Renu Virmani, MD Recent Publications
Sex disparities modulate cardiac function, although the proteins and mechanisms remain to be elucidated. We recently demonstrated a mosaic pattern of protein expression in the heart for over 100 proteins. Here we investigate one of these proteins, myosin light chain 4 (MYL4), which is important for contractile functions by increasing force production. We assayed the expression pattern of MYL4 across 756 ventricular myocardial samples from 668 individuals utilizing a semi-automated Cell Profiler method on five tissue microarrays (TMAs) of cardiac tissues across a diverse set of diseases. The percentage of MYL4 positive cells was significantly higher in male subjects independently across all five TMAs, regardless of disease state (p = 8.66e-15). Higher MYL4 expression was also modestly associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (p = 6.3e-04). MYL4 expression did not associate with sudden cardiac death or other cardiomyopathies. This study demonstrates a new mosaic pattern of protein expression that underlies sex disparities in the human heart.
Iron is fundamental for life-essential processes. However, it can also cause oxidative damage, which is thought to trigger numerous pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases. The role of iron in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is still not completely understood. Macrophages are both key players in the handling of iron throughout the body and in the onset, progression and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. Iron itself might impact atherosclerosis through its effects on macrophages. However, while targeting iron metabolism within macrophages may have some beneficial effects on preventing atherosclerotic plaque progression there may also be negative consequences. Thus, the prevailing view of iron being capable of accelerating the progression of coronary disease through lipid peroxidation may not fully take into account the multi-faceted role of iron in pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In this review, we will summarize the current understanding of iron metabolism in the context of the complex interplay between iron, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.