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Impaired wound healing that mimics chronic human skin pathologies is difficult to achieve in current animal models, hindering testing and development of new therapeutic biomaterials that promote wound healing. In this article, we describe a refinement and simplification of the porcine ischemic wound model that increases the size and number of experimental sites per animal. By comparing three flap geometries, we adopted a superior configuration (15 × 10 cm) that enabled testing of twenty 1 cm wounds in each animal: 8 total ischemic wounds within 4 bipedicle flaps and 12 nonischemic wounds. The ischemic wounds exhibited impaired skin perfusion for ∼1 week. To demonstrate the utility of the model for comparative testing of tissue regenerative biomaterials, we evaluated the healing process in wounds implanted with highly porous poly (thioketal) urethane (PTK-UR) scaffolds that were fabricated through reaction of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-cleavable PTK macrodiols with isocyanates. PTK-lysine triisocyanate (LTI) scaffolds degraded significantly in vitro under both oxidative and hydrolytic conditions whereas PTK-hexamethylene diisocyanate trimer (HDIt) scaffolds were resistant to hydrolytic breakdown and degraded exclusively through an ROS-dependent mechanism. Upon placement into porcine wounds, both types of PTK-UR materials fostered new tissue ingrowth over 10 days in both ischemic and nonischemic tissue. However, wound perfusion, tissue infiltration and the abundance of pro-regenerative, M2-polarized macrophages were markedly lower in ischemic wounds independent of scaffold type. The PTK-LTI implants significantly improved tissue infiltration and perfusion compared with analogous PTK-HDIt scaffolds in ischemic wounds. Both LTI and HDIt-based PTK-UR implants enhanced M2 macrophage activity, and these cells were selectively localized at the scaffold/tissue interface. In sum, this modified porcine wound-healing model decreased animal usage, simplified procedures, and permitted a more robust evaluation of tissue engineering materials in preclinical wound healing research. Deployment of the model for a relevant biomaterial comparison yielded results that support the use of the PTK-LTI over the PTK-HDIt scaffold formulation for future advanced therapeutic studies.
PURPOSE - To visualize and quantify conventional outflow directly in its anatomic location.
METHODS - We obtained fluorescein canalograms in six porcine whole eyes and six porcine anterior segment cultures. Eyes were perfused with a constant pressure of 15 mmHg using media containing 0.017 mg/ml fluorescein. Flow patterns were visualized using a stereo dissecting microscope equipped for fluorescent imaging. Images were captured every 30 seconds for 20 minutes for time lapse analysis. Anterior chamber cultures were imaged again on day three of culture. Canalograms were first analyzed for filling time per quadrant. We then wrote a program to automatically compute focal flow fits for each macropixel and to detect convergent perilimbal flow patterns with macropixels grouped into 3 equal-radial width rings around the cornea. A generalized additive model was used to determine fluorescence changes of individual macropixels.
RESULTS - The resulting imaging algorithm deployed 1024 macropixels that were fit to determine maximum intensity and time to fill. These individual fits highlighted the focal flow function. In whole eyes, significantly faster flow was seen in the inferonasal (IN) and superonasal (SN) quadrants compared to the superotemporal (ST) and inferotemporal (IT) ones (p<0.05). In anterior chamber cultures, reduced flow on day 1 increased in all quadrants on day 3 except in IT (p<0.05). Perilimbal ring analysis uncovered convergent perilimbal flow.
CONCLUSIONS - An algorithm was developed that analyzes regional and circumferential outflow patterns. This algorithm found flow patterns that changed over time and differ in whole eyes and anterior segment cultures.
Infants with cardiopulmonary disorders associated with hypoxia develop pulmonary hypertension. We previously showed that initiation of oral L-citrulline before and continued throughout hypoxic exposure improves nitric oxide (NO) production and ameliorates pulmonary hypertension in newborn piglets. Rescue treatments, initiated after the onset of pulmonary hypertension, better approximate clinical strategies. Mechanisms by which L-citrulline improves NO production merit elucidation. The objective of this study was to determine whether starting L-citrulline after the onset of pulmonary hypertension inhibits disease progression and improves NO production by recoupling endothelial NO synthase (eNOS). Hypoxic and normoxic (control) piglets were studied. Some hypoxic piglets received oral L-citrulline starting on Day 3 of hypoxia and continuing throughout the remaining 7 days of hypoxic exposure. Catheters were placed for hemodynamic measurements, and pulmonary arteries were dissected to assess NO production and eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratios (a measure of eNOS coupling). Pulmonary vascular resistance was lower in L-citrulline-treated hypoxic piglets than in untreated hypoxic piglets but was higher than in normoxic controls. NO production and eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratios were greater in pulmonary arteries from L-citrulline-treated than from untreated hypoxic animals but were lower than in normoxic controls. When started after disease onset, oral L-citrulline treatment improves NO production by recoupling eNOS and inhibits the further development of chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension in newborn piglets. Oral L-citrulline may be a novel strategy to halt or reverse pulmonary hypertension in infants suffering from cardiopulmonary conditions associated with hypoxia.
RATIONALE - There is evidence that impairments in nitric oxide (NO) signaling contribute to chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. The L-arginine-NO precursor, L-citrulline, has been shown to ameliorate pulmonary hypertension. Sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporters (SNATs) are involved in the transport of L-citrulline into pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs). The functional link between the SNATs, L-citrulline, and NO signaling has not yet been explored.
OBJECTIVE - We tested the hypothesis that changes in SNAT1 expression and transport function regulate NO production by modulating eNOS coupling in newborn piglet PAECs.
METHODS AND RESULTS - A silencing RNA (siRNA) technique was used to assess the contribution of SNAT1 to NO production and eNOS coupling (eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratios) in PAECs from newborn piglets cultured under normoxic and hypoxic conditions in the presence and absence of L-citrulline. SNAT1 siRNA reduced basal NO production in normoxic PAECs and prevented L-citrulline-induced elevations in NO production in both normoxic and hypoxic PAECs. SNAT1 siRNA reduced basal eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratios in normoxic PAECs and prevented L-citrulline-induced increases in eNOS dimer-to-monomer ratios in hypoxic PAECs.
CONCLUSIONS - SNAT1 mediated L-citrulline transport modulates eNOS coupling and thus regulates NO production in hypoxic PAECs from newborn piglets. Strategies that increase SNAT1-mediated transport and supply of L-citrulline may serve as novel therapeutic approaches to enhance NO production in patients with pulmonary vascular disease.
Initiation of force generation during vascular smooth muscle contraction involves a rise in intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i) and phosphorylation of myosin light chains (MLC). However, reversal of these two processes alone does not account for the force inhibition that occurs during relaxation or inhibition of contraction, implicating that other mechanisms, such as actin cytoskeletal rearrangement, play a role in the suppression of force. In this study, we hypothesize that forskolin-induced force suppression is dependent upon changes in actin cytoskeletal dynamics. To focus on the actin cytoskeletal changes, a physiological model was developed in which forskolin treatment of intact porcine coronary arteries (PCA) prior to treatment with a contractile agonist resulted in complete suppression of force. Pretreatment of PCA with forskolin suppressed histamine-induced force generation but did not abolish [Ca(2+)]i rise or MLC phosphorylation. Additionally, forskolin pretreatment reduced filamentous actin in histamine-treated tissues, and prevented histamine-induced changes in the phosphorylation of the actin-regulatory proteins HSP20, VASP, cofilin, and paxillin. Taken together, these results suggest that forskolin-induced complete force suppression is dependent upon the actin cytoskeletal regulation initiated by the phosphorylation changes of the actin regulatory proteins and not on the MLC dephosphorylation. This model of complete force suppression can be employed to further elucidate the mechanisms responsible for smooth muscle tone, and may offer cues to pathological situations, such as hypertension and vasospasm.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the circular DNA molecule inside the mitochondria of all eukaryotic cells, has been shown to be under the effect of purifying selection in several species. Traditional testing of purifying selection has been based simply on ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations, without considering the relative age of each mutation, which can be determined by phylogenetic analysis of this non-recombining molecule. The incorporation of a mutation time-ordering from phylogeny and of predicted pathogenicity scores for nonsynonymous mutations allow a quantitative evaluation of the effects of purifying selection in human mtDNA. Here, by using this additional information, we show that purifying selection undoubtedly acts upon the mtDNA of other mammalian species/genera, namely Bos sp., Canis lupus, Mus musculus, Orcinus orca, Pan sp. and Sus scrofa. The effects of purifying selection were comparable in all species, leading to a significant major proportion of nonsynonymous variants with higher pathogenicity scores in the younger branches of the tree. We also derive recalibrated mutation rates for age estimates of ancestors of these various species and proposed a correction curve in order to take into account the effects of selection. Understanding this selection is fundamental to evolutionary studies and to the identification of deleterious mutations.
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) induces myofibroblast activation of quiescent aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs), a differentiation process implicated in calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). The ubiquity of TGF-β1 signaling makes it difficult to target in a tissue specific manner; however, the serotonin 2B receptor (5-HT(2B)) is highly localized to cardiopulmonary tissues and agonism of this receptor displays pro-fibrotic effects in a TGF-β1-dependent manner. Therefore, we hypothesized that antagonism of 5-HT(2B) opposes TGF-β1-induced pathologic differentiation of AVICs and may offer a druggable target to prevent CAVD. To test this hypothesis, we assessed the interaction of 5-HT(2B) antagonism with canonical and non-canonical TGF-β1 pathways to inhibit TGF-β1-induced activation of isolated porcine AVICs in vitro. Here we show that AVIC activation and subsequent calcific nodule formation is completely mitigated by 5-HT(2B) antagonism. Interestingly, 5-HT(2B) antagonism does not inhibit canonical TGF-β1 signaling as identified by Smad3 phosphorylation and activation of a partial plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 promoter (PAI-1, a transcriptional target of Smad3), but prevents non-canonical p38 MAPK phosphorylation. It was initially suspected that 5-HT(2B) antagonism prevents Src tyrosine kinase phosphorylation; however, we found that this is not the case and time-lapse microscopy indicates that 5-HT(2B) antagonism prevents non-canonical TGF-β1 signaling by physically arresting Src tyrosine kinase. This study demonstrates the necessity of non-canonical TGF-β1 signaling in leading to pathologic AVIC differentiation. Moreover, we believe that the results of this study suggest 5-HT(2B) antagonism as a novel therapeutic approach for CAVD that merits further investigation.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lipoxygenases are critical enzymes in the biosynthesis of families of bioactive lipids including compounds with important roles in the initiation and resolution of inflammation and in associated diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Crystals diffracting to high resolution (1.9 Å) were obtained for a complex between the catalytic domain of leukocyte 12-lipoxygenase and the isoform-specific inhibitor, 4-(2-oxapentadeca-4-yne)phenylpropanoic acid (OPP). In the three-dimensional structure of the complex, the inhibitor occupied a new U-shaped channel open at one end to the surface of the protein and extending past the redox-active iron site that is essential for catalysis. In models, the channel accommodated arachidonic acid, defining the binding site for the substrate of the catalyzed reaction. There was a void adjacent to the OPP binding site connecting to the surface of the enzyme and providing a plausible access channel for the other substrate, oxygen.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension. ROS might mediate vascular responses, at least in part, by stimulating prostanoid production. Our goals were to determine whether the effect of ROS on vascular tone is altered in resistance pulmonary arteries (PRAs) of newborn piglets with chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and the role, if any, of prostanoids in ROS-mediated responses. In cannulated, pressurized PRA, ROS generated by xanthine (X) plus xanthine oxidase (XO) had minimal effect on vascular tone in control piglets but caused significant vasoconstriction in hypoxic piglets. Both cyclooxygenase inhibition with indomethacin and thromboxane synthase inhibition with dazoxiben significantly blunted constriction to X+XO in hypoxic PRA. X+XO increased prostacyclin production (70 ± 8%) by a greater degree than thromboxane production (50 ± 6%) in control PRA; this was not the case in hypoxic PRA where the increases in prostacyclin and thromboxane production were not statistically different (78 ± 13% versus 216 ± 93%, respectively). Thromboxane synthase expression was increased in PRA from hypoxic piglets, whereas prostacyclin synthase expression was similar in PRA from hypoxic and control piglets. Under conditions of chronic hypoxia, altered vascular responses to ROS may contribute to pulmonary hypertension by a mechanism that involves the prostanoid vasoconstrictor, thromboxane.
Recent studies have suggested that extracellular matrix rigidity regulates cancer invasiveness, including the formation of cellular invadopodial protrusions; however, the relevant mechanical range is unclear. Here, we used a combined analysis of tissue-derived model basement membrane (BM) and stromal matrices and synthetic materials to understand how substrate rigidity regulates invadopodia. Urinary bladder matrix-BM (UBM-BM) was found to be a rigid material with elastic moduli of 3-8 MPa, as measured by atomic force microscopy and low-strain tensile testing. Stromal elastic moduli were ∼6-fold lower, indicating a more compliant material. Using synthetic substrates that span kPa-GPa moduli, we found a peak of invadopodia-associated extracellular matrix degradation centered around 30 kPa, which also corresponded to a peak in invadopodia/cell. Surprisingly, we observed another peak in invadopodia numbers at 2 GPa as well as gene expression changes that indicate cellular sensing of very high moduli. Based on the measured elastic moduli of model stroma and BM, we expected to find more invadopodia formation on the stroma, and this was verified on the stromal versus BM side of UBM-BM. These data suggest that cells can sense a wide range of rigidities, up into the GPa range. Furthermore, there is an optimal rigidity range for invadopodia activity that may be limited by BM rigidity.
Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.