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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.
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.
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.
BACKGROUND - Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (CA) is a prevalent medical crisis resulting in severe injury to the heart and brain and an overall survival of less than 10%. Mitochondrial dysfunction is predicted to be a key determinant of poor outcomes following prolonged CA. However, the onset and severity of mitochondrial dysfunction during CA and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is not fully understood. Ischemic postconditioning (IPC), controlled pauses during the initiation of CPR, has been shown to improve cardiac function and neurologically favorable outcomes after 15min of CA. We tested the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction develops during prolonged CA and can be rescued with IPC during CPR (IPC-CPR).
METHODS - A total of 63 swine were randomized to no ischemia (Naïve), 19min of ventricular fibrillation (VF) CA without CPR (Untreated VF), or 15min of CA with 4min of reperfusion with either standard CPR (S-CPR) or IPC-CPR. Mitochondria were isolated from the heart and brain to quantify respiration, rate of ATP synthesis, and calcium retention capacity (CRC). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was quantified from fresh frozen heart and brain tissue.
RESULTS - Compared to Naïve, Untreated VF induced cardiac and brain ROS overproduction concurrent with decreased mitochondrial respiratory coupling and CRC, as well as decreased cardiac ATP synthesis. Compared to Untreated VF, S-CPR attenuated brain ROS overproduction but had no other effect on mitochondrial function in the heart or brain. Compared to Untreated VF, IPC-CPR improved cardiac mitochondrial respiratory coupling and rate of ATP synthesis, and decreased ROS overproduction in the heart and brain.
CONCLUSIONS - Fifteen minutes of VF CA results in diminished mitochondrial respiration, ATP synthesis, CRC, and increased ROS production in the heart and brain. IPC-CPR attenuates cardiac mitochondrial dysfunction caused by prolonged VF CA after only 4min of reperfusion, suggesting that IPC-CPR is an effective intervention to reduce cardiac injury. However, reperfusion with both CPR methods had limited effect on mitochondrial function in the brain, emphasizing an important physiological divergence in post-arrest recovery between those two vital organs.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cholesterol metabolism is vital for brain function. Previous work in cultured cells has shown that a number of psychotropic drugs inhibit the activity of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7), an enzyme that catalyzes the final steps in cholesterol biosynthesis. This leads to the accumulation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC), a molecule that gives rise to oxysterols, vitamin D, and atypical neurosteroids. We examined levels of cholesterol and the cholesterol precursors desmosterol, lanosterol, 7DHC and its isomer 8-dehydrocholesterol (8DHC), in blood samples of 123 psychiatric patients on various antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, and 85 healthy controls, to see if the observations in cell lines hold true for patients as well. Three drugs, aripiprazole, haloperidol and trazodone increased circulating 7DHC and 8DHC levels, while five other drugs, clozapine, escitalopram/citalopram, lamotrigine, olanzapine, and risperidone, did not. Studies in rat brain verified that haloperidol dose-dependently increased 7DHC and 8DHC levels, while clozapine had no effect. We conclude that further studies should investigate the role of 7DHC and 8DHC metabolites, such as oxysterols, vitamin D, and atypical neurosteroids, in the deleterious and therapeutic effects of psychotropic drugs. Finally, we recommend that drugs that increase 7DHC levels should not be prescribed during pregnancy, as children born with DHCR7 deficiency have multiple congenital malformations.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Emerging evidence supports an important role for T cells in the genesis of hypertension. Because this work has predominantly been performed in experimental animals, we sought to determine whether human T cells are activated in hypertension. We used a humanized mouse model in which the murine immune system is replaced by the human immune system. Angiotensin II increased systolic pressure to 162 versus 116 mm Hg for sham-treated animals. Flow cytometry of thoracic lymph nodes, thoracic aorta, and kidney revealed increased infiltration of human leukocytes (CD45(+)) and T lymphocytes (CD3(+) and CD4(+)) in response to angiotensin II infusion. Interestingly, there was also an increase in the memory T cells (CD3(+)/CD45RO(+)) in the aortas and lymph nodes. Prevention of hypertension using hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide prevented the accumulation of T cells in these tissues. Studies of isolated human T cells and monocytes indicated that angiotensin II had no direct effect on cytokine production by T cells or the ability of dendritic cells to drive T-cell proliferation. We also observed an increase in circulating interleukin-17A producing CD4(+) T cells and both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that produce interferon-γ in hypertensive compared with normotensive humans. Thus, human T cells become activated and invade critical end-organ tissues in response to hypertension in a humanized mouse model. This response likely reflects the hypertensive milieu encountered in vivo and is not a direct effect of the hormone angiotensin II.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
Angiotensin II-induced hypertension is associated with an increase in T-cell production of interleukin-17A (IL-17A). Recently, we reported that IL-17A(-/-) mice exhibit blunted hypertension, preserved natriuresis in response to a saline challenge, and decreased renal sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 expression after 2 weeks of angiotensin II infusion compared with wild-type mice. In the current study, we performed renal transporter profiling in mice deficient in IL-17A or the related isoform, IL-17F, after 4 weeks of Ang II infusion, the time when the blood pressure reduction in IL-17A(-/-) mice is most prominent. Deficiency of IL-17A abolished the activation of distal tubule transporters, specifically the sodium-chloride cotransporter and the epithelial sodium channel and protected mice from glomerular and tubular injury. In human proximal tubule (HK-2) cells, IL-17A increased sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 expression through a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1-dependent pathway. In mouse distal convoluted tubule cells, IL-17A increased sodium-chloride cotransporter activity in a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1/Nedd4-2-dependent pathway. In both cell types, acute treatment with IL-17A induced phosphorylation of serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 at serine 78, and treatment with a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 inhibitor blocked the effects of IL-17A on sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 and sodium-chloride cotransporter. Interestingly, both HK-2 and mouse distal convoluted tubule 15 cells produce endogenous IL-17A. IL17F had little or no effect on blood pressure or renal sodium transporter abundance. These studies provide a mechanistic link by which IL-17A modulates renal sodium transport and suggest that IL-17A inhibition may improve renal function in hypertension and other autoimmune disorders.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
Vascular superoxide (O˙2 (-)) and inflammation contribute to hypertension. The mitochondria are an important source of O˙2 (-); however, the regulation of mitochondrial O˙2 (-) and the antihypertensive potential of targeting the mitochondria remain poorly defined. Angiotensin II and inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 17A and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) significantly contribute to hypertension. We hypothesized that angiotensin II and cytokines co-operatively induce cyclophilin D (CypD)-dependent mitochondrial O˙2 (-) production in hypertension. We tested whether CypD inhibition attenuates endothelial oxidative stress and reduces hypertension. CypD depletion in CypD(-/-) mice prevents overproduction of mitochondrial O˙2 (-) in angiotensin II-infused mice, attenuates hypertension by 20 mm Hg, and improves vascular relaxation compared with wild-type C57Bl/6J mice. Treatment of hypertensive mice with the specific CypD inhibitor Sanglifehrin A reduces blood pressure by 28 mm Hg, inhibits production of mitochondrial O˙2 (-) by 40%, and improves vascular relaxation. Angiotensin II-induced hypertension was associated with CypD redox activation by S-glutathionylation, and expression of the mitochondria-targeted H2O2 scavenger, catalase, abolished CypD S-glutathionylation, prevented stimulation mitochondrial O˙2 (-), and attenuated hypertension. The functional role of cytokine-angiotensin II interplay was confirmed by co-operative stimulation of mitochondrial O˙2 (-) by 3-fold in cultured endothelial cells and impairment of aortic relaxation incubated with combination of angiotensin II, interleukin 17A, and tumor necrosis factor-α which was prevented by CypD depletion or expression of mitochondria-targeted SOD2 and catalase. These data support a novel role of CypD in hypertension and demonstrate that targeting CypD decreases mitochondrial O˙2 (-), improves vascular relaxation, and reduces hypertension.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.