Upon cardiac pathological conditions such as ischemia, microenvironmental changes instruct a series of cellular responses that trigger cardiac fibroblasts-mediated tissue adaptation and inflammation. A comprehensive model of how early environmental changes may induce cardiac fibroblasts (CF) pathological responses is far from being elucidated, partly due to the lack of approaches involving complex and simultaneous environmental stimulation. Here, we provide a first analysis of human primary CF behavior by means of a multi-stimulus microdevice for combined application of cyclic mechanical strain and controlled oxygen tension. Our findings elucidate differential human CFs responses to different combinations of the above stimuli. Individual stimuli cause proliferative effects (PHH3+ mitotic cells, YAP translocation, PDGF secretion) or increase collagen presence. Interestingly, only the combination of hypoxia and a simulated loss of contractility (2% strain) is able to additionally induce increased CF release of inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases.
No external funding was received for this work.
- Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Columbia University, United States
© 2017, Ugolini et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Background: Compelling evidence has accumulated on the role of oxidative stress on the endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction underlying acute coronary syndrome. However, unveiling the underlying metabolic determinants has been hampered by the scarcity of appropriate cell models to address cell-autonomous mechanisms of ED dysfunction.
Methods: We have generated endothelial cells derived from thrombectomy specimens from patients affected with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and conducted phenotypical and metabolic characterization, focused on central carbon metabolism.
Results: AMI-derived endothelial cells (AMIECs), but not control healthy coronary endothelial cells, display impaired growth, migration and tubulogenesis. Metabolically, AMIECs displayed augmented reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione intracellular content, along with a diminished glucose consumption coupled to high lactate production. Consistent with diminished glycolysis in AMIECs, the protein levels of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase type 3, PFKFB3, were downregulated. In contrast, PFKFB4 levels were upregulated, suggesting a shunting of glycolysis towards the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), supported by upregulation in AMIECs of G6PD, the key enzyme in the oxidative branch of the PPP. Further, the glutaminolytic enzyme GLS was upregulated in AMIECs, providing a mechanistic explanation for the observed increase in glutathione content. Finally, AMIECs displayed a significantly higher mitochondrial membrane potential than control ECs, which, together with high ROS levels, suggest a highly coupled mitochondrial activity in patient ECs.
Conclusions: We suggest high mitochondrial proton coupling underlies the abnormally high production of ROS, balanced by PPP- and glutaminolysis-driven synthesis of glutathione, as a primary, cell-autonomous abnormality driving EC dysfunction in AMI.
Funding: European Commission Horizon 2020; CIBER- Carlos III National Institute of Health, Spain; Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (MINECO) and Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain; Generalitat de Catalunya-AGAUR, Catalonia; Plataforma Temática Interdisciplinar Salud Global (PTI-SG), Spain; British Heart Foundation, UK.
Reproducible research and open science practices have the potential to accelerate scientific progress by allowing others to reuse research outputs, and by promoting rigorous research that is more likely to yield trustworthy results. However, these practices are uncommon in many fields, so there is a clear need for training that helps and encourages researchers to integrate reproducible research and open science practices into their daily work. Here, we outline eleven strategies for making training in these practices the norm at research institutions. The strategies, which emerged from a virtual brainstorming event organized in collaboration with the German Reproducibility Network, are concentrated in three areas: (i) adapting research assessment criteria and program requirements; (ii) training; (iii) building communities. We provide a brief overview of each strategy, offer tips for implementation, and provide links to resources. We also highlight the importance of allocating resources and monitoring impact. Our goal is to encourage researchers – in their roles as scientists, supervisors, mentors, instructors, and members of curriculum, hiring or evaluation committees – to think creatively about the many ways they can promote reproducible research and open science practices in their institutions.