The endothelium plays a fundamental role in maintaining vascular homeostasis by releasing factors that regulate local blood flow, systemic blood pressure, and the reactivity of leukocytes and platelets. Accordingly, endothelial dysfunction underpins many cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Herein, we evaluated mice with endothelial-specific deletion of Nppc, which encodes C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), and determined that this mediator is essential for multiple aspects of vascular regulation. Specifically, disruption of CNP leads to endothelial dysfunction, hypertension, atherogenesis, and aneurysm. Moreover, we identified natriuretic peptide receptor-C (NPR-C) as the cognate receptor that primarily underlies CNP-dependent vasoprotective functions and developed small-molecule NPR-C agonists to target this pathway. Administration of NPR-C agonists promotes a vasorelaxation of isolated resistance arteries and a reduction in blood pressure in wild-type animals that is diminished in mice lacking NPR-C. This work provides a mechanistic explanation for genome-wide association studies that have linked the NPR-C (Npr3) locus with hypertension by demonstrating the importance of CNP/NPR-C signaling in preserving vascular homoeostasis. Furthermore, these results suggest that the CNP/NPR-C pathway has potential as a disease-modifying therapeutic target for cardiovascular disorders.
The heptapeptide angiotensin-(1-7) is a biologically active metabolite of angiotensin II, the predominant peptide of the renin-angiotensin system. Recently, we have shown that the receptor Mas is associated with angiotensin-(1-7)-induced signalling and mediates, at least in part, the vasodilatory properties of angiotensin-(1-7). However, it remained controversial whether an additional receptor could account for angiotensin-(1-7)-induced vasorelaxation. Here, we used two different angiotensin-(1-7) antagonists, A779 and d-Pro-angiotensin-(1-7), to address this question and also to study their influence on the vasodilatation induced by bradykinin. Isolated mesenteric microvessels from both wild-type and Mas-deficient C57Bl/6 mice were precontracted with noradrenaline, and vascular reactivity to angiotensin-(1-7) and bradykinin was subsequently studied using a small-vessel myograph. Furthermore, mechanisms for Mas effects were investigated in primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Both angiotensin-(1-7) and bradykinin triggered a concentration-dependent vasodilatation in wild-type microvessels, which was absent in the presence of a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. In these vessels, the pre-incubation with the Mas antagonists A779 or d-Pro-angiotensin-(1-7) totally abolished the vasodilatory capacity of both angiotensin-(1-7) and bradykinin, which was nitric oxide mediated. Accordingly, Mas-deficient microvessels lacked the capacity to relax in response to either angiotensin-(1-7) or bradykinin. Pre-incubation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells with A779 prevented bradykinin-mediated NO generation and NO synthase phosphorylation at serine 1177. The angiotensin-(1-7) antagonists A779 and d-Pro-angiotensin-(1-7) equally block Mas, which completely controls the angiotensin-(1-7)-induced vasodilatation in mesenteric microvessels. Importantly, Mas also appears to be a critical player in NO-mediated vasodilatation induced by renin-angiotensin system-independent agonists by altering phosphorylation of NO synthase.
Visfatin, also known as extracellular pre-B-cell colony-enhancing factor (PBEF) and nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt), is an adipocytokine whose circulating levels are enhanced in metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Circulating visfatin levels have been positively associated with vascular damage and endothelial dysfunction. Here, we investigated the ability of visfatin to directly impair vascular reactivity in mesenteric microvessels from both male Sprague-Dawley rats and patients undergoing non-urgent, non-septic abdominal surgery. The pre-incubation of rat microvessels with visfatin (50 and 100 ng/mL) did not modify the contractile response to noradrenaline (1 pmol/L to 30 µmol/L), as determined using a small vessel myograph. However, visfatin (10 to 100 ng/mL) concentration-dependently impaired the relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh; 100 pmol/L to 3 µmol/L), without interfering with the endothelium-independent relaxation to sodium nitroprusside (1 nmol/L to 3 µmol/L). In both cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells and rat microvascular preparations, visfatin (50 ng/mL) stimulated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity, as determined by lucigenin-derived chemiluminiscence. The relaxation to ACh impaired by visfatin was restored by the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin (10 µmol/L). Additionally, the Nampt inhibitor APO866 (10 mmol/L to 10 µmol/L), but not an insulin receptor-blocking antibody, also prevented the stimulation of NADPH oxidase and the relaxation impairment elicited by visfatin. Accordingly, the product of Nampt activity nicotinamide mononucleotide (100 nmol/L to 1 mmol/L) stimulated endothelial NADPH oxidase activity and concentration-dependently impaired ACh-induced vasorelaxation. In human mesenteric microvessels pre-contracted with 35 mmol/L potassium chloride, the endothelium-dependent vasodilation to bradykinin (1 nmol/L to 3 µmol/L) was equally impaired by visfatin and restored upon co-incubation with APO866. In conclusion, visfatin impairs endothelium-dependent relaxation through a mechanism involving NADPH oxidase stimulation and relying on Nampt enzymatic activity, and therefore arises as a potential new player in the development of endothelial dysfunction.
Apoptosis and inflammatory/oxidative stress have been associated with hyperglycemia in human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs) and other cell types. We and others have highlighted the role of early products of non-enzymatic protein glycation in inducing proinflammatory conditions and increasing apoptotic rates in HPMCs. Loss of HPMCs seems to be a hallmark of complications associated with peritoneal membrane dysfunction. The aim of this work is to elucidate the mechanisms by which Amadori adducts may act upon HPMC apoptosis.
Vascular endothelial dysfunction occurs during the human aging process, and it is considered as a crucial event in the development of many vasculopathies. We investigated the underlying mechanisms of this process, particularly those related with oxidative stress and inflammation, in the vasculature of subjects aged 18-91 years without cardiovascular disease or risk factors. In isolated mesenteric microvessels from these subjects, an age-dependent impairment of the endothelium-dependent relaxations to bradykinin was observed. Similar results were observed by plethysmography in the forearm blood flow in response to acetylcholine. In microvessels from subjects aged less than 60 years, most of the bradykinin-induced relaxation was due to nitric oxide release while the rest was sensitive to cyclooxygenase (COX) blockade. In microvessels from subjects older than 60 years, this COX-derived vasodilatation was lost but a COX-derived vasoconstriction occurred. Evidence for age-related vascular oxidant and inflammatory environment was observed, which could be related to the development of endothelial dysfunction. Indeed, aged microvessels showed superoxide anions (O(2)(-)) and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) formation, enhancement of NADPH oxidase and inducible NO synthase expression. Pharmacological interference of COX, thromboxane A(2)/prostaglandin H(2) receptor, O(2)(-), ONOO(-), inducible NO synthase, and NADPH oxidase improved the age-related endothelial dysfunction. In situ vascular nuclear factor-kappaB activation was enhanced with age, which correlated with endothelial dysfunction. We conclude that the age-dependent endothelial dysfunction in human vessels is due to the combined effect of oxidative stress and vascular wall inflammation.
Endothelium-dependent relaxations in human adult mesenteric microvessels involve 3 different main mechanisms: cyclooxygenase (COX)-derived prostanoids, nitric oxide (NO), and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF), which elicits vascular smooth muscle hyperpolarization and relaxation. There are some pathological conditions with an abnormal balance between mesenteric vasoconstriction and vasodilatation inputs leading to endothelial dysfunction and tissue injury.
Vascular aging is a key process determining health status of aged population. Aging is an independent cardiovascular risk factor associated to an impairment of endothelial function, which is a very early and important event leading to cardiovascular disease. Vascular aging, formerly being considered an immutable and inexorable risk factor, is now viewed as a target process for intervention in order to achieve a healthier old age. A further knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the age-related vascular dysfunction is required to design an adequate therapeutic strategy to prevent or restore this impairment of vascular functionality. Among the proposed mechanisms that contribute to age-dependent endothelial dysfunction, this review is focused on the following aspects occurring into the vascular wall: (1) the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, caused by diminished NO synthesis and/or by augmented NO scavenging due to oxidative stress, leading to peroxynitrite formation (ONOO(-)); (2) the possible sources involved in the enhancement of oxidative stress; (3) the increased activity of vasoconstrictor factors; and (4) the development of a low-grade pro-inflammatory environment. Synergisms and interactions between all these pathways are also analyzed. Finally, a brief summary of some cellular mechanisms related to endothelial cell senescence (including telomere and telomerase, stress-induced senescence, as well as sirtuins) are implemented, as they are likely involved in the age-dependent endothelial dysfunction, as well as in the lower vascular repairing capacity observed in the elderly. Prevention or reversion of those mechanisms leading to endothelial dysfunction through life style modifications or pharmacological interventions could markedly improve cardiovascular health in older people.
Endothelial vasodilation in human vessels is impaired by aging and other cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) but the differential impact of aging and CVRF in human endothelial function is not completely elucidated. The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of aging on the effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-? and -? subtype agonists on endothelium-dependent vasodilation of isolated human vessels from subjects with or without CVRF. Human mesenteric microarteries were dissected from omentum specimens obtained from subjects younger or older than 60 years having or not CVRF and mounted in wire myographs to evaluate endothelium-dependent relaxation to bradykinin (BK). Aging and CVRF independently reduced endothelium-dependent relaxations. An additional impairment was produced when aging and CVRF co-existed (p<0.001). In vessels from adult subjects PPAR? agonist, GW1929 (1 ?M) improved BK-induced responses only in those obtained from subjects with CVRF. By contrast, GW1929 improved the responses in vessels from elderly subjects having or not CVRF. PPAR? agonist, GW7647 (1 ?M), enhanced endothelial vasodilation in adults with CVRF (p<0.001) but lack any effect in vessels from older subjects having or not CVRF. In vessels from subjects with CVRF, superoxide dismutase (SOD; 100 U/ml) improved BK-induced responses only in elderly subjects (p<0.001). Vascular aging negatively impacts endothelial function independently of the presence of additional CVRF through specific molecular mechanisms involving superoxide generation. While PPAR? activation remains effective, the improving effects of PPAR? agonists on endothelial responses disappear in aged human vessels.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.