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Ma F.,Capital Medical University | Li Y.,Capital Medical University | Jia L.,Capital Medical University | Han Y.,Capital Medical University | And 5 more authors.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an important cytokine participating in multiple biologic activities in immune regulation and inflammation. IL-6 has been associated with cardiovascular remodeling. However, the mechanism of IL-6 in hypertensive cardiac fibrosis is still unclear. Angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion in mice increased IL-6 expression in the heart. IL-6 knockout (IL-6-/-) reduced Ang II-induced cardiac fibrosis: 1) Masson trichrome staining showed that Ang II infusion significantly increased fibrotic areas of the wild-type mouse heart, which was greatly suppressed in IL-6-/- mice and 2) immunohistochemistry staining showed decreased expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and collagen I in IL-6-/- mouse heart. The baseline mRNA expression of IL-6 in cardiac fibroblasts was low and was absent in cardiomyocytes or macrophages; however, co-culture of cardiac fibroblasts with macrophages significantly increased IL-6 production and expression of α-SMA and collagen I in fibroblasts. Moreover, TGF-β1 expression and phosphorylation of TGF-β downstream signal Smad3 was stimulated by co-culture of macrophages with cardiac fibroblasts, while IL-6 neutralizing antibody decreased TGF-β1 expression and Smad3 phosphorylation in co-culture of macrophage and fibroblast. Taken together, our results indicate that macrophages stimulate cardiac fibroblasts to produce IL-6, which leads to TGF-β1 production and Smad3 phosphorylation in cardiac fibroblasts and thus stimulates cardiac fibrosis. © 2012 Ma et al. Source

Pan L.,Capital Medical University | Li Y.,Capital Medical University | Jia L.,Capital Medical University | Qin Y.,Capital Medical University | And 6 more authors.

Background: Cathepsin S (Cat S) is overexpressed in human atherosclerotic and aneurysmal tissues and may contributes to degradation of extracellular matrix, especially elastin, in inflammatory diseases. We aimed to define the role of Cat S in cardiac inflammation and fibrosis induced by angiotensin II (Ang II) in mice. Methods and Results: Cat S-knockout (Cat S-/-) and littermate wild-type (WT) C57BL/6J mice were infused continuously with Ang II (750 ng/kg/min) or saline for 7 days. Cat S-/- mice showed severe cardiac fibrosis, including elevated expression of collagen I and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), as compared with WT mice. Moreover, macrophage infiltration and expression of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, transforming growth factor β and interleukin 1β) were significantly greater in Cat S-/- than WT hearts. These Ang II-induced effects in Cat S-/- mouse hearts was associated with abnormal accumulation of autophagosomes and reduced clearance of damaged mitochondria, which led to increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) in macrophages. Conclusion: Cat S in lysosomes is essential for mitophagy processing in macrophages, deficiency in Cat S can increase damaged mitochondria and elevate ROS levels and NF-κB activity in hypertensive mice, so it regulates cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. © 2012 Pan et al. Source

Li N.,The Key Laboratory of Remodeling Related Cardiovascular Diseases | Li N.,Capital Medical University | Wang H.-X.,The Key Laboratory of Remodeling Related Cardiovascular Diseases | Wang H.-X.,Capital Medical University | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology

Proteasomal degradation is critical to maintaining cardiac function and is altered in various diseases. Angiotensin II (Ang II) acts as a growth factor to induce cardiac growth. Here we aimed to test whether proteasome is involved in the development of Ang II-induced cardiac hypertrophy and dissect its molecular mechanisms. Cardiac hypertrophy was induced by Ang II infusion (1000. ng/kg/min) using mini-osmotic pumps. Starting 1. day before implantation, the mice were injected with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (BTZ, 50. μg/kg, 3 times per week) or with vehicle. After 14. days, the pool of ubiquitinated proteins was reduced but the protein expression of proteasome subunits (including β1i, β2i and β5/β5i) was markedly up-regulated in left ventricular hypertrophy versus control, which was accompanied by a significant increase in proteasome activities. Furthermore, Ang II-treated mice showed a significant increase in blood pressure but decrease in cardiac contractile function, and significant left ventricular hypertrophy, fibrosis and inflammation, which were all attenuated in BTZ-treated mice. Mechanistically, these beneficial effects were associated with the inhibition of degradation of angiotensin II type 1 receptor-associated protein (ATRAP) and inactivation of AT1R-mediated p38 MAPK and STAT3 signaling pathways. In conclusion, our data indicate that the activation of proteasome is required for the Ang II-induced cardiac hypertrophy, and suggest that the inhibition of proteasome activity by BTZ could be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy and other heart diseases. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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