Cardiac foetal reprogramming: a tool to exploit novel treatment targets for the failing heart

A. van der Pol, M. F. Hoes, R. A. de Boer, P. van der Meer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

As the heart matures during embryogenesis from its foetal stages, several structural and functional modifications take place to form the adult heart. This process of maturation is in large part due to an increased volume and work load of the heart to maintain proper circulation throughout the growing body. In recent years, it has been observed that these changes are reversed to some extent as a result of cardiac disease. The process by which this occurs has been characterized as cardiac foetal reprogramming and is defined as the suppression of adult and re-activation of a foetal genes profile in the diseased myocardium. The reasons as to why this process occurs in the diseased myocardium are unknown; however, it has been suggested to be an adaptive process to counteract deleterious events taking place during cardiac remodelling. Although still in its infancy, several studies have demonstrated that targeting foetal reprogramming in heart failure can lead to substantial improvement in cardiac functionality. This is highlighted by a recent study which found that by modulating the expression of 5-oxoprolinase (OPLAH, a novel cardiac foetal gene), cardiac function can be significantly improved in mice exposed to cardiac injury. Additionally, the utilization of angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitors (ARNI) has demonstrated clear benefits, providing important clinical proof that drugs that increase natriuretic peptide levels (part of the foetal gene programme) indeed improve heart failure outcomes. In this review, we will highlight the most important aspects of cardiac foetal reprogramming and will discuss whether this process is a cause or consequence of heart failure. Based on this, we will also explain how a deeper understanding of this process may result in the development of novel therapeutic strategies in heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-506
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Volume288
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17-Jun-2020

Keywords

  • foetal gene programme
  • heart failure
  • ACTIVATED-RECEPTOR-ALPHA
  • SARCOPLASMIC-RETICULUM CA2+-ATPASE
  • PYRUVATE-DEHYDROGENASE KINASE
  • ATRIAL-NATRIURETIC-PEPTIDE
  • CHANNEL GENE-EXPRESSION
  • FATTY-ACID OXIDATION
  • OMECAMTIV MECARBIL
  • RAT HEARTS
  • ISOFORM EXPRESSION
  • MYOSIN ACTIVATOR

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