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Stoehr A.,University of Hamburg | Stoehr A.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research | Neuber C.,University of Hamburg | Neuber C.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research | And 25 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Contraction and relaxation are fundamental aspects of cardiomyocyte functional biology. They reflect the response of the contractile machinery to the systolic increase and diastolic decrease of the cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration. The analysis of contractile function and Ca2+ transients is therefore important to discriminate between myofilament responsiveness and changes in Ca2+ homeostasis. This article describes an automated technology to perform sequential analysis of contractile force and Ca2+ transients in up to 11 strip-format, fibrin-based rat, mouse, and human fura-2-loaded engineered heart tissues (EHTs) under perfusion and electrical stimulation. Measurements in EHTs under increasing concentrations of extracellular Ca2+ and responses to isoprenaline and carbachol demonstrate that EHTs recapitulate basic principles of heart tissue functional biology. Ca2+ concentration-response curves in rat, mouse, and human EHTs indicated different maximal twitch forces (0.22, 0.05, and 0.08 mN in rat, mouse, and human, respectively; P < 0.001) and different sensitivity to external Ca2+ (EC50: 0.15, 0.39, and 1.05 mM Ca2+ in rat, mouse, and human, respectively; P < 0.001) in the three groups. In contrast, no difference in myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity was detected between skinned rat and human EHTs, suggesting that the difference in sensitivity to external Ca2+ concentration is due to changes in Ca2+ handling proteins. Finally, this study confirms that fura-2 has Ca2+ buffering effects and is thereby changing the force response to extracellular Ca2+. © 2014 the American Physiological Society. Source

Umukoro P.E.,Stanford University | Wong J.Y.Y.,Stanford University | Cavallari J.M.,Stanford University | Cavallari J.M.,University of Connecticut Health Center | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether associations of acceleration capacity (AC) and deceleration capacity (DC) with metal-PM 2.5 are mediated by inflammation. Methods: We obtained PM 2.5, C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-6, 8, and 10, and electrocardiograms to compute AC and DC, from 45 male welders. Mediation analyses were performed using linear mixed models to assess associations between PM 2.5 exposure, inflammatory mediator, and AC or DC, controlling for covariates. Results: The proportion of total effect of PM 2.5 on AC or DC (indirect effect) mediated through IL-6 on AC was 4% at most. Controlling for IL-6 (direct effect), a 1mg/m 3 increase of PM 2.5 was associated with a decrease of 2.16 (95% confidence interval -0.36 to 4.69) msec in AC and a decrease of 2.51 (95% confidence interval -0.90 to 5.93) msec in DC. Conclusion: IL-6 may be mediating the effect of metal particulates on AC. © 2016 American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Source

Gramlich M.,University of Tubingen | Gramlich M.,Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute | Pane L.S.,TU Munich | Zhou Q.,University of Tubingen | And 25 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine

Frameshift mutations in the TTN gene encoding titin are a major cause for inherited forms of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart disease characterized by ventricular dilatation, systolic dysfunction, and progressive heart failure. To date, there are no specific treatment options for DCM patients but heart transplantation. Here, we show the beneficial potential of reframing titin transcripts by antisense oligonucleotide (AON)-mediated exon skipping in human and murine models of DCM carrying a previously identified autosomal-dominant frameshift mutation in titin exon 326. Correction of TTN reading frame in patient-specific cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells rescued defective myofibril assembly and stability and normalized the sarcomeric protein expression. AON treatment in Ttn knock-in mice improved sarcomere formation and contractile performance in homozygous embryos and prevented the development of the DCM phenotype in heterozygous animals. These results demonstrate that disruption of the titin reading frame due to a truncating DCM mutation can be restored by exon skipping in both patient cardiomyocytes in vitro and mouse heart in vivo, indicating RNA-based strategies as a potential treatment option for DCM. © 2015 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license. Source

Doppler S.A.,TU Munich | Werner A.,TU Munich | Barz M.,TU Munich | Lahm H.,TU Munich | And 12 more authors.

Vertebrate heart development is strictly regulated by temporal and spatial expression of growth and transcription factors (TFs). We analyzed nine TFs, selected by in silico analysis of an Nkx2.5 enhancer, for their ability to transactivate the respective enhancer element that drives, specifically, expression of genes in cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). Mzf1 showed significant activity in reporter assays and bound directly to the Nkx2.5 cardiac enhancer (Nkx2.5 CE) during murine ES cell differentiation. While Mzf1 is established as a hematopoietic TF, its ability to regulate cardiogenesis is completely unknown. Mzf1 expression was significantly enriched in CPCs from in vitro differentiated ES cells and in mouse embryonic hearts. To examine the effect of Mzf1 overexpression on CPC formation, we generated a double transgenic, inducible, tetOMzf1-Nkx2.5 CE eGFP ES line. During in vitro differentiation an early and continuous Mzf1 overexpression inhibited CPC formation and cardiac gene expression. A late Mzf1 overexpression, coincident with a second physiological peak of Mzf1 expression, resulted in enhanced cardiogenesis. These findings implicate a novel, temporal-specific role of Mzf1 in embryonic heart development. Thereby we add another piece of puzzle in understanding the complex mechanisms of vertebrate cardiac development and progenitor cell differentiation. Consequently, this knowledge will be of critical importance to guide efficient cardiac regenerative strategies and to gain further insights into the molecular basis of congenital heart malformations. © 2014 Doppler et al. Source

Kaestner L.,Saarland University | Tian Q.,Saarland University | Kaiser E.,Saarland University | Xian W.,Saarland University | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Membrane potentials display the cellular status of non-excitable cells and mediate communication between excitable cells via action potentials. The use of genetically encoded biosensors employing fluorescent proteins allows a non-invasive biocompatible way to read out the membrane potential in cardiac myocytes and other cells of the circulation system. Although the approaches to design such biosensors date back to the time when the first fluorescent-protein based Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) sensors were constructed, it took 15 years before reliable sensors became readily available. Here, we review different developments of genetically encoded membrane potential sensors. Furthermore, it is shown how such sensors can be used in pharmacological screening applications as well as in circulation related basic biomedical research. Potentials and limitations will be discussed and perspectives of possible future developments will be provided. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

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