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Concept: Hypertrophy


BACKGROUND: The presence of myocardial fibrosis is associated with worse clinical outcomes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) sequences can detect regional, but not diffuse myocardial fibrosis. Post-contrast T1 mapping is an emerging CMR technique that may enable the non-invasive evaluation of diffuse myocardial fibrosis in HCM. The purpose of this study was to non-invasively detect and quantify diffuse myocardial fibrosis in HCM with CMR and examine its relationship to diastolic performance. METHODS: We performed CMR on 76 patients - 51 with asymmetric septal hypertrophy due to HCM and 25 healthy controls. Left ventricular (LV) morphology, function and distribution of regional myocardial fibrosis were evaluated with cine imaging and LGE. A CMR T1 mapping sequence determined the post-contrast myocardial T1 time as an index of diffuse myocardial fibrosis. Diastolic function was assessed by transthoracic echocardiography. RESULTS: Regional myocardial fibrosis was observed in 84% of the HCM group. Post-contrast myocardial T1 time was significantly shorter in patients with HCM compared to controls, consistent with diffuse myocardial fibrosis (498 +/- 80 ms vs. 561 +/- 47 ms, p < 0.001). In HCM patients, post-contrast myocardial T1 time correlated with mean E/e' (r = -0.48, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HCM have shorter post-contrast myocardial T1 times, consistent with diffuse myocardial fibrosis, which correlate with estimated LV filling pressure, suggesting a mechanistic link between diffuse myocardial fibrosis and abnormal diastolic function in HCM.

Concepts: Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Heart, Echocardiography, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Diastolic dysfunction, Hypertrophy


Loss of bladder control is a challenging outcome facing patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). We report that systemic blocking of pro-nerve growth factor (proNGF) signaling through p75 with a CNS-penetrating small-molecule p75 inhibitor resulted in significant improvement in bladder function after SCI in rodents. The usual hyperreflexia was attenuated with normal bladder pressure, and automatic micturition was acquired weeks earlier than in the controls. The improvement was associated with increased excitatory input to the spinal cord, in particular onto the tyrosine hydroxylase-positive fibers in the dorsal commissure. The drug also had an effect on the bladder itself, as the urothelial hyperplasia and detrusor hypertrophy that accompany SCI were largely prevented. Urothelial cell loss that precedes hyperplasia was dependent on p75 in response to urinary proNGF that is detected after SCI in rodents and humans. Surprisingly, death of urothelial cells and the ensuing hyperplastic response were beneficial to functional recovery. Deleting p75 from the urothelium prevented urothelial death, but resulted in reduction in overall voiding efficiency after SCI. These results unveil a dual role of proNGF/p75 signaling in bladder function under pathological conditions with a CNS effect overriding the peripheral one.

Concepts: Urology, Urinary incontinence, Urinary bladder, Urinary system, Urethra, Urination, Hyperplasia, Hypertrophy


The classic Morrow technique for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) in patients with simultaneous obstruction of left ventricular (LV) midcavity and right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) combined with extreme left ventricular hypertrophy, is not effective. A new technique for HOCM surgical correction in patients with severe hypertrophy is proposed.

Concepts: Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Left-wing politics, Left ventricular hypertrophy, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Political spectrum, Hypertrophy


Leptin, a product of the obesity gene, has been shown to produce cardiac hypertrophy. Although leptin’s mechanism of action is poorly understood activation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway has been proposed as a contributing mechanism. The Ca(2+)-dependent phosphatase calcineurin plays a critical role in the hypertrophic program although it is not known whether leptin can activate this signaling pathway or whether there is a relationship between RhoA activation and calcineurin. Accordingly, we determined the effect of leptin on calcineurin activation and assessed the possible role of RhoA. Experiments were performed using cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes exposed to 50ng/ml leptin for 24h which resulted in a robust hypertrophic response. Moreover, leptin significantly increased intracellular Ca(2+) and Na(+) concentrations which was associated with significantly reduced activity of the 3Na(+)-2K(+)ATPase. The hypertrophic response to leptin were completely abrogated by both C3 exoenzyme (C3), a RhoA inhibitor as well as the reverse mode 3Na(+)-1Ca(2+) exchange inhibitor KB-R7943 ((2-[2-[4-(4-nitrobenzyloxy)phenyl] ethyl]isothiourea methanesulfonate), however only the effect of the latter was associated with attenuation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations whereas Ca(2+) concentrations were unaffected by C3. Similarly, C3 and KB-R7943 significantly attenuated early leptin-induced increase in calcineurin activity as well as the increase in nuclear translocation of the transcriptional factor nuclear factor of activated T cells. The hypertrophic response to leptin was also associated with increased p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK phosphorylation and increased p38, but not ERK1/2, translocation into nuclei. Both p38 responses as well as hypertrophy were abrogated by KB-R7943 as well as the calcineurin inhibitor FK-506 although ERK1/2 phosphorylation was unaffected. Our study therefore demonstrates a critical role for the calcineurin pathway in mediating leptin-induced hypertrophy. Moreover, we report a novel RhoA-dependent leptin-induced calcineurin activation which acts independently of changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Enzyme, Cell biology, Transcription factor, Kinase, Attenuation, Calcineurin, Hypertrophy


Cardiac hypertrophic growth in response to pathological cues is associated with reexpression of fetal genes and decreased cardiac function and is often a precursor to heart failure. In contrast, physiologically induced hypertrophy is adaptive, resulting in improved cardiac function. The processes that selectively induce these hypertrophic states are poorly understood. Here, we have profiled 2 repressive epigenetic marks, H3K9me2 and H3K27me3, which are involved in stable cellular differentiation, specifically in cardiomyocytes from physiologically and pathologically hypertrophied rat hearts, and correlated these marks with their associated transcriptomes. This analysis revealed the pervasive loss of euchromatic H3K9me2 as a conserved feature of pathological hypertrophy that was associated with reexpression of fetal genes. In hypertrophy, H3K9me2 was reduced following a miR-217-mediated decrease in expression of the H3K9 dimethyltransferases EHMT1 and EHMT2 (EHMT1/2). miR-217-mediated, genetic, or pharmacological inactivation of EHMT1/2 was sufficient to promote pathological hypertrophy and fetal gene reexpression, while suppression of this pathway protected against pathological hypertrophy both in vitro and in mice. Thus, we have established a conserved mechanism involving a departure of the cardiomyocyte epigenome from its adult cellular identity to a reprogrammed state that is accompanied by reexpression of fetal genes and pathological hypertrophy. These results suggest that targeting miR-217 and EHMT1/2 to prevent H3K9 methylation loss is a viable therapeutic approach for the treatment of heart disease.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Histone, Epigenetics, Biology, Heart, Cardiac muscle, Hypertrophy


Recent loss-of-function studies show that satellite cell depletion does not promote sarcopenia or unloading-induced atrophy, and does not prevent regrowth. Although overload-induced muscle fiber hypertrophy is normally associated with satellite cell-mediated myonuclear accretion, hypertrophic adaptation proceeds in the absence of satellite cells in fully grown adult mice, but not in young growing mice. Emerging evidence also indicates that satellite cells play an important role in remodeling the extracellular matrix during hypertrophy.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Muscle, Cardiac muscle, Muscle atrophy, Skeletal muscle, Muscular system, Hypertrophy


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is associated with sudden cardiac death (SCD). Some studies have shown an association between risk of sudden death and left ventricular maximal wall thickness (MWT), but there are few data in patients with extreme hypertrophy. The aim of this study was to determine the relation between MWT and the risk of SCD.

Concepts: Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Cardiac arrest, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Left ventricle, Cultural studies, Sudden cardiac death, Hypertrophy


The importance of growth and maintenance of skeletal muscle is vital for long term health and quality of life. Appropriate nutrition with specific bioactivities relevant to the functionalities of tissues such as skeletal muscle, can assist in maintaining and promoting adaptive responses to biological and environmental stresses which prevent muscle atrophy and promote hypertrophy. The aim of this investigation was to develop a novel in vitro cell-based electric impedance assay to study myoblast to myotube formation on the Real Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) platform (xCELLigence™, ACEA) and to validate the system by testing myotube responses to hypertrophic stimuli. C2C12 myoblasts were proliferated until 70% confluent in DMEM (10% FBS) and subsequently differentiated to myotubes over 8 days in DMEM (2% HS). Changes in cell behavior and adhesion properties were monitored by measuring impedance via interdigitated microelectrodes in the base of E-16 cell culture dishes. To establish the suitability of this assay to monitor nutrient regulation of muscle hypertrophy, leucine, a known potent regulator of MPS was then supplemented to the fully formed myotubes in physiologically relevant conditions - 0.20mM, 0.40mM, 0.6mM, 0.8mM and above 1.0mM, 1.5mM, 2.0mM and impedance subsequently monitored. Parallel experiments highlighting alterations in myotube thickness, MPS (mTOR) and differentiation (Myogenin) were conducted to support RTCA bioassay findings. This in vitro bioassay can be used to monitor skeletal muscle behaviour and identify nutrient compounds with bioactivities promoting skeletal muscle hypertrophy, reducing muscle atrophy and thus inform the development of novel nutrient formulations for maintenance of skeletal muscle.

Concepts: Muscle, Cellular differentiation, Tissues, Muscle atrophy, Muscular system, Atrophy, Muscle hypertrophy, Hypertrophy


1,4-Dioxane is found in consumer products and is used as a solvent in manufacturing. Studies in rodents show liver tumors to be consistently reported after chronic oral exposure. However, there were differences in the reporting of non-neoplastic lesions in the livers of rats and mice. In order to clarify these differences, a reread of mouse liver slides from the 1978 NCI bioassay on 1,4-dioxane in drinking water was conducted. This reread clearly identified dose-related non-neoplastic changes in the liver; specifically, a dose-related increase in the hypertrophic response of hepatocytes, followed by necrosis, inflammation and hyperplastic hepatocellular foci. 1,4-Dioxane does not cause point mutations, DNA repair, or initiation. However, it appears to promote tumors and stimulate DNA synthesis. Using EPA Guidelines (2005), the weight of the evidence suggests that 1,4-dioxane causes liver tumors in rats and mice through cytotoxicity followed by regenerative hyperplasia. Specific key events in this mode of action are identified. A Reference Dose (RfD) of 0.05 mg/kg-day is proposed to protect against regenerative liver hyperplasia based on a benchmark dose (BMD) approach. Based on this RfD, a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 350 μg/L is proposed using a default relative source contribution for water of 20%.

Concepts: Gene, Mutation, Liver, Toxicology, Rat, Rodent, Mouse, Hypertrophy


The interference effect attenuates strength and hypertrophic responses when strength and endurance training are conducted concurrently; however, the influence of training frequency upon these responses remain unclear when varying ratios of concurrent strength and endurance training are performed. Therefore the purpose of the study was to examine the strength, limb girth and neuromuscular adaptations to varying ratios of concurrent strength and endurance training. Twenty four men with >2 years resistance training experience completed 6 weeks of 3 d·wk of i) strength training (ST), ii) concurrent strength and endurance training ratio 3:1 (CT3), iii) concurrent strength and endurance training ratio 1:1 (CT1) or iv) no training (CON) in an isolated limb model. Assessments of maximal voluntary contraction via isokinetic dynamometry leg extensions (MVC), limb girth and neuromuscular responses via electromyography (EMG) were conducted at baseline, mid-intervention and post-intervention. Following training, ST and CT3 conditions elicited greater MVC increases than CT1 and CON conditions (P ≤ 0.05). ST resulted in significantly greater increases in limb girth than both CT1 and CON conditions (P = 0.05 and 0.004 respectively). CT3 induced significantly greater limb girth adaptations than CON condition (P = 0.04). No effect of time or intervention was observed for EMG (P > 0.05). In conclusion greater frequencies of endurance training performed increased the magnitude of the interference response on strength and limb girth responses following 6 weeks of 3-d· of training. Therefore, the frequency of endurance training should remain low if the primary focus of the training intervention is strength and hypertrophy.

Concepts: Exercise, Ratio, Electromyography, Strength training, Frequency, Isometric exercise, Endurance training, Hypertrophy