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See detailPhenotyping and outcome on contemporary management in a German cohort of patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Haghikia, A.; Podewski, E.; Libhaber, E. et al

in Basic Research in Cardiology (2013), 108(4), 366

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a life-threatening heart disease developing towards the end of pregnancy or in the months following delivery in previously healthy women in terms of cardiac disease ... [more ▼]

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a life-threatening heart disease developing towards the end of pregnancy or in the months following delivery in previously healthy women in terms of cardiac disease. Enhanced oxidative stress and the subsequent cleavage of the nursing hormone Prolactin into an anti-angiogenic 16 kDa subfragment emerged as a potential causal factor of the disease. We established a prospective registry with confirmed PPCM present in 115 patients (mean baseline left ventricular ejection fraction, LVEF: 27 +/- 9 %). Follow-up data (6 +/- 3 months) showed LVEF improvement in 85 % and full recovery in 47 % while 15 % failed to recover with death in 2 % of patients. A positive family history of cardiomyopathy was present in 16.5 %. Pregnancy-associated hypertension was associated with a better outcome while a baseline LVEF </= 25 % was associated with a worse outcome. A high recovery rate (96 %) was observed in patients obtaining combination therapy with beta-blocker, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor-blockers (ARBs) and bromocriptine. Increased serum levels of Cathepsin D, the enzyme that generates 16 kDa Prolactin, miR-146a, a direct target of 16 kDa Prolactin, N-terminal-pro-brain-natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) emerged as biomarkers for PPCM. In conclusion, low baseline LVEF is a predictor for poor outcome while pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders are associated with a better outcome in this European PPCM cohort. The high recovery rate in this collective is associated with a treatment concept using beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors/ARBs and bromocriptine. Increased levels of Cathepsin D activity, miR-146a and ADMA in serum of PPCM patients support the pathophysiological role of 16 kDa Prolactin for PPCM and may be used as a specific diagnostic marker profile. [less ▲]

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See detailThe hypoxia-inducible factor HIF-1 promotes intramyocardial expression of VEGF in infants with congenital cardiac defects.
Qing, Ma; Gorlach, Agnes; SCHUMACHER, Katharina ULg et al

in Basic Research in Cardiology (2007), 102(3), 224-232

OBJECTIVES: The response to hypoxia is primarily mediated by the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) which leads to the induction of a variety of adaptive gene products including ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The response to hypoxia is primarily mediated by the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) which leads to the induction of a variety of adaptive gene products including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). This study was designed to test the hypothesis that HIF-1 and its target genes would be upregulated in the ventricular myocardium of infants with cyanotic congenital cardiac defects. METHODS: 14 infants with cyanotic (n = 7) or acyanotic cardiac defects (n = 7) were investigated. Samples from the right ventricular myocardium taken immediately after aortic clamping were studied for protein expression and DNA-binding activity. RESULTS: Protein levels of HIF-1alpha were significantly elevated in patients with cyanotic compared to acyanotic congenital heart disease and inversely correlated with the degree of hypoxemia. This response was accompanied by significantly enhanced HIF-1 DNA binding activity. Furthermore, protein levels of VEGF and eNOS were significantly higher in the myocardium of cyanotic than of acyanotic infants. To test the potential involvement of upstream regulatory pathways, activation of MAP kinases was determined. Intramyocardial levels of phosphorylated p38 MAP kinase, but not of ERK1/2 were significantly higher in infants with cyanotic compared to those with acyanotic congenital heart disease and inversely correlated to hypoxemia. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that chronic hypoxemia is associated with the induction and stabilization of the transcription factor HIF-1 as well as its target genes VEGF and eNOS in the myocardium of infants with cyanotic cardiac defects. Thus, stabilization of HIF-1 and induction of the adaptive hypoxia response could particularly participate in myocardial remodeling in children with congenital cardiac defects and chronic hypoxemia. [less ▲]

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