Intimal hyperplasia (IH) is the leading cause of late vein and prosthetic bypass graft failure. Injury at the time of graft implantation leading to the activation of endothelial cells and dedifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells to a synthetic phenotype are known causes of IH. Prior attempts to develop therapy to mitigate these cellular changes to prevent IH and graft failure have failed. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) mediated targeted gene silencing is a promising tool to prevent IH. Several studies have been performed in this direction to target genes that are involved in IH. In this review we discuss siRNA targets that are being investigated for prevention and treatment of IH.
Atherosclerosis (ATH) and aortic aneurysms (AA) remain challenging chronic diseases that confer high morbidity and mortality despite advances in medical, interventional, and surgical care. RNA interference represents a promising technology that may be utilized to silence genes contributing to ATH and AA. Despite positive results in preclinical and some clinical feasibility studies, challenges such as target/sequence validation, tissue specificity, transfection efficiency, and mitigation of unwanted off-target effects remain to be addressed. In this review the most current targets and some novel approaches in siRNA delivery are being discussed. Due to the plethora of investigated targets, only studies published between 2010 and 2014 were included.
An excessive tissue response to prosthetic arterial graft material leads to intimal hyperplasia (IH), the leading cause of late graft failure. Seroma and abnormal capsule formation may also occur after prosthetic material implantation. The matricellular protein Thrombospondin-2 (TSP-2) has shown to be upregulated in response to biomaterial implantation. This study evaluates the uptake and release of small interfering RNA (siRNA) from unmodified and surface functionalized electrospun PET graft materials. ePET graft materials were synthesized using electrospinning technology. Subsets of the ePET materials were then chemically modified to create surface functional groups. Unmodified and surface-modified ePET grafts were dip-coated in siRNAs alone or siRNAs complexed with transfection reagents polyethyleneimine (PEI) or Lipofectamine RNAiMax. Further, control and TSP-2 siRNA-PEI complex treated ePET samples were placed onto a confluent layer of human aortic smooth muscle cells (AoSMCs). Complexation of all siRNAs with PEI led to a significant increase in adsorption to unmodified ePET. TSP-2 siRNA-PEI released from unmodified-ePET silenced TSP-2 in AoSMC. Regardless of the siRNA-PEI complex evaluated, AoSMC migrated into the ePET. siRNA-PEI complexes delivered to AoSMC from dip-coated ePET can result in gene knockdown. This methodology for siRNA delivery may improve the tissue response to vascular and other prosthetics.
The present study is designed to understand the contribution of peripheral vascular disease and peripheral neuropathy to the wound-healing impairment associated with diabetes. Using a rabbit model of diabetic neuroischemic wound healing, we investigated rate of healing, leukocyte infiltration, and expression of cytokines, interleukin-8 and interleukin-6, and neuropeptides, substance P, and neuropeptide Y.
Systemic inflammation is associated with impaired wound healing in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients. Using immunohistochemistry techniques, the authors investigated changes in skin inflammation and skin blood vessels in human and experimental diabetes. Comparing to the non-DM human subjects, the total number of inflammatory cells per biopsy and the number of inflammatory cells around blood vessels, a strong indication of inflammation, were higher in DM subjects irrespective of their risk for developing diabetic foot ulcer. Inflammatory cell infiltration was robustly increased in all DM animal models compared with their non-DM controls. The number and density of blood vessels and CD31 positive proliferating endothelial cells around preexisting skin vessels was also higher in the DM patients. However, there were no differences in the skin blood flow between the non-DM and DM subjects. The number of skin blood vessels was also increased in the DM animals; however, these differences were less obvious than the ones observed for inflammatory cells. We conclude that skin inflammation and skin blood vessel density is increased in diabetic human subjects and in rodent and rabbit models of diabetes.
To investigate the expression of neuropeptides and their receptors that play a role in cardiac homeostasis in the right atrium of nondiabetic and diabetic patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN), in which patients present with damage of autonomic nerve fibres, is one of the most common complications of diabetes. CAN leads to abnormalities in heart rate and vascular dynamics, which are features of diabetic heart failure. Dysregulated neurohormonal activation, an outcome of diabetic neuropathy, has a significant pathophysiological role in diabetes-associated cardiovascular disease. Key players in neurohormonal activation include cardioprotective neuropeptides and their receptors, such as substance P (SP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). These neuropeptides are released from the peripheral or autonomic nervous system and have vasoactive properties. They are further implicated in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, calcium homeostasis, ischaemia-induced angiogenesis, protein kinase C signalling and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Therefore, dysregulation of the expression of neuropeptides or activation of the neuropeptide signalling pathways can negatively affect cardiac homeostasis. Targeting neuropeptides and their signalling pathways might thus serve as new therapeutic interventions in the treatment of heart failure associated with diabetes. This review discusses how neuropeptide dysregulation in diabetes might affect cardiac functions that contribute to the development of heart failure.
Despite decades of research, anastomotic intimal hyperplasia remains a major cause of delayed prosthetic arterial graft failure. Previously, we reported profound upregulation of thrombospondin-2 (TSP-2) mRNA in neointimal smooth muscle cells after prosthetic arterial bypass graft placement. TSP-2 is an antiangiogenic matricellular protein with specific functions yet unknown. In this study, we hypothesized that inhibition of TSP-2 in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HAoSMCs) would reduce cell proliferation and migration in vitro, providing a therapeutic target to mitigate intimal hyperplasia.
siRNA technology is a promising tool for gene therapy of vascular disease. Due to the multitude of reagents and cell types, RNAi experiment optimization can be time-consuming. In this study adherent cell cytometry was used to rapidly optimize siRNA transfection in human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (AoSMC).
Impaired wound healing is a major complication associated with diabetes, involving a dysregulation and impairments in the inflammatory and angiogenic phases of wound healing. Here, we examine the effects of the neuropeptides substance P (SP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) on dermal microvascular endothelial cell (DMVEC) angiogenesis and interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression, a known effector of the neuropeptide pathways in normal and hyperglycemic conditions in vitro.
Endothelial gene silencing via small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection represents a promising strategy for the control of vascular disease. Here, we demonstrate endothelial gene silencing in human saphenous vein using three rapid siRNA transfection techniques amenable for use in the operating room.
Auricular chondrocytes, obtained from human auricular cartilage, can be grown easily in culture and have been used as a source for autologous cell/tissue transplant in several fields of reconstructive surgery. In addition, auricular chondrocytes/cartilage are being increasingly used for tissue engineering approaches to create artificial organs. Moreover, auricular chondrocytes have been used to improve biocompatibility of luminal surfaces of cardiovascular prostheses. This review looks at the progress in in vitro expansion of and differentiating strategies for auricular chondrocytes and compares the mechanical qualities of tissue-engineered cartilage from human auricular chondrocytes to those of native auricular cartilage. Finally, some of the most promising approaches for the in vivo application of auricular chondrocytes/cartilage will be briefly discussed.
The interaction between neuropeptides and cytokines and its role in cutaneous wound healing is becoming evident. The goal of the present study is to investigate the impact of diabetes on peripheral cytokine and neuropeptide expression and its role in diabetic wound healing. To achieve this goal, the effect of diabetes on wound healing, along with the role of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) secreted in the wound microenvironment, and neuropeptides such as substance P (SP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY), secreted from peripheral nerves is monitored in non-diabetic and diabetic rabbits. Rabbits in the diabetic group received alloxan monohydrate (100mg/kg i.v.). Ten days after diabetic induction, four full thickness circular wounds were created in both ears using a 6mm punch biopsy. Wound healing was monitored over 10 d and gene expression of cytokines and neuropeptides was assessed in the wounds. Compared with the non-diabetic rabbits, wounds of diabetic rabbits heal significantly slower. Diabetic rabbits show significantly increased baseline gene expression of IL-6 and IL-8, their receptors, CXCR1, CXCR2, GP-130, and a decrease of prepro tachykinin-A (PP-TA), the precursor of SP, whereas the expression of prepro-NPY (PP-NPY), the precursor of NPY is not different. Similarly, baseline protein expression of CXCR1 is higher in diabetic rabbit skin. Post-injury, the increase over baseline gene expression of IL-6, IL-8, CXCR1, CXCR2, and GP-130 is significantly less in diabetic wounds compared with non-diabetic wounds. Although there is no difference in PP-TA gene expression between non-diabetic and diabetic rabbits post-injury, the gene expression of PP-NPY is reduced in diabetic rabbits. In conclusion, diabetes causes dysregulation in the neuropeptide expression in the skin along with a suppressed focused inflammatory response to injury. This suggests that the chronic inflammation in the skin of diabetic rabbits inhibits the acute inflammation much needed for wound healing.
Intimal hyperplasia (IH) limits the patency of all cardiovascular vein bypass grafts. We previously found the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS), a key protein kinase C (PKC) substrate, to be up-regulated in canine models of IH. Here, we further characterize the role of MARCKS in IH and examine the phenotypic consequences of MARCKS silencing by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection in human vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro and use a rapid 10-min nonviral siRNA transfection technique to determine the effects of MARCKS silencing in human saphenous vein cultured ex vivo. We demonstrate MARCKS silencing attenuates VSMC migration and arrests VSMC proliferation in part through the up-regulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(kip1). Conversely, MARCKS silencing had little or no effect on EC migration or proliferation. These phenotypic changes culminated in reduced neointimal formation in cultured human saphenous vein. These data identify MARCKS as a pathogenic contributor to IH and indicate therapeutic MARCKS silencing could selectively suppress the "atherogenic," proliferative phenotype of VSMCs without collateral harm to the endothelium. This approach could be readily translated to the clinic to silence MARCKS in vein bypass grafts prior to implantation.
Abnormal wound healing is a major complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with nonhealing foot ulcerations leading in the worst cases to lower-limb amputation. Wound healing requires the integration of complex cellular and molecular events in successive phases of inflammation, cell proliferation, cell migration, angiogenesis and re-epithelialisation. A link between wound healing and the nervous system is clinically apparent as peripheral neuropathy is reported in 30-50% of diabetic patients and is the most common and sensitive predictor of foot ulceration. Indeed, a bidirectional connection between the nervous and the immune systems and its role in wound repair has emerged as one of the focal features of the wound-healing dogma. This review provides a broad overview of the mediators of this connection, which include neuropeptides and cytokines released from nerve fibres, immune cells and cutaneous cells. In-depth understanding of the signalling pathways in the neuroimmune axis in diabetic wound healing is vital to the development of successful wound-healing therapies.
RNAi technology is a promising tool for gene therapy of vascular disease. However, the biological heterogeneity between endothelial (EC) and vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) and within different vascular beds make them differentially susceptible to siRNA. This is further complicated by the task of choosing the right transfection reagent that leads to consistent gene silencing across all cell types with minimal toxicity. The goal of this study was to investigate the intrinsic RNAi susceptibility of primary human aortic and coronary artery endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells (AoEC, CoEC, AoSMC and CoSMC) using adherent cell cytometry.
Vein graft failure occurs between 1 and 6 months after implantation due to obstructive intimal hyperplasia, related in part to implantation injury. The cell-specific and temporal response of the transcriptome to vein graft implantation injury was determined by transcriptional profiling of laser capture microdissected endothelial cells (EC) and medial smooth muscle cells (SMC) from canine vein grafts, 2 hours (H) to 30 days (D) following surgery. Our results demonstrate a robust genomic response beginning at 2 H, peaking at 12-24 H, declining by 7 D, and resolving by 30 D. Gene ontology and pathway analyses of differentially expressed genes indicated that implantation injury affects inflammatory and immune responses, apoptosis, mitosis, and extracellular matrix reorganization in both cell types. Through backpropagation an integrated network was built, starting with genes differentially expressed at 30 D, followed by adding upstream interactive genes from each prior time-point. This identified significant enrichment of IL-6, IL-8, NF-?B, dendritic cell maturation, glucocorticoid receptor, and Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells (TREM-1) signaling, as well as PPAR? activation pathways in graft EC and SMC. Interactive network-based analyses identified IL-6, IL-8, IL-1?, and Insulin Receptor (INSR) as focus hub genes within these pathways. Real-time PCR was used for the validation of two of these genes: IL-6 and IL-8, in addition to Collagen 11A1 (COL11A1), a cornerstone of the backpropagation. In conclusion, these results establish causality relationships clarifying the pathogenesis of vein graft implantation injury, and identifying novel targets for its prevention.
We examined the role of vascular function and inflammation in the development and failure to heal diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). We followed 104 diabetic patients for a period of 18.4 ± 10.8 months. At the beginning of the study, we evaluated vascular reactivity and serum inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. DFUs developed in 30 (29%) patients. DFU patients had more severe neuropathy, higher white blood cell count, and lower endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation in the macrocirculation. Complete ulcer healing was achieved in 16 (53%) patients, whereas 13 (47%) patients did not heal. There were no differences in the above parameters between the two groups, but patients whose ulcers failed to heal had higher tumor necrosis factor-?, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9), and fibroblast growth factor 2 serum levels when compared with those who healed. Skin biopsy analysis showed that compared with control subjects, diabetic patients had increased immune cell infiltration, expression of MMP-9, and protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B (PTP1B), which negatively regulates the signaling of insulin, leptin, and growth factors. We conclude that increased inflammation, expression of MMP-9, PTP1B, and aberrant growth factor levels are the main factors associated with failure to heal DFUs. Targeting these factors may prove helpful in the management of DFUs.
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