Browsing Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy: Faculty Research and Presentations by Subjects
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The Effects of Mechanical Stress on the Growth, Differentiation, and Paracrine Factor Production of Cardiac Stem CellsStem cell therapies have been clinically employed to repair the injured heart, and cardiac stem cells are thought to be one of the most potent stem cell candidates. The beating heart is characterized by dynamic mechanical stresses, which may have a significant impact on stem cell therapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate how mechanical stress affects the growth and differentiation of cardiac stem cells and their release of paracrine factors. In this study, human cardiac stem cells were seeded in a silicon chamber and mechanical stress was then induced by cyclic stretch stimulation (60 cycles/min with 120% elongation). Cells grown in non-stretched silicon chambers were used as controls. Our result revealed that mechanical stretching significantly reduced the total number of surviving cells, decreased Ki-67-positive cells, and increased TUNEL-positive cells in the stretched group 24 hrs after stretching, as compared to the control group. Interestingly, mechanical stretching significantly increased the release of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1Î² as well as the angiogenic growth factors VEGF and bFGF from the cells in 12 hrs. Furthermore, mechanical stretching significantly reduced the percentage of c-kit-positive stem cells, but increased the expressions of cardiac troponin-I and smooth muscle actin in cells 3 days after stretching. Using a traditional stretching model, we demonstrated that mechanical stress suppressed the growth and proliferation of cardiac stem cells, enhanced their release of inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors, and improved their myogenic differentiation. The development of this in vitro approach may help elucidate the complex mechanisms of stem cell therapy for heart failure.
Ex Vivo Stretch Reveals Altered Mechanical Properties of Isolated Dystrophin-Deficient HeartsDuchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive and fatal disease of muscle wasting caused by loss of the cytoskeletal protein dystrophin. In the heart, DMD results in progressive cardiomyopathy and dilation of the left ventricle through mechanisms that are not fully understood. Previous reports have shown that loss of dystrophin causes sarcolemmal instability and reduced mechanical compliance of isolated cardiac myocytes. To expand upon these findings, here we have subjected the left ventricles of dystrophin-deficient mdx hearts to mechanical stretch. Unexpectedly, isolated mdx hearts showed increased left ventricular (LV) compliance compared to controls during stretch as LV volume was increased above normal end diastolic volume. During LV chamber distention, sarcomere lengths increased similarly in mdx and WT hearts despite greater excursions in volume of mdx hearts. This suggests that the mechanical properties of the intact heart cannot be modeled as a simple extrapolation of findings in single cardiac myocytes. To explain these findings, a model is proposed in which disruption of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex perturbs cell-extracellular matrix contacts and promotes the apparent slippage of myocytes past each other during LV distension. In comparison, similar increases in LV compliance were obtained in isolated hearts from b-sarcoglycan-null and laminin-a2 mutant mice, but not in dysferlin-null mice, suggesting that increased whole-organ compliance in mdx mice is a specific effect of disrupted cell-extracellular matrix contacts and not a general consequence of cardiomyopathy via membrane defect processes. Collectively, these findings suggest a novel and cell-death independent mechanism for the progressive pathological LV dilation that occurs in DMD.