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BACKGROUND - Smokers have lower risk of obesity, which some consider a "beneficial" side effect of smoking. However, some studies suggest that smoking is simultaneously associated with higher central adiposity and, more specifically, ectopic adipose deposition. Little is known about the association of smoking with intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), an ectopic adipose depot associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and a key determinant of muscle quality and function. We tested the hypothesis that smokers have higher abdominal IMAT and lower lean muscle quality than never smokers.
METHODS AND FINDINGS - We measured abdominal muscle total, lean, and adipose volumes (in cubic centimeters) and attenuation (in Hounsfield units [HU]) along with subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volumes using computed tomography (CT) in 3,020 middle-aged Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) participants (age 42-58, 56.3% women, 52.6% white race) at the year 25 (Y25) visit. The longitudinal CARDIA study was initiated in 1985 with the recruitment of young adult participants (aged 18-30 years) equally balanced by female and male sex and black and white race at 4 field centers located in Birmingham, AL, Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN, and Oakland, CA. Multivariable linear models included potential confounders such as physical activity and dietary habits along with traditional CVD risk factors. Current smokers had lower BMI than never smokers. Nevertheless, in the fully adjusted multivariable model with potential confounders, including BMI and CVD risk factors, adjusted mean (95% CI) IMAT volume was 2.66 (2.55-2.76) cm3 in current smokers (n = 524), 2.36 (2.29-2.43) cm3 in former smokers (n = 944), and 2.23 (2.18-2.29) cm3 in never smokers (n = 1,552) (p = 0.007 for comparison of former versus never smoker, and p < 0.001 for comparison of current smoker versus never and former smoker). Moreover, compared to participants who never smoked throughout life (41.6 [41.3-41.9] HU), current smokers (40.4 [39.9-40.9] HU) and former smokers (40.8 [40.5-41.2] HU) had lower lean muscle attenuation suggesting lower muscle quality in the fully adjusted model (p < 0.001 for comparison of never smokers with either of the other two strata). Among participants who had ever smoked, pack-years of smoking exposure were directly associated with IMAT volume (β [95% CI]: 0.017 [0.010-0.025]) (p < 0.001). Despite having less SAT, current smokers also had higher VAT/SAT ratio than never smokers. These findings must be viewed with caution as residual confounding and/or reverse causation may contribute to these associations.
CONCLUSIONS - We found that, compared to those who never smoked, current and former smokers had abdominal muscle composition that was higher in adipose tissue volume, a finding consistent with higher CVD risk and age-related physical deconditioning. These findings challenge the belief that smoking-associated weight loss or maintenance confers a health benefit.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Impacts of mindfulness-based programs on blood pressure remain equivocal, possibly because the programs are not adapted to engage with determinants of hypertension, or due to floor effects. Primary objectives were to create a customized Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program, and to evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and effects on hypothesized proximal self-regulation mechanisms. Secondary outcomes included modifiable determinants of blood pressure (BP), and clinic-assessed systolic blood pressure (SBP).
METHODS - This was a Stage 1 single-arm trial with one year follow-up. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were performed to evaluate acceptability and feasibility. Self-regulation outcomes, and determinants of BP, were assessed using validated questionnaires or objective assessments. The MB-BP curriculum was adapted from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to direct participants' mindfulness skills towards modifiable determinants of blood pressure.
RESULTS - Acceptability and feasibility findings showed that of 53 eligible participants, 48 enrolled (91%). Of these, 43 (90%) attended at least 7 of the 10 MB-BP classes; 43 were followed to one year (90%). Focus groups (n = 19) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) showed all participants viewed the delivery modality favorably, and identified logistic considerations concerning program access as barriers. A priori selected primary self-regulation outcomes showed improvements at one-year follow-up vs. baseline, including attention control (Sustained Attention to Response Task correct no-go score, p<0.001), emotion regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Score, p = 0.02), and self-awareness (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, p<0.001). Several determinants of hypertension were improved in participants not adhering to American Heart Association guidelines at baseline, including physical activity (p = 0.02), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-consistent diet (p<0.001), and alcohol consumption (p<0.001). Findings demonstrated mean 6.1 mmHg reduction in SBP (p = 0.008) at one year follow-up; effects were most pronounced in Stage 2 uncontrolled hypertensives (SBP≥140 mmHg), showing 15.1 mmHg reduction (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION - MB-BP has good acceptability and feasibility, and may engage with self-regulation and behavioral determinants of hypertension.
Juxtaglomerular (JG) cells, major sources of renin, differentiate from metanephric mesenchymal cells that give rise to JG cells or a subset of smooth muscle cells of the renal afferent arteriole. During periods of dehydration and salt deprivation, renal mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) differentiate from JG cells. JG cells undergo expansion and smooth muscle cells redifferentiate to express renin along the afferent arteriole. Gene expression profiling comparing resident renal MSCs with JG cells indicates that the transcription factor Sox6 is highly expressed in JG cells in the adult kidney. In vitro, loss of Sox6 expression reduces differentiation of renal MSCs to renin-producing cells. In vivo, Sox6 expression is upregulated after a low-Na diet and furosemide. Importantly, knockout of Sox6 in Ren1d+ cells halts the increase in renin-expressing cells normally seen during a low-Na diet and furosemide as well as the typical increase in renin. Furthermore, Sox6 ablation in renin-expressing cells halts the recruitment of smooth muscle cells along the afferent arteriole, which normally express renin under these conditions. These results support a previously undefined role for Sox6 in renin expression.
BACKGROUND - Only a handful of genetic discovery efforts in apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) have been described.
METHODS - We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study of aTRH among persons treated for hypertension, using data from 10 cohorts of European ancestry (EA) and 5 cohorts of African ancestry (AA). Cases were treated with 3 different antihypertensive medication classes and had blood pressure (BP) above goal (systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg) or 4 or more medication classes regardless of BP control (nEA = 931, nAA = 228). Both a normotensive control group and a treatment-responsive control group were considered in separate analyses. Normotensive controls were untreated (nEA = 14,210, nAA = 2,480) and had systolic BP/diastolic BP < 140/90 mm Hg. Treatment-responsive controls (nEA = 5,266, nAA = 1,817) had BP at goal (<140/90 mm Hg), while treated with one antihypertensive medication class. Individual cohorts used logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, study site, and principal components for ancestry to examine the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms with case-control status. Inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analyses were carried out using METAL.
RESULTS - The known hypertension locus, CASZ1, was a top finding among EAs (P = 1.1 × 10-8) and in the race-combined analysis (P = 1.5 × 10-9) using the normotensive control group (rs12046278, odds ratio = 0.71 (95% confidence interval: 0.6-0.8)). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in this locus were robustly replicated in the Million Veterans Program (MVP) study in consideration of a treatment-responsive control group. There were no statistically significant findings for the discovery analyses including treatment-responsive controls.
CONCLUSION - This genomic discovery effort for aTRH identified CASZ1 as an aTRH risk locus.
© American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2019. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND/AIMS - The prostaglandin E (PGE) EP3 receptor has a multifaceted role in metabolism. Drugs targeting EP3 have been proposed as therapeutics for diabetes; however, studies utilizing global EP3 knockout mice suggest that EP3 blockade increases obesity and insulin resistance. The present studies attempt to determine the effect of acute EP3 antagonist treatment on the diabetic phenotype.
METHODS - DG-041 was confirmed to be a high affinity antagonist at the mouse EP3 receptor by competition radioligand binding and by blockade of EP3-mediated responses. DG-041 pharmacokinetic studies were performed to determine the most efficacious route of administration. Male C57BL/6 × BALB/c (CB6F1) mice were fed diets containing 10%, 45%, or 60% calories from fat to induce obesity. Changes to the metabolic phenotype in these mice were evaluated after one week treatment with DG-041.
RESULTS - Subcutaneous injections of DG-041 at 20 mg/kg blocked the sulprostone-evoked rise in mean arterial pressure confirming the efficacy of this administration regime. Seven day treatment with DG-041 had minimal effect on body composition or glycemic control. DG-041 administration caused a reduction in skeletal muscle triglyceride content while showing a trend toward increased hepatic triglycerides.
CONCLUSION - Short term EP3 administration of DG-041 produced effective blockade of the EP3 receptor and decreased skeletal muscle triglyceride content but had no significant effects on the diabetic phenotype.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
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.
Excess dietary salt contributes to inflammation and hypertension via poorly understood mechanisms. Antigen presenting cells including dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in regulating intestinal immune homeostasis in part by surveying the gut epithelial surface for pathogens. Previously, we found that highly reactive γ-ketoaldehydes or isolevuglandins (IsoLGs) accumulate in DCs and act as neoantigens, promoting an autoimmune-like state and hypertension. We hypothesized that excess dietary salt alters the gut microbiome leading to hypertension and this is associated with increased immunogenic IsoLG-adduct formation in myeloid antigen presenting cells. To test this hypothesis, we performed fecal microbiome analysis and measured blood pressure of healthy human volunteers with salt intake above or below the American Heart Association recommendations. We also performed 16S rRNA analysis on cecal samples of mice fed normal or high salt diets. In humans and mice, high salt intake was associated with changes in the gut microbiome reflecting an increase in Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and genus Prevotella bacteria. These alterations were associated with higher blood pressure in humans and predisposed mice to vascular inflammation and hypertension in response to a sub-pressor dose of angiotensin II. Mice fed a high salt diet exhibited increased intestinal inflammation including the mesenteric arterial arcade and aorta, with a marked increase in the B7 ligand CD86 and formation of IsoLG-protein adducts in CD11c+ myeloid cells. Adoptive transfer of fecal material from conventionally housed high salt-fed mice to germ-free mice predisposed them to increased intestinal inflammation and hypertension. These findings provide novel insight into the mechanisms underlying inflammation and hypertension associated with excess dietary salt and may lead to interventions targeting the microbiome to prevent and treat this important disease.
OBJECTIVES - Given the neurocognitive hyperarousal observed in patients with insomnia disorder and associations of nocturnal hot flashes with cardiovascular disease risk, we examined whether women with hot flash-associated insomnia disorder demonstrate exaggerated cardiovascular responsivity to acute stressors, and also a profile of psychological hyperarousal.
METHODS - Peri and postmenopausal women with and without hot flash-associated insomnia disorder underwent assessments of cardiovascular autonomic responsivity to acute stress paradigms and psychological hyperarousal. Hemodynamic responses (heart rate, blood pressure) to nociceptive, social-evaluative, and cognitive stress paradigms were measured in the morning. Psychological hyperarousal was evaluated using questionnaires assessing daytime and presleep hyperarousal, anxiety, and sleep-related cognitions.
RESULTS - Women (25 with and 15 without hot flash-associated insomnia) aged 53.4 ± 4.8 years reported a range of insomnia symptoms. Resting-state hemodynamics were similar between groups. Heart rate and blood pressure responses to stress paradigms did not differ by group nor did they correlate with insomnia severity. Women with insomnia disorder had higher generalized anxiety disorder scores (mean 2.7 ± 3.0 vs 1.0 ± 1.4; P = 0.05) and sleep-related cognitions than those without insomnia (P ≤ 0.05). Insomnia symptom severity was moderately correlated with presleep and daytime hyperarousal, anxiety, and sleep-related cognition (all r ≥ 0.43).
CONCLUSIONS - Though hot flash-associated insomnia is characterized by psychological hyperarousal before sleep and during the daytime, it does not relate to cardiovascular responsiveness to acute stressors. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that altered cardiovascular control is a potential mechanism by which hot flash-associated insomnia confers higher cardiovascular disease risk.
Interpretation of genetic association results is difficult because signals often lack biological context. To generate hypotheses of the functional genetic etiology of complex cardiometabolic traits, we estimated the genetically determined component of gene expression from common variants using PrediXcan (1) and determined genes with differential predicted expression by trait. PrediXcan imputes tissue-specific expression levels from genetic variation using variant-level effect on gene expression in transcriptome data. To explore the value of imputed genetically regulated gene expression (GReX) models across different ancestral populations, we evaluated imputed expression levels for predictive accuracy genome-wide in RNA sequence data in samples drawn from European-ancestry and African-ancestry populations and identified substantial predictive power using European-derived models in a non-European target population. We then tested the association of GReX on 15 cardiometabolic traits including blood lipid levels, body mass index, height, blood pressure, fasting glucose and insulin, RR interval, fibrinogen level, factor VII level and white blood cell and platelet counts in 15 755 individuals across three ancestry groups, resulting in 20 novel gene-phenotype associations reaching experiment-wide significance across ancestries. In addition, we identified 18 significant novel gene-phenotype associations in our ancestry-specific analyses. Top associations were assessed for additional support via query of S-PrediXcan (2) results derived from publicly available genome-wide association studies summary data. Collectively, these findings illustrate the utility of transcriptome-based imputation models for discovery of cardiometabolic effect genes in a diverse dataset.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.