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Populations in sub-Saharan Africa are shifting from rural to increasingly urban. Although the burden of cardiovascular disease is expected to increase with this changing landscape, few large studies have assessed a wide range of risk factors in urban and rural populations, particularly in West Africa. We conducted a cross-sectional, population-based survey of 3317 participants from Ghana (≥18 years old), of whom 2265 (57% female) were from a mid-sized city (Sunyani, population ~250,000) and 1052 (55% female) were from surrounding villages (populations <5000). We measured canonical cardiovascular disease risk factors (BMI, blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipids) and fibrinolytic markers (PAI-1 and t-PA), and assessed how their distributions and related clinical outcomes (including obesity, hypertension and diabetes) varied with urban residence and sex. Urban residence was strongly associated with obesity (OR: 7.8, 95% CI: 5.3-11.3), diabetes (OR 3.6, 95% CI: 2.3-5.7), and hypertension (OR 3.2, 95% CI: 2.6-4.0). Among the quantitative measures, most affected were total cholesterol (+0.81 standard deviations, 95% CI 0.73-0.88), LDL cholesterol (+0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-0.99), and t-PA (+0.56, 95% CI: 0.48-0.63). Triglycerides and HDL cholesterol profiles were similarly poor in both urban and rural environments, but significantly worse among rural participants after BMI-adjustment. For most of the risk factors, the strength of the association with urban residence did not vary with sex. Obesity was a major exception, with urban women at particularly high risk (26% age-standardized prevalence) compared to urban men (7%). Overall, urban residents had substantially worse cardiovascular risk profiles, with some risk factors at levels typically seen in the developed world.
STUDY OBJECTIVES - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, including stroke and acute coronary syndromes. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), the principal inhibitor of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), has a pronounced circadian rhythm and is elevated in both OSA and cardiovascular disease and may be an important link between the two conditions. Endothelial dysfunction is one of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, and may be altered in OSA. Our primary aim was to compare circadian variability of PAI-1 and t-PA in patients with OSA and normal controls by determining the amplitude (peak level) and mesor (rhythm adjusted mean) of PAI-1 and t-PA in serial blood samples over a 24-h period. The secondary aim was to measure markers of endothelial function (brachial and radial artery flow) in patients with OSA compared with normal controls.
SETTING - Cross-sectional cohort study.
PATIENTS OR PARTICIPANTS - Subjects age 18 y or older, with a body mass index of 25-45 kg/m(2), with or without evidence of untreated OSA.
INTERVENTIONS - Plasma samples were collected every 2 h, in OSA patients and matched controls, over a 24-h period. PAI-1 and t-PA antigen and activity were measured. The presence or absence of OSA (apnea-hypopnea index of 5 or greater) was confirmed by overnight polysomnography. Endothelial function was measured via brachial artery flow mediated vasodilatation and computerized arterial pulse waveform analysis.
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS - The rhythm-adjusted mean levels of PAI-1 antigen levels in the OSA group (21.8 ng/mL, 95% confidence level [CI], 18 to 25.7) were significantly higher as compared to the non-OSA group (16 ng/mL, 95% CI, 12.2 to 19.8; P = 0.03). The rhythm-adjusted mean levels of PAI-1 activity levels in the OSA group (23.9 IU/mL, 95% CI, 21.4 to 26.5) were also significantly higher than in the non-OSA group (17.2 IU/ mL, 95% CI, 14.6 to 19.9; P < 0.001).There were strong correlations between amplitude of PAI-1 activity and severity of OSA as measured by AHI (P = 0.02), and minimum oxygen levels during sleep (P = 0.04). Endothelial function parameters did not differ significantly between the two groups.
CONCLUSION - The presence of obstructive sleep apnea adversely affects circadian fibrinolytic balance with higher mean plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity and antigen, and significantly lower mean tissue-type plasminogen activator activity compared with controls. This perturbation may be an important mechanism for increased cardiovascular events in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Intermittent hypoxia and changes in circadian clock gene activity in obstructive sleep apnea may be responsible for these findings and warrant further study. Favorable changes in fibrinolytic balance may underlie the reduction in cardiovascular events observed with the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
Bradykinin causes vasodilation, stimulates tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) release and, in rodents, increases muscle glucose uptake. Although bradykinin causes vasodilation partly by activating nitric-oxide synthase (NOS), the role of nitric oxide in regulating bradykinin-stimulated t-PA release is uncertain. This study examined the effect of high-dose NOS inhibition on bradykinin-stimulated t-PA release and glucose uptake in humans. We studied 24 healthy (12 women and 12 men), overweight and obese (body mass index >25 kg/m(2)), normotensive, nondiabetic subjects with normal cholesterol. We measured the effect of intra-arterial N(omega)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA, 12 micromol/min) on forearm blood flow (FBF), net t-PA release, and glucose uptake at baseline and in response to intra-arterial bradykinin (50-200 ng/min) in subjects pretreated with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor aspirin. Measurements were repeated after isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN; 5 mg) or sildenafil (50 mg). L-NMMA decreased baseline FBF (P < 0.001), increased baseline forearm vascular resistance (P < 0.001), and increased the t-PA arterial-venous gradient (P = 0.04) without affecting baseline net t-PA release or glucose uptake. During L-NMMA, ISDN tended to decrease baseline net t-PA release (P = 0.06). L-NMMA blunted bradykinin-stimulated vasodilation (P < 0.001 for FBF and FVR). Bradykinin increased net glucose extraction (from -80 +/- 23 to -320 +/- 97 microg/min/100 ml at 200 ng/min bradykinin, P = 0.02), and L-NMMA (-143 +/- 50 microg/min/100 ml at 200 ng/min, P = 0.045) attenuated this effect. In contrast, L-NMMA enhanced bradykinin-stimulated t-PA release (39.9 +/- 7.0 ng/min/100 ml versus 30.0 +/- 4.2 ng/min/100 ml at 200 ng/min, P = 0.04 for L-NMMA). In gender-stratified analyses, L-NMMA significantly increased bradykinin-stimulated t-PA release in women (F = 6.7, P = 0.02) but not in men. Endogenous NO contributes to bradykinin-stimulated vasodilation and glucose uptake but attenuates the fibrinolytic response to exogenous bradykinin.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is estimated to affect one in eight adults. Their kidney function progressively deteriorates as inflammatory and fibrotic processes damage nephrons. New therapies to prevent renal functional decline must build on basic research studies that identify critical cellular and molecular mediators. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), a potent fibrosis-promoting glycoprotein, is one promising candidate. Absent from normal kidneys, PAI-1 is frequently expressed in injured kidneys. Studies in genetically engineered mice have demonstrated its potency as a pro-fibrotic molecule. Somewhat surprising, its ability to inhibit serine protease activity does not appear to be its primary pro-fibrotic effect in CKD. Both tissue-type plasminogen activator and plasminogen deficiency significantly reduced renal fibrosis severity after ureteral obstruction, while genetic urokinase (uPA) deficiency had no effect. PAI-1 expression is associated with enhanced recruitment of key cellular effectors of renal fibrosis - interstitial macrophages and myofibroblasts. The ability of PAI-1 to promote cell migration involves interactions with the low-density lipoprotein receptor-associate protein-1 and also complex interactions with uPA bound to its receptor (uPAR) and several leukocyte and matrix integrins that associate with uPAR as co-receptors. uPAR is expressed by several cell types in damaged kidneys, and studies in uPAR-deficient mice have shown that its serves a protective role. uPAR mediates additional anti-fibrotic effects - it interacts with specific co-receptors to degrade PAI-1 and extracellular collagens, and soluble uPAR has leukocyte chemoattractant properties. Molecular pathways activated by serine proteases and their inhibitor, PAI-1, are promising targets for future anti-fibrotic therapeutic agents.
Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) directly influence thrombus formation and degradation, and have been identified as risk factors for thromboembolic disease. Prior studies investigated determinants of t-PA and PAI-1 expression, but mainly in Caucasian subjects. The aim of this study was to identify the contributions of genetic and other factors to inter-individual variation in plasma levels of t-PA and PAI-1 in a large-scale population-based sample from urban West Africa. t-PA, PAI-1 and several demographic, anthropometric, and metabolic parameters were measured in 992 residents of Sunyani, the capital of the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. In addition, nine gene polymorphisms associated with components of the renin-angiotensin and fibrinolytic systems were determined. We found that BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides were all significant predictors of t-PA and PAI-1 in both females and males. In addition, a significant relationship was found between the PAI-1 4G/5G (rs1799768) polymorphism on PAI-1 levels in females, the TPA I/D (rs4646972) polymorphism on t-PA and PAI-1 in males, the renin (rs3730103) polymorphism on t-PA and PAI-1 in males, the ethanolamine kinase 2 (rs1917542) polymorphism on PAI-1 in males, and the renin (rs1464816) polymorphism on t-PA in females and on PAI-1 in males. This study of urban West Africans shows that t-PA and PAI-1 levels are determined by both genetic loci of the fibrinolytic and renin-angiotensin systems and other factors often associated with cardiovascular disease, and that genetic factors differ between males and females.
Spontaneous preterm birth (<37 weeks gestation-PTB) occurs in approximately 12% of pregnancies in the United States, and is the largest contributor to neonatal morbidity and mortality. PTB is a complex disease, potentially induced by several etiologic factors from multiple pathophysiologic pathways. To dissect the genetic risk factors of PTB a large-scale high-throughput candidate gene association study was performed examining 1536 SNP in 130 candidate genes from hypothesized PTB pathways. Maternal and fetal DNA from 370 US Caucasian birth-events (172 cases and 198 controls) was examined. Single locus, haplotype, and multi-locus association analyses were performed separately on maternal and fetal data. For maternal data the strongest associations were found in genes in the complement-coagulation pathway related to decidual hemorrhage in PTB. In this pathway 3 of 6 genes examined had SNPs significantly associated with PTB. These include factor V (FV) that was previously associated with PTB, factor VII (FVII), and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The single strongest effect was observed in tPA marker rs879293 with a significant allelic (p = 2.30x10(-3)) and genotypic association (p = 2.0x10(-6)) with PTB. The odds ratio (OR) for this SNP was 2.80 [CI 1.77-4.44] for a recessive model. Given that 6 of 8 markers in tPA were statistically significant, sliding window haplotype analyses were performed and revealed an associating 4 marker haplotype in tPA (p = 6.00x10(-3)). The single strongest effect in fetal DNA was observed in the inflammatory pathway at rs17121510 in the interleukin-10 receptor antagonist (IL-10RA) gene for allele (p = 0.01) and genotype (p = 3.34x10(-4)). The OR for the IL-10RA genotypic additive model was 1.92 [CI 1.15-3.19] (p = 2.00x10(-3)). Finally, exploratory multi-locus analyses in the complement and coagulation pathway were performed and revealed a potentially significant interaction between a marker in FV (rs2187952) and FVII (rs3211719) (p<0.001). These results support a role for genes in both the coagulation and inflammation pathways, and potentially different maternal and fetal genetic risks for PTB.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition potentiates basal and bradykinin-stimulated tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) release to a greater extent in women than in men. This study tested the hypothesis that 17beta-estradiol enhances the effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition on t-PA release in young postmenopausal women. We conducted a double-blind, prospective, crossover study in 14 young postmenopausal women (mean age 48.2+/-2.3 years) who were randomized to receive 17beta-estradiol (1 mg/d) or matching placebo for 4 weeks. At the end of each treatment period, we measured the effect of intraarterial infusion of bradykinin, methacholine, and nitroprusside on forearm blood flow and net t-PA release, before and during intraarterial enalaprilat (0.33 microg/min/100 mL forearm volume). 17Beta-estradiol significantly reduced baseline venous plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen (4.4+/-1.4 versus 10.4+/-2.5 ng/mL, P=0.001) and t-PA antigen (5.5+/-0.6 versus 7.5+/-1.3 ng/mL, P=0.022) compared with placebo. 17Beta-estradiol increased basal forearm vascular release of active t-PA compared with placebo (1.2+/-0.3 IU/mL/min versus 0.4+/-0.1 IU/mL/min respectively, P=0.032), without increasing t-PA antigen release (P=0.761). Enalaprilat significantly increased basal net t-PA antigen release (from -0.8+/-1.0 to 3.2+/-1.2 ng/min/100 mL, P=0.012), but not the release of active t-PA, during either placebo or 17beta-estradiol. Enalaprilat potentiated bradykinin-stimulated vasodilation and t-PA antigen and activity release similarly during placebo and 17beta-estradiol treatment. 17Beta-estradiol treatment does not alter the effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition on basal t-PA antigen or on bradykinin-stimulated t-PA antigen or activity release. 17Beta-estradiol increases basal release of active t-PA in young postmenopausal women, consistent with enhanced vascular fibrinolytic function.
To test the hypothesis that the bradykinin receptor 2 (BDKRB2) BE1+9/-9 polymorphism affects vascular responses to bradykinin, we measured the effect of intra-arterial bradykinin on forearm blood flow and tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) release in 89 normotensive, nonsmoking, white American subjects in whom degradation of bradykinin was blocked by enalaprilat. BE1 genotype frequencies were +9/+9:+9/-9:-9/-9=19:42:28. BE1 genotype was associated with systolic blood pressure (121.4+/-2.8, 113.8+/-1.8, and 110.6+/-1.8 mm Hg in +9/+9, +9/-9, and -9/-9 groups, respectively; P=0.007). In the absence of enalaprilat, bradykinin-stimulated forearm blood flow, forearm vascular resistance, and net t-PA release were similar among genotype groups. Enalaprilat increased basal forearm blood flow (P=0.002) and decreased basal forearm vascular resistance (P=0.01) without affecting blood pressure. Enalaprilat enhanced the effect of bradykinin on forearm blood flow, forearm vascular resistance, and t-PA release (all P<0.001). During enalaprilat, forearm blood flow was significantly lower and forearm vascular resistance was higher in response to bradykinin in the +9/+9 compared with +9/-9 and -9/-9 genotype groups (P=0.04 for both). t-PA release tended to be decreased in response to bradykinin in the +9/+9 group (P=0.08). When analyzed separately by gender, BE1 genotype was associated with bradykinin-stimulated t-PA release in angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-treated men but not women (P=0.02 and P=0.77, respectively), after controlling for body mass index. There was no effect of BE1 genotype on responses to the bradykinin type 2 receptor-independent vasodilator methacholine during enalaprilat. In conclusion, the BDKRB2 BE1 polymorphism influences bradykinin type 2 receptor-mediated vasodilation during angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Experimental stroke studies indicate that oxidative stress is a major contributing factor to ischemic cerebral injury. Oxidative stress is also implicated in activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and blood-brain barrier injury after ischemia-reperfusion. Plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress may have utility as early indicators of efficacy in Phase 2 trials of antioxidant therapies in human stroke. To date, a valid biomarker has been unavailable. We measured F2-isoprostanes (F2IPs), free-radical induced products of neuronal arachadonic acid peroxidation, in acute ischemic stroke. We aimed to determine the change in plasma F2IP levels over time and relationship with plasma MMP-9 in tPA-treated and tPA-untreated stroke patients.
METHODS - We performed a case-control study of consecutive ischemic stroke patients (25 tPA-treated and 27 tPA-untreated) presenting within 8 hours of stroke onset. Controls were individuals without prior stroke from a primary care clinic network serving the source population from which cases were derived. Infarct volume was determined on acute diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) performed within 48 hours using a semi-automated computerized segmentation algorithm. Phlebotomy was performed at <8 hours, 24 hours, 2 to 5 days, and 4 to 6 weeks. F2IPs were measured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and MMP-9 by ELISA. Prestroke antioxidant dietary intake was measured by the 24-hour recall method.
RESULTS - In 52 cases and 27 controls, early (median 6 hours postonset) F2IPs were elevated in stroke cases compared with controls (medians 0. 041 versus 0.0295 pg/mL, P=0.012). No difference in F2IPSs was present at later time points. Early plasma F2IPs correlated with MMP-9 in all patients (P=0.01) and the tPA-treated subgroup (P=0.02). No correlation was found with NIHSS, DWI infarct volume, 90-day Rankin score, or C-reactive protein (P>0.05 for all).
CONCLUSIONS - In early human stroke we found evidence of increased oxidative stress and a relationship with MMP-9 expression, supporting findings from experimental studies.