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OBJECTIVES - Unregulated intraoperative distension of human saphenous vein (SV) graft leads to supraphysiologic luminal pressures and causes acute physiologic and cellular injury to the conduit. The effect of distension on tissue viscoelasticity, a biophysical property critical to a successful graft, is not well described. In this investigation, we quantify the loss of viscoelasticity in SV deformed by distension and compare the results to tissue distended in a pressure-controlled fashion.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Unmanipulated porcine SV was used as a control or distended without regulation and distended with an in-line pressure release valve (PRV). Rings were cut from these tissues and suspended on a muscle bath. Force versus time tracings of tissue constricted with KCl (110 mM) and relaxed with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were fit to the Hill model of viscoelasticity, using mean absolute error (MAE) and r-goodness of fit as measures of conformity.
RESULTS - One-way ANOVA analysis demonstrated that, in tissue distended manually, the MAE was significantly greater and the r-goodness of fit was significantly lower than both undistended tissues and tissues distended with a PRV (p<0.05) in KCl-induced vasoconstriction and SNP-induced vasodilation.
CONCLUSIONS - Unregulated manual distension of SV graft causes loss of viscoelasticity and such loss may be mitigated with the use of an in-line PRV.
Pulmonary vascular disease is characterized by remodeling and loss of microvessels and is typically attributed to pathological responses in vascular endothelium or abnormal smooth muscle cell phenotypes. We have challenged this understanding by defining an adult pulmonary mesenchymal progenitor cell (MPC) that regulates both microvascular function and angiogenesis. The current understanding of adult MPCs and their roles in homeostasis versus disease has been limited by a lack of genetic markers with which to lineage label multipotent mesenchyme and trace the differentiation of these MPCs into vascular lineages. Here, we have shown that lineage-labeled lung MPCs expressing the ATP-binding cassette protein ABCG2 (ABCG2+) are pericyte progenitors that participate in microvascular homeostasis as well as adaptive angiogenesis. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, either autonomously or downstream of decreased BMP receptor signaling, enhanced ABCG2+ MPC proliferation but suppressed MPC differentiation into a functional pericyte lineage. Thus, enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signaling in ABCG2+ MPCs drives a phenotype of persistent microvascular dysfunction, abnormal angiogenesis, and subsequent exacerbation of bleomycin-induced fibrosis. ABCG2+ MPCs may, therefore, account in part for the aberrant microvessel function and remodeling that are associated with chronic lung diseases.
Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is common during pregnancy. Fetal exposure to SSRIs is associated with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN); however, a direct link between the two has yet to be established. Conversely, it is well known that PPHN can be caused by premature constriction of the ductus arteriosus (DA), a fetal vessel connecting the pulmonary and systemic circulations. We hypothesized that SSRIs could induce in utero DA constriction. Using isolated vessels and whole-animal models, we sought to determine the effects of two commonly prescribed SSRIs, fluoxetine and sertraline, on the fetal mouse DA. Cannulated vessel myography studies demonstrated that SSRIs caused concentration-dependent DA constriction and made vessels less sensitive to prostaglandin-induced dilation. Moreover, in vivo studies showed that SSRI-exposed mice had inappropriate DA constriction in utero. Taken together, these findings establish that SSRIs promote fetal DA constriction and provide a potential mechanism by which SSRIs could contribute to PPHN.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a cyclooxygenase metabolite that generally acts as a systemic vasodepressor, has been shown to have vasopressor effects under certain physiologic conditions. Previous studies have demonstrated that PGE2 receptor signaling modulates angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension, but the interaction of these two systems in the regulation of vascular reactivity is incompletely characterized. We hypothesized that Ang II, a principal effector of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, potentiates PGE2-mediated vasoconstriction. Here we demonstrate that pre-treatment of arterial rings with 1nM Ang II potentiated PGE2-evoked constriction in a concentration dependent manner (AUC-Ang II 2.778±2.091, AUC+Ang II 22.830±8.560, ***P<0.001). Using genetic deletion models and pharmacological antagonists, we demonstrate that this potentiation effect is mediated via concurrent signaling between the angiotensin II receptor 1 (AT1) and the PGE2 E-prostanoid receptor 3 (EP3) in the mouse femoral artery. EP3 receptor-mediated vasoconstriction is shown to be dependent on extracellular calcium in combination with proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) and Rho-kinase. Thus, our findings reveal a novel mechanism through which Ang II and PGE2 regulate peripheral vascular reactivity.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Traditional methods of intraoperative human saphenous vein preparation for use as bypass grafts can be deleterious to the conduit. The purpose of this study was to characterize acute graft preparation injury, and to mitigate this harm via an improved preparation technique. Porcine saphenous veins were surgically harvested (unprepared controls, UnP) and prepared using traditional (TraP) and improved preparations (ImP). The TraP used unregulated radial distension, marking with a surgical skin marker and preservation in heparinized normal saline. ImP used pressure-regulated distension, brilliant blue FCF-based pen marking and preservation in heparinized Plasma-Lyte A. Rings from each preparation were suspended in a muscle bath for characterization of physiologic responses to vasoactive agents and viscoelasticity. Cellular viability was assessed using the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay for apoptosis. Contractile responses to potassium chloride (110 mM) and phenylephrine (10 µM), and endothelial-dependent and independent vasodilatory responses to carbachol (0.5 µM) and sodium nitroprusside (1 µM), respectively, were decreased in TraP tissues compared to both UnP and ImP tissues (p ⩽ 0.05). TraP tissues demonstrated diminished viscoelasticity relative to UnP and ImP tissues (p ⩽ 0.05), and reduced cellular viability relative to UnP control (p ⩽ 0.01) by the MTT assay. On the TUNEL assay, TraP tissues demonstrated a greater degree of apoptosis relative to UnP and ImP tissues (p ⩽ 0.01). In conclusion, an improved preparation technique prevents vascular graft smooth muscle and endothelial injury observed in tissues prepared using a traditional approach.
© The Author(s) 2016.
RATIONALE - Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is usually without an identified genetic cause, despite clinical and molecular similarity to bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 mutation-associated heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). There is phenotypic heterogeneity in IPAH, with a minority of patients showing long-term improvement with calcium channel-blocker therapy.
OBJECTIVES - We sought to identify gene variants (GVs) underlying IPAH and determine whether GVs differ in vasodilator-responsive IPAH (VR-PAH) versus vasodilator-nonresponsive IPAH (VN-PAH).
METHODS - We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) on 36 patients with IPAH: 17 with VR-PAH and 19 with VN-PAH. Wnt pathway differences were explored in human lung fibroblasts.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - We identified 1,369 genes with 1,580 variants unique to IPAH. We used a gene ontology approach to analyze variants and identified overrepresentation of several pathways, including cytoskeletal function and ion binding. By mapping WES data to prior genome-wide association study data, Wnt pathway genes were highlighted. Using the connectivity map to define genetic differences between VR-PAH and VN-PAH, we found enrichment in vascular smooth muscle cell contraction pathways and greater genetic variation in VR-PAH versus VN-PAH. Using human lung fibroblasts, we found increased stimulated Wnt activity in IPAH versus controls.
CONCLUSIONS - A pathway-based analysis of WES data in IPAH demonstrated multiple rare GVs that converge on key biological pathways, such as cytoskeletal function and Wnt signaling pathway. Vascular smooth muscle contraction-related genes were enriched in VR-PAH, suggesting a potentially different genetic predisposition for VR-PAH. This pathway-based approach may be applied to next-generation sequencing data in other diseases to uncover the contribution of unexpected or multiple GVs to a phenotype.
INTRODUCTION - In animal models, pretreatment with low-energy shock waves and a pause decreased renal injury from shockwave lithotripsy (SWL). This is associated with an increase in perioperative renal resistive index (RI). A perioperative rise is not seen without the protective protocol, which suggests that renal vasoconstriction during SWL plays a role in protecting the kidney from injury. The purpose of our study was to investigate whether there is an increase in renal RI during SWL in humans.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Subjects were prospectively recruited from two hospitals. All subjects received an initial 250 shocks at low setting, followed by a 2-minute pause. Treatment power was then increased. Measurements of the renal RI were taken before start of procedure, at 250, after 750, after 1500 shocks, and at the end of the procedure. A linear mixed-effects model was used to compare RIs at the different time points.
RESULTS - Fifteen patients were enrolled. Average treatment time was 46 ± 8 minutes. Average RI at pretreatment, after 250, after 750, after 1500 shocks, and post-treatment was 0.67 ± 0.06, 0.69 ± 0.08, 0.71 ± 0.07, 0.73 ± 0.07, and 0.74 ± 0.06, respectively. In adjusted analyses, RI was significantly increased after 750 shocks compared with pretreatment (p = 0.05).
CONCLUSION - Renal RI increases early during SWL in humans with the protective protocol. Monitoring for a rise in RI during SWL is feasible and may provide real-time feedback as to when the kidney is protected.
A platform technology has been developed and tested for delivery of intracellular-acting peptides through electrostatically complexed nanoparticles, or nano-polyplexes, formulated from an anionic endosomolytic polymer and cationic therapeutic peptides. This delivery platform has been initially tested and optimized for delivery of two unique vasoactive peptides, a phosphomimetic of heat shock protein 20 and an inhibitor of MAPKAP kinase II, to prevent pathological vasoconstriction (i.e., vasospasm) in human vascular tissue. These peptides inhibit vasoconstriction and promote vasorelaxation by modulating actin dynamics in vascular smooth muscle cells. Formulating these peptides into nano-polyplexes significantly enhances peptide uptake and retention, facilitates cytosolic delivery through a pH-dependent endosomal escape mechanism, and enhances peptide bioactivity in vitro as measured by inhibition of F-actin stress fiber formation. In comparison to treatment with the free peptides, which were endowed with cell-penetrating sequences, the nano-polyplexes significantly increased vasorelaxation, inhibited vasoconstriction, and decreased F-actin formation in the human saphenous vein ex vivo. These results suggest that these formulations have significant potential for treatment of conditions such as cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage. Furthermore, because many therapeutic peptides include cationic cell-penetrating segments, this simple and modular platform technology may have broad applicability as a cost-effective approach for enhancing the efficacy of cytosolically active peptides.
BACKGROUND - Injury to saphenous vein grafts during surgical preparation may contribute to the subsequent development of intimal hyperplasia, the primary cause of graft failure. Surgical skin markers currently used for vascular marking contain gentian violet and isopropanol, which damage tissue and impair physiologic functions. Brilliant blue FCF (FCF) is a nontoxic dye alternative that may also ameliorate preparation-induced injury.
METHODS - Porcine saphenous vein (PSV) was used to evaluate the effect of FCF on physiologic responses in a muscle bath. Cytotoxicity of FCF was measured using human umbilical venous smooth muscle cells. Effect of FCF on the development of intimal hyperplasia was evaluated in organ culture using PSV. Intracellular calcium fluxes and contractile responses were measured in response to agonists and inhibitors in rat aorta and human saphenous vein.
RESULTS - Marking with FCF did not impair smooth muscle contractile responses and restored stretch injury-induced loss in smooth muscle contractility of PSV. Gentian violet has cytotoxic effects on human umbilical venous smooth muscle cells, whereas FCF is nontoxic. FCF inhibited intimal thickening in PSV in organ culture. Contraction induced by 2'(3')-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl)adenosine 5'-triphosphate and intracellular calcium flux were inhibited by FCF, oxidized adenosine triphosphate, KN-62, and brilliant blue G, suggesting that FCF may inhibit the purinergic receptor P2X7.
CONCLUSIONS - Our studies indicated that FCF is a nontoxic marking dye for vein grafts that ameliorates vein graft injury and prevents intimal thickening, possibly due to P2X7 receptor inhibition. FCF represents a nontoxic alternative for vein graft marking and a potentially therapeutic approach to enhance outcome in autologous transplantation of human saphenous vein into the coronary and peripheral arterial circulation.
Copyright © 2016 Society for Vascular Surgery. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of variable courses of paracetamol on patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure and examined its effect on the in vitro term and preterm murine ductus arteriosus (DA).
METHODS - Neonates received one of the following three paracetamol regimens: short course of oral paracetamol (SCOP), long course of oral paracetamol (LCOP), and intravenous paracetamol (IVP) for 2-6 d. Pressure myography was used to examine changes in vasomotor tone of the preterm and term mouse DA in response to paracetamol or indomethacin. Their effect on prostaglandin synthesis by DA explants was measured by mass spectroscopy.
RESULTS - Twenty-one preterm infants were included. No changes in PDA hemodynamics were seen in SCOP infants (n = 5). The PDA became less significant and eventually closed in six LCOP infants (n = 7). PDA closure was achieved in eight IVP infants (n = 9). On pressure myograph, paracetamol induced a concentration-dependent constriction of the term mouse DA, up to 30% of baseline (P < 0.01), but required >1 µmol/l. Indomethacin induced greater DA constriction and suppression of prostaglandin synthesis (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION - The clinical efficacy of paracetamol on PDA closure may depend on the duration of treatment and the mode of administration. Paracetamol is less potent than indomethacin for constriction of the mouse DA in vitro.