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1.  Red Blood Cell Dysfunction Induced by High-Fat Diet 
Circulation  2015;132(20):1898-1908.
High-fat diet (HFD) promotes endothelial dysfunction and proinflammatory monocyte activation, which contribute to atherosclerosis in obesity. We investigated whether HFD also induces the dysfunction of red blood cells (RBCs), which serve as a reservoir for chemokines via binding to Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC).
Methods and Results
A 60% HFD for 12 weeks, which produced only minor changes in lipid profile in C57/BL6 mice, markedly augmented the levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 bound to RBCs, which in turn stimulated macrophage migration through an endothelial monolayer. Levels of RBC-bound KC were also increased by HFD. These effects of HFD were abolished in DARC−/− mice. In RBCs from HFD-fed wild-type and DARC−/− mice, levels of membrane cholesterol and phosphatidylserine externalization were increased, fostering RBC-macrophage inflammatory interactions and promoting macrophage phagocytosis in vitro. When labeled ex vivo and injected into wild-type mice, RBCs from HFD-fed mice exhibited ≈3-fold increase in splenic uptake. Finally, RBCs from HFD-fed mice induced increased macrophage adhesion to the endothelium when they were incubated with isolated aortic segments, indicating endothelial activation.
RBC dysfunction, analogous to endothelial dysfunction, occurs early during diet-induced obesity and may serve as a mediator of atherosclerosis. These findings may have implications for the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in obesity, a worldwide epidemic.
PMCID: PMC4772773  PMID: 26467254
atherosclerosis; erythrocytes; leukocytes; obesity
2.  A Comparison of Methods To Enhance Protein Detection of Lipoproteins by Mass Spectrometry 
Journal of proteome research  2015;14(7):2943-2950.
We sought to develop a new method to more efficiently analyze lipid-bound proteins by mass spectrometry using a combination of a lipid removal agent (LRA) that selectively targets lipid-bound proteins and a mass spectrometry compatible detergent, anionic acid labile surfactant (AALS), that is capable of eluting proteins off the LRA. This method was compared to established methods that use the lipid removal agent alone and straight proteomic analysis of human plasma after organic solvent delipidation (OSD). Plasma from healthy individuals was separated by gel filtration chromatography and prepared for mass spectrometry analysis by each of the described methods. The addition of AALS to LRA increased the overall number of proteins detected in both the high and low density lipoprotein size range, the number of peptide counts for each protein, and the overall sequence coverage. Organic solvent delipidation detected the most proteins, though with some decrease in overall protein detection and sequence coverage due to the presence of nonlipid-bound proteins. The use of LRA allows for selection and analysis of lipid-bound proteins. The addition of a mass spectrometry compatible detergent improved detection of lipid-bound proteins from human plasma using LRA.
Graphical abstract
PMCID: PMC4714602  PMID: 26039899
lipoproteins; mass spectrometry; detergents; lipids; surfactant
3.  A Comparison of the Mouse and Human Lipoproteome: Suitability of the Mouse Model for Studies of Human Lipoproteins 
Journal of proteome research  2015;14(6):2686-2695.
Plasma levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL) exhibit opposing associations with cardiovascular disease in human populations and mouse models have been heavily used to derive a mechanistic understanding of these relationships. In humans, recent mass spectrometry studies have revealed that the plasma lipoproteome is significantly more complex than originally appreciated. This is particularly true for HDL which contains some 90 distinct proteins, a majority of which play functional roles that go beyond those expected for simple lipid transport. Unfortunately, the mouse lipoproteome remains largely uncharacterized—a significant gap given the heavy reliance on the model. Using a gel filtration chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis that targets phospholipid-bound plasma proteins, we compared the mouse lipoproteome and its size distribution to a previous, identical human analysis. We identified 113 lipid associated proteins in the mouse. In general, the protein diversity in the LDL and HDL size ranges was similar in mice versus humans, though some distinct differences were noted. For the majority of proteins, the size distributions, that is, whether a given protein was associated with large versus small HDL particles, for example, were also similar between species. Again, however, there were clear differences exhibited by a minority of proteins that may reflect metabolic differences between species. Finally, by correlating the lipid and protein size profiles, we identified five proteins that closely track with the major HDL protein, apolipoprotein A-I across both species. Thus, mice have most of the minor proteins identified in human lipoproteins that play key roles in inflammation, innate immunity, proteolysis and its inhibition, and vitamin transport. This provides support for the continued use of the mouse as a model for many aspects of human lipoprotein metabolism.
Graphical abstract
PMCID: PMC4712022  PMID: 25894274
high density lipoprotein; proteomics; lipoprotein; apolipoprotein; mass spectrometry; mouse model
4.  Interaction of ApoA-IV with NR4A1 and NR1D1 Represses G6Pase and PEPCK Transcription: Nuclear Receptor-Mediated Downregulation of Hepatic Gluconeogenesis in Mice and a Human Hepatocyte Cell Line 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0142098.
We have previously shown that the nuclear receptor, NR1D1, is a cofactor in ApoA-IV-mediated downregulation of gluconeogenesis. Nuclear receptor, NR4A1, is involved in the transcriptional regulation of various genes involved in inflammation, apoptosis, and glucose metabolism. We investigated whether NR4A1 influences the effect of ApoA-IV on hepatic glucose metabolism. Our in situ proximity ligation assays and coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicated that ApoA-IV colocalized with NR4A1 in human liver (HepG2) and kidney (HEK-293) cell lines. The chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments and luciferase reporter assays indicated that the ApoA-IV and NR4A1 colocalized at the RORα response element of the human G6Pase promoter, reducing its transcriptional activity. Our RNA interference experiments showed that knocking down the expression of NR4A1 in primary mouse hepatocytes treated with ApoA-IV increased the expression of NR1D1, G6Pase, and PEPCK, and that knocking down NR1D1 expression increased the level of NR4A1. We also found that ApoA-IV induced the expression of endogenous NR4A1 in both cultured primary mouse hepatocytes and in the mouse liver, and decreased glucose production in primary mouse hepatocytes. Our findings showed that ApoA-IV colocalizes with NR4A1, which suppresses G6Pase and PEPCK gene expression at the transcriptional level, reducing hepatic glucose output and lowering blood glucose. The ApoA-IV-induced increase in NR4A1 expression in hepatocytes mediates further repression of gluconeogenesis. Our findings suggest that NR1D1 and NR4A1 serve similar or complementary functions in the ApoA-IV-mediated regulation of gluconeogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4640595  PMID: 26556724
5.  High-Density Lipoprotein Maintains Skeletal Muscle Function by Modulating Cellular Respiration in Mice 
Circulation  2013;128(22):2364-2371.
Abnormal glucose metabolism is a central feature of disorders with increased rates of cardio-vascular disease (CVD). Low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) are a key predictor for CVD. We used genetic mouse models with increased HDL levels (apoA-I tg) and reduced HDL levels (apoA-I ko) to investigate whether HDL modulates mitochondrial bioenergetics in skeletal muscle.
Methods and Results
ApoA-I ko mice exhibited fasting hyperglycemia and impaired glucose tolerance test (GTT) compared to wild type (wt) mice. Mitochondria isolated from gastrocnemius muscle of apoA-I ko mice displayed markedly blunted ATP synthesis. Endurance capacity (EC) during exercise exhaustion test was impaired in apoA-I ko mice. HDL directly enhanced glucose oxidation by increasing glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration rate (OCR) in C2C12 muscle cells. ApoA-I tg mice exhibited lower fasting glucose levels, improved GTT, increased lactate levels, reduced fat mass, associated with protection against age-induced decline of EC compared to wt mice. Circulating levels of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), a novel biomarker for mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiencies and inhibitor of white adipose lipolysis, were significantly reduced in apoA-I tg mice. Consistent with an increase in glucose utilization of skeletal muscle, genetically increased HDL and apoA-I levels in mice prevented high fat diet-induced impairment of glucose homeostasis.
In view of impaired mitochondrial function and decreased HDL levels in T2D, our findings indicate that HDL-raising therapies may preserve muscle mitochondrial function and address key aspects of T2D beyond CVD.
PMCID: PMC3957345  PMID: 24170386
HDL; obesity; exercise; muscular glucose oxidation; mitochondrial bioenergetics
6.  Cholesterol efflux and atheroprotection: Advancing the concept of reverse cholesterol transport 
Circulation  2012;125(15):1905-1919.
PMCID: PMC4159082  PMID: 22508840
High density lipoprotein; cholesterol efflux; reverse cholesterol transport; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; vascular imaging
7.  The Effects of Type 2 Diabetes on Lipoprotein Composition and Arterial Stiffness in Male Youth 
Diabetes  2013;62(8):2958-2967.
Recent studies suggest HDL exists as numerous subpopulations with distinct protein/lipid compositions that are not reflected in the HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) number. In this study, we sought to evaluate HDL subpopulations in adolescents with type 2 diabetes (T2D) to determine if changes in HDL composition are associated with early vascular disease. T2D (n = 10), lean (n = 9), and obese (n = 11) youth were recruited. Plasma was fractionated using gel-filtration chromatography, and lipid-associated proteins were identified using mass spectrometry. Concurrently, vascular stiffness was assessed using pulse wave velocity (PWV). We found youth with T2D exhibited decreased phospholipid content in fractions containing large HDL particles that was inversely associated with PWV (P < 0.001). No association was noted between HDL-C and PWV. Proteomic analysis revealed changes in 7 of 45 identified proteins in the T2D group, including apolipoprotein (apo) A-II, apoE, and paraoxonase-1 (P < 0.05). Our data demonstrate early changes in the lipid and protein compositions of specific HDL subspecies in adolescents with T2D that are related to early markers of arterial disease. These findings suggest that analyzing the composition of HDL, rather than HDL-C, may be useful in assessing cardiovascular risk in this population.
PMCID: PMC3717874  PMID: 23835332
8.  Evidence for multiple sex-determining loci in Tasmanian Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) 
Heredity  2013;113(1):86-92.
Phenotypic sex in salmonids is determined primarily by a genetic male heterogametic system; yet, sex reversal can be accomplished via hormonal treatment. In Tasmanian Atlantic salmon aquaculture, to overcome problems associated with early sexual maturation in males, sex-reversed females are crossed with normal females to produce all female stock. However, phenotypic distinction of sex-reversed females (neo-males) from true males is problematic. We set out to identify genetic markers that could make this distinction. Microsatellite markers from chromosome 2 (Ssa02), to which the sex-determining locus (SEX) has been mapped in two Scottish Atlantic salmon families, did not predict sex in a pilot study of seven families. A TaqMan 64 SNP genome-wide scan suggested SEX was on Ssa06 in these families, and this was confirmed by microsatellite markers. A survey of 58 families in total representing 38 male lineages in the SALTAS breeding program found that 34 of the families had SEX on Ssa02, in 22 of the families SEX was on Ssa06, and two of the families had a third SEX locus, on Ssa03. A PCR test using primers designed from the recently published sdY gene is consistent with Tasmanian Atlantic salmon having a single sex-determining gene that may be located on at least three linkage groups.
PMCID: PMC4815647  PMID: 23759729
Atlantic salmon; sex loci; genetic mapping; sdY; jumping gene
9.  Specific sequences in N termini of apolipoprotein A-IV modulate its anorectic effect 
Physiology & behavior  2013;120:136-142.
Rodent apoA-IV is expressed predominantly in small intestine and also expressed to a small extent in liver and hypothalamus. ApoA-IV has been shown to inhibit food intake in rats when injected centrally. In the current study, we hypothesize that a specific sequence within rat apoA-IV is responsible for mediating the anorectic effect. We use a bacterial expression system to generate truncation mutants (Δ249–371, Δ117–371 and Δ1–61) of rat apoA-IV and assess the ability of various regions of the molecule to inhibit food intake. The results indicate that a responsible sequence exists within the N-terminal 61 amino acids of rat apoA-IV. Synthetic peptides (1–30 EVTSDQVANVMWDYFTQLSNNAKEAVEQLQ, 1–15 EVTSDQVANVMWDYF and 17–30 QLSNNAKEAVEQLQ) were used to specify the region in between residues 1 and 30. A 14-mer peptide (17–30) encompassing this sequence was capable of reducing food intake in a dose-dependent manner whereas a peptide designed on a more C-terminal region (211–232) of apoA-IV (QEKLNHQMEGLAFQMKKNAEEL) failed to exhibit the dose-dependent anorectic effect. The isolation of this sequence provides a valuable tool for future work directed at identifying apoA-IV binding proteins and is a key step for exploring the potential of therapeutic manipulation of food intake via this pathway.
PMCID: PMC4054808  PMID: 23911688
Apolipoprotein A-IV; Food intake; Truncation mutation
10.  Eye movement recordings to investigate a supranuclear component in chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia: a cross-sectional study 
The British journal of ophthalmology  2010;94(9):1165-1168.
It has been postulated that eye movement disorders in chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) have a neurological as well as a myopathic component to them.
To investigate whether there is a supranuclear component to eye movement disorders in CPEO using eye movement recordings.
Saccade and smooth pursuit (SP) characteristics together with vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain and VOR suppression (VORS) gain in 18 patients with CPEO and 34 normal patients were measured using Eyelink II video-oculography.
The asymptotic values of the peak velocity main sequence curves were reduced in the CPEO group compared to those of normal patients, with a mean of 161°/s (95% CI 126°/s to 197°/s) compared with 453°/s (95% CI 430 to 475°/s), respectively. Saccadic latency was longer in CPEO (263 ms; 95% CI 250 to 278), compared to controls (185 ms; 95% CI 181 to 189). Smooth pursuit and VOR gains were impaired in CPEO, although this could be explained by non-supranuclear causes. VORS gain was identical in the two groups.
This study does not support a supranuclear component to the ophthalmoplegia of CPEO, although the increased latencies observed may warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC4038492  PMID: 20576783
11.  Improving the diffraction of apoA-IV crystals through extreme dehydration 
Apolipoprotein A-IV crystals consisted of a long unit-cell edge (540 Å) with a high mosaic spread, making them intractable for X-ray diffraction analysis. Extreme dehydration in 60% PEG 3350 was utilized as a post-crystallization treatment as well a screening method to significantly sharpen the mosaic spread and increase the overall resolution of diffraction.
Apolipoproteins are the protein component of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which are necessary for mobilizing lipid-like molecules throughout the body. Apolipoproteins undergo self-association, especially at higher concentrations, making them difficult to crystallize. Here, the crystallization and diffraction of the core fragment of apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV), consisting of residues 64–335, is presented. ApoA-IV64–335 crystallized readily in a variety of hexagonal (P6) morphologies with similar unit-cell parameters, all containing a long axis of nearly 550 Å in length. Preliminary diffraction experiments with the different crystal morphologies all resulted in limited streaky diffraction to 3.5 Å resolution. Crystal dehydration was applied to the different morphologies with variable success and was also used as a quality indicator of crystal-growth conditions. The results show that the morphologies that withstood the most extreme dehydration conditions showed the greatest improvement in diffraction. One morphology in particular was able to withstand dehydration in 60% PEG 3350 for over 12 h, which resulted in well defined intensities to 2.7 Å resolution. These results suggest that the approach of integrating dehydration with variation in crystal-growth conditions might be a general technique to optimize diffraction.
PMCID: PMC3253848  PMID: 22232185
apolipoproteins; dehydration; long unit cell; reflection elongation
12.  Apolipoprotein A-I structural organization in high density lipoproteins isolated from human plasma 
High density lipoproteins (HDL) mediate cholesterol transport and protection from cardiovascular disease. Although synthetic HDLs have been studied for 30 years, the structure of human plasma-derived HDL, and its major protein apolipoprotein (apo)A-I, is unknown. We separated normal human HDL into 5 density subfractions and then further isolated those containing predominantly apoA-I (LpA-I). Using cross-linking chemistry and mass spectrometry, we found that apoA-I adopts a structural framework in these particles that closely mirrors that in synthetic HDL. We adapted established structural models for synthetic HDL to generate the first detailed models of authentic human plasma HDL in which apoA-I adopts a symmetrical cage-like structure. The models suggest that HDL particle size is modulated via a twisting motion of the resident apoA-I molecules. This understanding offers insights into how apoA-I structure modulates HDL function and its interactions with other apolipoproteins.
PMCID: PMC3079355  PMID: 21399642
13.  High density lipoprotein: it’s not just about lipid transport anymore 
Plasma levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) have long been associated with protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in large populations. However, HDL-C has been significantly less useful for predicting CVD risk in individual patients. This has ignited a new debate on the merits of measuring HDL quantity versus quality in terms of protective potential. In addition, numerous recent studies have begun to uncover HDL functions that vary surprisingly from traditional lipid transport roles. In this paper, we review recent findings that point to important functions for HDL that go well beyond lipid transport. These discoveries suggest that HDL might be a platform that mediates protection from a host of disease states ranging from CVD to diabetes to infectious disease.
PMCID: PMC3036841  PMID: 21067941
14.  Proteomic Characterization of Human Plasma High Density Lipoprotein Fractionated by Gel Filtration Chromatography 
Journal of proteome research  2010;9(10):5239-5249.
Plasma levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are inversely proportional to the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Recent applications of modern proteomic technologies have identified upward of 50 distinct proteins associated with HDL particles with many of these newly discovered proteins implicating HDL in nonlipid transport processes including complement activation, acute phase response and innate immunity. However, almost all MS-based proteomic studies on HDL to date have utilized density gradient ultracentrifugation techniques for HDL isolation prior to analysis. These involve high shear forces and salt concentrations that can disrupt HDL protein interactions and alter particle function. Here, we used high-resolution size exclusion chromatography to fractionate normal human plasma to 17 phospholipid-containing subfractions. Then, using a phospholipid binding resin, we identified proteins that associate with lipoproteins of various sizes by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We identified 14 new phospholipid-associated proteins that migrate with traditionally defined HDL, several of which further support roles for HDL in complement regulation and protease inhibition. The increased fractionation inherent to this method allowed us to visualize HDL protein distribution across particle size with unprecedented resolution. The observed heterogeneity across subfractions suggests the presence of HDL particle subpopulations each with distinct protein components that may prove to impart distinct physiological functions.
PMCID: PMC3100175  PMID: 20718489
high density lipoprotein; proteomics; lipoprotein; apolipoprotein; mass spectrometry
15.  Enhanced placental cholesterol efflux by fetal HDL in Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome 
Molecular genetics and metabolism  2008;94(2):240-247.
Previous studies from this laboratory have shown that maternal-derived cholesterol can be effluxed from trophoblasts to fetal HDL and plasma. We had the opportunity to study for the first time the ability of HDL and plasma from a fetus with the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome (SLOS) to efflux cholesterol from trophoblasts. It was unclear whether cholesterol could be effluxed to fetuses with SLOS since lipoprotein levels are often very low. To answer this question, cord blood was collected from the placentas of an SLOS fetus and unaffected fetuses just after delivery. Plasma cholesterol concentrations were very low in the affected fetus; cholesterol, 7-dehydrocholesterol, and 8-dehydocholesterol concentrations were 14.1, 4.5, and 5.2 mg/dl, respectively. The HDL from the fetal SLOS effluxed ≈50% more cholesterol from a trophoblast cell line, were smaller in size, and had a lower cholesterol to phospholipid ratio as compared to HDL from unaffected fetuses or adults. Plasma from the SLOS fetus effluxed cholesterol to a similar percentage as unaffected fetal plasma or adult plasma, possibly due to fewer HDL particles as demonstrated in previous SLOS patients. These novel data demonstrate that the cholesterol-deficient SLOS fetus is able to obtain cholesterol from trophoblasts at a time when cholesterol is playing a critical role in development, and has implications for design of treatments for cholesterol deficiency syndromes as well as understanding of prenatal cholesterol transport in humans.
PMCID: PMC3037116  PMID: 18346920
Fetus; Trophoblast; BeWo cells; Pregnancy; Cholesterol transport
16.  The Role of Hydrophobic and Negatively Charged Surface Patches of Lipid-Free Apolipoprotein A-I in Lipid Binding and ABCA1-Mediated Cholesterol Efflux 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2009;1801(1):64-69.
Recent models of lipid-free apolipoprotein A-I, including a cross-link/homology model and an x-ray crystal structure have identified two potential functionally relevant “patches” on the protein surface. The first is a hydrophobic surface patch composed of leucine residues 42, 44, 46, and 47 and the second a negatively charged patch composed of glutamic acid residues 179, 191, and 198. To determine if these domains play a functional role, these surface patches were disrupted by site-directed mutagenesis and the bacterially expressed mutants were compared with respect to their ability to bind lipid and stimulate ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux. It was found that neither patch plays a significant functional role in the ability of apoA-I to accept cholesterol in an ABCA1-dependent manner, but that the hydrophobic patch did affect the ability of apoA-I to clear DMPC liposomes. Interestingly, contrary to previous predictions, disruption of the hydrophobic surface patch enhanced the lipid binding ability of apoA-I. The hydrophobic surface patch may be important to the structural stability of the lipid binding regions of apoA-I, or may be a necessary permissive structural element for lipid binding.
PMCID: PMC2787660  PMID: 19782154
apolipoprotein A-I; ATP binding cassette transporter A1; functionality; surface patch; lipid-free model; lipid-binding
17.  High-Density Lipoprotein Proteomics: Identifying New Drug Targets and Biomarkers by Understanding Functionality 
Recent proteomics studies on human plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) have discovered up to 50 individual protein constituents. Many of these have known functions that vary surprisingly from the lipid transport roles commonly thought to mediate HDL’s ability to protect from coronary artery disease. Given newly discovered roles in inflammation, protease inhibition, complement regulation, and innate immunity, many have begun to view HDL as a broad collection of distinct particle subfamilies, each distinguished by unique protein compositions and functions. Herein we review recent applications of high-resolution proteomics to HDL and summarize evidence supporting the idea of HDL functional subspeciation. These studies have set the stage for a more complete understanding of the molecular basis of HDL functional heterogeneity and hold promise for the identification of new biomarkers that can predict disease or evaluate the success of clinical interventions.
PMCID: PMC2901108  PMID: 20625533
High density lipoprotein; Proteomics; Mass spectrometry; Lipoprotein; Apolipoprotein; Reverse cholesterol transport; Cardiovascular disease; Protein
18.  Up-regulation of apolipoprotein E by leptin in the hypothalamus of mice and rats 
Physiology & behavior  2009;98(1-2):223-228.
Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a satiation factor, playing an important role in the regulation of food intake and body weight. We previously reported that apoE was present in the hypothalamus, but it is unclear which type of the cells in this brain area expressing apoE. In addition, hypothalamic apoE mRNA levels were significantly reduced in both genetically obese ob/ob (leptin deficient) mice and high-fat diet-induced obese (leptin resistant) rats, raising the possibility that deficient leptin signaling might be related to the change in apoE gene expression. In the present studies, using double-staining immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated that apoE is mainly present in astrocytes. To characterize the effect of leptin on apoE gene expression, ob/ob and db/db mice were treated with recombinant mouse leptin (3 μg/g daily, i.p.) or vehicle for 5 days. We found that the increased hypothalamic apoE mRNA levels occurred only in leptin-treated ob/ob, but not in pair-fed ob/ob, or db/db, mice, indicating that leptin up-regulated hypothalamic apoE gene expression depends upon an intact leptin receptor, and this effect is not related to the changes in food intake and body weight. The reduced apoE gene expression caused by fasting, which also results in relatively lower leptin level, is restored by intracerebroventricular administration of leptin. In addition, leptin was significantly less efficacious in apoE KO mice because these animals consumed more food and lost less weight following leptin treatment, compared with wild-type controls. These observations imply that apoE signaling, at least partially, mediates the inhibitory effects of leptin on feeding.
PMCID: PMC2757054  PMID: 19481557
apolipoprotein; food intake; obesity
19.  Autonomic dysfunction in dementia 
There are no studies of autonomic function comparing Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VAD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD).
To assess cardiovascular autonomic function in 39 patients with AD, 30 with VAD, 30 with DLB, 40 with PDD and 38 elderly controls by Ewing's battery of autonomic function tests and power spectral analysis of heart rate variability. To determine the prevalence of orthostatic hypotension and autonomic neuropathies by Ewing's classification.
There were significant differences in severity of cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction between the four types of dementia. PDD and DLB had considerable dysfunction. VAD showed limited evidence of autonomic dysfunction and in AD, apart from orthostatic hypotension, autonomic functions were relatively unimpaired. PDD showed consistent impairment of both parasympathetic and sympathetic function tests in comparison with controls (all p<0.001) and AD (all p<0.03). DLB showed impairment of parasympathetic function (all p<0.05) and one of the sympathetic tests in comparison with controls (orthostasis; p = 0.02). PDD had significantly more impairment than DLB in some autonomic parameters (Valsalva ratio: p = 0.024; response to isometric exercise: p = 0.002). Patients with VAD showed impairment in two parasympathetic tests (orthostasis: p = 0.02; Valsalva ratio: p = 0.08) and one sympathetic test (orthostasis: p = 0.04). These results were in contrast with AD patients who only showed impairment in one sympathetic response (orthostasis: p = 0.004). The prevalence of orthostatic hypotension and autonomic neuropathies was higher in all dementias than in controls (all p<0.05).
Autonomic dysfunction occurs in all common dementias but is especially prominent in PDD with important treatment implications.
PMCID: PMC2117678  PMID: 17178816
20.  Proteomic analysis of defined HDL subpopulations reveals particle-specific protein clusters: Relevance to antioxidative function 
Recent proteomic studies have identified multiple proteins that co-isolate with human HDL. We hypothesized that distinct clusters of protein components may distinguish between physicochemically-defined subpopulations of HDL particles, and that such clusters may exert specific biological function(s).
Methods and Results
We investigated the distribution of proteins across five physicochemically-defined particle subpopulations of normolipidemic human HDL (HDL2b, 2a, 3a, 3b, 3c) fractionated by isopycnic density gradient ultracentrifugation. Liquid chromatography/electrospray mass spectrometry identified a total of 28 distinct HDL-associated proteins. Using an abundance pattern analysis of peptide counts across the HDL subfractions, these proteins could be grouped into 5 distinct classes. A more indepth correlational network analysis suggested the existence of distinct protein clusters, particularly in the dense HDL3 particles. Levels of specific HDL proteins, primarily apoL-I, PON1 and PON3, correlated with the potent capacity of HDL3 to protect LDL from oxidation.
These findings suggest that HDL is composed of distinct particles containing unique (apolipo)protein complements. Such subspeciation forms a potential basis for understanding the numerous observed functions of HDL. Further work using additional separation techniques will be required to define these species in more detail.
PMCID: PMC2845307  PMID: 19325143
high density lipoprotein; mass spectrometry; compositional heterogeneity; proteome; oxidation
21.  Breast cancer risk in elderly women with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases: a population-based case–control study 
British Journal of Cancer  2009;100(5):817-821.
Systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs) are chronic inflammatory and immuno-modulatory conditions that have been suggested to affect cancer risk. Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results–Medicare-linked database, women aged 67–99 years and diagnosed with incident breast cancer in 1993–2002 (n=84 778) were compared with an equal number of age-matched cancer-free female controls. Diagnoses of SARDs, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n=5238), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, n=340), Sjogren's syndrome (n=374), systemic sclerosis (n=128), and dermatomyositis (n=31), were determined from claim files for individuals from age 65 years to 1 year before selection. Associations of SARD diagnoses with breast cancer, overall and by oestrogen receptor (ER) expression, were assessed using odds ratio (OR) estimates from multivariable logistic regression models. The women diagnosed with RA were less likely to develop breast cancer (OR=0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.82–0.93). The risk reduction did not differ by tumour ER-status (OR=0.83, 95% CI=0.78–0.89 for ER-positive vs OR=0.91, 95% CI=0.81–1.04 for ER-negative, P for heterogeneity=0.14). The breast cancer risk was not associated with any of the other SARDs, except for a risk reduction of ER-negative cases (OR=0.49, 95% CI=0.26–0.93) among women with SLE. These findings suggest that systemic inflammation may affect breast epithelial neoplasia.
PMCID: PMC2651404  PMID: 19190628
rheumatic diseases; autoimmune diseases; breast cancer
22.  ApoA-I Induced CD31 in Bone Marrow-derived Vascular Progenitor Cells Increases Adhesion: Implications for Vascular Repair 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2008;1781(11-12):703-709.
Transgenic over expression of apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) the major structural apolipoprotein of HDL appears to convey the most consistent and strongest anti atherogenic effect observed in animal models so far. We tested the hypothesis that ApoA-I mediates its cardio protective effects additionally through ApoA-I induced differentiation of bone marrow derived progenitor cells in vitro. This study demonstrates that lineage negative bone marrow cells (lin−BMCs) alter and differentiate in response to free ApoA-I. We find that lin−BMCs in culture treated with recombinant free ApoA-I at a concentration of 0.4µM are twice as large in size and have altered cell morphology compared to untreated cells; untreated cells retain the original spheroid morphology. Further, the total number of CD31 positive cells in the ApoA-I treated population consistently increased by two fold. This phenotype was significantly reduced in untreated cells and points towards a novel ApoA-I dependent differentiation. A protein lacking its best lipid-binding region (ApoA-IΔ10) did not stimulate any changes in the lin−BMCs cells indicating that ApoA-I may mediate its effects by regulating cholesterol efflux. The increased CD31 correlates with an increased ability of the lin−BMCs to adhere to both fibronectin and Mouse Brain Endothelial Cells. Our results provide the first evidence that exogenous free ApoA-I has the capacity to change the characteristics of progenitor cell populations and suggests a novel mechanism by which HDL may mediate its cardiovascular benefits.
PMCID: PMC2752855  PMID: 18775511
ApoA-I; bone marrow cells (BMCs); CD31; lineage minus; vascular progenitor cell; adhesion
23.  Characterization of Apolipoprotein A-IV in Brain Areas Involved in Energy Homeostasis 
Physiology & behavior  2008;95(1-2):161-167.
Apolipoprotein A-IV (apo A-IV) is a satiation protein synthesized in the small intestine and hypothalamus. To further understand its anorectic mechanisms, we used immunohistochemical techniques to characterize the distribution of apo A-IV in brain areas involved in energy homeostasis. Dense apo A-IV staining was detected in the arcuate (ARC) and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei with less staining in cells in the paraventricular and dorsomedial nuclei. In the brainstem, apo A-IV staining was found in the nucleus of the solitary tract. Double staining immunohistochemistry revealed co-existence of apo A-IV with Neuronal Nuclei (a neuronal marker), but less with glial fibrillary acidic protein (a glial marker), in ARC, suggesting that apo A-IV is largely present in neurons. In the ARC, apo A-IV was co-localized with pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), and apo A-IV administration stimulated hypothalamic POMC gene expression, suggesting that the brain apo A-IV system suppresses food intake by stimulating the ARC POMC system. To ascertain whether the apo A-IV detected in the brain is derived from the circulation, 125I-labeled recombinant rat apo A-IV was intravenously injected into mice. No increase of radioactive apo A-IV was found in the brain, consistent with a lack of uptake of co-injected 99mTc-labeled albumin, indicating that circulating apo A-IV is unable to cross the blood brain barrier. These data collectively support the hypothesis that apo A-IV, produced by neuronal cells, may exert its anorectic action by interacting with catabolic regulatory neuropeptides.
PMCID: PMC2574991  PMID: 18577393
Apolipoproteins; immunohistochemistry; blood brain barrier; neuropeptides
24.  Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax) Genomic Library and EST Resources 
Genomic resources in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) enable us to examine the genome duplication process in salmonids and test hypotheses relating to the fate of duplicated genes. They further enable us to pursue physiological and ecological studies in smelt. A bacterial artificial chromosome library containing 52,410 clones with an average insert size of 146 kb was constructed. This library represents an 11-fold average coverage of the rainbow smelt (O. mordax) genome. In addition, several complementary deoxyribonucleic acid libraries were constructed, and 36,758 sequences were obtained and combined into 12,159 transcripts. Over half of these transcripts have been identified, several of which have been associated with cold adaptation. These basic resources show high levels of similarity (86%) to salmonid genes and provide initial support for genome duplication in the salmonid ancestor. They also facilitate identification of genes important to fish and direct us toward new technologies for other studies in fish biology.
PMCID: PMC2516299  PMID: 18386095
cDNA; EST database; BAC library; Rainbow smelt
25.  Apolipoprotein A-IV inhibits experimental colitis 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(2):260-269.
The antiatherogenic properties of apoA-IV suggest that this protein may act as an anti-inflammatory agent. We examined this possibility in a mouse model of acute colitis. Mice consumed 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in their drinking water for 7 days, with or without daily intraperitoneal injections of recombinant human apoA-IV. apoA-IV significantly and specifically delayed the onset, and reduced the severity and extent of, DSS-induced inflammation, as assessed by clinical disease activity score, macroscopic appearance and histology of the colon, and tissue myeloperoxidase activity. Intravital fluorescence microscopy of colonic microvasculature revealed that apoA-IV significantly inhibited DSS-induced leukocyte and platelet adhesive interactions. Furthermore, apoA-IV dramatically reduced the upregulation of P-selectin on colonic endothelium during DSS-colitis. apoA-IV knockout mice exhibited a significantly greater inflammatory response to DSS than did their WT littermates; this greater susceptibility to DSS-induced inflammation was reversed upon exogenous administration of apoA-IV to knockout mice. These results provide the first direct support for the hypothesis that apoA-IV is an endogenous anti-inflammatory protein. This anti-inflammatory effect likely involves the inhibition of P-selectin–mediated leukocyte and platelet adhesive interactions.
PMCID: PMC450164  PMID: 15254593

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