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Glezeva N.,University College Dublin | Gilmer J.F.,Trinity College Dublin | Watson C.J.,University College Dublin | Ledwidge M.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly prevalent and costly multifactorial syndrome with high morbidity and mortality rates. The exact pathophysiological mechanisms leading to the development of HF are not completely understood. Several emerging paradigms implicate cardiometabolic risk factors, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, and myocyte dysfunction as key factors in the gradual progression from a healthy state to HF. Inflammation is now a recognized factor in disease progression in HF and a therapeutic target. Furthermore, the monocyte-platelet interaction has been highlighted as an important pathophysiological link between inflammation, thrombosis, endothelial activation, and myocardial malfunction. The contribution of monocytes and platelets to acute cardiovascular injury and acute HF is well established. However, their role and interaction in the pathogenesis of chronic HF are not well understood. In particular, the cross talk between monocytes and platelets in the peripheral circulation and in the vicinity of the vascular wall in the form of monocyte-platelet complexes (MPCs) may be a crucial element, which influences the pathophysiology and progression of chronic heart disease and HF. In this review, we discuss the role of monocytes and platelets as key mediators of cardiovascular inflammation in HF, the mechanisms of cell activation, and the importance of monocyte-platelet interaction and complexes in HF pathogenesis. Finally, we summarize recent information on pharmacological inhibition of inflammation and studies of antithrombotic strategies in the setting of HF that can inform opportunities for future work. We discuss recent data on monocyte-platelet interactions and the potential benefits of therapy directed at MPCs, particularly in the setting of HF with preserved ejection fraction. © SAGE Publications. Source

Jan A.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Dawkins I.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Murphy N.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Collier P.,University College Dublin | And 5 more authors.
The Scientific World Journal

Background. Persistently elevated natriuretic peptide (NP) levels in heart failure (HF) patients are associated with impaired prognosis. Recent work suggests that NP-guided therapy can improve outcome, but the mechanisms behind an elevated BNP remain unclear. Among the potential stimuli for NP in clinically stable patients are persistent occult fluid overload, wall stress, inflammation, fibrosis, and ischemia. The purpose of this study was to identify associates of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in a stable HF population. Methods. In a prospective observational study of 179 stable HF patients, the association between BNP and markers of collagen metabolism, inflammation, and Doppler-echocardiographic parameters including left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left atrial volume index (LAVI), and E/e prime (E/e′) was measured. Results. Univariable associates of elevated BNP were age, LVEF, LAVI, E/e′, creatinine, and markers of collagen turnover. In a multiple linear regression model, age, creatinine, and LVEF remained significant associates of BNP. E/e′ and markers of collagen turnover had a persistent impact on BNP independent of these covariates. Conclusion. Multiple variables are associated with persistently elevated BNP levels in stable HF patients. Clarification of the relative importance of NP stimuli may help refine NP-guided therapy, potentially improving outcome for this at-risk population. © 2013 Aftab Jan et al. Source

Watson C.J.,University College Dublin | Watson C.J.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Horgan S.,University College Dublin | Neary R.,University College Dublin | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Background: The development of heart failure is associated with changes in the size, shape, and structure of the heart that has a negative impact on cardiac function. These pathological changes involve excessive extracellular matrix deposition within the myocardial interstitium and myocyte hypertrophy. Alterations in fibroblast phenotype and myocyte activity are associated with reprogramming of gene transcriptional profiles that likely requires epigenetic alterations in chromatin structure. The aim of our work was to investigate the potential of a currently licensed anticancer epigenetic modifier as a treatment option for cardiac diseases associated with hypertension-induced cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Methods and Results: The effects of DNA methylation inhibition with 5-azacytidine (5-aza) were examined in a human primary fibroblast cell line and in a spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) model. The results from this work allude to novel in vivo antifibrotic and antihypertrophic actions of 5-aza. Administration of the DNA methylation inhibitor significantly improved several echocardiographic parameters associated with hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction. Myocardial collagen levels and myocyte size were reduced in 5-aza-treated SHRs. These findings are supported by beneficial in vitro effects in cardiac fibroblasts. Collagen I, collagen III, and α-smooth muscle actin were reduced in a human ventricular cardiac fibroblast cell line treated with 5-aza. Conclusion: These findings suggest a role for epigenetic modifications in contributing to the profibrotic and hypertrophic changes evident during disease progression. Therapeutic intervention with 5-aza demonstrated favorable effects highlighting the potential use of this epigenetic modifier as a treatment option for cardiac pathologies associated with hypertrophy and fibrosis. © SAGE Publications. Source

Ledwidge M.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Ledwidge M.,University College Dublin | Gallagher J.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Gallagher J.,University College Dublin | And 23 more authors.
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association

IMPORTANCE: Prevention strategies for heart failure are needed. OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of a screening program using brain-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and collaborative care in an at-risk population in reducing newly diagnosed heart failure and prevalence of significant left ventricular (LV) systolic and/or diastolic dysfunction. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The St Vincent's Screening to Prevent Heart Failure Study, a parallel-group randomized trial involving 1374 participants with cardiovascular risk factors (mean age, 64.8 [SD, 10.2] years) recruited from 39 primary care practices in Ireland between January 2005 and December 2009 and followed up until December 2011 (mean follow-up, 4.2 [SD, 1.2] years). INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned to receive usual primary care (control condition; n=677) or screening with BNP testing (n=697). Intervention-group participants with BNP levels of 50 pg/mL or higher underwent echocardiography and collaborative care between their primary care physician and specialist cardiovascular service. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end pointwas prevalence of asymptomatic LV dysfunction with or without newly diagnosed heart failure. Secondary end points included emergency hospitalization for arrhythmia, transient ischemic attack, stroke, myocardial infarction, peripheral or pulmonary thrombosis/embolus, or heart failure. RESULTS: A total of 263 patients (41.6%) in the intervention group had at least 1 BNP reading of 50 pg/mL or higher. The intervention group underwent more cardiovascular investigations (control, 496 per 1000 patient-years vs intervention, 850 per 1000 patient-years; incidence rate ratio, 1.71; 95%CI, 1.61-1.83; P<.001) and received more renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system-based therapy at follow-up (control, 49.6%; intervention, 56.5%; P=.01). The primary end point of LV dysfunction with or without heart failure wasmet in 59 (8.7%) of 677 in the control group and 37 (5.3%) of 697 in the intervention group (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95%CI, 0.37-0.82; P = .003). Asymptomatic LV dysfunction was found in 45 (6.6%) of 677 control-group patients and 30 (4.3%) of 697 intervention-group patients (OR, 0.57; 95%CI, 0.37-0.88; P = .01). Heart failure occurred in 14 (2.1%) of 677 control-group patients and 7 (1.0%) of 697 intervention-group patients (OR, 0.48; 95%CI, 0.20-1.20; P = .12). The incidence rates of emergency hospitalization for major cardiovascular events were 40.4 per 1000 patient-years in the control group vs 22.3 per 1000 patient-years in the intervention group (incidence rate ratio, 0.60; 95%CI, 0.45-0.81; P = .002). CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: Among patients at risk of heart failure, BNP-based screening and collaborative care reduced the combined rates of LV systolic dysfunction, diastolic dysfunction, and heart failure. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00921960. Source

Watson C.J.,University College Dublin | Watson C.J.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | Phelan D.,University College Dublin | Phelan D.,Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Management Unit | And 16 more authors.
Connective Tissue Research

Understanding the impact of extracellular matrix sub-types and mechanical stretch on cardiac fibroblast activity is required to help unravel the pathophysiology of myocardial fibrotic diseases. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate pro-fibrotic responses of primary human cardiac fibroblast cells exposed to different extracellular matrix components, including collagen sub-types I, III, IV, VI and laminin. The impact of mechanical cyclical stretch and treatment with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) on collagen 1, collagen 3 and alpha smooth muscle actin mRNA expression on different matrices was assessed using quantitative real-time PCR. Our results revealed that all of the matrices studied not only affected the expression of pro-fibrotic genes in primary human cardiac fibroblast cells at rest but also affected their response to TGFβ1. In addition, differential cellular responses to mechanical cyclical stretch were observed depending on the type of matrix the cells were adhered to. These findings may give insight into the impact of selective pathological deposition of extracellular matrix proteins within different disease states and how these could impact the fibrotic environment. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. Source

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