Concept: Circulatory system
A modified version of the Joint British Societies (JBS3) ‘heart age’ tool was introduced online to broaden access to personalised risk assessment to the general population and encourage participation in the National Health Service (NHS) Health Check programme. This study reports on its early uptake and the profiles of those who used the self-assessment tool to determine their own cardiovascular risk.
The American Heart Association defined target levels for 7 cardiovascular health (CVH) factors: smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. We hypothesized that a greater number of American Heart Association ideal CVH metrics would be associated with less decline in cognitive performance in our multiethnic population.
As vertebrate embryos develop to adulthood, their organs undergo marked changes in size and tissue architecture. The heart acquires muscle mass and matures structurally to fulfil increasing circulatory needs, a process that is incompletely understood. Here we used multicolour clonal analysis to define the contributions of individual cardiomyocytes as the zebrafish heart undergoes morphogenesis from a primitive embryonic structure into its complex adult form. We find that the single-cardiomyocyte-thick wall of the juvenile ventricle forms by lateral expansion of several dozen cardiomyocytes into muscle patches of variable sizes and shapes. As juvenile zebrafish mature into adults, this structure becomes fully enveloped by a new lineage of cortical muscle. Adult cortical muscle originates from a small number of cardiomyocytes–an average of approximately eight per animal–that display clonal dominance reminiscent of stem cell populations. Cortical cardiomyocytes initially emerge from internal myofibres that in rare events breach the juvenile ventricular wall, and then expand over the surface. Our results illuminate the dynamic proliferative behaviours that generate adult cardiac structure, revealing clonal dominance as a key mechanism that shapes a vertebrate organ.
- Journal of cardiovascular magnetic resonance : official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
- Published over 5 years ago
Several studies have correlated elevations in cardiac biomarkers of injury post marathon with transient and reversible right ventricular (RV) systolic dysfunction as assessed by both transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Whether or not permanent myocardial injury occurs due to repeated marathon running in the aging population remains controversial.
Neutrophils form the first line of host defense against infections that combat pathogens using two major mechanisms, the phagocytosis or the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The netosis (NET formation) exerts additional, unfavorable effects on the fitness of host cells and is also involved at the sites of lung infection, increasing the mucus viscosity and in the circulatory system where it can influence the intravascular clot formation. Although molecular mechanisms underlying the netosis are still incompletely understood, a role of NADPH oxidase that activates the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during the initiation of NETs has been well documented. Since several commonly used drugs can affects the netosis, our current study was aimed to determine the effects of selected mucolytic, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular drugs on NET formation, with a special emphasis on ROS production and NADPH oxidase activity. The treatment of neutrophils with N-acetylcysteine, ketoprofen and ethamsylate reduced the production of ROS by these cells in a dose-dependent manner. NET formation was also modulated by selected drugs. N-acetylcysteine inhibited the netosis but in the presence of H2O2 this neutrophil ability was restored, indicating that N-acetylcysteine may influence the NET formation by modulating ROS productivity. The administration of ethamsylate led to a significant reduction in NET formation and this effect was not restored by H2O2 or S. aureus, suggesting the unexpected additional side effects of this drug. Ketoprofen seemed to promote ROS-independent NET release, simultaneously inhibiting ROS production. The results, obtained in this study strongly suggest that the therapeutic strategies applied in many neutrophil-mediated diseases should take into account the NET-associated effects.
Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system. Here, based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample was found to be free of plant DNA.
Despite increased use of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) for drug development and disease modeling studies, methods to generate large, functional heart tissues for human therapy are lacking. Here we present a “Cardiopatch” platform for 3D culture and maturation of hiPSC-CMs that after 5 weeks of differentiation show robust electromechanical coupling, consistent H-zones, I-bands, and evidence for T-tubules and M-bands. Cardiopatch maturation markers and functional output increase during culture, approaching values of adult myocardium. Cardiopatches can be scaled up to clinically relevant dimensions, while preserving spatially uniform properties with high conduction velocities and contractile stresses. Within window chambers in nude mice, cardiopatches undergo vascularization by host vessels and continue to fire Ca2+ transients. When implanted onto rat hearts, cardiopatches robustly engraft, maintain pre-implantation electrical function, and do not increase the incidence of arrhythmias. These studies provide enabling technology for future use of hiPSC-CM tissues in human heart repair.
The American Heart Association introduced the Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) metrics to assess and promote cardiovascular health. We examined the association between the LS7 metrics and noncardiovascular disease.
There is much interest in form-fitting, low-modulus, implantable devices or soft robots that can mimic or assist in complex biological functions such as the contraction of heart muscle. We present a soft robotic sleeve that is implanted around the heart and actively compresses and twists to act as a cardiac ventricular assist device. The sleeve does not contact blood, obviating the need for anticoagulation therapy or blood thinners, and reduces complications with current ventricular assist devices, such as clotting and infection. Our approach used a biologically inspired design to orient individual contracting elements or actuators in a layered helical and circumferential fashion, mimicking the orientation of the outer two muscle layers of the mammalian heart. The resulting implantable soft robot mimicked the form and function of the native heart, with a stiffness value of the same order of magnitude as that of the heart tissue. We demonstrated feasibility of this soft sleeve device for supporting heart function in a porcine model of acute heart failure. The soft robotic sleeve can be customized to patient-specific needs and may have the potential to act as a bridge to transplant for patients with heart failure.
Cardiac troponin is an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in individuals without symptoms or signs of cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms for this association are uncertain, and a role for troponin testing in the prevention of coronary heart disease has yet to be established.