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1.  The Effect of the Thioether-Bridged, Stabilized Angiotensin-(1–7) Analogue Cyclic Ang-(1–7) on Cardiac Remodeling and Endothelial Function in Rats with Myocardial Infarction 
Modulation of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) by angiotensin-(1–7) (Ang-(1–7)) is an attractive approach to combat the detrimental consequences of myocardial infarction (MI). However Ang-(1–7) has limited clinical potential due to its unfavorable pharmacokinetic profile. We investigated effects of a stabilized, thioether-bridged analogue of Ang-(1–7) called cyclic Ang-(1–7) in rat model of myocardial infarction. Rats underwent coronary ligation or sham surgery. Two weeks thereafter infusion with 0.24 or 2.4 μg/kg/h cAng-(1–7) or saline was started for 8 weeks. Thereafter, cardiac morphometric and hemodynamic variables as wells as aortic endothelial function were measured. The average infarct size was 13.8% and was not changed by cAng-(1–7) treatment. MI increased heart weight and myocyte size, which was restored by cAng-(1–7) to sham levels. In addition, cAng-(1–7) lowered left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and improved endothelial function. The results suggest that cAng-(1–7) is a promising new agent in treatment of myocardial infarction and warrant further research.
PMCID: PMC3205684  PMID: 22121478
2.  Nucleotide Excision DNA Repair is Associated with Age-Related Vascular Dysfunction 
Circulation  2012;126(4):468-478.
Vascular dysfunction in atherosclerosis and diabetes, as observed in the aging population of developed societies, is associated with vascular DNA damage and cell senescence. We hypothesized that cumulative DNA damage during aging contributes to vascular dysfunction.
Methods and Results
In mice with genomic instability due to the defective nucleotide excision repair genes ERCC1 and XPD (Ercc1d/− and XpdTTD mice), we explored age-dependent vascular function as compared to wild-type mice. Ercc1d/− mice showed increased vascular cell senescence, accelerated development of vasodilator dysfunction, increased vascular stiffness and elevated blood pressure at very young age. The vasodilator dysfunction was due to decreased endothelial eNOS levels as well as impaired smooth muscle cell function, which involved phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity. Similar to Ercc1d/− mice, age-related endothelium-dependent vasodilator dysfunction in XpdTTD animals was increased. To investigate the implications for human vascular disease, we explored associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of selected nucleotide excision repair genes and arterial stiffness within the AortaGen Consortium, and found a significant association of a SNP (rs2029298) in the putative promoter region of DDB2 gene with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity.
Mice with genomic instability recapitulate age-dependent vascular dysfunction as observed in animal models and in humans, but with an accelerated progression, as compared to wild type mice. In addition, we found associations between variations in human DNA repair genes and markers for vascular stiffness which is associated with aging. Our study supports the concept that genomic instability contributes importantly to the development of cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3430727  PMID: 22705887
aging; cardiovascular disease; endothelial dysfunction; nitric oxide synthase; vasodilation
3.  Long-Term Type 1 Diabetes Enhances In-Stent Restenosis after Aortic Stenting in Diabetes-Prone BB Rats 
Type 1 diabetic patients have increased risk of developing in-stent restenosis following endovascular stenting. Underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are not fully understood partly due to the lack of a relevant animal model to study the effect(s) of long-term autoimmune diabetes on development of in-stent restenosis. We here describe the development of in-stent restenosis in long-term (~7 months) spontaneously diabetic and age-matched, thymectomized, nondiabetic Diabetes Prone BioBreeding (BBDP) rats (n = 6-7 in each group). Diabetes was suboptimally treated with insulin and was characterized by significant hyperglycaemia, polyuria, proteinuria, and increased HbA1c levels. Stented abdominal aortas were harvested 28 days after stenting. Computerized morphometric analysis revealed significantly increased neointima formation in long-term diabetic rats compared with nondiabetic controls. In conclusion, long-term autoimmune diabetes in BBDP rats enhances in-stent restenosis. This model can be used to study the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms of diabetes-enhanced in-stent restenosis as well as to test new therapeutic modalities.
PMCID: PMC3038840  PMID: 21331346

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