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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
The maternal environment programmes postnatal weight gain and glucose tolerance of male offspring but placental and fetal growth are determined by fetal genotype in the Leprdb/+ model of gestational diabetes.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 10-30-2014
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Mice heterozygous for a signalling-deficient leptin receptor (Leprdb/+(db/+)) are widely used as a model of gestational diabetes that results in poor fetal outcomes. This study investigated the importance of fetal genotype (db/+) relative to abnormal maternal metabolism for placental function and therefore fetal growth and offspring health. Wild type (wt) and db/+ females were mated to db/+ and wt males respectively generating litters of mixed genotype. Placentas and fetuses were weighed at E18.5; offspring weight, hormone levels, glucose tolerance and blood pressure were assessed at 3 and 6 months. Pregnant db/+, but not wt, dams had impaired glucose tolerance. db/+ placentas and fetuses were heavier than wt but the maternal environment had no effect; wt placentas/fetuses from db/+ mothers were no bigger than wt placentas/fetuses carried by wt mothers. Postnatal weight gain, glucose metabolism and leptin levels were all influenced by offspring genotype. However maternal environment affected aspects of offspring health as wt male offspring born to db/+ dams were heavier and had worse glucose tolerance than the sex-matched wt offspring of wt mothers. Blood pressure was not affected by maternal or offspring genotype. These data reveal that studies using the db/+ mouse to model outcomes of pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes should be mindful of the genetically predisposed fetal/post-natal overgrowth. Although inappropriate for dissecting the effect of maternal hyperglycemia on the contribution of placental function to macrosomia, the db/+ mouse may prove useful for investigating mechanisms underlying programming of suboptimal postnatal weight gain and glucose metabolism by an adverse maternal metabolic environment.
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Vascular dysfunction in preeclampsia.
Microcirculation
PUBLISHED: 09-05-2014
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Preeclampsia is a complex disorder which affects an estimated 5% of all pregnancies worldwide. It is diagnosed by hypertension in the presence of proteinuria after the 20th week of pregnancy and is a prominent cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. As delivery is currently the only known treatment, preeclampsia is also a leading cause of preterm delivery. Preeclampsia is associated with maternal vascular dysfunction, leading to serious cardiovascular risk both during and following pregnancy. Endothelial dysfunction, resulting in increased peripheral resistance, is an integral part of the maternal syndrome. While the cause of preeclampsia remains unknown, placental ischemia resulting from aberrant placentation is a fundamental characteristic of the disorder. Poor placentation is believed to stimulate the release of a number of factors including pro- and antiangiogenic factors and inflammatory activators into the maternal systemic circulation. These factors are critical mediators of vascular function and impact the endothelium in distinctive ways, including enhanced endothelial oxidative stress. The mechanisms of action and the consequences on the maternal vasculature will be discussed in this review.
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Coiled-coil domain containing 3 (CCDC3) represses tumor necrosis factor-?/nuclear factor ?B-induced endothelial inflammation.
Cell. Signal.
PUBLISHED: 09-02-2014
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Coiled-coil domain containing 3 (CCDC3) is a newly identified secretory protein that is expressed in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and adipose tissues. Here, we investigate the role of CCDC3 in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?-induced inflammatory response in ECs. Our results show that stable overexpression of CCDC3 decreases, while stable knockdown of the endogenous CCDC3 increases TNF-?-induced expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) at the mRNA and protein level in ECs. The I?B kinase inhibitor Bay 11-7082 completely blocks TNF-?-induced expression of VCAM-1, confirming that TNF-?-induced expression of VCAM-1 in ECs is nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B) dependent. Stable overexpression of CCDC3 decreases TNF-?-induced p65 and p50 nuclear translocation and NF-?B transcriptional activity, suggesting that CCDC3 inhibits TNF-?-induced NF-?B activation in ECs. Similar to CCDC3 overexpression, both CCDC3-containing conditioned medium (CM) and purified CCDC3 decrease TNF-?-induced expression of VCAM-1 in receiving ECs, suggesting a paracrine/autocrine function of CCDC3. Interestingly, CCDC3 in CM can enter the receiving ECs. Taken together, our work demonstrates that CCDC3 represses TNF-?/NF-?B-induced pro-inflammatory response in ECs, providing an insight into the functional role of CCDC3.
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Maternal exposure to the production of fireworks and reduced rate of new onset hypertension in pregnancy.
Hypertens Pregnancy
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2014
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Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the main substances contained in fireworks. Previous studies suggested that CO may have protective effect on the development of hypertension of pregnancy.
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Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is a critical determinant of angiotensin II-induced loss of vascular smooth muscle cells and adverse vascular remodeling.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 05-05-2014
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Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2 is a key negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system and metabolizes angiotensin II (Ang II) into Ang 1 to 7. Ang II is a vasoactive peptide, which plays an important role in vascular disease. The objective of the present study was to define the role of ACE2 in pathological vascular remodeling. We found upregulation of ACE2 in dilated human aorta with bicuspid aortic valve and in murine aorta in response to Ang II. Ex vivo pressure myography showed increased vascular stiffness in ACE2 knockout (KO) mesenteric arteries in response to Ang II (1.5 mg/kg per day) and with aging. Histological analyses revealed reduced media-to-lumen ratio in ACE2KO mesenteric arteries with loss of vascular smooth muscle cells. Aortic vascular smooth muscle cells from ACE2KO mice showed markedly increased reactive oxygen species and apoptosis in response to Ang II along with increased cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-8 levels in the ACE2KO aorta. Ang II type 1 receptor blockade and Ang 1 to 7 supplementation prevented the increase in Ang II-induced reactive oxygen species and apoptotic cell death. In the aorta, Ang II resulted in thoracic and abdominal aortic dilation with loss of vascular smooth muscle cell density in ACE2KO aorta as revealed by ?-smooth muscle actin, calponin staining, and electron microscopy with increased promatrix metalloproteinase 2, matrix metalloproteinase 2, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 levels. ACE2 is upregulated in vascular diseases, and ACE2 deficiency exacerbates Ang II-mediated vascular remodeling driven by increased reactive oxygen species and vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis. In conclusion, the key counter-regulatory role of ACE2 against an activated renin-angiotensin system provides novel insights into the role of ACE2 in vascular diseases.
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Endothelial colony-forming cells derived from pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction are fewer and have reduced vasculogenic capacity.
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.
PUBLISHED: 10-08-2013
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Context: Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) are the only putative endothelial progenitor cells capable of vasculogenesis, and their dysfunction may represent a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a pregnancy-related disorder associated with long-term cardiovascular risk. Objective: Our objective was to determine whether ECFCs derived from pregnancies complicated by IUGR exhibit altered vasculogenic potential. Design and Setting: This was a prospective cohort study; patients were recruited at St. Marys Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom. Participants: Twenty-three women with normal pregnancies and 13 women with IUGR-complicated pregnancies at gestational ages above 37 weeks were included. Main Outcome Measures: Vasculogenic capacity of rigorously characterized ECFCs was investigated in vivo by measuring blood vessel formation in collagen/fibronectin gels implanted in mice; proliferative, migratory, and chemotactic abilities were assessed in cell culture. Placental uptake of fetal ECFCs, assessed by differences in arterial and venous cord blood content, was determined by flow cytometry. Results: In vivo, IUGR ECFCs formed fewer blood vessels (P < .001) and capillaries (P = .001) compared with normal pregnancy-derived ECFCs. In culture conditions, IUGR ECFCs had reduced proliferation (P = .01) and migration (P = .007) and diminished chemotactic abilities to stromal cell-derived factor 1 (P = .007) coupled with reduced hypoxia-induced matrix metalloproteinase-2 release (P = .02). Finally, in IUGR pregnancies, the number of ECFCs was lower in arterial cord blood (P = .002) and placental uptake of cells was reduced (P < .001). Conclusions: ECFCs derived from IUGR cord blood are rarefied and dysfunctional, resulting in diminished vasculogenic potential; this could be a cause of placental dysfunction in IUGR, with long-term postnatal implications for cardiovascular function in offspring.
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Arterial endothelium-derived hyperpolarization: potential role in pregnancy adaptations and complications.
J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 09-04-2013
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Pregnancy encompasses substantial changes in vascular function to accommodate dramatic increases in blood volume and uteroplacental blood flow to the growing fetus. Despite increased hemodynamics, decreased peripheral resistance results in a reduction in mean arterial blood pressure. Vascular tone, and hence peripheral resistance, is determined by a delicate balance of constrictor and dilator capacities. In the normal physiological response to pregnancy, endothelial-derived hyperpolarization (EDH) has been shown to be a major contributor; both EDH and nitric oxide (NO) are predominantly involved in providing an increased vascular capacity for vasodilation. The ability of EDH and NO to adequately accommodate increased blood volume is tested in pathological states such as placental insufficiency or diabetes and both EDH and NO-dependent mechanisms seem to be impacted in these situations. Pregnancy complications also have an impact on the cardiovascular health of the offspring. In adult offspring born from complicated pregnancies, the data suggest that EDH mechanisms are largely maintained, whereas NO is commonly reduced. A diversity of EDH mechanisms may be useful in providing many targets for potential therapeutic avenues for compromised pregnancies; however, further research delineating the mechanisms of EDH and the interactions of NO and EDH, in normal and pathological pregnancies is required.
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Prenatal hypoxia causes long-term alterations in vascular endothelin-1 function in aged male, but not female, offspring.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2013
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Prenatal hypoxia can alter the growth trajectory of the fetus and cause lasting health complications including vascular dysfunction. We hypothesized that offspring that were intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) because of prenatal hypoxia would exhibit altered vascular endothelin-1 (ET-1) signaling in later life. Isolated mesenteric artery responses to big ET-1 (bET-1) and ET-1 were assessed by using wire myography. Male IUGR offspring had 3-fold greater bET-1-induced vasoconstriction compared with controls (n=7 per group; P<0.001); NO synthase inhibition with L-N(G)-nitro-arginine-methyl ester potentiated bET-1-induced vasoconstriction, albeit this effect was 2-fold greater (P<0.05) in male control compared with IUGR offspring. Vascular responses to bET-1 were similar between female IUGR and control offspring (n=9-11 per group). In the presence of L-N(G)-nitro-arginine-methyl ester, pretreatment with the chymase inhibitor chymostatin, the gelatinase inhibitor GM6001, or the neutral endopeptidase inhibitor thiorphan did not alter responses to bET-1; however, the ET-converting enzyme inhibitor CGS35066 almost completely abolished vascular responses to bET-1 in control and IUGR groups. Systolic blood pressure in IUGR male offspring was more responsive to ET-1 antagonism in vivo compared with controls (-9 versus -4 mm Hg; n=5 per group; P=0.02); no such differences were observed in female offspring (n=5-6 per group). These results demonstrate that vascular ET-1 function is programmed by prenatal hypoxia and provide further insights into the sex differences in the long-term vascular effects of developmental stressors.
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Mechanisms of Estrogen Effects on the Endothelium: An Overview.
Can J Cardiol
PUBLISHED: 07-11-2013
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In this review, we aim to provide an overview of the recent advances in understanding estrogen effects on the vascular endothelium. Epidemiological studies suggest the female sex hormone estrogen mediates the relative protection of premenopausal women against cardiovascular disease, compared with age-matched men. However, results from clinical trials of exogenous estrogen supplementation in postmenopausal women have been disappointing, generating much controversy about the role of estrogen and demonstrating the need for further research in this field. Here we have discussed the roles of different estrogen receptors (ERs) such as ER?, ER?, and G-protein coupled receptor 30; the complex genomic and nongenomic signalling pathways downstream to ER activation and the factors such as age, menopause, pregnancy, and diabetes that might alter estrogen responses. The common themes of this discussion are the complexity and diversity of endothelial estrogen responses and their modulation by 1 or more coexisting factors. Finally, we summarize the emerging therapeutic options including improved targeting of individual ERs and signalling pathways that might maximize the therapeutic potential of estrogenic compounds while minimizing their harmful side effects.
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Enhanced trimethylation of histone h3 mediates impaired expression of hepatic glucose 6-phosphatase expression in offspring from rat dams exposed to hypoxia during pregnancy.
Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2013
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Given that hepatic glucose 6-phosphatase (G6Pase, involved in gluconeogenesis) has been demonstrated to be altered long term in animal models of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), we hypothesized that hypoxia in utero may regulate G6Pase expression via epigenetic mechanisms. To address this further, a rat model of maternal hypoxia leading to IUGR and impaired liver growth was utilized. In the 12-month-old male offspring of pregnant rat dams exposed to 11.5% atmospheric oxygen from gestational day (gd) 15 to gd 21, nonfasting glucose was lower in association with decreased hepatic G6Pase messenger RNA and protein levels. This was concomitant with enhanced methylation of histone H3 [K9] surrounding the promoter of G6Pase. Moreover, when McA-RH7777 hepatoma cells were exposed to various concentrations of oxygen for 48 hours, we observed an oxygen-dependent decrease in G6Pase expression associated with enhanced histone H3 [K9] methylation. Collectively, these results indicate that hypoxia directly and indirectly impairs G6Pase expression through enhanced methylation of histone H3 [K9].
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Fibrocyte-like cells from intrauterine growth restriction placentas have a reduced ability to stimulate angiogenesis.
Am. J. Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2013
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Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a common complication of pregnancy whereby the fetus fails to achieve its genetic growth potential. Malformation of the placental vasculature is observed in IUGR and may be due to the development of the placenta in a chronically hypoxic environment. Recently, we identified that the predominant stromal cells in the angiogenic zones of the placenta are fibrocyte-like cells. The conditioned medium from fibrocyte-like cells (FcCM) has been shown to stimulate angiogenesis in vitro. Thus, we hypothesized that FcCM from IUGR cells would have a reduced ability to stimulate angiogenesis and that chronic hypoxia would decrease the ability of both normal and IUGR fibrocyte-like cells to stimulate angiogenesis. IUGR FcCM had a reduced ability to stimulate endothelial tubule-like structure formation and an increased ability to stimulate endothelial migration compared with normal FcCM. However, normal and IUGR FcCM produced in chronic hypoxia did not alter endothelial proliferation, migration, or tubule-like structure formation. IUGR FcCM was found to have reduced levels of the pro-angiogenic cytokine IL-8 and increased levels of the anti-angiogenic factors activin-A and pigment epithelium-derived growth factor. Thus, alterations in the ability of IUGR fibrocyte-like cells to stimulate angiogenesis may contribute to the development of vascular malformation in IUGR, but in vitro these changes cannot be attributed to a chronically hypoxic environment.
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Bioactive natural constituents from food sources-potential use in hypertension prevention and treatment.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2013
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Prevention and management of hypertension are the major public health challenges worldwide. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may lead to a shortened life expectancy and a higher morbidity due to a high risk of cardiovascular complications such as coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and stroke, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm irregularities, and kidney failure etc. In recent years, it has been recognized that many dietary constituents may contribute to human cardiovascular health. There has been an increased focus on identifying these natural components of foods, describing their physiological activities and mechanisms of actions. Grain, vegetables, fruits, milk, cheese, meat, chicken, egg, fish, soybean, tea, wine, mushrooms, and lactic acid bacteria are various food sources with potential antihypertensive effects. Their main bioactive constituents include angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides, vitamins C and E, flavonoids, flavanols, cathecins, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, polyphenols, tannins, resveratrol, polysaccharides, fiber, saponin, sterols, as well as K, Ca, and P. They may reduce blood pressure by different mechanisms, such as ACE inhibition effect, antioxidant, vasodilatory, opiate-like, Ca(2+) channel blocking, and chymase inhibitory activities. These functional foods may provide new therapeutic applications for hypertension prevention and treatment, and contribute to a healthy cardiovascular population. The present review summarizes the antihypertensive food sources and their bioactive constituents, as well as physiological mechanisms of dietary products, especially focusing on ACE inhibitory activity.
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TIMP3 is the primary TIMP to regulate agonist-induced vascular remodelling and hypertension.
Cardiovasc. Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2013
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Hypertension is accompanied by structural remodelling of vascular extracellular matrix (ECM). Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) inhibits matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade the matrix structural proteins. In response to a hypertensive stimulus, the balance between MMPs and TIMPs is altered. We examined the role of TIMPs in agonist-induced hypertension.
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Resveratrol prevents hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in hypertensive rats and mice.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2013
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Resveratrol (RESV) is a polyphenol with pleiotropic effects that include reduction of oxidative stress and increased vascular nitric oxide (NO) production. However, whether or not RESV can prevent rises in blood pressure (BP) is controversial and remains to be firmly established. The purpose of this study was to determine whether RESV attenuates elevated BP and subsequent adaptive cardiac hypertrophy and to better understand the mechanisms involved. The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and the angiotensin (Ang)-II infused mouse were used as hypertensive models. Compared to a standard control diet, consumption of diets containing RESV by SHRs and Ang-II hypertensive mice, markedly prevented rises in systolic BP. In addition, flow-mediated vasodilation was significantly improved by RESV in SHRs. RESV also reduced serum and cardiac levels of the lipid peroxidation by-product, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal in the hypertensive rodents and inhibited the production of superoxide in human-derived endothelial cells. Analysis of mesenteric arteries from SHRs and Ang-II infused mice demonstrated that RESV increased endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation by enhancing the LKB1/adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signal transduction pathway. Moreover, RESV reduced hypertrophic growth of the myocardium through reduced hemodynamic load and inhibition of the p70 S6 kinase pro-hypertrophic signaling cascade. Overall, we show that high dose RESV reduces oxidative stress, improves vascular function, attenuates high BP and prevents cardiac hypertrophy through the preservation of the LKB1-AMPK-eNOS signaling axis.
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Uterine vasculature remodeling in human pregnancy involves functional macrochimerism by endothelial colony forming cells of fetal origin.
Stem Cells
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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The potency of adult-derived circulating progenitor endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) is drastically surpassed by their fetal counterparts. Human pregnancy is associated with robust intensification of blood flow and vascular expansion in the uterus, crucial for placental perfusion and fetal supply. Here, we investigate whether fetal ECFCs transmigrate to maternal bloodstream and home to locations of maternal vasculogenesis, primarily the pregnant uterus. In the first instance, endothelial-like cells, originating from mouse fetuses expressing paternal eGFP, were identified within uterine endothelia. Subsequently, LacZ or enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-labeled human fetal ECFCs, transplanted into immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) fetuses on D15.5 pregnancy, showed similar integration into the mouse uterus by term. Mature endothelial controls (human umbilical vein endothelial cells), similarly introduced, were unequivocally absent. In humans, SRY was detected in 6 of 12 myometrial microvessels obtained from women delivering male babies. The copy number was calculated at 175 [IQR 149-471] fetal cells per millimeter square endothelium, constituting 12.5% of maternal vessel lumina. Cross-sections of similar human vessels, hybridized for Y-chromosome, positively identified endothelial-associated fetal cells. It appears that through ECFC donation, fetuses assist maternal uterine vascular expansion in pregnancy, potentiating placental perfusion and consequently their own fetal supply. In addition to fetal growth, this cellular mechanism holds implications for materno-fetal immune interactions and long-term maternal vascular health.
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Propofol increases vascular relaxation in aging rats chronically treated with the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril.
Anesth. Analg.
PUBLISHED: 02-21-2013
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Both propofol use and advanced age are predictors of intraoperative hypotension. We previously demonstrated that propofol enhances vasodilation in mesenteric arteries from aged rats, partly due to increased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Patients chronically treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may exhibit refractory hypotension under general anesthesia. We hypothesized that propofol enhances NO-mediated vasodilation in arteries from aged rats chronically treated with ACE inhibitors.
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Structure and Activity Study of Egg Protein Ovotransferrin Derived Peptides (IRW and IQW) on Endothelial Inflammatory Response and Oxidative Stress.
J. Agric. Food Chem.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2013
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Egg protein ovotransferrin derived peptides (IRW and IQW) can attenuate tumor necrosis factor (TNF) induced inflammatory responses and oxidative stress in endothelial cells. The present study investigates the structural requirements and molecular mechanisms underlying these events. Whereas IRW significantly inhibited TNF-induced up-regulation of intercellular cell adhesion molecule-I (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-I (VCAM-1), IQW could inhibit only the up-regulation of ICAM-1. The anti-inflammatory effects of these peptides appeared to be mediated by the nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) pathway, which was differentially regulated by IRW and IQW. Both IRW and IQW exhibited antioxidant effects as shown by reduction of TNF-induced superoxide generation. The structural integrity of these peptides was essential for their activities, because dipeptides or the combination of constituent amino acids did not exhibit the same effect. This study demonstrated the significance of the structural integrity of these two tripeptides in attenuating endothelial inflammation and oxidative stress, indicating their potential as nutraceuticals.
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Matrix metalloproteinase enhances big-endothelin-1 constriction in mesenteric vessels of pregnant rats with reduced uterine blood flow.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2013
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Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity/mortality; however, the pathophysiological mechanisms are unclear. Vascular endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia has been partially attributed to changes in endothelin-1 (ET-1). Several enzymes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs; particularly MMP-2), cleave the inactive precursor big ET-1 (bET-1) to active ET-1. Notably, expression levels of MMP-2 have been shown to be on the increase in women who subsequently develop preeclampsia. We hypothesized that the increased MMP-2 expression leads to increased bET-1 conversion, thereby increasing vasoconstriction in preeclampsia. A reduced uteroplacental perfusion pressure (RUPP) model of preeclampsia in the rat was used to assess mesenteric artery vascular function. Responses to bET-1 (3-310 nmol/L) and ET-1 (1-200 nmol/L) were studied in the presence or absence of inhibitors of enzymes known to cleave bET-1. Vascular contractility in response to bET-1 was greater in RUPP than Sham (P<0.001), whereas neither responses to ET-1 nor maximal contractility to high potassium salt solution (123.70 mmol/L) were different. MMP inhibition with GM6001 (30 ?mol/L) significantly decreased responses to bET-1 in RUPP (P<0.001) but not Sham-operated rats. Interestingly, combined treatment with GM6001 and L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester (100 ?mol/L) revealed a NO modulation of MMPs that was reduced in RUPP. In summary, we found increased vascular contractility to bET-1 in the RUPP model of preeclampsia that was likely attributable to upstream enzymatic pathways. These data are consistent with a greater contribution of MMP to cleavage of bET-1 to ET-1 ex vivo in RUPP, suggesting that this enzyme may be partially responsible for increased bET-1-induced contractility.
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Pleiotropic actions of forskolin result in phosphatidylserine exposure in primary trophoblasts.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Forskolin is an extract of the Coleus forskholii plant that is widely used in cell physiology to raise intracellular cAMP levels. In the field of trophoblast biology, forskolin is one of the primary treatments used to induce trophoblastic cellular fusion. The syncytiotrophoblast (ST) is a continuous multinucleated cell in the human placenta that separates maternal from fetal circulations and can only expand by fusion with its stem cell, the cytotrophoblast (CT). Functional investigation of any aspect of ST physiology requires in vitro differentiation of CT and de novo ST formation, thus selecting the most appropriate differentiation agent for the hypothesis being investigated is necessary as well as addressing potential off-target effects. Previous studies, using forskolin to induce fusion in trophoblastic cell lines, identified phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization to be essential for trophoblast fusion and showed that widespread PS externalization is present even after fusion has been achieved. PS is a membrane phospholipid that is primarily localized to the inner-membrane leaflet. Externalization of PS is a hallmark of early apoptosis and is involved in cellular fusion of myocytes and macrophages. We were interested to examine whether PS externalization was also involved in primary trophoblast fusion. We show widespread PS externalization occurs after 72 hours when fusion was stimulated with forskolin, but not when stimulated with the cell permeant cAMP analog Br-cAMP. Using a forskolin analog, 1,9-dideoxyforskolin, which stimulates membrane transporters but not adenylate cyclase, we found that widespread PS externalization required both increased intracellular cAMP levels and stimulation of membrane transporters. Treatment of primary trophoblasts with Br-cAMP alone did not result in widespread PS externalization despite high levels of cellular fusion. Thus, we concluded that widespread PS externalization is independent of trophoblast fusion and, importantly, provide evidence that the common differentiation agent forskolin has previously unappreciated pleiotropic effects on trophoblastic cells.
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Egg-Derived Tri-Peptide IRW Exerts Antihypertensive Effects in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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There is a growing interest in using functional food components as therapy for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. We have previously characterized a tri-peptide IRW (Ile-Arg-Trp) from egg white protein ovotransferrin; this peptide showed anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor properties in vitro. Given the pathogenic roles played by angiotensin, oxidative stress and inflammation in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), we tested the therapeutic potential of IRW in this well-established model of hypertension.
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Effects of resveratrol in pregnancy using murine models with reduced blood supply to the uterus.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Preeclampsia (PE) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) contribute significantly to fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality. Although the causes of PE and FGR are not fully understood, both conditions are known to be associated with impaired uterine artery blood flow. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in a number of plants, has been shown to induce relaxation of uterine arteries in vitro as well as improve many pathological conditions associated with PE and FGR. We hypothesized that treatment of endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout mice (eNOS?/?) and catechol-O-methyltransferase knockout mice (COMT?/?) with resveratrol during pregnancy would improve uterine artery blood flow and therefore ameliorate the PE-like phenotype and FGR in these murine models. Pregnant C57BL/6J, eNOS?/? and COMT?/? mice received either resveratrol supplemented diet (4 g/kg diet) or control diet between gestational day (GD) 0.5 and GD 18.5. Resveratrol supplementation significantly increased uterine artery blood flow velocity and fetal weight in COMT?/? but not in eNOS?/? mice. There were no effects of resveratrol on litter size and placental weight among the groups. In conclusion, resveratrol increased uterine artery blood flow velocity and fetal weight in COMT?/? mice, suggesting potential as a therapeutic strategy for PE and FGR.
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Prenatal hypoxia is associated with long-term retinal dysfunction in rats.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) has been associated with increased predisposition to age-related complications. We tested the hypothesis that rat offspring models of IUGR would exhibit exacerbated, age-related retinal dysfunction.
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Estradiol attenuates high glucose-induced endothelial nitrotyrosine: role for neuronal nitric oxide synthase.
Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-30-2011
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Hyperglycemia in diabetes causes increased oxidative stress in the vascular endothelium with generation of free radicals such as superoxide. Peroxynitrite, a highly reactive species generated from superoxide and nitric oxide (NO), induces proinflammatory tyrosine nitration of intracellular proteins under such conditions. The female sex hormone estrogen appears to exert protective effects on the nondiabetic endothelium. However, several studies show reduced vascular protection in women with diabetes, suggesting alterations in estrogen signaling under high glucose. In this study, we examined the endothelial effects of estrogen under increasing glucose levels, focusing on nitrotyrosine and peroxynitrite. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were incubated with normal (5.5 mM) or high (15.5 or 30.5 mM) glucose before addition of estradiol (E2, 1 or 10 nM). Selective NO synthase (NOS) inhibitors were used to determine the role of specific NOS isoforms. Addition of E2 significantly reduced high glucose-induced increase in peroxynitrite and consequently, nitrotyrosine. The superoxide levels were unchanged, suggesting effects on NO generation. Inhibition of neuronal NOS (nNOS) reduced high glucose-induced nitrotyrosine, demonstrating a critical role for this enzyme. E2 increased nNOS activity under normal glucose while decreasing it under high glucose as determined by its phosphorylation status. These data show that nNOS contributes to endothelial peroxynitrite and subsequent nitrotyrosine generation under high glucose, which can be attenuated by E2 through nNOS inhibition. The altered regulation of nNOS by E2 under high glucose is a potential therapeutic target in women with diabetes.
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Effect of exercise on vascular superoxide dismutase expression in high-risk pregnancy.
Am J Perinatol
PUBLISHED: 08-03-2011
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Endothelial dysfunction of the maternal vasculature induced by pro-oxidants may contribute to the development of preeclampsia. Obesity results in vascular inflammation and oxidative stress and is therefore a risk factor for preeclampsia. Regular exercise is known to induce antioxidants. We recently demonstrated that stretchers (subjects who performed low-intensity exercises) had a lower incidence of preeclampsia as opposed to walkers (moderate-intensity exercise; 2.6% versus 14.6%). We now seek to determine the possible protective mechanisms. We hypothesized that stretchers will have higher vascular levels of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) and plasma transferrin levels, an antioxidant marker. We conducted immunohistochemical analyses of blood vessels embedded in fat biopsy samples obtained during cesarean sections from women who were randomized to either stretching ( N?=?6) or walking ( N?=?5) exercises. In addition, levels of plasma transferrin were measured. SOD expression was increased ( P?
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Continued postnatal administration of resveratrol prevents diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rat offspring born growth restricted.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2011
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A prenatal hypoxic insult leading to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) increases the susceptibility to develop metabolic syndrome (MetS) later in life. Since resveratrol (Resv), the polyphenol produced by plants, exerts insulin-sensitizing effects, we tested whether Resv could prevent deleterious metabolic effects of being born IUGR.
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Role of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase in estrogen-induced relaxation in rat resistance arteries.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2011
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Estrogen has antihypertensive and vasorelaxing properties, partly via activation of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS). Recently, neuronal nitric-oxide synthase (nNOS) has been detected in vascular cells, although the significance of this is unclear. Estrogen was found to stimulate nNOS in certain cultured cells. We hypothesized that estrogen regulates vascular tone partly via endothelium-derived nNOS. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were used to test whether acute (5 min) stimulation with 17?-estradiol (E2) at 1 or 10 nM affected nNOS activity. Small mesenteric arteries from Sprague-Dawley rats were examined for relaxation to E2 (0.001-10 ?M) in the absence or presence of selective nNOS inhibitor [N-propyl-L-arginine (L-NPA); 2 ?M] or pan-NOS inhibitor [N?-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME); 100 ?M] using a wire myograph. Immunostaining was used to visualize nNOS in rat mesenteric artery cross-sections. Western blotting measured total and phospho-nNOS in endothelial cell lysates and thoracic aorta homogenates. E2 rapidly increased (p < 0.001) activating phosphorylation of nNOS and nitric oxide (NO) production (as measured by 4-amino-5-methylamino-2,7-difluorofluorescein fluorescence) in endothelial cells. Likewise, E2 caused dose-dependent relaxation of arteries from female rats, which was blunted by both l-NPA and l-NAME (p < 0.001). In contrast, E2 response was modest in male animals and unaffected by NOS inhibition. It is noteworthy that there was a greater baseline presence of phospho-nNOS in male relative to female aortas. Although eNOS is believed to be the main source of NO in the vascular endothelium, we confirmed nNOS expression in endothelial cells. Endothelial nNOS mediated E2 relaxation in isolated arteries from female animals. Altogether, these data suggest vascular nNOS as a novel mechanism in E2 signaling.
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The early origins of cardiovascular health and disease: who, when, and how.
Semin. Reprod. Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-27-2011
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Almost 30 years ago, a series of epidemiological studies popularized the early programming theory that had resulted from observed associations between low birthweight and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality later in life. Since then, several clinical and experimental models have been created to understand the principles and mechanisms of this fascinating phenomenon and describe its relevance to the pathophysiology of cardiovascular and many other chronic diseases. Despite the growing body of published evidence, the specific mechanisms mediating early programming effects are still elusive. Moreover, many controversial issues have arisen regarding the characteristics of the most commonly used clinical and experimental models, the existence of potential windows of susceptibility for different organs, and the presence of sex differences in its pathophysiology. Therefore, this review synthesizes some of the antecedents behind the early programming theory and discusses some of the controversial issues surrounding it. Early programming has been extensively linked to several chronic diseases; however, for the purposes of this review we have concentrated on the potential role of this entity in the pathophysiology of chronic cardiovascular diseases.
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The interaction between endothelin-1 and nitric oxide in the vasculature: new perspectives.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2011
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Nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) are natural counterparts in vascular function, and it is becoming increasingly clear that an imbalance between these two mediators is a characteristic of endothelial dysfunction and is important in the progression of vascular disease. Here, we review classical and more recent data that suggest that ET-1 should be regarded as an essential component of NO signaling. In particular, we review evidence of the role of ET-1 in models of acute and chronic NO synthase blockade. Furthermore, we discuss the possible mechanisms by which NO modulates ET-1 activity. On the basis of these studies, we suggest that NO tonically inhibits ET-1 function, and in conditions of diminished NO bioavailability, the deleterious effects of unmitigated ET-1 actions result in vasoconstriction and eventually lead to vascular remodeling and dysfunction.
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Hypoxia-induced intrauterine growth restriction increases the susceptibility of rats to high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2011
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It is recognized that there is a remarkable variability in the systemic response to high-fat (HF) diets that cannot be completely explained by genetic factors. In addition, pregnancy complications leading to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) have been associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MetS) later in life. Thus, we hypothesized that offspring born with IUGR exhibit permanent metabolic changes that make them more susceptible to HF diet-induced MetS.
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Effect of gestational diabetes on maternal artery function.
Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2011
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Endothelial dysfunction has been observed systemically in women with gestational diabetes (GDM). Important cardiovascular adaptations occur during pregnancy, including enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilation in systemic and uterine arteries, which are necessary to ensure the health of both mother and fetus. The effects of GDM, however, on uterine artery function and the possible mechanisms that mediate endothelial dysfunction remain unknown. The aim of this study was to utilize a mouse model of GDM to investigate (a) effects on uteroplacental flow, (b) endothelial function of uterine and mesenteric arteries, and (c) possible mechanisms of any dysfunction observed. Pregnant mice heterozygous for a leptin receptor mutation (Lepr(db) (/+); He) spontaneously develop GDM and were compared to wild-type (WT) mice at day 18.5 of gestation. Uterine artery flow was assessed using ultrasound biomicroscopy. Uterine and mesenteric artery function was assessed using wire myography. Arterial superoxide production was measured using oxidative fluorescence microphotography. In vivo uteroplacental perfusion was impaired in mice with GDM, indicated by a significant increase in uterine artery resistance index. Maximal endothelium-dependent relaxation to methacholine was significantly impaired in mesenteric arteries from mice with GDM, while sensitivity was significantly reduced in uterine arteries. Both uterine and mesenteric arteries from mice with GDM exhibited a greater dependence on nitric oxide and increased superoxide production compared with those from mice with a healthy pregnancy. A significant source of superoxide in GDM mice was uncoupled nitric oxide synthase. These changes may contribute to the development of some of the fetal and maternal complication associated with GDM.
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Long-term effects of intrauterine growth restriction on cardiac metabolism and susceptibility to ischaemia/reperfusion.
Cardiovasc. Res.
PUBLISHED: 11-19-2010
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Adult offspring who are born intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) are at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases during adulthood. Additionally, several cardiac diseases are associated with changes in myocardial energy metabolism. However, the potential long-term effects of being born IUGR on cardiac energetics are unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term effect of IUGR on cardiac performance and energy metabolism under aerobic conditions and after ischaemia/reperfusion (IR) injury.
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Egg-Derived Peptide IRW Inhibits TNF-?-Induced Inflammatory Response and Oxidative Stress in Endothelial Cells.
J. Agric. Food Chem.
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2010
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Oxidative stress and vascular inflammatory response are key mediators of endothelial dysfunction that leads to cardiovascular diseases. A novel peptide, IRW, was previously characterized from egg protein with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory activity. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects and molecular mechanisms of IRW on regulating inflammatory response in endothelial cells. The results showed that tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) significantly increased the protein levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), whereas pretreatment with IRW inhibited TNF-?-induced increases of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and MCP-1 production in a concentration-dependent manner. IRW also reduced the levels of superoxide ions in the presence and absence of TNF-?. These results indicate the potential role of IRW in preventing cardiovascular disease as a functional food ingredient or nutraceutical.
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TGF? and EGF synergistically induce a more invasive phenotype of epithelial ovarian cancer cells.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 09-06-2010
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The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is associated with progression and metastasis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Snail and Slug (two members of the Snail family of transcription factors) down-regulate the expression of the adhesion molecule E-cadherin and thus function as positive regulators of EMT. Their expression is associated with a more invasive phenotype of EOC. However, how their expression in EOC cells is regulated needs to be further defined. Here, we show that transforming growth factor ? (TGF?) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) synergistically induce the expression of Slug and Snail at both mRNA and protein levels in an EOC cell line OVCA429 cells. Using specific chemical inhibitors, we demonstrate that Slug and Snail expression induced by TGF? is mediated by TGF?/ALK5 pathway, and EGF-induced expression of Slug and Snail is MEK1/2-dependent. Interestingly, TGF?-induced Slug expression is also MEK1/2-dependent. Further, we demonstrate that combined TGF? and EGF stimulation is more potent than either alone in repressing the expression of E-cadherin. Functionally, combined stimulation of TGF? and EGF enhances the mobility of OVCA429 cells and induces the production of MMP2 by OVCA429 cells more potently than either alone. Taken together, our data demonstrate that TGF? and EGF signaling pathways synergistically induce EMT and render EOC cells a more invasive phenotype.
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Calorie restriction prevents hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2010
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Because recent evidence demonstrated that calorie restriction (CR) has numerous beneficial cardiovascular effects, we investigated whether short-term CR could reduce hypertension and prevent cardiac hypertrophy inherent to the nonobese spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). After 5 weeks of either ad libitum feeding or short-term CR, SHRs subjected to short-term CR had lower systolic blood pressure (BP) and reduced left ventricular wall thickness as assessed by noninvasive tail-cuff BP measurements and echocardiography, respectively. In addition, ultrasound measurements of the femoral artery revealed that flow-mediated vasodilation was significantly improved in SHRs with CR compared to controls. Moreover, pressure myography of isolated mesenteric arteries and subsequent histological and biochemical analysis of these arteries demonstrated that short-term CR improved vascular compliance, increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity and nitric oxide bioavailability, and reduced vascular remodeling compared to ad libitum-fed SHRs. Although these effects are likely multifactorial, they were associated with elevated levels of the circulating adipokine, adiponectin, and enhanced AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity. To provide evidence that elevated adiponectin levels in the SHR is sufficient to prevent an increase in BP, adenoviral-mediated overexpression of adiponectin increased circulating levels of adiponectin, reduced BP, and activated the AMPK/eNOS pathway in the absence of CR. Overall, our findings provide compelling evidence that short-term CR exerts beneficial effects in the SHR via stimulation of an adiponectin/AMPK/eNOS signaling axis. As a result, CR may serve as an effective nonpharmacological treatment of hypertension, and targeting the adiponectin/AMPK/eNOS pathway may improve treatment of hypertension.
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Restraint stress up-regulates lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 in aorta of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.
Stress
PUBLISHED: 07-30-2010
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Psychological stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including atherosclerosis, but the mechanisms are unknown. The vascular lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) is involved in vascular pathology and early atherogenesis. We hypothesized that LOX-1 is up-regulated by psychological stress via the formation of oxygen-derived free radicals, and that treatment with EUK-8 (a superoxide dismutase and catalase mimetic) prevents production of oxygen-derived free radicals and leads to reduced expression of LOX-1 in the vascular wall. As a model for psychological stress, we exposed male apolipoprotein E-deficient mice to repeated restraint stress by placement in a conical tube for 2 h per day for 14 consecutive days. Stressed and control mice were treated with EUK-8 (n = 4-5) or vehicle (n = 4-5). Reactive oxygen species and peroxynitrite levels, as detected by oxidative fluorescence microscopy, were increased in the aortic root of mice exposed to stress compared to those of controls by 212 +/- 22% (mean +/- SEM; p < 0.001) and 110 +/- 6% (p < 0.001), respectively. LOX-1, as detected by immunohistochemistry, was increased by 443 +/- 63% in stressed mice compared to control mice (p < 0.001). EUK-8 reduced reactive oxygen species, peroxynitrite, and LOX-1 levels in stressed mice compared to vehicle-treated stressed mice. To conclude, LOX-1 induced by reactive oxygen species and/or peroxynitrite could be one mechanism by which stress promotes cardiovascular disease.
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Inhibition of trophoblast-induced spiral artery remodeling reduces placental perfusion in rat pregnancy.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2010
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Rats harboring the human angiotensinogen and human renin genes develop preeclamptic features in pregnancy. The preeclamptic rats exhibit a deeper trophoblast invasion associated with a reduced resistance index by uterine Doppler. Doxycycline inhibits matrix metalloproteinase activity. We tested the hypothesis that matrix metalloproteinase inhibition reduces trophoblast invasion with subsequent changes in placental perfusion. Preeclamptic and pregnant control Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with doxycycline (30 mg/kg of body weight orally) from gestational day 12 until day 18. Placental perfusion was assessed using a micromarker contrast agent. The animals were euthanized on day 18 of pregnancy; biometric data were acquired, and trophoblast invasion was analyzed. Doxycycline resulted in intrauterine growth retardation and lighter placentas in both groups. Maternal body weight was not affected. As shown earlier, preeclamptic rats exhibited a deeper endovascular trophoblast invasion. However, doxycycline treatment reduced trophoblast invasion in the preeclamptic rats. The physiological spiral artery remodeling, as assessed by the deposition of fibrinoid and alpha-actin in the spiral artery contour, was significantly reduced by doxycycline. The vascularity index, as assessed by perfusion measurement of the placenta, was reduced after doxycycline treatment in preeclamptic rats. Thus, matrix metalloproteinase inhibition with doxycycline leads to reduced trophoblast invasion and associated reduced placental perfusion. These studies are the first to show that reducing trophoblast-induced vascular remodeling decreases subsequent placental perfusion. Our model allows the study of dysregulated trophoblast invasion and vascular remodeling in vivo to gain important insights into preeclampsia-related mechanisms.
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Previous gestational diabetes impairs long-term endothelial function in a mouse model of complicated pregnancy.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-16-2010
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Women who develop gestational diabetes mellitis (GDM) display endothelial dysfunction up to 1 yr after pregnancy, despite a return to normoglycemia. It is unknown whether this dysfunction was preexisting or whether GDM pregnancy leads to long-term endothelial dysfunction. A mouse model that spontaneously develops GDM (Lepr(db/+)) was used to determine whether the endothelial dysfunction that develops during GDM is evident in later life. Heterozygous and wild-type (WT) controls were allowed to litter once, then age to 9-10 mo, and were compared with virgin controls. Vascular function of small mesenteric arteries was assessed using wire myography. Concentration response curves to the thromboxane A(2)mimetic U46619 and the endothelium-dependent vasodilator methacholine were constructed. Superoxide production and peroxynitrite formation was also measured. Mice with previous GDM displayed blood glucose concentrations similar to previously pregnant WT mice (8.0 +/- 0.1 vs. 7.1 +/- 0.3 mmol/l, P > 0.05). Arteries from mice with previous GDM displayed increased sensitivity to U46619 (EC(50) 5.2 +/- 0.7 vs. 45.2 +/- 1.0 nmol/l, P < 0.01) and impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation compared with WT controls (29 +/- 8 vs. 58 +/- 16 percent relaxation, P < 0.05). This was associated with increased superoxide production (93.3 +/- 2.3 vs. 64.6 +/- 1.6 mean fluorescence intensity, P < 0.001) and increased peroxynitrite formation (173.5 +/- 11.0 vs. 57.4 +/- 16.2 mean fluorescence intensity, P < 0.01) compared with virgin controls. In summary, endothelial dysfunction was evident in mice with previous GDM compared with previously healthy pregnant mice or virgin controls. These data suggest that GDM affects endothelial function and may contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Effect of peroxynitrite scavenging on endothelial cells stimulated by plasma from women with preeclampsia: a proteomic approach.
Hypertens Pregnancy
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2010
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Increased peroxynitrite formation in endothelial cells incubated with plasma from women with preeclampsia alters the expression of specific endothelial proteins.
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Ovariectomy in aged versus young rats augments matrix metalloproteinase-mediated vasoconstriction in mesenteric arteries.
Menopause
PUBLISHED: 02-10-2010
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Ovarian deficiency is known to undermine vasoprotective mechanisms and accelerate cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. In a rat model of menopause (aged ovariectomized [Ovx] rats), we recently revealed a vasoconstrictor pathway mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) via cleavage of big endothelin-1 (ET-1). However, the specific impact of aging and/or Ovx on this pathway remains unknown. We hypothesized that aging exacerbates MMP-mediated vasoconstriction in an ovary-deficient state.
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Endothelin in the female vasculature: a role in aging?
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2010
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Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Aging is associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Premenopausal women are relatively protected from vascular alterations compared with age-matched men, likely due to higher levels of the female sex hormones. However, these vasoprotective effects in women are attenuated after menopause. Thus, the vascular system in aging women is affected by both the aging process as well as loss of hormonal protection, positioning women of this age group at a high risk for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The endothelin system in general and endothelin-1 (ET-1) in particular plays an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular dysfunction associated with aging. Evidence suggests that the female sex steroids can interfere with the vascular expression and actions of ET-1 via several mechanisms, which may further contribute to pathological processes in the vasculature of aging women. In this review, we have summarized hormone-dependent vascular pathways whereby ET-1 may mediate the deleterious effects of aging in postmenopausal females.
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Tumor necrosis factor induces matrix metalloproteinases in cardiomyocytes and cardiofibroblasts differentially via superoxide production in a PI3Kgamma-dependent manner.
Am. J. Physiol., Cell Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 12-09-2009
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Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is an inflammatory cytokine that is upregulated in a number of cardiomyopathies. Adverse cardiac remodeling and dilation result from degradation of the extracellular matrix by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We investigated whether TNF can directly trigger expression and activation of MMPs in cardiac cells. We compared MMP expression profile and activities between primary cultures of mouse neonatal cardiomyocytes and cardiofibroblasts and in cellular and extracellular compartments. In response to recombinant TNF (rTNF, 20 ng/ml), cardiomyocytes exhibited faster and more pronounced superoxide production compared with cardiofibroblasts, concomitant with increased expression of several MMPs. MMP9 levels increased more rapidly and about twofold more in cardiomyocytes than in cardiofibroblasts. TNF did not induce MMP2 expression. Expression of collagenases (MMP8, MMP12, MMP13, and MMP14) increased significantly, while total collagenase activity increased to a greater degree in conditioned medium of cardiomyocytes than in cardiofibroblasts. rTNF-mediated MMP expression and activation were dependent on superoxide production and were blocked by apocynin, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor. We identified phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)gamma as a key factor in TNF-mediated events since TNF-induced superoxide production, MMP expression, and activity were significantly suppressed in cardiomyocytes and cardiofibroblasts deficient in PI3Kgamma. We further demonstrated that the TNF-superoxide-MMP axis of events is in fact activated in heart disease in vivo. Wild-type and TNF(-/-) mice subjected to cardiac pressure overload revealed that TNF deficiency resulted in reduced superoxide levels, collagenase activities, PI3K activity, and fibrosis leading to attenuated cardiac dilation and dysfunction. Our study demonstrates that TNF triggers expression and activation of MMPs faster and stronger in cardiomyocytes than in cardiofibroblasts in a superoxide-dependent manner and via activation of PI3Kgamma, thereby contributing to adverse myocardial remodeling in disease.
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17beta-Estradiol induces protein S-nitrosylation in the endothelium.
Cardiovasc. Res.
PUBLISHED: 11-13-2009
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Estrogen induces nitric oxide (NO) in the endothelium and appears to protect against inflammation and atherosclerosis. NO can induce post-translational protein modifications such as cysteine S-nitrosylation in the cellular proteins which may exert anti-inflammatory effects. However, whether estrogen can induce protein S-nitrosylation in the endothelium is not known. Given this background, we investigated the role of 17beta-estradiol (E2beta), the major form of estrogen in the body, on endothelial protein S-nitrosylation.
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Evidence for increased methylglyoxal in the vasculature of women with preeclampsia: role in upregulation of LOX-1 and arginase.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 08-17-2009
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Preeclampsia is characterized by vascular endothelial dysfunction partly attributed to oxidative stress. In the vasculature of preeclamptic women, we have shown increased lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor 1 (LOX-1) and arginase expression, which can contribute to vascular oxidative stress. However, the mechanisms of such upregulation are unknown. Methylglyoxal (MG) that plays a role in the vascular complications of diabetes mellitus and the development of hypertension can be one potential factor that can affect LOX-1 and arginase through its ability to induce oxidative stress in vascular cells. MG also reacts with lysine residues in proteins to generate advanced glycation end product, N(epsilon)-carboxy ethyl lysine, which also serves as a marker of MG. We hypothesized that markers of MG formation will be increased in the vasculature of preeclamptic women and that exogenous MG will induce oxidative stress by the upregulation of LOX-1 via arginase. We observed increased N(epsilon)-carboxy ethyl lysine expression in the vasculature of women with preeclampsia in comparison with normotensive pregnant women. Moreover, glyoxalase I and II, enzymes that detoxify MG, and glutathione reductase, which generates reduced glutathione, a cofactor for glyoxalase, are also reduced in preeclampsia. In cultured endothelial cells, MG increased arginase expression by 6 hours and LOX-1 expression by 24 hours. Inhibition of arginase or NO synthase significantly reduced MG-induced LOX-1 expression, superoxide levels, and nitrotyrosine staining. In conclusion, MG-induced LOX-1 expression is mediated via arginase upregulation likely because of uncoupling of NO synthase, which may have implications in preeclampsia.
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Sodium tanshinone IIA sulfonate increased intestinal hemodynamics without systemic circulatory changes in healthy newborn piglets.
Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 07-17-2009
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In traditional Chinese medicine, tanshinone IIA is a lipid-soluble component of Danshen that has been widely used for various cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders, including neonatal asphyxia. Despite promising effects, little is known regarding the hemodynamic effects of tanshinone IIA in newborn subjects. To examine the dose-response effects of sodium tanshinone IIA sulfonate (STS) on systemic and regional hemodynamics and oxygen transport, 12 newborn piglets were anesthetized and acutely instrumented for the placement of femoral arterial and venous, pulmonary arterial catheters to measure mean arterial, central venous, and pulmonary arterial pressures, respectively. The blood flow at the common carotid, renal, pulmonary, and superior mesenteric (SMA) arteries were continuously monitored after treating the piglets with either STS (0.1-30 mg/kg iv) or saline treatment (n = 6/group). To further delineate the underlying mechanisms for vasorelaxant effects of STS, in vitro vascular myography was carried out to compare its effect on rat mesenteric and carotid arteries (n = 4-5/group). STS dose-dependently increased the SMA blood flow and the corresponding oxygen delivery with no significant effect on systemic and pulmonary, carotid and renal hemodynamic parameters. In vitro studies also demonstrated that STS selectively dilated rat mesenteric but not carotid arteries. Vasodilation in mesenteric arteries was inhibited by apamin and TRAM-34 (calcium-activated potassium channel inhibitors) but not by meclofenamate (cyclooxygenase inhibitor) or N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor). In summary, without significant hemodynamic effects on newborn piglets, intravenous infusion of STS selectively increased mesenteric perfusion in a dose-dependent manner, possibly via an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor vasodilating pathway.
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The effects of propofol on vascular function in mesenteric arteries of the aging rat.
Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2009
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Hypotension following administration of propofol, an anesthetic agent, is strongly predicted by advanced age and is partly due to direct vasodilation. We hypothesized that propofol increases nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation by enhancing its bioavailability in the aged adult vasculature, leading to greater vasodilation than in the young adult. Small mesenteric arteries from rats aged 13-15 versus 3 to 4 mo were compared in this study. Reactivity to propofol (1-100 microM) alone and with the addition of acetylcholine (ACh; 0.1-10 microM) in endothelial-intact and dunuded arteries following phenylephrine constriction was assessed using myography. N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and meclofenamate (Meclo) were used to inhibit NO and prostaglandin synthesis, respectively. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase were used as antioxidants during ACh relaxation and were compared with propofol in aging arteries. Propofol alone induced greater relaxation in 1) endothelial-intact compared with denuded arteries and 2) aged compared with young arteries, which were inhibited by L-NAME. ACh-induced relaxation was greater in young compared with aged control arteries; however, propofol pretreatment increased this relaxation in aged but not in young arteries. Additionally, propofol inhibited ACh-induced relaxation in arteries treated with L-NAME + Meclo [relaxation attributed to endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)]. Pretreatment with SOD and catalase increased relaxation to ACh in aged arteries similar to propofol. In conclusion, propofol causes relaxation in small mesenteric arteries in an endothelial-dependent and independent manner and increases ACh-induced relaxation in aged arteries. Interestingly, propofol inhibits EDHF-mediated relaxation but increases availability of NO, which leads to overall vascular relaxation.
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Estrogen replacement increases matrix metalloproteinase contribution to vasoconstriction in a rat model of menopause.
J. Hypertens.
PUBLISHED: 05-05-2009
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Estrogen deficiency has been implicated in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal hypertension; yet hormone replacement therapy has controversial effects on the cardiovascular risk. Surprisingly, the effects of estrogen in the aging vascular system have been understudied. Aging is associated with vascular inflammation [elevated tumor necrosis factor (TNF)]. TNF is an activator of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that can have vasoactive properties by specific cleavage of big endothelin-1 (ET-1). We hypothesized that MMPs are downstream mediators of vascular dysfunction in aging/estrogen deficiency.
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Uterine artery function in a mouse model of pregnancy complicated by diabetes.
Vascul. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2009
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It has been demonstrated previously that endothelium-dependent vasodilatation is impaired in myometrial arteries from women with gestational diabetes, which may play a role in mediating complications observed in diabetic pregnancies. It is not known which aspects of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation are impaired, thus a mouse model of pregnancy complicated by streptozotocin-induced diabetes was established to investigate underlying mechanisms. Uterine arteries from term-pregnant, diabetic and control C57Bl6/J mice were assessed using acetylcholine (ACh; 10(-10)-10(-5)M) in the presence or absence of a nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor (L-NNA; 10(-5)M), a cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor (indomethacin; 10(-5)M) or the two in combination. Sensitivity to ACh was comparable between diabetic and control mice. However, the contribution of endothelium-dependent vasodilators was significantly altered. L-NNA significantly inhibited the relaxation of arteries from diabetic compared to control mice (65+/-11% vs 18+/-6%; p<.05). L-NNA and indomethacin significantly inhibited the relaxation of arteries from diabetic mice compared to control (87+/-5% vs 33+/-14%; p<0.05). These data indicate that endothelium-dependent relaxation of the uterine artery of control, pregnant mice was largely mediated by the non-NO/non-COX component. Surprisingly, arteries from diabetic mice were primarily dependent on NO, which may affect compensatory capacity as the disease progresses.
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High glucose-induced oxidative stress alters estrogen effects on ERalpha and ERbeta in human endothelial cells: reversal by AMPK activator.
J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2009
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Estrogen appears to protect against cardiovascular disease in pre-menopausal women. However, these protective effects are absent in women with diabetes. The hyperglycemia and consequent oxidative stress observed in diabetes cause endothelial dysfunction, but specific effects on endothelial estrogen responses are not known. In this study, we hypothesized that high glucose conditions would alter the regulation of the estrogen receptors (ERs), ERalpha and ERbeta, in endothelial cells, possibly through increased oxidative stress. The role of the AMPK activator AICAR was examined on modulating the effects of high glucose. Cultured human endothelial cells were exposed to physiologically relevant doses of 17-beta-estradiol (E2) for 24h in presence of normal (5.5mM) and high (30.5mM) levels of glucose. Protein levels of estrogen receptors, ERalpha and ERbeta, were measured through western blotting. Oxidative stress was measured by the dihydroethidium (DHE) assay for superoxide. Under normal glucose, E2 increased the levels of ERalpha relative ERbeta; however, high glucose reversed the estrogen effects on endothelial ER expression. AMPK activation restored the physiological estrogen responses, likely through amelioration of oxidative stress. Control of oxidative stress by AMPK activation or anti-oxidants could restore normal estrogen responses even in presence of hyperglycemia.
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Increased lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 expression in the maternal vasculature of women with preeclampsia: role for peroxynitrite.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2009
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Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder unique to pregnancy, in which the placenta may release factors into the maternal circulation resulting in systemic effects. Small dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL; which is susceptible for oxidation) is increased in preeclampsia. Lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) is a receptor for oxidized LDL. However, the expression levels and the regulation of LOX-1 in the maternal vasculature of women with preeclampsia are unknown. We hypothesized that there is an increased LOX-1 expression in arteries from women with preeclampsia. We further hypothesized that circulating factors in the plasma of women with preeclampsia would upregulate the LOX-1 expression in vascular endothelial cells and contribute to vascular endothelial oxidative stress. We observed abundant LOX-1 expression and the presence of oxidized LDL in arteries from women with preeclampsia, which was negligible in arteries from normotensive pregnant women. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells treated for 24 hours with 2% plasma from preeclamptic women increased LOX-1 expression and oxidized LDL uptake, as well as induced oxidative stress, as evidenced by increased NADPH oxidase activity and superoxide and peroxynitrite levels. These effects were significantly reduced by pretreatment with blocking antibody or small interfering RNA to LOX-1, as well as 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrinato iron (III), chloride (FeTPPS), a peroxynitrite scavenger. Exogenous peroxynitrite and 3-morpholino sydnonimine (SIN-1) increased LOX-1 protein and mRNA expression. In conclusion, increased LOX-1 expression in the systemic vasculature of preeclampsia women provides a fundamental insight into the pathology of preeclampsia and likely contributes to the induction and maintenance of vascular oxidative stress.
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Effects of hypoxia-induced intrauterine growth restriction on cardiopulmonary structure and function during adulthood.
Cardiovasc. Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2009
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Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a condition affecting 7-15% of all pregnancies, is associated with an increased mortality rate during adulthood. Several animal models have been developed to study the effects of IUGR during adulthood. However, the in vivo characteristics of these models are still unknown. The main aim of this work was to evaluate, in vivo, the effects of IUGR on cardiopulmonary structure and function during adulthood.
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Maternal stress and development of atherosclerosis in the adult apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse offspring.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2009
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Stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis. Stress during pregnancy (maternal stress) may have long-term consequences for the health of the offspring. However, it is not known whether maternal stress affects the offsprings predisposition to develop atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is often related to vascular endothelial dysfunction. We hypothesized that maternal stress affects vascular endothelial function and accelerates development of atherosclerosis in offspring of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, a model commonly used for atherosclerosis research. Stress was induced by restraining dams in small cylinders for five consecutive days (2 h/day) beginning on gestational day 8 +/- 0.5. Vascular function and development of atherosclerosis in the aorta were determined in male and female offspring at 11-15 wk of age (with early lesions) and at 22-26 wk of age (with established lesions). Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was determined using methacholine (0.0001-10 micromol/l) in the absence or presence of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (l-NAME; 100 micromol/l). Male offspring (11-15 wk old) from stressed dams were less dependent on nitric oxide for relaxation compared with controls (l-NAME inhibition: 38 +/- 10 vs. 69 +/- 6%, P < 0.05). Atherosclerotic lesion area was larger in male and female 25- to 26-wk-old offspring from stressed dams compared with corresponding controls [median (interquartile range): males: 6.8 (5.4-7.7) vs. 5.1 (4.4-5.5), P < 0.05, females: 10.0 (8.9-10.9) vs. 7.0 (4.7-8.7), P < 0.05]. In conclusion, maternal stress renders the apolipoprotein E-deficient offspring more susceptible to develop atherosclerosis.
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Inhibition of lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein-1 receptor protects against plasma-mediated vascular dysfunction associated with pre-eclampsia.
Am. J. Hypertens.
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Pre-eclampsia (PE) is associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress initiated by impaired trophoblast invasion. Oxidative stress modifies circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidized LDL (oxLDL). Lectin-like oxLDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) is a scavenger receptor for oxLDL. We hypothesized that plasma from patients with PE alters LOX-1 in normal human vessels during pregnancy, causing oxLDL-induced impairment of vascular function.
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G-protein coupled receptor 30 (GPR30): a novel regulator of endothelial inflammation.
PLoS ONE
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Estrogen, the female sex hormone, is known to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects. Traditionally, estrogen effects were believed to be largely mediated through the classical estrogen receptors (ERs). However, there is increasing evidence that G-protein coupled receptor 30 (GPR30), a novel estrogen receptor, can mediate many estrogenic effects on the vasculature. Despite this, the localization and functional significance of GPR30 in the human vascular endothelium remains poorly understood. Given this background, we examined the subcellular location and potential anti-inflammatory roles of GPR30 using human umbilical vein endothelial cells as a model system. Inflammatory changes were induced by treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in atherogenesis and many other inflammatory conditions. We found that GPR30 was located predominantly in the endothelial cell nuclei. Treatment with the selective GPR30 agonist G-1 partially attenuated the TNF induced upregulation of pro-inflammatory proteins such as intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). This effect was completely abolished by the selective GPR30 antagonist G-15, suggesting that it was indeed mediated in a GPR30 dependent manner. Interestingly, estrogen alone had no effects on TNF-treated endothelium. Concomitant activation of the classical ERs blocked the anti-inflammatory effects of G-1, indicating opposing effects of GPR30 and the classical ERs. Our findings demonstrate that endothelial GPR30 is a novel regulator of the inflammatory response which could be a potential therapeutic target against atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.
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Estradiol modulates tumor necrosis factor-induced endothelial inflammation: role of tumor necrosis factor receptor 2.
J. Vasc. Res.
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The sex hormone estradiol (E(2)) appears to mediate both anti-atherogenic and pro-inflammatory effects in premenopausal women, suggesting a complex immunomodulatory role. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a key pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases. Alterations at the TNF receptors (TNFRs) and their downstream signaling/transcriptional pathways can affect inflammatory responses. Given this background, we hypothesized that chronic E(2) exposure would alter endothelial inflammatory response involving modulation at the levels of TNFRs and signaling pathways. HUVECs were used as the model system. Pre-treatment with E(2) did not significantly alter TNF-induced upregulation of pro-inflammatory molecules ICAM-1 (3-6 times) and VCAM-1 (5-7 times). However, pharmacological inhibition of transcriptional pathways suggested a partial shift from NF-?B (from 97 to 64%) towards the JNK/AP-1 pathway in ICAM-1 upregulation on E(2) treatment. In contrast, VCAM-1 expression remained NF-?B dependent in both control (?96%) and E(2) treated (?85%) cells. The pro-inflammatory TNF effects were mediated by TNFR1. Interestingly, E(2) pre-treatment increased TNFR2 levels in these cells. Concomitant TNFR2 activation (but not TNFR1 activation alone) led to the shift towards JNK/AP-1-mediated ICAM-1 upregulation in E(2)-treated cells, suggesting the effects of chronic E(2) to be dependent on TNFR2 signaling.
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Proteasome inhibition decreases inflammation in human endothelial cells exposed to lipopolysaccharide.
J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol.
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The proteasome degrades ubiquitinated proteins and is the major pathway for intracellular protein degradation. The role of the proteasome in endothelial dysfunction observed in septic shock remains unknown. We stimulated primary cultures of human umbilical vein endothelial cells with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and investigated effects on the proteasome. We hypothesized that proteasome inhibition would decrease endothelial cell activation, oxidative stress, and alter the proteome.
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Synergistic effects of prenatal hypoxia and postnatal high-fat diet in the development of cardiovascular pathology in young rats.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
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We have previously shown that adult offspring exposed to a prenatal hypoxic insult leading to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are more susceptible to cardiovascular pathologies. Our objectives were to evaluate the interaction between hypoxia-induced IUGR and postnatal diet in the early development of cardiovascular pathologies. Furthermore, we sought to determine whether the postnatal administration of resveratrol could prevent the development of cardiovascular disorders associated with hypoxia-induced IUGR. On day 15 of pregnancy, Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to hypoxia (11.5% oxygen), to induce IUGR, or normal oxygen (control) groups. For study A, male offspring (3 wk of age) were randomly assigned a low-fat (LF, <10% fat) or a high-fat (HF, 45% fat) diet. For study B, offspring were randomized to either HF or HF+resveratrol diets. After 9 wk, cardiac and vascular functions were evaluated. Prenatal hypoxia and HF diet were associated with an increased myocardial susceptibility to ischemia. Blood pressure, in vivo cardiac function, and ex vivo vascular function were not different among experimental groups; however, hypoxia-induced IUGR offspring had lower resting heart rates. Our results suggest that prenatal insults can enhance the susceptibility to a second hit such as myocardial ischemia, and that this phenomenon is exacerbated, in the early stages of life by nutritional stressors such as a HF diet. Supplementing HF diets with resveratrol improved cardiac tolerance to ischemia in offspring born IUGR but not in controls. Thus we conclude that the additive effect of prenatal (hypoxia-induced IUGR) and postnatal (HF diet) factors can lead to the earlier development of cardiovascular pathology in rats, and postnatal resveratrol supplementation prevented the deleterious cardiovascular effects of HF diet in offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia.
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Altered neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the aging vascular system: implications for estrogens therapy.
Endocrinology
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Ovarian dysfunction at any age is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in women; however, therapeutic effects of exogenous estrogens are age dependent. Estradiol (E2) activates neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in vascular cells. Because nNOS is prone to uncoupling under unfavorable biochemical conditions (as seen in aging), E2 stimulation of nNOS may lack vascular benefits in aging. Small mesenteric arteries were isolated from female Sprague Dawley rats, 3 or 12 months old, who were ovariectomized (Ovx) and treated with placebo or E2 for 4 wk. Vascular relaxation to exogenous E2 (0.001-100 ?mol/liter) ± selective nNOS inhibitor (N-propyl-l-arginine, 2 ?mol/liter) or pan-NOS inhibitor [N?-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), 100 ?mol/liter] was examined on wire myograph. NOS expression was measured by Western blotting in thoracic aortas, in which superoxide generation was detected as dihydroethidium (DHE) fluorescence. E2 relaxations were impaired in Ovx conditions. E2 treatment (4 wk) normalized vascular function in young rats only. Both l-N-propyl-l-arginine and l-NAME blunted E2 relaxation in young controls, but only l-NAME did so in aging controls. NOS inhibition had no effect on acute E2 relaxation in Ovx rats, regardless of age or treatment. nNOS expression was similar in all animal groups. However, nNOS inhibition increased DHE fluorescence in young controls, whereas it reduced it in aging or Ovx animals. In E2-treated animals of either age, superoxide production was NOS independent. In conclusion, nNOS contributed to vascular relaxation in young, but not aging rats, where its enzymatic function shifted toward superoxide production. Thus, nNOS dysfunction may explain a mechanism of impaired E2 signaling in aging conditions.
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ACE2 deficiency enhances angiotensin II-mediated aortic profilin-1 expression, inflammation and peroxynitrite production.
PLoS ONE
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Inflammation and oxidative stress play a crucial role in angiotensin (Ang) II-mediated vascular injury. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has recently been identified as a specific Ang II-degrading enzyme but its role in vascular biology remains elusive. We hypothesized that loss of ACE2 would facilitate Ang II-mediated vascular inflammation and peroxynitrite production. 10-week wildtype (WT, Ace2(+/y)) and ACE2 knockout (ACE2KO, Ace2(-/y)) mice received with mini-osmotic pumps with Ang II (1.5 mg.kg?¹.d?¹) or saline for 2 weeks. Aortic ACE2 protein was obviously reduced in WT mice in response to Ang II related to increases in profilin-1 protein and plasma levels of Ang II and Ang-(1-7). Loss of ACE2 resulted in greater increases in Ang II-induced mRNA expressions of inflammatory cytokines monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin (IL)-1?, and IL-6 without affecting tumor necrosis factor-? in aortas of ACE2KO mice. Furthermore, ACE2 deficiency led to greater increases in Ang II-mediated profilin-1 expression, NADPH oxidase activity, and superoxide and peroxynitrite production in the aortas of ACE2KO mice associated with enhanced phosphorylated levels of Akt, p70S6 kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Interestingly, daily treatment with AT1 receptor blocker irbesartan (50 mg/kg) significantly prevented Ang II-mediated aortic profilin-1 expression, inflammation, and peroxynitrite production in WT mice with enhanced ACE2 levels and the suppression of the Akt-ERK-eNOS signaling pathways. Our findings reveal that ACE2 deficiency worsens Ang II-mediated aortic inflammation and peroxynitrite production associated with the augmentation of profilin-1 expression and the activation of the Akt-ERK-eNOS signaling, suggesting potential therapeutic approaches by enhancing ACE2 action for patients with vascular diseases.
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Influence of constriction, wall tension, smooth muscle activation and cellular deformation on rat resistance artery vasodilator reactivity.
Cell. Physiol. Biochem.
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This study investigated how vasoconstriction (tone), wall tension, smooth muscle activation, and vascular wall deformation influence resistance artery vasodilator reactivity. Resistance arteries, from two different regional circulations (splanchnic, uterine) and from pregnant and non-pregnant rats, were cannulated and pressurized, or mounted on a wire myograph under isometric conditions prior to being exposed to both endothelium-dependent (acetylcholine, ACh) and -independent (sodium nitroprusside, SNP) vasodilator agonists. A consistent pattern of reduced vasodilator sensitivity was noted as a function of extent of preconstriction for both agonists noted in pressurized arteries. A similar pattern regarding activation was noted in wire-mounted arteries in response to SNP but not ACh. Wall tension proved to be a major determinant of vascular smooth muscle vasodilator reactivity and its normalization reversed this pattern, as more constricted vessels were more sensitive to ACh relaxation without any change in SNP sensitivity, suggesting that endothelial deformation secondary to vasoconstriction augments its vasodilator output. To our knowledge, this is the first study to dissect out the complex interplay between biophysical forces impinging on VSM (pressure, wall tension), the ambient level of tone (vasoconstriction, smooth muscle cell activation), and consequences of cellular (particularly endothelial) deformation secondary to constriction in determining resistance artery vasodilatory reactivity.
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Mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in resistance arteries from patients with end-stage renal disease.
PLoS ONE
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The study focuses on the mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in the uremic milieu. Subcutaneous resistance arteries from 35 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and 28 matched controls were studied ex-vivo. Basal and receptor-dependent effects of endothelium-derived factors, expression of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), prerequisites for myoendothelial gap junctions (MEGJ), and associations between endothelium-dependent responses and plasma levels of endothelial dysfunction markers were assessed. The contribution of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) to endothelium-dependent relaxation was impaired in uremic arteries after stimulation with bradykinin, but not acetylcholine, reflecting the agonist-specific differences. Diminished vasodilator influences of the endothelium on basal tone and enhanced plasma levels of asymmetrical dimethyl L-arginine (ADMA) suggest impairment in NO-mediated regulation of uremic arteries. eNOS expression and contribution of MEGJs to EDHF type responses were unaltered. Plasma levels of ADMA were negatively associated with endothelium-dependent responses in uremic arteries. Preserved responses of smooth muscle to pinacidil and NO-donor indicate alterations within the endothelium and tolerance of vasodilator mechanisms to the uremic retention products at the level of smooth muscle. We conclude that both EDHF and NO pathways that control resistance artery tone are impaired in the uremic milieu. For the first time, we validate the alterations in EDHF type responses linked to kinin receptors in ESRD patients. The association between plasma ADMA concentrations and endothelial function in uremic resistance vasculature may have diagnostic and future therapeutic implications.
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Vascular aging and hemodynamic stability in the intraoperative period.
Front Physiol
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The proportion of elderly people in the population is steadily increasing, and the inevitable consequence is that this subpopulation is more frequently represented in common medical procedures and surgeries. Understanding the circulatory changes that accompany the aging process is therefore becoming increasingly timely and relevant. In this short review, we discuss aspects of vascular control in aging that are particularly relevant in the maintenance of intraoperative hemodynamic stability. We subsequently review the effects of certain notable anesthetic agents with respect to the aging vasculature.
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Neuronal nitric oxide synthase regulates endothelial inflammation.
J. Leukoc. Biol.
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NO, produced by the endothelium, is a modulator of vascular inflammation. Traditionally, eNOS was believed to be the primary source of NO in the endothelium. However, recent data suggest an important role for nNOS in the endothelium, although little is known about factors regulating this novel eNOS. We examined the localization, regulation, and significance of endothelial nNOS in this study. Primary HUVECs were used as a model system. Inflammatory changes were induced by stimulation with TNF. We report that unlike eNOS, nNOS is predominantly localized to the nucleus of resting endothelial cells. This nNOS also contributed to basal NO production in the resting endothelium. Ablation of endothelial nNOS by pharmacological inhibition (using L-NPA) or siRNA further enhanced cytokine-mediated inflammatory responses, such as up-regulation of VCAM-1 and proinflammatory cytokines, as well as increased leukocyte recruitment. Based on these findings, we suggest a potential anti-inflammatory role of endothelial nNOS that can attenuate unopposed, proinflammatory cytokine actions. Our data indicate a novel location and an immunoregulatory role for nNOS in the endothelium.
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Effect of the anti-oxidant tempol on fetal growth in a mouse model of fetal growth restriction.
Biol. Reprod.
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Fetal growth restriction (FGR) greatly increases the risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality and is associated with increased uterine artery resistance and levels of oxidative stress. There are currently no available treatments for this condition. The hypothesis that the antioxidant 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl (Tempol) would improve uterine artery function and rescue fetal growth was tested in a mouse model of FGR, using the endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout mouse (Nos3(-/-)). Pregnant Nos3(-/-) and control C57BL/6J mice were treated with the superoxide dismutase-mimetic Tempol (1 mmol/L) or vehicle from Gestational Day 12.5 to 18.5. Tempol treatment significantly increased pup weight (P < 0.05) and crown-rump length (P < 0.01) in C57BL/6J and Nos3(-/-) mice. Uterine artery resistance was increased in Nos3(-/-) mice (P < 0.05); Tempol significantly increased end diastolic velocity in Nos3(-/-) mice (P < 0.05). Superoxide production in uterine arteries did not differ between C57BL/6J and Nos3(-/-) mice but was significantly increased in placentas from Nos3(-/-) mice (P < 0.05). This was not reduced by Tempol treatment. Placental System A activity was reduced in Nos3(-/-) mice (P < 0.01); this was not improved by treatment with Tempol. Treatment of Nos3(-/-) mice with Tempol, however, was associated with reduced vascular density in the placental bed (P < 0.05). This study demonstrated that treatment with the antioxidant Tempol is able to improve fetal growth in a mouse model of FGR. This was associated with an increase in uterine artery blood flow velocity but not an improvement in uterine artery function or placental System A activity.
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Administration of the PARP inhibitor Pj34 ameliorates the impaired vascular function associated with eNOS(-/-) mice.
Reprod Sci
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A low-resistance/high-flow uteroplacental circulation is integral to a healthy pregnancy. Impaired flow in the uterine circulation is associated with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and preeclampsia (PE). Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a nuclear enzyme which has been associated with oxidative stress-induced vascular dysfunction. Using the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS(-/ -)) knockout mouse model, which features vascular dysfunction and IUGR, we tested the hypothesis that administration of a PARP inhibitor may ameliorate the vascular dysfunction associated with the eNOS(-/-) model. eNOS(-/-) animals were characterized by impaired uterine artery function when compared to controls. Administration of the PARP inhibitor PJ34 prevented this dysfunction. Gestational day (GD) 17.5 eNOS(-/-) mice did not exhibit altered systolic blood pressure when compared to control mice. However, treatment of eNOS(-/-) mice with PJ34 significantly reduced systolic blood pressure when compared to vehicle-treated eNOS(-/-). Administration of a PARP inhibitor protects uterine artery function in the face of eNOS(-/-) deficiency.
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Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein 1 receptor in a reduced uteroplacental perfusion pressure rat model of preeclampsia.
Hypertension
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Preeclampsia is a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality that has been associated with endothelial dysfunction attributed, in part, to dyslipidemia, an imbalance in angiogenic factors and oxidative stress. One of the many factors that have been shown to be elevated in women with preeclampsia is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the more oxidizable, small dense LDL, which can lead to increased vascular oxidative stress and decreased bioavailability of NO. Lectin-like oxidized LDL-1 receptor (LOX-1) is a specific receptor for oxidized LDL. We hypothesized that a reduction of placental perfusion using a rat model of reduced uteroplacental perfusion pressure would result in enhanced LOX-1 expression in the maternal vasculature causing impaired vascular endothelial function through the actions of increased superoxide production and decreased NO-mediated vasodilation. We demonstrated a significant increase in the expression of the LOX-1 receptor (4.3-fold; P=0.002), endothelial NO synthase (2.7-fold; P=0.001), and superoxide (P=0.02) in thoracic aorta of the reduced uteroplacental perfusion pressure model, whereas maximal vasodilator function was modestly decreased (P<0.05). Endothelial-dependent vasodilator function was unaffected by either oxidized LDL or an LOX-1 receptor inhibitor in controls but was modestly increased in the presence of both oxidized LDL and the LOX-1 receptor inhibitor in reduced uteroplacental perfusion pressure (P=0.03). In summary, we have shown that, in a rat model of preeclampsia, there is a dramatic increase in the expression levels of both the LOX-1 receptor and the endothelial NO synthase enzyme, along with evidence of increased superoxide production and subsequent modestly decreased endothelial function.
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Sildenafil citrate rescues fetal growth in the catechol-O-methyl transferase knockout mouse model.
Hypertension
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Preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction are responsible for the majority of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with complicated pregnancies. Although their etiologies are complex and multifactorial, both are associated with increased uterine artery resistance. Sildenafil citrate is able to rescue the dysfunction observed ex vivo in uterine arteries of women with preeclampsia. The ability of sildenafil citrate to increase uterine artery vasodilation, thereby decreasing uterine artery resistance and, hence, ameliorated preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction, was tested in a mouse model of preeclampsia, the catechol-O-methyl transferase knockout mouse (COMT(-/-)). COMT(-/-) and C57BL/6J mice were treated (0.2 mg/mL in drinking water, n=6-12) from gestational day 12.5 to 18.5. Measures of pup growth, including body weight, crown/rump length, and abdominal circumference, were reduced in COMT(-/-) mice; this was normalized after treatment with Sildenafil. COMT(-/-) mice also demonstrated abnormal umbilical Doppler waveforms, including reverse arterial blood flow velocity. This was normalized after treatment with Sildenafil. Abnormal uterine artery Doppler waveforms were not demonstrated in COMT(-/-) mice, although ex vivo responses of uterine arteries to phenylephrine were increased; moreover, treatment with Sildenafil did improve ex vivo sensitivity to an endothelium-dependent vasodilator. The data presented here demonstrate that Sildenafil can rescue pup growth and improve abnormal umbilical Doppler waveforms, providing support for a potential new therapeutic strategy targeting fetal growth restriction.
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