Excessive cardiac fibrosis, characterized by increased collagen-rich extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, is a major predisposing factor for mechanical and electrical dysfunction in heart failure (HF). The human ventricular fibroblast (hVF) remodeling mechanisms that cause excessive collagen deposition in HF are unclear, although reports suggest a role for [Ca2+]i in fibrosis. Therefore, we determined the association of differences in cellular Ca2+ dynamics and collagen secretion/deposition between hVFs from failing and normal (control) hearts. Histology of left ventricle sections (Masson trichrome) confirmed excessive fibrosis in HF vs normal. In vitro, hVFs from HF showed increased secretion/deposition of soluble collagen in 48 hours of culture compared with control [85.9±7.4 μg/106 vs 58.5±8.8 μg/106 cells, P<0.05; (Sircol™ assay)]. However, collagen gene expressions (COL1A1 and COL1A2; rt-PCR) were not different. Ca2+ imaging (fluo-3) of isolated hVFs showed no difference in the thapsigargin-induced intracellular Ca2+ release capacity (control 16±1.4% vs HF 17±1.1%); however, Ca2+ influx via store-operated Ca2+ entry [SOCE /CRAC (Ca2+ release-activated)] channels was significantly (P≤0.05) greater in HF-hVFs (47±3%) compared with non-failing (35±5%). Immunoblotting for ICRAC channel components showed increased ORAI1 expression in HF-hVFs compared with normal without any difference in STIM1 expression. The Pearson's correlation coefficient for co-localization of STIM1/ORAI1 was significantly (P<0.01) greater in HF (0.5±0.01) than control (0.4±0.01) hVFs. The increase in collagen secretion of HF vs control hVFs was eliminated by incubation of hVFs with YM58483 (10 μM), a selective ICRAC inhibitor for 48 hours (66.78±5.87μg/106 cells vs 55.81±7.09 μg/106 cells, P=0.27). In conclusion, hVFs from HF have increased collagen secretion capacity vs non-failing hearts and this is related to increase in Ca2+ entry via SOCE and enhanced expression of ORAI, the pore-forming subunit. Therapeutic inhibition of SOCE may reduce the progression of cardiac fibrosis/HF.
- Received November 2, 2016.
- Accepted January 21, 2017.
- © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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