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1.  Impaired Collagen Biosynthesis and Cross‐linking in Aorta of Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve 
Patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) have an increased risk of developing ascending aortic aneurysm. In the present study, collagen homeostasis in nondilated and dilated aorta segments from patients with BAV was studied, with normal and dilated aortas from tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) patients as reference.
Methods and Results
Ascending aortas from 56 patients were used for biochemical and morphological analyses of collagen. mRNA expression was analyzed in 109 patients. Collagen turnover rates were similar in nondilated and dilated aortas of BAV patients, showing that aneurysmal formation in BAV is, in contrast to TAV, not associated with an increased collagen turnover. However, BAV in general was associated with an increased aortic collagen turnover compared with nondilated aortas of TAV patients. Importantly, the ratio of hydroxylysyl pyridinoline (HP) to lysyl pyridinoline (LP), 2 distinct forms of collagen cross‐linking, was lower in dilated aortas from patients with BAV, which suggests that BAV is associated with a defect in the posttranslational collagen modification. This suggests a deficiency at the level of lysyl hydroxylase (PLOD1), which was confirmed by mRNA and protein analyses that showed reduced PLOD1 expression but normal lysyl oxidase expression in dilated aortas from patients with BAV. This suggests that impaired collagen cross‐linking in BAV patients may be attributed to changes in the expression and/or activity of PLOD1.
Our results demonstrate an impaired biosynthesis and posttranslational modification of collagen in aortas of patients with BAV, which may explain the increased aortic aneurysm formation in BAV patients.
PMCID: PMC3603268  PMID: 23525417
aneurysm; aorta; bicuspid; collagen; valve
2.  Comparison of Dorsocervical With Abdominal Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Patients With and Without Antiretroviral Therapy–Associated Lipodystrophy 
Diabetes  2011;60(7):1894-1900.
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is associated with lipodystrophy, i.e., loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the abdomen, limbs, and face and its accumulation intra-abdominally. No fat is lost dorsocervically and it can even accumulate in this region (buffalo hump). It is unknown how preserved dorsocervical fat differs from abdominal subcutaneous fat in HIV-1–infected cART-treated patients with (cART+LD+) and without (cART+LD−) lipodystrophy.
We used histology, microarray, PCR, and magnetic resonance imaging to compare dorsocervical and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in cART+LD+ (n = 21) and cART+LD− (n = 11).
Albeit dorsocervical adipose tissue in cART+LD+ seems spared from lipoatrophy, its mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA; copies/cell) content was significantly lower (by 62%) than that of the corresponding tissue in cART+LD−. Expression of CD68 mRNA, a marker of macrophages, and numerous inflammatory genes in microarray were significantly lower in dorsocervical versus abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. Genes with the greatest difference in expression between the two depots were those involved in regulation of transcription and regionalization (homeobox genes), irrespective of lipodystrophy status. There was negligible mRNA expression of uncoupling protein 1, a gene characteristic of brown adipose tissue, in either depot.
Because mtDNA is depleted even in the nonatrophic dorsocervical adipose tissue, it is unlikely that the cause of lipoatrophy is loss of mtDNA. Dorsocervical adipose tissue is less inflamed than lipoatrophic adipose tissue. It does not resemble brown adipose tissue. The greatest difference in gene expression between dorsocervical and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue is in expression of homeobox genes.
PMCID: PMC3121420  PMID: 21602514
3.  Unraveling Divergent Gene Expression Profiles in Bicuspid and Tricuspid Aortic Valve Patients with Thoracic Aortic Dilatation: The ASAP Study 
Molecular Medicine  2011;17(11-12):1365-1373.
Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a common complication in patients with a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), the most frequent congenital heart disorder. For unknown reasons TAA occurs at a younger age, with a higher frequency in BAV patients than in patients with a tricuspid aortic valve (TAV), resulting in an increased risk for aortic dissection and rupture. To investigate the increased TAA incidence in BAV patients, we obtained tissue biopsy samples from nondilated and dilated aortas of 131 BAV and TAV patients. Global gene expression profiles were analyzed from controls and from aortic intima-media and adventitia of patients (in total 345 samples). Of the genes found to be differentially expressed with dilation, only a few (<4%) were differentially expressed in both BAV and TAV patients. With the use of gene set enrichment analysis, the cell adhesion and extracellular region gene ontology sets were identified as common features of TAA in both BAV and TAV patients. Immune response genes were observed to be particularly overexpressed in the aortic media of dilated TAV samples. The divergent gene expression profiles indicate that there are fundamental differences in TAA etiology in BAV and TAV patients. Immune response activation solely in the aortic media of TAV patients suggests that inflammation is involved in TAA formation in TAV but not in BAV patients. Conversely, genes were identified that were only differentially expressed with dilation in BAV patients. The result has bearing on future clinical studies in which separate analysis of BAV and TAV patients is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3321821  PMID: 21968790
4.  Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism in the promoter and protein expression of the chemokine Eotaxin-1 in colorectal cancer patients 
Previous studies suggest that chemokines (chemotactic cytokines) promote and regulate neoplastic progression including metastasis and angiogenesis. The chemokine eotaxin-1 is a powerful eosinophil attractant but also exerts chemotaxis of other leukocytes. Eotaxin-1 has been implicated in gastrointestinal disorders and may play an important role in colorectal mucosal immunity.
Patients and methods
The objective of this study was to assess the role of eotaxin-1 in colorectal cancer (CRC). Levels of eotaxin-1 protein in CRC tissues (n = 86) and paired normal mucosa were compared after determination by ELISA. Plasma eotaxin-1 levels from CRC patients (n = 67) were also compared with controls (n = 103) using the same method. Moreover, a TaqMan system was used to evaluate the -384A>G eotaxin-1 gene variant in CRC patients (n = 241) and in a control group (n = 253).
Eotaxin-1 protein levels in colorectal tumours were significantly (P < 0.0001) higher than in normal tissue. Immunohistochemistry revealed eotaxin-1 expression in stromal cells such as fibroblasts and leukocytes of the CRC tissue. The plasma eotaxin-1 level in CRC patients was lower compared with controls (P < 0.0001). Patients with tumours classified as Dukes' stage B and C had lower levels than patients with tumours in Dukes' stage A. We found no difference in genotype distribution but noted a difference regarding allele distribution (P = 0.036) and a dominance of allele G in rectal cancer patients.
The up-regulated eotaxin-1 protein expression in cancer tissue may reflect an eotaxin-1 mediated angiogenesis and/or a recruitment of leukocytes with potential antitumourigenic role. We noticed a dominance of the G allele in rectal cancer patients compared with colon cancer patients that was independent of eotaxin-1 expression.
PMCID: PMC1964791  PMID: 17672898

Results 1-4 (4)