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The spectrum of vascular inflammatory disease ranges from atherosclerosis and hypertension, widespread conditions affecting large proportions of the population, to the vasculitides, rare syndromes leading to fast and irreversible organ failure. Atherosclerosis progresses over decades, inevitably proceeding through multiple phases of disease and causes its major complications when the vessel wall lesion ruptures, giving rise to lumen-occlusive atherothrombosis. Vasculitides of medium and large arteries progress rapidly, causing tissue ischemia through lumen-occlusive intimal hyperplasia. In both disease entities, macrophages play a decisive role in pathogenesis, but function in the context of other immune cells that direct their differentiation and their functional commitments. In atherosclerosis, macrophages are involved in the removal of lipids and tissue debris and make a critical contribution to tissue damage and wall remodeling. In several of the vasculitides, macrophages contribute to granuloma formation, a microstructural platform optimizing macrophage-T-cell interactions, antigen containment and inflammatory amplification. By virtue of their versatility and plasticity, macrophages are able to promote a series of pathogenic functions, ranging from the release of cytokines and enzymes, the production of reactive oxygen species, presentation of antigen and secretion of tissue remodeling factors. However, as short-lived cells that lack memory, macrophages are also amendable to reprogramming, making them promising targets for anti-inflammatory interventions.
In regions of the circulation where vessels are straight and unbranched, blood flow is laminar and unidirectional. In contrast, at sites of curvature, branch points, and regions distal to stenoses, blood flow becomes disturbed. Atherosclerosis preferentially develops in these regions of disturbed blood flow. Current therapies for atherosclerosis are systemic and may not sufficiently target these atheroprone regions. In this study, we sought to leverage the alterations on the luminal surface of endothelial cells caused by this atheroprone flow for nanocarrier targeting. In vivo phage display was used to discover unique peptides that selectively bind to atheroprone regions in the mouse partial carotid artery ligation model. The peptide GSPREYTSYMPH (PREY) was found to bind 4.5-fold more avidly to the region of disturbed flow and was used to form targeted liposomes. When administered intravenously, PREY-targeted liposomes preferentially accumulated in endothelial cells in the partially occluded carotid artery and other areas of disturbed flow. Proteomic analysis and immunoblotting indicated that fibronectin and Filamin-A were preferentially bound by PREY nanocarriers in vessels with disturbed flow. In additional experiments, PREY nanocarriers were used therapeutically to deliver the nitric oxide synthase cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), which we have previously shown to be deficient in regions of disturbed flow. This intervention increased vascular BH4 and reduced vascular superoxide in the partially ligated artery in wild-type mice and reduced plaque burden in the partially ligated left carotid artery of fat fed atheroprone mice (ApoE(-/-)). Targeting atheroprone sites of the circulation with functionalized nanocarriers provides a promising approach for prevention of early atherosclerotic lesion formation.
PURPOSE - Neonates placed on veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) undergo either carotid repair or ligation at decannulation. Study aims were to evaluate carotid patency rates after repair and to compare early neurologic outcomes between repaired and ligated patients.
METHODS - A retrospective study of all neonates without congenital heart disease (CHD) who had VA-ECMO between 1989 and 2012 was completed using our institutional ECMO Registry. Carotid patency after repair, neuroimaging studies, and auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing at time of discharge were examined.
RESULTS - 140 neonates were placed on VA-ECMO during the study period. Among survivors, 84% of carotids repaired and imaged remained patent at last study. No significant differences were observed between infants in the repaired and ligated groups regarding diagnosis, ECMO duration, or length of stay. A large proportion (43%) developed a severe brain lesion after VA-ECMO, but few failed their ABR testing. Differences in early neurologic outcomes between the two groups of survivors were not significant.
CONCLUSIONS - At this single institution, carotid patency is excellent following repair at ECMO decannulation. No increased incidence of severe brain lesions or greater neurosensory impairment in the repair group was observed. Further studies are needed to investigate the effects of ligation on longer-term neurocognitive outcomes.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that causes endothelial dysfunction. Endocytosis of TNF-α receptors (TNFR) precedes endosomal reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which is required for NF-κB activation in vascular smooth muscle cells. It is unknown how endocytosis of TNFRs impacts signaling in endothelial cells. We hypothesized that TNF-α-induced endothelial dysfunction is induced by both endosomal and cell surface events, including NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) activation, and endocytosis of the TNFR modifies signaling. Mesenteric artery segments from C57BL/6 mice were treated with TNF-α (10 ng/ml) for 22 h in tissue culture, with or without signaling inhibitors (dynasore for endocytosis, SP600125 for JNK, SB203580 for p38, U0126 for ERK), and vascular function was assessed. Endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh) was impaired by TNF-α, and dynasore exacerbated this, whereas JNK or p38 inhibition prevented these effects. In cultured endothelial cells from murine mesenteric arteries, dynasore potentiated JNK and p38 but not ERK phosphorylation and promoted cell death. NF-κB activation by TNF-α was decreased by dynasore. JNK inhibition dramatically increased both the magnitude and duration of TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation and potentiated intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) activation. Dynasore still inhibited NF-κB activation in the presence of SP600125. Thus TNF-α-induced endothelial dysfunction is both JNK and p38 dependent. Endocytosis modulates the balance of NF-κB and MAPK signaling, and inhibition of NF-κB activation by JNK limits this pro-proliferative signal, which may contribute to endothelial cell death in response to TNF-α.
Activation of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) promote neointimal hyperplasia after vascular injury. CaMKII can be directly activated by ROS through oxidation. In this study, we determined whether abolishing the oxidative activation site of CaMKII alters vascular smooth muscle cell (VCMC) proliferation, migration and apoptosis in vitro and neointimal formation in vivo. VSMC isolated from a knock-in mouse with oxidation-resistant CaMKIIδ (CaMKII M2V) displayed similar proliferation but decreased migration and apoptosis. Surprisingly, ROS production and expression of the NADPH oxidase subunits p47 and p22 were decreased in M2V VSMC, whereas superoxide dismutase 2 protein expression was upregulated. In vivo, after carotid artery ligation, no differences in neointimal size or remodeling were observed. In contrast to VSMC, CaMKII expression and autonomous activity were significantly higher in M2V compared to WT carotid arteries, suggesting that an autoregulatory mechanism determines CaMKII activity in vivo. Our findings demonstrate that preventing oxidative activation of CaMKII decreases migration and apoptosis in vitro and suggest that CaMKII regulates ROS production. Our study presents novel evidence that CaMKII expression in vivo is regulated by a negative feedback loop following oxidative activation.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
The mouse hind limb ischemia (HLI) model is well established for studying collateral vessel formation and testing therapies for peripheral arterial disease, but there is a lack of quantitative techniques for intravitally analyzing blood vessel structure and function. To address this need, non-invasive, quantitative optical imaging techniques were developed to assess the time-course of recovery in the mouse HLI model. Hyperspectral imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were used to non-invasively image hemoglobin oxygen saturation and microvessel morphology plus blood flow, respectively, in the anesthetized mouse after induction of HLI. Hyperspectral imaging detected significant increases in hemoglobin saturation in the ischemic paw as early as 3 days after femoral artery ligation (P < 0.01), and significant increases in distal blood flow were first detected with OCT 14 days postsurgery (P < 0.01). Intravital OCT images of the adductor muscle vasculature revealed corkscrew collateral vessels characteristic of the arteriogenic response to HLI. The hyperspectral imaging and OCT data significantly correlated with each other and with laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI) and tissue oxygenation sensor data (P < 0.01). However, OCT measurements acquired depth-resolved information and revealed more sustained flow deficits following surgery that may be masked by more superficial measurements (LDPI, hyperspectral imaging). Therefore, intravital OCT may provide a robust biomarker for the late stages of ischemic limb recovery. This work validates non-invasive acquisition of both functional and morphological data with hyperspectral imaging and OCT. Together, these techniques provide cardiovascular researchers an unprecedented and comprehensive view of the temporal dynamics of HLI recovery in living mice.
PURPOSE - Using data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, we sought to determine how well lipids measured at baseline and at 20 years predict the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis.
METHODS - Complete risk factor, coronary artery calcification (CAC), and carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) data were available for 2435 participants. Lipids were categorized into quartiles, CAC at Y20 was dichotomized as present/absent, and CIMT was dichotomized as ≥84 or <84th overall percentile. Multivariable logistic regression was used to model the association between lipids and CAC/CIMT. C statistics were used to assess the discriminative value of each lipid measure in predicting the presence of CAC or CIMT at Y20.
RESULTS - Lipid levels measured in young adulthood as well as middle age were both associated with subclinical disease in middle age. The discriminatory value of lipids was virtually identical at baseline, when participants were 18-30 years of age, and 20 years later. Neither baseline nor Y20 lipid data were strong predictors of Y20 subclinical disease despite statistically significant associations.
CONCLUSIONS - These results are consistent with a growing body of evidence that early-life exposure to nonoptimal lipids matters and lifestyle modifications administered earlier in the lifespan could slow the progress of the atherosclerotic plaques.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Carotid intima-media-thickness (cIMT) and carotid distensibility (distensibility), structural and functional properties of carotid arteries respectively, are early markers, as well as strong predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The characteristic of these two parameters in individuals with BMI>40.0 kg/m(2) (Class III obesity), however, are largely unknown. The present study was designed to document cIMT and distensibility in this population and to relate these to other factors with established association with CVD in obesity. The study included 96 subjects (65 with BMI>40.0 kg/m(2) and 31, age- and gender-matched, with BMI of 18.5 to 30.0 kg/m(2)). cIMT and distensibility were measured by non-invasive high resolution ultrasonography, circulatory CD133(+)/KDR(+) angiogenic cells and endothelial microparticles (EMP) by flow cytometry, and plasma levels of adipokines, growth factors and cytokines by Luminex immunoassay kits. The study results demonstrated increased cIMT (0.62±0.11 mm vs. 0.54±0.08 mm, P = 0.0002) and reduced distensibility (22.52±10.79 10(-3)kpa(-1)vs. 29.91±12.37 10(-3)kpa(-1), P<0.05) in individuals with BMI>40.0 kg/m(2). Both cIMT and distensibility were significantly associated with traditional CVD risk factors, adiposity/adipokines and inflammatory markers but had no association with circulating angiogenic cells. We also demonstrated, for the first time, elevated plasma EMP levels in individuals with BMI>40.0 kg/m(2). In conclusion, cIMT is increased and distensibility reduced in Class III obesity with the changes predominantly related to conventional CVD risk factors present in this condition, demonstrating that both cIMT and distensibility remain as CVD markers in Class III obesity.
A parallel physiological pathway for elastic changes is hypothesized for declines in arterial elasticity and lung function. Endothelial dysfunction and inflammation could potentially decrease elasticity of both vasculature and lung tissue. We examined biomarkers, large arterial elasticity and small arterial elasticity (SAE), and forced vital capacity (FVC) in a period cross-sectional design in the multiethnic study of atherosclerosis, which recruited 1823 women and 1803 men, age range 45 to 84 years, black, white, Hispanic, and Chinese, free of clinically recognized cardiovascular disease. Radial artery tonometric pulse waveform registration was performed and large arterial elasticity and SAE were derived from diastole. Spirometric data and markers of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation (soluble intracellular adhesion molecule-1, fibrinogen, hs-C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6) were obtained. Mean large arterial elasticity was 13.7 ± 5.5 mL/mm Hg × 10 and SAE was 4.6 ± 2.6 mL/mm Hg × 100. Mean FVC was 3192 ± 956.0 mL and forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 2386 ± 734.5 mL. FVC was about 40 ± 5 mL higher per SD of SAE, stronger in men than women. The association was slightly weaker with large arterial elasticity, with no sex interaction. After regression adjustment for demographic, anthropometric, and cardiovascular risk factors, the biomarkers tended to be related to reduced SAE and FVC, particularly in men. These biomarker associations suggest important cardiovascular disease risk alterations that occur concurrently with lower arterial elasticity and lung function. The observed positive association of SAE with FVC and with forced expiratory volume in 1 second in middle-aged to older free-living people is consistent with the hypothesis of parallel physiological pathways for elastic changes in the vasculature and in lung parenchymal tissue.
Techniques for measuring cerebral perfusion require accurate longitudinal relaxation (T1) of blood, an MRI parameter that is field dependent. T1 of arterial and venous human blood was measured at 7T using three different sources - pathology laboratory, blood bank and in vivo. The T1 of venous blood was measured from sealed samples from a pathology lab and in vivo. Samples from a blood bank were oxygenated and mixed to obtain different physiological concentrations of hematocrit and oxygenation. T1 relaxation times were estimated using a three-point fit to a simple inversion recovery equation. At 37°C, the T1 of blood at arterial pO2 was 2.29±0.1s and 2.07±0.12 at venous pO2. The in vivo T1 of venous blood, in three subjects, was slightly longer at 2.45±0.11s. T1 of arterial and venous blood at 7T was measured and found to be significantly different. The T1 values were longer in vivo than in vitro. While the exact cause for the discrepancy is unknown, the additives in the blood samples, degradation during experiment, oxygenation differences, and the non-stagnant nature of blood in vivo could be potential contributors to the lower values of T1 in the venous samples.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.