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      The fibrosis-cell death axis in heart failure

      Heart Failure Reviews
      Springer
      fibrosis, heart failure, cardiomyocyte, cell death, fibroblast, myofibroblast, tgfβ, hypertrophy

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          Abstract

          Cardiac stress can induce morphological, structural and functional changes of the heart, referred to as cardiac remodeling. Myocardial infarction or sustained overload as a result of pathological causes such as hypertension or valve insufficiency may result in progressive remodeling and finally lead to heart failure (HF). Whereas pathological and physiological (exercise, pregnancy) overload both stimulate cardiomyocyte growth (hypertrophy), only pathological remodeling is characterized by increased deposition of extracellular matrix proteins, termed fibrosis, and loss of cardiomyocytes by necrosis, apoptosis and/or phagocytosis. HF is strongly associated with age, and cardiomyocyte loss and fibrosis are typical signs of the aging heart. Fibrosis results in stiffening of the heart, conductivity problems and reduced oxygen diffusion, and is associated with diminished ventricular function and arrhythmias. As a consequence, the workload of cardiomyocytes in the fibrotic heart is further augmented, whereas the physiological environment is becoming less favorable. This causes additional cardiomyocyte death and replacement of lost cardiomyocytes by fibrotic material, generating a vicious cycle of further decline of cardiac function. Breaking this fibrosis-cell death axis could halt further pathological and age-related cardiac regression and potentially reverse remodeling. In this review, we will describe the interaction between cardiac fibrosis, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and cell death, and discuss potential strategies for tackling progressive cardiac remodeling and HF.

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          ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure 2012: The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Heart Failure 2012 of the European Society of Cardiology. Developed in collaboration with the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC.

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            Dysregulation of microRNAs after myocardial infarction reveals a role of miR-29 in cardiac fibrosis.

            Acute myocardial infarction (MI) due to coronary artery occlusion is accompanied by a pathological remodeling response that includes hypertrophic cardiac growth and fibrosis, which impair cardiac contractility. Previously, we showed that cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure are accompanied by characteristic changes in the expression of a collection of specific microRNAs (miRNAs), which act as negative regulators of gene expression. Here, we show that MI in mice and humans also results in the dysregulation of specific miRNAs, which are similar to but distinct from those involved in hypertrophy and heart failure. Among the MI-regulated miRNAs are members of the miR-29 family, which are down-regulated in the region of the heart adjacent to the infarct. The miR-29 family targets a cadre of mRNAs that encode proteins involved in fibrosis, including multiple collagens, fibrillins, and elastin. Thus, down-regulation of miR-29 would be predicted to derepress the expression of these mRNAs and enhance the fibrotic response. Indeed, down-regulation of miR-29 with anti-miRs in vitro and in vivo induces the expression of collagens, whereas over-expression of miR-29 in fibroblasts reduces collagen expression. We conclude that miR-29 acts as a regulator of cardiac fibrosis and represents a potential therapeutic target for tissue fibrosis in general.
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              Fibrosis--a common pathway to organ injury and failure.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                26883434
                4762920
                10.1007/s10741-016-9536-9
                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Cardiovascular Medicine
                fibrosis,heart failure,cardiomyocyte,cell death,fibroblast,myofibroblast,tgfβ,hypertrophy

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