The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Genetic mutations in the human small heat shock protein αB-crystallin have been implicated in autosomal cataracts and skeletal myopathies, including heart muscle diseases (cardiomyopathy). Although these mutations lead to modulation of their chaperone activity , the functions of αB-crystallin in the maintenance of both lens transparency and muscle integrity remain unclear. This lack of information has hindered a mechanistic understanding of these diseases. To better define the functional roles of αB-crystallin, we generated loss-of-function zebrafish mutant lines by utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system to specifically disrupt the two αB-crystallin genes, α and α We observed lens abnormalities in the mutant lines of both genes, and the penetrance of the lens phenotype was higher in α than α mutants. This finding is in contrast with the lack of a phenotype previously reported in αB-crystallin knock-out mice and suggests that the elevated chaperone activity of the two zebrafish orthologs is critical for lens development. Besides its key role in the lens, we uncovered another critical role for αB-crystallin in providing stress tolerance to the heart. The αB-crystallin mutants exhibited hypersusceptibility to develop pericardial edema when challenged by crowding stress or exposed to elevated cortisol stress, both of which activate glucocorticoid receptor signaling. Our work illuminates the involvement of αB-crystallin in stress tolerance of the heart presumably through the proteostasis network and reinforces the critical role of the chaperone activity of αB-crystallin in the maintenance of lens transparency.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Purpose - To demonstrate the utility of a novel in vivo molecular imaging probe, HYPOX-4, to detect and image retinal hypoxia in real time, in a mouse model of retinal vein occlusion (RVO).
Methods - Retinal vein occlusion was achieved in adult mice by photodynamic retinal vein thrombosis (PRVT). One or two major retinal vein(s) was/were occluded in close proximity to the optic nerve head (ONH). In vivo imaging of retinal hypoxia was performed using, HYPOX-4, an imaging probe developed by our laboratory. Pimonidazole-adduct immunostaining was performed and used as a standard ex vivo method for the detection of retinal hypoxia in this mouse RVO model. The retinal vasculature was imaged using fluorescein angiography (FA) and isolectin B4 staining. Retinal thickness was assessed by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) analysis.
Results - By application of the standard ex vivo pimonidazole-adduct immunostaining technique, retinal hypoxia was observed within 2 hours post-PRVT. The observed hypoxic retinal areas depended on whether one or two retinal vein(s) was/were occluded. Similar areas of hypoxia were imaged in vivo using HYPOX-4. Using OCT, retinal edema was observed immediately post-PRVT induction, resolving 8 days later. Nominal preretinal neovascularization was observed at 10 to 14 days post-RVO.
Conclusions - HYPOX-4 is an efficient probe capable of imaging retinal hypoxia in vivo, in RVO mice. Future studies will focus on its use in correlating retinal hypoxia to the onset and progression of ischemic vasculopathies.
Pharmacoresistant seizures and cytotoxic cerebral edema are serious complications of ischemic and traumatic brain injury. Intraneuronal Cl concentration ([Cl]) regulation impacts on both cell volume homeostasis and Cl-permeable GABA receptor-dependent membrane excitability. Understanding the pleiotropic molecular determinants of neuronal [Cl] - cytoplasmic impermeant anions, polyanionic extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoproteins, and plasmalemmal Cl transporters - could help the identification of novel anticonvulsive and neuroprotective targets. The cation/Cl cotransporters and ECM metalloproteinases may be particularly druggable targets for intervention. We establish here a paradigm that accounts for recent data regarding the complex regulatory mechanisms of neuronal [Cl] and how these mechanisms impact on neuronal volume and excitability. We propose approaches to modulate [Cl] that are relevant for two common clinical sequela of brain injury: edema and seizures.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema (BCRL) arises from a mechanical insufficiency following cancer therapies. Early BCRL detection and personalized intervention require an improved understanding of the physiological processes that initiate lymphatic impairment. Here, internal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of the tissue microenvironment were paired with clinical measures of tissue structure to test fundamental hypotheses regarding structural tissue and muscle changes after the commonly used therapeutic intervention of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD).
METHODS AND RESULTS - Measurements to identify lymphatic dysfunction in healthy volunteers (n = 29) and patients with BCRL (n = 16) consisted of (1) limb volume, tissue dielectric constant, and bioelectrical impedance (i.e., non-MRI measures); (2) qualitative 3 Tesla diffusion-weighted, T-weighted and T-weighted MRI; and (3) quantitative multi-echo T MRI of the axilla. Measurements were repeated in patients immediately following MLD. Normative control and BCRL T values were quantified and a signed Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test was applied (significance: two-sided p < 0.05). Non-MRI measures yielded significant capacity for discriminating between arms with versus without clinical signs of BCRL, yet yielded no change in response to MLD. Alternatively, a significant increase in deep tissue T on the involved (pre T = 0.0371 ± 0.003 seconds; post T = 0.0389 ± 0.003; p = 0.029) and contralateral (pre T = 0.0365 ± 0.002; post T = 0.0395 ± 0.002; p < 0.01) arms was observed. Trends for larger T increases on the involved side after MLD in patients with stage 2 BCRL relative to earlier stages 0 and 1 BCRL were observed, consistent with tissue composition changes in later stages of BCRL manifesting as breakdown of fibrotic tissue after MLD in the involved arm. Contrast consistent with relocation of fluid to the contralateral quadrant was observed in all stages.
CONCLUSION - Quantitative deep tissue T MRI values yielded significant changes following MLD treatment, whereas non-MRI measurements did not vary. These findings highlight that internal imaging measures of tissue composition may be useful for evaluating how current and emerging therapies impact tissue function.
BACKGROUND - The B receptor antagonist icatibant is approved for treatment of attacks of hereditary angioedema. Icatibant has been reported to decrease time-to-resolution of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor-associated angioedema in 1 study of European patients.
OBJECTIVE - We sought to test the hypothesis that a bradykinin B receptor antagonist would shorten time-to-resolution from ACE inhibitor-associated angioedema.
METHODS - Patients with ACE inhibitor-associated angioedema (defined as swelling of lips, tongue, pharynx, or face during ACE inhibitor use and no swelling in the absence of ACE inhibitor use) were enrolled at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from October 2007 through September 2015 and at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2012. C1 inhibitor deficiency and patients with bowel edema only were excluded. Patients were randomized within 6 hours of presentation to subcutaneous icatibant 30 mg or placebo at 0 and 6 hours later. Patients assessed severity of swelling using a visual analog scale serially following study drug administration or until discharge.
RESULTS - Thirty-three patients were randomized and 31 received treatment, with 13 receiving icatibant and 18 receiving placebo. One patient randomized to icatibant did not complete the visual analog scale and was excluded from analyses. Two-thirds of patients were black and two-thirds were women. Time-to-resolution of symptoms was similar in placebo and icatibant treatment groups (P = .19 for the primary symptom and P > .16 for individual symptoms of face, lip, tongue, or eyelid swelling). Frequency of administration of H1 and H2 blockers, corticosteroids, and epinephrine was similar in the 2 treatment groups. Time-to-resolution of symptoms was similar in black and white patients.
CONCLUSIONS - This study does not support clinical efficacy of a bradykinin B receptor antagonist in ACE inhibitor-associated angioedema.
Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Heart failure affects ≈5.7 million people in the United States alone. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, β-blockers, and aldosterone antagonists have improved mortality in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction, but mortality remains high. In July 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first of a new class of drugs for the treatment of heart failure: Valsartan/sacubitril (formerly known as LCZ696 and currently marketed by Novartis as Entresto) combines the angiotensin receptor blocker valsartan and the neprilysin inhibitor prodrug sacubitril in a 1:1 ratio in a sodium supramolecular complex. Sacubitril is converted by esterases to LBQ657, which inhibits neprilysin, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of the natriuretic peptides and many other vasoactive peptides. Thus, this combined angiotensin receptor antagonist and neprilysin inhibitor addresses 2 of the pathophysiological mechanisms of heart failure: activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and decreased sensitivity to natriuretic peptides. In the Prospective Comparison of ARNI With ACEI to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial, valsartan/sacubitril significantly reduced mortality and hospitalization for heart failure, as well as blood pressure, compared with enalapril in patients with heart failure, reduced ejection fraction, and an elevated circulating level of brain natriuretic peptide or N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating the role of valsartan/sacubitril in the treatment of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and hypertension. We review here the mechanisms of action of valsartan/sacubitril, the pharmacological properties of the drug, and its efficacy and safety in the treatment of heart failure and hypertension.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporters (KCCs) were originally characterized as regulators of red blood cell (RBC) volume. Since then, four distinct KCCs have been cloned, and their importance for volume regulation has been demonstrated in other cell types. Genetic models of certain KCCs, such as KCC3, and their inhibitory WNK-STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) serine-threonine kinases, have demonstrated the evolutionary necessity of these molecules for nervous system cell volume regulation, structure, and function, and their involvement in neurological disease. The recent characterization of a swelling-activated dephosphorylation mechanism that potently stimulates the KCCs has pinpointed a potentially druggable switch of KCC activity. An improved understanding of WNK/SPAK-mediated KCC cell volume regulation in the nervous system might reveal novel avenues for the treatment of multiple neurological diseases.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Lymphatic impairment is known to reduce quality of life in some of the most crippling diseases of the 21st century, including obesity, lymphedema, and cancer. However, the lymphatics are not nearly as well-understood as other bodily systems, largely owing to a lack of sensitive imaging technologies that can be applied using standard clinical equipment. Here, proton exchange-weighted MRI is translated to the lymphatics in patients with breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema (BCRL).
METHODS - Healthy volunteers (N = 8) and BCRL patients (N = 7) were scanned at 3 Tesla using customized structural MRI and amide proton transfer (APT) chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI in sequence with the hypothesis that APT effects would be elevated in lymphedematous tissue. APT contrast, lymphedema stage, symptomatology, and histology information were evaluated.
RESULTS - No significant difference between proton-weighted APT contrast in the right and left arms of healthy controls was observed. An increase in APT contrast in the affected arms of patients was found (P = 0.025; Cohen's d = 2.4), and variability among patients was consistent with documented damage to lymphatics as quantified by lymphedema stage.
CONCLUSION - APT CEST MRI may have relevance for evaluating lymphatic impairment in patients with BCRL, and may extend to other pathologies where lymphatic compromise is evident.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Routine manometry is recommended to prevent complications during therapeutic thoracentesis, but has not definitively been shown to prevent pneumothorax or reexpansion pulmonary edema. As chest discomfort correlates with negative pleural pressures, we aimed to determine whether the use of manometry could anticipate the development of chest discomfort during therapeutic thoracentesis.
METHODS - A retrospective chart review of 214 consecutive adults who underwent outpatient therapeutic thoracentesis at our institution between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013 was performed. We compared preprocedural to postprocedural discomfort (using a linear analog scale from 0 to 10) in patients undergoing thoracentesis with or without manometry. We used a multivariate model to adjust for possible confounders. Changes of dyspnea scores were also analyzed.
RESULTS - Manometry was performed in 82/214 patients (38%). On univariate and multivariate analyses, neither the change in chest discomfort nor dyspnea scores was significantly different in the manometry versus the control group (P=0.12 and 0.24, respectively). Similar results were also found in the subgroup of large-volume thoracentesis (P=0.32 for discomfort, P=1.0 for dyspnea).
CONCLUSIONS - In our retrospective study, the use of manometry did not appear to anticipate the development of chest discomfort during therapeutic thoracentesis. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.