Fibroblasts produce the majority of collagen in the heart and are thought to regulate extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover. Although fibrosis accompanies many cardiac pathologies and is generally deleterious, the role of fibroblasts in maintaining the basal ECM network and in fibrosis in vivo is poorly understood. We genetically ablated fibroblasts in mice to evaluate the impact on homeostasis of adult ECM and cardiac function after injury. Fibroblast-ablated mice demonstrated a substantive reduction in cardiac fibroblasts, but fibrillar collagen and the ECM proteome were not overtly altered when evaluated by quantitative mass spectrometry and N-terminomics. However, the distribution and quantity of collagen VI, a microfibrillar collagen that forms an open network with the basement membrane, was reduced. In fibroblast-ablated mice, cardiac function was better preserved following angiotensin II/phenylephrine (AngII/PE)-induced fibrosis and myocardial infarction (MI). Analysis of cardiomyocyte function demonstrated altered sarcomere shortening and slowed calcium decline in both uninjured and AngII/PE infused fibroblast-ablated mice. After MI, the residual resident fibroblasts responded to injury, albeit with reduced proliferation and numbers immediately after injury. These results indicate that the adult mouse heart tolerates a significant degree of fibroblast loss with potentially beneficial impact on cardiac function after injury. The cardioprotective effect of controlled fibroblast reduction may have therapeutic value in heart disease.
Mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PXD021741 (shotgun proteomics) and PXD021739 (N-terminomics).
Consequences of fibroblast ablation in adult murine heartsProteomeXchange Consortium, PXD021739.
Consequences of fibroblast ablation in adult murine heartsProteomeXchange Consortium, PXD021741.
- Michelle D Tallquist
- Jill T Kuwabara
- Jill T Kuwabara
- Michelle D Tallquist
- Jasmine Chen
- Suneel S Apte
- Suneel S Apte
- Akitoshi Hara
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All mouse experiments were performed according to the animal experimental guidelines issued and approved by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (APN12-1421 and APN12-1469) and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (#2021A00000070). All surgeries were performed under isofluorane anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Christopher L-H Huang, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Received: April 28, 2021
- Accepted: September 22, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: September 23, 2022 (version 1)
© 2022, Kuwabara 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.
Serine palmitoyl transferase (SPT), the rate-limiting enzyme in the de novo synthesis of sphingolipids (SL), is needed for embryonic development, physiological homeostasis, and response to stress. The functions of de novo SL synthesis in vascular endothelial cells (EC), which line the entire circulatory system, are not well understood. Here we show that the de novo SL synthesis in EC not only regulates vascular development but also maintains circulatory and peripheral organ SL levels. Mice with an endothelial-specific gene knockout of SPTLC1 (Sptlc1 ECKO), an essential subunit of the SPT complex, exhibited reduced EC proliferation and tip/stalk cell differentiation, resulting in delayed retinal vascular development. In addition, Sptlc1 ECKO mice had reduced retinal neovascularization in the oxygen-induced retinopathy model. Mechanistic studies suggest that EC SL produced from the de novo pathway are needed for lipid raft formation and efficient VEGF signaling. Post-natal deletion of the EC Sptlc1 also showed rapid reduction of several SL metabolites in plasma, red blood cells, and peripheral organs (lung and liver) but not in the retina, part of the central nervous system (CNS). In the liver, EC de novo SL synthesis was important for acetaminophen-induced rapid ceramide elevation and hepatotoxicity. These results suggest that EC-derived SL metabolites are in constant flux between the vasculature, circulatory elements, and parenchymal cells of non-CNS organs. Taken together, our data point to the central role of the endothelial SL biosynthesis in maintaining vascular development, neovascular proliferation, non-CNS tissue metabolic homeostasis, and hepatocyte response to stress.
During times of unpredictable stress, organisms must adapt their gene expression to maximize survival. Along with changes in transcription, one conserved means of gene regulation during conditions that quickly repress translation is the formation of cytoplasmic phase-separated mRNP granules such as P-bodies and stress granules. Previously, we identified that distinct steps in gene expression can be coupled during glucose starvation as promoter sequences in the nucleus are able to direct the subcellular localization and translatability of mRNAs in the cytosol. Here, we report that Rvb1 and Rvb2, conserved ATPase proteins implicated as protein assembly chaperones and chromatin remodelers, were enriched at the promoters and mRNAs of genes involved in alternative glucose metabolism pathways that we previously found to be transcriptionally upregulated but translationally downregulated during glucose starvation in yeast. Engineered Rvb1/Rvb2-binding on mRNAs was sufficient to sequester mRNAs into mRNP granules and repress their translation. Additionally, this Rvb tethering to the mRNA drove further transcriptional upregulation of the target genes. Further, we found that depletion of Rvb2 caused decreased alternative glucose metabolism gene mRNA induction, but upregulation of protein synthesis during glucose starvation. Overall, our results point to Rvb1/Rvb2 coupling transcription, mRNA granular localization, and translatability of mRNAs during glucose starvation. This Rvb-mediated rapid gene regulation could potentially serve as an efficient recovery plan for cells after stress removal.