Protein Kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine/threonine-isozymes that are involved in many signaling events in normal and disease states. Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated that εPKC plays a pivotal role in neuroprotection induced by ischemic preconditioning. However, the role of εPKC during and after brain ischemia is not clearly defined. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the hypothesis that activation of εPKC during an ischemic event is neuroprotective. Furthermore, other studies have demonstrated that εPKC mediates cerebral ischemic tolerance in the rat brain by decreasing vascular tone. Thus, we also tested the effects of εPKC activation during ischemia on cerebral blood flow (CBF). We found that ψε-Receptors for activated C kinase (RACK), a εPKC-selective peptide activator, injected intravenously 30 minutes before induction of global cerebral ischemia conferred neuroprotection in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus. Moreover, measurements of CBF before, during and after cerebral ischemia revealed a significant reduction in the reperfusion phase of rats pretreated with ψεRACK compared to Tat peptide (vehicle). Our results suggest that εPKC can protect the rat brain against ischemic damage by regulating CBF. Thus, εPKC may be one of the treatment modalities against ischemic injury.
Ischemia; epsilon Protein Kinase C; Cerebral Blood Flow; Neuroprotection
Sugar consumption affects insulin release and, in hypertension, may stimulate cardiac signaling mechanisms that accelerate left ventricular hypertrophy and the development of heart failure. We investigated the effects of high-fructose or sucrose diets on ventricular function and mortality in hypertensive Dahl salt-sensitive rats.
Rats were fed chows that were either high starch (70% starch, 10% fat by energy), high fat (20% carbohydrates, 60% fat), high fructose (61% fructose, 9% starch, 10% fat), or high sucrose (61% sucrose, 9% starch, 10% fat). Hypertension was induced by adding 6% salt to the chow (n = 8–11/group).
After 8 weeks of treatment, systolic blood pressure and left ventricular mass were similarly increased in all rats that were fed high-salt diets. Hypertension caused a switch in mRNA myosin heavy chain isoform from α to β, and this effect was greater in the high-salt sucrose and fructose groups than in starch and fat groups. The cardiac mRNA for atrial natriuretic factor was also increased in all high-salt groups compared to respective controls, with the increase being significantly greater in the hypertensive sucrose fed group. Mortality was greater in the sucrose group (44%) compared to all the other hypertensive groups (12–18%), as was cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Left ventricular ejection fraction was lower in the high-salt sucrose group, which was due to an increase in end-systolic volume, and not increased end-diastolic volume.
Diets high in sugar accelerated cardiac systolic dysfunction and mortality in hypertension compared to either a low-carbohydrate/high-fat or high-starch diet.
cardiac; fat; glucose; heart failure; insulin; nutrition
Salt-sensitive hypertension is common in the aged population. Increased fruit and vegetable intake reduces hypertension, but its effect on eventual diastolic dysfunction is unknown. This relationship is tested in the Dahl Salt-Sensitive (Dahl-SS) rat model of salt-sensitive hypertension and diastolic dysfunction. Table grape powder contains phytochemicals that are relevant to human diets. For 18 weeks, male Dahl-SS rats were fed one of five diets: low salt (LS), a low salt + grape powder (LSG), high salt (HS), a high salt grape powder (HSG), or high salt vasodilator hydralazine (HSH). Compared to the HS diet,the HSG diet lowered blood pressure and improved cardiac function; reduced systemic inflammation; reduced cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and oxidative damage; and increased cardiac glutathione. The HSH diet similarly reduced blood pressure but did not reduce cardiac pathogenesis. The LSG diet reduced cardiac oxidative damage and increased cardiac glutathione. In conclusion, physiologically relevant phytochemical intake reduced salt-sensitive hypertension and diastolic dysfunction.
Heart failure; Diet; Fruits; Vegetables
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, and vitamin D therapy prevents the progression of cardiac hypertrophy in animal models. Here, we examine whether vitamin D therapy prevents progression of pre-existing cardiac hypertrophy and development of heart failure.
Methods and results
When male Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed a high salt (HS) diet, all rats developed cardiac hypertrophy after 5 weeks. Thereafter, rats were treated with vehicle (V), paricalcitol (PC, an active vitamin D analogue, at 200 ng, IP 3x/week), enalapril (EP, 90 μg/day), and PC + EP. All groups were continued on the HS diet and evaluated after 4 weeks of therapy. The PC and PC + EP groups, but not the V and EP only groups, showed significant prevention of progression of pre-existing cardiac hypertrophy. The signs of decompensated heart failure were evident in the vehicle-treated group; these heart failure parameters significantly improved with PC, EP or PC + EP therapy. The expression of PKCα, which is regulated by Ca2+and known to stimulate cardiac hypertrophy, was significantly increased in the vehicle group, and PC, EP or PC + EP effectively decreased PKCα activation. We also observed normalization of genetic alterations during progression to heart failure with PC treatment.
PC treatment resulted in both the prevention of progression of pre-existing cardiac hypertrophy and the development of heart failure, compared with improvement in progression to heart failure by EP alone. These beneficial findings in heart were associated with inhibition of PKCα activation and reversal of gene alterations.
Dahl rats; ACE inhibitor; BNP; Fibrosis; Microarrays
This study was undertaken to explore the effects of chronic low-level cadmium ingestion in Dahl hypertension-resistant (R) and hypertension-sensitive (S) lines of rats. Groups of weanling female R and S rats were given 0 or 1 mg cadmium/1. in drinking water and fed either a low salt (0.4% NaCl) or a high salt (4% NaCl) diet for 28 weeks. Cadmium produced hypertension associated with gross cardiac hypertrophy and mild to moderate renal vascular changes in S, but not in R, rats on a low salt diet. Cadmium enhanced the rate and degree of development of salt-induced hypertension without exacerbating the hypercholesterolemia or renal vascular lesions normally observed in S rats on a high salt diet. Cadmium lowered circulating cholesterol levels in both lines on a low salt diet. Cadmium had no influence on growth, blood urea nitrogen concentration, plasma renin activity, tumor formation, or survivorship in R and S rats on either salt diet. This study indicates that the genetic composition is a critical determinant of the adverse effects of chronic low-level cadmium ingestion in rats. In addition to the experimental implications, these findings may have relevance to the problem of human "essential" hypertension.
Salt sensitivity of blood pressure (BP) is speculated to be a characteristic in obesity-induced hypertension. To elucidate the influence of obesity on salt-sensitive hypertension, we examined the effect of fat loading on BP, renal damage, and their progression induced by salt excess in Dahl salt-sensitive (S) rats. High fat (HF: 45% fat diet: 8 weeks) diet increased BP with greater weight gain and visceral fat accumulation than low fat (10% fat) diet. In HF-fed rats, plasma glucose, plasma insulin, and urinary catecholamine increased, and urinary protein tended to be elevated. Moreover, excessive salt (8% salt diet: 8 weeks)-induced hypertension and proteinuria was accelerated in HF-fed rats. Therefore, fat loading increased BP in Dahl S rats possibly through insulin-resistance and sympathetic excitation. Moreover, fat loading accelerated salt-induced BP elevation and renal damage, suggesting excessive intake of both fat and salt, such as a civilized diet, exert the synergic harmful effects.
obesity; salt sensitivity of blood pressure; urinary protein; insulin resistance; sympathetic nervous system
The beneficial cardiac effects of some Ca2+ channel blockers have been attributed to blood pressure reduction, but these pleiotropic effects require further investigation. We compared the effects of benidipine, which has beneficial cardiac effects, and nitrendipine, which does not, in an animal model of hypertensive diastolic heart failure (DHF).
Methods and results
Male Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed a high-salt diet from age 7 weeks to induce hypertension and were either vehicle or orally administered benidipine (3 mg/kg daily) or nitrendipine (10 mg/kg daily) from age 10 to 18 weeks. Control rats were maintained on a low-salt diet. In vehicle-treated rats, left-ventricular (LV) fractional shortening was preserved but LV end-diastolic pressure was increased, indicative of DHF. Benidipine and nitrendipine had similar antihypertensive effects and reduced both LV weight and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Benidipine reduced LV diastolic stiffness and mortality to a greater extent than did nitrendipine. Benidipine, but not nitrendipine, also reduced lung weight. The extent of interstitial fibrosis and the abundance of mRNAs for prohypertrophic, profibrotic, or proinflammatory genes in the left ventricle were reduced by benidipine and nitrendipine. Benidipine, but not nitrendipine, increased capillary density and restored the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, vascular endothelial growth factor, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the left ventricle.
Benidipine reduced LV diastolic stiffness and increased survival, effects likely attributable predominantly to promotion of coronary angiogenesis rather than to attenuation of interstitial fibrosis. Benidipine may thus be more effective than purely L-type Ca2+ channel blockers in preventing hypertensive DHF.
angiogenesis; cardiac stiffness; diastolic heart failure; hypoxia-induced factor-α; L-type Ca2+ channel
Heart failure (HF) is characterized by contractile dysfunction associated with altered energy metabolism. This study was aimed at determining whether resveratrol, a polyphenol known to activate energy metabolism, could be beneficial as a metabolic therapy of HF. Survival, ventricular and vascular function as well as cardiac and skeletal muscle energy metabolism were assessed in a hypertensive model of HF, the Dahl salt-sensitive rat fed with a high-salt diet (HS-NT). Resveratrol (18 mg/kg/day; HS-RSV) was given for 8 weeks after hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy were established (which occurred 3 weeks after salt addition). Resveratrol treatment improved survival (64% in HS-RSV versus 15% in HS-NT, p<0.001), and prevented the 25% reduction in body weight in HS-NT (P<0.001). Moreover, RSV counteracted the development of cardiac dysfunction (fractional shortening −34% in HS-NT) as evaluated by echocardiography, which occurred without regression of hypertension or hypertrophy. Moreover, aortic endothelial dysfunction present in HS-NT was prevented in resveratrol-treated rats. Resveratrol treatment tended to preserve mitochondrial mass and biogenesis and completely protected mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and PPARα (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α) expression. We conclude that resveratrol treatment exerts beneficial protective effects on survival, endothelium–dependent smooth muscle relaxation and cardiac contractile and mitochondrial function, suggesting that resveratrol or metabolic activators could be a relevant therapy in hypertension-induced HF.
Hypertensive encephalopathy is a potentially fatal condition associated with cerebral edema and the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The molecular pathways leading to this condition, however, are unknown. We determined the role of δPKC, which is thought to regulate microvascular permeability, in the development of hypertensive encephalopathy using δV1-1 — a selective peptide inhibitor of δPKC. As a model of hypertensive encephalopathy, Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed an 8% high-salt diet from 6 weeks of age and then were infused s.c. with saline, control TAT peptide, or δV1-1 using osmotic minipumps. The mortality rate and the behavioral symptoms of hypertensive encephalopathy decreased significantly in the δV1-1–treated group relative to the control-treated group, and BBB permeability was reduced by more than 60%. Treatment with δV1-1 was also associated with decreased δPKC accumulation in capillary endothelial cells and in the endfeet of capillary astrocytes, which suggests decreased microvasculature disruption. Treatment with δV1-1 prevented hypertension-induced tight junction disruption associated with BBB breakdown, which suggests that δPKC may specifically act to dysregulate tight junction components. Together, these results suggest that δPKC plays a role in the development of hypertension-induced encephalopathy and may be a therapeutic target for the prevention of BBB disruption.
Pervious biochemical and hemodymanic studies have highlighted the important role of εPKC in cardioprotection during ischemic preconditioning. However, little is known about the electrophysiological consequences of εPKC modulation in ischemic hearts. Membrane permeable peptide εPKC selective activator and inhibitor were used to investigate the role of εPKC modulation in reperfusion arrhythmias.
Protein transduction domain from HIV- TAT was used as a carrier for peptide delivery into intact Langendorff perfused guinea pig hearts. Action potentials were imaged and mapped (124 sites) using optical techniques and surface ECG was continuously recorded. Hearts were exposed to 30 min stabilization period, 15 min of no-flow ischemia, followed by 20 min reperfusion. Peptides (0.5 μM) were infused as follows: a) control (vehicle-TAT peptide; TAT-scrambled ψεRACK peptide); b) εPKC agonist (TAT-ψεRACK); c) εPKC antagonist (TAT-εV1).
Hearts treated with εPKC agonist ψεRACK had reduced incidence of ventricular tachycardia (VT, 64%) and fibrillation (VF, 50%) compared to control (VT, 80%, p<0.05) and (VF, 70%, P<0.05). However, the highest incidence of VT (100%, P<0.05) and VF (80%) occurred in hearts treated with εPKC antagonist peptide εV1 compared to control and to εPKC agonist ψεRACK. Interestingly, at 20 min reperfusion, 100% of hearts treated with εPKC agonist ψεRACK exhibited complete recovery of action potentials compared to 40% (p<0.05) of hearts treated with εPKC antagonist peptide, εV1 and 65% (P<0.5) of hearts in control. At 20 min reperfusion, maps of action potential duration from εPKC agonist ψεRACK showed minimal dispersion (48.2±9 ms) compared to exacerbated dispersion (115.4±42 ms, P<0.05) in εPKC antagonist and control (67±20 ms, P<0.05). VT/VF and dispersion from hearts treated with scrambled agonist or antagonist peptides were similar to control.
the results demonstrate that εPKC activation by ψεRACK peptide protects intact hearts from reperfusion arrhythmias and affords better recovery. On the other hand, inhibition of εPKC increased the incidence of arrhythmias and worsened recovery compared to controls. The results carry significant therapeutic implications for the treatment of acute ischemic heart disease by preconditioning-mimicking agents.
cardiac electrophysiology; Protein Kinase C; reperfusion arrhythmia; optical mapping
One major precursor of carbonyl stress, methylglyoxal (MG), is elevated in the plasma of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, and this precursor contributes to the progression of vascular injury, hypertension and renal injury in diabetic nephropathy patients. This molecule induces salt-sensitive hypertension via a reactive oxygen species-mediated pathway. We examined the role of MG in the pathogenesis of hypertension and cardio–renal injury in Dahl salt-sensitive (Dahl S) rats, which is a rat model of CKD. Nine-week-old Dahl S rats were fed a 1% NaCl diet, and 1% MG was added to their drinking water for up to 12 weeks. Blood pressure and cardio–renal injuries were compared with rats treated with tap water alone. The angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), candesartan (10 mg kg−1 day−1), was administered to MG Dahl S rats to determine the impact of this drug on the pathogenesis of MG-induced CKD. A progressive increase in systolic blood pressure was observed (123±1–148±5 mm Hg) after 12 weeks of MG administration. MG administration significantly increased urinary albumin excretion, glomerular sclerosis, tubular injury, myocardial collagen content and cardiac perivascular fibrosis. MG also enhanced the renal expression of Nɛ-carboxyethyl-lysine (an advanced glycation end product), 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (a marker of oxidative stress), macrophage (ED-1) positive cells (a marker of inflammation) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H) oxidase activity. Candesartan treatment for 4 weeks significantly reduced these parameters. These results suggest that MG-induced hypertension and cardio–renal injury and increased inflammation and carbonyl and oxidative stress, which were partially preventable by an ARB.
carbonyl stress; chronic kidney disease; methylglyoxal; salt sensitivity
To identify novel transmembrane and secretory molecules expressed in cardiac myocytes, signal sequence trap screening was performed in rat neonatal cardiac myocytes. One of the molecules identified was a transmembrane protein, prostatic androgen repressed message-1 (PARM-1). While PARM-1 has been identified as a gene induced in prostate in response to castration, its function is largely unknown. Our expression analysis revealed that PARM-1 was specifically expressed in hearts and skeletal muscles, and in the heart, cardiac myocytes, but not non-myocytes expressed PARM-1. Immunofluorescent staining showed that PARM-1 was predominantly localized in endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In Dahl salt-sensitive rats, high-salt diet resulted in hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and subsequent heart failure, and significantly stimulated PARM-1 expression in the hearts, with a concomitant increase in ER stress markers such as GRP78 and CHOP. In cultured cardiac myocytes, PARM-1 expression was stimulated by proinflammatory cytokines, but not by hypertrophic stimuli. A marked increase in PARM-1 expression was observed in response to ER stress inducers such as thapsigargin and tunicamycin, which also induced apoptotic cell death. Silencing PARM-1 expression by siRNAs enhanced apoptotic response in cardiac myocytes to ER stresses. PARM-1 silencing also repressed expression of PERK and ATF6, and augmented expression of CHOP without affecting IRE-1 expression and JNK and Caspase-12 activation. Thus, PARM-1 expression is induced by ER stress, which plays a protective role in cardiac myocytes through regulating PERK, ATF6 and CHOP expression. These results suggested that PARM-1 is a novel ER transmembrane molecule involved in cardiac remodeling in hypertensive heart disease.
To investigate the mechanism responsible for the increased cardiac stiffness associated with hypertensive heart failure in Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) rats and the effects of treatment with the combination of a calcium channel blocker [azelnidipine (AZE)] and angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker [olmesartan (OLM)].
DS rats fed a high-salt diet from 7 weeks of age were treated (or not) from 12 to 19 weeks of age with the vasodilator hydralazine, OLM plus AZE, or the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase inhibitor apocynin. Rats fed a low-salt diet served as controls.
Treatment with OLM plus AZE attenuated changes in the expression of collagen isoforms and a decrease in the ratio of elastin to collagen in the left ventricle and prevented the increase in myocardial stiffness and diastolic dysfunction in DS rats in a manner independent of the hypotensive effect of these drugs. Such treatment also inhibited the expression and activation of elastolytic proteases (including cathepsins S and K and metalloproteinases-2, -9, and -12), NADPH oxidase–dependent superoxide production, and inflammatory changes in the failing myocardium. All these effects were mimicked by treatment with apocynin.
The changes in collagen isoform expression and the decrease in the elastin to collagen ratio in the failing myocardium likely account for the increase in diastolic stiffness in this model of hypertensive heart failure. Administration of angiotensin receptor and calcium channel blockers prevented these changes in a manner independent of the hypotensive effect of these drugs by inhibiting the increase in elastolytic activity induced by activation of NADPH oxidase.
cardiac stiffness; heart failure; collagen; elastin; oxidative stress; elastase
Activation of rat adenosine 2A receptors (A2A R) dilates preglomerular microvessels, an effect mediated by epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs). High salt (HS) intake increases epoxygenase activity and adenosine levels and greater vasodilator response to a stable adenosine analog, 2-chloroadenosine (2-CA), was seen in kidneys obtained from HS-fed rats which was mediated by increased EET release. Because this pathway is antipressor, we examined the role of the A2A R-EET pathway in a genetic model of salt-sensitive hypertension, the Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats. Dahl S resistant (R) rats fed a HS diet demonstrated a greater renal vasodilator response to 2-CA. In contrast, Dahl SS rats did not exhibit a difference in the vasodilator response to 2-CA whether fed normal salt (NS) or HS diet. In Dahl SR but not Dahl SS rats, HS intake significantly increased purine flux, augmented the protein expression of A2A R and cytochrome P450 2C23 and 2C11 epoxygenases, and elevated the renal efflux of EETs. Thus the Dahl SR rat is able to respond to HS intake by recruiting EET formation, whereas the Dahl SS rat appears to have exhausted its ability to increase EET synthesis above the levels observed on NS intake. In vivo inhibition of the A2A R-EET pathway in Dahl SR rats fed a HS diet results in reduced renal EETs levels, diminished natriuretic capacity and hypertension, thus supporting a role for the A2A R-EET pathway in the adaptive natriuretic response to modulate blood pressure during salt loading. An inability of Dahl SS rats to upregulate the A2A R-EET pathway in response to salt loading may contribute to the development of salt-sensitive hypertension.
Cytochrome P450; Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids; Adenosine; Kidney; Salt-sensitive hypertension
The Dahl salt-sensitive rat, but not the Dahl salt-resistant rat, develops hypertension and hypovitaminosis D when fed a high salt diet. Since the salt-sensitive rat and salt-resistant rat were bred from the Sprague Dawley rat, the aim of this research was to test the hypothesis that salt-resistant and Sprague Dawley rats would be similar in their vitamin D endocrine system response to high salt intake.
Sprague Dawley, salt-sensitive, and salt-resistant rats were fed high (80 g/kg, 8%) or low (3 g/kg, 3%) salt diets for three weeks. The blood pressure of Sprague Dawley rats increased from baseline to week 3 during both high and low salt intake and the mean blood pressure at week 3 of high salt intake was higher than that at week 3 of low salt intake (P < 0.05). Mean plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (marker of vitamin D status) of Sprague Dawley, salt-sensitive, and salt-resistant rats were similar at week 3 of low salt intake. Mean plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of Sprague Dawley and salt-resistant rats were unaffected by high salt intake, whereas the mean plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of salt-sensitive rats at week 3 of high salt intake was only 20% of that at week 3 of low salt intake.
These data indicate that the effect of high salt intake on the vitamin D endocrine system of Sprague Dawley rats at week 3 was similar to that of salt-resistant rats. The salt-sensitive rat, thus, appears to be a more appropriate model than the Sprague Dawley rat for assessing possible effects of salt-sensitivity on vitamin D status of humans.
Activation of ε protein kinase C (εPKC) protects hearts from ischemic injury. However, some of the mechanism(s) of εPKC mediated cardioprotection are still unclear. Identification of εPKC targets may aid to elucidate εPKC–mediated cardioprotective mechanisms. Previous studies, using a combination of εPKC transgenic mice and difference in gel electrophoresis (DIGE), identified a number of proteins involved in glucose metabolism, whose expression was modified by εPKC. These studies, were accompanied by metabolomic analysis, and suggested that increased glucose oxidation may be responsible for the cardioprotective effect of εPKC. However, whether these εPKC-mediated alterations were due to differences in protein expression or phosphorylation was not determined.
Methods and Results
Here, we used an εPKC-specific activator peptide, ψεRACK, in combination with phosphoproteomics to identify εPKC targets, and identified proteins whose phosphorylation was altered by selective activation of εPKC most of the identified proteins were mitochondrial proteins and analysis of the mitochondrial phosphoproteome, led to the identification of 55 spots, corresponding to 37 individual proteins, which were exclusively phosphorylated, in the presence of ψεRACK. The majority of the proteins identified were proteins involved in glucose and lipid metabolism, components of the respiratory chain as well as mitochondrial heat shock proteins.
In summary the protective effect of εPKC during ischemia involves phosphorylation of several mitochondrial proteins involved in glucose, lipid metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation. Regulation of these metabolic pathways by εPKC phosphorylation may lead to εPKC-mediated cardioprotection induced by ψεRACK.
εPKC; ischemia; phosphorylation; mitochondria
In response to mild ischemic stress, the brain elicits endogenous survival mechanisms to protect cells against a subsequent lethal ischemic stress, referred to as ischemic tolerance. The molecular signals that mediate this protection are thought to involve the expression and activation of multiple kinases, including protein kinase C (PKC). Here we demonstrate that εPKC mediates cerebral ischemic tolerance in vivo. Systemic delivery of ψεRACK, an εPKC-selective peptide activator, confers neuroprotection against a subsequent cerebral ischemic event when delivered immediately prior to stroke. In addition, activation of εPKC by ψεRACK treatment decreases vascular tone in vivo, as demonstrated by a reduction in microvascular cerebral blood flow. Here we demonstrate the role of acute and transient εPKC in early cerebral tolerance in vivo and suggest that extra-parenchymal mechanisms, such as vasoconstriction, may contribute to the conferred protection.
Ischemia; preconditioning; protein kinase C; cerebral blood flow
It is well accepted that high dietary salt intake accelerates both hypertension and target organ damage. We have previously shown that eplerenone attenuates sustained elevated systolic blood pressure in Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats. In the present study, we investigated the role of eplerenone on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression because we suspected that eplerenone treatment may trigger a unique mechanism that relies on the downregulation of VEGF.
Dahl SS rats were fed a high salt (8% NaCl) diet for 3 weeks and then switched to normal salt (0.3% NaCl) diet with or without treatment with eplerenone (100 mg/kg/day), enalapril (30 mg/kg/day) and their combination for an additional 3 weeks.
In addition to reducing blood pressure, eplerenone inhibited glomeruli sclerosis and suppressed the expression of VEGF and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA as well as protein levels.
Based on these findings, we suggest that in part, VEGF stimulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase plays a significant role in the eplerenone-induced reversal of the renal and vascular damage caused by high dietary salt intake.
Mineralcorticoid receptor antagonist; Hypertension; Nitric oxide synthase; Dahl rat
Activation of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors improves insulin sensitivity and induces vasodilatation and diuresis. AC3174 is a peptide analogue with pharmacologic properties similar to the GLP-1 receptor agonist, exenatide. Hypothetically, chronic AC3174 treatment could attenuate salt-induced hypertension, cardiac morbidity, insulin resistance, and renal dysfunction in Dahl salt-sensitive (DSS) rats.
DSS rats were fed low salt (LS, 0.3% NaCl) or high salt (HS, 8% NaCl) diets. HS rats were treated with vehicle, AC3174 (1.7 pmol/kg/min), or GLP-1 (25 pmol/kg/min) for 4 weeks via subcutaneous infusion. Other HS rats received captopril (150 mg/kg/day) or AC3174 plus captopril.
HS rat survival was improved by all treatments except GLP-1. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was lower in LS rats and in GLP-1, AC3174, captopril, or AC3174 plus captopril HS rats than in vehicle HS rats (p < 0.05). AC3174 plus captopril attenuated the deleterious effects of high salt on posterior wall thickness, LV mass, and the ratio of LV mass to body weight (P ≤ 0.05). In contrast, GLP-1 had no effect on these cardiovascular parameters. All treatments reduced LV wall stress. GLP-1, AC3174, captopril, or AC3174 plus captopril normalized fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (P ≤ 0.05). AC3174, captopril, or AC3174 plus captopril improved renal function (P ≤ 0.05). Renal morphology in HS rats was associated with extensive sclerosis. Monotherapy with AC3174, captopril, or GLP-1 attenuated renal damage. However, AC3174 plus captopril produced the most effective improvement.
Thus, AC3174 had antihypertensive, cardioprotective, insulin-sensitizing, and renoprotective effects in the DSS hypertensive rat model. Furthermore, AC3174 improved animal survival, an effect not observed with GLP-1.
Both histone-acetylations and histone deacetylases have been shown to play a key role in cardiac remodeling. Recently, it has become abundantly clear that many non-histone proteins are modified by post-translational lysine acetylations and that these acetylations regulate protein activity, conformation, and binding. In the present study, non-histone acetylated proteins associated with heart failure were identified. Global screening for lysine acetylated proteins was performed using 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with immunoblotting with a primary monoclonal anti-acetyl-lysine antibody. Lysine acetylated proteins were compared in two rodent models of hypertensive heart failure, the Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) and spontaneously hypertensive heart failure prone (SHHF) rats with those in corresponding controls, i.e., the Dahl salt-resistant (SR) and W (W) rat strains, respectively. Forty-one and 66 acetylated proteins were detected in SS and SHHF failing hearts, respectively, but either not detected or detected with less abundance in corresponding control hearts. Twelve of these acetylated proteins were common to both models of heart failure. These were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry followed by Mascot Analysis and included mitochondrial enzymes: ATP synthase, long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, malate dehydrogenase, and pyruvate dehydrogenase. The abundance of NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-3 (Sirt3), a mitochondrial deacetylase was reduced in SS and SHHF failing hearts. This is the first description of non-histone protein acetylations associated with heart failure and raises the prospect that acetylations of mitochondrial proteins linked to reduced Sirt3 mediate, in part, metabolic changes in heart failure.1
Heart failure; Lysine Acetylation; Sirtuin-3; Mitochondrial Proteins; Global Screening
Delayed neuroprotection against ischemic challenges is conferred by both ischemic preconditioning (IPC) and preconditioning by activation of the ε-isoform of protein kinase C (εPKC-PC). In vivo, ischemic preconditioning enhances GABA release and ameliorates glutamate release during lethal cerebral ischemia. We tested the hypothesis that IPC and εPKC-PC confer neuroprotection by GABA synapses in rat organotypic hippocampal slices. Ischemic preconditioning or εPKC-PC was induced with 15 mins oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) or ψεRACK, a selective εPKC activator; and test ischemia consisted of 40 mins OGD. At the time of peak neuroprotection (48 h after preconditioning), we recorded GABAA receptor-mediated miniature postsynaptic currents (GABA mPSCs) in vulnerable CA1 pyramidal neurons using whole-cell voltage clamp techniques. The frequency and amplitude of GABA mPSCs significantly increased 48 h after IPC. In contrast, εPKC-PC enhanced only the amplitude of GABA mPSCs with no effect on frequency. We next asked if neuroprotection depended on these changes in GABA synapses. Weak antagonism of the GABAA receptor with bicuculline (100 nmol/L) decreased the amplitude of GABA mPSCs by 20.9 ± 6.1%. When applied during test ischemia, 100 nmol/L bicuculline abolished neuroprotection conferred by either IPC or εPKC-PC. We conclude that neuroprotection conferred by preconditioning depends on functional modifications of GABA synapses.
εPKC; inhibition; ischemia; ischemic tolerance; organotypic slice
Salt-induced hypertension in the Dahl rat is associated with increases in angiotensin II, aldosterone, free radical generation and endothelial dysfunction. However, little is known about the specific mechanism(s) associated with the end-organ damage effects of aldosterone. We hypothesised that eplerenone reduces kidney damage by blocking nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity.
Dahl salt-sensitive rats fed either a low-salt (LS) or high-salt (HS) diet were treated with aldosterone in the presence of eplerenone or apocynin. Indirect blood pressure was measured prior to start of diet and weekly thereafter. Levels of plasma nitric oxide (NO) and urinary 8-isoprostane were measured following treatment. Protein levels of selected subunits of NADPH were assessed by western blot.
Eplerenone and apocynin inhibited the rise in blood pressure induced by HS and/or aldosterone. This observation was accompanied with a parallel change in kidney protein levels of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX-4) and p22phox. Aldosterone and high salt were associated with lower NO levels and greater renal oxidative stress.
NADPH oxidase is associated with the vascular and renal remodelling observed in high dietary salt intake. Aldosterone-induced expression of NOX-4 plays a pivotal role in the end-organ damage effect of aldosterone, as eplerenone tended to reduce kidney damage and inhibit NOX expression.
Aldosterone; eplerenone; hypertension; NADPH oxidase inhibitor
The caspases are thought to be central mediators of the apoptotic program, but recent data indicate that apoptosis may also be mediated by caspase-independent mechanisms such as apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). The role of AIF-induced apoptosis in heart, however, is currently not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of and conditions for AIF-induced cardiac apoptosis in vitro.
Methods and results
Hypertrophic cardiomyocyte (H-CM) cultures were prepared from the hearts of Dahl salt-sensitive rats fed a high salt diet. Apoptotic stimulation induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation or staurosporine (1 µM) enhanced AIF release in H-CMs compared with non-hypertrophic cardiomyocytes (N-CMs). Caspase inhibition using zVAD.fmk (25 µM) or overexpression of CrmA using recombinant adenovirus only partially protected N-CMs from apoptosis (63 ± 0.93%) and provided no significant protection against apoptosis in hypertrophic cells (23 ± 1.03%). On the other hand, poly-ADP-ribose polymerase inhibition using 4-AN (20 µM) during apoptotic stimulation blocked the release of AIF from mitochondria and significantly improved cell viability in hypertrophied cardiomyocytes (74 ± 1.18%).
A caspase-dependent, apoptotic pathway is important for N-CM death, whereas a caspase-independent, AIF-mediated pathway plays a critical role in H-CMs.
Apoptosis-inducing factor; Caspase; Cardiomyocytes; Hypertrophy; PARP
Prolonged hypertension is the leading cause of heart failure. Failing hearts show reduced peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor activity and enhanced nuclear factor κB activity, which together modify cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. In vitro studies suggest that phytochemicals alter peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor and nuclear factor κB activity, but the capabilities of a phytochemical-rich diet are less understood. Grapes contain an array of commonly consumed dietary phytochemicals. In Dahl Salt-Sensitive hypertensive rats, we previously showed that dietary provision of whole table grape powder (3% w:w) for 18 weeks reduced blood pressure, cardiac hypertrophy, and diastolic dysfunction. The hypothesis tested here is that in this model, phytochemical provision from whole grape powder impacts cardiac peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor and nuclear factor κB activity and their related gene transcripts. Grape-fed rats had enhanced peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-α and peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-γ DNA binding activity but reduced nuclear factor κB DNA binding activity. RT-PCR revealed that grape-fed rats showed up-regulated mRNA for peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-α, peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-γ co-activator-1α, peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-γ, and the cytosolic nuclear factor κB inhibitor, inhibitor κBα. By contrast, grape-fed rats showed down-regulated mRNA for tumor necrosis factor-α and transforming growth factor-β1. Finally, grape-fed rats showed significantly reduced cardiac tumor necrosis factor-α and transforming growth factor-β protein expression, increased inhibitor κBα expression, and reduced cardiac fibrosis. In the Dahl-Salt Sensitive rat, chronic intake of grapes altered cardiac transcripts related to peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor and nuclear factor κB that may be significant to the observed diet-associated cardioprotection.
anthocyanin; antioxidant; hypertrophy; hypertension; inflammation
This study tests the hypothesis that dysfunction of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels occurs and contributes to the decrease in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and sodium/water excretion in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats. Recirculating Krebs-Henseleit buffer added with inulin was perfused at a constant flow in the isolated kidneys of Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) or Dahl salt-resistant (DR) rats fed a high salt (HS) or low salt (LS) diet for three weeks. Perfusion pressures (PP) were pre-adjusted to three levels (~100, ~150, ~190 mmHg) with or without phenylephrine. Capsaicin (Cap), a selective TRPV1 agonist, in the presence or absence of capsazepine (Capz), a selective TRPV1 antagonist, was perfused. Basal GFR, urine flow rate (UFR) and Na+ excretion (UNaV) were significantly lower in DS-HS than in DR-HS, DS-LS and DR-LS rats. Cap caused pressure-dependent decreases in PP and increases in GFR, UFR and UNaV in all groups, with less magnitude of decreases in PP and increases in GFR, UFR and UNaV in DS-HS than in DR-HS, DS-LS and DR-LS rats. Capz fully blocked the effect of Cap on PP, GFR, UFR and UNaV in all groups. Thus, these results show that TRPV1 function is impaired in the kidney of DS rats fed a high salt diet, which may contribute to the decrease in GFR and renal excretory function in DS rats in face of salt challenge.
transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 channel; Dahl salt-sensitive rats; glomerular filtration rate