Publications by authors named "Hans M Eppenberger"

8 Publications

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The role of cell death and myofibrillar damage in contractile dysfunction of long-term cultured adult cardiomyocytes exposed to doxorubicin.

Cytotechnology 2009 Nov 5;61(1-2):25-36. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Swiss Cardiovascular Center, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, 3010, Bern, Switzerland.

In failing hearts cardiomyocytes undergo alterations in cytoskeleton structure, contractility and viability. It is not known presently, how stress-induced changes of myofibrils correlate with markers for cell death and contractile function in cardiomyocytes. Therefore, we have studied the progression of contractile dysfunction, myofibrillar damage and cell death in cultured adult cardiomyocytes exposed to the cancer therapy doxorubicin. We demonstrate, that long-term cultured adult cardiomyocytes, a well-established model for the study of myofibrillar structure and effects of growth factors, can also be used to assess contractility and calcium handling. Adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVM) were isolated and cultured for a total of 14 days in serum containing medium. The organization of calcium-handling proteins and myofibrillar structure in freshly isolated and in long-term cultured adult cardiomyocytes was studied by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Excitation contraction-coupling was analyzed by fura 2 and video edge detection in electrically paced cardiomyocytes forming a monolayer, and cell death and viability was measured by TUNEL assay, LDH release, MTT assay, and Western blot for LC3. Adult cardiomyocytes treated with Doxo showed apoptosis and necrosis only at supraclinical concentrations. Treated cells displayed merely alterations in cytoskeleton organization and integrity concomitant with contractile dysfunction and up-regulation of autophagosome formation, but no change in total sarcomeric protein content. We propose, that myofibrillar damage contributes to contractile dysfunction prior to cell death in adult cardiomyocytes exposed to clinically relevant concentrations of anthracyclines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10616-009-9238-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2795142PMC
November 2009

Anthracyclines induce calpain-dependent titin proteolysis and necrosis in cardiomyocytes.

J Biol Chem 2004 Feb 14;279(9):8290-9. Epub 2003 Dec 14.

Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.

Titin, the largest myofilament protein, serves as a template for sarcomere assembly and acts as a molecular spring to contribute to diastolic function. Titin is known to be extremely susceptible to calcium-dependent protease degradation in vitro. We hypothesized that titin degradation is an early event in doxorubicin-induced cardiac injury and that titin degradation occurs by activation of the calcium-dependent proteases, the calpains. Treatment of cultured adult rat cardiomyocytes with 1 or 3 micromol/liter doxorubicin for 24 h resulted in degradation of titin in myocyte lysates, which was confirmed by a reduction in immunostaining of an antibody to the spring-like (PEVK) domain of titin at the I-band of the sarcomere. The elastic domain of titin appears to be most susceptible to proteolysis because co-immunostaining with an antibody to titin at the M-line was preserved, suggesting targeted proteolysis of the spring-like domain of titin. Doxorubicin treatment for 1 h resulted in approximately 3-fold increase in calpain activity, which remained elevated at 48 h. Co-treatment with calpain inhibitors resulted in preservation of titin, reduction in myofibrillar disarray, and attenuation of cardiomyocyte necrosis but not apoptosis. Co-treatment with a caspase inhibitor did not prevent the degradation of titin, which precludes caspase-3 as an early mechanism of titin proteolysis. We conclude that calpain activation is an early event after doxorubicin treatment in cardiomyocytes and appears to target the degradation of titin. Proteolysis of the spring-like domain of titin may predispose cardiomyocytes to diastolic dysfunction, myofilament instability, and cell death by necrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M308033200DOI Listing
February 2004

Reactivation of the mitosis-promoting factor in postmitotic cardiomyocytes.

Cells Tissues Organs 2003 ;175(2):61-71

Institute of Cell Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland.

Cardiomyocytes cease to divide shortly after birth and an irreversible cell cycle arrest is evident accompanied by the downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase activities. To get a better understanding of the cardiac cell cycle and its regulation, the effect of functional recovery of the mitosis-promoting factor (MPF) consisting of cyclin B1 and the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc2 was assessed in primary cultures of postmitotic ventricular adult rat cardiomyocytes (ARC). Gene transfer into ARC was achieved using the adenovirus-enhanced transferrinfection system that was characterized by the absence of cytotoxic events. Simultaneous ectopic expression of wild-type versions of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 was sufficient to induce MPF activity. Reestablished MPF resulted in a mitotic phenotype, marked by an abnormal condensation of the nuclei, histone H3 phosphorylation and variable degree of decay of the contractile apparatus. Although a complete cell division was not observed, the results provided conclusive evidence that cell cycle-related events in postmitotic cardiomyocytes could be triggered by genetic intervention downstream of the G1/S checkpoint. This will be of importance to design novel strategies to overcome the proliferation arrest in adult cardiomyocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000073750DOI Listing
July 2004

Cellular engineering of ventricular adult rat cardiomyocytes.

Cardiovasc Res 2003 Oct;59(4):874-82

Institute of Cell Biology, ETH-Hoenggerberg Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland.

Objective: Preparation of viable cultured adult cardiomyocytes (vARCs) is a prerequisite for cell-based transplantation and tissue engineering. Ectopic gene expression is important in this context. Here, we present an in vitro cell replating strategy using Accutase for cultured vARCs, allowing ectopic gene expression.

Methods: Cultured vARCs from 6- to 8-week-old rats were used. Transfections with EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) constructs, Mlc-3f-EGFP or alpha-actinin-EGFP were performed using adenovirus-enhanced transferrin-mediated infection (AVET). Accutase (PAA Laboratories, Linz, Austria) was used for the detachment of cultured cells. Immunohistochemical analysis, together with confocal laser microscopy was used for structural analysis of the cells.

Results: Cultured vARCs could be detached with a high yield (40 to 60%) from primary cultures using Accutase. The cultivation period plays an important role in the yield of viable cells. Resultant replated vARCs (rep-vARCs) rapidly (1-2 h) acquired a rounded up shape without degradation of their contractile apparatus, which is in contrast to the rod-shaped freshly isolated vARCs (fi-vARCs). The detached cells survived passage through a narrow syringe needle. After seeding, detached cells rapidly attached to various substrates, increased their content of the contractile apparatus, and formed cell-cell contacts within 3 days after reseeding. The detached cells survived passage through a narrow syringe needle. The high recovery of cells after replating enabled the use of the AVET system for gene delivery. AVET is free of infectious particles and does not lead to expression of viral proteins. Transfection of vARCs prior to detachment had a small effect on cell recovery and ectopically synthesized proteins were properly localized after replating.

Conclusions: Detachment of cultured vARCs using Accutase is well compatible with ectopic gene expression and yields a viable transgenic population of vARCs that eventually may be suitable as transgenic cardiomyocyte grafts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0008-6363(03)00508-xDOI Listing
October 2003

Impact of coexpression and coamplification of sICAM and antiapoptosis determinants bcl-2/bcl-x(L) on productivity, cell survival, and mitochondria number in CHO-DG44 grown in suspension and serum-free media.

Biotechnol Bioeng 2002 Dec;80(6):706-16

Institute of Biotechnology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland.

We have engineered dihydrofolate reductase-negative (dhfr-/-) Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) DG44 cells adapted for growth in serum-free suspension cultures for simultaneous expression of the common cold therapeutic, the soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM), and the antiapoptosis determinants bcl-2 or bcl-x(L). Detailed analyses of titer and antiapoptosis characteristics of these production cell lines included an independent (sICAM; bcl-2/bcl-x(L)) as well as a cocistronic (sICAM-(bcl-2/bcl-x(L))) expression set-up in which translation-initiation of the survival cistron is driven by an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) of the encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). In transient transfections or stable mixed populations and in comparison to isogenic sICAM-only control vectors, both bcl-x(L)-encoding configurations achieved higher sICAM yields while bcl-2 over-expression resulted in decreased product levels. Overall, the death-protective impact of bcl-2 and bcl-x(L) in engineered CHO-DG44 was not significant under typical batch-mode operation, an observation that was confirmed by clonal analysis. bcl-2 and bcl-x(L) displayed their antiapoptosis potential only following dhfr-based amplification in sICAM-producing CHO-DG44 cell lines. In all cases, bcl-x(L) outperformed bcl-2 in its cell death-protective capacity. Amplification-dependent high-level expression of mitochondria-localized bcl-2 family members required for successful antiapoptosis engineering may be essential to compensate for increased mitochondria numbers found to be associated with production cell lines grown in serum-free medium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.10449DOI Listing
December 2002

Modulation of anthracycline-induced myofibrillar disarray in rat ventricular myocytes by neuregulin-1beta and anti-erbB2: potential mechanism for trastuzumab-induced cardiotoxicity.

Circulation 2002 Apr;105(13):1551-4

Cardiovascular Medicine Section, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and Myocardial Biology Unit, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: There is an increased incidence of heart failure in patients treated concurrently with anthracyclines and the chemotherapeutic anti-erbB2 agent trastuzumab (Herceptin). On the basis of our previous studies with recombinant neuregulin-1beta (NRG-1beta), a ligand for the erbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase, we hypothesized that activation of erbB2 by anti-erbB2 versus NRG-1 would cause differential effects on myocyte intracellular signaling as well as anthracycline-induced myofibrillar injury and might potentially account for the clinical toxicity of trastuzumab in the setting of concurrent anthracycline therapy.

Methods And Results: We tested this hypothesis using adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVMs) in culture, assessing myofibrillar structure by immunostaining for myomesin and filamentous actin. Activation of erbB2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (Erk1/2), and Akt was assessed by use of antibodies to phosphorylated activated receptor or kinase detected by immunoblot. ARVMs treated with doxorubicin (0.1 to 0.5 micromol/L) showed a concentration-dependent increase in myofilament disarray. NRG-1beta (10 ng/mL) activated erbB2, Erk1/2, and Akt in ARVMs and significantly reduced anthracycline-induced disarray. In contrast to NRG-1beta, anti-erbB2 (1 microg/mL) caused rapid phosphorylation of erbB2 but not Erk1/2 or Akt, with downregulation of erbB2 by 24 hours. Concomitant treatment of myocytes with anti-erbB2 and doxorubicin caused a significant increase in myofibrillar disarray versus doxorubicin alone.

Conclusions: NRG-1beta/erbB signaling regulates anthracycline-induced myofilament injury. The increased susceptibility of myofilaments to doxorubicin in the presence of antibody to erbB2 may explain the contractile dysfunction seen in patients receiving concurrent trastuzumab and anthracyclines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.0000013839.41224.1cDOI Listing
April 2002

Expression and regulation of connexins in cultured ventricular myocytes isolated from adult rat hearts.

Pflugers Arch 2002 Mar 15;443(5-6):676-89. Epub 2002 Jan 15.

Institute for Cell Biology, ETH Hönggerberg, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland.

Gap junctions were assayed during re-differentiation of adult rat cardiomyocytes in long-term culture to gain insight into the processes of remodeling. Double immunostaining allowed the localization of connexins Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45 between myocytes and demonstrated co-expression and co-localization in individual cells and gap junction plaques, respectively. Immunoblots showed differential time-dependent changes in connexin expression and phosphorylation. The total amount of connexins and the ratio of phosphorylated/non-phosphorylated isoforms gradually increased during the re-establishment of intercellular communication. Dual voltage-clamp studies showed the involvement of several types of gap junction channels. Multichannel currents yielded diverse spectra of g(j,inst)=f( V(j)) and g(j,ss)=f( V(j)) relationships ( g(j,inst): instantaneous gap junction conductance; g(j,ss): conductance at steady state; V(j): transjunctional voltage), indicative of homotypic and heterotypic channels. Single-channel currents revealed two prominent conductances reflecting gamma(j,main) and gamma(j,residual). The histograms of gamma(j,main) showed four discrete peaks (41-44, 59-61, 70-76, and 100-107 pS) attributable to a combination of Cx45-Cx45, Cx40-Cx45 and Cx43-Cx45 channels (1st peak), Cx43-Cx43 and Cx40-Cx43 channels (2nd peak), Cx43-Cx43 channels (3rd peak) and Cx40-Cx40 and Cx40-Cx43 channels (4th peak). However, the presence of heteromeric channels cannot be excluded. The data are consistent with an up-regulation of Cx45 and Cx43 during re-differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-001-0747-zDOI Listing
March 2002

The secretion proteins in Chironomus tentans salivary glands: Electrophoretic characterization and molecular weight estimation.

Wilehm Roux Arch Dev Biol 1980 Feb;189(1):69-72

Institute for Cell Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-8093, Zürich, Switzerland.

A new method for isolating the secretion products fromChironomus tentans salivary glands is described. This method has the advantage of allowing the isolation of soluble and undegraded secretion proteins. These proteins have been characterized on SDS-acrylamide gels. Three main proteins (SPI, SPII, and SPIII), with molecular weights of about 1.4, 1.0 and 0.16×10 D were detected. The number of major bands is that expected if, as has been suggested, the three Balbiani rings on the fourth chromosome contain the genes for the secretion proteins. Moreover, the molecular weights of SPI and SPII are in the range expected from the size of Balbiani ring transcripts. In addition we present evidence for a protease which is isolated with the secretion proteins and is fully active only in the presence of reducing agents. This result suggests that a secondary structure, maintained by disulfide bonds, is necessary to prevent proteolytic cleavage of secretion proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00848568DOI Listing
February 1980