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Cardiac fibrosis, associated with a decreased extent of microvasculature and with disruption of normal myocardial structures, results from excessive deposition of extracellular matrix, which is mediated by the recruitment of fibroblasts. The source of these fibroblasts is unclear and specific anti-fibrotic therapies are not currently available. Here we show(More)
Cardiac hypertrophy can be defined as an increase in heart mass. Pathological cardiac hypertrophy (heart growth that occurs in settings of disease, e.g. hypertension) is a key risk factor for heart failure. Pathological hypertrophy is associated with increased interstitial fibrosis, cell death and cardiac dysfunction. In contrast, physiological cardiac(More)
An unresolved question in cardiac biology is whether distinct signaling pathways are responsible for the development of pathological and physiological cardiac hypertrophy in the adult. Physiological hypertrophy is characterized by a normal organization of cardiac structure and normal or enhanced cardiac function, whereas pathological hypertrophy is(More)
BACKGROUND Cardiac hypertrophy, or an increase in heart size, is an important risk factor for cardiac morbidity and mortality. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a component of the insulin-phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway, which is known to play a critical role in the determination of cell, organ, and body size. METHODS AND RESULTS To examine(More)
BACKGROUND Rapamycin is a specific inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). We recently reported that administration of rapamycin before exposure to ascending aortic constriction significantly attenuated the load-induced increase in heart weight by approximately 70%. METHODS AND RESULTS To examine whether rapamycin can regress established(More)
Mouse models mimicking human diseases are important tools in trying to understand the underlying mechanisms of many disease states. Several surgical models have been described that mimic human myocardial infarction (MI) and pressure-overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy. However, there are very few detailed descriptions for performing these surgical(More)
Although the canonical transforming growth factor β signaling pathway represses skeletal muscle growth and promotes muscle wasting, a role in muscle for the parallel bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway has not been defined. We report, for the first time, that the BMP pathway is a positive regulator of muscle mass. Increasing the expression of(More)
One of the least-understood areas in biology is the determination of the size of animals and their organs. In Drosophila, components of the insulin receptor phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway determine body, organ, and cell size. Several biochemical studies have suggested that Akt/protein kinase B is one of the important downstream targets of PI3K. To(More)
MicroRNAs are dysregulated in a setting of heart disease and have emerged as promising therapeutic targets. MicroRNA-34 family members (miR-34a, -34b, and -34c) are up-regulated in the heart in response to stress. In this study, we assessed whether inhibition of the miR-34 family using an s.c.-delivered seed-targeting 8-mer locked nucleic acid(More)
Follistatin is essential for skeletal muscle development and growth, but the intracellular signaling networks that regulate follistatin-mediated effects are not well defined. We show here that the administration of an adeno-associated viral vector expressing follistatin-288aa (rAAV6:Fst-288) markedly increased muscle mass and force-producing capacity(More)