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      Calcitriol Attenuates Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction and Inhibits Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Mice

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          Abstract

          Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective anti-neoplasm drug, but its cardiac toxicity limits its clinical use. Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) has been found to be involved in the process of heart failure. It is unclear whether EndMT contributes to Dox-induced cardiomyopathy (DoIC). Calcitriol, an active form Vitamin D3, blocks the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting the Smad pathway. To investigate the effect of calcitriol via inhibiting EndMT in DoIC, C57BL/6 mice and endothelial-specific labeled mice were intraperitoneally administered Dox twice weekly for 4 weeks (32 mg/kg cumulative dose) and were subsequently treated with or without calcitriol for 12 weeks. Echocardiography revealed diastolic dysfunction at 13 weeks following the first Dox treatment, accompanied by increased myocardial fibrosis and up-regulated pro-fibrotic proteins. Calcitriol attenuated Dox-induced myocardial fibrosis, down-regulated pro-fibrotic proteins and improved diastolic function. Endothelial fate tracing revealed that EndMT-derived cells contributed to Dox-induced cardiac fibrosis. In vitro, human umbilical vein endothelial cells and mouse cardiac fibroblasts were treated with Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β with or without calcitriol. Morphological, immunofluorescence staining, and Western blot analyses revealed that TGF-β-induced EndMT and fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition (FMT) were attenuated by calcitriol by the inhibition of the Smad2 pathway. Collectively, calcitriol attenuated DoIC through the inhibition of the EndMT and FMT processes.

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          Most cited references 48

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          A vitamin D receptor/SMAD genomic circuit gates hepatic fibrotic response.

          Liver fibrosis is a reversible wound-healing response involving TGFβ1/SMAD activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). It results from excessive deposition of extracellular matrix components and can lead to impairment of liver function. Here, we show that vitamin D receptor (VDR) ligands inhibit HSC activation by TGFβ1 and abrogate liver fibrosis, whereas Vdr knockout mice spontaneously develop hepatic fibrosis. Mechanistically, we show that TGFβ1 signaling causes a redistribution of genome-wide VDR-binding sites (VDR cistrome) in HSCs and facilitates VDR binding at SMAD3 profibrotic target genes via TGFβ1-dependent chromatin remodeling. In the presence of VDR ligands, VDR binding to the coregulated genes reduces SMAD3 occupancy at these sites, inhibiting fibrosis. These results reveal an intersecting VDR/SMAD genomic circuit that regulates hepatic fibrogenesis and define a role for VDR as an endocrine checkpoint to modulate the wound-healing response in liver. Furthermore, the findings suggest VDR ligands as a potential therapy for liver fibrosis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Vitamin D improves endothelial function in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and low vitamin D levels.

            To test whether a single large dose of vitamin D2 can improve endothelial function in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled randomized trial. A single dose of 100,000 IU vitamin D2 or placebo was administered to patients with Type 2 diabetes over the winter, when levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D were likely to be lowest. Patients were enrolled if their baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was < 50 nmol/l. Endothelial function and blood pressure were measured and fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and 8 weeks after administration of vitamin D. Forty-nine per cent of subjects screened had 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels < 50 nmol/l. Thirty-four subjects completed the study, with a mean age of 64 years and a baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 38.3 nmol/l. Vitamin D supplementation increased 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels by 15.3 nmol/l relative to placebo and significantly improved flow mediated vasodilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery by 2.3%. The improvement in FMD remained significant after adjusting for changes in blood pressure. Vitamin D supplementation significantly decreased systolic blood pressure by 14 mmHg compared with placebo; this did not correlate with change in FMD. Vitamin D insufficiency is common in patients with Type 2 diabetes during winter in Scotland. A single large dose of oral vitamin D2 improves endothelial function in patients with Type 2 diabetes and vitamin D insufficiency.
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              Fibroblast-specific TGF-β-Smad2/3 signaling underlies cardiac fibrosis.

              The master cytokine TGF-β mediates tissue fibrosis associated with inflammation and tissue injury. TGF-β induces fibroblast activation and differentiation into myofibroblasts that secrete extracellular matrix proteins. Canonical TGF-β signaling mobilizes Smad2 and Smad3 transcription factors that control fibrosis by promoting gene expression. However, the importance of TGF-β-Smad2/3 signaling in fibroblast-mediated cardiac fibrosis has not been directly evaluated in vivo. Here, we examined pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis in fibroblast- and myofibroblast-specific inducible Cre-expressing mouse lines with selective deletion of the TGF-β receptors Tgfbr1/2, Smad2, or Smad3. Fibroblast-specific deletion of Tgfbr1/2 or Smad3, but not Smad2, markedly reduced the pressure overload-induced fibrotic response as well as fibrosis mediated by a heart-specific, latency-resistant TGF-β mutant transgene. Interestingly, cardiac fibroblast-specific deletion of Tgfbr1/2, but not Smad2/3, attenuated the cardiac hypertrophic response to pressure overload stimulation. Mechanistically, loss of Smad2/3 from tissue-resident fibroblasts attenuated injury-induced cellular expansion within the heart and the expression of fibrosis-mediating genes. Deletion of Smad2/3 or Tgfbr1/2 from cardiac fibroblasts similarly inhibited the gene program for fibrosis and extracellular matrix remodeling, although deletion of Tgfbr1/2 uniquely altered expression of an array of regulatory genes involved in cardiomyocyte homeostasis and disease compensation. These findings implicate TGF-β-Smad2/3 signaling in activated tissue-resident cardiac fibroblasts as principal mediators of the fibrotic response.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cells
                Cells
                cells
                Cells
                MDPI
                2073-4409
                09 August 2019
                August 2019
                : 8
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
                [2 ]Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
                [3 ]Institute for Translational Research in Biomedicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: wychen624@ 123456cgmh.org.tw ; Tel.: +886-7-7317123 (ext. 8594)
                Article
                cells-08-00865
                10.3390/cells8080865
                6721693
                31405028
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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