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We recently identified a pathway underlying immune activation in hypertension. Proteins oxidatively modified by reactive isoLG (isolevuglandin) accumulate in dendritic cells (DCs). PGE (Prostaglandin E2) has been implicated in the inflammation associated with hypertension. We hypothesized that PGE via its EP (E prostanoid) 3 receptor contributes to DC activation in hypertension. EP3 mice and wild-type littermates were exposed to sequential hypertensive stimuli involving an initial 2-week exposure to the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride in drinking water, followed by a 2-week washout period, and a subsequent 4% high-salt diet for 3 weeks. In wild-type mice, this protocol increased systolic pressure from 123±2 to 148±8 mm Hg (<0.05). This was associated with marked renal inflammation and a striking accumulation of isoLG adducts in splenic DCs. However, the increases in blood pressure, renal T-cell infiltration, and DC isoLG formation were completely prevented in EP3 mice. Similar protective effects were also observed in wild-type mice that received intracerebroventricular injection of a lentiviral vector encoding shRNA targeting the EP3 receptor. Further, in vitro experiments indicated that PGE also acts directly on DCs via its EP1 receptors to stimulate intracellular isoLG formation. Together, these findings provide new insight into how EP receptors in both the central nervous system and peripherally on DCs promote inflammation in salt-induced hypertension.
Background Muscular dystrophy (MD) causes a progressive cardiomyopathy characterized by diffuse fibrosis, arrhythmia, heart failure, and early death. Activation of the thromboxane-prostanoid receptor (TPr) increases calcium transients in cardiomyocytes and is proarrhythmic and profibrotic. We hypothesized that TPr activation contributes to the cardiac phenotype of MD, and that TPr antagonism would improve cardiac fibrosis and function in preclinical models of MD. Methods and Results Three different mouse models of MD (mdx/utrn double knockout, second generation mdx/mTR double knockout, and delta-sarcoglycan knockout) were given normal drinking water or water containing 25 mg/kg per day of the TPr antagonist ifetroban, beginning at weaning. After 6 months (10 weeks for mdx/utrn double knockout), mice were evaluated for cardiac and skeletal muscle function before euthanization. There was a 100% survival rate of ifetroban-treated mice to the predetermined end point, compared with 60%, 43%, and 90% for mdx/utrn double knockout, mdx/mTR double knockout, and delta-sarcoglycan knockout mice, respectively. TPr antagonism improved cardiac output in mdx/utrn double knockout and mdx/mTR mice, and normalized fractional shortening, ejection fraction, and other parameters in delta-sarcoglycan knockout mice. Cardiac fibrosis in delta-sarcoglycan knockout was reduced with TPr antagonism, which also normalized cardiac expression of claudin-5 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase proteins and multiple signature genes of Duchenne MD. Conclusions TPr antagonism reduced cardiomyopathy and spontaneous death in mouse models of Duchenne and limb-girdle MD. Based on these studies, ifetroban and other TPr antagonists could be novel therapeutics for treatment of the cardiac phenotype in patients with MD.
OBJECTIVES - To determine whether synthetic phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharides provide antimicrobial protection in clinically relevant models of bacterial infection.
DESIGN - Laboratory study.
SETTING - University laboratory.
SUBJECTS - BALB/c, C57BL/10J, and C57BL/10ScNJ mice.
INTERVENTIONS - Mice were treated with lactated Ringer's (vehicle) solution, monophosphoryl lipid A, or phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharides at 48 and 24 hours prior to intraperitoneal Pseudomonas aeruginosa or IV Staphylococcus aureus infection. Leukocyte recruitment, cytokine production, and bacterial clearance were measured 6 hours after P. aeruginosa infection. In the systemic S. aureus infection model, one group of mice was monitored for 14-day survival and another for S. aureus tissue burden at 3 days postinfection. Duration of action for 3-deacyl 6-Acyl phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharide was determined at 3, 10, and 14 days using a model of intraperitoneal P. aeruginosa infection. Effect of 3-deacyl 6-Acyl phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharide on in vivo leukocyte phagocytosis and respiratory burst was examined. Leukocyte recruitment, cytokine production, and bacterial clearance were measured after P. aeruginosa infection in wild-type and toll-like receptor 4 knockout mice treated with 3-deacyl 6-Acyl phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharide or vehicle to assess receptor specificity.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - During intraperitoneal P. aeruginosa infection, phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharides significantly attenuated infection-induced hypothermia, augmented leukocyte recruitment and bacterial clearance, and decreased cytokine production. At 3 days post S. aureus infection, bacterial burden in lungs, spleen, and kidneys was significantly decreased in mice treated with monophosphoryl lipid A or phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharides, which was associated with improved survival. Leukocyte phagocytosis and respiratory burst functions were enhanced after treatment with monophosphoryl lipid A or phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharides. A time course study showed that monophosphoryl lipid A- and 3-deacyl 6-Acyl phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharide-mediated protection against P. aeruginosa lasts for up to 10 days. Partial loss of augmented innate antimicrobial responses was observed in toll-like receptor 4 knockout mice treated with 3-deacyl 6-Acyl phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharide.
CONCLUSIONS - Phosphorylated hexa-acyl disaccharides significantly augment resistance against clinically relevant Gram-negative and Gram-positive infections via enhanced leukocyte recruitment, phagocytosis, and respiratory burst functions of innate leukocytes. Improved antimicrobial protection persists for up to 10 days and is partially mediated through toll-like receptor 4.
PURPOSE - To assess whether BIO 300, a synthetic genistein nanosuspension, improves the therapeutic index in prostate cancer treatment by preventing radiation-induced erectile dysfunction (ED) without reducing tumor radiosensitivity.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 25 Gy of 220-kV prostate-confined x-rays. Animals were randomized to receive sham radiation therapy (RT), RT alone, RT with daily BIO 300 at 2 experimental dosing regimens, or RT with daily genistein. Erectile response was evaluated over time. Penile shaft tissue was harvested for histologic analyses. Murine xenograft studies using prostate cancer cell lines determined the effects of BIO 300 dosing on RT efficacy.
RESULTS - Prostate-confined RT significantly decreased apomorphine-induced erectile response (P < .05 vs sham RT). Erection frequency in animals receiving prophylactic treatment with BIO 300 starting 3 days before RT was similar to sham controls after RT. Treatment with synthetic genistein did not mitigate loss in erectile frequency. At week 14, post-RT treatment with BIO 300 resulted in significantly higher quality of erectile function compared with both the RT arm and the RT arm receiving genistein starting 3 days before irradiation (P < .05). In hormone-sensitive and insensitive prostate tumor-bearing mice, BIO 300 administration did not negatively affect radiation-induced tumor growth delay.
CONCLUSIONS - BIO 300 prevents radiation-induced ED, measured by erection frequency, erectile function, and erection quality, when administered 3 days before RT and continued daily for up to 14 weeks. Data also suggest that BIO 300 administered starting 2 hours after RT mitigates radiation-induced ED. Data provide strong nonclinical evidence to support clinical translation of BIO 300 for mitigation of ED while maintaining treatment response to RT.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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.
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES - Radiation-induced erectile-dysfunction (RiED) is one of the most common side effects of radiation therapy (RT) and significantly reduces the quality of life (QoL) of cancer patients. Approximately 50% of prostate cancer patients experience RiED within 3 to 5 years after completion of RT. A series of vascular, muscular, and neurogenic injuries after prostate RT lead to RiED; however, the precise role of RT-induced neurogenic injury in RiED has not been fully established. The cavernous nerves (CN) are postganglionic parasympathetic nerves located beside the prostate gland that assist in penile erection. This study was designed to investigate the role of CN injury, tissue damage, and altered signaling pathways in an RiED rat model.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - Male rats were exposed to a single dose of 25 Gy prostate-confined RT. Erectile function was evaluated by intracavernous pressure (ICP) measurements conducted both 9 and 14 weeks after RT. Neuronal injury was evaluated in the CN using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, conduction studies, transmission electron microscopy, and immunoblotting. Masson trichrome staining was performed to elucidate fibrosis level in penile tissues.
RESULTS - There were significant alterations in the ICP (P<.0001) of RT rats versus non-RT rats. TEM analysis showed decreased myelination, increased microvascular damage, and progressive axonal atrophy of the CN fibers after RT. Electrophysiologic analysis showed significant impairment of the CN conduction velocity after RT. RT also significantly increased RhoA/Rho-associated protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) mRNA and protein expression. In addition, penile tissue showed increased apoptosis and fibrosis 14 weeks after RT.
CONCLUSIONS - RT-induced CN injury may contribute to RiED; this is therefore a rationale for developing novel therapeutic strategies to mitigate CN and tissue damage. Moreover, further investigation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway's role in mitigating RiED is necessary.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Attending to a visual stimulus increases its detectability, even if gaze is directed elsewhere. This covert attentional selection is known to enhance spiking across many brain areas, including the primary visual cortex (V1). Here we investigate the temporal dynamics of attention-related spiking changes in V1 of macaques performing a task that separates attentional selection from the onset of visual stimulation. We found that preceding attentional enhancement there was a sharp, transient decline in spiking following presentation of an attention-guiding cue. This disruption of V1 spiking was not observed in a task-naïve subject that passively observed the same stimulus sequence, suggesting that sensory activation is insufficient to cause suppression. Following this suppression, attended stimuli evoked more spiking than unattended stimuli, matching previous reports of attention-related activity in V1. Laminar analyses revealed a distinct pattern of activation in feedback-associated layers during both the cue-induced suppression and subsequent attentional enhancement. These findings suggest that top-down modulation of V1 spiking can be bidirectional and result in either suppression or enhancement of spiking responses.
BACKGROUND - The management of peripheral nerve injuries remains a large challenge for plastic surgeons. With the inability to fuse axonal endings, results after microsurgical nerve repair have been inconsistent. Our current nerve repair strategies rely upon the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/d). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been investigated as a potential axonal fusion agent; however, the percentage of axonal fusion has been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to identify a PEG delivery device to standardize outcomes after attempted axonal fusion with PEG.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We used a rat sciatic nerve injury model in which we completely transected and repaired the left sciatic nerve to evaluate the efficacy of PEG fusion over a span of 12 weeks. In addition, we evaluated the effectiveness of a delivery device's ability to optimize results after PEG fusion.
RESULTS - We found that PEG rapidly (within minutes) restores axonal continuity as assessed by electrophysiology, fluorescent retrograde tracer, and diffusion tensor imaging. Immunohistochemical analysis shows that motor axon counts are significantly increased at 1 week, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks postoperatively in PEG-treated animals. Furthermore, PEG restored behavioral functions up to 50% compared with animals that received the criterion standard epineurial repair (control animals).
CONCLUSIONS - The ability of PEG to rapidly restore nerve function after neurotmesis could have vast implications on the clinical management of traumatic injuries to peripheral nerves.
The SMOOTHENED inhibitor vismodegib is FDA approved for advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and shows promise in clinical trials for SONIC HEDGEHOG (SHH)-subgroup medulloblastoma (MB) patients. Clinical experience with BCC patients shows that continuous exposure to vismodegib is necessary to prevent tumor recurrence, suggesting the existence of a vismodegib-resistant reservoir of tumor-propagating cells. We isolated such tumor-propagating cells from a mouse model of SHH-subgroup MB and grew them as sphere cultures. These cultures were enriched for the MB progenitor marker SOX2 and formed tumors in vivo. Moreover, while their ability to self-renew was resistant to SHH inhibitors, as has been previously suggested, this self-renewal was instead WNT-dependent. We show here that loss of Trp53 activates canonical WNT signaling in these SOX2-enriched cultures. Importantly, a small molecule WNT inhibitor was able to reduce the propagation and growth of SHH-subgroup MB in vivo, in an on-target manner, leading to increased survival. Our results imply that the tumor-propagating cells driving the growth of bulk SHH-dependent MB are themselves WNT dependent. Further, our data suggest combination therapy with WNT and SHH inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy in patients with SHH-subgroup MB, in order to decrease the tumor recurrence commonly observed in patients treated with vismodegib.