Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

RFA on EC-cardiomyocyte interactions in the mechanisms and treatments of cardiovascular diseases

Often under recognized, the cardiac endothelial cells are highly abundant in the heart, and may have important roles in modulating cardiac function, besides simply serving as structural component of blood vessels. Evidences of ours and others have indicated an emerging role of cardiac endothelial cells signaling to cardiomyocytes to mediate important pathophysiological responses. Nonetheless, detailed mechanisms of interaction between these cell types in the development and treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as ischemia reperfusion injury and arrhythmogenesis remain to be fully elucidated. Therefore I propose to establish a focus group on this topic, ideally a RFA program to intensively explore this area.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)?: Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC:

Successfully addressing this question would no double reveal novel mechanisms and ways of monitoring treatment responses of cardiovascular disease, ultimately leading to novel drug targets, valuable biomarkers and extended new directions of basic research as well.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC:

Tools of studying these cells are mostly available. Both adult cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells from the heart can be isolated and cultured, although cardiomyotyes need to used within 24 hrs and cannot be passaged. However successful preparation of these cells from WT and transgenic animals would permit co-culture experiments and mechanistic studies. These cells can also be studied using in-situ techniques either detecting molecular changes/events or dynamic interactions. Potential challenges would side in selective targeting of these cells, for example, either ECs or cardiomyocytes, once a potential therapeutic is in the testing. Nonetheless, PECAM-ab conjugated techniques have been employed to specifically deliver proteins to endothelial cells, so I am confident most of the challenges can be worked out, particularly within a RFA awardees group with frequent exchanges of ideas.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea: Hua Linda Cai, University of California Los Angeles


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27 net votes
30 up votes
3 down votes
Idea No. 839