Fibroblasts are important in the atrial fibrillation (AF) substrate resulting from congestive heart failure (CHF). We previously noted changes in
Left-atrial fibroblasts were isolated from control and CHF dogs (ventricular tachypacing 240 bpm×2 weeks). Freshly-isolated fibroblasts were compared to fibroblasts in primary culture. Extracellular-matrix (ECM) gene-expression was assessed by qPCR, protein by Western blot, fibroblast morphology with immunocytochemistry, and K+-current with patch-clamp. Freshly-isolated CHF fibroblasts had increased expression-levels of collagen-1 (10-fold), collagen-3 (5-fold), and fibronectin-1 (3-fold) vs. control, along with increased cell diameter (13.4±0.4 µm vs control 8.4±0.3 µm) and cell spreading (shape factor 0.81±0.02 vs. control 0.87±0.02), consistent with an activated phenotype. Freshly-isolated control fibroblasts displayed robust tetraethylammonium (TEA)-sensitive K+-currents that were strongly downregulated in CHF. The TEA-sensitive K+-current differences between control and CHF fibroblasts were attenuated after 2-day culture and eliminated after 7 days. Similarly, cell-culture eliminated the ECM protein-expression and shape differences between control and CHF fibroblasts.
Freshly-isolated CHF and control atrial fibroblasts display distinct ECM-gene and morphological differences consistent with
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 14-December-2012
Author(s): Dawson K., Wu C., Qi X., Nattel S.