• In vivo MRI Characterization of Progressive Cardiac Dysfunction in the mdx Mouse Model of Muscular Dystrophy

      Stuckey, Daniel J.; Carr, Carolyn A.; Camelliti, Patrizia; Tyler, Damian J.; Davies, Kay E.; Clarke, Kieran; McNeil, Paul L.; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; College of Graduate Studies (2012-01-3)
      Aims: The mdx mouse has proven to be useful in understanding the cardiomyopathy that frequently occurs in muscular dystrophy patients. Here we employed a comprehensive array of clinically relevant in vivo MRI techniques to identify early markers of cardiac dysfunction and follow disease progression in the hearts of mdx mice.
    • Label-Free 3D Visualization of Cellular and Tissue Structures in Intact Muscle with Second and Third Harmonic Generation Microscopy

      Rehberg, Markus; Krombach, Fritz; Pohl, Ulrich; Dietzel, Steffen; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; College of Graduate Studies (2011-11-28)
      Second and Third Harmonic Generation (SHG and THG) microscopy is based on optical effects which are induced by specific inherent physical properties of a specimen. As a multi-photon laser scanning approach which is not based on fluorescence it combines the advantages of a label-free technique with restriction of signal generation to the focal plane, thus allowing high resolution 3D reconstruction of image volumes without out-of-focus background several hundred micrometers deep into the tissue. While in mammalian soft tissues SHG is mostly restricted to collagen fibers and striated muscle myosin, THG is induced at a large variety of structures, since it is generated at interfaces such as refraction index changes within the focal volume of the excitation laser. Besides, colorants such as hemoglobin can cause resonance enhancement, leading to intense THG signals. We applied SHG and THG microscopy to murine (Mus musculus) muscles, an established model system for physiological research, to investigate their potential for label-free tissue imaging. In addition to collagen fibers and muscle fiber substructure, THG allowed us to visualize blood vessel walls and erythrocytes as well as white blood cells adhering to vessel walls, residing in or moving through the extravascular tissue. Moreover peripheral nerve fibers could be clearly identified. Structure down to the nuclear chromatin distribution was visualized in 3D and with more detail than obtainable by bright field microscopy. To our knowledge, most of these objects have not been visualized previously by THG or any label-free 3D approach. THG allows label-free microscopy with inherent optical sectioning and therefore may offer similar improvements compared to bright field microscopy as does confocal laser scanning microscopy compared to conventional fluorescence microscopy.
    • Myostatin Is Elevated in Congenital Heart Disease and After Mechanical Unloading

      Bish, Lawrence T.; George, Isaac; Maybaum, Simon; Yang, Jonathan; Chen, Jonathan M.; Sweeney, H. Lee; McNeil, Paul L.; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; College of Graduate Studies (2011-09-13)
      Background: Myostatin is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass whose activity is upregulated in adult heart failure (HF); however, its role in congenital heart disease (CHD) is unknown.
    • Protection of Rat Cardiac Myocytes by Fructose-1,6-Bisphosphate and 2,3-Butanedione

      Wheeler, Thomas J.; Chien, Sufan; McNeil, Paul L.; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; College of Graduate Studies (2012-04-27)
      Earlier studies by our group showed that fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) enhances the hypothermic preservation of rat cardiac myocytes and the functional recovery of animal hearts after hypothermic storage. However, the mechanisms involved were not clear. We extended the cardiomyocyte studies by testing whether the FBP effects were due to chelation of extracellular calcium, leading to lower intracellular levels. We also tested effects of 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM), pyruvate, and adenine nucleotide precursors. Cardiomyocytes were incubated in ischemic suspension at 3°C, and aliquots examined over 48 to 72 hours for retention of rod-shaped morphology, a measure of viability. Cytosolic Ca2+ levels were measured in some experiments. FBP at 5 mM reduced the death rate even when added after one or two days of incubation. It caused cytosolic calcium levels that were 33% lower than controls in freshly-isolated cells and 70% lower after one day of incubation. EGTA protected against cell death similarly to FBP. These results indicated that one of the mechanisms by which FBP exerts protective effects is through chelation of extracellular calcium. BDM was strongly protective and reduced cytosolic calcium by 30% after one day of incubation. As with FBP, BDM was effective when added after one or two days of incubation. BDM may be useful in combination with FBP in preserving heart tissue. Pyruvate, adenine, and ribose provided little or no protection during hypothermia.