Victoria L. T. Ballard

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Proper heart development requires patterning across the myocardial wall. Early myocardial patterning is characterized by a transmural subdivision of the myocardium into an outer, highly mitotic, compact zone and an inner, trabecular zone with lower mitotic activity. We have shown previously that fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) -mediated signaling(More)
Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4) was previously shown to reduce infarct size and improve contractile performance in chronic myocardial ischemic injury via two phases of action: an acute phase, just after injury, when Tβ4 preserves ischemic myocardium via antiapoptotic or anti-inflammatory mechanisms; and a chronic phase, when Tβ4 activates the growth of vascular or(More)
Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), the primary mediator of nitric oxide (NO) bioactivity, exists as reduced (NO-sensitive) and oxidized (NO-insensitive) forms. We tested the hypothesis that the cardiovascular protective effects of NO-insensitive sGC activation would be potentiated under conditions of oxidative stress compared to those of NO-sensitive sGC(More)
Aging is associated with shifts in autocrine and paracrine pathways in the cardiac vasculature that may contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease in older persons. To elucidate the molecular basis of these changes in vivo, phage-display biopanning of 3- and 18-mo-old mouse hearts was performed that identified peptide epitopes with homology to(More)
It is well established that cardiovascular repair mechanisms become progressively impaired with age and that advanced age is itself a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although therapeutic developments have improved the prognosis for those with cardiovascular disease, mortality rates have nevertheless remained virtually unchanged in the(More)
Microenvironmental cues mediate postnatal neovascularization via modulation of endothelial cell and bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) activity. Numerous signals regulate the activity of both of these cell types in response to vascular injury, which suggests that parallel mechanisms regulate angiogenesis in the vascular beds of both the(More)
Despite a wide range of therapeutic interventions, the prognosis for most patients with heart failure remains poor. The identification of stem cells with the ability to generate cardiomyocytes and vascular cells and promote local repair and survival pathways has highlighted the ability of the heart to undergo regeneration and potentially provides a new(More)
Vascular dysfunction underlies the pathophysiology of a wide range of diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetes and arthritis. Angiogenic function is progressively impaired with increasing age and, therefore, has been linked to the increased risk of many of these diseases among older people. Elucidating the cellular and molecular angiogenic pathways(More)
Pretreatment of rodent hearts with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-AB decreases myocardial injury after coronary occlusion. However, PDGF-AB cardioprotection is diminished in older animals, suggesting that downstream elements mediating and/or synergizing the actions of PDGF-AB may be limited in aging cardiac vasculature. In vitro PDGF-AB induced(More)
Cardiac neural crest cells are essential for normal development of the great vessels and the heart, giving rise to a range of cell types, including both neuronal and non-neuronal adventitial cells and smooth muscle. Endothelin (ET) signaling plays an important role in the development of cardiac neural crest cell lineages, yet the underlying mechanisms that(More)