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Articles by J. L Guerrero
Total Records ( 4 ) for J. L Guerrero
  J. P Dal Bianco , E Aikawa , J Bischoff , J. L Guerrero , M. D Handschumacher , S Sullivan , B Johnson , J. S Titus , Y Iwamoto , J Wylie Sears , R. A Levine and A. Carpentier

Background— In patients with left ventricular infarction or dilatation, leaflet tethering by displaced papillary muscles frequently induces mitral regurgitation, which doubles mortality. Little is known about the biological potential of the mitral valve (MV) to compensate for ventricular remodeling. We tested the hypothesis that MV leaflet surface area increases over time with mechanical stretch created by papillary muscle displacement through cell activation, not passive stretching.

Methods and Results— Under cardiopulmonary bypass, the papillary muscle tips in 6 adult sheep were retracted apically short of producing mitral regurgitation to replicate tethering without confounding myocardial infarction or turbulence. Diastolic leaflet area was quantified by 3-dimensional echocardiography over 61±6 days compared with 6 unstretched sheep MVs. Total diastolic leaflet area increased by 2.4±1.3 cm2 (17±10%) from 14.3±1.9 to 16.7±1.9 cm2 (P=0.006) with stretch with no change in the unstretched valves despite sham open heart surgery. Stretched MVs were 2.8 times thicker than normal (1.18±0.14 versus 0.42±0.14 mm; P<0.0001) at 60 days with an increased spongiosa layer. Endothelial cells (CD31+) coexpressing -smooth muscle actin were significantly more common by fluorescent cell sorting in tethered versus normal leaflets (41±19% versus 9±5%; P=0.02), indicating endothelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation. -Smooth muscle actin–positive cells appeared in the atrial endothelium, penetrating into the interstitium, with increased collagen deposition. Thickened chordae showed endothelial and subendothelial -smooth muscle actin. Endothelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation capacity also was demonstrated in cultured MV endothelial cells.

Conclusions— Mechanical stresses imposed by papillary muscle tethering increase MV leaflet area and thickness, with cellular changes suggesting reactivated embryonic developmental pathways. Understanding such actively adaptive mechanisms can potentially provide therapeutic opportunities to augment MV area and reduce ischemic mitral regurgitation.

  J Solis , R. A Levine , B Johnson , J. L Guerrero , M. D Handschumacher , S Sullivan , K Lam , J Berlin , G. J. C Braithwaite , O. K Muratoglu , G. J Vlahakes and J. Hung

Ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) results from displacement of the papillary muscles caused by ischemic ventricular distortion. Progressive left ventricular (LV) remodeling has challenged therapy. Our hypothesis is that repositioning of the papillary muscles can be achieved by injection of polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) hydrogel polymer into the myocardium in chronic MR despite advanced LV remodeling.

Methods and Results—

Ten sheep underwent ligation of the circumflex branches to produce chronic ischemic MR over 8 weeks. PVA was injected into the myocardium underlying the infarcted papillary muscle. Two-dimensional and 3D echocardiograms and hemodynamic data were obtained before infarct (baseline), before PVA (chronic MR), and after PVA. PVA injection significantly decreased MR from moderate to severe to trace (MR vena contracta, 5.8±1.2 to1.8±1.3 mm; chronic MR to post-PVA stage; P=0.0003). This was associated with a decrease in infarcted papillary muscle–to–mitral annulus tethering distance (30.3±5.7 to 25.9±4.6 mm, P=0.02), tenting volume (1.8±0.7 to 1.4±0.5 mL, P=0.01), and leaflet closure area (8.8±1.3 cm2to 7.6±1.3 cm2, P=0.004) from chronic MR to post-PVA stages. PVA was not associated with significant decreases in LV ejection fraction (41±3% versus 40±3%, P=NS), end-systolic elastance, (82±36 ms to 72±26, P=NS), or LV stiffness coefficient (0.05±0.04 to 0.03±0.01).


PVA hydrogel injections improve coaptation and reduce remodeling in chronic MR without impairing LV systolic and diastolic function. This new approach offers a potential alternative for relieving tethering and ischemic MR by correcting papillary muscle position.

  R Beeri , M Chaput , J. L Guerrero , Y Kawase , C Yosefy , S Abedat , I Karakikes , C Morel , A Tisosky , S Sullivan , M. D Handschumacher , D Gilon , G. J Vlahakes , R. J Hajjar and R. A. Levine

Mitral regurgitation (MR) doubles mortality after myocardial infarction (MI). We have demonstrated that MR worsens remodeling after MI and that early correction reverses remodeling. Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca+2-ATPase (SERCA2a) is downregulated in this process. We hypothesized that upregulating SERCA2a might inhibit remodeling in a surgical model of apical MI (no intrinsic MR) with independent MR-type flow.

Methods and Results—

In 12 sheep, percutaneous gene delivery was performed by using a validated protocol to perfuse both the left anterior descending and circumflex coronary arteries with occlusion of venous drainage. We administered adeno-associated virus 6 (AAV6) carrying SERCA2a under a Cytomegalovirus promoter control in 6 sheep and a reporter gene in 6 controls. After 2 weeks, a standardized apical MI was created, and a shunt was implanted between the left ventricle and left atrium, producing regurgitant fractions of 30%. Animals were compared at baseline and 1 and 3 months by 3D echocardiography, Millar hemodynamics, and biopsies. The SERCA2a group had a well-maintained preload-recruitable stroke work at 3 months (decrease by 8±10% vs 42±12% with reporter gene controls; P<0.001). Left ventricular dP/dt followed the same pattern (no change vs 55% decrease; P<0.001). Left ventricular end-systolic volume was lower with SERCA2a (82.6±9.6 vs 99.4±9.7 mL; P=0.03); left ventricular end-diastolic volume, reflecting volume overload, was not significantly different (127.8±6.2 vs 134.3±9.4 mL). SERCA2a sheep showed a 15% rise in antiapoptotic pAkt versus a 30% reduction with the reporter gene (P<0.001). Prohypertrophic activated STAT3 was also 41% higher with SERCA2a than in controls (P<0.001). Proapoptotic activated caspase-3 rose >5-fold during 1 month in both SERCA2a and control animals (P=NS) and decreased by 19% at 3 months, remaining elevated in both groups.


In this controlled model, upregulating SERCA2a induced better function and lesser remodeling, with improved contractility, smaller volume, and activation of prohypertrophic/antiapoptotic pathways. Although caspase-3 remained activated in both groups, SERCA2a sheep had increased molecular antiremodeling "tone." We therefore conclude that upregulating SERCA2a inhibits MR-induced post-MI remodeling in this model and thus may constitute a useful approach to reduce the vicious circle of remodeling in ischemic MR.

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