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Friday February 2, 2018 -- Cadherin-11 mechanobiology in cardiac fibrosis and disease

SMBB 2650, 11:45 am

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Speaker: David Merryman, Associate Professor, Associate Chair Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt

Presentation Abstract:

Cardiac fibrosis can affect both the heart valves and the myocardium and is characterized by fibroblast activation and extracellular matrix accumulation. Valvular interstitial cells and cardiac fibroblasts, the cell types responsible for maintenance of cardiac extracellular matrix, are sensitive to changing mechanical environments, and their ability to sense and respond to mechanical forces determines both normal development and the progression of disease. Recent studies have uncovered specific adhesion proteins and mechano-sensitive signaling pathways that contribute to fibrosis progression. Cadherins mechanically link neighboring fibroblasts and likely contribute to fibrotic disease propagation. Primarily, we believe that they do this by speeding the transition of quiescent fibroblasts to the active myofibroblast phenotype, which leads to maladaptive tissue remodeling and enhanced mechanotransductive signaling, forming a positive feedback loop that contributes to heart failure. In this brief talk, I will describe some of the recent data that my laboratory has generated which are focused on a little-known, but very important, cadherin that appears to be heavily involved in cardiac fibrosis cadherin-11.

Faculty Host: Luke Timmins Contact: