Microvascular rarefaction, defined by a loss of terminal arterioles, small venules and/or capillaries, is a common characteristic of the hypertension syndrome. While rarefaction has been associated with vessel specific free radical production, deficient leukocyte adhesion, and cellular apoptosis, the relationships of rarefaction with structural alterations at the network and cellular level remain largely unexplored. The objective of this study was to examine the architecture and perivascular cell phenotypes along microvascular networks in hypertensive versus normotensive controls in the context of imbalanced angiogenesis. Mesenteric tissues from age-matched adult male spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were harvested and immnolabeled for PECAM and neuron-glia antigen 2 (NG2). Evaluation of intact rat mesenteric microvascular networks rats suggests that network alterations associated with hypertension are more complex than just a loss of vessels. Typical SHR versus WKY networks demonstrate a reduced branching architecture marked by more proximal arteriole/venous anastomoses and an absence of NG2 labeling along arterioles. Although less frequent, larger SHR microvascular networks display regions of dramatically increased vascular density. SHR and WKY lymphatic networks demonstrate increased vessel diameters and vascular density compared to networks in normotensive Wistar rats (the strain from which both the SHR and WKY originated). These observations provide a rationale for investigating the presence of local angiogenic factors and response of microvascular networks to therapies aimed at reversing rarefaction in genetic hypertension.
Structural microvascular rarefaction, defined by a loss of vessels, is a common characteristic of hypertension and has been associated with elevated microvascular resistance. However, determining the causal relationship between microvascular network structure and resistance requires a consideration of all pattern changes throughout a network. The objectives of this study were to determine whether microvascular rarefaction is associated with other network pattern alterations and to evaluate whether pattern alterations in hypertension necessarily contribute to increased microvascular resistance. Mesenteric tissues from age-matched (15–16 weeks) male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were harvested and immunolabeled for PECAM. SHR networks displayed a decreased microvascular area, arteriolar-venular (AV) length, number of AV branches, and number of capillary segments. In addition, SHR networks displayed increased AV connections per network compared to WKY networks. Based on network geometries, resistance per network was calculated using a computational model. For simulations with equal vessel diameter and with relative diameters based on reported intravital measurements, SHR microvascular network resistance was not elevated compared to the WKY level. Our results suggest that microvascular pattern alterations associated with hypertension are more complex than vessel loss, and that these combined alterations do not necessarily lead to elevated resistance.
Microcirculation; Rarefaction; Hypertension; Mesentery; Resistance; SHR
A complication of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is microvascular rarefaction, defined by the loss of microvessels. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this process remain incompletely identified. Recent work in our laboratory suggests that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) may play a role by cleavage of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2). In order to further delineate the role for MMPs in microvascular rarefaction, the objective of the current study was to examine the relationship in the same tissue between MMP activity, VEGFR-2 cleavage and rarefaction. Using an in-vivo microzymographic technique we show significantly enhanced levels of MMP-1, -1/-9, -7, and -8 activities, but not MMP-2 and-3 activities, along mesenteric microvessels of the SHR compared to its normotensive control, Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat. Based on immunohistochemical methods, the SHR exhibited a decreased labeling of the extracellular, but not the intracellular, domain of VEGFR-2 along mesenteric microvessels. Chronic MMP inhibition served to attenuate VEGFR-2 cleavage and microvascular network rarefaction in the SHR mesentery. These results spatially link MMP-induced VEGFR-2 cleavage and rarefaction in the mesentery of the SHR and thus support the hypothesis that MMPs serve as regulators of microvascular dysfunction in hypertension.
Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat; Wister Kyoto rat; capillary; arteriole; venule; microzymography; matrix metalloproteinase inhibition
Besides an elevated blood pressure, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) has multiple microvascular complications including endothelial apoptosis with capillary rarefaction. The SHR also has elevated levels of proteolytic (e.g. matrix metalloproteinase, MMP) activity and apoptosis in microvascular cells compared to its normotensive control, but the specific enzymes involved and the molecular mechanism for apoptosis are unknown. We hypothesize that selected MMPs cleave the extracellular domain of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), which in turn causes endothelial apoptosis and capillary rarefaction. Zymographic analysis shows that gelatinase (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and matrilysin (MMP-7) activities are significantly enhanced in SHR plasma. The SHR has lower levels of the extracellular domains of VEGFR-2 in cardiac microvessels. Furthermore, application of plasma from the SHR, or purified MMP-9 and MMP-7 to naïve cells causes cleavage of the extracellular domain of VEGFR-2. The receptor cleavage was blocked by broad-acting MMP inhibitors (GM6001 1 μM, EDTA 10 mM, or doxycycline 11.3 μM). Chronic MMP inhibition (doxycycline, 5.4 mg/kg/day, 24 weeks) attenuated VEGFR-2 cleavage, endothelial apoptosis, and capillary rarefaction in the SHR. These results suggest elevated plasma MMP activities may cleave VEGFR-2, resulting in endothelial apoptosis and capillary rarefaction in the SHR.
Capillary density; Hypertension; Matrix metalloproteinases; Vascular endothelial growth factor
Observations in our laboratory provide evidence of vascular islands, defined as disconnected endothelial cell segments, in the adult microcirculation. The objective of this study was to determine if vascular islands are involved in angiogenesis during microvascular network growth.
Mesenteric tissues, which allow visualization of entire microvascular networks at a single cell level, were harvested from unstimulated adult male Wistar rats and Wistar rats 3 and 10 days post angiogenesis stimulation by mast cell degranulation with compound 48/80. Tissues were immunolabeled for PECAM and BRDU. Identification of vessel lumens via injection of FITC-dextran confirmed that endothelial cell segments were disconnected from nearby patent networks. Stimulated networks displayed increases in vascular area, length density, and capillary sprouting. On day 3, the percentage of islands with at least one BRDU-positive cell increased compared to the unstimulated level and was equal to the percentage of capillary sprouts with at least one BRDU-positive cell. At day 10, the number of vascular islands per vascular area dramatically decreased compared to unstimulated and day 3 levels.
These results show that vascular islands have the ability to proliferate and suggest that they are able to incorporate into the microcirculation during the initial stages of microvascular network growth.
Angiogenesis; Microcirculation; Mesentery; Proliferation; Endothelial cell
Objective: Angiogenesis is the growth of new vessels from pre-existing vessels and commonly associated with two modes: capillary sprouting and capillary splitting. Previous work by our laboratory suggests vascular island incorporation might be another endothelial cell dynamic involved in microvascular remodeling. Vascular islands are defined as endothelial cell segments disconnected from nearby networks, but their origin remains unclear. The objective of this study was to determine whether vascular islands associated with microvascular regression are involved in network regrowth.
Methods: Mesenteric tissues were harvested from adult male Wistar rats according to the experimental groups: unstimulated, post stimulation (10 and 70 days), and 70 days post stimulation + restimulation (3 and 10 days). Stimulation was induced by mast cell degranulation via intraperitoneal injections of compound 48/80. Tissues were immunolabeled for PECAM (endothelial cells), neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2) (pericytes), collagen IV (basement membrane), and BrdU (proliferation).
Results: Percent vascular area per tissue area and length density increased by day 10 post stimulation compared to the unstimulated group. At day 70, vascular area and length density were then decreased, indicating vascular regression compared to the day 10 levels. The number of vascular islands at day 10 post stimulation was dramatically reduced compared to the unstimulated group. During regression at day 70, the number of islands increased. The disconnected endothelial cells were commonly bridged to surrounding networks by collagen IV labeling. NG2-positive pericytes were observed both along the islands and the collagen IV tracks. At 3 days post restimulation, vascular islands contained BrdU-positive cells. By day 10 post restimulation, when vascular area and length density were again increased, and the number of vascular islands was dramatically reduced.
Conclusion: The results suggest that vascular islands originating during microvascular regression are capable of undergoing proliferation and incorporation into nearby networks during network regrowth.
angiogenesis; microcirculation; mesentery; proliferation; endothelial cell; disconnected segment; vascular island
Lymphatic and blood microvascular systems play a coordinated role in the regulation of interstitial fluid balance and immune cell trafficking during inflammation. The objective of this study was to characterize the temporal and spatial relationships between lymphatic and blood vessel growth in the adult rat mesentery following an inflammatory stimulus.
Methods and Results
Mesenteric tissues were harvested from unstimulated adult male Wistar rats and at 3, 10, and 30 days post compound 48/80 stimulation. Tissues were immunolabeled for PECAM, LYVE-1, Prox1, podoplanin, CD11b, and class III β-tubulin. Vascular area, capillary blind end density, and vascular length density were quantified for each vessel system per time point. Blood vascular area increased compared to unstimulated tissues by day 10 and remained increased at day 30. Following the peak in blood capillary sprouting at day 3, blood vascular area and density increased at day 10. The number of blind-ended lymphatic vessels and lymphatic density did not significantly increase until day 10, and lymphatic vascular area was not increased compared to the unstimulated level until day 30. Lymphangiogenesis correlated with the upregulation of class III β-tubulin expression by endothelial cells along lymphatic blind-ended vessels and increased lymphatic/blood endothelial cell connections. In local tissue regions containing both blood and lymphatic vessels, the presence of lymphatics attenuated blood capillary sprouting.
Our work suggests that lymphangiogenesis lags angiogenesis during inflammation and motivates the need for future investigations aimed at understanding lymphatic/blood endothelial cell interactions. The results also indicate that lymphatic endothelial cells undergo phenotypic changes during lymphangiogenesis.
Arterial hypertension is associated with organ dysfunctions, but the mechanisms are uncertain. We hypothesize that enhanced proteolytic activity in the microcirculation of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) may be a pathophysiological mechanism causing cell membrane receptors cleavage and examine this for two different receptors. Immunohistochemistry of matrix-degrading metalloproteinases (MMP-9) protein shows enhanced levels in SHR microvessels, mast cells, and leukocytes compared to normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. In-vivo micro-zymography shows cleavage by MMP-1,9 in SHRs that co-localizes with MMP-9 and is blocked by metal chelation. SHR plasma also has enhanced protease activity. We demonstrate with an antibody against the extracellular domain that the insulin receptor-α density is reduced in SHR, in line with elevated blood glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin. There is also cleavage of the binding domain of the leukocyte integrin receptor CD18 in line with previously reported reduced leukocyte adhesion. Blockade of MMPs with broad acting inhibitor (doxycycline, 5.4mg/kg/day) reduces protease activity in plasma and microvessels, blocks the proteolytic cleavage of the insulin receptor, the reduced glucose transport, normalizes blood glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin levels, as well as reduces blood pressure and enhanced microvascular oxidative stress of SHRs. The results suggest that elevated MMP activity leads to proteolytic cleavage of membrane receptors in the SHR, e.g. cleavage of the insulin receptor-binding domain associated with insulin resistance.
Microcirculation; matrix metalloproteinases; insulin receptor; integrin; receptor cleavage; oxygen free radical
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is an important cause of stroke, cognitive decline and vascular dementia (VaD). It is associated with diffuse white matter abnormalities and small deep cerebral ischemic infarcts. The molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of SVD are unclear. As hypertension is a major risk factor for developing SVD, Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR) are considered an appropriate experimental model for SVD. Prior work suggested an imbalance between the number of blood microvessels and astrocytes at the level of the neurovascular unit in 2-month-old SHR, leading to neuronal hypoxia in the brain of 9-month-old animals. To identify genes and pathways involved in the development of SVD, we compared the gene expression profile in the cortex of 2 and 9-month-old of SHR with age-matched normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats using microarray-based technology. The results revealed significant differences in expression of genes involved in energy and lipid metabolisms, mitochondrial functions, oxidative stress and ischemic responses between both groups. These results strongly suggest that SHR suffer from chronic hypoxia, and therefore are unable to tolerate ischemia-like conditions, and are more vulnerable to high-energy needs than WKY. This molecular analysis gives new insights about pathways accounting for the development of SVD.
cDNA microarrays; energy metabolism; hypoxia; small vessel disease; SHR; WKY.
The time to reach the maximum response of arterial pressure, heart rate and vascular resistance (hindquarter and mesenteric) was measured in conscious male spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive control rats (NCR; Wistar; 18-22 weeks) subjected to electrical stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve (ADN). The parameters of stimulation were 1 mA intensity and 2 ms pulse length applied for 5 s, using frequencies of 10, 30, and 90 Hz. The time to reach the hemodynamic responses at different frequencies of ADN stimulation was similar for SHR (N = 15) and NCR (N = 14); hypotension = NCR (4194 ± 336 to 3695 ± 463 ms) vs SHR (3475 ± 354 to 4494 ± 300 ms); bradycardia = NCR (1618 ± 152 to 1358 ± 185 ms) vs SHR (1911 ± 323 to 1852 ± 431 ms), and the fall in hindquarter vascular resistance = NCR (6054 ± 486 to 6550 ± 847 ms) vs SHR (4849 ± 918 to 4926 ± 646 ms); mesenteric = NCR (5574 ± 790 to 5752 ± 539 ms) vs SHR (5638 ± 648 to 6777 ± 624 ms). In addition, ADN stimulation produced baroreflex responses characterized by a faster cardiac effect followed by a vascular effect, which together contributed to the decrease in arterial pressure. Therefore, the results indicate that there is no alteration in the conduction of the electrical impulse after the site of baroreceptor mechanical transduction in the baroreflex pathway (central and/or efferent) in conscious SHR compared to NCR.
Electrical stimulation; Arterial pressure; Aortic depressor nerve; Baroreflex; Spontaneously hypertensive rats; Vascular tone
Purpose. This study was undertaken to examine adverse changes in coronary hemodynamics associated with hypertension, aging, and excessive salt intake. To dissociate from the possible effects of atherosclerosis, the study was done in rats because they do not develop atherosclerosis. Moreover, this strain of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) develops hypertension similar to essential hypertension in man.
Methods. Systemic and coronary hemodynamics, left ventricular mass, and collagen content in normotensive and SHR of various ages and given different treatments were determined.
Results. Compared with normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats, coronary blood flow reserve was lower and minimal coronary vascular resistance was higher in SHR of all ages; an age-related decrease in flow reserve and an increase in minimal vascular resistance were observed for both strains of rats. In very old rats with isolated systolic hypertension, an increase in left ventricular collagen was associated with coronary insufficiency; antihypertensive therapy nearly normalized both measures. In SHR excessive salt intake increased pressure, increased collagen deposition in myocardial interstitium and perivascularly, and impaired coronary circulation; angiotensin II receptor blocker therapy prevented fibrosis and improved coronary hemodynamics.
Conclusion. In conclusion, these data indicate that considerable coronary insufficiency associated with hypertension, aging, and salt overload exists in the absence of atherosclerotic coronary changes. Perivascular fibrosis within myocardium may significantly contribute to the coronary vascular impairment.
Aging; coronary circulation; hypertension; minimal coronary vascular resistance; salt excess
Although a number of medicines are available for the management of hypertension, the organ damage induced by hypertension is not resolved. The aim of this study was to investigate the protection of ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1) against vascular remodeling and organ damage in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).
Male SHR were treated with 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg Rg1 through intraperitoneal injection per day for 1 month. SHR or Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) receiving vehicle (saline) was used as control. Blood pressure detection and pathological stain, transmission electron microscope, immunohistochemical assay were used to elucidate the protection of Rg1.
Blood pressures were not different between control SHR rats and Rg1 treated SHR rats, but Rg1 improved the aortic outward remodeling by lowering the lumen diameter and reducing the media thickness according the histopathological and ultrastructural detections. Rg1 also protected the retinal vessels against inward remodeling detected by immunohistochemical assay. Furthermore, Rg1 attenuated the target heart and kidney damage with improvement on cardiac and glomerular structure.
These results suggested that Rg1 held beneficial effects on vascular structure and further protected against the organ-damage induced by hypertension. These findings also paved a novel and promising approach to the treatment of hypertensive complications.
Hypertension; Hypertensive complication; Ginsenoside Rg1; Vascular remodeling
Hypertension and diabetes are known risk factors for retinal microvascular damage. However, the combined effects of diabetes with early and established stages of hypertension on retinal microvascular degeneration remain incompletely understood.
Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were compared to SHR with streptozotocin-induced diabetes (SHR+D) for 6 or 10 weeks and Wistar rats as controls.
Hypertension alone (the SHR group) or in combination with diabetes (the SHR+D group) for 6 weeks induced additive increases in total retinal cell death, compared to the Wistar controls. This increase was associated with significant increases in phosphorylated-Jun N-terminal kinase (pJNK) activation, phosphorylated-Akt inhibition, plasma and retinal lipid peroxides, and soluble intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) levels. After 10 weeks, a similar trend was still observed in retinal nitrotyrosine, nuclear factor kappaB p65, and tumor necrosis factor-α expression, associated with exacerbated pJNK activation and formation of acellular capillaries.
In conclusion, combining diabetes and hypertension-potentiated retinal oxidative/inflammatory stress promoted imbalance between the JNK stress and survival Akt pathways resulting in accelerated retinal cell death and acellular capillary formation.
Chronic treatment with angiotensin receptor blockers is largely accepted for protecting cerebral circulation during hypertension, but beneficial effects of short-term treatments are questionable, as highlighted by the recent SCAST trial. We compared the impact of 10 days treatment with candesartan (as SCAST) versus telmisartan (previously described to reverse arteriolar remodeling, chronic treatment) on pial arterioles of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). We explored whether PPAR-gamma agonist activity or AT1 receptor blockade are involved in their differential effects. In the first study, 4-month-old male SHR were treated with telmisartan (TELMI, 2 mg/kg per day) or candesartan cilexetil (CANDE, 10 mg/kg per day) and compared to vehicle treated SHR and normotensive WKY. In a second study, SHR were treated with CANDE, pioglitazone (a PPAR-gamma agonist, PIO 2.5 mg/kg per day) or CANDE+PIO, compared to TELMI. Internal diameter of pial arterioles (ID, cranial window) was measured at baseline, during hemorrhage-induced hypotension, or following suffusion of Ang II (10−6 mol/L) or EDTA inactivation of smooth muscle cells (passive ID). PPAR-gamma and eNOS (target gene of PPAR-gamma) mRNA were evaluated in brain microvessels. For similar antihypertensive effects, TELMI (+44% versus SHR), but not CANDE, increased baseline ID. During hemorrhage, ID in TELMI group was similar to WKY, while ID in SHR and CANDE remained lower. In the second study, TELMI (+36%, versus SHR) and CANDE+PIO (+43%) increased baseline ID, but not CANDE or PIO alone. TELMI (−66%) and CANDE+PIO (−69%), but neither CANDE nor PIO alone, decreased Ang II-induced vasoconstriction. CANDE+PIO, but not CANDE, increased passive ID. In both studies, PPAR-gamma and eNOS expressions were higher in TELMI than CANDE.
Short-term treatment with TELMI, but not with CANDE, reverses narrowing of pial arteriolar ID in SHR. This may involve PPAR-gamma related mechanisms, since CANDE+PIO treatment induced similar effects, and a better blockade of AT1 receptors.
To clarify the role of PDGF A-chain in hypertensive vascular hypertrophy of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), we studied levels of PDGF A-chain gene expression and transcription factors related to the gene in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of SHRs in vivo. RNase protection assay and in situ hybridization showed that PDGF A-chain mRNA levels in VSMCs of SHRs were twofold higher than in those of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Gel retardation assays showed that levels of Sp1 and AP-2 in VSMCs of SHRs were twofold more abundant than in those of Wistar-Kyoto rats. Treatment with four pharmacologically different species of antihypertensive drugs for 2 wk decreased the levels of both PDGF A-chain mRNA and Sp1, but not AP-2 level in VSMCs of SHRs with regression of aortic hypertrophy, indicating that increases in levels of both PDGF A-chain mRNA and Sp1 in VSMCs of SHRs were associated with high blood pressure. These results suggest that high blood pressure is a stimulus which upregulates PDGF A-chain gene expression in VSMCs of SHRs, resulting in an autocrine enhancement in hypertensive vascular hypertrophy, and that the activation of the gene may be mediated through increases in Sp1 in these cells.
We studied whether mitochondrial functions and Ca2+ metabolism were altered in Wistar Kyoto normotensive (WKY) and spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR). Ca2+ uptake was decreased in SHR compared to WKY rats. Accumulation of Ca2+ was more efficient in WKY than in SHR rats. mΔΨ was lower in SHR compared to WKY rats. Basal complex IV activity was higher in SHR than WKY rats, whereas basal l-citrulline production, an indicator of nitric oxide synthesis, was decreased in SHR and dependent on Ca2+ concentration (p < 0.05). Impact of Ca2+ was counteracted by EGTA. These data show an age-dependent decreased mitochondrial functions in brain mitochondria during hypertension.
Brain mitochondria; Calcium uptake; Nitric oxide; Cytochrome c oxidase; Hypertension; Aging
The Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) is used as an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It displays deficits in frontostriatal functioning, but it is unclear if medial temporal lobe functioning and structure are affected. We used behavioral tasks that evaluate functioning of the amygdala and hippocampus to compare male SHR to male rats from two inbred comparator strains, the normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and the hypertensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKHT) rat (n=8/strain). The three strains showed similar levels of amygdala-related stimulus-reward learning during conditioned cue preference testing. In the ambiguous T-maze task, which dissociates between spatial and habit learning, significantly more WKHT than SHR or WKY used a response (indicative of habit learning) vs. a place (indicative of spatial learning) strategy during an early probe test on day 8. During a later probe test on day 24, WKY progressed significantly from using a place strategy to a response strategy. Throughout all probe tests, a place strategy was used predominately by SHR and a response strategy by WKHT. Thus, SHR exhibited deficits in dorsal striatum-related habit learning whereas WKHT exhibited deficits in hippocampus-related spatial learning. Following behavioral testing, Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) magnetic resonance imaging scans were conducted in subgroups of rats from each strain (n=4/strain). FLAIR imaging detected bilateral hippocampal hyperintensities in three of four WKHT and unilateral hippocampal atrophy in one of four SHR. The association between response strategy use during the initial probe test to forage for food in the ambiguous T-maze task and bilateral hippocampal abnormalities was significant. Collectively, while medial temporal lobe functioning appears to be normal in SHR exhibiting an ADHD-like phenotype, WKHT rats display both hippocampal functioning deficits and signs of bilateral hippocampal cell loss. The latter characteristics might be used to develop a new animal model of age-or disease-related decline in hippocampal functioning.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Habit Learning; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Spatial Learning; Stimulus-Reward Learning
Spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR) are an established model of genetic hypertension. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) from SHR proliferate faster than those of control rats (Wistar-Kyoto rats; WKY). We tested the hypothesis that induction of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 induced by aprotinin inhibits VSMC proliferation through cell cycle arrest in hypertensive rats. Aprotinin treatment inhibited VSMC proliferation in SHR more than in normotensive rats. These inhibitory effects were associated with cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. Tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPPIX) reversed the anti-proliferative effect of aprotinin in VSMC from SHR. The level of cyclin D was higher in VSMC of SHR than those of WKY. Aprotinin treatment downregulated the cell cycle regulator, cyclin D, but upregulated the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21, in VSMC of SHR. Aprotinin induced HO-1 in VSMC of SHR, but not in those of control rats. Furthermore, aprotinin-induced HO-1 inhibited VSMC proliferation of SHR. Consistently, VSMC proliferation in SHR was significantly inhibited by transfection with the HO-1 gene. These results indicate that induction of HO-1 by aprotinin inhibits VSMC proliferation through cell cycle arrest in hypertensive rats.
Aprotinin; Hypertension; Proliferation; Heme oxygenase-1; Cell cycle arrest
The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor, PD98059, on high blood pressure and related vascular changes. Blood pressure was recorded, thicknesses of renal small artery walls were measured and ERK1/2 immunoreactivity and erk2 mRNA in renal vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells were detected by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in normotensive wistar kyoto (WKY) rats, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and PD98059-treated SHR. Compared with normo-tensive WKY rats, SHR developed hypertension at 8 weeks of age, thickened renal small artery wall and asymmetric arrangement of VSMCs at 16 and 24 weeks of age. Phospho-ERK1/2 immunoreactivity and erk2 mRNA expression levels were increased in VSMCs and endothelial cells of the renal small arteries in the SHR. Treating SHR with PD98059 reduced the spontaneous hypertension-induced vascular wall thickening. This effect was associated with suppressions of erk2 mRNA expression and ERK1/2 phosphorylation in VSMCs and endothelial cells of the renal small arteries. It is concluded that inhibition of ERK1/2 ameliorates hypertension induced vascular remodeling in renal small arteries.
artery; extracellular signal-regulated kinase; hypertension; kidney SHR; vascular remodeling
Analysis of global gene expression in mesenteric control and collateral arteries was used to investigate potential molecules, pathways, and mechanisms responsible for impaired collateral growth in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR). A fundamental difference was observed in overall gene expression pattern in SHR versus Wistar Kyoto (WKY) collaterals; only 6% of genes altered in collaterals were similar between rat strains. Ingenuity® Pathway Analysis (IPA) identified major differences between WKY and SHR in networks and biological functions related to cell growth and proliferation and gene expression. In SHR control arteries, several mechano-sensitive and redox-dependent transcription regulators were downregulated including JUN (−5.2×, P = 0.02), EGR1 (−4.1×, P = 0.01), and NFĸB1 (−1.95×, P = 0.04). Predicted binding sites for NFĸB and AP-1 were present in genes altered in WKY but not SHR collaterals. Immunostaining showed increased NFĸB nuclear translocation in collateral arteries of WKY and apocynin-treated SHR, but not in untreated SHR. siRNA for the p65 subunit suppressed collateral growth in WKY, confirming a functional role of NFkB. Canonical pathways identified by IPA in WKY but not SHR included nitric oxide and renin–angiotensin system signaling. The angiotensin type 1 receptor (AGTR1) exhibited upregulation in WKY collaterals, but downregulation in SHR; pharmacological blockade of AGTR1 with losartan prevented collateral luminal expansion in WKY. Together, these results suggest that collateral growth impairment results from an abnormality in a fundamental regulatory mechanism that occurs at a level between signal transduction and gene transcription and implicate redox-dependent modulation of mechano-sensitive transcription factors such as NFĸB as a potential mechanism.
Arteriogenesis; collateral gene expression; microarray analysis; peripheral vascular disease
The sural nerve has been widely investigated in experimental models of neuropathies but information about its involvement in hypertension was not yet explored. The aim of the present study was to compare the morphological and morphometric aspects of different segments of the sural nerve in male and female spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Rats aged 20 weeks (N = 6 in each group) were investigated. After arterial pressure and heart rate recordings in anesthetized animals, right and left sural nerves were removed and prepared for epoxy resin embedding and light microscopy. Morphometric analysis was performed with the aid of computer software, and took into consideration the fascicle area and diameter, as well as myelinated fiber number, density, area and diameter.
Significant differences were observed for the myelinated fiber number and density, comparing different genders of WKY and SHR. Also, significant differences for the morphological (thickening of the endoneural blood vessel walls and lumen reduction) and morphometric (myelinated fibers diameter and G ratio) parameters of myelinated fibers were identified. Morphological exam of the myelinated fibers suggested the presence of a neuropathy due to hypertension in both SHR genders.
These results indicate that hypertension altered important morphometric parameters related to nerve conduction of sural nerve in hypertensive animals. Moreover the comparison between males and females of WKY and SHR allows the conclusion that the morphological and morphometric parameters of sural nerve are not gender related. The morphometric approach confirmed the presence of neuropathy, mainly associated to the small myelinated fibers. In conclusion, the present study collected evidences that the high blood pressure in SHR is affecting the sural nerve myelinated fibers.
Sural nerve; Morphometry; Myelinated fibers; Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat; Gender differences
Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for variety of cardio-vascular diseases, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke and many others. It is of great importance for hypertensive patients to stop smoking. One of the medicines widely used for smoking cessation in Bulgaria is the original Bulgarian product Tabex®, which is developed on the basis of natural plant alkaloid cytisine. The aim of the following study was to ivestigate the effects of cytisine on some brain and hepatic biochemical parameters in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), an widely used rodent model for human essential hypertension, and to compare the obtained results with their age-matched normotensive controls Wistar Kyoto (WKY). Multiple cytisine administration did not affect the activity of ethylmorphine-N-demethylase (EMND) and anylinehydroxylase (AH), as well as the quantity of cytochrome P 450, nor in WKY neither in SHR In the liver cytisine increased the MDA quantity both in SHR and in WKY, by 25% (p<0.05) and by 29% (p<0.05) respectively, while the GSH level was not significantly changed by the compound in both strains. In contrast, on the brain level, cytisine administration to SHR caused more prominent toxicity, resulted in GSH depletion and increased MDA quantity, while in WKY strain did not exert any toxicity. Cytisine did not significantly affect ALAT and ASAT activity in both strains. In conclusion, the results of our study suggest higher brain toxicity of cytisine in spontaneously hypertensive rats, that might be due to their pathophysiological characteristics.
SHR; cytisine; toxicity; metabolism
Hypertension in SHR is associated with renal redox stress and we hypothesized that nephropathy arises in SHR-A3 from altered capacity to mitigate redox stress compared with nephropathy-resistant SHR lines. We measured renal expression of redox genes in distinct lines of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR-A3, SHR-B2, SHR-C) and the normotensive WKY strain. The SHR lines differ in either resisting (SHR-B2, SHR-C) or experiencing hypertensive nephropathy (SHR-A3). Immediately prior to the emergence of hypertensive renal injury expression of redox genes in SHR-A3 was profoundly altered compared with the injury-resistant SHR lines and WKY. This change appeared to arise in anti-oxidant genes where 16 of 28 were expressed at 34.3% of the level in the reference strain (WKY). No such change was observed in the injury-resistant SHR lines. We analyzed occurrence of transcription factor matrices (TFM) in the promoters of the down-regulated antioxidant genes. In these genes, the HNF1 TFM was found to be nearly twice as likely to be present and the overall frequency of HNF1 sites was nearly 5 times higher, compared with HNF1 TFMs in anti-oxidant genes that were not down-regulated. We identified 35 other (non-redox) renal genes regulated by HNF1. These were also significantly down-regulated in SHR-A3, but not in SHR-B2 or SHR-C. Finally, expression of genes that comprise HNF1 (Tcf1, Tcf2 and Dcoh) was also down-regulated in SHR-A3. The present experiments uncover a major change in transcriptional control by HNF1 that affects redox and other genes and precedes emergence of hypertensive renal injury.
SHR; hypertension; renal injury; redox stress; transcription
We previously demonstrated remarkable differences in the expression of IL-8/CXCL8 in aortic tissues and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) compared to VSMC from normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY). In the present study, we investigated the direct effect of IL-8/CXCL8 on expression of 12-lipoxygenase (LO), a hypertensive modulator, in SHR VSMC.
Cultured aortic VSMC from SHR and WKY were used. Expression of 12-LO mRNA was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Phosphorlyation of ERK1/2 and production of 12-LO and angiotensin II subtype 1 (AT1) receptor were assessed by Western blots. IL-8/CXCL8-stimulated DNA synthesis was determined by measuring incorporation of [3H]-thymidine. And effect of IL-8/CXCL8 on vascular tone was determined by phenylephrine-induced contraction of thoracic aortic rings.
Treatment with IL-8/CXCL8 greatly increased 12-LO mRNA expression and protein production compared to treatment with angiotensin II. IL-8/CXCL8 also increased the expression of the AT1 receptor. The increase in 12-LO induced by IL-8/CXCL8 was inhibited by treatment with an AT1 receptor antagonist. The induction of 12-LO mRNA production and the proliferation of SHR VSMC by IL-8/CXCL8 was mediated by the ERK pathway. The proliferation of SHR VSMC and the vascular contraction in the thoracic aortic ring, both of which were induced by IL-8/CXCL8, were inhibited by baicalein, a 12-LO inhibitor.
These results suggest that the potential role of IL-8/CXCL8 in hypertensive processes is likely mediated through the 12-LO pathway.
IL-8/CXCL8; 12-lipoxygenase; rat vascular smooth muscle cell
Recent evidence suggests that the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) has an elevated level of proteases, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), involved in cell membrane receptor cleavage. We hypothesize that SHR red blood cells (RBCs) may be subject to an enhanced glycocalyx cleavage compared to the RBCs of the normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. By direct observation of RBC rouleaux, we found no significant difference in RBC aggregation for unseparated SHR and WKY RBCs. However, lighter SHR RBCs have a greater tendency to aggregate than WKY RBCs when separated by centrifugation. When SHR plasma was mixed with WKY RBCs, SHR plasma proteases cleaved the glycocalyx of WKY RBCs, a process that can be blocked by MMP inhibition. When treated with MMPs, WKY RBCs showed strong aggregation in dextran but not in fibrinogen, indicating that RBC membrane glycoproteins from the inner core of the glycocalyx were cleaved and that dextran was able to bind to the lipid portion of the RBC membrane. In contrast, treatment with amylases produced fibrinogen-induced aggregation with fibrinogen binding to the protein core. MMP cleavage of RBC glycocalyx reduces RBC adhesion to macrophages as a mechanism to remove old RBCs from the circulation.
Spontaneously hypertensive rat; matrix metalloproteinases; red blood cell aggregation; glycocalyx cleavage; dextran; fibrinogen