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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Elimination of vitamin d receptor in vascular endothelial cells alters vascular function.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 09-08-2014
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Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with cardiovascular dysfunction. We evaluated the role of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in vascular endothelial function, a marker of cardiovascular health, at baseline and in the presence of angiotensin II, using an endothelial-specific knockout of the murine VDR gene. In the absence of endothelial VDR, acetylcholine-induced aortic relaxation was significantly impaired (maximal relaxation, endothelial-specific VDR knockout=58% versus control=73%; P<0.05). This was accompanied by a reduction in endothelial NO synthase expression and phospho-vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein levels in aortae from the endothelial-specific VDR knockout versus control mice. Although blood pressure levels at baseline were comparable at 12 and 24 weeks of age, the endothelial VDR knockout mice demonstrated increased sensitivity to the hypertensive effects of angiotensin II compared with control mice (after 1-week infusion: knockout=155±15 mm Hg versus control=133±7 mm Hg; P<0.01; after 2-week infusion: knockout=164±9 mm Hg versus control=152±13 mm Hg; P<0.05). By the end of 2 weeks, angiotensin II infusion-induced, hypertrophy-sensitive myocardial gene expression was higher in endothelial-specific VDR knockout mice (fold change compared with saline-infused control mice, type-A natriuretic peptide: knockout mice=3.12 versus control=1.7; P<0.05; type-B natriuretic peptide: knockout mice=4.72 versus control=2.68; P<0.05). These results suggest that endothelial VDR plays an important role in endothelial cell function and blood pressure control and imply a potential role for VDR agonists in the management of cardiovascular disease associated with endothelial dysfunction.
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Serotonin and sensory nerves: Meeting in the cardiovascular system.
Vascul. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 08-30-2014
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Blood pressure regulation by 5-HT has proven to be a complex story to unravel. The work by Cuesta et al., in this issue of Vascular Pharmacology adds another layer of complexity by providing sound in vivo data that 5-HT, through the 5-HT7 receptor, can inhibit the vasodepressor actions of the sensory nervous system and thereby promote blood pressure maintenance. This interaction of 5-HT with the sensory nervous system is inhibitory, whereas 5-HT is understood to be stimulatory in other systems. Moreover, activation of the 5-HT7 receptor has been linked to both reduction and elevation of blood pressure. These interactions are discussed in this mini-review, as are potential steps forward in understanding the interplay of 5-HT, the sensory nervous system and blood pressure.
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Tissue transglutaminase promotes serotonin-induced AKT signaling and mitogenesis in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells.
Cell. Signal.
PUBLISHED: 08-23-2014
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Tissue transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a multifunctional enzyme that cross-links proteins with monoamines such as serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) via a transglutamidation reaction, and is associated with pathophysiologic vascular responses. 5-HT is a mitogen for pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) that has been linked to pulmonary vascular remodeling underlying pulmonary hypertension development. We previously reported that 5-HT-induced PASMC proliferation is inhibited by the TG2 inhibitor monodansylcadaverine (MDC); however, the mechanisms are poorly understood. In the present study we hypothesized that TG2 contributes to 5-HT-induced signaling pathways of PASMCs. Pre-treatment of bovine distal PASMCs with varying concentrations of the inhibitor MDC led to differential inhibition of 5-HT-stimulated AKT and ROCK activation, while p-P38 was unaffected. Concentration response studies showed significant inhibition of AKT activation at 50?M MDC, along with inhibition of the AKT downstream targets mTOR, p-S6 kinase and p-S6. Furthermore, TG2 depletion by siRNA led to reduced 5-HT-induced AKT activation. Immunoprecipitation studies showed that 5-HT treatment led to increased levels of serotonylated AKT and increased TG2-AKT complex formations which were inhibited by MDC. Overexpression of TG2 point mutant cDNAs in PASMCs showed that the TG2 C277V transamidation mutant blunted 5-HT-induced AKT activation and 5-HT-induced PASMC mitogenesis. Finally, 5-HT-induced AKT activation was blunted in SERT genetic knock-out rat cells, but not in their wild-type counterpart. The SERT inhibitor imipramine similarly blocked AKT activation. These results indicate that TG2 contributes to 5-HT-induced distal PASMC proliferation via promotion of AKT signaling, likely via its serotonylation. Taken together, these results provide new insight into how TG2 may participate in vascular smooth muscle remodeling.
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The persistence of active smooth muscle in the female rat cervix through pregnancy.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 08-06-2014
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A controversy exists as to whether functional smooth muscle exists in the cervix before and during pregnancy, potentially continuous with the uterus. We hypothesized that cervical smooth muscle persists through pregnancy and is functional.
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Divergent signaling mechanisms for venous versus arterial contraction as revealed by endothelin-1.
J. Vasc. Surg.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2014
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Venous function is underappreciated in its role in blood pressure determination, a physiologic parameter normally ascribed to changes in arterial function. Significant evidence points to the hormone endothelin-1 (ET-1) as being important to venous contributions to blood pressure. We hypothesized that the artery and vein should similarly depend on the signaling pathways stimulated by ET-1, specifically phospholipase C (PLC) activation. This produces two functional arms of signaling: diacylglycerol (DAG; protein kinase C [PKC] activation) and inositol trisphosphate (IP3) production (intracellular calcium release).
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Chemerin connects fat to arterial contraction.
Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 04-04-2013
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Obesity and hypertension are comorbid in epidemic proportion, yet their biological connection is largely a mystery. The peptide chemerin is a candidate for connecting fat deposits around the blood vessel (perivascular adipose tissue) to arterial contraction. We presently tested the hypothesis that chemerin is expressed in perivascular adipose tissue and is vasoactive, supporting the existence of a chemerin axis in the vasculature.
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Long-term inhibition of xanthine oxidase by febuxostat does not decrease blood pressure in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rats.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2013
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Xanthine oxidase and its products, uric acid and ROS, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension. We have previously reported that allopurinol inhibition of XO does not alter the progression of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertension in rats. However other researchers have observed a reduction in blood pressure after allopurinol treatment in the same model. To resolve this controversy, in this study we used the newer and more effective XO inhibitor febuxostat, and hypothesized that a more complete XO blockade might impair hypertension development and its end-organ consequences. We used DOCA-salt hypertensive rats and administered vehicle (salt water) or febuxostat (orally, 5 mg/kg/day in salt water) in a short-term "reversal" experiment (2 weeks of treatment 3 weeks after DOCA-salt beginning) and a long-term "prevention" experiment (treatment throughout 4 weeks of DOCA-salt). We confirmed XO inhibition by febuxostat by measuring circulating and tissue levels of XO metabolites. We found an overall increase in hypoxanthine (XO substrate) and decrease in uric acid (XO product) levels following febuxostat treatment. However, despite a trend for reduced blood pressure in the last week of long-term febuxostat treatment, no statistically significant difference in hemodynamic parameters was observed in either study. Additionally, no change was observed in relative heart and kidney weight. Aortic media/lumen ratio was minimally improved by long-term febuxostat treatment. Additionally, febuxostat incubation in vitro did not modify contraction of aorta or vena cava to norepinephrine, angiotensin II or endothelin-1. We conclude that XO inhibition is insufficient to attenuate hypertension in the rat DOCA-salt model, although beneficial vascular effects are possible.
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Indoleamine 2,3-diooxygenase in periaortic fat: mechanisms of inhibition of contraction.
Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2011
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Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) metabolizes L-tryptophan to L-kynurenine, promotes immunosuppression, and has been described as a consumer of superoxide. We discovered IDO expression in periaortic fat and tested the hypothesis that periarterial IDO functionally reduces agonist-induced contraction. Our model was the thoracic aorta, abdominal aorta, and superior mesenteric artery of the male Sprague-Dawley rat. Periaortic fat from the thoracic aorta stained intensely for IDO, the brown fat marker uncoupling protein-1, and oil red O as a general lipid marker. White fat around the mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta stained less for IDO; brown fat was less abundant. IDO activity (kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio via HPLC) was detected in visceral and mesenteric artery fat (ratio: ?4) but was highest in perithoracic aortic fat (ratio: 10 ± 1.1). In isometric contractile experiments, periadventitial fat reduced ANG II-induced thoracic aortic (with fat: 34% of without fat) and mesenteric artery (with fat: 63% of without fat) maximal contraction. In contrast, periadventitial fat did not reduce agonist-induced contraction in the abdominal aorta. The IDO inhibitor 1-L-methyltryptophan (1-MT) reversed the fat-induced reduction of ANG II-induced contraction in the thoracic aorta but not in the mesenteric artery. The IDO metabolite kynurenine relaxed the thoracic aorta only at high (9 mM) concentrations, whereas the downstream metabolite quinolinic acid (1 mM) relaxed the contracted thoracic aorta (?80%). 1-MT did not correct the reduction in basal superoxide levels observed in the presence of perithoracic aortic fat. We conclude that IDO is an enzyme active primarily in brown fat surrounding the thoracic aorta and depresses aortic contractility.
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Drug Delivery: Enabling Technology for Drug Discovery and Development. iPRECIO Micro Infusion Pump: Programmable, Refillable, and Implantable.
Front Pharmacol
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2011
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Successful drug delivery using implantable pumps may be found in over 12,500 published articles. Their versatility in delivering continuous infusion, intermittent or complex infusion protocols acutely or chronically has made them ubiquitous in drug discovery and basic research. The recent availability of iPRECIO(®), a programmable, refillable, and implantable infusion pump has made it possible to carry out quantitative pharmacology (PKPD) in single animals. When combined with specialized catheters, specific administration sites have been selected. When combined with radiotelemetry, the physiologic gold standard, more sensitive and powerful means of detecting drug induced therapeutic, and/or adverse effects has been possible. Numerous application examples are cited from iPRECIO(®) use in Japan, United States, and Europe with iPRECIO(®) as an enabling drug delivery device where the refillable and programmability functionality were key benefits. The ability to start/stop drug delivery and to have control periods prior dosing made it possible to have equivalent effects at a much lower dose than previously studied. Five different iPRECIO(®) applications are described in detail with references to the original work where the implantable, refillable, and programmable benefits are demonstrated with their different end-points.
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Characterization of vabicaserin (SCA-136), a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 2C receptor agonist.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2011
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The 5-hydroxytryptamine 2C (5-HT(2C)) receptor subtype has received considerable attention as a target for drug discovery, having been implicated in a wide variety of disorders. Here, we describe the in vitro pharmacological profile of the novel 5-HT(2C) receptor-selective agonist vabicaserin [(-)-4,5,6,7,9,9a,10,11,12,12a-decahydrocyclopenta[c] [1,4]diazepino[6,7,1-ij]quinoline hydrochloride] (SCA-136), including a comprehensive strategy to assess 5-HT(2B) receptor selectivity using diverse preparations and assays of receptor activation. Vabicaserin displaced (125)I-(2,5-dimethoxy)phenylisopropylamine binding from human 5-HT(2C) receptor sites in Chinese hamster ovary cell membranes with a K(i) value of 3 nM and was >50-fold selective over a number of serotonergic, noradrenergic, and dopaminergic receptors. Binding affinity determined for the human 5-HT(2B) receptor subtype using [(3)H]5HT was 14 nM. Vabicaserin was a potent and full agonist (EC(50), 8 nM; E(max), 100%) in stimulating 5-HT(2C) receptor-coupled calcium mobilization and exhibited 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonism and 5-HT(2B) antagonist or partial agonist activity in transfected cells, depending on the level of receptor expression. In rat stomach fundus and human colonic longitudinal muscle endogenously expressing 5-HT(2B) receptors, vabicaserin failed to induce a 5-HT(2B) receptor-dependent contraction and produced a rightward shift of the 5-HT and ?-methyl-5-HT concentration-response curves in these preparations, respectively, consistent with 5-HT(2B) competitive antagonism. Likewise, vabicaserin failed to induce a 5-HT(2B) receptor-mediated contraction in arteries from deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt-treated rats, a model of hypersensitized 5-HT(2B) receptor function, and produced a rightward shift in the 5-HT-induced response that was consistent with 5-HT(2B) receptor antagonism. In summary, vabicaserin is a novel, potent, and selective 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist.
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Comparison of the function of the serotonin transporter in the vasculature of male and female rats.
Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2011
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1. The serotonin transporter (SERT) handles serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) and is blocked by the antidepressant SERT inhibitors fluoxetine and fluvoxamine. Although the importance of SERT in the central nervous system is clear, SERT also functions in the peripheral vasculature. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the vasculature from female rats has increased SERT function compared with male rats because females are more responsive to SERT inhibitors. 2. In addition to in vitro experiments, in vivo experiments were used to evaluate how male and female rats handle chronically elevated levels of 5-HT. Wild-type (WT) and SERT-knockout (SERT-KO) rats were infused with 5-HT (25 ?g/kg per min) for 7 days by minipump. 3. Using HPLC analysis, we demonstrated that blood vessels (aorta, carotid artery, jugular vein and vena cava) from naïve, non-infused female rats took up 5-HT acutely in vitro in a SERT-dependent manner. In in vitro experiments, SERT affected the contractility of aortas from female rats, as evidenced by an eightfold increase in potency of 5-HT in fluvoxamine (1 ?mol/L)-incubated WT aortas compared with control. Fluvoxamine did not alter 5-HT-induced contraction in aortas from SERT-KO female rats. 4. Infusion of 5-HT resulted in an increase in tissue 5-HT that was reduced to a larger extent in blood vessels from female than male SERT-KO rats. Aortic contractions to 5-HT were abolished in aortas from male and female 5-HT-infused SERT-KO rats compared with WT rats. 5. Collectively, these data suggest that SERT function, when challenged with 5-HT, is modestly more important in the vasculature of the female compared with male rat.
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Serotonin transporter interacts with the PDGF? receptor in PDGF-BB-induced signaling and mitogenesis in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.
Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 12-24-2010
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The serotonin transporter (SERT) and the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) have been implicated in both clinical and experimental pulmonary hypertension (PH) and the facilitation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) growth. To gain a better understanding of the possible relationship of these two cell surface molecules we have explored interactions between SERT and PDGFR. We have previously demonstrated that SERT transactivates PDGFR? in serotonin-stimulated PASMC proliferation. We now provide evidence for a role for SERT in PDGF-BB signaling and PASMC proliferation by using pharmacological inhibitors, genetic ablation, and construct overexpression of SERT. The results show that four tested SERT blockers dose dependently inhibit PDGF-stimulated human and bovine PASMC proliferation with comparable efficacy to that of PDGFR inhibitors, whereas 5-HT1B or 5-HT2A receptor inhibitors had no effect. Combinations of the SERT and PDGFR inhibitors led to synergistic/additive inhibition. Similarly, PDGF-induced PASMC proliferation was attenuated by small interfering RNA downregulation of SERT. Inhibition of SERT in PASMCs attenuated PDGF-induced phosphorylation of PDGFR?, Akt, and p38 but not Erk. Overexpression of SERT in HEK293 cells led to enhanced Akt phosphorylation by PDGF, which was blunted by a SERT PDZ motif mutant, indicating the mechanistic need for the PDZ motif of SERT in PDGF signaling. Furthermore, coimmunoprecipitation experiments showed that SERT and PDGFR? become physically associated upon PDGF stimulation. In total, the data show for the first time an important interactive relationship between SERT and the PDGFR? in the production of PASMC proliferation triggered by PDGF that may be important in PH.
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Allopurinol does not decrease blood pressure or prevent the development of hypertension in the deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt rat model.
J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2010
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Reactive oxygen species play an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension, disease in which reactive oxygen species levels and markers of oxidative stress are increased. Xanthine oxidase (XO) is a reactive oxygen species-producing enzyme the activity of which may increase during hypertension. Studies on XO inhibition effects on blood pressure have yielded controversial results. We hypothesized that XO inhibition would decrease blood pressure or attenuate the development of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertension. We administered the XO inhibitor, allopurinol (50 mg/kg per day, orally) or its vehicle to rats during the established or development stages of DOCA-salt hypertension. We validated XO inhibition by high-performance liquid chromatography measurements of XO metabolites in urine, serum, and tissues demonstrating a decrease in products, increase in substrates, and detection of the active metabolite of allopurinol, oxypurinol. We monitored blood pressure continuously through radiotelemetry and performed gross evaluations of target organs of hypertension. Allopurinol treatment did not impact the course of DOCA-salt hypertension regardless of the timing of administration. Aside from a significant decrease in pulse pressure in allopurinol-treated rats, no positive differences were observed between the allopurinol and the vehicle-treated rats. We conclude that XO does not play an important role in the development or maintenance of hypertension in the rat DOCA-salt hypertension model.
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Adenoviral inhibition of AT1a receptors in the paraventricular nucleus inhibits acute increases in mean arterial blood pressure in the rat.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-11-2010
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Brain and peripheral renin-angiotensin systems are important in blood pressure maintenance. Circulating ANG II stimulates brain RAS to contribute to the increase mean arterial pressure (MAP). This mechanism has not been fully clarified, so it was hypothesized that reducing angiotensin type 1a (AT(1a)) receptors (AT(1a)Rs) in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) would diminish intravenous ANG II-induced increases in MAP. Adenoviruses (Ad) encoding AT(1a) small hairpin RNA (shRNA) or Ad-LacZ (marker gene) were injected into the PVN [1 × 10(9) plaque-forming units/ml, bilateral (200 nl/site)] of male Sprague-Dawley rats instrumented with radiotelemetry transmitters for MAP and heart rate measurements and with venous catheters for drug administration. No differences in weight gain or basal MAP were observed. ANG II (30 ng·kg(-1)·min(-1) iv, 15 ?l/min for 60 min) was administered 3, 7, 10, and 14 days after PVN Ad injection to increase blood pressure. ANG II-induced elevations in MAP were significantly reduced in PVN Ad-AT(1a) shRNA rats compared with Ad-LacZ rats (32 ± 6 vs. 8 ± 9 mmHg at 7 days, 35 ± 6 vs. 10 ± 6 mmHg at 10 days, and 32 ± 2 vs. 1 ± 5 mmHg at 14 days; P < 0.05). These observations were confirmed by acute administration of losartan (20 nmol/l, 100 nl/site) in the PVN prior to short-term infusion of ANG II; the ANG II-pressor response was attenuated by 69%. In contrast, PVN Ad-AT(1a) shRNA treatment did not influence phenylephrine-induced increases in blood pressure (30 ?g·kg(-1)·min(-1) iv, 15 ?l/min for 30 min). Importantly, PVN Ad-AT(1a) shRNA did not alter superior mesenteric arterial contractility to ANG II or norepinephrine; ACh-induced arterial relaxation was also unaltered. ?-Galactosidase staining revealed PVN Ad transduction, and Western blot analyses revealed significant reductions of PVN AT(1) protein. In conclusion, PVN-localized AT(1)Rs are critical for short-term circulating ANG II-mediated elevations of blood pressure. A sustained suppression of AT(1a)R expression by single administration of shRNA can interfere with short-term actions of ANG II.
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The interdependence of endothelin-1 and calcium: a review.
Clin. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2010
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The 21-amino-acid peptide ET-1 (endothelin-1) regulates a diverse array of physiological processes, including vasoconstriction, angiogenesis, nociception and cell proliferation. Most of the effects of ET-1 are associated with an increase in intracellular calcium concentration. The calcium influx and mobilization pathways activated by ET-1, however, vary immensely. The present review begins with the basics of calcium signalling and investigates the different ways intracellular calcium concentration can increase in response to a stimulus. The focus then shifts to ET-1, and discusses how ET receptors mobilize calcium. We also examine how disease alters calcium-dependent responses to ET-1 by discussing changes to ET-1-mediated calcium signalling in hypertension, as there is significant interest in the role of ET-1 in this important disease. A list of unanswered questions regarding ET-mediated calcium signals are also presented, as well as perspectives for future research of calcium mobilization by ET-1.
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Serotonin receptors in rat jugular vein: presence and involvement in the contraction.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2010
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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is released during platelet aggregation, a phenomenon commonly observed in blood clot formation and venous diseases. Once released, 5-HT can interact with its receptors in the peripheral vasculature to modify vascular tone. The goal of this study was to perform a detailed pharmacological characterization of the 5-HT receptors involved in the contractile response of the rat jugular vein (RJV) using recently developed drugs with greater selectivity toward 5-HT receptor subtypes. We hypothesized that, as for other blood vessels, the 5-HT(1B/1D) and 5-HT(2B) receptor subtypes mediate contraction in RJV alongside the 5-HT(2A) receptor subtype. Endothelium-intact RJV rings were set up in an isolated organ bath for isometric tension recordings, and contractile concentration-effect curves were obtained for 13 distinct serotonergic receptor agonists. Surprisingly, the 5-HT(1A) and the mixed 5-HT(1A/1B) receptor agonists (+/-)-2-dipropyl-amino-8-hydroxyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronapthalene (8-OH-DPAT) and 5-methoxy-3 (1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl) (1H indole) (RU24969) caused contractions that were antagonized by the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist [O-methyl-3H]-N-(2-(4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl)ethyl)-N-(2-pyridinyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide (WAY100135). The contractile curve to 5-HT was shifted to the right by WAY100135, 3-[2-[4-(4-fluoro benzoyl)-piperidin-1-yl]ethyl]-1H-quinazoline-2,4-dione (ketanserin; 5-HT(2A/C) receptor antagonist), and 1-(2-chloro-3,4-dimethoxybenzyl)-6-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole hydrochloride (LY266097; 5-HT(2B) receptor antagonist). Ketanserin also caused rightward shifts of the contractile curves to 8-OH-DPAT, RU24969, and the 5-HT(2B) receptor agonist (alpha-methyl-5-(2-thienylmethoxy)-1H-indole-3-ethanamine) (BW723C86). Agonists for 5-HT(1B/1D/1F), 5-HT(3), 5-HT(6), and 5-HT(7) receptors were inactive. In real-time polymerase chain reaction experiments that have never been performed in this tissue previously, we observed mRNA expression for the 5-HT(2A), 5-HT(2B), and 5-HT(7) receptors, whereas no significant mRNA expression was found for 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(1B), and 5-HT(1D) receptors. These results support the 5-HT(2A) receptor as the main subtype targeted by 5-HT to contract the RJV.
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Whole grape intake impacts cardiac peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and nuclear factor kappaB activity and cytokine expression in rats with diastolic dysfunction.
Hypertension
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2010
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Prolonged hypertension is the leading cause of heart failure. Failing hearts show reduced peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor (PPAR) activity and enhanced nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activity, which together modify cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. In vitro studies suggest that phytochemicals alter PPAR and NF-kappaB activity, but the capabilities of a phytochemical-rich diet are less understood. Grapes contain an array of commonly consumed dietary phytochemicals. In Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats, we showed previously that dietary provision of whole table grape powder (3% weight:weight) for 18 weeks reduced blood pressure, cardiac hypertrophy, and diastolic dysfunction. The hypothesis tested here is that, in this model, phytochemical provision from whole grape powder impacts cardiac PPAR and NF-kappaB activity and their related gene transcripts. Grape-fed rats had enhanced PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma DNA binding activity but reduced NF-kappaB DNA binding activity. RT-PCR revealed that grape-fed rats showed upregulated mRNA for PPAR-alpha, PPAR-gamma coactivator-1alpha, PPAR-gamma, and the cytosolic NF-kappaB inhibitor, inhibitor-kappaBalpha. By contrast, grape-fed rats showed downregulated mRNA for tumor necrosis factor-alpha and transforming growth factor-beta1. Finally, grape-fed rats showed significantly reduced cardiac tumor necrosis factor-alpha and transforming growth factor-beta protein expression, increased inhibitor-kappaBalpha expression, and reduced cardiac fibrosis. In the Dahl salt-sensitive rat, chronic intake of grapes altered cardiac transcripts related to PPAR and NF-kappaB that may be significant to the observed diet-associated cardioprotection.
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Uric acid does not affect the acetylcholine-induced relaxation of aorta from normotensive and deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt hypertensive rats.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 03-09-2010
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Uric acid (UA) results from xanthine oxidase (XO) catabolism of xanthine and is the final product of purine catabolism in humans. In this species, hyperuricemia is associated with gout, nephropathy, and increased cardiovascular disease risk. Although the effects of hyperuricemia in vascular biology are overall controversial, UA has been described as an antioxidant and as potentially improving endothelial function. Hypertension is associated with endothelial dysfunction. We hypothesized that UA improves the endothelial function of aorta from deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rats. UA (100 microM) in the presence of the uricase inhibitor oxonic acid (10 microM) did not modify relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh) (1 nM-10 microM) in the aorta from nontreated, sham normotensive, and DOCA-salt hypertensive rats [response to 10 microM ACh for UA versus vehicle, respectively: nontreated = 37 +/- 7 versus 48 +/- 7%, sham = 53 +/- 15 versus 57 +/- 20%, DOCA = 81 +/- 4 versus 85 +/- 2% from 20 microM prostaglandin 2alpha (PGF(2alpha))-induced contraction]. Allopurinol (100 microM), a XO inhibitor, did not significantly alter the ACh-induced relaxation of sham and DOCA aortic rings (response to 10 microM ACh for allopurinol versus vehicle, respectively: sham = 61 +/- 5 versus 68 +/- 9%, DOCA = 87 +/- 6 versus 88 +/- 3% from 20 microM PGF(2alpha)-induced contraction). Uricemia, ranging from unmeasurable to 547 microM in sham and to 506 microM in DOCA rats, was not significantly different between these two groups. The expression and activity of XO, as well as the expression of uricase, were not different between sham and DOCA rat aorta. We conclude that, at least in vitro, UA does not affect the ACh-induced relaxation of normotensive and DOCA-salt hypertensive rats.
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Endothelin receptors: whats new and what do we need to know?
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2009
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Receptors are at the heart of how a molecule transmits a signal to a cell. Two receptor classes for endothelin (ET) are recognized, the ET(A) and ET(B) receptors. Intriguing questions have arisen in the field of ET receptor pharmacology, physiology, and function. For example, a host of pharmacological studies support the interaction of the ET(A) and ET(B) receptor in tissues (veins, arteries, bronchus, arterioles, esophagus), but yet few have been able to demonstrate direct ET(A)/ET(B) receptor interaction. Have we modeled this interaction wrong? Do we have a truly selective ET(A) receptor agonist such that we could selectively stimulate this important receptor? What can we learn from the recent phylogenic studies of the ET receptor family? Have we adequately addressed the number of biological molecules with which ET can interact to exert a biological effect? Recent mass spectrometry studies in our laboratory suggest that ET-1 interacts with other hereto unrecognized proteins. Biased ligands (ligands at the same receptor that elicit distinct signaling responses) have been discovered for other receptors. Do these exist for ET receptors and can we take advantage of this possibility in drug design? These and other questions will be posed in this minireview on topics on ET receptors.
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Differential expression of pancreatitis-associated protein and thrombospondins in arterial versus venous tissues.
J. Vasc. Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2009
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Arteries and veins modulate cardiovascular homeostasis and contribute to hypertension pathogenesis. Functional differences between arteries and veins are based upon differences in gene expression. To better characterize these expression patterns, and to identify candidate genes that could be manipulated selectively in the venous system, we performed whole genome expression profiling of arteries and veins.
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Endothelin ET(B) receptors in arteries and veins: multiple actions in the vein.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2009
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Endothelin receptors (ET(A) and ET(B)) mediate responses to ET-1. ET(B) receptor function seems to differ between a similarly sized arterial and venous pair, the rat vena cava (RVC) and rat thoracic aorta (RA). ET(B) receptors mediate RVC contraction directly, but it is unclear whether ET(B) receptors mediate contraction in RA. Because of these apparent differences in ET(B) receptor-mediated vascular contraction, we hypothesize that relaxant ET(B)-receptor mechanisms in RVC would be different from those in RA. RA and RVC rings were isolated from rats for measurement of isometric contraction. When contracted with prostaglandin F-2alpha (PGF-2alpha) (20 microM), the ET(B) receptor agonist sarafotoxin-6c (S6c) (100 nM) significantly relaxed RA and RVC. N(omega)-Nitro-L-arginine (LNNA) (100 microM) or endothelial denudation abolished relaxation to S6c in RA. By contrast, S6c-induced relaxation of RVC was attenuated but not abolished by LNNA and endothelial denudation. RVC (PGF-2alpha-contracted) relaxed to low concentrations of ET-1, whereas under the same conditions RA responded with contraction. ET-1-induced relaxation in RA was observed only with ET(A) receptor blockade. Vessels from dopamine-beta-hydroxylase-ET(B) transgenic rats, which lack functional ET(B) receptors in the vasculature, were also used. RVC (PGF-2alpha-contracted) from these rats did not relax to ET-1. Thus, although both RA and RVC possess endothelial relaxant ET(B) receptors, RA and RVC differ in that relaxant ET(B) receptors may also be present in smooth muscle of RVC. Moreover, the mechanisms of endothelial cell ET(B) receptor-mediated relaxation in RA and RVC are not the same.
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The love of a lifetime: 5-HT in the cardiovascular system.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2009
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Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] is an amine made from the essential amino acid tryptophan. 5-HT serves numerous functions in the body, including mood, satiety, and gastrointestinal function. Less understood is the role 5-HT plays in the cardiovascular system, although 5-HT receptors have been localized to every important cardiovascular organ and 5-HT-induced changes in physiological function attributed to activation of these receptors. This manuscript relates a few scientific stories that test the idea that 5-HT is important to the control of normal vascular tone, more so in the hypertensive condition. Currently, our laboratory is faced with two different lines of experimentation from which one could draw vastly different conclusions as to the ability of 5-HT to modify endogenous vascular tone and blood pressure. Studies point to 5-HT being important in maintaining high blood pressure, but other studies solidly support the ability of 5-HT to reduce elevated blood pressure. This work underscores that our knowledge of the functions of 5-HT in the cardiovascular system is significantly incomplete. As such, this field is an exciting one in which to be, because there are superb questions to be asked.
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Serotonylation of vascular proteins important to contraction.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2009
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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) was named for its source (sero-) and ability to modify smooth muscle tone (tonin). The biological effects of 5-HT are believed to be carried out by stimulation of serotonin receptors at the plasma membrane. Serotonin has recently been shown to be synthesized in vascular smooth muscle and taken up from external sources, placing 5-HT inside the cell. The enzyme transglutaminase uses primary amines such as 5-HT to covalently modify proteins on glutamine residues. We tested the hypothesis that 5-HT is a substrate for transglutaminase in arterial vascular smooth muscle, with protein serotonylation having physiological function.
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Body distribution of infused serotonin in rats.
Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2009
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1. Our goal was to investigate the body distribution of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) in rats infused with 5-HT (25 microg/kg per min) for 7 days and the contribution of the 5-HT transporter (SERT) for 5-HT uptake into the tissues. 2. Mini-osmotic pumps containing 5-HT or vehicle were implanted in rats knocked out for SERT (SERT-KO) or in wild-type (WT) rats. On the 8th day, tissues were harvested for measurements of 5-HT by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The 5-HT metabolite 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) was also measured by HPLC, because an increase in 5-HIAA in tissues from rats receiving 5-HT reflects 5-HT uptake followed by metabolism. 3. In WT rats infused with 5-HT, an increase in 5-HT or 5-HIAA was observed in the heart, pancreas, thyroid, adrenal gland, kidney, seminal vesicle, bladder, prostate, liver, oesophagus, stomach, femur, trachea, lung and spleen compared with vehicle-infused rats. An increase in 5-HT and 5-HIAA was not observed in aorta, vena cava and jejunum. In tissues from SERT-KO rats infused with 5-HT, the content of 5-HT or 5-HIAA was decreased in most of the tissues studied compared with 5-HT-infused WT rats. Although 5-HT uptake in the kidney, seminal vesicle, prostate, jejunum and trachea is SERT dependent, it is SERT independent in the pancreas. The remaining tissues display SERT-dependent and -independent mechanisms for 5-HT uptake. 4. Altogether, tissues from different systems, such as the cardiovascular, endocrine, genitourinary and gastrointestinal, accumulate 5-HT mainly via SERT and, thus, these systems are potential targets for drugs that interfere with 5-HT homeostasis.
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One-month serotonin infusion results in a prolonged fall in blood pressure in the deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) salt hypertensive rat.
ACS Chem Neurosci
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A 7-day infusion of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) causes a sustained fall in elevated blood pressure in the male deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt rat. As hypertension is a long-term disease, we presently test the hypothesis that a longer (30 day) 5-HT infusion could cause a sustained fall in blood pressure in the established hypertensive DOCA-salt rat. This time period (?4 weeks) was also sufficient to test whether 5-HT could attenuate the development of DOCA-salt hypertension. 5-HT (25 ?g/kg/min; sc) or vehicle (Veh) was delivered via osmotic pump to (1) established DOCA-salt rats for one month, (2) Sprague-Dawley rats prior to DOCA-salt administration for one month, and blood pressure and heart rate measured telemetrically. On the final day of 5-HT infusion, free platelet poor plasma 5-HT concentrations were significantly higher in 5-HT versus Veh-infused rats, and mean arterial pressure was significantly lower in 5-HT-infused (135 ± 4 mmHg vs Veh-infused 151 ± 7 mmHg) established DOCA-salt rats. By contrast, 5-HT-infusion did not prevent the development of DOCA-salt hypertension (144 ± 7 mmHg vs Veh = 156 ± 6 mmHg). Isometric contraction of aortic strips was measured, and neither the potency nor maximum contraction to the alpha adrenergic receptor agonist phenylephrine (PE) or 5-HT were modified by infusion of 5-HT (established or preventative infusion), and maximum aortic relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh) was modestly but not significantly enhanced (?15% improvement). This study demonstrates 5-HT is capable of lowering blood pressure in established DOCA-salt hypertensive rats over the course of one month in a mechanism that does not significantly modify or is dependent on modified vascular responsiveness. This finding opens the possibility that elevation of 5-HT levels could be useful in the treatment of hypertension.
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Reverse-mode Na+/Ca2+ exchange is an important mediator of venous contraction.
Pharmacol. Res.
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The Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) is a bi-directional regulator of cytosolic Ca(2+), causing Ca(2+) efflux in forward-mode and Ca(2+) influx in reverse-mode. We hypothesized that reverse-mode NCX is a means of Ca(2+) entry in rat aorta (RA) and vena cava (RVC). NCX protein in RA and RVC was confirmed by immunoprecipitation. To assess NCX function, isometric contraction and intracellular Ca(2+) was measured in RA and RVC rings in response to low extracellular Na(+), endothelin-1 (ET-1), and KCl, in the presence or absence of the NCX antagonist KB-R7943. In RVC, low extracellular Na(+) caused vasoconstriction and an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) that was attenuated by 10?M KB-R7943. KB-R7943 (10 ?M) attenuated maximal contraction to ET-1 in RVC (53 ± 9% of control), but not RA (91±1% of control). KB-R7943 (10 ?M) reduced the maximal contraction to KCl in RA (48 ± 5%) and nearly abolished it in RVC (9 ± 2%), suggesting that voltage-dependent Ca(2+) influx may be inhibited by KB-R7943 as well. However, the L-type Ca(2+) channel inhibitor nifedipine (1 ?M) did not alter ET-1-induced contraction. Our findings suggest that reverse-mode NCX is an important mechanism of Ca(2+) influx in RVC but not RA, especially during ET-1-induced contraction. Also, the effects of KB-R7943 on ET-1-induced contraction of RA and RVC are predominantly mediated by reverse-mode NCX inhibition and not due to off-target inhibition of Ca(2+) channels.
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5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) reduces total peripheral resistance during chronic infusion: direct arterial mesenteric relaxation is not involved.
BMC Pharmacol.
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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) delivered over 1 week results in a sustained fall in blood pressure in the sham and deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt rat. We hypothesized 5-HT lowers blood pressure through direct receptor-mediated vascular relaxation. In vivo, 5-HT reduced mean arterial pressure (MAP), increased heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac index, and reduced total peripheral resistance during a 1 week infusion of 5-HT (25 µg/kg/min) in the normotensive Sprague Dawley rat. The mesenteric vasculature was chosen as an ideal candidate for the site of 5-HT receptor mediated vascular relaxation given the high percentage of cardiac output the site receives. Real-time RT-PCR demonstrated that mRNA transcripts for the 5-HT2B, 5-HT1B, and 5-HT7 receptors are present in sham and DOCA-salt superior mesenteric arteries. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot validated the presence of the 5-HT2B, 5- HT1B and 5-HT7 receptor protein in sham and DOCA-salt superior mesenteric artery. Isometric contractile force was measured in endothelium-intact superior mesenteric artery and mesenteric resistance arteries in which the contractile 5- HT2A receptor was antagonized. Maximum concentrations of BW-723C86 (5- HT2B agonist), CP 93129 (5-HT1B agonist) or LP-44 (5-HT7 agonist) did not relax the superior mesenteric artery from DOCA-salt rats vs. vehicle. Additionally, 5-HT (10-9 M to 10-5 M) did not cause relaxation in either contracted mesenteric resistance arteries or superior mesenteric arteries from normotensive Sprague- Dawley rats. Thus, although 5-HT receptors known to mediate vascular relaxation are present in the superior mesenteric artery, they are not functional, and are therefore not likely involved in a 5-HT-induced fall in total peripheral resistance and MAP.
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Serotonin and blood pressure regulation.
Pharmacol. Rev.
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5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) was discovered more than 60 years ago as a substance isolated from blood. The neural effects of 5-HT have been well investigated and understood, thanks in part to the pharmacological tools available to dissect the serotonergic system and the development of the frequently prescribed selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors. By contrast, our understanding of the role of 5-HT in the control and modification of blood pressure pales in comparison. Here we focus on the role of 5-HT in systemic blood pressure control. This review provides an in-depth study of the function and pharmacology of 5-HT in those tissues that can modify blood pressure (blood, vasculature, heart, adrenal gland, kidney, brain), with a focus on the autonomic nervous system that includes mechanisms of action and pharmacology of 5-HT within each system. We compare the change in blood pressure produced in different species by short- and long-term administration of 5-HT or selective serotonin receptor agonists. To further our understanding of the mechanisms through which 5-HT modifies blood pressure, we also describe the blood pressure effects of commonly used drugs that modify the actions of 5-HT. The pharmacology and physiological actions of 5-HT in modifying blood pressure are important, given its involvement in circulatory shock, orthostatic hypotension, serotonin syndrome and hypertension.
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Smooth muscle pharmacology in the isolated virgin and pregnant rat uterus and cervix.
J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
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Uterine smooth muscle function is established, but comparatively little is known about cervical smooth muscle pharmacology. We performed a proof-of-principle experiment that smooth muscle was expressed in the cervix in both virgin and pregnant rats, using the uterus as a comparator. We tested whether all tissues were pharmacologically responsive to contractile and relaxant agonists. Immunohistochemistry revealed the expression of smooth muscle ?-actin in all tissues. The isolated tissue bath was used to measure isometric contractility of uterine strips and whole cervices from virgin and pregnant (day 11 ± 2) female Sprague-Dawley rats. We tested classic activators of uterine smooth muscle contraction and relaxation in both uterus and cervix. All tissues contracted to the depolarizing agent potassium chloride, prostaglandin F2?, muscarinic cholinergic agonist carbachol [2-[(aminocarbonxyl)oxy]-N,N,N-trimethylethanaminium chloride], and 5-hydroxytryptamine. Unlike other tissues, the pregnant cervix did not contract to oxytocin, but the oxytocin receptor was present. Both cervix and uterus (virgin and pregnant) had concentration-dependent, near-complete relaxation to the adrenergic agonist norepinephrine and adenylate cyclase activator forskolin [(3R,4aR,5S,6S,6aS,10S,10aR,10bS)-6,10-10b-trihydroxy-3,4a,7,10a-pentamethyl-1-oxo-3-vinyldodecahydro-1H-benzo[f] chroment-5-yl acetate]. The ?-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol was less potent in pregnant cervix versus virgin by ?10-fold. All tissues, particularly the cervix, responded poorly to the nitric-oxide donor sodium nitroprusside, relaxing ?20% maximally. These findings support the importance of smooth muscle in the cervix, the use of the isolated cervix in pharmacological studies, and a similarity between smooth muscle pharmacology of the nonpregnant uterus and cervix. This work highlights the unappreciated smooth muscle function of the cervix versus uterus and cervical changes in pharmacology during pregnancy.
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Vena cava and aortic smooth muscle cells express transglutaminases 1 and 4 in addition to transglutaminase 2.
Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.
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Transglutaminase (TG) function facilitates several vascular processes and diseases. Although many of these TG-dependent vascular processes have been ascribed to the function of TG2, TG2 knockout mice have a mild vascular phenotype. We hypothesized that TGs besides TG2 exist and function in the vasculature. Biotin-pentylamide incorporation, a measure of general TG activity, was similar in wild-type and TG2 knockout mouse aortae, and the general TG inhibitor cystamine reduced biotin-pentylamine incorporation to a greater extent than the TG2-specific inhibitor Z-DON, indicating the presence of other functional TGs. Additionally, 5-hydroxytryptamine-induced aortic contraction, a TG-activity-dependent process, was decreased to a greater extent by general TG inhibitors vs. Z-DON (maximum contraction: cystamine = abolished, monodansylcadaverine = 28.6 ± 14.9%, and Z-DON = 60.2 ± 15.2% vehicle), providing evidence for the importance of TG2-independent activity in the vasculature. TG1, TG2, TG4, and Factor XIII (FXIII) mRNA in rat aortae and vena cavae was detected by RT-PCR. Western analysis detected TG1 and TG4, but not FXIII, in rat aortae and vena cavae and in TG2 knockout and wild-type mouse aortae. Immunostaining confirmed the presence of TG1, TG2, and TG4 in rat aortae and vena cavae, notably in smooth muscle cells; FXIII was absent. K5 and T26, FITC-labeled peptide substrates specific for active TG1 and TG2, respectively, were incorporated into rat aortae and vena cavae and wild-type, but not TG2 knockout, mouse aortae. These studies demonstrate that TG2-independent TG activity exists in the vasculature and that TG1 and TG4 are expressed in vascular tissues.
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