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Madonna R.,Texas Heart Institute | Madonna R.,University of Chieti Pescara | Gorbe A.,Pharmahungary Group | Gorbe A.,University of Szeged | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Biotechnology | Year: 2013

The availability of glucose and oxygen are important regulatory elements that help directing stem cell fate. In the undifferentiated state, stem cells, and their artificially reprogrammed equivalent-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are characterized by limited oxidative capacity and active anaerobic glycolysis. Recent studies have shown that pluripotency - a characteristic of staminality - is associated with a poorly developed mitochondrial patrimony, while differentiation is accompanied by an activation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Besides being an important energy source in hypoxia, high glucose level results in hyperosmotic stress. The identification of specific metabolic pathways and biophysical factors that regulate stem cell fate, including high glucose in the extracellular medium, may therefore facilitate reprogramming efficiency and control the differentiation and fate of iPS cells, which are increasingly being explored as therapeutic tools. In this article, we review recent knowledge of the role of glucose metabolism and high glucose level as major anaerobic energy source, and a determinant of osmolarity as possible tools for reprogramming therapies in clinical applications. As in the diabetic setting hyperglycemia negatively affect the stem/progenitor cell fate and likely somatic reprogramming, we also discuss the in vivo potential transferability of the available in vitro findings. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Sluijter J.P.G.,University Utrecht | Sluijter J.P.G.,Netherlands Heart Institute | Condorelli G.,University of Milan | Davidson S.M.,University College London | And 11 more authors.
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2014

The morbidity and mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) remain significant worldwide. The treatment for acute myocardial infarction has improved over the past decades, including early reperfusion of occluded coronary arteries. Although it is essential to re-open the artery as soon as possible, paradoxically this leads to additional myocardial injury, called acute ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), for which currently no effective therapy is available. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies are required to protect the heart from acute IRI in order to reduce myocardial infarction size, preserve cardiac function and improve clinical outcomes in patients with IHD. In this review article, we will first outline the pathophysiology of acute IRI and review promising therapeutic strategies for cardioprotection. These include novel aspects of mitochondrial function, epigenetics, circadian clocks, the immune system, microvesicles, growth factors, stem cell therapy and gene therapy. We discuss the therapeutic potential of these novel cardioprotective strategies in terms of pharmacological targeting and clinical application. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Madonna R.,Texas Heart Institute | Madonna R.,University of Chieti Pescara | Geng Y.-J.,Texas Heart Institute | Geng Y.-J.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | And 4 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2014

Background and objective: Hyperglycemia leads to adaptive cell responses in part due to hyperosmolarity. In endothelial and epithelial cells, hyperosmolarity induces aquaporin-1 (AQP1) which plays a role in cytoskeletal remodeling, cell proliferation and migration. Whether such impairments also occur in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) is not known. We therefore investigated whether high glucose-induced hyperosmolarity impacts proliferation, migration, expression of pluripotency markers and actin skeleton remodeling in iPS cells in an AQP1-dependent manner. Methods and results: Human iPS cells were generated from skin fibroblasts by lentiviral transduction of four reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc). After reprogramming, iPS cells were characterized by their adaptive responses to high glucose-induced hyperosmolarity by incubation with 5.5. mmol/L glucose, high glucose (HG) at 30.5. mM, or with the hyperosmolar control mannitol (HM). Exposure to either HG or HM increased the expression of AQP1. AQP1 co-immunoprecipitated with β-catenin. HG and HM induced the expression of β-catenin. Under these conditions, iPS cells showed increased ratios of F-actin to G-actin and formed increased tubing networks. Inhibition of AQP1 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) reverted the inducing effects of HG and HM. Conclusions: High glucose enhances human iPS cell proliferation and cytoskeletal remodeling due to hyperosmolarity-induced upregulation of AQP1. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Hausenloy D.J.,University College London | Erik Botker H.,University of Aarhus | Condorelli G.,National Research Council Italy | Ferdinandy P.,Semmelweis University | And 12 more authors.
Cardiovascular Research | Year: 2013

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Despite current therapy, the morbidity and mortality for patients with CHD remains significant. The most important manifestations of CHD arise from acute myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in terms of cardiomyocyte death and its long-term consequences. As such, new therapeutic interventions are required to protect the heart against the detrimental effects of acute IRI and improve clinical outcomes. Although a large number of cardioprotective therapies discovered in pre-clinical studies have been investigated in CHD patients, few have been translated into the clinical setting, and a significant number of these have failed to show any benefit in terms of reduced myocardial infarction and improved clinical outcomes. Because of this, there is currently no effective therapy for protecting the heart against the detrimental effects of acute IRI in patients with CHD. One major factor for this lack of success in translating cardioprotective therapies into the clinical setting can be attributed to problems with the clinical study design. Many of these clinical studies have not taken into consideration the important data provided from previously published pre-clinical and clinical studies. The overall aim of this ESC Working Group Cellular Biology of the Heart Position Paper is to provide recommendations for optimizing the design of clinical cardioprotection studies, which should hopefully result in new and effective therapeutic interventions for the future benefit of CHD patients. © The Author 2012.


Dormn G.,TargetEx | Cseh S.,TargetEx | Hajd I.,TargetEx | Hajd I.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Drugs | Year: 2010

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in tissue remodelling associated with various physiological and pathological processes, such as morphogenesis, angiogenesis, tissue repair, arthritis, chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic inflammation and cancer metastasis. As a result, MMPs are considered to be viable drug targets in the therapy of these diseases. Despite the high therapeutic potential of MMP inhibitors (MMPIs), all clinical trials have failed to date, except for doxycycline for periodontal disease. This can be attributed to (i) poor selectivity of the MMPIs, (ii) poor target validation for the targeted therapy and (iii) poorly defined predictive preclinical animal models for safety and efficacy. Lessons from previous failures, such as recent discoveries of oxidativenitrosative activation and phosphorylation of MMPs, as well as novel non-matrix related intra-and extracellular targets of MMP, give new hope for MMPI development for both chronic and acute diseases. In this article we critically review the major structural determinants of the selectivity and the milestones of past design efforts of MMPIs where 2-3-dimensional structure-based methods were intensively applied. We also analyse the in vitro screening and preclinicalclinical pharmacology approaches, with particular emphasis on drawing conclusions on how to overcome efficacy and safety problems through better target validation and design of preclinical studies. © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.


Barlaka E.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Gorbe A.,University of Szeged | Gorbe A.,Pharmahungary Group | Gaspar R.,University of Szeged | And 4 more authors.
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2015

Heart failure still remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A major contributing factor is reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) overproduction which is associated with cardiac remodeling partly through cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors that belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily and have been implicated in cardioprotection. However, the molecular mechanisms are largely unexplored. In this study we sought to investigate the potential beneficial effects evoked by activation of PPARβ/δ under the setting of oxidative stress induced by H2O2 in adult rat cardiac myocytes. The selective PPARβ/δ agonist GW0742 inhibited the H2O2-induced apoptosis and increased cell viability. In addition, generation of RONS was attenuated in cardiac myocytes in the presence of PPARβ/δ agonist. These effects were abolished in the presence of the PPARβ/δ antagonist indicating that the effect was through PPARβ/δ receptor activation. Treatment with PPARβ/δ agonist was also associated with attenuation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage, upregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and concomitant downregulation of pro-apoptotic Bax. In addition, activation of PPARβ/δ inhibited the oxidative-stress-induced MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA upregulation. It is concluded that PPARβ/δ activation exerts a cytoprotective effect in adult rat cardiac myocytes subjected to oxidative stress via inhibition of oxidative stress, MMP expression, and apoptosis. Our data suggest that the novel connection between PPAR signaling and MMP down-regulation in cardiac myocytes might represent a new target for the management of oxidative stress-induced cardiac dysfunction. ©2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Kirca M.,Justus Liebig University | Kirca M.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Kleinbongard P.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Soetkamp D.,Justus Liebig University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2015

Connexin 43 (Cx43), which is highly expressed in the heart and especially in cardiomyocytes, interferes with the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms. Conversely, Cx43 gene expression is down-regulated by nitric oxide derived from the inducible NOS. Thus, a complex interplay between Cx43 and NOS expression appears to exist. As cardiac mitochondria are supposed to contain a NOS, we now investigated the expression of NOS isoforms and the nitric oxide production rate in isolated mitochondria of wild-type and Cx43-deficient (Cx43Cre-ER(T)/fl) mice hearts. Mitochondria were isolated from hearts using differential centrifugation and purified via Percoll gradient ultracentrifugation. Isolated mitochondria were stained with an antibody against the mitochondrial marker protein adenine-nucleotide-translocator (ANT) in combination with either a neuronal NOS (nNOS) or an inducible NOS (iNOS) antibody and analysed using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The nitric oxide formation was quantified in purified mitochondria using the oxyhaemoglobin assay. Co-localization of predominantly nNOS (nNOS: 93 ± 4.1%; iNOS: 24.6 ± 7.5%) with ANT was detected in isolated mitochondria of wild-type mice. In contrast, iNOS expression was increased in Cx43Cre-ER(T)/fl mitochondria (iNOS: 90.7 ± 3.2%; nNOS: 53.8 ± 17.5%). The mitochondrial nitric oxide formation was reduced in Cx43Cre-ER(T)/fl mitochondria (0.14 ± 0.02 nmol/min./mg protein) in comparison to wild-type mitochondria (0.24 ± 0.02 nmol/min./mg). These are the first data demonstrating, that a reduced mitochondrial Cx43 content is associated with a switch of the mitochondrial NOS isoform and the respective mitochondrial rate of nitric oxide formation. © 2015 The Authors.


Schulz R.,Justus Liebig University | Gorge P.M.,Justus Liebig University | Gorbe A.,University of Szeged | Gorbe A.,Pharmahungary Group | And 4 more authors.
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2015

Abstract Connexins are widely distributed proteins in the body that are crucially important for heart and brain functions. Six connexin subunits form a connexon or hemichannel in the plasma membrane. Interactions between two hemichannels in a head-to-head arrangement result in the formation of a gap junction channel. Gap junctions are necessary to coordinate cell function by passing electrical current flow between heart and nerve cells or by allowing exchange of chemical signals and energy substrates. Apart from its localization at the sarcolemma of cardiomyocytes and brain cells, connexins are also found in the mitochondria where they are involved in the regulation of mitochondrial matrix ion fluxes and respiration. Connexin expression is affected by age and gender as well as several pathophysiological alterations such as hypertension, hypertrophy, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, ischemia, post-myocardial infarction remodeling or heart failure, and post-translationally connexins are modified by phosphorylation/de-phosphorylation and nitros(yl)ation which can modulate channel activity. Using knockout/knockin technology as well as pharmacological approaches, one of the connexins, namely connexin 43, has been identified to be important for cardiac and brain ischemia/reperfusion injuries as well as protection from it. Therefore, the current review will focus on the importance of connexin 43 for irreversible injury of heart and brain tissues following ischemia/reperfusion and will highlight the importance of connexin 43 as an emerging therapeutic target in cardio- and neuroprotection. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Gorbe A.,University of Szeged | Gorbe A.,Pharmahungary Group | Giricz Z.,University of Szeged | Szunyog A.,University of Szeged | And 6 more authors.
Basic Research in Cardiology | Year: 2010

Nitric oxide (NO) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) are protective against ischemia-reperfusion injury as they increase intracellular cGMP level via activation of soluble (sGC) or particulate guanylate cyclases (pGC), respectively. The aim of the present study was to examine if the cGMP-elevating mediators, NO and BNP, share a common downstream signaling pathway via cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) in cardiac cytoprotection. Neonatal rat cardiac myocytes in vitro were subjected to 2.5 h simulated ischemia (SI) followed by 2 h reoxygenation. Cell viability was tested by trypan blue exclusion assay. PKG activity of cardiac myocytes was assessed by phospholamban (PLB) phosphorylation determined by western blot. Cell death was 34 ± 2% after SI/reoxygenation injury in the control group. cGMP-inducing agents significantly decreased irreversible cell injury: the cGMP analog 8-bromo-cGMP (8-Br-cGMP, 10 nM) decreased it to 13 ± 1% (p < 0.001), the direct NO-donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP, 1 μM) to 18 ± 6% (p < 0.05) and BNP (10 nM) to 12 ± 2% (p < 0.001), respectively. This protective effect was abolished by the selective PKG inhibitor KT-5823 (600 nM) in each case. As PLB is not a unique reporter for PKG activity since it is also phosphorylated by protein kinase A (PKA), we examined PLB phosphorylation in the presence of the PKA inhibitor KT-5720 (1 μM). The ratio of pPLB/PLB significantly increased after administration of both BNP and 8-Br-cGMP under ischemic conditions, which was abolished by the PKG inhibitor. This is the first demonstration that elevated cGMP produced either by the sGC activator SNAP or the pGC activator BNP exerts cytoprotective effects via a common downstream signaling pathway involving PKG activation. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Varga Z.V.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Varga Z.V.,Semmelweis University | Giricz Z.,Semmelweis University | Liaudet L.,University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2015

Diabetes is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and heart failure. Diabetic cardiovascular dysfunction also underscores the development of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Despite the broad availability of antidiabetic therapy, glycemic control still remains a major challenge in the management of diabetic patients. Hyperglycemia triggers formation of advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), activates protein kinase C, enhances polyol pathway, glucose autoxidation, which coupled with elevated levels of free fatty acids, and leptin have been implicated in increased generation of superoxide anion by mitochondria, NADPH oxidases and xanthine oxidoreductase in diabetic vasculature and myocardium. Superoxide anion interacts with nitric oxide forming the potent toxin peroxynitrite via diffusion limited reaction, which in concert with other oxidants triggers activation of stress kinases, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1-dependent cell death, dysregulates autophagy/mitophagy, inactivates key proteins involved in myocardial calcium handling/contractility and antioxidant defense, activates matrix metalloproteinases and redox-dependent pro-inflammatory transcription factors (e.g. nuclear factor kappaB) promoting inflammation, AGEs formation, eventually culminating in myocardial dysfunction, remodeling and heart failure. Understanding the complex interplay of oxidative/nitrosative stress with pro-inflammatory, metabolic and cell death pathways is critical to devise novel targeted therapies for diabetic cardiomyopathy, which will be overviewed in this brief synopsis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Autophagy and protein quality control in cardiometabolic diseases. © 2014.

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