Publications by authors named "Ivan Melnychenko"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Endocardial fibroelastosis is caused by aberrant endothelial to mesenchymal transition.

Circ Res 2015 Feb 13;116(5):857-66. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

From the Department of Cardiology and Pneumology (X.X., F.A., E.M.Z.), Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology (B.T., M.Z.), University Medical Center of Göttingen, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany; Department of Cardiac Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA (I.F., I.V., P.J.d N.); Division of Matrix Biology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (T.Z.H., R.K., E.M.Z.); Lab Genetica Molecolare, Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo, Italy (M.I.); Department of Cancer Biology and the Metastasis Research Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (R.K.); and DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Göttingen, Germany (E.M.Z.).

Rationale: Endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE) is a unique form of fibrosis, which forms a de novo subendocardial tissue layer encapsulating the myocardium and stunting its growth, and which is typically associated with congenital heart diseases of heterogeneous origin, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Relevance of EFE was only recently highlighted through the establishment of staged biventricular repair surgery in infant patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, where surgical removal of EFE tissue has resulted in improvement in the restrictive physiology leading to the growth of the left ventricle in parallel with somatic growth. However, pathomechanisms underlying EFE formation are still scarce, and specific therapeutic targets are not yet known.

Objective: Here, we aimed to investigate the cellular origins of EFE tissue and to gain insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms to ultimately develop novel therapeutic strategies.

Methods And Results: By utilizing a novel EFE model of heterotopic transplantation of hearts from newborn reporter mice and by analyzing human EFE tissue, we demonstrate for the first time that fibrogenic cells within EFE tissue originate from endocardial endothelial cells via aberrant endothelial to mesenchymal transition. We further demonstrate that such aberrant endothelial to mesenchymal transition involving endocardial endothelial cells is caused by dysregulated transforming growth factor beta/bone morphogenetic proteins signaling and that this imbalance is at least in part caused by aberrant promoter methylation and subsequent transcriptional suppression of bone morphogenetic proteins 5 and 7. Finally, we provide evidence that supplementation of exogenous recombinant bone morphogenetic proteins 7 effectively ameliorates endothelial to mesenchymal transition and experimental EFE in rats.

Conclusions: In summary, our data point to aberrant endothelial to mesenchymal transition as a common denominator of infant EFE development in heterogeneous, congenital heart diseases, and to bone morphogenetic proteins 7 as an effective treatment for EFE and its restriction of heart growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.305629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4344885PMC
February 2015

An animal model of endocardial fibroelastosis.

J Surg Res 2013 Jun 17;182(1):94-100. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is one of the most common severe congenital cardiac anomalies, characterized by a marked hypoplasia of left-sided structures of the heart, which is commonly accompanied by a thick layer of fibroelastic tissue, termed endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE). Because human EFE develops only in fetal or neonatal hearts, and often in association with reduced blood flow, we sought to mimic these conditions by subjecting neonatal and 2-wk-old rat hearts to variations of the heterotopically transplanted heart model with either no intracavitary or normal flow and compare endocardium with human EFE tissue.

Materials And Methods: Hearts obtained from neonatal and 2-wk-old rats were heterotopically transplanted in young adult Lewis rats in a working (loaded) or nonworking (unloaded) mode. After 2-wk survival, hearts were explanted for histologic analysis by staining for collagen, elastin, and cellular elements. These sections were compared with human EFE tissue from HLHS.

Results: EFE, consisting of collagen and elastin with scarce cellular and vascular components, developed only in neonatal unloaded transplanted hearts and displayed the same histopathologic findings as EFE from patients with HLHS. Loaded hearts and 2-wk-old hearts did not show these alterations.

Conclusions: This animal model for EFE will serve as a tool to study the mechanisms of EFE formation, such as fluid forces, in HLHS in a systematic manner. A better understanding of the underlying cause of the EFE formation in HLHS will help to develop novel treatment strategies to better preserve growth of the hypoplastic left ventricle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2012.07.069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3524408PMC
June 2013

Feasibility of implantable cardioverter defibrillator treatment in five patients with familial Friedreich's ataxia--a case series.

Artif Organs 2010 Nov;34(11):1061-5

Department of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Göttingen, Germany.

Friedreich's ataxia (FRA) is an autosomal recessive disease of the central nervous system that is associated with familial cardiomyopathy. Cardiac involvement is seen in more than 90% of the patients and is the most common cause of death in these patients. We present a case series and discuss the indications for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation in FRA with review of the literature. Five pediatric patients who suffer from FRA (four female and one male, mean age 17.4 years) underwent ICD implantation between 2007 and 2008 in the University Hospital of Goettingen. The diagnosis of FRA was established by standard clinical criteria and proven in each case by genotyping at the frataxin locus. The time from diagnosis to ICD implantation was 10.4±1.73 years (range 8-15 years). All patients received transvenous lead systems. There were no intraoperative and postoperative complications. At the latest follow-up, the neuromuscular symptoms exhibited no further progress and no ICD activations were noticed. Only minor repolarization changes were seen on electrocardiogram. All patients had normal echocardiographic findings and no angina has been reported. Coronary angiographies were normal. It is evident that many FRA patients develop ventricular dysfunction. In the absence of a definitive surgical cure an ICD is generally indicated in young patients with hemodynamically significant sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias for prevention of sudden cardiac death. Our experience implies the safe use of ICD in children with FRA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1594.2010.01140.xDOI Listing
November 2010

Skin repair using a porcine collagen I/III membrane--vascularization and epithelization properties.

Dermatol Surg 2010 Jun;36(6):919-30

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen, Glueckstrasse 11, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Collagen membranes have been developed to overcome the problem of limited availability of skin grafts. Vascularization and restricted functional epithelization limit the success of bioartificial constructs.

Objective: To compare the vascularization, epithelization, and integration of a porcine collagen I/III membrane with that of split-thickness skin grafts on skin wounds.

Materials And Methods: In 21 adult pigs, full-thickness skin defects on the rear side of the ear healed by split-thickness skin grafting, by covering with the membrane, or by free granulation. Skin samples on postoperative days 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 were evaluated histologically (hematoxylin-eosin, Sirius Red) and using immunohistochemistry (cytokeratin 5/6, transforming growth factor beta receptor (TGFbetaR-III) and immunoblot (TGFbeta(1,3), Smad2/3). Epithelial thickness and TGFbetaR-III-positive capillary area were quantitatively assessed.

Results: Epithelization and vascularization in the membrane group were not significantly different from in the group treated with a split-thickness skin graft. Free granulation showed significantly slower epithelization and vascularization (p<.05). TGFbeta(1) and Smad2/3 complex expression were high during free granulation. Matrix was distinguishable until day 7.

Conclusions: This membrane serves as a suitable full-thickness dermal substitute, because the membrane is vascularized faster than free granulation tissue and enables early epithelization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2010.01569.xDOI Listing
June 2010

Mechanical unloading of the rat heart involves marked changes in the protein kinase-phosphatase balance.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2008 Dec 20;45(6):846-52. Epub 2008 Sep 20.

Department of Vegetative Physiology and Pathophysiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.

Mechanical unloading of failing hearts by left ventricular (LV) assist devices is regularly used as a bridge to transplantation and may lead to symptomatic improvement. The latter has been associated with altered phosphorylation of cardiac regulatory proteins, but the underlying mechanisms remained unknown. Here, we tested whether cardiac unloading alters protein phosphorylation by affecting the corresponding kinase-phosphatase balance. Cardiac unloading and reduction in LV mass were induced by heterotopic heart transplantation in rats for two weeks (n=8). Native in situ hearts from the recipient animals were used as controls (n=8). The steady-state protein kinase A (PKA) and/or Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) phosphorylation levels of phospholamban (PLB, Ser(16) and Thr(17)) and troponin I (TnI, Ser(23/24)) were decreased by 40-60% in unloaded hearts. Consistently, in these hearts PKA activity was decreased by approximately 80% and the activity of protein phosphatase 1 and 2A was increased by 50% and 90%, respectively. In contrast, CaMKII activity was approximately 60% higher, which may serve as a partial compensation. These data indicate that unloading shifts the kinase-phosphatase balance towards net dephosphorylation of PLB and TnI. This shift may also contribute to the reduction in phosphorylation levels of cardiac phosphoproteins observed in diseased human hearts after LVAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2008.09.003DOI Listing
December 2008

Unloaded rat hearts in vivo express a hypertrophic phenotype of cardiac repolarization.

J Mol Cell Cardiol 2008 Nov 10;45(5):633-41. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

Institut für Vegetative Physiologie und Pathophysiologie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf, Germany.

Cardiac unloading with left ventricular assist devices is increasingly used to treat patients with severe heart failure. Unloading has been shown to improve systolic and diastolic function, but its impact on the repolarization of left ventricular myocytes is not known. Unloaded hearts exhibit similar patterns of gene expression as hearts subjected to an increased hemodynamic load. We therefore hypothesized that cardiac unloading also replicates the alterations in action potential and underlying repolarizing ionic currents found in pressure-overload induced cardiac hypertrophy. Left ventricular unloading was induced by heterotopic heart transplantation in syngenic male Lewis rats. Action potentials and underlying K+ and Ca2+ currents were investigated using whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Real-time RT-PCR was used to quantify mRNA expression of Kv4.2, Kv4.3, and KChIP2. Unloading markedly prolonged cardiac action potentials and suppressed the amplitude of several repolarizing K+ currents, in particular of the transient outward K+ current I(to), in both, epicardial and endocardial myocytes. The reduction of I(to) was associated with significantly lower levels of Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 mRNAs in epicardial myocytes, and of KChIP2 mRNA in endocardial myocytes. Concomitantly, the L-type Ca2+ current was increased in myocytes of unloaded hearts. Collectively, these results show that left ventricular unloading induces a profound remodelling of cardiac repolarization with action potential prolongation, downregulation of repolarizing K+ currents and upregulation of the L-type Ca2+ current. This indicates that unloaded rat hearts in vivo express a hypertrophic phenotype of cardiac repolarization at the cellular and the molecular level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yjmcc.2008.02.271DOI Listing
November 2008

Phosphatase inhibitor-1-deficient mice are protected from catecholamine-induced arrhythmias and myocardial hypertrophy.

Cardiovasc Res 2008 Dec 8;80(3):396-406. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Aims: Phosphatase inhibitor-1 (I-1) is a conditional amplifier of beta-adrenergic signalling downstream of protein kinase A by inhibiting type-1 phosphatases only in its PKA-phosphorylated form. I-1 is downregulated in failing hearts and thus contributes to beta-adrenergic desensitization. It is unclear whether this should be viewed as a predominantly adverse or protective response.

Methods And Results: We generated transgenic mice with cardiac-specific I-1 overexpression (I-1-TG) and evaluated cardiac function and responses to catecholamines in mice with targeted disruption of the I-1 gene (I-1-KO). Both groups were compared with their wild-type (WT) littermates. I-1-TG developed cardiac hypertrophy and mild dysfunction which was accompanied by a substantial compensatory increase in PP1 abundance and activity, confounding cause-effect relationships. I-1-KO had normal heart structure with mildly reduced sensitivity, but unchanged maximal contractile responses to beta-adrenergic stimulation, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, I-1-KO were partially protected from lethal catecholamine-induced arrhythmias and from hypertrophy and dilation induced by a 7 day infusion with the beta-adrenergic agonist isoprenaline. Moreover, I-1-KO exhibited a partially preserved acute beta-adrenergic response after chronic isoprenaline, which was completely absent in similarly treated WT. At the molecular level, I-1-KO showed lower steady-state phosphorylation of the cardiac ryanodine receptor/Ca(2+) release channel and the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+)-ATPase-regulating protein phospholamban. These alterations may lower the propensity for diastolic Ca(2+) release and Ca(2+) uptake and thus stabilize the SR and account for the protection.

Conclusion: Taken together, loss of I-1 attenuates detrimental effects of catecholamines on the heart, suggesting I-1 downregulation in heart failure as a beneficial desensitization mechanism and I-1 inhibition as a potential novel strategy for heart failure treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvn208DOI Listing
December 2008

Beating-heart patch closure of muscular ventricular septal defects under real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic guidance: a preclinical study.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2008 Mar;135(3):603-9

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02115, USA.

Objectives: Safe and effective device closure of ventricular septal defects remains a challenge. We have developed a transcardiac approach to close ventricular septal defects using a patch delivery and fixation system that can be secured under real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic guidance.

Methods: In Yorkshire pigs (n = 8) a coring device was introduced into the left ventricle through a purse-string suture placed on the left ventricular apex, and a muscular ventricular septal defect was created. The patch deployment device containing a 20-mm polyester patch was advanced toward the ventricular septal defect through another purse-string suture on the left ventricular apex, and the patch was deployed under real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic guidance. The anchor delivery device was then introduced into the left ventricle through the first purse-string suture. Nitinol anchors to attach the patch around the ventricular septal defect were deployed under real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic guidance. After patch attachment, residual shunts were sought by means of two-dimensional and three-dimensional color Doppler echocardiography. The heart was then excised, and the septum with the patch was inspected.

Results: A ventricular septal defect was created in the midventricular (n = 4), anterior (n = 2), and apical (n = 2) septum. The mean size was 9.8 mm (8.2-12.0 mm), as determined by means of two-dimensional color Doppler scanning. The ventricular septal defects were completely closed in 7 animals. In one a 2.4-mm residual shunt was identified. No anatomic structures were compromised.

Conclusions: Beating-heart perventricular muscular ventricular septal defect closure without cardiopulmonary bypass can be successfully achieved by using a catheter-based patch delivery and fixation system under real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic guidance. This approach might be a better alternative to cardiac surgery or transcatheter device closure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2007.09.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2350207PMC
March 2008

Real-time myocardial contrast echocardiography for assessing perfusion and function in healthy and infarcted wistar rats.

Ultrasound Med Biol 2008 Jan 14;34(1):47-55. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

Second Medical Clinic, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Real-time myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) is a noninvasive perfusion imaging method, whereas technical and resolution problems impair its application in small animals. Hence, we investigated the feasibility of MCE in experimental cardiovascular set-ups involving healthy and infarcted myocardium in rats. Twenty-five male Wistar rats were examined under volatile anesthesia (2.5% isoflurane) with high-resolution conventional 2-D echocardiography (2DE) and real-time MCE (Sonos 7,500 with 15MHz-transducer, Philips Medical Systems, Andover, MA, USA) in short-axis view. Contrast agent (SonoVue, Bracco, Milan, Italy) was infused as a bolus into a sublingual vein. Background-subtracted contrast signal intensity (SI) was measured off-line in six end-systolic segments and fitted to an exponential curve (gamma variate). Derived peak SI was subsequently calculated and compared with wall motion and common functional measured quantities (left ventricular end-diastolic diameter [LVEDD], area shortening [AS]). Recordings were performed before and 14 days after left anterior descending (LAD) ligature. Infarction induced anterior wall motion abnormalities (WMA) in all animals (16 akinetic, 9 hypokinetic), increased LVEDD (9.1 +/- 0.6 vs. 7.9 +/- 0.6 mm, p < 0.001), reduced AS (36.1 +/- 10.0 vs. 59.5 +/- 4.1%, p < 0.001) and reduced anterior segmental SI (0.4 +/- 0.4 dB akinetic / 1.7 +/- 1.7 dB hypokinetic vs. 15.8 +/- 10.9 dB preinfarct, p < 0.001 / p < 0.001). Segmental SI in normokinetic segments remained unchanged. Area at risk (perfusion defect) correlated well with WMA (r = 0.838). These data confirmed high-resolution real-time MCE as a rational tool for assessing myocardial perfusion of Wistar rats. It may therefore be a useful diagnostic tool for in-vivo cardiovascular research in small animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2007.06.027DOI Listing
January 2008

Reproducibility of transthoracic echocardiography in small animals using clinical equipment.

Coron Artery Dis 2007 Jun;18(4):283-91

2nd Medical Clinic, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.

Objective: Transthoracic echocardiography has been employed to assess left ventricular dimensions and function in small animals. The aim of this study was to identify the limits of transthoracic echocardiography in a commonly used Wistar rat model by assessing intraobserver variability, interobserver variability, and day-to-day variability of examinations implying registrations and measurements.

Methods: Twenty male adult Wistar rats (body weight 496+/-52 g) were examined under volatile isoflurane anesthesia (heart rate 302+/-26 bpm) by transthoracic echocardiography (Sonos 7500; Philips) with a 15 MHz-transducer. For calculation of intraobserver variability, examinations were repeated by the same examiner and for interobserver variability, examinations were performed independently by two investigators. For day-to-day variability, examinations were repeated 14 days later. Left ventricular diameters and areas were analyzed in parasternal short axis and in a modified parasternal long axis. Fractional shortening, area shortening, ejection fraction, stroke volume, and cardiac output were calculated.

Results: Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter was 8.9+/-0.6 mm, fractional shortening 39.0+/-5.3%, area shortening 59.6+/-6.1%, ejection fraction 83.3+/-5.1%, stroke volume 0.24+/-0.06 ml, and cardiac output 72.9+/-20.6 ml/min. Intraobserver variability of left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, fractional shortening, area shortening, and ejection fraction was less than 10%, increasing to 19% for stroke volume and cardiac output. Interobserver variability of left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, fractional shortening, area shortening, ejection fraction was less than 13%, increasing to 23% for stroke volume and 25% for cardiac output. Day-to-day variability of left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, area shortening, ejection fraction was less than 11% whereas for stroke volume it was 21% and for cardiac output it was 22%. F-ratio test comparing investigated variabilities did not reveal significant differences.

Conclusions: M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiography in large rats by clinically common high-end ultrasound systems can be assessed reliably. Parameters of global left ventricular performance like stroke volume and cardiac output could not be assessed with similar reliability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MCA.0b013e3280d5a7e3DOI Listing
June 2007

Optimizing engineered heart tissue for therapeutic applications as surrogate heart muscle.

Circulation 2006 Jul;114(1 Suppl):I72-8

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr. 5, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Cardiac tissue engineering aims at providing heart muscle for cardiac regeneration. Here, we hypothesized that engineered heart tissue (EHT) can be improved by using mixed heart cell populations, culture in defined serum-free and Matrigel-free conditions, and fusion of single-unit EHTs to multi-unit heart muscle surrogates.

Methods And Results: EHTs were constructed from native and cardiac myocyte enriched heart cell populations. The former demonstrated a superior contractile performance and developed vascular structures. Peptide growth factor-supplemented culture medium was developed to maintain contractile EHTs in a serum-free environment. Addition of triiodothyronine and insulin facilitated withdrawal of Matrigel from the EHT reconstitution mixture. Single-unit EHTs could be fused to form large multi-unit EHTs with variable geometries.

Conclusions: Simulating a native heart cell environment in EHTs leads to improved function and formation of primitive capillaries. The latter may constitute a preformed vascular bed in vitro and facilitate engraftment in vivo. Serum- and Matrigel-free culture conditions are expected to reduce immunogenicity of EHT. Fusion of single-unit EHT allows production of large heart muscle constructs that may eventually serve as optimized tissue grafts in cardiac regeneration in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.001560DOI Listing
July 2006

Heart muscle engineering: an update on cardiac muscle replacement therapy.

Cardiovasc Res 2006 Aug 7;71(3):419-29. Epub 2006 Apr 7.

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Cardiac muscle engineering aims at providing functional myocardium to repair diseased hearts and model cardiac development, physiology, and disease in vitro. Several enabling technologies have been established over the past 10 years to create functional myocardium. Although none of the presently employed technologies yields a perfect match of natural heart muscle, it can be anticipated that human heart muscle equivalents will become available after fine tuning of currently established tissue engineering concepts. This review provides an update on the state of cardiac muscle engineering and its utilization in cardiac regeneration. We discuss the application of stem cells including the allocation of autologous cell material, transgenic technologies that may improve tissue structure as well as in vivo engraftment, and vascularization concepts. We also touch on legal and economic aspects that have to be considered before engineered myocardium may eventually be applied in patients and discuss who may be a potential recipient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardiores.2006.03.023DOI Listing
August 2006

Engineered heart tissue grafts improve systolic and diastolic function in infarcted rat hearts.

Nat Med 2006 Apr 2;12(4):452-8. Epub 2006 Apr 2.

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.

The concept of regenerating diseased myocardium by implantation of tissue-engineered heart muscle is intriguing, but convincing evidence is lacking that heart tissues can be generated at a size and with contractile properties that would lend considerable support to failing hearts. Here we created large (thickness/diameter, 1-4 mm/15 mm), force-generating engineered heart tissue from neonatal rat heart cells. Engineered heart tissue formed thick cardiac muscle layers when implanted on myocardial infarcts in immune-suppressed rats. When evaluated 28 d later, engineered heart tissue showed undelayed electrical coupling to the native myocardium without evidence of arrhythmia induction. Moreover, engineered heart tissue prevented further dilation, induced systolic wall thickening of infarcted myocardial segments and improved fractional area shortening of infarcted hearts compared to controls (sham operation and noncontractile constructs). Thus, our study provides evidence that large contractile cardiac tissue grafts can be constructed in vitro, can survive after implantation and can support contractile function of infarcted hearts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm1394DOI Listing
April 2006

Plasminogen activator inhibitor-I-related regulation of procollagen I (alpha1 and alpha2) by antitransforming growth factor-beta1 treatment during radiation-impaired wound healing.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2006 Jan;64(1):280-8

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Plastic Surgery, Freidrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Jena, Germany.

Purpose: Plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 mediates transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1)-related signaling by stimulating collagen Type I synthesis in radiation-impaired wound healing. The regulation of alpha(I)-procollagen is contradictory in fibroblasts of different fibrotic lesions. It is not known whether anti-TGF-beta1 treatment specifically inhibits alpha(I)-procollagen synthesis. We used an experimental wound healing study to address anti-TGF-beta1-associated influence on alpha(I)-procollagen synthesis.

Methods And Materials: A free flap was transplanted into the preirradiated (40 Gy) or nonirradiated neck region of Wistar rats: Group 1 (n = 8) surgery alone; Group 2 (n = 14) irradiation and surgery; Group 3 (n = 8) irradiation and surgery and anti-TGF-beta1 treatment. On the 14th postoperative day, skin samples were processed for fibroblast culture, in situ hybridization for TGF-beta1, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting for PAI-1, alpha1/alpha2(I)-procollagen.

Results: Anti-TGF-beta1 significantly reduced TGF-beta1 mRNA (p < 0.05) and PAI-1 expression (p < 0.05). Anti-TGF-beta1 treatment in vivo significantly reduced alpha1(I)-procollagen protein (p < 0.05) and the number of expressing cells (p < 0.05) in contrast to significantly increased (p < 0.05) alpha2(I)-procollagen expression.

Conclusion: These results emphasize anti-TGF-beta1 treatment to reduce radiation-induced fibrosis by decreasing alpha1(I)-procollagen synthesis in vivo. alpha1(I)-procollagen and alpha2(I)-procollagen might be differentially regulated by anti-TGF-beta1 treatment. Increased TGF-beta signaling in irradiated skin fibroblasts seemed to be reversible, as shown by a reduction in PAI-1 expression after anti-TGF-beta1 treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2005.09.006DOI Listing
January 2006

Engineered heart tissue for regeneration of diseased hearts.

Biomaterials 2004 Apr;25(9):1639-47

Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Cardiac tissue engineering aims at providing contractile heart muscle constructs for replacement therapy in vivo. At present, most cardiac tissue engineering attempts utilize heart cells from embryonic chicken and neonatal rats and scaffold materials. Over the past years our group has developed a novel technique to engineer collagen/matrigel-based cardiac muscle constructs, which we termed engineered heart tissue (EHT). EHT display functional and morphological properties of differentiated heart muscle and can be constructed in different shape and size from collagen type I, extracellular matrix proteins (Matrigel((R))), and heart cells from neonatal rats and embryonic chicken. First implantation studies in syngeneic Fischer 344 rats provided evidence of EHT survival and integration in vivo. This review will focus on our experience in tissue engineering of cardiac muscle. Mainly, EHT construction, matrix requirements, potential applications of different cell types including stem cells, and our first implantation experiences will be discussed. Despite many critical and unresolved questions, we believe that cardiac tissue engineering in general has an interesting perspective for the replacement of malfunctioning myocardium and reconstruction of congenital malformations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0142-9612(03)00521-0DOI Listing
April 2004

Cardiac grafting of engineered heart tissue in syngenic rats.

Circulation 2002 Sep;106(12 Suppl 1):I151-7

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Nuremberg, Germany.

Background: Cell grafting has emerged as a novel approach to treat heart diseases refractory to conventional therapy. We hypothesize that survival and functional and electrical integration of grafts may be improved by engineering cardiac tissue constructs in vitro before grafting.

Methods And Results: Engineered heart tissue (EHT) was reconstituted by mixing cardiac myocytes from neonatal Fischer 344 rats with liquid collagen type I, matrigel, and serum-containing culture medium. EHTs were designed in circular shape (inner/outer diameter: 8/10 mm; thickness: 1 mm) to fit around the circumference of hearts from syngenic rats. After 12 days in culture and before implantation on uninjured hearts, contractile function of EHT was measured under isometric conditions. Baseline twitch tension amounted to 0.34+/-0.03 mN (n=33) and was stimulated by Ca(2+) and isoprenaline to 200+/-12 and 185+/-10% of baseline values, respectively. Despite utilization of a syngenic model immunosuppression (mg/kg BW: azathioprine 2, cyclosporine A 5, methylprednisolone 2) was necessary for EHT survival in vivo. Echocardiography conducted 7, 14, and 28 days after implantation demonstrated no change in left ventricular function compared with pre-OP values (n=9). Fourteen days after implantation, EHTs were heavily vascularized and retained a well organized heart muscle structure as indicated by immunolabeling of actinin, connexin 43, and cadherins. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrated that implanted EHTs surpassed the degree of differentiation reached before implantation. Contractile function of EHT grafts was preserved in vivo.

Conclusions: EHTs can be employed for tissue grafting approaches and might serve as graft material to repair diseased myocardium.
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September 2002