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Zeisberg E.M.,University of Gottingen | Zeisberg E.M.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research | Zeisberg M.,University of Gottingen
Journal of Pathology

The aberrant methylation of CpG island promoters of selected genes is the prominent epigenetic mechanism by which gene transcription can be effectively silenced. Aberrant hypermethylation of a few selected genes plays an important role in facilitating fibrotic fibroblast activation and in driving fibrogenesis. Here we review mechanisms of DNA methylation and demethylation and their implications for fibroblast activation and tissue fibrosis.Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Viola J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Soehnlein O.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Soehnlein O.,Academic Medical Center | Soehnlein O.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research
Seminars in Immunology

Atherosclerosis is commonly looked upon as a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall arising from an unbalanced lipid metabolism and a maladaptive inflammatory response. However, atherosclerosis is not merely an inflammation of the vessel wall. In fact, the cardinal signs of unstable atherosclerotic lesions are primarily characteristics of failed resolution of a chronic inflammation. In contrast to acute inflammatory events which are typically self-limiting, atherosclerosis is an unresolved inflammatory condition, lacking the switch from the pro-inflammatory to the pro-resolving phase, the latter characterized by termination of inflammatory cell recruitment, removal of inflammatory cells from the site of inflammation by apoptosis and dead cell clearance, reprogramming of macrophages toward an anti-inflammatory, regenerative phenotype, and finally egress of effector cells and tissue regeneration. Here we present an overview on mechanisms of failed resolution contributing to atheroprogression and deliver a summary of novel therapeutic strategies to restore resolution in inflamed arteries. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Drews O.,University of Heidelberg | Drews O.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research | Taegtmeyer H.,University of Houston
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling

Significance: Novel therapeutic strategies to treat heart failure are greatly needed. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) affects the structure and function of cardiac cells through targeted degradation of signaling and structural proteins. This review discusses both beneficial and detrimental consequences of modulating the UPS in the heart. Recent Advances: Proteasome inhibitors were first used to test the role of the UPS in cardiac disease phenotypes, indicating therapeutic potential. In early cardiac remodeling and pathological hypertrophy with increased proteasome activities, proteasome inhibition prevented or restricted disease progression and contractile dysfunction. Conversely, enhancing proteasome activities by genetic manipulation, pharmacological intervention, or ischemic preconditioning also improved the outcome of cardiomyopathies and infarcted hearts with impaired cardiac and UPS function, which is, at least in part, caused by oxidative damage. Critical Issues: An understanding of the UPS status and the underlying mechanisms for its potential deregulation in cardiac disease is critical for targeted interventions. Several studies indicate that type and stage of cardiac disease influence the dynamics of UPS regulation in a nonlinear and multifactorial manner. Proteasome inhibitors targeting all proteasome complexes are associated with cardiotoxicity in humans. Furthermore, the type and dosage of proteasome inhibitor impact the pathogenesis in nonuniform ways. Future Directions: Systematic analysis and targeting of individual UPS components with established and innovative tools will unravel and discriminate regulatory mechanisms that contribute to and protect against the progression of cardiac disease. Integrating this knowledge in drug design may reduce adverse effects on the heart as observed in patients treated with proteasome inhibitors against noncardiac diseases, especially cancer. © 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Dimmeler S.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Dimmeler S.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research | Nicotera P.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
EMBO Molecular Medicine

Aging is a complex process that is linked to an increased incidence of major diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease, but also cancer and immune disorders. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs, which post-transcriptionally control gene expression by inhibiting translation or inducing degradation of targeted mRNAs. MiRNAs target up to hundreds of mRNAs, thereby modulating gene expression patterns. Many miRNAs appear to be dysregulated during cellular senescence, aging and disease. However, only few miRNAs have been so far linked to age-related changes in cellular and organ functions. The present article will discuss these findings, specifically focusing on the cardiovascular and neurological systems. This review is part of the small RNAs review series. See more reviews from this series. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1757-4684/homepage/reviews_smallrnas.htm MicroRNAs have been implicated in the aging process. This review discusses recent findings on the roles of microRNAs in conditions associated with aging, with a focus on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. © 2013 The Authors. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd on behalf of EMBO. Source

Eschenhagen T.,University of Hamburg | Eschenhagen T.,German Center for Cardiovascular Research | Mummery C.,Leiden University | Knollmann B.C.,Vanderbilt University
Cardiovascular Research

One of the obstacles to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of human cardiomyopathies has been poor availability of heart-tissue samples at early stages of disease development. This has possibly changed by the advent of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) from which cardiomyocytes can be derived in vitro. The main promise of hiPSC technology is that by capturing the effects of thousands of individual gene variants, the phenotype of differentiated derivatives of these cells will provide more information on a particular disease than simple genotyping. This article summarizes what is known about the 'human cardiomyopathy or heart failure phenotype in vitro', which constitutes the reference for modelling sarcomeric cardiomyopathies in hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. The current techniques for hiPSC generation and cardiac myocyte differentiation are briefly reviewed and the few published reports of hiPSC models of sarcomeric cardiomyopathies described. A discussion of promises and challenges of hiPSC-modelling of sarcomeric cardiomyopathies and individualized approaches is followed by a number of questions that, in the view of the authors, need to be answered before the true potential of this technology can be evaluated. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. Source

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