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Background Left ventricular ( LV ) diastolic dysfunction often precedes heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the dominant form of heart failure in postmenopausal women. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of oral estradiol treatment initiated early after ovariectomy on LV function and myocardial gene expression in female cynomolgus macaques. Methods and Results Monkeys were ovariectomized and randomized to receive placebo (control) or oral estradiol at a human-equivalent dose of 1 mg/day for 8 months. Monkeys then underwent conventional and tissue Doppler imaging to assess cardiac function, followed by transcriptomic and histomorphometric analyses of LV myocardium. Age, body weight, blood pressure, and heart rate were similar between groups. Echocardiographic mitral early and late inflow velocities, mitral annular velocities, and mitral E deceleration slope were higher in estradiol monkeys (all P<0.05), despite similar estimated LV filling pressure. MCP1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1) and LV collagen staining were lower in estradiol animals ( P<0.05). Microarray analysis revealed differential myocardial expression of 40 genes (>1.2-fold change; false discovery rate, P<0.05) in estradiol animals relative to controls, which implicated pathways associated with better calcium ion homeostasis and muscle contraction and lower extracellular matrix deposition ( P<0.05). Conclusions Estradiol treatment initiated soon after ovariectomy resulted in enhanced LV diastolic function, and altered myocardial gene expression towards decreased extracellular matrix deposition, improved myocardial contraction, and calcium homeostasis, suggesting that estradiol directly or indirectly modulates the myocardial transcriptome to preserve cardiovascular function.
Focused ultrasound (FUS) has gained recognition as a technique for non-invasive neuromodulation with high spatial precision and the ability to both excite and inhibit neural activity. Here we demonstrate that MRI-guided FUS is capable of exciting precise targets within areas 3a/3b in the monkey brain, causing downstream activations in off-target somatosensory and associated brain regions which are simultaneously detected by functional MRI. The similarity between natural tactile stimulation-and FUS- evoked fMRI activation patterns suggests that FUS likely can excite populations of neurons and produce associated spiking activities that may be subsequently transmitted to other functionally related touch regions. The across-region differences in fMRI signal changes relative to area 3a/3b between tactile and FUS conditions also indicate that FUS modulated the tactile network differently. The significantly faster rising (>1 sec) fMRI signals elicited by direct FUS stimulation at the targeted cortical region suggest that a different neural hemodynamic coupling mechanism may be involved in generating fMRI signals. This is the first demonstration of imaging neural excitation effects of FUS with BOLD fMRI on a specific functional circuit in non-human primates.
OBJECTIVE - Atherosclerosis developed during premenopausal years predicts postmenopausal atherosclerosis burden. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, recently approved for hot flushes, have been associated with increased ischemic stroke risk in several observational studies; however, effects on carotid artery atherosclerosis, a strong predictor of future vascular events, are unknown.
METHODS - The effects of chronic administration of a commonly prescribed SSRI, sertraline HCl, on atherosclerosis in the carotid artery was assessed in a placebo-controlled, longitudinal, randomized study of premeonopausal depressed and nondepressed cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis; n = 42). Physiologic and behavioral phenotypes were evaluated at baseline and after 18 months of oral sertraline (20 mg/kg, n = 21) or placebo (n = 21). Carotid artery atherosclerosis was measured post mortem via histomorphometry.
RESULTS - Atherosclerosis extent in the right common carotid artery, on average, was 60% greater in sertraline-treated depressed monkeys compared with all other groups (P = 0.028). The results of linear regression analyses suggested that sertraline and depression effects on atherosclerosis were not mediated by their effects on behavioral and physiological risk factors.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that chronic SSRI treatment is associated with the progression of carotid artery atherosclerosis, which may increase the risk for future vascular events, particularly in depressed women. The underlying mechanism remains to be determined, but does not appear to be related to SSRI effects on traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Preclinical evidence in support of the potential utility of mGlu NAMs for the treatment of a variety of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders is extensive, and multiple such molecules have entered clinical trials. Despite some promising results from clinical studies, no small molecule mGlu NAM has yet to reach market. Here we present the discovery and evaluation of N-(5-fluoropyridin-2-yl)-6-methyl-4-(pyrimidin-5-yloxy)picolinamide (27, VU0424238), a compound selected for clinical evaluation. Compound 27 is more than 900-fold selective for mGlu versus the other mGlu receptors, and binding studies established a K value of 4.4 nM at a known allosteric binding site. Compound 27 had a clearance of 19.3 and 15.5 mL/min/kg in rats and cynomolgus monkeys, respectively. Imaging studies using a known mGlu PET ligand demonstrated 50% receptor occupancy at an oral dose of 0.8 mg/kg in rats and an intravenous dose of 0.06 mg/kg in baboons.
As observed during the 2013-2016 Ebola virus disease epidemic, containment of filovirus outbreaks is challenging and made more difficult by the lack of approved vaccine or therapeutic options. Marburg and Ravn viruses are highly virulent and cause severe and frequently lethal disease in humans. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are a platform technology in wide use for autoimmune and oncology indications. Previously, we described human mAbs that can protect mice from lethal challenge with Marburg virus. We demonstrate that one of these mAbs, MR191-N, can confer a survival benefit of up to 100% to Marburg or Ravn virus-infected rhesus macaques when treatment is initiated up to 5 days post-inoculation. These findings extend the small but growing body of evidence that mAbs can impart therapeutic benefit during advanced stages of disease with highly virulent viruses and could be useful in epidemic settings.
Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are widely prescribed for depression and other disorders. SSRIs have become one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, particularly by women. Acute effects on body composition and carbohydrate metabolism have been reported, but little is known regarding the effects of chronic SSRI use. We evaluated the effects of chronic administration of a commonly prescribed SSRI, sertraline HCl, on body weight and composition, fat distribution, carbohydrate metabolism, as well as activity, in adult female depressed and nondepressed cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis; n=42) using a placebo-controlled, longitudinal, randomized study design. Phenotypes were evaluated prior to and after 18 months of oral sertraline (20mg/kg) or placebo. Over the 18 month treatment period, the placebo group experienced increases in body weight, body fat (visceral and subcutaneous) fasting insulin concentrations, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance scores (HOMA-IR). Sertraline treatment prevented increases in body weight, fat, insulin, and HOMA-IR (all p<0.05), without significantly altering activity levels. Sertraline treatment altered adiponectin in an unusual way - reducing circulating adiponectin in depressed monkeys without affecting fat mass or body weight. Deleterious effects on adiponectin, a potentially insulin-sensitizing and atheroprotective protein, may result in adverse effects on cardiovascular health despite otherwise beneficial effects on body composition and carbohydrate metabolism.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Dissipating excess calories as heat through therapeutic stimulation of brown adipose tissues (BAT) has been proposed as a potential treatment for obesity-linked disorders. Here, we describe the generation of a humanized effector-less bispecific antibody that activates fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) 1/βKlotho complex, a common receptor for FGF21 and FGF19. Using this molecule, we show that antibody-mediated activation of FGFR1/βKlotho complex in mice induces sustained energy expenditure in BAT, browning of white adipose tissue, weight loss, and improvements in obesity-associated metabolic derangements including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and hepatosteatosis. In mice and cynomolgus monkeys, FGFR1/βKlotho activation increased serum high-molecular-weight adiponectin, which appears to contribute over time by enhancing the amplitude of the metabolic benefits. At the same time, insulin sensitization by FGFR1/βKlotho activation occurs even before the onset of weight loss in a manner that is independent of adiponectin. Together, selective activation of FGFR1/βKlotho complex with a long acting therapeutic antibody represents an attractive approach for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-linked disorders through enhanced energy expenditure, insulin sensitization and induction of high-molecular-weight adiponectin.
Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) represent a novel approach for the treatment of psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. We recently reported that the selective M4 PAM VU0152100 produced an antipsychotic drug-like profile in rodents after amphetamine challenge. Previous studies suggest that enhanced cholinergic activity may also improve cognitive function and reverse deficits observed with reduced signaling through the N-methyl-d-aspartate subtype of the glutamate receptor (NMDAR) in the central nervous system. Prior to this study, the M1 mAChR subtype was viewed as the primary candidate for these actions relative to the other mAChR subtypes. Here we describe the discovery of a novel M4 PAM, VU0467154, with enhanced in vitro potency and improved pharmacokinetic properties relative to other M4 PAMs, enabling a more extensive characterization of M4 actions in rodent models. We used VU0467154 to test the hypothesis that selective potentiation of M4 receptor signaling could ameliorate the behavioral, cognitive, and neurochemical impairments induced by the noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801. VU0467154 produced a robust dose-dependent reversal of MK-801-induced hyperlocomotion and deficits in preclinical models of associative learning and memory functions, including the touchscreen pairwise visual discrimination task in wild-type mice, but failed to reverse these stimulant-induced deficits in M4 KO mice. VU0467154 also enhanced the acquisition of both contextual and cue-mediated fear conditioning when administered alone in wild-type mice. These novel findings suggest that M4 PAMs may provide a strategy for addressing the more complex affective and cognitive disruptions associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
BACKGROUND - Knowledge of adipose composition in relation to mortality may help delineate inconsistent relationships between obesity and mortality in old age. We evaluated relationships between abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) density, mortality, biomarkers, and characteristics.
METHODS - VAT and SAT density were determined from computed tomography scans in persons aged 65 and older, Health ABC (n = 2,735) and AGES-Reykjavik (n = 5,131), and 24 nonhuman primates (NHPs). Associations between adipose density and mortality (4-13 years follow-up) were assessed with Cox proportional hazards models. In NHPs, adipose density was related to serum markers and tissue characteristics.
RESULTS - Higher density adipose tissue was associated with mortality in both studies with adjustment for risk factors including adipose area, total fat, and body mass index. In women, hazard ratio and 95% CI for the densest quintile (Q5) versus least dense (Q1) for VAT density were 1.95 (1.36-2.80; Health ABC) and 1.88 (1.31-2.69; AGES-Reykjavik) and for SAT density, 1.76 (1.35-2.28; Health ABC) and 1.56 (1.15-2.11; AGES-Reykjavik). In men, VAT density was associated with mortality in Health ABC, 1.52 (1.12-2.08), whereas SAT density was associated with mortality in both Health ABC, 1.58 (1.21-2.07), and AGES-Reykjavik, 1.43 (1.07-1.91). Higher density adipose tissue was associated with smaller adipocytes in NHPs. There were no consistent associations with inflammation in any group. Higher density adipose tissue was associated with lower serum leptin in Health ABC and NHPs, lower leptin mRNA expression in NHPs, and higher serum adiponectin in Health ABC and NHPs.
CONCLUSION - VAT and SAT density provide a unique marker of mortality risk that does not appear to be inflammation related.
OBJECTIVE - During coagulation, factor IX (FIX) is activated by 2 distinct mechanisms mediated by the active proteases of either FVIIa or FXIa. Both coagulation factors may contribute to thrombosis; FXI, however, plays only a limited role in the arrest of bleeding. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of FXI may produce an antithrombotic effect with relatively low hemostatic risk.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - We have reported that reducing FXI levels with FXI antisense oligonucleotides produces antithrombotic activity in mice, and that administration of FXI antisense oligonucleotides to primates decreases circulating FXI levels and activity in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Here, we evaluated the relationship between FXI plasma levels and thrombogenicity in an established baboon model of thrombosis and hemostasis. In previous studies with this model, antibody-induced inhibition of FXI produced potent antithrombotic effects. In the present article, antisense oligonucleotides-mediated reduction of FXI plasma levels by ≥ 50% resulted in a demonstrable and sustained antithrombotic effect without an increased risk of bleeding.
CONCLUSIONS - These results indicate that reducing FXI levels using antisense oligonucleotides is a promising alternative to direct FXI inhibition, and that targeting FXI may be potentially safer than conventional antithrombotic therapies that can markedly impair primary hemostasis.