Background: Data with animal cells and models suggest that thrombin activates cardiac fibroblasts (Fib) to myofibroblasts (myoFib) via protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) cleavage, and in this way promotes adverse atrial remodeling and, thereby, atrial fibrillation (AF). Objective: Here, we explored the effects of thrombin on human atrial Fib and whether they are antagonized by the clinically available direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran. Methods: Fib isolated from atrial appendages of patients without AF undergoing elective cardiac surgery were evaluated for PAR expression and treated with thrombin with or without dabigatran. PAR1 cleavage, downstream signaling and myoFib markers were investigated by immunofluorescence and Western blot. Collagen synthesis, activity of matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-2 and proliferation were assessed by Picro-Sirius red staining, gelatinolytic zymography and BrdU incorporation, respectively. Fib function was studied as capability to contract a collagen gel and stimulate the chemotaxis of peripheral blood monocytes from healthy volunteers. Results: Primary human atrial Fib expressed PAR1, while levels of the other PARs were very low. Thrombin triggered PAR1 cleavage and phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 and Akt, elicited a switch to myoFib enriched for αSMA, fibronectin and type I collagen, and induced paracrine/autocrine transforming growth factor beta-1, cyclooxygenase-2, endothelin-1 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2); conversely, MMP-2 activity decreased. Thrombin-primed cells displayed enhanced proliferation, formed discrete collagen-containing cellular nodules, and stimulated the contraction of a collagen gel. Furthermore, their conditioned medium caused monocytes to migrate. All these effects were prevented by dabigatran. Conclusion: These results with human cells complete the knowledge about thrombin actions on cardiac Fib and strengthen the translational potential of the emerging paradigm that pharmacological blockade of thrombin may counteract molecular and cellular events underlying AF.

Thrombin induces protease-activated receptor 1 signaling and activation of human atrial fibroblasts and dabigatran prevents these effects

Altieri, Paola;Bertolotto, Maria;Fabbi, Patrizia;Sportelli, Elena;Balbi, Manrico;Santini, Francesco;Brunelli, Claudio;Canepa, Marco;Montecucco, Fabrizio;Ameri, Pietro
2018

Abstract

Background: Data with animal cells and models suggest that thrombin activates cardiac fibroblasts (Fib) to myofibroblasts (myoFib) via protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) cleavage, and in this way promotes adverse atrial remodeling and, thereby, atrial fibrillation (AF). Objective: Here, we explored the effects of thrombin on human atrial Fib and whether they are antagonized by the clinically available direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran. Methods: Fib isolated from atrial appendages of patients without AF undergoing elective cardiac surgery were evaluated for PAR expression and treated with thrombin with or without dabigatran. PAR1 cleavage, downstream signaling and myoFib markers were investigated by immunofluorescence and Western blot. Collagen synthesis, activity of matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-2 and proliferation were assessed by Picro-Sirius red staining, gelatinolytic zymography and BrdU incorporation, respectively. Fib function was studied as capability to contract a collagen gel and stimulate the chemotaxis of peripheral blood monocytes from healthy volunteers. Results: Primary human atrial Fib expressed PAR1, while levels of the other PARs were very low. Thrombin triggered PAR1 cleavage and phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 and Akt, elicited a switch to myoFib enriched for αSMA, fibronectin and type I collagen, and induced paracrine/autocrine transforming growth factor beta-1, cyclooxygenase-2, endothelin-1 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2); conversely, MMP-2 activity decreased. Thrombin-primed cells displayed enhanced proliferation, formed discrete collagen-containing cellular nodules, and stimulated the contraction of a collagen gel. Furthermore, their conditioned medium caused monocytes to migrate. All these effects were prevented by dabigatran. Conclusion: These results with human cells complete the knowledge about thrombin actions on cardiac Fib and strengthen the translational potential of the emerging paradigm that pharmacological blockade of thrombin may counteract molecular and cellular events underlying AF.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/926044
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