Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) can damage multiple organ systems, but the explicit impact on the adrenal gland is unclear. To evaluate the effects of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) on the secretory function of the adrenal glands, we established canine models of IAH. By comparing morphology; hemodynamics; plasma cortisol, aldosterone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine concentrations; and the expression of IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α in adrenal gland tissue from these dogs, we found that hemodynamic instability occurred after IAH and that IAH increased the plasma cortisol, aldosterone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine concentrations. Higher IAPs resulted in more significant changes, and the above indicators gradually returned to normal 2 h after decompression. Compared with the sham-operated group, IAH significantly increased IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α levels in adrenal tissue, with larger increases in the presence of higher IAPs. However, the concentrations of these markers remained higher than those in the sham-operated group despite their decrease after 2 h of decompression. Histopathological examination revealed congestion, red blood cell exudation, and neutrophil infiltration in the adrenal glands when IAP was elevated; these conditions became more significant with more severe IAH. These results suggest that the secretion of adrenal hormones and adrenal gland inflammation are positively correlated with IAP and that abdominal decompression effectively corrects adrenal gland function.
To identify student- and school-level sociodemographic characteristics associated with overweight and obesity, the authors conducted cross-sectional analyses of data from 624,204 public school children (kindergarten through 12th grade) who took part in the 2007–2008 New York City Fitnessgram Program. The overall prevalence of obesity was 20.3%, and the prevalence of overweight was 17.6%. In multivariate models, the odds of being obese as compared with normal weight were higher for boys versus girls (odds ratio (OR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.36, 1.42), for black (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.15) and Hispanic (OR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.43, 1.53) children as compared with white children, for children receiving reduced-price (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.21) or free (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.15) school lunches as compared with those paying full price, and for US-born students (OR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.50, 1.58) as compared with foreign-born students. After adjustment for individual-level factors, obesity was associated with the percentage of students who were US-born (across interquartile range (75th percentile vs. 25th), OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.14) and the percentage of students who received free or reduced-price lunches (across interquartile range, OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.18). The authors conclude that individual sociodemographic characteristics and school-level sociodemographic composition are associated with obesity among New York City public school students.
child; obesity; overweight; physical fitness; schools
Estrogenic and androgenic steroids can be synthesised in the brain and rapidly modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity through direct interaction with membrane receptors for estrogens (ERs) and androgens (ARs). We used whole cell patch clamp recordings in brainstem slices of male rats to explore the influence of ER and AR activation and local synthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the long-term synaptic changes induced in the neurons of the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN). Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) caused by different patterns of high frequency stimulation (HFS) of the primary vestibular afferents were assayed under the blockade of ARs and ERs or in the presence of inhibitors for enzymes synthesizing DHT (5α-reductase) and E2 (P450-aromatase) from testosterone (T). We found that LTD is mediated by interaction of locally produced androgens with ARs and LTP by interaction of locally synthesized E2 with ERs. In fact, the AR block with flutamide prevented LTD while did not affect LTP, and the blockade of ERs with ICI 182,780 abolished LTP without influencing LTD. Moreover, the block of P450-aromatase with letrozole not only prevented the LTP induction, but inverted LTP into LTD. This LTD is likely due to the local activation of androgens, since it was abolished under blockade of ARs. Conversely, LTD was still induced in the presence of finasteride the inhibitor of 5α-reductase demonstrating that T is able to activate ARs and induce LTD even when DHT is not synthesized. This study demonstrates a key and opposite role of sex neurosteroids in the long-term synaptic changes of the MVN with a specific role of T-DHT for LTD and of E2 for LTP. Moreover, it suggests that different stimulation patterns can lead to LTD or LTP by specifically activating the enzymes involved in the synthesis of androgenic or estrogenic neurosteroids.
Background and Aim
Paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of hypothalamus is an important central component in modulating adipose afferent reflex (AAR). Melanocortin receptors (MC3/4Rs) expressions are found in the hypothalamic PVN. This study was designed to determine the roles of MC3/4Rs in the PVN in modulating the AAR and its downstream signaling pathway in normal rats.
Renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were recorded in anaesthetized rats. AAR was evaluated using RSNA and MAP responses to capsaicin injection into the inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). Microinjection of the MC3/4R agonist melanotan II (MTII) into the PVN enhanced the AAR. The MC3/4R antagonist SHU9119 or MC4R antagonist HS024 attenuated the AAR and abolished MTII-induced AAR response. The adenylate cyclase (AC) inhibitor SQ22536 or the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor Rp-cAMP attenuated the AAR and the effect of MTII on the AAR was abolished by pretreatment with SQ22536 or Rp-cAMP in the PVN. Furthermore, both PVN microinjection of MTII and iWAT injection of capsaicin increased the cAMP level in the PVN. SHU9119 in the PVN abolished the increase in cAMP level which induced by iWAT injection of capsaicin.
The activation of MC4Rs rather than MC3Rs enhances the AAR, and a cAMP-PKA pathway is involved in the effects of MC4Rs in the PVN.
Hypertension is a highly prevalent disorder and a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Hypertensive vascular remodeling is the pathological mal-adaption of blood vessels to the hypertensive condition that contributes to further development of high blood pressure and end-organ damage. Hypertensive remodeling involves, at least in part, changes in protein turnover. The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is a major protein quality and quantity control system. This study tested the hypothesis that the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, would attenuate AngII-induced hypertension and its sequelae such as aortic remodeling in rats.
Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to AngII infusion for two weeks in the absence or presence of bortezomib. Mean arterial pressure was measured in conscious rats. Aortic tissue was collected for estimation of wall area, collagen deposition and expression of tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteases (TIMP), Ki67 (a marker of proliferation), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and VCAM-1 (a marker of inflammation). AngII infusion increased arterial pressure significantly (160±4 mmHg vs. vehicle treatment 133±2 mmHg). This hypertensive response was attenuated by bortezomib (138±5 mmHg). AngII hypertension was associated with significant increases in aortic wall to lumen ratio (∼29%), collagen deposition (∼14%) and expression of TIMP1 and TIMP2. AngII also increased MMP2 activity, proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity, Ki67 staining, ROS generation and VCAM-1 immunoreactivity. Co-treatment of AngII-infused rats with bortezomib attenuated these AngII-induced responses.
Collectively, these data support the idea that proteasome activity contributes to AngII-induced hypertension and hypertensive aortic vascular remodeling at least in part by modulating TIMP1/2 and MMP2 function. Preliminary observations are consistent with a role for ROS, inflammatory and proliferative mechanisms in this effect. Further understanding of the mechanisms by which the proteasome is involved in hypertension and vascular structural remodeling may reveal novel targets for pharmacological treatment of hypertension, hypertensive remodeling or both.
Some studies have reported that angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensinogen (AGT) genes have been associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). However, there have been inconsonant results among different studies. To clarify the influence of ACE and AGT on HCM, a systemic review and meta-analysis of case-control studies were performed. The following databases were searched to indentify related studies: PubMed database, the Embase database, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials database, China National Knowledge Information database, and Chinese Scientific and Technological Journal database. Search terms included “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy”, “angiotensin converting enzyme” (ACE) or “ACE” and “polymorphism or mutation”. For the association of AGT M235T polymorphism and HCM, “angiotensin converting enzyme” or “ACE” was replaced with “angiotensinogen”. A total of seventeen studies were included in our review. For the association of ACE I/D polymorphism and HCM, eleven literatures were included in the meta-analysis on association of penetrance and genotype. Similarly, six case-control studies were included in the meta-analysis for AGT M235T. For ACE I/D polymorphism, the comparison of DI/II genotype vs DD genotype was performed in the present meta-analysis. The OR was 0.73 (95% CI: 0.527, 0.998, P = 0.049, power = 94%, alpha = 0.05) after the study which deviated from Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium was excluded, indicating that the ACE I/D gene polymorphism might be associated with HCM. The AGT M235T polymorphism did not significantly affect the risk of HCM. In addition, ACE I/D gene polymorphism did not significantly influence the interventricular septal thickness in HCM patients. In conclusion, the ACE I/D polymorphism might be associated with the risk of HCM.
To test the hypothesis that angiotensin II (Ang II) could enhance noradrenaline (NA) release from sympathetic nerve endings of the aorta thus contributing to the up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) during the formation of aortic dissection (AD).
Ang II, NA, MMP-2, MMP-9 of the aorta sample obtained during operation from aortic dissection patients were detected by High Performance Liquid Chromatography and ELISA and compared with controls. Isotope labelling method was used to test the impact of exogenous Ang II and noradrenaline on the NA release and MMP-2, MMP-9 expression on Sprague Dawley (SD) rat aorta rings in vitro. Two kidneys, one clip, models were replicated for further check of that impact in SD rats in vivo.
The concentration of Ang II, MMP-2, 9 was increased and NA concentration was decreased in aorta samples from AD patients. Exogenous Ang II enhanced while exogenous NA restrained NA release from aortic sympathetic endings. The Ang II stimulated NA release and the following MMP-2 up-regulation could be weakened by Losartan and chemical sympathectomy. Beta blocker did not influence NA release but down-regulated MMP-2. Long term in vivo experiments confirmed that Ang II could enhance NA release and up-regulate MMP-2.
AD is initiated by MMP-2 overexpression as a result of increased NA release from sympathetic nervous endings in response to Ang II. This indicates an interaction of RAS and SAS during the formation of AD.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) plays a key role in inflammation, and its production and signaling contribute to many inflammatory related diseases. Recently, we discovered that selective activation of serotonin 5-HT2A receptors with the agonist (R)-DOI produces a super-potent blockade of proinflammatory markers in primary rat aortic smooth muscle cells. Here, we demonstrate that systemic administration of (R)-DOI can block the systemic effects of TNF-α in whole animal, with potent anti-inflammatory effects in the aortic arch and small intestine. This includes blockade of TNF-α-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cell adhesion (Icam-1, Vcam-1), cytokine (Il-6, IL-1b), and chemokine (Mcp-1, Cx3cl1) genes, and expression of VCAM-1 protein in the intestine. Further, systemic (R)-DOI also prevents the TNF-α-induced increase of circulating IL-6. Importantly, utilizing receptor selective antagonists, we have demonstrated that the mechanism underlying the systemic anti-inflammatory effects of (R)-DOI is activation of serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. Our results highlight a powerful new role for the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor in inflammatory processes, and indicate that agonism of serotonin receptors may represent an effective and novel approach to develop powerful small molecule therapeutics for inflammatory diseases and conditions such as atherosclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Neighborhood attractiveness and safety may encourage physical activity and help individuals maintain a healthy weight. However, these neighborhood characteristics may not be equally relevant to health across all settings and population subgroups.
To evaluate whether potentially attractive neighborhood features are associated with lower BMI, whether safety hazards are associated with higher BMI, and whether environment–environment interactions are present such that associations for a particular characteristic are stronger in an otherwise supportive environment.
Survey data and measured height and weight were collected from a convenience sample of 13,102 adult New York City (NYC) residents in 2000–2002; data analyses were completed 2008–2012. Built-environment measures based on municipal GIS data sources were constructed within 1-km network buffers to assess walkable urban form (density, land-use mix, transit access); attractiveness (sidewalk cafés, landmark buildings, street trees, street cleanliness); and safety (homicide rate, pedestrian–auto collision and fatality prevalence). Generalized linear models with cluster-robust SEs controlled for individual and area-based sociodemographic characteristics.
The presence of sidewalk cafés, density of landmark buildings, and density of street trees were associated with lower BMI, whereas the proportion of streets rated as clean was associated with higher BMI. Interactions were observed for sidewalk cafés with neighborhood poverty and walkability, for street-tree density with walkability, and for street cleanliness with safety. Safety hazard indicators were not independently associated with BMI.
Potentially attractive community and natural features were associated with lower BMI among adults in NYC, and there was some evidence of effect modification.
Aberrant cardiomyocyte microtubule growth is a feature of pressure overload induced cardiac hypertrophy believed to contribute to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Microtubule Actin Cross-linking Factor 1 (MACF1/Acf7) is a 600 kd spectraplakin that stabilizes and guides microtubule growth along actin filaments. MACF1 is expressed in the heart, but its impact on cardiac microtubules, and how this influences cardiac structure, function, and adaptation to hemodynamic overload is unknown. Here we used inducible cardiac-specific MACF1 knockout mice (MACF1 KO) to determine the impact of MACF1 on cardiac microtubules and adaptation to pressure overload (transverse aortic constriction (TAC).In adult mouse hearts, MACF1 expression was low under basal conditions, but increased significantly in response to TAC. While MACF1 KO had no observable effect on heart size or function under basal conditions, MACF1 KO exacerbated TAC induced LV hypertrophy, LV dilation and contractile dysfunction. Interestingly, subcellular fractionation of ventricular lysates revealed that MACF1 KO altered microtubule distribution in response to TAC, so that more tubulin was associated with the cell membrane fraction. Moreover, TAC induced microtubule redistribution into this cell membrane fraction in both WT and MACF1 KO mice correlated strikingly with the level of contractile dysfunction (r2 = 0.786, p<.001). MACF1 disruption also resulted in reduction of membrane caveolin 3 levels, and increased levels of membrane PKCα and β1 integrin after TAC, suggesting MACF1 function is important for spatial regulation of several physiologically relevant signaling proteins during hypertrophy. Together, these data identify for the first time, a role for MACF1 in cardiomyocyte microtubule distribution and in adaptation to hemodynamic overload.
PGC-1α, a transcriptional coactivator, controls inflammation and mitochondrial gene expression in insulin-sensitive tissues following exercise intervention. However, attributing such effects to PGC-1α is counfounded by exercise-induced fluctuations in blood glucose, insulin or bodyweight in diabetic patients. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of PGC-1α on inflammation and mitochondrial protein expressions in aging db/db mice hearts, independent of changes in glycemic parameters. In 8-month-old db/db mice hearts with diabetes lasting over 22 weeks, short-term, moderate-intensity exercise upregulated PGC-1α without altering body weight or glycemic parameters. Nonetheless, such a regimen lowered both cardiac (macrophage infiltration, iNOS and TNFα) and systemic (circulating chemokines and cytokines) inflammation. Curiously, such an anti-inflammatory effect was also linked to attenuated expression of downstream transcription factors of PGC-1α such as NRF-1 and several respiratory genes. Such mismatch between PGC-1α and its downstream targets was associated with elevated mitochondrial membrane proteins like Tom70 but a concurrent reduction in oxidative phosphorylation protein expressions in exercised db/db hearts. As mitochondrial oxidative stress was predominant in these hearts, in support of our in vivo data, increasing concentrations of H2O2 dose-dependently increased PGC-1α expression while inhibiting expression of inflammatory genes and downstream transcription factors in H9c2 cardiomyocytes in vitro. We conclude that short-term exercise-induced oxidative stress may be key in attenuating cardiac inflammatory genes and impairing PGC-1α mediated gene transcription of downstream transcription factors in type 2 diabetic hearts at an advanced age.
Rhodnius prolixus is the vector of Chagas’ disease, by virtue of transmitting the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. There is no cure for Chagas’ disease and therefore controlling R. prolixus is currently the only method of prevention. Understanding the physiology of the disease vector is an important step in developing control measures. Crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP) is an important neuropeptide in insects because it has multiple physiological roles such as controlling heart rate and modulating ecdysis behaviour. In this study, we have cloned the cDNA sequence of the CCAP receptor (RhoprCCAPR) from 5th instar R. prolixus and found it to be a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR). The spatial expression pattern in 5th instars reveals that the RhoprCCAPR transcript levels are high in the central nervous system, hindgut and female reproductive systems, and lower in the salivary glands, male reproductive tissues and a pool of tissues including the dorsal vessel, trachea, and fat body. Interestingly, the RhoprCCAPR expression is increased prior to ecdysis and decreased post-ecdysis. A functional receptor expression assay confirms that the RhoprCCAPR is activated by CCAP (EC50 = 12 nM) but not by adipokinetic hormone, corazonin or an extended FMRFamide. The involvement of CCAP in controlling heartbeat frequency was studied in vivo and in vitro by utilizing RNA interference. In vivo, the basal heartbeat frequency is decreased by 31% in bugs treated with dsCCAPR. Knocking down the receptor in dsCCAPR-treated bugs also resulted in loss of function of applied CCAP in vitro. This is the first report of a GPCR knock-down in R. prolixus and the first report showing that a reduction in CCAPR transcript levels leads to a reduction in cardiac output in any insect.
The kinin B1 receptor is an inducible receptor not normally expressed but induced by inflammatory stimuli and plays a major role in neutrophil recruitment, particularly in response to the cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β). However, the exact mechanism involved in this response is unclear. The aim of this study was to dissect the molecular mechanism involved, in particular to determine whether specific ELR-CXCL chemokines (specific neutrophil chemoattractants) played a role. Using intravital microscopy, we demonstrated that IL-1 β induced leukocyte rolling, adherence and emigration in mesenteric venules of wild type (WT) mice, associated with an increase of B1 receptor mRNA expression, was substantially attenuated (>80%) in B1 receptor knockout mice (B1KO). This effect in B1KO mice was correlated with a selective down regulation of IL-1β-induced CXCL5 mRNA and protein expression compared to WT mice. Furthermore a selective neutralizing CXCL5 antibody caused profound suppression of leukocyte emigration in IL-1β treated WT mice. Finally, treatment of human endothelial cells with IL-1β enhanced mRNA expression of B1 receptor and the human CXCL5 homologues (hCXCL5 and hCXCL6). This response was suppressed by ~50% when cells were pretreated with the B1 receptor antagonist des-Arg9[Leu]8BK whilst treatment with des-Arg9-BK, the B1 receptor agonist, caused a concentration-dependent increase in hCXCL5 and hCXCL6 mRNA expression. This study unveils a pro-inflammatory pathway centred on kinin B1 receptor activation of CXCL5 leading to leukocyte trafficking, and highlights the B1 receptor as a potential target in the therapeutics of inflammatory disease.
Neutrophils; Chemokines; Inflammation; Endothelials cells; cell trafficking
Recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption are largely unmet. Lower socio-economic status (SES), neighborhood poverty and poor access to retail outlets selling healthy foods are thought to predict lower consumption. The objective of this study was to assess the inter-relationships between these risk factors as predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption.
Cross-sectional multi-level analyses of data on fruit and vegetable consumption, socio-demographic characteristics, neighborhood poverty and access to healthy retail food outlets.
Survey data from the 2002 and 2004 New York City Community Health Survey linked by residential zip code to neighborhood data.
15,634 adult survey respondents.
Overall 9.9% of respondents reported eating ≥5 servings of fruits or vegetables in the day prior to the survey. Among women the odds of eating ≥5 servings increased with higher income and among men and women with higher educational attainment. Compared to women with less than a high school education, the OR was 1.12 (95% CI 0.82, 1.55) for high school graduates, 1.95 (95% CI 1.43, 2.66) for those with some college education and 2.13 (95% CI 1.56, 2.91) for college graduates. The association between education and fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly stronger for women living in lower verses higher poverty Zip codes (p for interaction <0.05). The density of healthy food outlets did not predict consumption of fruits or vegetables.
Higher SES is associated with higher consumption of produce, an association that, in women, is stronger for those residing in lower poverty neighborhoods.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common chronic degenerative disease characterized by progressive aortic dilation and rupture. The mechanisms underlying the role of α-tocopherol and β-carotene on AAA have not been comprehensively assessed. We investigated if α-tocopherol and β-carotene supplementation could attenuate AAA, and studied the underlying mechanisms utilized by the antioxidants to alleviate AAA. Four-months-old Apoe−/− mice were used in the induction of aneurysm by infusion of angiotensin II (Ang II), and were orally administered with α-tocopherol and β-carotene enriched diet for 60 days. Significant increase of LDL, cholesterol, triglycerides and circulating inflammatory cells was observed in the Ang II-treated animals, and gene expression studies showed that ICAM-1, VCAM-1, MCP-1, M-CSF, MMP-2, MMP-9 and MMP-12 were upregulated in the aorta of aneurysm-induced mice. Extensive plaques, aneurysm and diffusion of inflammatory cells into the tunica intima were also noticed. The size of aorta was significantly (P = 0.0002) increased (2.24±0.20 mm) in the aneurysm-induced animals as compared to control mice (1.17±0.06 mm). Interestingly, β-carotene dramatically controlled the diffusion of macrophages into the aortic tunica intima, and circulation. It also dissolved the formation of atheromatous plaque. Further, β-carotene significantly decreased the aortic diameter (1.33±0.12 mm) in the aneurysm-induced mice (β-carotene, P = 0.0002). It also downregulated ICAM-1, VCAM-1, MCP-1, M-CSF, MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-12, PPAR-α and PPAR-γ following treatment. Hence, dietary supplementation of β-carotene may have a protective function against Ang II-induced AAA by ameliorating macrophage recruitment in Apoe−/− mice.
Ample evidence has shown that autoantibodies against AT1 receptors (AT1-AA) are closely associated with human cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate mechanisms underlying AT1-AA-induced vascular structural and functional impairments in the formation of hypertension, and explore ways for preventive treatment. We used synthetic peptide corresponding to the sequence of the second extracellular loop of the AT1 receptor (165–191) to immunize rats and establish an active immunization model. Part of the model received preventive therapy by losartan (20 mg/kg/day) and hyroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) (10 mg/kg/day). The result show that systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR) of immunized rats was significantly higher, and closely correlated with the plasma AT1-Ab titer. The systolic response of thoracic aortic was increased, but diastolic effects were attenuated markedly. Histological observation showed that the thoracic aortic endothelium of the immunized rats became thinner or ruptured, inflammatory cell infiltration, medial smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration, the vascular wall became thicker. There was no significant difference in serum antibody titer between losartan and HSYA groups and the immunized group. The vascular structure and function were reversed, and plasma biochemical parameters were also improved significantly in the two treatment groups. These results suggest that AT1-Ab could induce injury to vascular endothelial cells, and proliferation of smooth muscle cells. These changes were involved in the formation of hypertension. Treatment with AT1 receptor antagonists and anti oxidative therapy could block the pathogenic effect of AT1-Ab on vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells.
Coordinated bone growth is controlled by numerous mechanisms which are only partially understood because of the involvement of many hormones and local regulators. The C-type Natriuretic Peptide (CNP), encoded by NPPC gene located on chromosome 2q37.1, is a molecule that regulates endochondral ossification of the cartilaginous growth plate and influences longitudinal bone growth. Two independent studies have described three patients with a Marfan-like phenotype presenting a de novo balanced translocation involving the same chromosomal region 2q37.1 and overexpression of NPPC. We report on two partially overlapping interstitial 2q37 deletions identified by array CGH. The two patients showed opposite phenotypes characterized by short stature and skeletal overgrowth, respectively. The patient with short stature presented a 2q37 deletion causing the loss of one copy of the NPPC gene and the truncation of the DIS3L2 gene with normal CNP plasma concentration. The deletion identified in the patient with a Marfan-like phenotype interrupted the DIS3L2 gene without involving the NPPC gene. In addition, a strongly elevated CNP plasma concentration was found in this patient. A possible role of NPPC as causative of the two opposite phenotypes is discussed in this study.
Angiotensin-(1–7) [Ang-(1–7)] is a biologically active heptapeptide that may counterbalance the physiological actions of angiotensin II (Ang II) within the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Here, we evaluated whether activation of the Mas receptor with the oral agonist, AVE 0991, would have renoprotective effects in a model of adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephropathy. We also evaluated whether the Mas receptor contributed for the protective effects of treatment with AT1 receptor blockers. ADR (10 mg/kg) induced significant renal injury and dysfunction that was maximal at day 14 after injection. Treatment with the Mas receptor agonist AVE 0991 improved renal function parameters, reduced urinary protein loss and attenuated histological changes. Renoprotection was associated with reduction in urinary levels of TGF-β. Similar renoprotection was observed after treatment with the AT1 receptor antagonist, Losartan. AT1 and Mas receptor mRNA levels dropped after ADR administration and treatment with losartan reestablished the expression of Mas receptor and increased the expression of ACE2. ADR-induced nephropathy was similar in wild type (Mas+/+) and Mas knockout (Mas−/−) mice, suggesting there was no endogenous role for Mas receptor activation. However, treatment with Losartan was able to reduce renal injury only in Mas+/+, but not in Mas−/− mice. Therefore, these findings suggest that exogenous activation of the Mas receptor protects from ADR-induced nephropathy and contributes to the beneficial effects of AT1 receptor blockade. Medications which target specifically the ACE2/Ang-(1–7)/Mas axis may offer new therapeutic opportunities to treat human nephropathies.
To analyze the long-term effects of early overfeeding on the heart and coronary circulation, the effect of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) and the role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) was studied in isolated hearts from control and overfed rats during lactation. On the day of birth litters were adjusted to twelve pups per mother (controls) or to three pups per mother (overfed). At 5 months of age, the rats from reduced litters showed higher body weight and body fat than the controls. The hearts from these rats were perfused in a Langendorff system and subjected to 30 min of ischemia followed by 15 min of reperfusion (I/R). The myocardial contractility (dP/dt) and the coronary vasoconstriction to angiotensin II were lower, and the expression of the apoptotic marker was higher, in the hearts from overfed rats compared to controls. I/R reduced the myocardial contractily, the coronary vasoconstriction to angiotensin II and the vasodilatation to bradykinin, and increased the expression of (pro)renin receptor and of apoptotic and antiapoptotic markers, in both experimental groups. I/R also increased the expression of angiotensinogen in control but not in overfed rats. In summary, the results of this study suggest that early overnutrition induces reduced activity of the RAS and impairment of myocardial and coronary function in adult life, due to increased apoptosis. Ischemia-reperfusion produced myocardial and coronary impairment and apoptosis, which may be related to activation of RAS in control but not in overfed rats, and there may be protective mechanisms in both experimental groups.
The renin-angiotensin system is involved in multiple conditions ranging from cardiovascular disorders to cancer. Components of the pathway, including ACE, renin and angiotensin receptors are targets for disease treatment. This study addresses three receptors of the pathway: AT1, AT2, and MAS and how the receptors are similar and differ in activation by angiotensin peptides. Combining biochemical and amino acid variation data with multiple species sequence alignments, structural models, and docking site predictions allows for visualization of how angiotensin peptides may bind and activate the receptors; allowing identification of conserved and variant mechanisms in the receptors. MAS differs from AT1 favoring Ang-(1–7) and not Ang II binding, while AT2 recently has been suggested to preferentially bind Ang III. A new model of Ang peptide binding to AT1 and AT2 is proposed that correlates data from site directed mutagenesis and photolabled experiments that were previously considered conflicting. Ang II binds AT1 and AT2 through a conserved initial binding mode involving amino acids 111 (consensus 325) of AT1 (Asn) interacting with Tyr (4) of Ang II and 199 and 256 (consensus 512 and 621, a Lys and His respectively) interacting with Phe (8) of Ang II. In MAS these sites are not conserved, leading to differential binding and activation by Ang-(1–7). In both AT1 and AT2, the Ang II peptide may internalize through Phe (8) of Ang II propagating through the receptors’ conserved aromatic amino acids to the final photolabled positioning relative to either AT1 (amino acid 294, Asn, consensus 725) or AT2 (138, Leu, consensus 336). Understanding receptor activation provides valuable information for drug design and identification of other receptors that can potentially bind Ang peptides.
To explore the role of the ACE gene polymorphisms in the risk of essential hypertension in Mexican Mestizo individuals and evaluate the correlation between these polymorphisms and the serum ACE levels.
Nine ACE gene polymorphisms were genotyped by 5′ exonuclease TaqMan genotyping assays and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 239 hypertensive and 371 non- hypertensive Mexican individuals. Haplotypes were constructed after linkage disequilibrium analysis. ACE serum levels were determined in selected individuals according to different haplotypes.
Under a dominant model, rs4291 rs4335, rs4344, rs4353, rs4362, and rs4363 polymorphisms were associated with an increased risk of hypertension after adjusting for age, gender, BMI, triglycerides, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Five polymorphisms (rs4335, rs4344, rs4353, rs4362 and rs4363) were in strong linkage disequilibrium and were included in four haplotypes: H1 (AAGCA), H2 (GGATG), H3 (AGATG), and H4 (AGACA). Haplotype H1 was associated with decreased risk of hypertension, while haplotype H2 was associated with an increased risk of hypertension (OR = 0.77, P = 0.023 and OR = 1.41, P = 0.004 respectively). According to the codominant model, the H2/H2 and H1/H2 haplotype combinations were significantly associated with risk of hypertension after adjusted by age, gender, BMI, triglycerides, alcohol consumption, and smoking (OR = 2.0; P = 0.002 and OR = 2.09; P = 0.011, respectively). Significant elevations in serum ACE concentrations were found in individuals with the H2 haplotype (H2/H2 and H2/H1) as compared to H1/H1 individuals (P = 0.0048).
The results suggest that single nucleotide polymorphisms and the “GGATG” haplotype of the ACE gene are associated with the development of hypertension and with increased ACE enzyme levels.
In mammalian species, except humans, N-terminal processing of the precursor peptide angiotensin I (ANG-1-10) into ANG-2-10 or ANG-3-10 was reported. Here we hypothesize that aminopeptidase-generated angiotensins bearing the same C-terminus as ANG-1-10 are also present in humans. We demonstrate the time dependent generation of ANG-2-10, ANG-3-10, ANG-4-10, ANG-5-10 and ANG-6-10 from the precursor ANG-1-10 by human plasma proteins. The endogenous presence of ANG-4-10, ANG-5-10 and ANG-6-10 in human plasma was confirmed by an immuno-fluorescence assay. Generation of ANG-2-10, ANG-3-10 and ANG-4-10 from ANG-1-10 by immobilized human plasma proteins was sensitive to the cysteine/serine protease inhibitor antipain. The metal ion chelator EDTA inhibited Ang-6-10-generation. Incubation of the substrates ANG-3-10, ANG-4-10 and ANG-5-10 with recombinant aminopeptidase N (APN) resulted in a successive N-terminal processing, finally releasing ANG-6-10 as a stable end product, demonstrating a high similarity concerning the processing pattern of the angiotensin peptides compared to the angiotensin generating activity in plasma. Recombinant ACE-1 hydrolyzed the peptides ANG-2-10, ANG-3-10, ANG-4-10 and ANG-5-10 into ANG-2-8, ANG-3-8, ANG-4-8 and ANG-5-8. Since ANG-2-10 was processed into ANG-2-8, ANG-4-8 and ANG-5-8 by plasma proteases the angiotensin peptides bearing the same C-terminus as ANG-1-10 likely have a precursor function in human plasma. Our results confirm the hypothesis of aminopeptidase mediated processing of ANG-1-10 in humans. We show the existence of an aminopeptidase mediated pathway in humans that bypasses the known ANG-1-8-carboxypeptidase pathway. This expands the knowledge about the known human renin angiotensin system, showing how efficiently the precursor ANG-1-10 is used by nature.
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a severely disabling hereditary skin fragility disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene coding for collagen VII, a specialized adhesion component of the dermal-epidermal junction zone. Both recessive and dominant forms are known; the latter account for about 40% of cases. Patients with dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa exhibit a spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild localized to generalized skin manifestations. Individuals with the same mutation can display substantial phenotypic variance, emphasizing the role of modifying genes in this disorder. The etiology of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa has been known for around two decades; however, important pathogenetic questions such as involvement of modifier genes remain unanswered and a causative therapy has yet to be developed. Much of the failure to make progress in these areas is due to the lack of suitable animal models that capture all aspects of this complex monogenetic disorder. Here, we report the first rat model of dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Affected rats carry a spontaneous glycine to aspartic acid substitution, p.G1867D, within the main structural domain of collagen VII. This confers dominant-negative interference of protein folding and decreases the stability of mutant collagen VII molecules and their polymers, the anchoring fibrils. The phenotype comprises fragile and blister-prone skin, scarring and nail dystrophy. The model recapitulates all signs of the human disease with complete penetrance. Homozygous carriers of the mutation are more severely affected than heterozygous ones, demonstrating for the first time a gene-dosage effect of mutated alleles in dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. This novel viable and workable animal model for dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa will be valuable for addressing molecular disease mechanisms, effects of modifying genes, and development of novel molecular therapies for patients with dominantly transmitted skin disease.
Rat hypodactyly (hd) mutation is characterized by abnormal spermatogenesis and sperm decapitation, limb malformation (missing digits II and III) and growth retardation. We have previously reported centrobin (centrosome BRCA2-interacting protein) truncation at the C-terminus in the hd mutant. Here, we report data from a transgenic rescue experiment carried out to determine a role of centrobin in pathogenesis of hd. The transgenic construct, consisting of full-length-coding cDNA linked to a ubiquitous strong promoter/enhancer combination, was inserted to chromosome 16 into a LINE repeat. No known gene is present in the vicinity of the insertion site. Transgenic centrobin was expressed in all tissues tested, including testis. Transgenic animals show normal body weight and limb morphology as well as average weight of testis and epididymis. Yet, abnormal spermatogenesis and sperm decapitation persisted in the transgenic animals. Western blotting showed the coexistence of full-length and truncated or partially degraded centrobin in sperm of the rescued transgenic animals. Immunocytochemistry showed a buildup of centrobin and ODF2 (outer dense fiber 2) at the sperm decapitation site in the hd mutant and rescued transgenic rats. Additional findings included bulge-like formations and thread-like focal dissociations along the sperm flagellum and the organization of multiple whorls of truncated sperm flagella in the epididymal lumen. We conclude that centrobin is essential for normal patterning of the limb autopod. Centrobin may be required for stabilizing the attachment of the sperm head to flagellum and for maintaining the structural integrity of the sperm flagellum. We postulate that the presence of truncated centrobin, coexisting with full-length centrobin, together with incorrect timing of transgenic centrobin expression may hamper the rescue of fertility in hd male rats.
The autonomic nervous system plays a central role in the functioning of systems critical for the homeostasis maintenance. However, its role in the cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy-related demands is poorly understood. We explored the maternal cardiovascular systems throughout pregnancy to quantify pregnancy-related autonomic nervous system adaptations.
Continuous monitoring of heart rate (R-R interval; derived from the 3-lead electrocardiography), blood pressure, and thoracic impedance was carried out in thirty-six women at six time-points throughout pregnancy. In order to quantify in addition to the longitudinal effects on baseline levels throughout gestation the immediate adaptive heart rate and blood pressure changes at each time point, a simple reflex test, deep breathing, was applied. Consequently, heart rate variability and blood pressure variability in the low (LF) and high (HF) frequency range, respiration and baroreceptor sensitivity were analyzed in resting conditions and after deep breathing. The adjustment of the rhythms of the R-R interval, blood pressure and respiration partitioned for the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system were quantified by the phase synchronization index γ, which has been adopted from the analysis of weakly coupled chaotic oscillators.
Heart rate and LF/HF ratio increased throughout pregnancy and these effects were accompanied by a continuous loss of baroreceptor sensitivity. The increases in heart rate and LF/HF ratio levels were associated with an increasing decline in the ability to flexibly respond to additional demands (i.e., diminished adaptive responses to deep breathing). The phase synchronization index γ showed that the observed effects could be explained by a decreased coupling of respiration and the cardiovascular system (HF components of heart rate and blood pressure).
The findings suggest that during the course of pregnancy the individual systems become increasingly independent to meet the increasing demands placed on the maternal cardiovascular and respiratory system.