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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a strong independent predictor of mortality and often results in incomplete recovery of renal function, leading to progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). Many clinical trials have been conducted on the basis of promising preclinical data, but no therapeutic interventions have been shown to improve long-term outcomes after AKI. This is partly due to the failure of preclinical studies to accurately model clinically relevant injury and long-term outcomes on CKD progression. Here, we evaluated the long-term effects of AKI on CKD progression in three animal models reflecting diverse etiologies of AKI: repeat-dose cisplatin, rhabdomyolysis, and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Using transdermal measurement of glomerular filtration rate as a clinically relevant measure of kidney function and quantification of peritubular capillary density to measure capillary rarefaction, we showed that repeat-dose cisplatin caused capillary rarefaction and decreased renal function in mice without a significant increase in interstitial fibrosis, whereas rhabdomyolysis-induced AKI led to severe interstitial fibrosis, but renal function and peritubular capillary density were preserved. Furthermore, long-term experiments in mice with unilateral ischemia-reperfusion injury showed that restoration of renal function 12 wk after a contralateral nephrectomy was associated with increasing fibrosis, but a reversal of capillary rarefaction was seen at 4 wk. These data demonstrate that clear dissociation between kidney function and fibrosis in these models of AKI to CKD progression and suggest that peritubular capillary rarefaction is more strongly associated with CKD progression than renal fibrosis.
Background α Carboxyl terminus 1 (αCT1) is a 25-amino acid therapeutic peptide incorporating the zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1)-binding domain of connexin 43 (Cx43) that is currently in phase 3 clinical testing on chronic wounds. In mice, we reported that αCT1 reduced arrhythmias after cardiac injury, accompanied by increases in protein kinase Cε phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368. Herein, we characterize detailed molecular mode of action of αCT1 in mitigating cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury. Methods and Results To study αCT1-mediated increases in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, we undertook mass spectrometry of protein kinase Cε phosphorylation assay reactants. This indicated potential interaction between negatively charged residues in the αCT1 Asp-Asp-Leu-Glu-Iso sequence and lysines (Lys345, Lys346) in an α-helical sequence (helix 2) within the Cx43-CT. In silico modeling provided further support for this interaction, indicating that αCT1 may interact with both Cx43 and ZO-1. Using surface plasmon resonance, thermal shift, and phosphorylation assays, we characterized a series of αCT1 variants, identifying peptides that interacted with either ZO-1-postsynaptic density-95/disks large/zonula occludens-1 2 or Cx43-CT, but with limited or no ability to bind both molecules. Only peptides competent to interact with Cx43-CT, but not ZO-1-postsynaptic density-95/disks large/zonula occludens-1 2 alone, prompted increased pS368 phosphorylation. Moreover, in an ex vivo mouse model of ischemia-reperfusion injury, preischemic infusion only with those peptides competent to bind Cx43 preserved ventricular function after ischemia-reperfusion. Interestingly, a short 9-amino acid variant of αCT1 (αCT11) demonstrated potent cardioprotective effects when infused either before or after ischemic injury. Conclusions Interaction of αCT1 with the Cx43, but not ZO-1, is correlated with cardioprotection. Pharmacophores targeting Cx43-CT could provide a translational approach to preserving heart function after ischemic injury.
Severe acute kidney injury has a high mortality and is a risk factor for progressive chronic kidney disease. None of the potential therapies that have been identified in preclinical studies have successfully improved clinical outcomes. This failure is partly because animal models rarely reflect the complexity of human disease: most preclinical studies are short term and are commonly performed in healthy, young, male mice. Therapies that are effective in preclinical models that share common clinical features seen in patients with acute kidney injury, including genetic diversity, different sexes, and comorbidities, and evaluate long-term outcomes are more likely to predict success in the clinic. Here, we evaluated susceptibility to chronic kidney disease after ischemia-reperfusion injury with delayed nephrectomy by monitoring long-term functional and histological responses to injury. We defined conditions required to induce long-term postinjury renal dysfunction and fibrosis without increased mortality in a reproducible way and evaluate effect of mouse strains, sexes, and preexisting diabetes on these responses.
Anthracyclines are the cornerstone for many oncologic treatments, but their cardiotoxicity has been recognized for several decades. Female subjects, especially before puberty and adolescence, or after menopause, seem to be more at increased risk, with the prognostic impact of this sex issue being less consistent compared to other cardiovascular risk factors. Several studies imply that sex differences could depend on the lack of the protective effect of sex hormones against the anthracycline-initiated damage in cardiac cells, or on differential mitochondria-related oxidative gene expression. This is also reflected by the results obtained with different diagnostic methods, such as cardiovascular biomarkers and imaging techniques (echocardiography, magnetic resonance, and nuclear medicine) in the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiotoxicity, confirming that sex differences exist. The same is true about protective strategies from anthracycline cardiotoxicity. Indeed, first studied to withstand oxidative damage in response to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, cardioprotection has different outcomes in men and women. A number of studies assessed the differences in I/R response between male and female hearts, with oxidative stress and apoptosis being shared mechanisms between the I/R and anthracyclines heart damage. Sex hormones can modulate these mechanisms, thus confirming their importance in the pathophysiology in cardioprotection not only from the ischemia/reperfusion damage, but also from anthracyclines, fueling further cardio-oncologic research on the topic.
Pharmacologic activation of stress-responsive signaling pathways provides a promising approach for ameliorating imbalances in proteostasis associated with diverse diseases. However, this approach has not been employed in vivo. Here we show, using a mouse model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion, that selective pharmacologic activation of the ATF6 arm of the unfolded protein response (UPR) during reperfusion, a typical clinical intervention point after myocardial infarction, transcriptionally reprograms proteostasis, ameliorates damage and preserves heart function. These effects were lost upon cardiac myocyte-specific Atf6 deletion in the heart, demonstrating the critical role played by ATF6 in mediating pharmacologically activated proteostasis-based protection of the heart. Pharmacological activation of ATF6 is also protective in renal and cerebral ischemia/reperfusion models, demonstrating its widespread utility. Thus, pharmacologic activation of ATF6 represents a proteostasis-based therapeutic strategy for ameliorating ischemia/reperfusion damage, underscoring its unique translational potential for treating a wide range of pathologies caused by imbalanced proteostasis.
OBJECTIVE - Changes in microvascular perfusion have been reported in many diseases, yet the functional significance of altered perfusion is often difficult to determine. This is partly because commonly used techniques for perfusion measurement often rely on either indirect or by-hand approaches.
METHODS - We developed and validated a fully automated software technique to measure microvascular perfusion in videos acquired by fluorescence microscopy in the mouse gastrocnemius. Acute perfusion responses were recorded following intravenous injections with phenylephrine, SNP, or saline.
RESULTS - Software-measured capillary flow velocity closely correlated with by-hand measured flow velocity (R = 0.91, P < 0.0001). Software estimates of capillary hematocrit also generally agreed with by-hand measurements (R = 0.64, P < 0.0001). Detection limits range from 0 to 2000 μm/s, as compared to an average flow velocity of 326 ± 102 μm/s (mean ± SD) at rest. SNP injection transiently increased capillary flow velocity and hematocrit and made capillary perfusion more steady and homogenous. Phenylephrine injection had the opposite effect in all metrics. Saline injection transiently decreased capillary flow velocity and hematocrit without influencing flow distribution or stability. All perfusion metrics were temporally stable without intervention.
CONCLUSIONS - These results demonstrate a novel and sensitive technique for reproducible, user-independent quantification of microvascular perfusion.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
The fabrication of engineered vascularized tissues and organs requiring sustained, controlled perfusion has been facilitated by the development of several pump systems. Currently, researchers in the field of tissue engineering require the use of pump systems that are in general large, expensive, and generically designed. Overall, these pumps often fail to meet the unique demands of perfusing clinically useful tissue constructs. Here, we describe a pumping platform that overcomes these limitations and enables scalable perfusion of large, three-dimensional hydrogels. We demonstrate the ability to perfuse multiple separate channels inside hydrogel slabs using a preprogrammed schedule that dictates pumping speed and time. The use of this pump system to perfuse channels in large-scale engineered tissue scaffolds sustained cell viability over several weeks.
Conventional Doppler ultrasound is useful for visualizing fast blood flow in large resolvable vessels. However, frame rate and tissue clutter caused by movement of the patient or sonographer make visualizing slow flow with ultrasound difficult. Patient and sonographer motion causes spectral broadening of the clutter signal, which limits ultrasound's sensitivity to velocities greater than 5-10 mm/s for typical clinical imaging frequencies. To address this, we propose a clutter filtering technique that may increase the sensitivity of Doppler measurements to at least as low as 0.52 mm/s. The proposed technique uses plane wave imaging and an adaptive frequency and amplitude demodulation scheme to decrease the bandwidth of tissue clutter. To test the performance of the adaptive demodulation method at suppressing tissue clutter bandwidths due to sonographer hand motion alone, six volunteer subjects acquired data from a stationary phantom. Additionally, to test in vivo feasibility, arterial occlusion and muscle contraction studies were performed to assess the efficiency of the proposed filter at preserving signals from blood velocities 2 mm/s or greater at a 7.8 MHz center frequency. The hand motion study resulted in initial average bandwidths of 175 Hz (8.60mm/s), which were decreased to 10.5 Hz (0.52 mm/s) at -60 dB using our approach. The in vivo power Doppler studies resulted in 4.73 dB and 4.80 dB dynamic ranges of the blood flow with the proposed filter and 0.15 dB and 0.16 dB dynamic ranges of the blood flow with a conventional 50 Hz high-pass filter for the occlusion and contraction studies, respectively.
Hibernating mammals, like the arctic ground squirrel (AGS), exhibit robust resistance to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Regulated preference for lipid over glucose to fuel metabolism may play an important role. We tested whether providing lipid in an emulsion protects hearts from summer-active AGS better than hearts from Brown Norway (BN) rats against normothermic IR injury. Langendorff-prepared AGS and BN rat hearts were perfused with Krebs solution containing 7.5 mM glucose with or without 1% Intralipid™. After stabilization and cardioplegia, hearts underwent 45-min global ischemia and 60-min reperfusion. Coronary flow, isovolumetric left ventricular pressure, and mitochondrial redox state were measured continuously; infarct size was measured at the end of the experiment. Glucose-only AGS hearts functioned significantly better on reperfusion than BN rat hearts. Intralipid™ administration resulted in additional functional improvement in AGS compared to glucose-only and BN rat hearts. Infarct size was not different among groups. Even under non-hibernating conditions, AGS hearts performed better after IR than the best-protected rat strain. This, however, appears to strongly depend on metabolic fuel: Intralipid™ led to a significant improvement in return of function in AGS, but not in BN rat hearts, suggesting that year-round endogenous mechanisms are involved in myocardial lipid utilization that contributes to improved cardiac performance, independent of the metabolic rate decrease during hibernation. Comparative lipid analysis revealed four candidates as possible cardioprotective lipid groups. The improved function in Intralipid™-perfused AGS hearts also challenges the current paradigm that increased glucose and decreased lipid metabolism are favorable during myocardial IR.