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      Differential Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Tissue Inhibitors and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Aortic Regurgitant Hearts


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          Objectives: Myocardial fibrosis in experimental aortic regurgitation (AR) features abnormal fibronectin with normal collagen content, but the relevant degradative processes have not been assessed. Methods: To elucidate these degradative processes, mRNA (Northern) and protein levels (Western) of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs), as well as MMP activity (zymography), were measured in cardiac fibroblasts (CF) from New Zealand white rabbits with experimental AR paired with normals (NL). Collagen and fibronectin were quantified by immunohistochemical staining. Results: In AR CF versus NL CF, MMP-2 and -14 mRNA and protein were increased (both p < 0.005), while TIMPs 1–3 were slightly decreased (p < 0.05–0.005; TIMP-4 undetectable). Gelatinase activity in AR CF was 1.7 times that in NL CF (p < 0.005); fibronectinase activity was unaffected. The Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 suppressed MMP-2 protein (0.4-fold, p < 0.05) and mRNA (0.7-fold, p < 0.005) in AR CF; MMP-2 levels in NL CF were unaffected. AR MMP-9 mRNA, protein and activity were low and indistinguishable from NL. In left ventricular tissue, fibronectin was increased 1.9-fold (AR vs. NL, p < 0.05). Total AR collagen was indistinguishable from NL, but the collagen III to collagen I isoform ratio decreased (0.4-fold, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Collagen is relatively deficient in AR fibrosis, due at least in part to upregulated MMPs and downregulated TIMPs; fibronectinase is unaltered. JNK-dependent regulation may stimulate both MMP-2 and fibronectin expression in AR, providing a potential therapeutic target.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Epigenetics: Regulation Through Repression

           A P Wolffe (1999)
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            Increased cardiac expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 is related to cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction in the chronic pressure-overloaded human heart.

            Alterations in the balance of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their specific tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) are involved in left ventricular (LV) remodeling. Whether their expression is related to interstitial fibrosis or LV dysfunction in patients with chronic pressure overload-induced LV hypertrophy, however, is unknown. Therefore, cardiac biopsies were taken in 36 patients with isolated aortic stenosis (AS) and in 29 control patients without LV hypertrophy. Microarray analysis revealed significantly increased mRNA expression of collagen types I, III, and IV and transcripts involved in collagen synthesis, including procollagen endopeptidase and lysine and proline hydroxylases, in AS compared with control patients. Collagen deposition was greater in AS than in control patients and was most pronounced in AS patients with severe diastolic dysfunction. Cardiac mRNA expression of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 was significantly increased in AS compared with control patients (mRNA transcript levels normalized to GAPDH: TIMP-1, 0.67+/-0.1 in AS versus 0.37+/-0.08 in control patients; TIMP-2, 9.5+/-2.6 in AS versus 1.6+/-0.4 in control patients; P<0.05 for both) but did not differ significantly for MMP-1, -2, or -9. Cardiac TIMP-1 and -2 transcripts were significantly related to the degree of interstitial fibrosis and proportional to diastolic dysfunction in AS patients. Cardiac expression of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 is significantly increased in chronic pressure-overloaded human hearts compared with controls and is related to the degree of interstitial fibrosis.
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              The relationship between myocardial extracellular matrix remodeling and ventricular function.

              Elevations in myocardial stress initiate structural remodeling of the heart in an attempt to normalize the imposed stress. This remodeling consists of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and changes in the amount of collagen, collagen phenotype and collagen cross-linking. Since fibrillar collagen is a relatively stiff material, a decrease in collagen can result in a more compliant ventricle while an increase in collagen or collagen cross-linking results in a stiffer ventricle. If continued elevations in wall stress exceed the ability of the heart to compensate, then the ventricular wall thickness is disproportionately reduced compared to chamber volume and diastolic and systolic dysfunction ensues. This review describes the structural organization of collagen within the myocardium, discusses its effect on ventricular function and considers whether therapy aimed at reducing fibrosis is efficacious in heart failure. The evidence indicates that chamber stiffness can clearly be affected by alterations in both collagen quantity and quality, with the effect of changes in collagen concentration being modified by the extent of collagen cross-linking. The limited evidence available regarding the effects of collagen on systolic function indicates that pharmacological attempts to reduce interstitial collagen have a negative impact. Accordingly, a shift in treatment strategies directed more specifically at affecting collagen cross-linking, rather than reducing the concentration of collagen, may be warranted in the prevention of the adverse impact of collagen alterations on myocardial remodeling.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                May 2009
                08 January 2009
                : 113
                : 3
                : 161-168
                aThe Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and The Howard Gilman Institute for Heart Valve Disease, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., bColumbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y., cWyeth Research, Collegeville, Pa., and dBoston Medical Center, South Boston, Mass., USA
                187723 Cardiology 2009;113:161–168
                © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 44, Pages: 8
                Original Research


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