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Cardiac tissue engineering is an emerging field. The suitability of engineered heart tissue (EHT) for both in vitro and in vivo applications will depend on the degree of syncytoid tissue formation and cardiac myocyte differentiation in vitro, contractile function, and electrophysiological properties. Here, we demonstrate that cardiac myocytes from neonatal(More)
VSMCs respond to changes in the local environment by adjusting their phenotype from contractile to synthetic, a phenomenon known as phenotypic modulation or switching. Failure of VSMCs to acquire and maintain the contractile phenotype plays a key role in a number of major human diseases, including arteriosclerosis. Although several regulatory circuits that(More)
Nebulin is an 800 kDa large actin-binding protein specific to skeletal muscle and thought to act as a molecular template that regulates the length of thin filaments. Recently, a 100 kDa nebulin-like protein has been described in the avian cardiac muscle and referred to as nebulette. We have determined the full-length (8 kb) cDNA sequence of the human(More)
Sirt7 is a member of the mammalian sirtuin family consisting of 7 genes, Sirt1 to Sirt7, which all share a homology to the founding family member, the yeast Sir2 gene. Most sirtuins are supposed to act as histone/protein deacetylases, which use oxidized NAD in a sirtuin-specific, 2-step deacetylation reaction. To begin to decipher the biological role of(More)
The transverse tubule system of the cardiomyocyte remains undeformed despite the extreme forces it undergoes during the contraction-relaxation cycle, but the morphological basis for its stability remains unclear. Therefore, we have investigated the architecture and subcellular protein scaffold of the cardiac T-tubules and compared it with that of the(More)
UNLABELLED Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent clinical arrhythmia. Atrial fibrosis is an important factor in initiating and maintaining AF. However, the collagen turnover and its regulation in AF has not been completely elucidated. We tested the hypothesis that the extracellular matrix changes are more severe in patients with permanent AF in(More)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. We report in an emphysema model of mice chronically exposed to tobacco smoke that pulmonary vascular dysfunction, vascular remodeling, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) precede development of alveolar destruction. We provide evidence for a causative role of(More)
OBJECTIVE We tested the hypothesis that structural remodeling of cellular connections, alterations in the expression of connexins (Cx), and an increase in fibrosis represent anatomic substrates of atrial fibrillation (AF). METHODS In 31 patients with AF undergoing a Maze procedure and 22 patients in sinus rhythm (SR), biopsies were taken intraoperatively(More)
We tested the hypothesis that myocyte loss in failing human hearts occurs by different mechanisms: apoptosis, oncosis, and autophagic cell death. Explanted hearts from 19 patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (EF< or =20%) and 7 control hearts were analyzed. Myocyte apoptosis revealed by caspase-3 activation and TUNEL staining occurred at a rate(More)
BACKGROUND The progression of compensated hypertrophy to heart failure (HF) is still debated. We investigated patients with isolated valvular aortic stenosis and differing degrees of left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction to test the hypothesis that structural remodeling, as well as cell death, contributes to the transition to HF. METHODS AND RESULTS(More)