Molecular Mechanisms of Mitral Regurgitation—Aim 2

2014-07-23 21:11:03 | BioPortfolio


The investigators hypothesize that MR in humans is characterized by adrenergic overdrive, reactive nitrogen species, and an antifibrotic phenotype that relate to the severity of adverse LV remodeling prior to surgery and outcome after valve repair.


In Western society, the most common causes of chronic nonischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) is myxomatous degeneration of the valve.Unlike pressure overload, where fibrosis reduction and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockade is beneficial, the dynamics of extracellular matrix homeostasis in volume overload produce minimal changes in collagen content. It is for this reason that RAS blockade is not beneficial in patients and in animal models with pure volume overload of MR. In particular, we have shown that ACE inhibition, which increases cardiac interstitial bradykinin—resulting in a reduction in collagen production and activation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)—is particularly harmful in volume overload. Further, we showed that MR in the dog is marked by an early and persistent decrease in LV interstitial collagen and MMP activation, as well as the expression of bradykinin. Thus, therapies targeted at matrix reduction may exacerbate the disease process by decreasing the collagen connections between cardiomyocytes.

Another important pathophysiologic mechanism in the adverse LV remodeling in MR is the adrenergic nervous system and inflammation. It is of interest that we and others have found increased adrenergic drive to be an important early mechanism in the volume overload of MR in dogs and MR in patients. This response can be attributed to the early recruitment of preload reserve in adaptation to the volume load. In fact, beta1-adrenergic receptor (AR) blockade improved LV remodeling, attenuated matrix degradation, and improved LV and cardiomyocyte function in the dog with MR. Increased adrenergic stimulation can also lead to the generation of reactive nitrogen species and TNF-alpha that, in turn, can activate MMPs, thereby perpetuating the cycle of matrix degradation and adverse LV remodeling.

The investigators hypothesize that MR in humans is characterized by adrenergic overdrive, reactive nitrogen species, and an antifibrotic phenotype that relate to the severity of adverse LV remodeling prior to surgery and outcome after valve repair.

Aim 1. To show that regional stress and strain of MR relates to indices of adrenergic efferent innervation and function of the LV myocardium. LV tissue will be analyzed for innervation density, catecholamine content and reuptake, and beta1- and beta2-AR density.

Aim 2. To define the extent and nature of reactive nitrogen species production in LV myocardium and determine whether peripheral plasma measurements correlate with myocardial origin. LV tissue and plasma will be analyzed for the extent of protein thiol oxidation and protein tyrosine nitration and myeloperoxidase and xanthine oxidase activities.

Aim 3. To show increased expression of antifibrotic factors in LV myocardium and that peripheral plasma measurements correlate with myocardial origin and whether these factors correlate with functional recovery by MRI. LV tissue will be analyzed for MT1MMP, MMP-1,-2 and -9, bradykinin type-2 receptor, AT1 and AT2 receptor, collagen type II and III and plasma will be analyzed for collagen breakdown products.

Currently, there is no recommended therapy for the pure volume overload of mitral regurgitation, these studies will define the unique molecular mechanisms that will lead to new targeted therapy to attenuate the remodeling and delay the need for surgery and improve surgical outcomes.

Study Design

Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Prospective


Mitral Regurgitation


University of Alabama at Birmingham
United States


Active, not recruiting


University of Alabama at Birmingham

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:11:03-0400

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Backflow of blood from the LEFT VENTRICLE into the LEFT ATRIUM due to imperfect closure of the MITRAL VALVE. This can lead to mitral valve regurgitation.

Abnormal protrusion or billowing of one or both of the leaflets of MITRAL VALVE into the LEFT ATRIUM during SYSTOLE. This allows the backflow of blood into left atrium leading to MITRAL VALVE INSUFFICIENCY; SYSTOLIC MURMURS; or CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA.

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