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Caractérisation de la sénescence des cardiomyocytes et identification de marqueurs associés

Abstract : Ageing of the organism is associated with several chronic pathologies such as heart failure (HF). Recent studies have demonstrated the link between the accumulation of senescent cells during ageing and age-associated diseases. Cellular senescence, originally defined as a stable cell cycle arrest, acts as a tumorigenic repressor by limiting the proliferation of DNA damaged cells. Despite this protective effect, senescence is characterized by deep remodeling of cell biology which drives functional disorders, such as the acquisition of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Senescence can be induced by telomeric attrition and by exposition to cellular stress signals such as oxidative stress or irradiation, which induce telomeric damage, activation of the DNA Damage Response (DDR) and increased expression of antitumoral genes (p16INK4a, p21CIP1, p53). These genes are classically used as markers of senescence because their expression increases in several tissues during ageing but they are not tissue-specific. Therefore, At the cardiac level, ageing is characterized by cardiomyocytes hypertrophy, increased sensitivity to stress and highest risk of developing HF. Cardiomyocytes are post- mitotic cells and the senescence inductor mechanisms, specifics markers and their role in HF remains poorly understood. This thesis project is articulated around two aims, 1/ studying the role of telomeric damages and mitochondrial dysfunction in triggering cardiomyocyte senescence and 2/ identification of specifics markers. Fisrtly, we shown that aged cardiomyocytes overexpress classic markers of senescence such as p16INK4a, p53 et p21CIP1. Concerning the inductors mechanisms, we studied the implication of telomeric damages (telomere associated foci, TAF). During ageing, we found an increased number of TAFs per cardiomyocytes and their association with hypertrophy. Moreover, TAF- induction in cardiac H9c2 in vitro activated the p53/p21 pathway and induced senescence. These data confirmed the role of TAFs in cardiomyocyte senescence induction. Furthermore, aged cardiomyocytes exhibit a global alteration of genes involved in mitochondrial biology, oxidative stress and metabolism in aged cardiomyocytes that could play a prominent role in TAF accumulation with ageing. In a second part of the study, by using a next generation sequencing method (RNA-seq) we identified 6 new genes highly expressed in senescent cardiomyocytes (Prom2, Kcnk1, Pah, Edn3, Gdf15 and Tgfb2). Expression comparison with other senescent organs and cardiac stromal cells confirmed these new genes as cardiomyocyte specific. Thanks to an in vitro approach, we validate this signature by using different models of stress-induced senescence in cardiac H9c2 cells and demonstrated the implication of the p53 in the regulation of some of these genes. Moreover, Prom2 expression is associated with cardiomyocytes hypertrophy. In conclusion, we demonstrated that, with ageing, cardiomyocytes display a senescence phenotype associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and TAFs. This process is characterized by classic markers (p16INK4, p53/p21CIP1), hypertrophy and new identified signature. These new markers offer innovative perspectives in the understanding and the identification of the cardiac senescence and their potential deleterious role in heart failure.
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Damien Maggiorani. Caractérisation de la sénescence des cardiomyocytes et identification de marqueurs associés. Pharmacologie. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU30320⟩. ⟨tel-02009859⟩

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