266 research outputs found

    Mechanisms underlying the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease

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    In recent years, a large deal of new information accumulated concerning the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and therapy of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Gastric contents, mucosal resistance and clearing, and gastric emptying, along with incompetence of the lower esophageal sphincter, are now recognized as contributing factors to the development of GERD. In this review, the discussion is concentrated on the diagnostic tests for detecting GERD and their accuracy as well as on the potential mechanisms underlying the development of GERD.Biomedical Reviews 1997; 8: 101-109

    Interaction of Cardiovascular Nonmodifiable Risk Factors, Comorbidities and Comedications With Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury and Cardioprotection by Pharmacological Treatments and Ischemic Conditioning

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    Risc cardiovascular; Isqu√®mia/reperfusi√≥Cardiovascular risk; Ischemia/reperfusionRiesgo cardiovascular; Isquemia/reperfusi√≥nPreconditioning, postconditioning, and remote conditioning of the myocardium enhance the ability of the heart to withstand a prolonged ischemia/reperfusion insult and the potential to provide novel therapeutic paradigms for cardioprotection. While many signaling pathways leading to endogenous cardioprotection have been elucidated in experimental studies over the past 30 years, no cardioprotective drug is on the market yet for that indication. One likely major reason for this failure to translate cardioprotection into patient benefit is the lack of rigorous and systematic preclinical evaluation of promising cardioprotective therapies prior to their clinical evaluation, since ischemic heart disease in humans is a complex disorder caused by or associated with cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities. These risk factors and comorbidities induce fundamental alterations in cellular signaling cascades that affect the development of ischemia/reperfusion injury and responses to cardioprotective interventions. Moreover, some of the medications used to treat these comorbidities may impact on cardioprotection by again modifying cellular signaling pathways. The aim of this article is to review the recent evidence that cardiovascular risk factors as well as comorbidities and their medications may modify the response to cardioprotective interventions. We emphasize the critical need for taking into account the presence of cardiovascular risk factors as well as comorbidities and their concomitant medications when designing preclinical studies for the identification and validation of cardioprotective drug targets and clinical studies. This will hopefully maximize the success rate of developing rational approaches to effective cardioprotective therapies for the majority of patients with multiple comorbidities. Significance Statement Ischemic heart disease is a major cause of mortality; however, there are still no cardioprotective drugs on the market. Most studies on cardioprotection have been undertaken in animal models of ischemia/reperfusion in the absence of comorbidities; however, ischemic heart disease develops with other systemic disorders (e.g., hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, atherosclerosis). Here we focus on the preclinical and clinical evidence showing how these comorbidities and their routine medications affect ischemia/reperfusion injury and interfere with cardioprotective strategies.P.F. was supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (Research Excellence Program‚ÄďTKP, National Heart Program NVKP 16-1-2016-0017) and by the Higher Education Institutional Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities in Hungary, within the framework of the Therapeutic Development thematic program of Semmelweis University. D.D. is supported by grants from National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [R01-HL136389, R01-HL131517, R01-HL089598, and R01-HL163277], the German Research Foundation [DFG, Do 769/4-1], the European Union (large-scale integrative project MAESTRIA, no. 965286). G.H. is supported by the German Research Foundation [SFB 1116 B8]. D.H. is supported by the Duke‚ÄďNUS Signature Research Programme funded by the Ministry of Health, Singapore Ministry of Health‚Äôs National Medical Research Council under its Clinician Scientist‚ÄďSenior Investigator scheme [NMRC/CSA-SI/0011/2017], Centre Grant [CGAug16M006], and Collaborative Centre Grant scheme [NMRC/CGAug16C006]. I.A. is supported from Boehringer-Ingelheim for the investigation of the effects of empagliflozin on the myocardium and from the European Union (ERDF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program ‚ÄúCompetitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation,‚ÄĚ under the call ‚ÄúRESEARCH ‚Äď CREATE ‚Äď INNOVATE‚ÄĚ (project code: 5048539). S.M.D. acknowledges the support of the British Heart Foundation [PG/19/51/34493 and PG/16/85/32471]. S.L. is supported by the South African National Research Foundation and received COST Seed funding from the Department of Science and Innovation in South Africa. M.R-M. is supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III of the Spanish Ministry of Health [FIS-PI19-01196] and a grant from the Spanish Society of Cardiology [SEC/FEC-INV-BAS 217003]. C.J.Z. is supported by a grant from European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD), a research grant from Boehringer-Ingelheim and an institutional grant from Amsterdam UMC Cardiovascular Research. R.S. is supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; German Research Foundation) [Project number 268555672‚ÄĒSFB 1213, Project B05]

    Cardiomyocyte Inflammasome Signaling in Cardiomyopathies and Atrial Fibrillation: Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Implications

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    Inflammasomes are high molecular weight protein complexes in the cytosol of immune and other cells that play a critical role in the innate immune system in response to cellular stress. NLRP3 inflammasome, the best-understood inflammasome, is known to mediate the maturation (activation) of caspase-1 from pro-caspase-1, causing the maturation and release of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-1ő≤) and potentially leading to a form of inflammatory programmed cell death called pyroptosis. Previous work has shown that the NLRP3 components are expressed in cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts and recent studies have identified the NLRP3 inflammasome as a key nodal point in the pathogenesis of cardiomyopathies and atrial fibrillation, which may create an opportunity for the development of new therapeutic agents. Here we review the recent evidence for a role of NLRP3 inflammasome in the cardiomyocytes and discuss its potential role in the evolution of cardiac remodeling and arrhythmias and new opportunities created by these very recent developments

    The European Network for Translational Research in Atrial Fibrillation (EUTRAF): objectives and initial results

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    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in the general population. As an age-related arrhythmia AF is becoming a huge socio-economic burden for European healthcare systems. Despite significant progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology of AF, therapeutic strategies for AF have not changed substantially and the major challenges in the management of AF are still unmet. This lack of progress may be related to the multifactorial pathogenesis of atrial remodelling and AF that hampers the identification of causative pathophysiological alterations in individual patients. Also, again new mechanisms have been identified and the relative contribution of these mechanisms still has to be established. In November 2010, the European Union launched the large collaborative project EUTRAF (European Network of Translational Research in Atrial Fibrillation) to address these challenges. The main aims of EUTRAF are to study the main mechanisms of initiation and perpetuation of AF, to identify the molecular alterations underlying atrial remodelling, to develop markers allowing to monitor this processes, and suggest strategies to treat AF based on insights in newly defined disease mechanisms. This article reports on the objectives, the structure, and initial results of this networ

    Kv1.1 potassium channel subunit deficiency alters ventricular arrhythmia susceptibility, contractility, and repolarization

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    Epilepsy-associated Kv1.1 voltage-gated potassium channel subunits encoded by the Kcna1 gene have traditionally been considered absent in heart, but recent studies reveal they are expressed in cardiomyocytes where they could regulate intrinsic cardiac electrophysiology. Although Kv1.1 now has a demonstrated functional role in atria, its role in the ventricles has never been investigated. In this work, electrophysiological, histological, and gene expression approaches were used to explore the consequences of Kv1.1 deficiency in the ventricles of Kcna1 knockout (KO) mice at the organ, cellular, and molecular levels to determine whether the absence of Kv1.1 leads to ventricular dysfunction that increases the risk of premature or sudden death. When subjected to intracardiac pacing, KO mice showed normal baseline susceptibility to inducible ventricular arrhythmias (VA) but resistance to VA under conditions of sympathetic challenge with isoproterenol. Echocardiography revealed cardiac contractile dysfunction manifesting as decreased ejection fraction and fractional shortening. In whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, KO ventricular cardiomyocytes exhibited action potential prolongation indicative of impaired repolarization. Imaging, histological, and transcript analyses showed no evidence of structural or channel gene expression remodeling, suggesting that the observed deficits are likely electrogenic due to Kv1.1 deficiency. Immunoblots of patient heart samples detected the presence of Kv1.1 at relatively high levels, implying that Kv1.1 contributes to human cardiac electrophysiology. Taken together, this work describes an important functional role for Kv1.1 in ventricles where its absence causes repolarization and contractility deficits but reduced susceptibility to arrhythmia under conditions of sympathetic drive

    Multiple Potential Molecular Contributors to Atrial Hypocontractility Caused by Atrial Tachycardia Remodeling in Dogs

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    Background-Atrial fibrillation impairs atrial contractility, inducing atrial stunning that promotes thromboembolic stroke. Action potential (AP)-prolonging drugs are reported to normalize atrial hypocontractility caused by atrial tachycardia remodeling (ATR). Here, we addressed the role of AP duration (APD) changes in ATR-induced hypocontractility. Methods and Results-ATR (7-day tachypacing) decreased APD (perforated patch recording) by approximate to 50%, atrial contractility (echocardiography, cardiomyocyte video edge detection), and [Ca2+](i) transients. ATR AP waveforms suppressed [Ca2+](i) transients and cell shortening of control cardiomyocytes; whereas control AP waveforms improved [Ca2+](i) transients and cell shortening in ATR cells. However, ATR cardiomyocytes clamped with the same control AP waveform had approximate to 60% smaller [Ca2+](i) transients and cell shortening than control cells. We therefore sought additional mechanisms of contractile impairment. Whole-cell voltage clamp revealed reduced I-CaL; I-CaL inhibition superimposed on ATR APs further suppressed [Ca2+](i) transients in control cells. Confocal microscopy indicated ATR-impaired propagation of the Ca2+ release signal to the cell center in association with loss of t-tubular structures. Myofilament function studies in skinned permeabilized cardiomyocytes showed altered Ca2+ sensitivity and force redevelopment in ATR, possibly due to hypophosphorylation of myosin-binding protein C and myosin light-chain protein 2a (immunoblot). Hypophosphorylation was related to multiple phosphorylation system abnormalities where protein kinase A regulatory subunits were downregulated, whereas autophosphorylation and expression of Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II delta and protein phosphatase 1 activity were enhanced. Recovery of [Ca2+](i) transients and cell shortening occurred in parallel after ATR cessation. Conclusions-Shortening of APD contributes to hypocontractility induced by 1-week ATR but accounts for it only partially. Additional contractility-suppressing mechanisms include I-CaL current reduction, impaired subcellular Ca2+ signal transmission, and altered myofilament function associated with abnormal myosin and myosin-associated protein phosphorylation. The complex mechanistic basis of the atrial hypocontractility associated with AF argues for upstream therapeutic targeting rather than interventions directed toward specific downstream pathophysiological derangements. (Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2010;3:530-541.

    Profibrotic, Electrical, and Calcium-Handling Remodeling of the Atria in Heart Failure Patients With and Without Atrial Fibrillation

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    Atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF) are common cardiovascular diseases that often co-exist. Animal models have suggested complex AF-promoting atrial structural, electrical, and Ca2+-handling remodeling in the setting of HF, but data in human samples are scarce, particularly regarding Ca2+-handling remodeling. Here, we evaluated atrial remodeling in patients with severe left ventricular (LV) dysfunction (HFrEF), long-standing persistent (‚Äėchronic‚Äô) AF (cAF) or both (HFrEF-cAF), and sinus rhythm controls with normal LV function (Ctl) using western blot in right-atrial tissue, sharp-electrode action potential (AP) measurements in atrial trabeculae and voltage-clamp experiments in isolated right-atrial cardiomyocytes. Compared to Ctl, expression of profibrotic markers (collagen-1a, fibronectin, periostin) was higher in HFrEF and HFrEF-cAF patients, indicative of structural remodeling. Connexin-43 expression was reduced in HFrEF patients, but not HFrEF-cAF patients. AP characteristics were unchanged in HFrEF, but showed classical indices of electrical remodeling in cAF and HFrEF-cAF (prolonged AP duration at 20% and shorter AP duration at 50% and 90% repolarization). L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) was significantly reduced in HFrEF, cAF and HFrEF-cAF, without changes in voltage-dependence. Potentially proarrhythmic spontaneous transient-inward currents were significantly more frequent in HFrEF and HFrEF-cAF compared to Ctl, likely resulting from increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load (integrated caffeine-induced current) in HFrEF and increased ryanodine-receptor (RyR2) single-channel open probability in HFrEF and HFrEF-cAF. Although expression and phosphorylation of the SR Ca2+-ATPase type-2a (SERCA2a) regulator phospholamban were unchanged in HFrEF and HFrEF-cAF patients, protein levels of SERCA2a were increased in HFrEF-cAF and sarcolipin expression was decreased in both HFrEF and HFrEF-cAF, likely increasing SR Ca2+ uptake and load. RyR2 protein levels were decreased in HFrEF and HFrEF-cAF patients, but junctin levels were higher in HFrEF and relative Ser2814-RyR2 phosphorylation levels were increased in HFrEF-cAF, both potentially contributing to the greater RyR2 open probability. These novel insights into the molecular substrate for atrial arrhythmias in HF-patients position Ca2+-handling abnormalities as a likely trigger of AF in HF patients, which subsequently produces electrical remodeling that promotes the maintenance of the arrhythmia. Our new findings may have important implications for the development of novel treatment options for AF in the context of HF
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