Morphological, cellular and proteomic features of canine myxomatous mitral valve disease
Han, Richard I-Ming
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Myxomatous mitral valve degeneration (MMVD) is the single most common cardiac disease of the dog, and is analogous to Mitral Valve Prolapse in humans. Very little is known about the aetiopathogenesis of this disease or the changes in valvular interstitial cell populations in diseased valves. The aim of this study was to identify morphological, cellular and molecular changes associated with MMVD. Mitral valve leaflets from both normal and varying grades (Whitney’s 1-4) of diseased dogs were subject to image analysis, immunophenotyping, proteomics and RT-PCR. Image analysis - leaflet thickening due to accumulation of glycosaminoglycan was significant in this disease. MMVD is associated with loss of connective tissue, reduction in cell numbers but no change in cell shape in the overtly myxomatous area. Near the surface, increase in valvular interstitial cells (VIC) towards the damaged endothelium in concert with destruction of collagen and building up of ground substance was manifested during the disease process. Immunophenotyping - activated myofibroblasts were increased and fibroblast-like VICs were reduced without any change in desmin and myosin expression in MMVD compared to clinical normal dogs. In addition, other cell types like macrophage, adipocyte, chondrocyte, mast cell, and stem cell were identified and their possible role in MMVD is discussed. Proteomics - a protein expression profile was established, with 64 proteins being positively identified from dog’s mitral valve using 1-D SDS PAGE LC/MS. Amongst them 44 proteins were differentially expressed comparing normal and severely diseased. Two actin binding proteins, tropomyosin alpha and myosin light chain-2 were found to be differentially expressed in the normal but down regulated in the diseased. RT-PCR was used to assess the expression of 8 genes of interest. Their expression was compared with 3 different housekeeping genes.