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Research: Extracellular matrix and cyclic stretch alter fetal cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation in a rodent model of heart hypoplasia

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Research: Extracellular matrix and cyclic stretch alter fetal cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation in a rodent model of heart hypoplasia

Front Cardiovasc Med

. 2022 Nov 28;9:993310.

 doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.993310. eCollection 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36518682/

Extracellular matrix and cyclic stretch alter fetal cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation in a rodent model of heart hypoplasia

Matthew C Watson 1 2Corin Williams 1Raymond M Wang 1Luke R Perreault 1Kelly E Sullivan 1Whitney L Stoppel 1Lauren D Black 3rd 1 3

Affiliations expand

Free PMC article

Abstract

Introduction: Birth defects, particularly those that affect development of the heart, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in infants and young children. Babies born with heart hypoplasia (heart hypoplasia) disorders often have a poor prognosis. It remains unclear whether cardiomyocytes from hypoplastic hearts retain the potential to recover growth, although this knowledge would be beneficial for developing therapies for heart hypoplasia disorders. The objective of this study was to determine the proliferation and maturation potential of cardiomyocytes from hypoplastic hearts and whether these behaviors are influenced by biochemical signaling from the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cyclic mechanical stretch.

Method: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)-associated heart hypoplasia was induced in rat fetuses by maternal exposure to nitrofen. Hearts were isolated from embryonic day 21 nitrofen-treated fetuses positive for CDH (CDH+) and from fetuses without nitrofen administration during gestation.

Results and discussion: CDH+ hearts were smaller and had decreased myocardial proliferation, along with evidence of decreased maturity compared to healthy hearts. In culture, CDH+ cardiomyocytes remained immature and demonstrated increased proliferative capacity compared to their healthy counterparts. Culture on ECM derived from CDH+ hearts led to a significant reduction in proliferation for both CDH+ and healthy cardiomyocytes. Healthy cardiomyocytes were dosed with exogenous nitrofen to examine whether nitrofen may have an aberrant effect on the proliferative ability of cardiomyocyte, yet no significant change in proliferation was observed. When subjected to stretch, CDH+ cardiomyocytes underwent lengthening of sarcomeres while healthy cardiomyocyte sarcomeres were unaffected. Taken together, our results suggest that alterations to environmental cues such as ECM and stretch may be important factors in the pathological progression of heart hypoplasia.

Keywords: cardiomyocytes; extracellular matrix (ECM); heart hypoplasia; mechanical stretch; proliferation.

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