Publications by authors named "Congye Li"

59 Publications

FNDC5/Irisin attenuates diabetic cardiomyopathy in a type 2 diabetes mouse model by activation of integrin αV/β5-AKT signaling and reduction of oxidative/nitrosative stress.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2021 Jul 3;160:27-41. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China. Electronic address:

Irisin, the cleaved form of the fibronectin type III domain containing 5 (FNDC5) protein, is involved in metabolism and inflammation. Recent findings indicated that irisin participated in cardiovascular physiology and pathology. In this study, we investigated the effects of FNDC5/irisin on diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) in type 2 diabetic db/db mice. Downregulation of myocardial FNDC5/irisin protein expression and plasma irisin levels was observed in db/db mice compared to db/+ controls. Moreover, echocardiography revealed that db/db mice exhibited normal cardiac systolic function and impaired diastolic function. Adverse structural remodeling, including cardiomyocyte apoptosis, myocardial fibrosis, and cardiac hypertrophy were observed in the hearts of db/db mice. Sixteen-week-old db/db mice were intramyocardially injected with adenovirus encoding FNDC5 or treated with recombinant human irisin via a peritoneal implant osmotic pump for 4 weeks. Both overexpression of myocardial FNDC5 and exogenous irisin administration attenuated diastolic dysfunction and cardiac structural remodeling in db/db mice. Results from in vitro studies revealed that FNDC5/irisin protein expression was decreased in high glucose (HG)/high fat (HF)-treated cardiomyocytes. Increased levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2), 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and peroxynitrite (ONOO) in HG/HF-treated H9C2 cells provided evidence of oxidative/nitrosative stress, which was alleviated by treatment with FNDC5/irisin. Moreover, the mitochondria membrane potential (ΔΨm) was decreased and cytochrome C was released from mitochondria with increased levels of cleaved caspase-3 in HG/HF-treated H9C2 cells, indicating the presence of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, which was partially reversed by FNDC5/irisin treatment. Mechanistic studies showed that activation of integrin αVβ5-AKT signaling and attenuation of oxidative/nitrosative stress were responsible for the cardioprotective effects of FNDC5/irisin. Therefore, FNDC5/irisin mediates cardioprotection in DCM by inhibiting myocardial apoptosis, myocardial fibrosis, and cardiac hypertrophy. These findings implicate that FNDC5/irisin as a potential therapeutic intervention for DCM, especially in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2021.06.013DOI Listing
July 2021

Fas-Activated Serine/Threonine Kinase Governs Cardiac Mitochondrial Complex I Functional Integrity in Ischemia/Reperfusion Heart.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2020 28;8:630421. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Cardiac energy homeostasis is strictly controlled by the mitochondrial complex-mediated respiration. In the heart, mitochondrial complex I is highly susceptible to functional and structural destroy after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), thereby contributing to myocardial energy insufficiency and cardiomyocyte death. Fas-activated serine/threonine kinase (FASTK) is recently recognized as a key modulator of mitochondrial gene expression and respiration. However, the role of FASTK in cardiac I/R process is undetermined. Here, we show that FASTK expression was down-regulated in the post-I/R heart. The reactive oxygen species scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine reversed I/R-induced FASTK down-regulation. Genetic deletion of FASTK exacerbated I/R-induced cardiac dysfunction, enlarged myocardial infarct size, and increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Compared with the wild type control, the FASTK deficient heart exhibited a lower mRNA expression of NADH dehydrogenase subunit-6 (MTND6, a mitochondrial gene encoding a subunit of complex I) and was more vulnerable to I/R-associated complex I inactivation. Replenishment of FASTK expression via adenovirus-mediated gene delivery restored mitochondrial complex I activity and ameliorated cardiomyocyte death induced by I/R, whereas these beneficial effects were blocked by the co-treatment with rotenone, a specific complex I inhibitor. experiments further confirmed that cardiac overexpression of FASTK ameliorated I/R-related MTND6 down-regulation and mitochondrial complex I inactivation, thereby protecting the heart against I/R injury. Collectively, these data for the first time identify that the down-regulation of FASTK is a direct culprit behind the loss of mitochondrial complex I functional integrity and cardiac injury induced by I/R process. Targeting FASTK might be a promising and effective strategy for MI/R intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.630421DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876271PMC
January 2021

Sirt6-Mediated Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Contributes Toward Diabetic Cardiomyopathy via the Notch1 Signaling Pathway.

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2020 7;13:4801-4808. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.

Background: Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is an important source of myofibroblasts that directly affects cardiac function in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) via an unknown underlying mechanism. Sirt6 is a member of the Sirtuin family of NAD(+)-dependent enzymes that plays an important role in glucose and fatty acid metabolism. In this study, we investigated whether Sirt6 participates in EndMT during the development of T2DM and the possible underlying regulatory mechanisms.

Methods: Endothelium-specific Sirt6 knockout (Sirt6-KO) mice (C57BL/6 genetic background) were generated using the classic Cre/loxp gene recombination system. T2DM was induced in eight-week-old male mice by feeding with a high-fat diet for three weeks followed by i.p. injection with 30 mg/kg of streptozotocin. The weight, lipids profiles, insulin, food intake and water intake of experimental animals were measured on a weekly basis. Cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) were obtained from adult male mice; the isolated cells were cultured with high glucose (HG; 33 mmol/L) and palmitic acid (PA; 500 μmol/L) in DMEM for 24 h, or with normal glucose (NG; 5 mmol/L) as the control.

Results: Sirt6 expression is significantly downregulated in CMECs treated with HG+PA. Additionally, Sirt6-KO was found to worsen DCM, as indicated by aggravated perivascular fibrosis, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, and decreased cardiac function. In vitro, Sirt6 knockdown exacerbated the proliferation, and migration of CMECs exposed to HG+PA. Mechanistically, Sirt6 knockdown significantly enhanced Notch1 activation in CMECs treated with HG+PA, whereas Notch1 adenoviral interference significantly blunted the effects of Sirt6 knockdown on CMECs.

Conclusion: This study is the first to demonstrate that Sirt6 participates in EndMT via the Notch1 signaling pathway in CMECs stimulated with HG+PA. Therefore, the findings of this study suggest that Sirt6 could provide a potential treatment strategy for DCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S287287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732976PMC
December 2020

TBC1D15/RAB7-regulated mitochondria-lysosome interaction confers cardioprotection against acute myocardial infarction-induced cardiac injury.

Theranostics 2020 14;10(24):11244-11263. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Department of Cardiology and Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.

Ischemic heart disease remains a primary threat to human health, while its precise etiopathogenesis is still unclear. TBC domain family member 15 (TBC1D15) is a RAB7 GTPase-activating protein participating in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. This study was designed to explore the role of TBC1D15 in acute myocardial infarction (MI)-induced cardiac injury and the possible mechanism(s) involved. Mitochondria-lysosome interaction was evaluated using transmission electron microscopy and live cell time-lapse imaging. Mitophagy flux was measured by fluorescence and western blotting. Adult mice were transfected with adenoviral TBC1D15 through intra-myocardium injection prior to a 3-day MI procedure. Cardiac morphology and function were evaluated at the levels of whole-heart, cardiomyocytes, intracellular organelles and cell signaling transduction. Our results revealed downregulated level of TBC1D15, reduced systolic function, overt infarct area and myocardial interstitial fibrosis, elevated cardiomyocyte apoptosis and mitochondrial damage 3 days after MI. Overexpression of TBC1D15 restored cardiac systolic function, alleviated infarct area and myocardial interstitial fibrosis, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and mitochondrial damage although TBC1D15 itself did not exert any myocardial effect in the absence of MI. Further examination revealed that 3-day MI-induced accumulation of damaged mitochondria was associated with blockade of mitochondrial clearance because of enlarged defective lysosomes and subsequent interrupted mitophagy flux, which were attenuated by TBC1D15 overexpression. Mechanistic studies showed that 3-day MI provoked abnormal mitochondria-lysosome contacts, leading to lysosomal enlargement and subsequently disabled lysosomal clearance of damaged mitochondria. TBC1D15 loosened the abnormal mitochondria-lysosome contacts through both the Fis1 binding and the RAB7 GAPase-activating domain of TBC1D15, as TBC1D15-dependent beneficial responses were reversed by interference with either of these two domains both and . Our findings indicated a pivotal role of TBC1D15 in acute MI-induced cardiac anomalies through Fis1/RAB7 regulated mitochondria-lysosome contacts and subsequent lysosome-dependent mitophagy flux activation, which may provide a new target in the clinical treatment of acute MI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.46883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532681PMC
June 2021

SHANK3 Co-ordinately Regulates Autophagy and Apoptosis in Myocardial Infarction.

Front Physiol 2020 25;11:1082. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Cardiac remodeling and dysfunction are responsible for the high mortality after myocardial infarction (MI). We assessed the potential for Shank3 to alleviate the post-infarction cardiac dysfunction. The experimental MI mice model was constructed by left anterior descending coronary artery ligation. Shank3 knockout aggravated cardiac dysfunction after MI, while Shank3 overexpression alleviated it. The histological examination showed that the infarct size was significantly increased in the acute phase of MI in the Shank3 knockout group, and the cardiac dysfunction of the Shank3 knockout group was even more severe than the Shank3 overexpression group, revealed by echocardiography analyses. , cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes were subjected to simulated MI. Shank3 downregulation curbed LC3 expression and autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Furthermore, Shank3 downregulation increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis. In contrast, Shank3 upregulation induced autophagy, and inhibited apoptosis under hypoxia. , western blot analysis showed decreased levels of Atg7, Beclin1, LC3-II, and Bcl-2 as well as increased expression of p62, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved caspase-9 in the Shank3 knockout group which suffered from MI. On the other hand, it also revealed that Shank3 overexpression induced autophagy and inhibited apoptosis after MI. Shank3 may serve as a new target for improving cardiac function after MI by inducing autophagy while inhibiting apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.01082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477314PMC
August 2020

PAK4 suppresses TNF-induced release of endothelial microparticles in HUVECs cells.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 07 12;12(13):12740-12749. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Jing'an, Shanghai, China.

Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine upregulated in many inflammatory diseases, and a potent inducer of endothelial cell-derived microparticle (EMP) formation. In this study, we identified the protein kinase PAK4 as a key regulator of the TNF-induced EMP release from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). TNF induces dose- and time-dependent EMP release and downregulation of PAK4 and upstream cdc42 in HUVECs. PAK4 suppression or inhibition of its kinase activity increases TNF-induced EMP release and apoptosis in HUVECs, while PAK4 overexpression reduces EMP release and apoptosis in TNF-stimulated cells. Collectively, these data indicate that PAK4 suppresses TNF-induced EMP generation occurring during apoptosis, and suggest that modulation of PAK4 activity may represent a novel approach to suppress the TNF-induced EMP levels in pro-inflammatory disorders and other pathological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.103173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7377857PMC
July 2020

TANK-binding kinase 1 alleviates myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury through regulating apoptotic pathway.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2020 07 3;528(3):574-579. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Department of Cardiology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Medical School of Zhejiang University, 310020, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China; Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Intervention and Regenerative Medicine of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. Electronic address:

Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury, a complicated pathophysiological process, is regulated by lots of signaling pathways. Here in our present study, we identified TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), an IKK-related serine/threonine kinase, as a protective regulator in MI/R injury. Our results indicated that TBK1 was decreased in MI/R injury in mice. However, after overexpressing TBK1 through an intramyocardial injection of TBK1 adenovirus, TBK1 overexpression improved cardiac function detected by echocardiography, decreased infarct size detected by Evans Blue and TTC staining, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis measured by TUNEL staining and alleviated disruption of mitochondria and cardiac muscle fibers detected by TEM in response to MI/R injury. Consistently, TBK1 overexpression ameliorated mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR) in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) in response to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury. Mechanistically, TBK1 overexpression upregulated Bcl-2 (an anti-apoptotic protein) but downregulated Bax (a pro-apoptotic protein) in vivo and in vitro. Collectively, our findings uncovered a pivotal function of TBK1 in MI/R injury through regulating the levels of apoptotic proteins for the first time, which might represent a promising target in treating MI/R patients in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.05.143DOI Listing
July 2020

Branched chain amino acids exacerbate myocardial ischemia/reperfusion vulnerability via enhancing GCN2/ATF6/PPAR-α pathway-dependent fatty acid oxidation.

Theranostics 2020 27;10(12):5623-5640. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, Xi'an, China.

: Myocardial vulnerability to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is strictly regulated by energy substrate metabolism. Branched chain amino acids (BCAA), consisting of valine, leucine and isoleucine, are a group of essential amino acids that are highly oxidized in the heart. Elevated levels of BCAA have been implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases; however, the role of BCAA in I/R process is not fully understood. The present study aims to determine how BCAA influence myocardial energy substrate metabolism and to further clarify the pathophysiological significance during cardiac I/R injury. : Parameters of glucose and fatty acid metabolism were measured by seahorse metabolic flux analyzer in adult mouse cardiac myocytes with or without BCAA incubation Chronic accumulation of BCAA was induced in mice receiving oral BCAA administration. A genetic mouse model with defective BCAA catabolism was also utilized. Mice were subjected to MI/R and the injury was assessed extensively at the whole-heart, cardiomyocyte, and molecular levels. : We confirmed that chronic accumulation of BCAA enhanced glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) but suppressed glucose oxidation in adult mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes. Oral gavage of BCAA enhanced FAO in cardiac tissues, exacerbated lipid peroxidation toxicity and worsened myocardial vulnerability to I/R injury. Etomoxir, a specific inhibitor of FAO, rescued the deleterious effects of BCAA on I/R injury. Mechanistically, valine, leucine and their corresponding branched chain α-keto acid (BCKA) derivatives, but not isoleucine and its BCKA derivative, transcriptionally upregulated peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α). BCAA/BCKA induced PPAR-α upregulation through the general control nonderepresible-2 (GCN2)/ activating transcription factor-6 (ATF6) pathway. Finally, in a genetic mouse model with BCAA catabolic defects, chronic accumulation of BCAA increased FAO in myocardial tissues and sensitized the heart to I/R injury, which could be reversed by adenovirus-mediated PPAR-α silencing. : We identify BCAA as an important nutrition regulator of myocardial fatty acid metabolism through transcriptional upregulation of PPAR-α. Chronic accumulation of BCAA, caused by either dietary or genetic factors, renders the heart vulnerable to I/R injury via exacerbating lipid peroxidation toxicity. These data support the notion that BCAA lowering methods might be potentially effective cardioprotective strategies, especially among patients with diseases characterized by elevated levels of BCAA, such as obesity and diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.44836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196282PMC
May 2021

Luteolin attenuates sepsis‑induced myocardial injury by enhancing autophagy in mice.

Int J Mol Med 2020 May 11;45(5):1477-1487. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710032, P.R. China.

Sepsis‑induced cardiomyopathy (SIC) is a complication of severe sepsis and septic shock characterized by an invertible myocardial depression. This study sought to explore the potential effects and mechanism of luteolin, a flavonoid polyphenolic compound, in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)‑induced myocardial injury. Experimental mice were randomly allocated into 3 groups (25 mice in each group): The control group (NC), the LPS group (LPS) and the LPS + luteolin group (LPS + Lut). Before the SIC model was induced, luteolin was dissolved in DMSO and injected intraperitoneally for 10 days into LPS + Lut group mice. NC group and LPS group mice received an equal volume of DMSO for 10 days. On day 11, the animal model of sepsis‑induced cardiac dysfunction was induced by intraperitoneal injection of LPS. A total of 12 h after LPS injection, measurements and comparisons were made among the groups. Luteolin administration improved cardiac function, attenuated the inflammatory response, alleviated mitochondrial injury, decreased oxidative stress, inhibited cardiac apoptosis and enhanced autophagy. In addition, luteolin significantly decreased the phosphorylation of AMP‑activated protein kinase (AMPK) in septic heart tissue. The protective effect of luteolin was abolished by 3‑methyladenine (an autophagy inhibitor) and dorsomorphin (compound C, an AMPK inhibitor), as evidenced by decreased autophagic activity, destabilized mitochondrial membrane potential and increased apoptosis in LPS‑treated cardiomyocytes, but was mimicked by 5‑aminoimidazole‑4‑carboxamide ribonucleotide (an AMPK activator), suggesting that luteolin attenuates LPS‑induced myocardial injury by increasing autophagy through AMPK activation. Luteolin may be a promising therapeutic agent for treating SIC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2020.4536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7138288PMC
May 2020

Mst1 knockdown alleviates cardiac lipotoxicity and inhibits the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy in db/db mice.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2020 08 19;1866(8):165806. Epub 2020 Apr 19.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China. Electronic address:

Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) accounts for increasing deaths of diabetic patients, and effective therapeutic targets are urgently needed. Myocardial lipotoxicity, which is caused by cardiac non-oxidative metabolic fatty acids and cardiotoxic fatty acid metabolites accumulation, has gained more attention to explain the increasing prevalence of DCM. However, whether mammalian Ste20-like kinase 1 (Mst1) plays a role in lipotoxicity in type 2 diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy has not yet been illustrated. Here, we found that Mst1 expression was elevated transcriptionally in the hearts of type 2 diabetes mellitus mice and palmitic acid-treated neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9)-mediated Mst1 silencing in db/db mouse hearts significantly alleviated cardiac dysfunction and fibrosis. Notably, Mst1 knockdown in db/db mouse hearts decreased lipotoxic apoptosis and inflammatory response. Mst1 knockdown exerted protective effects through inactivation of MAPK/ERK kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1)/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway. Moreover, lipotoxicity induced Mst1 expression through promoting the binding of forkhead box O3 (FoxO3) and Mst1 promoter. Conclusively, we elucidated for the first time that Mst1 expression is regulated by FOXO3 under lipotoxicity stimulation and downregulation of Mst1 protects db/db mice from lipotoxic cardiac injury through MEKK1/JNK signaling inhibition, indicating that Mst1 abrogation may be a potential treatment strategy for DCM in type 2 diabetic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2020.165806DOI Listing
August 2020

Luteolin Attenuates Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity Through Promoting Mitochondrial Autophagy.

Front Physiol 2020 14;11:113. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Department of Cardiology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Doxorubicin is a valuable antineoplastic drug although its clinical use is greatly hindered by its severe cardiotoxicity with dismal target therapy available. Luteolin is a natural product extracted from vegetables and fruits with a wide range of biological efficacies including anti-oxidative, anti-tumorigenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. This study was designed to examine the possible effect of luteolin on doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, if any, and the mechanism(s) involved with a focus on mitochondrial autophagy. Luteolin application (10 μM) in adult mouse cardiomyocytes overtly improved doxorubicin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction including elevated peak shortening amplitude and maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening along with unchanged duration of shortening and relengthening. Luteolin alleviated doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity including apoptosis, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, luteolin attenuated doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity through promoting mitochondrial autophagy in association with facilitating phosphorylation of Drp1 at Ser, and upregulating TFEB expression. In addition, luteolin treatment partially attenuated low dose doxorubicin-induced elongation of mitochondria. Treatment of Mdivi-1, a Drp1 GTPase inhibitor, negated the protective effect of luteolin on levels of TFEB, LAMP1, and LC3B, as well as loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction in the face of doxorubicin challenge. Taken together, these findings provide novel insights for the therapeutic efficacy of luteolin against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity possibly through improved mitochondrial autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7033739PMC
February 2020

N-Cadherin Overexpression Mobilizes the Protective Effects of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Against Ischemic Heart Injury Through a β-Catenin-Dependent Manner.

Circ Res 2020 03 21;126(7):857-874. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

From the Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital (W.Y., C. Lin, Y.G., Y.C., Y.X., F.Z., R.S., C. Li, L.T.), Fourth Military Medical University, China.

Rationale: Mesenchymal stromal cell-based therapy is promising against ischemic heart failure. However, its efficacy is limited due to low cell retention and poor paracrine function. A transmembrane protein capable of enhancing cell-cell adhesion, N-cadherin garnered attention in the field of stem cell biology only recently.

Objective: The current study investigates whether and how N-cadherin may regulate mesenchymal stromal cells retention and cardioprotective capability against ischemic heart failure.

Methods And Results: Adult mice-derived adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ADSC) were transfected with adenovirus harboring N-cadherin, T-cadherin, or control adenovirus. CM-DiI-labeled ADSC were intramyocardially injected into the infarct border zone at 3 sites immediately after myocardial infarction (MI) or myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. ADSC retention/survival, cardiomyocyte apoptosis/proliferation, capillary density, cardiac fibrosis, and cardiac function were determined. Discovery-driven/cause-effect analysis was used to determine the molecular mechanisms. Compared with ADSC transfected with adenovirus-control, N-cadherin overexpression (but not T-cadherin) markedly increased engrafted ADSC survival/retention up to 7 days post-MI. Histological analysis revealed that ADSC transfected with adenovirus-N-cadherin significantly preserved capillary density and increased cardiomyocyte proliferation and moderately reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis 3 days post-MI. More importantly, ADSC transfected with adenovirus-N-cadherin (but not ADSC transfected with adenovirus-T-cadherin) significantly increased left ventricular ejection fraction and reduced fibrosis in both MI and myocardial ischemia/reperfusion mice. In vitro experiments demonstrated that N-cadherin overexpression promoted ADSC-cardiomyocyte adhesion and ADSC migration, enhancing their capability to increase angiogenesis and cardiomyocyte proliferation. MMP (matrix metallopeptidases)-10/13 and HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) upregulation is responsible for N-cadherin's effect upon ADSC migration and paracrine angiogenesis. N-cadherin overexpression promotes cardiomyocyte proliferation by HGF release. Mechanistically, N-cadherin overexpression significantly increased N-cadherin/β-catenin complex formation and active β-catenin levels in the nucleus. β-catenin knockdown abolished N-cadherin overexpression-induced MMP-10, MMP-13, and HGF expression and blocked the cellular actions and cardioprotective effects of ADSC overexpressing N-cadherin.

Conclusions: We demonstrate for the first time that N-cadherin overexpression enhances mesenchymal stromal cells-protective effects against ischemic heart failure via β-catenin-mediated MMP-10/MMP-13/HGF expression and production, promoting ADSC/cardiomyocyte adhesion and ADSC retention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.315806DOI Listing
March 2020

Akap1 deficiency exacerbates diabetic cardiomyopathy in mice by NDUFS1-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis.

Diabetologia 2020 05 19;63(5):1072-1087. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Experimental Teaching Center of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, 169 Changle West Road, Xi'an, 710032, China.

Aims/hypothesis: Diabetic cardiomyopathy, characterised by increased oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction, contributes to the increased risk of heart failure in individuals with diabetes. Considering that A-kinase anchoring protein 121 (AKAP1) is localised in the mitochondrial outer membrane and plays key roles in the regulation of mitochondrial function, this study aimed to investigate the role of AKAP1 in diabetic cardiomyopathy and explore its underlying mechanisms.

Methods: Loss- and gain-of-function approaches were used to investigate the role of AKAP1 in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Streptozotocin (STZ) was injected into Akap1-knockout (Akap1-KO) mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates to induce diabetes. In addition, primary neonatal cardiomyocytes treated with high glucose were used as a cell model of diabetes. Cardiac function was assessed with echocardiography. Akap1 overexpression was conducted by injecting adeno-associated virus 9 carrying Akap1 (AAV9-Akap1). LC-MS/MS analysis and functional experiments were used to explore underlying molecular mechanisms.

Results: AKAP1 was downregulated in the hearts of STZ-induced diabetic mouse models. Akap1-KO significantly aggravated cardiac dysfunction in the STZ-treated diabetic mice when compared with WT diabetic littermates, as evidenced by the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF; STZ-treated WT mice [WT/STZ] vs STZ-treated Akap1-KO mice [KO/STZ], 51.6% vs 41.6%). Mechanistically, Akap1 deficiency impaired mitochondrial respiratory function characterised by reduced ATP production. Additionally, Akap1 deficiency increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis via enhanced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis indicated that AKAP1 interacted with the NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase 75 kDa subunit (NDUFS1). Specifically, Akap1 deficiency inhibited complex I activity by preventing translocation of NDUFS1 from the cytosol to mitochondria. Akap1 deficiency was also related to decreased ATP production and enhanced mitochondrial ROS-related apoptosis. In contrast, restoration of AKAP1 expression in the hearts of STZ-treated diabetic mice promoted translocation of NDUFS1 to mitochondria and alleviated diabetic cardiomyopathy in the LVEF (WT/STZ injected with adeno-associated virus carrying gfp [AAV9-gfp] vs WT/STZ AAV9-Akap1, 52.4% vs 59.6%; KO/STZ AAV9-gfp vs KO/STZ AAV9-Akap1, 42.2% vs 57.6%).

Conclusions/interpretation: Our study provides the first evidence that Akap1 deficiency exacerbates diabetic cardiomyopathy by impeding mitochondrial translocation of NDUFS1 to induce mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Our findings suggest that Akap1 upregulation has therapeutic potential for myocardial injury in individuals with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05103-wDOI Listing
May 2020

F-FDG PET imaging-monitored anti-inflammatory therapy for acute myocardial infarction: Exploring the role of MCC950 in murine model.

J Nucl Cardiol 2020 Feb 3. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Background: MCC950 is a novel NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor that possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, the lack of noninvasive monitoring methods limits its potential clinical translation. Thus, we sought to investigate whether F-FDG PET imaging can monitor the therapeutic effects of MCC950 in an AMI murine model.

Methods: C57BL/6 mice were used to generate an AMI model. MCC950 or sterile saline was intraperitoneally administered 1 hour after surgery and then daily for 7 consecutive days. F-FDG PET (inflammation) imaging was used to monitor inflammatory changes on days 3 and 5. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot were used to detect inflammatory markers and to confirm the PET imaging results. F-FDG PET (viability) imaging was used to quantitate the viability defect expansion on days 7 and 28. Cardiac ultrasound and survival analyses were performed to evaluate the cardiac function and survival rate. Adverse remodeling was determined by Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) and Masson trichrome staining.

Results: The FDG-PET (inflammation) imaging revealed that MCC950 treatment led to lower F-FDG inflammatory uptakes, at the infarct region, on days 3 and 5 when compared to the MI group. The decreased M1 macrophages and neutrophils infiltration and the remission of the NLRP3/IL-1β pathway, confirmed the FDG-PET (inflammation) imaging results. The FDG-PET (viability) imaging revealed that MCC950 significantly decreased the expansion of the viability defect, demonstrating its myocardial preservation effects. The acute FDG-PET (inflammation) signal positively correlated with the late viability defect and with the reduction in the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). Additionally, the alleviated adverse remodeling and the improved survival rate further support the anti-inflammatory efficiency of MCC950 in AMI.

Conclusion: Using F-FDG PET imaging, we noninvasively demonstrated the therapeutic effects of MCC950 in AMI and showed that F-FDG PET imaging holds promising application potentials in MCC950's clinical translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12350-020-02044-0DOI Listing
February 2020

Donor MSCs release apoptotic bodies to improve myocardial infarction via autophagy regulation in recipient cells.

Autophagy 2020 12 29;16(12):2140-2155. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & Shaanxi International Joint Research Center for Oral Diseases, Center for Tissue Engineering, The Fourth Military Medical University , Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.

Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been widely applied as a potential therapeutic for multiple diseases. However, the underlying therapeutic mechanisms are not fully understood, especially the paradox between the low survival rate of transplanted cells and the beneficial therapeutic effects generated by these cells. Herein, in a myocardial infarction (MI) model, we found that transplanted MSCs released apoptotic bodies (ABs) to enhance angiogenesis and improve cardiac functional reclovery regulating macroautophagy/autophagy in the recipient endothelial cells (ECs). Mechanistically, after local transplantation, MSCs underwent extensive apoptosis in the short term and released ABs, which were engulfed by the recipient ECs. Then, in the ECs, ABs activated lysosome functions and promoted the expression of TFEB (transcription factor EB), which is a master gene in lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy. Finally, the increase in TFEB enhanced autophagy-related gene expression in ECs and promoted angiogenesis and cardiac functional recovery after MI. Collectively, we found that apoptotic donor MSCs promote angiogenesis regulating autophagy in the recipient ECs, unveiling the role of donor cell apoptosis in the therapeutic effects generated by cell transplantation. 3-MA: 3-methyladenine; ABs: apoptotic bodies; BECN1: beclin 1; CASP3: caspase 3; CQ: chloroquine; ECs: endothelial cells; EVs: extracellular vesicles; LAMP1: lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1; LVEF: left ventricular ejection fraction; LVFS: left ventricular fractional shortening; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MI: myocardial infarction; MSC: mesenchymal stem cell; NO: nitric oxide; TFEB: transcription factor EB; TUNEL: TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1717128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7751634PMC
December 2020

Tailorable Hydrogel Improves Retention and Cardioprotection of Intramyocardial Transplanted Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Mice.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 01 18;9(2):e013784. Epub 2020 Jan 18.

Department of Cardiology Xijing Hospital Fourth Military Medical University Xi'an China.

Background Poor engraftment of intramyocardial stem cells limits their therapeutic efficiency against myocardial infarction (MI)-induced cardiac injury. Transglutaminase cross-linked Gelatin (Col-Tgel) is a tailorable collagen-based hydrogel that is becoming an excellent biomaterial scaffold for cellular delivery in vivo. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Col-Tgel increases retention of intramyocardially-injected stem cells, and thereby reduces post-MI cardiac injury. Methods and Results Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) were co-cultured with Col-Tgel in a 3-dimensional system in vitro, and Col-Tgel encapsulated ADSCs were observed using scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Vitality, proliferation, and migration of co-cultured ADSCs were evaluated. In addition, mice were subjected to MI and were intramyocardially injected with ADSCs, Col-Tgel, or a combination thereof. ADSCs engraftment, survival, cardiac function, and fibrosis were assessed. In vitro MTT and Cell Counting Kit-8 assays demonstrated that ADSCs survive and proliferate up to 4 weeks in the Col-Tgel. In addition, MTT and transwell assays showed that ADSCs migrate outside the edge of the Col-Tgel sphere. Furthermore, when compared with ADSCs alone, Col-Tgel-encapsulated ADSCs significantly enhanced the long-term retention and cardioprotective effect of ADSCs against MI-induced cardiac injury. Conclusions In the current study, we successfully established a 3-dimensional co-culture system using ADSCs and Col-Tgel. The Col-Tgel creates a suitable microenvironment for long-term retention of ADSCs in an ischemic area, and thereby enhances their cardioprotective effects. Taken together, this study may provide an alternative biomaterial for stem cell-based therapy to treat ischemic heart diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.013784DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7033822PMC
January 2020

Interrelationship between Alzheimer's disease and cardiac dysfunction: the brain-heart continuum?

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2020 Jan;52(1):1-8

Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 210032, China.

Dementia, a devastating neurological disorder commonly found in the elderly, is characterized by severe cognitive and memory impairment. Ample clinical and epidemiological evidence has depicted a close association between dementia and heart failure. While cerebral blood under perfusion and neurohormonal activation due to the dampened cardiac pump function contribute to the loss of nutrient supply and neuronal injury, Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common type of dementia, also provokes cardiovascular function impairment, in particular impairment of diastolic function. Aggregation of amyloid-β proteins and mutations of Presenilin (PSEN) genes are believed to participate in the pathological changes in the heart although it is still debatable with regards to the pathological cue of cardiac anomalies in AD process. In consequence, reduced cerebral blood flow triggered by cardiac dysfunction further deteriorates vascular dementia and AD pathology. Patients with atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and other cardiac anomalies are at a higher risk for cognitive decline and dementia. Conclusion: Due to the increased incidence of dementia and cardiovascular diseases, the coexistence of the two will cause more threat to public health, warranting much more attention. Here, we will update recent reports on dementia, AD, and cardiovascular diseases and discuss the causal relationship between dementia and heart dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmz115DOI Listing
January 2020

Pretreatment of Diabetic Adipose-derived Stem Cells with mitoTEMPO Reverses their Defective Proangiogenic Function in Diabetic Mice with Critical Limb Ischemia.

Cell Transplant 2019 12 5;28(12):1652-1663. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.

Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) have the ability to migrate to injury sites and facilitate tissue repair by promoting angiogenesis. However, the therapeutic effect of ADSCs from patients with diabetes is impaired due to oxidative stress. Given that diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders and mitochondria are a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), it is possible that mitochondrial ROS plays an important role in the induction of diabetic ADSC (dADSC) dysfunction. ADSCs isolated from diabetic mice were treated with mitoTEMPO, a mitochondrial ROS scavenger, or TEMPO, a universal ROS scavenger, for three passages. The results showed that pretreatment with mitoTEMPO increased the proliferation, multidifferentiation potential, and the migration and proangiogenic capacities of dADSCs to levels similar to those of ADSCs from control mice, whereas pretreatment with TEMPO showed only minor effects. Mechanistically, mitoTEMPO pretreatment enhanced the mitochondrial antioxidant capacity of dADSCs, and knockdown of superoxide dismutase reduced the restored mitochondrial antioxidant capacity and attenuated the proangiogenic effects induced by mitoTEMPO pretreatment. In addition, mitoTEMPO pretreatment improved the survival of dADSCs in diabetic mice with critical limb ischemia, showing protective effects similar to those of control ADSCs. Pretreatment of dADSCs with mitoTEMPO decreased limb injury and improved angiogenesis in diabetic mice with critical limb ischemia. These findings suggested that short-term pretreatment of dADSCs with a mitochondrial ROS scavenger restored their normal functions, which may be an effective strategy for improving the therapeutic effects of ADSC-based therapies in patients with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963689719885076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6923552PMC
December 2019

Targeting mitochondrial dynamics by regulating Mfn2 for therapeutic intervention in diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Theranostics 2019 31;9(13):3687-3706. Epub 2019 May 31.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China.

Increasing evidence has implicated the important role of mitochondrial pathology in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), while the underlying mechanism remains largely unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of mitochondrial dynamics in the pathogenesis of DCM and its underlying mechanisms. : Obese diabetic (db/db) and lean control (db/+) mice were used in this study. Mitochondrial dynamics were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy and by confocal microscopy . : Diabetic hearts from 12-week-old db/db mice showed excessive mitochondrial fission and significant reduced expression of Mfn2, while there was no significant alteration or slight change in the expression of other dynamic-related proteins. Reconstitution of Mfn2 in diabetic hearts inhibited mitochondrial fission and prevented the progression of DCM. In an in-vitro study, cardiomyocytes cultured in high-glucose and high-fat (HG/HF) medium showed excessive mitochondrial fission and decreased Mfn2 expression. Reconstitution of Mfn2 restored mitochondrial membrane potential, suppressed mitochondrial oxidative stress and improved mitochondrial function in HG/HF-treated cardiomyocytes through promoting mitochondrial fusion. In addition, the down-regulation of Mfn2 expression in HG/HF-treated cardiomyocytes was induced by reduced expression of PPARα, which positively regulated the expression of Mfn2 by directly binding to its promoter. : Our study provides the first evidence that imbalanced mitochondrial dynamics induced by down-regulated Mfn2 contributes to the development of DCM. Targeting mitochondrial dynamics by regulating Mfn2 might be a potential therapeutic strategy for DCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.33684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6587356PMC
September 2020

Thioredoxin-1 promotes macrophage reverse cholesterol transport and protects liver from steatosis.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2019 09 4;516(4):1103-1109. Epub 2019 Jul 4.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, Xi'an, China. Electronic address:

Atherosclerosis is characterized by the accumulation of excess cholesterol in plaques. Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) plays a key role in the removal of cholesterol. In the present study, we examined the effect of thioredoxin-1 (Trx-1) on RCT and explored the underlying mechanism. We found that Trx-1 promoted RCT in vivo, as did T0901317, a known liver X receptor (LXR) ligand. T0901317 also inhibited the development of atherosclerotic plaques but promoted liver steatosis. Furthermore, Trx-1 promoted macrophage cholesterol efflux to apoAI in vitro. Mechanistically, Trx-1 promoted nuclear translocation of LXRα and induced the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1). Apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-/-) mice fed an atherogenic diet were daily injected intraperitoneally with saline or Trx-1 (0.33 mg/kg). Trx-1 treatment significantly inhibited the development of atherosclerosis and induced the expression of ABCA1 in macrophages retrieved from apoE-/- mice. Moreover, the liver steatosis was attenuated by Trx-1. Overall, we demonstrated that Trx-1 promotes RCT by upregulating ABCA1 expression through induction of nuclear translocation of LXRα, and protects liver from steatosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.06.109DOI Listing
September 2019

Sirt6 stabilizes atherosclerosis plaques by promoting macrophage autophagy and reducing contact with endothelial cells.

Biochem Cell Biol 2020 04 7;98(2):120-129. Epub 2019 May 7.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710032, China.

Sirt6 has been reported to play a protective role in macrophage foam cell formation, but whether Sirt6 controls atherosclerosis plaque stability and whether it can reduce the interaction between endothelial cells and macrophages remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Sirt6 on atherosclerosis plaque stability and the underlying mechanisms. We used Tie2-Cre transgenic mice as a Cre-lox tool to delete Sirt6 floxed sequences in endothelial cells during adulthood to establish Sirt6 mice. ApoE:Sirt6 and ApoE:Sirt6Tg mice were used in our investigation. After a 16 week high-fat diet, the mice developed markedly atherosclerotic plaques. Sirt6 knockout exacerbated atherosclerotic plaque progression in both size and stability. In vitro, murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells were treated with ox-low density lipoproteins for 24 h to simulate atherosclerosis. Furthermore, Sirt6 overexpression remarkably increased autophagic flux in macrophages and inhibited macrophage apoptosis. Moreover, Sirt6 overexpression inhibited the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and platelet selectin (P-selectin), leading to reduced infiltration of macrophages and foam cells. In conclusion, our study indicates a new mechanism-based strategy to therapeutically stimulate atherosclerosis plaque stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/bcb-2019-0057DOI Listing
April 2020

Corrigendum to "Chitosan/silk fibroin modified nanofibrous patches with mesenchymal stem cells prevent heart remodeling post-myocardial infarction in rats" [Acta Biomater. 80 (2018) 154-168].

Acta Biomater 2019 Apr 22;89:425-426. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 169 Changle West Rd, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China; Department of Cardiology & National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disease, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2019.03.035DOI Listing
April 2019

Resistin promotes cardiac homing of mesenchymal stem cells and functional recovery after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion via the ERK1/2-MMP-9 pathway.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2019 01 9;316(1):H233-H244. Epub 2018 Nov 9.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University , Xi'an , China.

Stem cell therapy is a potentially effective and promising treatment for ischemic heart disease. Resistin, a type of adipokine, has been found to bind to adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs). However, the effects of resistin on cardiac homing by ADSCs and on ADSC-mediated cardioprotective effects have not been investigated. ADSCs were obtained from enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic mice. C57BL/6J mice were subjected to myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) or sham operations. Six hours after the I/R operation, mice were intravenously injected with resistin-treated ADSCs (ADSC-resistin) or vehicle-treated ADSCs (ADSC-vehicle). Cardiac homing by ADSCs and cardiomyocyte apoptosis were investigated 3 days after I/R. Cardiac function, fibrosis, and angiogenesis were evaluated 4 wk after I/R. Cellular and molecular mechanisms were investigated in vitro using cultured ADSCs. Both immunostaining and flow cytometric experiments showed that resistin treatment promoted ADSC myocardial homing 3 days after intravenous injection. Echocardiographic experiments showed that ADSC-resistin, but not ADSC-vehicle, significantly improved left ventricular ejection fraction. ADSC-resistin transplantation significantly mitigated I/R-induced fibrosis and reduced atrial natriuretic peptide/brain natriuretic peptide mRNA expression. In addition, cardiomyocyte apoptosis was reduced, whereas angiogenesis was increased by ADSC-resistin treatment. At the cellular level, resistin promoted ADSC proliferation and migration but did not affect HO-induced apoptosis. Molecular experiments identified the ERK1/2-matrix metalloproteinase-9 pathway as a key component mediating the effects of resistin on ADSC proliferation and migration. These results demonstrate that resistin can promote homing of injected ADSCs into damaged heart tissue and stimulate functional recovery, an effect mediated through the ERK1/2 signaling pathway and matrix metalloproteinase-9. NEW & NOTEWORTHY First, intravenous injection of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) treated with resistin significantly increased angiogenesis and reduced myocardial apoptosis and fibrosis in a murine model of ischemia-reperfusion, resulting in improved cardiac performance. Second, resistin treatment significantly increased myocardial homing of intravenously delivered ADSCs. Finally, the ERK1/2-matrix metalloproteinase 9 pathway contributed to the higher proliferative and migratory capacities of ADSCs treated with resistin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00457.2018DOI Listing
January 2019

Dysregulated Txnip-ROS-Wnt axis contributes to the impaired ischemic heart repair in diabetic mice.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2018 12 24;1864(12):3735-3745. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, PR China. Electronic address:

Hyperglycemia-induced impairment of angiogenesis contributes to the unfavorable prognosis of myocardial ischemia in long-standing diabetes mellitus. The underlying mechanism remains largely unknown and therapeutic strategies thereby limited. In the present study, we investigated the possible involvement of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the context, and their possible relation was also explored. STZ induced diabetic mice were subjected to myocardial infarction (MI). Adenovirus expressing shTXNIP, shCtnnb1 (β-catenin) driven by VE-Cadherin promoter was administered intramyocardially immediately after MI. Cardiac function, histology, and molecular analyses were performed at predetermined time points. Increased endothelial expression of TXNIP was found in diabetic hearts, which correlated well with reduced nuclear β-catenin expression, insufficient angiogenesis, aggravated cardiac remodeling, and poor survival. Endothelial-specific knockdown of TXNIP significantly rescued β-catenin activity, together with increased angiogenesis, preserved cardiac function, and improved survival rate. Moreover, additional knockdown of β-catenin essentially reversed the beneficial effects of TXNIP downregulation. In vitro, high glucose treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) increased TXNIP levels and ROS concentration, while it reduced β-catenin activity. Silencing TXNIP or ROS scavenger restored the high glucose induced reduction of Wnt/β-catenin activity in HUVECs. In addition, either reduction of TXNIP expression or supplementation of exogenous Wnt3a improved the HUVECs quantity and migration under high glucose conditions. Diabetes-induced increase of TXNIP expression in the endothelium contributes to impaired angiogenesis after MI, especially via the elevation of ROS and the impaired Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Targeting TXNIP-ROS-Wnt is a promising strategy in improving the prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.09.029DOI Listing
December 2018

Melatonin Ameliorates the Progression of Atherosclerosis via Mitophagy Activation and NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibition.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2018 4;2018:9286458. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Department of Cardiology & National Clinical Research Center of Geriatrics Disease, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.

The NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat pyrin domain containing 3) inflammasome-mediated inflammatory responses are critically involved in the progression of atherosclerosis (AS), which is the essential cause for cardiovascular diseases. Melatonin has anti-inflammatory properties. However, little is known about the potential effects of melatonin in the pathological process of AS. Herein, we demonstrate that melatonin suppressed prolonged NLRP3 inflammasome activation in atherosclerotic lesions by reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging via mitophagy in macrophages. The atherosclerotic mouse model was induced with a high-fat diet using ApoE mice. Melatonin treatment markedly attenuated AS plaque size and vulnerability. Furthermore, melatonin decreased NLRP3 inflammasome activation and the consequent IL-1 secretion within atherosclerotic lesions. Despite the unchanged protein expression, the silent information regulator 3 (Sirt3) activity was elevated in the atherosclerotic lesions in melatonin-treated mice. In ox-LDL-treated macrophages, melatonin attenuated the NLRP3 inflammasome activation and the inflammatory factors secretion, while this protective effect was abolished by either Sirt3 silence or autophagy inhibitor 3-MA. Mitochondrial ROS (mitoROS), which was a recognized inducer for NLRP3 inflammasome, was attenuated by melatonin through the induction of mitophagy. Both Sirt3-siRNA and autophagy inhibitor 3-MA partially abolished the beneficial effects of melatonin on mitoROS clearance and NLRP3 inflammasome activation, indicating the crucial role of Sirt3-mediated mitophagy. Furthermore, we demonstrated that melatonin protected against AS via the Sirt3/FOXO3a/Parkin signaling pathway. In conclusion, the current study demonstrated that melatonin prevented atherosclerotic progression, at least in part, via inducing mitophagy and attenuating NLRP3 inflammasome activation, which was mediated by the Sirt3/FOXO3a/Parkin signaling pathway. Collectively, our study provides insight into melatonin as a new target for therapeutic intervention for AS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/9286458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142770PMC
November 2018

Chitosan/silk fibroin modified nanofibrous patches with mesenchymal stem cells prevent heart remodeling post-myocardial infarction in rats.

Acta Biomater 2018 10 13;80:154-168. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 169 Changle West Rd, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China; Department of Cardiology & National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disease, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Poor functional survival of the engrafted stem cells limits the therapeutic efficacy of stem-cell-based therapy for myocardial infarction (MI). Cardiac patch-based system for cardiac repair has emerged as a potential regenerative strategy for MI. This study aimed to design a cardiac patch to improve the retention of the engrafted stem cells and provide mechanical scaffold for preventing the ventricular remodeling post-MI. The patches were fabricated with electrospinning cellulose nanofibers modified with chitosan/silk fibroin (CS/SF) multilayers via layer-by-layer (LBL) coating technology. The patches engineered with adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) (cell nano-patch) were adhered to the epicardium of the infarcted region in rat hearts. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) revealed higher cell viability in the cell nano-patch group compared with the intra-myocardial injection group. Echocardiography demonstrated less ventricular remodeling in cell nano-patch group, with a decrease in the left ventricular end-diastolic volume and left ventricular end-systolic volume compared with the control group. Additionally, left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening were elevated after cell nano-patch treatment compared with the control group. Histopathological staining demonstrated that cardiac fibrosis and apoptosis were attenuated, while local neovascularization was promoted in the cell nano-patch group. Western blot analysis illustrated that the expression of biomarkers for myocardial fibrosis (TGF-β1, P-smad3 and Smad3) and ventricular remodeling (BNP, β-MHC: α-MHC ratio) were decreased in cell nano patch-treated hearts. This study suggests that CS/SF-modified nanofibrous patches promote the functional survival of engrafted AD-MSCs and restrain ventricular remodeling post-MI through attenuating myocardial fibrosis. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: First, the nanofibrous patches fabricated from the electrospun cellulose nanofibers could mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) of hearts to improve the microenvironment post-MI and provide three dimensional (3D) scaffolds for the engrafted AD-MSCs. Second, CS and SF which have exhibited excellent properties in previous tissue engineering research, such as nontoxicity, biodegradability, anti-inflammatory, strong hydrophilic nature, high cohesive strength, and intrinsic antibacterial properties further optimized the biocompatibility of the nanofibrous patches via LBL modification. Finally, the study revealed that beneficial microenvironment and biomimetic ECM improve the retention and viability of the engrafted AD-MSCs and the mechanical action of the cell nano-patches for the expanding ventricular post-MI leads to suppression of HF progression by inhibition of ventricular remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2018.09.013DOI Listing
October 2018

Adiponectin determines farnesoid X receptor agonism-mediated cardioprotection against post-infarction remodelling and dysfunction.

Cardiovasc Res 2018 08;114(10):1335-1349

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 127 West Changle Road, Xi'an 710032, China.

Aims: The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a member of the metabolic nuclear receptor superfamily that plays a critical regulatory role in cardiovascular physiology/pathology. However, the role of systemic FXR activation in the chronic phase in myocardial infarction (MI)-induced cardiac remodelling and dysfunction remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the role of long-term FXR activation on post-MI cardiac remodelling and dysfunction.

Methods And Results: Mice underwent either MI surgery or sham operation. At 1 week after MI, both sham and MI mice were gavaged with 25 mg/kg/d of a synthetic FXR agonist (GW4064) or a vehicle control for 7 weeks, and cardiac performance was assessed by consecutive echocardiography studies. Administration of GW4064 significantly increased left ventricular ejection fraction at 4 weeks and 8 weeks after MI (both P < 0.01). Moreover, GW4064 treatment increased angiogenesis and mitochondrial biogenesis, reduced cardiomyocyte loss and inflammation, and ameliorated cardiac remodelling as evidenced by heart weight, lung weight, atrial natriuretic peptide/brain natriuretic peptide levels, and myocardial fibrosis at 8 weeks post-MI. At the molecular level, GW4064 significantly increased FXR mRNA expression and transcriptional activity in heart tissue. Moreover, over-expression of myocardial FXR failed to exert significant cardioprotection in vivo, indicating that GW4064 improved post-MI heart remodelling and function independent of myocardial FXR expression/activity. Among the four down-stream soluble molecules of FXR, plasma adiponectin was most significantly increased by GW4064. In cultured adipocytes, GW4064 increased mRNA levels and protein expression of adiponectin. Conditioned medium of GW4064-treated adipocytes activated AMPK-PGC-1α signalling and reduced hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, all of which were attenuated by an adiponectin neutralizing anti-body. More importantly, when knocking-out adiponectin in mice, the cardioprotective effects of GW4064 were attenuated.

Conclusions: We are the first to show that FXR agonism ameliorated post-MI cardiac dysfunction and remodelling by stimulating adiponectin secretion. Thus, we demonstrated that FXR agonism is a potential therapeutic strategy in post-MI heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvy093DOI Listing
August 2018

ZP2495 Protects against Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Diabetic Mice through Improvement of Cardiac Metabolism and Mitochondrial Function: The Possible Involvement of AMPK-FoxO3a Signal Pathway.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2018 17;2018:6451902. Epub 2018 Jan 17.

Department of Cardiology & National Clinical Research Center of Geriatrics Disease, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.

Coronary heart disease patients with type 2 diabetes were subject to higher vulnerability for cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of ZP2495 (a glucagon-GLP-1 dual-agonist) on cardiac function and energy metabolism after myocardial I/R injury in db/db mice with a focus on mitochondrial function. C57BLKS/J-lepr/lepr (BKS) and db/db mice received 4-week treatment of glucagon, ZP131 (GLP-1 receptor agonist), or ZP2495, followed by cardiac I/R injury. The results showed that cardiac function, cardiac glucose metabolism, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, cardiac mitochondrial morphology, and energetic transition were improved or ameliorated by ZP2495 to a greater extent than that of glucagon and ZP131. study showed that ZP2495, rather than glucagon, alleviated mitochondrial depolarization, cytochrome C release, and mitochondria ROS generation in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes subjected to high-glucose and simulated I/R injury conditions, the effects of which were weaker in the ZP131 group. Furthermore, the expressions of Akt, FoxO3a, and AMPK phosphorylation were elevated by ZP2495 to a greater extent than that of ZP131. In conclusion, ZP2495 may contribute to the improvement of cardiac function and energy metabolism in db/db mice after myocardial I/R injury by improving mitochondrial function possibly through Akt/FoxO3a and AMPK/FoxO3a signal pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/6451902DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5822888PMC
September 2018

SIRT1 Activation by Resveratrol Alleviates Cardiac Dysfunction via Mitochondrial Regulation in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy Mice.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2017 13;2017:4602715. Epub 2017 Aug 13.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.

Background: Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a major threat for diabetic patients. Silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) has a regulatory effect on mitochondrial dynamics, which is associated with DCM pathological changes. Our study aims to investigate whether resveratrol, a SRIT1 activator, could exert a protective effect against DCM.

Methods And Results: Cardiac-specific SIRT1 knockout (SIRT1) mice were generated using Cre-loxP system. SIRT1 mice displayed symptoms of DCM, including cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction, insulin resistance, and abnormal glucose metabolism. DCM and SIRT1 hearts showed impaired mitochondrial biogenesis and function, while SIRT1 activation by resveratrol reversed this in DCM mice. High glucose caused increased apoptosis, impaired mitochondrial biogenesis, and function in cardiomyocytes, which was alleviated by resveratrol. SIRT1 deletion by both SIRT1 and shRNA abolished the beneficial effects of resveratrol. Furthermore, the function of SIRT1 is mediated via the deacetylation effect on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), thus inducing increased expression of nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1), NRF-2, estrogen-related receptor-α (ERR-α), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM).

Conclusions: Cardiac deletion of SIRT1 caused phenotypes resembling DCM. Activation of SIRT1 by resveratrol ameliorated cardiac injuries in DCM through PGC-1α-mediated mitochondrial regulation. Collectively, SIRT1 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for DCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/4602715DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572590PMC
May 2018

Nucleostemin dysregulation contributes to ischemic vulnerability of diabetic hearts: Role of ribosomal biogenesis.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2017 07 23;108:106-113. Epub 2017 May 23.

Department of Cardiology, Xijing Hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, China. Electronic address:

Diabetes is a major health problem worldwide. As well-known, diabetes greatly increases cardiac vulnerability to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Nucleostemin (NS) is a nucleolar protein that controls ribosomal biogenesis and exerts cardioprotective effects against I/R injury. However, whether NS-mediated ribosomal biogenesis regulates ischemic vulnerability of diabetic hearts remains unanswered. Utilizing myocardial I/R mouse models, we found that cardiac NS expression significantly increased in response to I/R in normal diet (ND)-fed mice. Surprisingly, cardiac NS failed to be upregulated in high fat diet (HFD)-induced diabetic mice, accompanied by obvious ribosomal dysfunction. Compared with ND group, cardiac specific overexpression of NS by adenovirus (AV) injection significantly restored I/R-induced ribosomal function enhancement, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, improved cardiac function, and decreased infarct sizes in diabetic mice. Notably, co-treatment of homoharringtonine (HHT), a selective inhibitor of ribosomal function, totally blocked NS-mediated cardioprotective effects against I/R injury. Furthermore, in cultured cardiomyocytes, saturated fatty acids treatment, but not high glucose exposure, significantly inhibited simulated I/R-induced NS upregulation and ribosomal function improvement. In conclusion, these data for the first time demonstrate that NS dysregulation induced by saturated fatty acids exposure might be an important cause of increased ischemic vulnerability to I/R injury in diabetic hearts. Targeting NS dysregulation and subsequent ribosomal dysfunction could be a promising therapeutic strategy for diabetic I/R injury management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2017.05.010DOI Listing
July 2017
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