Abstract 250: Elucidating the Role of Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Alpha Signaling in Cardiac Fibroblasts
Cardiac fibrosis is a major component of heart disease and is a hallmark of decreased cardiac function. Currently, there are no treatments that attenuate fibrosis directly. This major hurdle can be overcome by targeting the resident fibroblast. Preliminary data demonstrates that loss of PDGFRα expression in the adult cardiac fibroblast lineage results in loss of over half of resident fibroblasts. A time course experiment revealed that in as little as 4 days after PDGFRα gene deletion fibroblast loss can observed. Based on the basal level of fibroblast proliferation (0.8%+/-0.9, i.e. 4 of 398 cells), we hypothesize that PDGFRα signaling is essential for fibroblast maintenance and that fibroblasts undergo rapid turnover. We have begun to elucidate which downstream signals of PDGFRα are involved the different roles of the fibroblast. Using a PDGFRα-dependent-PI3K-deficient mouse model, preliminary data indicates that PDGFRα-dependent PI3K signaling is involved in this cell survival response. Future studies will investigate cardiac fibroblast maintenance signals by determining which cell types secrete PDGF ligands. We will also investigate the role of PDGFRα signaling after myocardial infarction. Our lab has genetic tools that enable us to follow fibroblasts after injury, and we have determined both the number of proliferating fibroblasts at different time points, as well as the fraction of fibroblasts that make up the total population of proliferating cells after LAD ligation. Our preliminary data in control hearts shows that fibroblasts reach their peak of proliferation within a week after infarction, although they remain one of the most proliferative cell types as long as three weeks after induction. Our studies will illuminate the role of the fibroblast in tissue homeostasis and after infarction and identify how these cells contribute to overall cardiovascular function and delineate the fine balance between the essential and detrimental functions of the fibroblast.
Author Disclosures: M.J. Ivey: None. M. Tallquist: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.