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      Three-dimensional engineered heart tissue from neonatal rat cardiac myocytes

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      Biotechnology and Bioengineering

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          A technique is presented that allows neonatal rat cardiac myocytes to form spontaneously and coherently beating 3-dimensional engineered heart tissue (EHT) in vitro, either as a plane biconcaval matrix anchored at both sides on Velcro-coated silicone tubes or as a ring. Contractile activity was monitored in standard organ baths or continuously in a CO(2) incubator for up to 18 days (=26 days after casting). Long-term measurements showed an increase in force between days 8 and 18 after casting and stable forces thereafter. At day 10, the twitch amplitude (TA) of electrically paced EHTs (average length x width x thickness, 11 x 6 x 0.4 mm) was 0.51 mN at length of maximal force development (L(max)) and a maximally effective calcium concentration. EHTs showed typical features of neonatal rat heart: a positive force-length and a negative force-frequency relation, high sensitivity to calcium (EC(50) 0.24 mM), modest positive inotropic (increase in TA by 46%) and pronounced positive lusitropic effect of isoprenaline (decrease in twitch duration by 21%). Both effects of isoprenaline were sensitive to the muscarinic receptor agonist carbachol in a pertussis toxin-sensitive manner. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of beta-galactosidase into EHTs reached 100% efficiency. In summary, EHTs retain many of the physiological characteristics of rat cardiac tissue and allow efficient gene transfer with subsequent force measurement. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Three-dimensional reconstitution of embryonic cardiomyocytes in a collagen matrix: a new heart muscle model system.

          A method has been developed for culturing cardiac myocytes in a collagen matrix to produce a coherently contracting 3-dimensional model heart tissue that allows direct measurement of isometric contractile force. Embryonic chick cardiomyocytes were mixed with collagen solution and allowed to gel between two Velcro-coated glass tubes. During culture, the cardiomyocytes formed spontaneously beating cardiac myocyte-populated matrices (CMPMs) anchored at opposite ends to the Velcro-covered tubes through which they could be attached to a force measuring system. Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy revealed a highly organized tissue-like structure of alpha-actin and alpha-tropomyosin-positive cardiac myocytes exhibiting typical cross-striation, sarcomeric myofilaments, intercalated discs, desmosomes, and tight junctions. Force measurements of paced or unpaced CMPMs were performed in organ baths after 6-11 days of cultivation and were stable for up to 24 h. Force increased with frequency between 0.8 and 2.0 Hz (positive "staircase"), increasing rest length (Starling mechanism), and increasing extracellular calcium. The utility of this system as a test bed for genetic manipulation was demonstrated by infecting the CMPMs with a recombinant beta-galactosidase-carrying adenovirus. Transduction efficiency increased from about 5% (MOI 0.1) to about 50% (MOI 100). CMPMs display more physiological characteristics of intact heart tissue than monolayer cultures. This approach, simpler and faster than generation of transgenic animals, should allow functional consequences of genetic or pharmacological manipulation of cardiomyocytes in vitro to be studied under highly controlled conditions.
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            Cardiac tissue engineering: cell seeding, cultivation parameters, and tissue construct characterization.

            Cardiac tissue engineering has been motivated by the need to create functional tissue equivalents for scientific studies and cardiac tissue repair. We previously demonstrated that contractile cardiac cell-polymer constructs can be cultivated using isolated cells, 3-dimensional scaffolds, and bioreactors. In the present work, we examined the effects of (1) cell source (neonatal rat or embryonic chick), (2) initial cell seeding density, (3) cell seeding vessel, and (4) tissue culture vessel on the structure and composition of engineered cardiac muscle. Constructs seeded under well-mixed conditions with rat heart cells at a high initial density ((6-8) x 10(6) cells/polymer scaffold) maintained structural integrity and contained macroscopic contractile areas (approximately 20 mm(2)). Seeding in rotating vessels (laminar flow) rather than mixed flasks (turbulent flow) resulted in 23% higher seeding efficiency and 20% less cell damage as assessed by medium lactate dehydrogenase levels (p < 0.05). Advantages of culturing constructs under mixed rather than static conditions included the maintenance of metabolic parameters in physiological ranges, 2-4 times higher construct cellularity (p &le 0.0001), more aerobic cell metabolism, and a more physiological, elongated cell shape. Cultivations in rotating bioreactors, in which flow patterns are laminar and dynamic, yielded constructs with a more active, aerobic metabolism as compared to constructs cultured in mixed or static flasks. After 1-2 weeks of cultivation, tissue constructs expressed cardiac specific proteins and ultrastructural features and had approximately 2-6 times lower cellularity (p < 0.05) but similar metabolic activity per unit cell when compared to native cardiac tissue. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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              Myocardial expression of a constitutively active alpha 1B-adrenergic receptor in transgenic mice induces cardiac hypertrophy.

              Transgenic mice were generated by using the alpha-myosin heavy chain promoter coupled to the coding sequence of a constitutively active mutant alpha 1B-adrenergic receptor (AR). These transgenic animals demonstrated cardiac-specific expression of this alpha 1-AR with resultant activation of phospholipase C as shown by increased myocardial diacylglycerol content. A phenotype consistent with cardiac hypertrophy developed in adult transgenic mice with increased heart/body weight ratios, myocyte cross-sectional areas, and ventricular atrial natriuretic factor mRNA levels relative to nontransgenic controls. These transgenic animals may provide insight into the biochemical triggers that induce hypertrophy in cardiac disease and serve as a convenient experimental model for studies of this condition.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biotechnology and Bioengineering
                Biotechnol. Bioeng.
                Wiley
                0006-3592
                1097-0290
                April 05 2000
                April 05 2000
                : 68
                : 1
                : 106-114
                Article
                10.1002/(SICI)1097-0290(20000405)68:1<106::AID-BIT13>3.0.CO;2-3
                10699878
                © 2000

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