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Szeged, Hungary

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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