gradient at the LV/RV interface provided the substrate for inter-ventricular activation delays and ultimately local conduction block during rapid pacing. This was followed by the initiation of macroreentrant circuits supporting the onset of VT. Once sustained, these circuits evolved into high frequency rotors, which in their majority were pinned to the RV. Importantly, these rotors exhibited unique spatio-temporal dynamics that promoted their increased stability in R14del compared to WT hearts. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the crucial role of primary electrical remodeling caused by the hPLNR14del mutation. These inherently arrhythmogenic features form the substrate for adrenergic-mediated VT at early stages of PLNR14del induced cardiomyopathy.




Circulation: 23 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Raad N, Bittihn P, Cacheux M, Jeong D, ... Stillitano F, Akar FG
Circulation: 23 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34024116
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Impact:
Abstract

LncRNA CPhar Induces Cardiac Physiological Hypertrophy and Promotes Functional Recovery After Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.

Gao R, Wang L, Bei Y, Wu X, ... Li X, Xiao J
Background: Exercise training\'s benefits in cardiovascular system have been well accepted, however, the underlying mechanism remains to be explored. Here, we report the initial functional characterization of an exercise-induced cardiac physiological hypertrophy associated novel lncRNA.
Methods:
Using lncRNA microarray profiling, we identified lncRNAs in contributing the modulation of exercise-induced cardiac growth that we termed Cardiac Physiological hypertrophy associated regulator (CPhar). Mice with Adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) driving CPhar overexpression and knockdown were used in in-vivo experiments. Swim training was used to induce physiological cardiac hypertrophy in mice and ischemia reperfusion injury (IR/I) surgery was conducted to investigate the protective effects of CPhar in mice. To investigate the mechanisms of CPhar\'s function, we performed various analysis including RTqPCR, western blot, histology, cardiac function (by echocardiography), functional rescue experiments, mass spectrometry, in vitro RNA transcription, RNA pull down, RNA immunoprecipitation, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, luciferase reporter assay, and coimmunoprecipitation assays.
Results:
We screened the lncRNAs in contributing the modulation of exercise-induced cardiac growth via lncRNA microarray profiling and found that CPhar was increased with exercise and was necessary for exercise-induced physiological cardiac growth. Gain- and loss- of function of CPhar regulated the expression of proliferation markers, hypertrophy, and apoptosis in cultured neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes (NMCMs). Overexpression of CPhar prevented myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury and cardiac dysfunction in vivo. We identified DDX17 as a binding partner of CPhar in regulating CPhar downstream factor ATF7 by sequestering C/EBPβ. Conclusions: Our study of this lncRNA CPhar provides new insights into the regulation of exercise-induced cardiac physiological growth, demonstrating the cardioprotective role of CPhar in the heart, as well as expanding our mechanistic understanding of lncRNA function.




Circulation: 20 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Gao R, Wang L, Bei Y, Wu X, ... Li X, Xiao J
Circulation: 20 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34015936
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Abstract

Human Engineered Heart Tissue Patches Remuscularize the Injured Heart in a Dose-Dependent Manner.

Querdel E, Reinsch M, Castro L, Köse D, ... Eschenhagen T, Weinberger F
Background
Human engineered heart tissue (EHT) transplantation represents a potential regenerative strategy for patients with heart failure and has been successful in preclinical models. Clinical application requires upscaling, adaptation to good manufacturing practices, and determination of the effective dose.
Methods
Cardiomyocytes were differentiated from 3 different human induced pluripotent stem cell lines including one reprogrammed under good manufacturing practice conditions. Protocols for human induced pluripotent stem cell expansion, cardiomyocyte differentiation, and EHT generation were adapted to substances available in good manufacturing practice quality. EHT geometry was modified to generate patches suitable for transplantation in a small-animal model and perspectively humans. Repair efficacy was evaluated at 3 doses in a cryo-injury guinea pig model. Human-scale patches were epicardially transplanted onto healthy hearts in pigs to assess technical feasibility.
Results
We created mesh-structured tissue patches for transplantation in guinea pigs (1.5×2.5 cm, 9-15×106 cardiomyocytes) and pigs (5×7 cm, 450×106 cardiomyocytes). EHT patches coherently beat in culture and developed high force (mean 4.6 mN). Cardiomyocytes matured, aligned along the force lines, and demonstrated advanced sarcomeric structure and action potential characteristics closely resembling human ventricular tissue. EHT patches containing ≈4.5, 8.5, 12×106, or no cells were transplanted 7 days after cryo-injury (n=18-19 per group). EHT transplantation resulted in a dose-dependent remuscularization (graft size: 0%-12% of the scar). Only high-dose patches improved left ventricular function (+8% absolute, +24% relative increase). The grafts showed time-dependent cardiomyocyte proliferation. Although standard EHT patches did not withstand transplantation in pigs, the human-scale patch enabled successful patch transplantation.
Conclusions
EHT patch transplantation resulted in a partial remuscularization of the injured heart and improved left ventricular function in a dose-dependent manner in a guinea pig injury model. Human-scale patches were successfully transplanted in pigs in a proof-of-principle study.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1991-2006
Querdel E, Reinsch M, Castro L, Köse D, ... Eschenhagen T, Weinberger F
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1991-2006 | PMID: 33648345
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Impact:
Abstract

Malonate Promotes Adult Cardiomyocyte Proliferation and Heart Regeneration.

Bae J, Salamon RJ, Brandt EB, Paltzer WG, ... Fan J, Mahmoud AI
Background
Neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes undergo a metabolic switch from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation, which results in a significant increase in reactive oxygen species production that induces DNA damage. These cellular changes contribute to cardiomyocyte cell cycle exit and loss of the capacity for cardiac regeneration. The mechanisms that regulate this metabolic switch and the increase in reactive oxygen species production have been relatively unexplored. Current evidence suggests that elevated reactive oxygen species production in ischemic tissues occurs as a result of accumulation of the mitochondrial metabolite succinate during ischemia via succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and this succinate is rapidly oxidized at reperfusion. Mutations in SDH in familial cancer syndromes have been demonstrated to promote a metabolic shift into glycolytic metabolism, suggesting a potential role for SDH in regulating cellular metabolism. Whether succinate and SDH regulate cardiomyocyte cell cycle activity and the cardiac metabolic state remains unclear.
Methods
Here, we investigated the role of succinate and SDH inhibition in regulation of postnatal cardiomyocyte cell cycle activity and heart regeneration.
Results
Our results demonstrate that injection of succinate into neonatal mice results in inhibition of cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration. Our evidence also shows that inhibition of SDH by malonate treatment after birth extends the window of cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration in juvenile mice. Remarkably, extending malonate treatment to the adult mouse heart after myocardial infarction injury results in a robust regenerative response within 4 weeks after injury via promoting adult cardiomyocyte proliferation and revascularization. Our metabolite analysis after SDH inhibition by malonate induces dynamic changes in adult cardiac metabolism.
Conclusions
Inhibition of SDH by malonate promotes adult cardiomyocyte proliferation, revascularization, and heart regeneration via metabolic reprogramming. These findings support a potentially important new therapeutic approach for human heart failure.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1973-1986
Bae J, Salamon RJ, Brandt EB, Paltzer WG, ... Fan J, Mahmoud AI
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1973-1986 | PMID: 33666092
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Impact:
Abstract

LARP7 Protects Against Heart Failure by Enhancing Mitochondrial Biogenesis.

Yu H, Zhang F, Yan P, Zhang S, ... Sun K, Zhang B
Background
Heart failure (HF) is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, and its prevalence continues to rise. LARP7 (La ribonucleoprotein domain family member 7) is a master regulator that governs the DNA damage response and RNAPII (RNA polymerase II) pausing pathway, but its role in HF pathogenesis is incompletely understood.
Methods
We assessed LARP7 expression in human HF and in nonhuman primate and mouse HF models. To study the function of LARP7 in heart, we generated global and cardiac-specific LARP7 knockout mice. We acutely abolished LARP7 in mature cardiomyocytes by Cas9-mediated LARP7 somatic knockout. We overexpressed LARP7 in cardiomyocytes using adeno-associated virus serotype 9 and ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein) inhibitor. The therapeutic potential of LARP7-regulated pathways in HF was tested in a mouse myocardial infarction model.
Results
LARP7 was profoundly downregulated in failing human hearts and in nonhuman primate and murine hearts after myocardial infarction. Low LARP7 levels in failing hearts were linked to elevated reactive oxygen species, which activated the ATM-mediated DNA damage response pathway and promoted LARP7 ubiquitination and degradation. Constitutive LARP7 knockout in mouse resulted in impaired mitochondrial biogenesis, myocardial hypoplasia, and midgestational lethality. Cardiac-specific inactivation resulted in defective mitochondrial biogenesis, impaired oxidative phosphorylation, elevated oxidative stress, and HF by 4 months of age. These abnormalities were accompanied by reduced SIRT1 (silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1) stability and deacetylase activity that impaired SIRT1-mediated transcription of genes for oxidative phosphorylation and energy metabolism and dampened cardiac function. Restoring LARP7 expression after myocardial infarction by either adeno-associated virus-mediated LARP7 expression or small molecule ATM inhibitor substantially improved the function of injured heart.
Conclusions
LARP7 is essential for mitochondrial biogenesis, energy production, and cardiac function by modulating SIRT1 homeostasis and activity. Reduction of LARP7 in diseased hearts owing to activation of the ATM pathway contributes to HF pathogenesis and restoring LARP7 in the injured heart confers myocardial protection. These results identify the ATM-LARP7-SIRT1 pathway as a target for therapeutic intervention in HF.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:2007-2022
Yu H, Zhang F, Yan P, Zhang S, ... Sun K, Zhang B
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:2007-2022 | PMID: 33663221
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Abstract

Dapagliflozin and Recurrent Heart Failure Hospitalizations in Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction: An Analysis of DAPA-HF.

Jhund PS, Ponikowski P, Docherty KF, Gasparyan SB, ... Solomon SD, McMurray JJV
Background
Patients with heart failure (HF) and reduced ejection fraction will experience multiple hospitalizations for heart failure during the course of their disease. We assessed the efficacy of dapagliflozin on reducing the rate of total (ie, first and repeat) hospitalizations for heart failure in the DAPA-HF trial (Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse-Outcomes in Heart Failure).
Methods
The total number of HF hospitalizations and cardiovascular deaths was examined by using the proportional-rates approach of Lei-Wei-Yang-Ying and a joint frailty model for each of recurrent HF hospitalizations and time to cardiovascular death. Variables associated with the risk of recurrent hospitalizations were explored in a multivariable Lei-Wei-Yang-Ying model.
Results
Of 2371 participants randomly assigned to placebo, 318 experienced 469 hospitalizations for HF; of 2373 assigned to dapagliflozin, 230 patients experienced 340 admissions. In a multivariable model, factors associated with a higher risk of recurrent HF hospitalizations included higher heart rate, higher N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, and New York Heart Association class. In the Lei-Wei-Yang-Ying model, the rate ratio for the effect of dapagliflozin on recurrent HF hospitalizations or cardiovascular death was 0.75 (95% CI, 0.65-0.88), P=0.0002. In the joint frailty model, the rate ratio for total HF hospitalizations was 0.71 (95% CI, 0.61-0.82), P<0.0001, whereas, for cardiovascular death, the hazard ratio was 0.81 (95% CI, 0.67-0.98), P=0.0282.
Conclusions
Dapagliflozin reduced the risk of total (first and repeat) HF hospitalizations and cardiovascular death. Time-to-first event analysis underestimated the benefit of dapagliflozin in HF and reduced ejection fraction. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03036124.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1962-1972
Jhund PS, Ponikowski P, Docherty KF, Gasparyan SB, ... Solomon SD, McMurray JJV
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1962-1972 | PMID: 33832352
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Impact:
Abstract

High-Density Lipoprotein Anti-Inflammatory Capacity and Incident Cardiovascular Events.

Jia C, Anderson JLC, Gruppen EG, Lei Y, ... Dullaart RPF, Tietge UJF
Background
The role of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function in cardiovascular disease represents an important emerging concept. The present study investigated whether HDL anti-inflammatory capacity is prospectively associated with first cardiovascular events in the general population.
Methods
HDL anti-inflammatory capacity was determined as its ability to suppress TNFα (tumor necrosis factor α)-induced VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) mRNA expression in endothelial cells in vitro (results expressed as achieved percent reduction by individual HDL related to the maximum TNFα effect with no HDL present). In a nested case-control design of the PREVEND (Prevention of Renal and Vascular End Stage Disease) study, 369 cases experiencing a first cardiovascular event (combined end point of death from cardiovascular causes, ischemic heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and coronary revascularization) during a median of 10.5 years of follow-up were identified and individually matched to 369 controls with respect to age, sex, smoking status, and HDL cholesterol. Baseline samples were available in 340 cases and 340 matched controls.
Results
HDL anti-inflammatory capacity was not correlated with HDL cholesterol or hsCRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein). HDL anti-inflammatory capacity was significantly lower in cases compared with controls (31.6% [15.7-44.2] versus 27.0% [7.4-36.1]; P<0.001) and was inversely associated with incident CVD in a fully adjusted model (odds ratio [OR] per 1 SD, 0.74 [CI, 0.61-0.90]; P=0.002). Furthermore, this association was approximately similar with all individual components of the cardiovascular disease end point. The HDL anti-inflammatory was not correlated with cholesterol efflux capacity (r=-0.02; P>0.05). When combining these 2 HDL function metrics in 1 model, both were significantly and independently associated with incident cardiovascular disease in a fully adjusted model (efflux: OR per 1 SD, 0.74; P=0.002; anti-inflammatory capacity: OR per 1 SD, 0.66; P<0.001). Adding HDL anti-inflammatory capacity improved risk prediction by the Framingham risk score, with a model likelihood-ratio statistic increase from 10.50 to 20.40 (P=0.002).
Conclusions
The HDL anti-inflammatory capacity, reflecting vascular protection against key steps in atherogenesis, was inversely associated with incident cardiovascular events in a general population cohort, independent of HDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol efflux capacity. Adding HDL anti-inflammatory capacity to the Framingham risk score improves risk prediction.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1935-1945
Jia C, Anderson JLC, Gruppen EG, Lei Y, ... Dullaart RPF, Tietge UJF
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1935-1945 | PMID: 33840204
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Abstract

Prevention of Viridans Group Streptococcal Infective Endocarditis: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Wilson WR, Gewitz M, Lockhart PB, Bolger AF, ... American Heart Association Young Hearts Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis and Kawasaki Disease Committee of the Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and the Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research
Background
In 2007, the American Heart Association published updated evidence-based guidelines on the recommended use of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent viridans group streptococcal (VGS) infective endocarditis (IE) in cardiac patients undergoing invasive procedures. The 2007 guidelines significantly scaled back the underlying conditions for which antibiotic prophylaxis was recommended, leaving only 4 categories thought to confer the highest risk of adverse outcome. The purpose of this update is to examine interval evidence of the acceptance and impact of the 2007 recommendations on VGS IE and, if needed, to make revisions based on this evidence.
Methods and results
A writing group was formed consisting of experts in prevention and treatment of infective endocarditis including members of the American Dental Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, in addition to the American Heart Association. MEDLINE database searches were done for English language articles on compliance with the recommendations in the 2007 guidelines and the frequency of and morbidity or mortality from VGS IE after publication of the 2007 guidelines. Overall, there was good general awareness of the 2007 guidelines but variable compliance with recommendations. There was no convincing evidence that VGS IE frequency, morbidity, or mortality has increased since 2007.
Conclusions
On the basis of a review of the available evidence, there are no recommended changes to the 2007 VGS IE prevention guidelines. We continue to recommend VGS IE prophylaxis only for categories of patients at highest risk for adverse outcome while emphasizing the critical role of good oral health and regular access to dental care for all. Randomized controlled studies to determine whether antibiotic prophylaxis is effective against VGS IE are needed to further refine recommendations.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:e963-e978
Wilson WR, Gewitz M, Lockhart PB, Bolger AF, ... American Heart Association Young Hearts Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis and Kawasaki Disease Committee of the Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and the Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:e963-e978 | PMID: 33853363
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Abstract

Cardiovascular Risk Factor Trajectories Since Childhood and Cognitive Performance in Midlife: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study.

Hakala JO, Pahkala K, Juonala M, Salo P, ... Raitakari OT, Rovio SP
Background
Cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, adverse serum lipids, and elevated body mass index in midlife, may harm cognitive performance. It is important to note that longitudinal accumulation of cardiovascular risk factors since childhood may be associated with cognitive performance already since childhood, but the previous evidence is scarce. We studied the associations of cardiovascular risk factors from childhood to midlife, their accumulation, and midlife cognitive performance.
Methods
From 1980, a population-based cohort of 3596 children (3-18 years of age) have been repeatedly followed up for 31 years. Blood pressure, serum lipids, and body mass index were assessed in all follow-ups. Cardiovascular risk factor trajectories from childhood to midlife were identified using latent class growth mixture modeling. Cognitive testing was performed in 2026 participants 34 to 49 years of age using a computerized test. The associations of the cardiovascular risk factor trajectories and cognitive performance were studied for individual cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular risk factor accumulation.
Results
Consistently high systolic blood pressure (β=-0.262 SD [95% CI, -0.520 to -0.005]) and serum total cholesterol (β=-0.214 SD [95% CI, -0.365 to -0.064]) were associated with worse midlife episodic memory and associative learning compared with consistently low values. Obesity since childhood was associated with worse visual processing and sustained attention (β=-0.407 SD [95% CI, -0.708 to -0.105]) compared with normal weight. An inverse association was observed for the cardiovascular risk factor accumulation with episodic memory and associative learning (P for trend=0.008; 3 cardiovascular risk factors: β=-0.390 SD [95% CI, -0.691 to -0.088]), with visual processing and sustained attention (P for trend<0.0001; 3 cardiovascular risk factors: β=-0.443 SD [95% CI, -0.730 to -0.157]), and with reaction and movement time (P for trend=0.048; 2 cardiovascular risk factors: β=-0.164 SD [95% CI, -0.318 to -0.010]).
Conclusions
Longitudinal elevated systolic blood pressure, high serum total cholesterol, and obesity from childhood to midlife were inversely associated with midlife cognitive performance. It is important to note that the higher the number of cardiovascular risk factors, the worse was the observed cognitive performance. Therefore, launching preventive strategies against cardiovascular risk factors beginning from childhood might benefit primordial promotion of cognitive health in adulthood.



Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1949-1961
Hakala JO, Pahkala K, Juonala M, Salo P, ... Raitakari OT, Rovio SP
Circulation: 17 May 2021; 143:1949-1961 | PMID: 33966448
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Abstract

Biomarker-Based Risk Prediction With the ABC-AF Scores in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Not Receiving Oral Anticoagulation.

Benz AP, Hijazi Z, Lindbäck J, Connolly SJ, ... Siegbahn A, Wallentin L
Background
The novel ABC (Age, Biomarkers, Clinical History) scores outperform traditional risk scores for stroke, major bleeding, and death in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) receiving oral anticoagulation. To refine their utility, the ABC-AF scores needed to be validated in patients not receiving oral anticoagulation.
Methods
We measured plasma levels of the ABC biomarkers (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, cardiac troponin-T, and growth-differentiation factor 15) to apply the previously developed ABC-AF scores in patients with AF receiving aspirin (n=3195) or aspirin and clopidogrel (n=1110) in 2 large clinical trials. Calibration was assessed by comparing estimated with observed 1-year risks. Cox regression models were used for recalibration. Discrimination was evaluated separately for the aspirin-only and the overall cohort (n=4305).
Results
The ABC-AF-stroke score yielded a c-index of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.67-0.73) in both cohorts. The ABC-AF-bleeding score had a c-index of 0.76 (95% CI, 0.71-0.81) in the aspirin-only cohort and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.69-0.77) overall. Both scores were superior to risk scores recommended by current guidelines. The ABC-AF-death score yielded a c-index of 0.78 (95% CI, 0.76-0.80) overall. Calibrated in patients receiving oral anticoagulation, the ABC-AF-stroke score underestimated and the ABC-AF-bleeding score overestimated the risk of events in both cohorts. These scores were recalibrated for prediction of absolute event rates in the absence of oral anticoagulation.
Conclusions
The biomarker-based ABC-AF scores showed better discrimination than traditional risk scores and were recalibrated for precise risk estimation in patients not receiving oral anticoagulation. They can now provide improved decision support on treatment of an individual patient with AF.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1863-1873
Benz AP, Hijazi Z, Lindbäck J, Connolly SJ, ... Siegbahn A, Wallentin L
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1863-1873 | PMID: 33849281
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Impact:
Abstract

HDAC Inhibition Reverses Preexisting Diastolic Dysfunction and Blocks Covert Extracellular Matrix Remodeling.

Travers JG, Wennersten SA, Peña B, Bagchi RA, ... Lam MPY, McKinsey TA
Background
Diastolic dysfunction (DD) is associated with the development of heart failure and contributes to the pathogenesis of other cardiac maladies, including atrial fibrillation. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) has been shown to prevent DD by enhancing myofibril relaxation. We addressed the therapeutic potential of HDAC inhibition in a model of established DD with preserved ejection fraction.
Methods
Four weeks after uninephrectomy and implantation with deoxycorticosterone acetate pellets, when DD was clearly evident, 1 cohort of mice was administered the clinical-stage HDAC inhibitor ITF2357/Givinostat. Echocardiography, blood pressure measurements, and end point invasive hemodynamic analyses were performed. Myofibril mechanics and intact cardiomyocyte relaxation were assessed ex vivo. Cardiac fibrosis was evaluated by picrosirius red staining and second harmonic generation microscopy of left ventricle (LV) sections, RNA sequencing of LV mRNA, mass spectrometry-based evaluation of decellularized LV biopsies, and atomic force microscopy determination of LV stiffness. Mechanistic studies were performed with primary rat and human cardiac fibroblasts.
Results
HDAC inhibition normalized DD without lowering blood pressure in this model of systemic hypertension. In contrast to previous models, myofibril relaxation was unimpaired in uninephrectomy/deoxycorticosterone acetate mice. Furthermore, cardiac fibrosis was not evident in any mouse cohort on the basis of picrosirius red staining or second harmonic generation microscopy. However, mass spectrometry revealed induction in the expression of >100 extracellular matrix proteins in LVs of uninephrectomy/deoxycorticosterone acetate mice, which correlated with profound tissue stiffening based on atomic force microscopy. ITF2357/Givinostat treatment blocked extracellular matrix expansion and LV stiffening. The HDAC inhibitor was subsequently shown to suppress cardiac fibroblast activation, at least in part, by blunting recruitment of the profibrotic chromatin reader protein BRD4 (bromodomain-containing protein 4) to key gene regulatory elements.
Conclusions
These findings demonstrate the potential of HDAC inhibition as a therapeutic intervention to reverse existing DD and establish blockade of extracellular matrix remodeling as a second mechanism by which HDAC inhibitors improve ventricular filling. Our data reveal the existence of pathophysiologically relevant covert or hidden cardiac fibrosis that is below the limit of detection of histochemical stains such as picrosirius red, highlighting the need to evaluate fibrosis of the heart using diverse methodologies.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1874-1890
Travers JG, Wennersten SA, Peña B, Bagchi RA, ... Lam MPY, McKinsey TA
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1874-1890 | PMID: 33682427
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Impact:
Abstract

S-Nitrosylation of Histone Deacetylase 2 by Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase as a Mechanism of Diastolic Dysfunction.

Yoon S, Kim M, Lee H, Kang G, ... Kook H, Eom GH
Background
Although the clinical importance of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction has been extensively explored, most therapeutic regimens, including nitric oxide (NO) donors, lack therapeutic benefit. Although the clinical characteristics of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction are somewhat heterogeneous, diastolic dysfunction (DD) is one of the most important features. Here we report that neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) induces DD by S-nitrosylation of HDAC2 (histone deacetylase 2).
Methods
Two animal models of DD-SAUNA (SAlty drinking water/Unilateral Nephrectomy/Aldosterone) and mild transverse aortic constriction mice-as well as human heart samples from patients with left ventricular hypertrophy were used. Genetically modified mice that were either nNOS-ablated or HDAC2 S-nitrosylation-resistant were also challenged. N(ω)-propyl-L-arginine, an nNOS selective inhibitor, and dimethyl fumarate, an NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) inducer, were used. Molecular events were further checked in human left ventricle specimens.
Results
SAUNA or mild transverse aortic constriction stress impaired diastolic function and exercise tolerance without overt systolic failure. Among the posttranslational modifications tested, S-nitrosylation was most dramatically increased in both models. Utilizing heart samples from both mice and humans, we observed increases in nNOS expression and NO production. N(ω)-propyl-L-arginine alleviated the development of DD in vivo. Similarly, nNOS knockout mice were resistant to SAUNA stress. nNOS-induced S-nitrosylation of HDAC2 was relayed by transnitrosylation of GAPDH. HDAC2 S-nitrosylation was confirmed in both DD mouse and human left ventricular hypertrophy. S-nitrosylation of HDAC2 took place at C262 and C274. When DD was induced, HDAC2 S-nitrosylation was detected in wild-type mouse, but not in HDAC2 knock-in mouse heart that expressed HDAC2 C262A/C274A. In addition, HDAC2 C262A/C274A mice maintained normal diastolic function under DD stimuli. Gene delivery with adenovirus-associated virus 9 (AAV9)-NRF2, a putative denitrosylase of HDAC2, or pharmacological intervention by dimethyl fumarate successfully induced HDAC2 denitrosylation and mitigated DD in vivo.
Conclusions
Our observations are the first to demonstrate a new mechanism underlying DD pathophysiology. Our results provide theoretical and experimental evidence to explain the ineffectiveness of conventional NO enhancement trials for improving DD with heart failure symptoms. More important, our results suggest that reduction of NO or denitrosylation of HDAC2 may provide a new therapeutic platform for the treatment of refractory heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1912-1925
Yoon S, Kim M, Lee H, Kang G, ... Kook H, Eom GH
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1912-1925 | PMID: 33715387
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Impact:
Abstract

Treatment Effects of Interleukin-6 Receptor Antibodies for Modulating the Systemic Inflammatory Response After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (The IMICA Trial): A Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled, Single-Center, Randomized, Clinical Trial.

Meyer MAS, Wiberg S, Grand J, Meyer ASP, ... Kjaergaard J, Hassager C
Background
Patients experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest who remain comatose after initial resuscitation are at high risk of morbidity and mortality attributable to the ensuing post-cardiac arrest syndrome. Systemic inflammation constitutes a major component of post-cardiac arrest syndrome, and IL-6 (interleukin-6) levels are associated with post-cardiac arrest syndrome severity. The IL-6 receptor antagonist tocilizumab could potentially dampen inflammation in post-cardiac arrest syndrome. The objective of the present trial was to determine the efficacy of tocilizumab to reduce systemic inflammation after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of a presumed cardiac cause and thereby potentially mitigate organ injury.
Methods
Eighty comatose patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were randomly assigned 1:1 in a double-blinded placebo-controlled trial to a single infusion of tocilizumab or placebo in addition to standard of care including targeted temperature management. Blood samples were sequentially drawn during the initial 72 hours. The primary end point was the reduction in C-reactive protein response from baseline until 72 hours in patients treated with tocilizumab evaluated by mixed-model analysis for a treatment-by-time interaction. Secondary end points (main) were the marker of inflammation: leukocytes; the markers of myocardial injury: creatine kinase myocardial band, troponin T, and N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide; and the marker of brain injury: neuron-specific enolase. These secondary end points were analyzed by mixed-model analysis.
Results
The primary end point of reducing the C-reactive protein response by tocilizumab was achieved since there was a significant treatment-by-time interaction, P<0.0001, and a profound effect on C-reactive protein levels. Systemic inflammation was reduced by treatment with tocilizumab because both C-reactive protein and leukocyte levels were markedly reduced, tocilizumab versus placebo at 24 hours: -84% [-90%; -76%] and -34% [-46%; -19%], respectively, both P<0.001. Myocardial injury was also reduced, documented by reductions in creatine kinase myocardial band and troponin T; tocilizumab versus placebo at 12 hours: -36% [-54%; -11%] and -38% [-53%; -19%], respectively, both P<0.01. N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide was similarly reduced by active treatment; tocilizumab versus placebo at 48 hours: -65% [-80%; -41%], P<0.001. There were no differences in survival or neurological outcome.
Conclusions
Treatment with tocilizumab resulted in a significant reduction in systemic inflammation and myocardial injury in comatose patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03863015.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1841-1851
Meyer MAS, Wiberg S, Grand J, Meyer ASP, ... Kjaergaard J, Hassager C
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1841-1851 | PMID: 33745292
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Impact:
Abstract

Increased Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Ca/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II Activation Contributes to Calcium Handling Abnormalities and Impaired Contraction in Barth Syndrome.

Liu X, Wang S, Guo X, Li Y, ... Bezzerides VJ, Pu WT
Background
Mutations in tafazzin (TAZ), a gene required for biogenesis of cardiolipin, the signature phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane, causes Barth syndrome (BTHS). Cardiomyopathy and risk of sudden cardiac death are prominent features of BTHS, but the mechanisms by which impaired cardiolipin biogenesis causes cardiac muscle weakness and arrhythmia are poorly understood.
Methods
We performed in vivo electrophysiology to define arrhythmia vulnerability in cardiac-specific TAZ knockout mice. Using cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells and cardiac-specific TAZ knockout mice as model systems, we investigated the effect of TAZ inactivation on Ca2+ handling. Through genome editing and pharmacology, we defined a molecular link between TAZ mutation and abnormal Ca2+ handling and contractility.
Results
A subset of mice with cardiac-specific TAZ inactivation developed arrhythmias, including bidirectional ventricular tachycardia, atrial tachycardia, and complete atrioventricular block. Compared with wild-type controls, BTHS-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes had increased diastolic Ca2+ and decreased Ca2+ transient amplitude. BTHS-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes had higher levels of mitochondrial and cellular reactive oxygen species than wild-type controls, which activated CaMKII (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II). Activated CaMKII phosphorylated the RYR2 (ryanodine receptor 2) on serine 2814, increasing Ca2+ leak through RYR2. Inhibition of this reactive oxygen species-CaMKII-RYR2 pathway through pharmacological inhibitors or genome editing normalized aberrant Ca2+ handling in BTHS-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and improved their contractile function. Murine Taz knockout cardiomyocytes also exhibited elevated diastolic Ca2+ and decreased Ca2+ transient amplitude. These abnormalities were ameliorated by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II or reactive oxygen species inhibition.
Conclusions
This study identified a molecular pathway that links TAZ mutation with abnormal Ca2+ handling and decreased cardiomyocyte contractility. This pathway may offer therapeutic opportunities to treat BTHS and potentially other diseases with elevated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1894-1911
Liu X, Wang S, Guo X, Li Y, ... Bezzerides VJ, Pu WT
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1894-1911 | PMID: 33793303
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Impact:
Abstract

Perioperative Neurological Evaluation and Management to Lower the Risk of Acute Stroke in Patients Undergoing Noncardiac, Nonneurological Surgery: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Benesch C, Glance LG, Derdeyn CP, Fleisher LA, ... American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention
Perioperative stroke is a potentially devastating complication in patients undergoing noncardiac, nonneurological surgery. This scientific statement summarizes established risk factors for perioperative stroke, preoperative and intraoperative strategies to mitigate the risk of stroke, suggestions for postoperative assessments, and treatment approaches for minimizing permanent neurological dysfunction in patients who experience a perioperative stroke. The first section focuses on preoperative optimization, including the role of preoperative carotid revascularization in patients with high-grade carotid stenosis and delaying surgery in patients with recent strokes. The second section reviews intraoperative strategies to reduce the risk of stroke, focusing on blood pressure control, perioperative goal-directed therapy, blood transfusion, and anesthetic technique. Finally, this statement presents strategies for the evaluation and treatment of patients with suspected postoperative strokes and, in particular, highlights the value of rapid recognition of strokes and the early use of intravenous thrombolysis and mechanical embolectomy in appropriate patients.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:e923-e946
Benesch C, Glance LG, Derdeyn CP, Fleisher LA, ... American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:e923-e946 | PMID: 33827230
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Impact:
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