skip to main content

Title: Distinct time courses and mechanics of right ventricular hypertrophy and diastolic stiffening in a male rat model of pulmonary arterial hypertension
Although pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) leads to right ventricle (RV) hypertrophy and structural remodeling, the relative contributions of changes in myocardial geometric and mechanical properties to systolic and diastolic chamber dysfunction and their time courses remain unknown. Using measurements of RV hemodynamic and morphological changes over 10 wk in a male rat model of PAH and a mathematical model of RV mechanics, we discriminated the contributions of RV geometric remodeling and alterations of myocardial material properties to changes in systolic and diastolic chamber function. Significant and rapid RV hypertrophic wall thickening was sufficient to stabilize ejection fraction in response to increased pulmonary arterial pressure by week 4 without significant changes in systolic myofilament activation. After week 4, RV end-diastolic pressure increased significantly with no corresponding changes in end-diastolic volume. Significant RV diastolic chamber stiffening by week 5 was not explained by RV hypertrophy. Instead, model analysis showed that the increases in RV end-diastolic chamber stiffness were entirely attributable to increased resting myocardial material stiffness that was not associated with significant myocardial fibrosis or changes in myocardial collagen content or type. These findings suggest that whereas systolic volume in this model of RV pressure overload is stabilized by early RV hypertrophy, more » diastolic dilation is prevented by subsequent resting myocardial stiffening. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Using a novel combination of hemodynamic and morphological measurements over 10 wk in a male rat model of PAH and a mathematical model of RV mechanics, we found that compensated systolic function was almost entirely explained by RV hypertrophy, but subsequently altered RV end-diastolic mechanics were primarily explained by passive myocardial stiffening that was not associated with significant collagen extracellular matrix accumulation. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Cigarette smoking is the single most important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases; however, the role of nicotine in the pathogenesis of these diseases is incompletely understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of chronic nicotine inhalation on the development of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease with a focus on blood pressure and cardiac remodeling. Male C57BL6/J mice were exposed to air (control) or nicotine vapor (daily, 12 hour on/12 hour off) for 8 weeks. Systemic blood pressure was recorded weekly by radio-telemetry, and cardiac remodeling was monitored by echocardiography. At the end of the 8 weeks, mice were subjected to right heart catheterization to measure right ventricular systolic pressure. Nicotine-exposed mice exhibited elevated systemic blood pressure from weeks 1 to 3, which then returned to baseline from weeks 4 to 8, indicating development of tolerance to nicotine. At 8 weeks, significantly increased right ventricular systolic pressure was detected in nicotine-exposed mice compared with the air controls. Echocardiography showed that 8-week nicotine inhalation resulted in right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy with increased RV free wall thickness and a trend of increase in RV internal diameter. In contrast, there were no significant structural or functionalmore »changes in the left ventricle following nicotine exposure. Mechanistically, we observed increased expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme and enhanced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in the RV but not in the left ventricle. We conclude that chronic nicotine inhalation alters both systemic and pulmonary blood pressure with the latter accompanied by RV remodeling, possibly leading to progressive and persistent pulmonary hypertension.« less
  2. Use of electronic cigarettes is rapidly increasing among youth and young adults, but little is known regarding the long-term cardiopulmonary health impacts of these nicotine-containing devices. Our group has previously demonstrated that chronic, inhaled nicotine induces pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right ventricular (RV) remodeling in mice. These changes were associated with upregulated RV angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) have been shown to reverse cigarette smoking-induced PH in rats. ACE inhibitor and ARB use in a large retrospective cohort of patients with PH is associated with improved survival. Here, we utilized losartan (an ARB specific for angiotensin II type 1 receptor) to further explore nicotine-induced PH. Male C57BL/6 mice received nicotine vapor for 12 h/day, and exposure was assessed using serum cotinine to achieve levels comparable to human smokers or electronic cigarette users. Mice were exposed to nicotine for 8 wk and a subset was treated with losartan via an osmotic minipump. Cardiac function was assessed using echocardiography and catheterization. Although nicotine exposure increased angiotensin II in the RV and lung, this finding was nonsignificant. Chronic, inhaled nicotine significantly increased RV systolic pressure and RV free wall thickness versus air control. These parameters were significantly lower in mice receiving bothmore »nicotine and losartan. Nicotine significantly increased RV internal diameter, with no differences seen between the nicotine and nicotine-losartan group. Neither nicotine nor losartan affected left ventricular structure or function. These findings provide the first evidence that antagonism of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor can ameliorate chronic, inhaled nicotine-induced PH and RV remodeling. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Chronic, inhaled nicotine causes pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular remodeling in mice. Treatment with losartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist, ameliorates nicotine-induced pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular remodeling. This novel finding provides preclinical evidence for the use of renin-angiotensin system-based therapies in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension, particularly in patients with a history of tobacco-product use.« less
  3. Abstract

    Each year, more than 40,000 people undergo mitral valve (MV) repair surgery domestically to treat regurgitation caused by myocardial infarction (MI). Although continual MV tissue remodelling following repair is believed to be a major contributor to regurgitation recurrence, the effects of the post-MI state on MV remodelling remain poorly understood. This lack of understanding limits our ability to predict the remodelling of the MV both post-MI and post-surgery to facilitate surgical planning. As a necessary first step, the present study was undertaken to noninvasively quantify the effects of MI on MV remodelling in terms of leaflet geometry and deformation. MI was induced in eight adult Dorset sheep, and real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic (rt-3DE) scans were collected pre-MI as well as at 0, 4, and 8 weeks post-MI. A previously validated image-based morphing pipeline was used to register corresponding open- and closed-state scans and extract local in-plane strains throughout the leaflet surface at systole. We determined that MI inducedpermanentchanges in leaflet dimensions in the diastolic configuration, which increased with time to 4 weeks, then stabilised. MI substantially affected the systolicshapeof the MV, and therange of stretchexperienced by the MV leaflet at peak systole was substantially reduced when referred to the current time-point.more »Interestingly, when we referred the leaflet strains to the pre-MI configuration, the systolic strains remained very similar throughout the post-MI period. Overall, we observed that post-MI ventricular remodeling induced permanent changes in the MV leaflet shape. This predominantly affected the MV’s diastolic configuration, leading in turn to a significant decrease in the range of stretch experienced by the leaflet when referenced to the current diastolic configuration. These findings are consistent with our previous work that demonstrated increased plastic (i.e. non-recoverable) leaflet deformations post-MI, that was completely accounted for by the associated changes in collagen fiber structure. Moreover, we demonstrated through noninvasive methods that the state of the MV leaflet can elucidate the progression and extent of MV adaptation following MI and is thus highly relevant to the design of current and novel patient specific minimally invasive surgical repair strategies.

    « less
  4. Diastolic dysfunction is a common pathology occurring in about one third of patients affected by heart failure. This condition may not be associated with a marked decrease in cardiac output or systemic pressure and therefore is more difficult to diagnose than its systolic counterpart. Compromised relaxation or increased stiffness of the left ventricle induces an increase in the upstream pulmonary pressures, and is classified as secondary or group II pulmonary hypertension (2018 Nice classification). This may result in an increase in the right ventricular afterload leading to right ventricular failure. Elevated pulmonary pressures are therefore an important clinical indicator of diastolic heart failure (sometimes referred to as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, HFpEF), showing significant correlation with associated mortality. However, accurate measurements of this quantity are typically obtained through invasive catheterization and after the onset of symptoms. In this study, we use the hemodynamic consistency of a differential-algebraic circulation model to predict pulmonary pressures in adult patients from other, possibly non-invasive, clinical data. We investigate several aspects of the problem, including the ability of model outputs to represent a sufficiently wide pathologic spectrum, the identifiability of the model's parameters, and the accuracy of the predicted pulmonary pressures. We alsomore »find that a classifier using the assimilated model parameters as features is free from the problem of missing data and is able to detect pulmonary hypertension with sufficiently high accuracy. For a cohort of 82 patients suffering from various degrees of heart failure severity, we show that systolic, diastolic, and wedge pulmonary pressures can be estimated on average within 8, 6, and 6 mmHg, respectively. We also show that, in general, increased data availability leads to improved predictions.« less
  5. Vascular cells restructure extracellular matrix in response to aging or changes in mechanical loading. Here, we characterized collagen architecture during age-related aortic remodeling in atherosclerosis-prone mice. We hypothesized that changes in collagen fiber orientation reflect an altered balance between passive and active forces acting on the arterial wall. We examined two factors that can alter this balance, endothelial dysfunction and reduced smooth muscle cell (SMC) contractility. Collagen fiber organization was visualized by second-harmonic generation microscopy in aortic adventitia of apolipoprotein E (apoE) knockout (KO) mice at 6 wk and 6 mo of age on a chow diet and at 7.5 mo of age on a Western diet (WD), using image analysis to yield mean fiber orientation. Adventitial collagen fibers became significantly more longitudinally oriented with aging in apoE knockout mice on chow diet. Conversely, fibers became more circumferentially oriented with aging in mice on WD. Total collagen content increased significantly with age in mice fed WD. We compared expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and acetylcholine-mediated nitric oxide release but found no evidence of endothelial dysfunction in older mice. Time-averaged volumetric blood flow in all groups showed no significant changes. Wire myography of aortic rings revealed decreases in active stress generation with agemore »that were significantly exacerbated in WD mice. We conclude that the aorta displays a distinct remodeling response to atherogenic stimuli, indicated by altered collagen organization. Collagen reorganization can occur in the absence of altered hemodynamics and may represent an adaptive response to reduced active stress generation by vascular SMCs. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The following major observations were made in this study: 1) aortic adventitial collagen fibers become more longitudinally oriented with aging in apolipoprotein E knockout mice fed a chow diet; 2) conversely, adventitial collagen fibers become more circumferentially oriented with aging in apoE knockout mice fed a high-fat diet; 3) adventitial collagen content increases significantly with age in mice on a high-fat diet; 4) these alterations in collagen organization occur largely in the absence of hemodynamic changes; and 5) circumferential reorientation of collagen is associated with decreased active force generation (contractility) in aged mice on a high-fat diet.« less