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1.  Atf3 negatively regulates Ptgs2/Cox2 expression during acute inflammation 
By generating prostaglandins, cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2/Ptgs2) plays a critical role in regulating inflammatory responses. While several inflammatory stimuli have been shown to increase Ptgs2 expression, less is known about how the transcription of this gene is terminated. Here we show that stimulation of macrophages with yeast zymosan, a TLR2/6 and dectin-1 agonist, causes a transient increase in the expression of Ptgs2 accompanied by a simultaneous increase in the expression of the transcriptional repressor, Activating transcription factor-3 (Atf3). The expression of Ptgs2 was significantly higher in resident peritoneal macrophages isolated from Atf3−/− mice than that from Atf3+/+ mice and was associated with higher prostaglandin production upon stimulation with zymosan. In activated macrophages, Atf3 accumulated in the nucleus and chromatin-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that Atf3 is recruited to the Ptgs2 promoter region. In acute peritonitis and in cutaneous wounds, there was increased leukocyte accumulation and higher levels of prostaglandins (PGE2/PGD2) in inflammatory exudates of Atf3−/− mice compared with WT mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate that during acute inflammation Atf3 negatively regulates Ptgs2 and therefore dysregulation of this axis could potentially contribute to aberrant Ptgs2 expression in chronic inflammatory diseases. Moreover, this axis could be a new therapeutic target for suppressing Ptgs2 expression and the resultant inflammatory responses.
PMCID: PMC4386069  PMID: 25619459
Inflammation; prostaglandins; lipid mediators
20-HETE is a potent inducer of endothelial ACE in vitro and administration of lisinopril or losartan attenuates blood pressure in models of 20-HETE-dependent hypertension. The present study was undertaken to further define the relationship between 20-HETE and the renin-angiotensin system in hypertension using an angiotensinogen-deficient mouse (Agt+/−). Treatment of male AGT+/− with 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increased systolic BP from 102±2 to 125±3 mmHg; in comparison, the same treatment raised BP in wild type (WT) from 110±2 to 138±2 mmHg. DHT increased vascular 20-HETE levels in AGT+/− and WT from 1.5±0.7 and 2.1±0.6 to 13.0±2.0 and 15.8±4.0 ng/mg, respectively. Concurrent treatment with the 20-HETE antagonist, 20-hydroxyeicosa-6(Z), 15(Z)-dienoic acid (20-HEDE) prevented the increases in BP in both AGT+/− and WT mice. Administration of 20-HEDE at the peak of the DHT-induced BP increase (12 days) reduced BP to basal levels after 48 hours. Interestingly, basal levels of renal microvascular EETs were higher in AGT+/− compared to WT (55.2±9.7 vs 20.0±4.1 ng/mg) and treatment of AGT+/− with DHT decreased the levels of EETs (28.4±5.1 ng/mg). DHT-mediated changes in vascular EET level were not observed in WT mice. Vascular Cyp4a12 and ACE protein levels were increased in both AGT+/− and WT by 30–40% and decreased with concomitant administration of 20-HEDE. Lisinopril was as effective as 20-HEDE in preventing DHT-mediated increases in BP in both AGT+/− and WT mice. This study substantiates our previous findings that the RAS plays an important role in 20-HETE-mediated hypertension. It also proposes a novel interaction between 20-HETE and EETs.
PMCID: PMC4385421  PMID: 25526688
20-HETE; Angiotensinogen; Androgen; ACE; Hypertension
3.  The Role of PGE2 in Intestinal Inflammation and Tumorigenesis 
Release of the free fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA) by cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and its subsequent metabolism by the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes produces a broad panel of eicosanoids including prostaglandins (PGs). This study sought to investigate the roles of these mediators in experimental models of inflammation and inflammation-associated intestinal tumorigenesis. Using the dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) model of experimental colitis, we first investigated how a global reduction in eicosanoid production would impact intestinal injury by utilizing cPLA2 knockout mice. cPLA2 deletion enhanced colonic injury, reflected by increased mucosal ulceration and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Increased disease severity was associated with a significant reduction in the levels of several eicosanoid metabolites, including PGE2. We further assessed the precise role of PGE2 synthesis on mucosal injury and repair by utilizing mice with a genetic deletion of microsomal PGE synthase-1 (mPGES-1), the terminal synthase in the formation of inducible PGE2. DSS exposure caused more extensive acute injury as well as impaired recovery in knockout mice compared to wild-type littermates. Increased intestinal damage was associated with both reduced PGE2 levels as well as altered levels of other eicosanoids including PGD2. To determine whether this metabolic redirection impacted inflammation-associated intestinal tumorigenesis, ApcMin/+ and ApcMin/+:mPGES-1−/− mice were exposed to DSS. DSS administration caused a reduction in the number of intestinal polyps only in ApcMin/+:mPGES-1−/− mice. These results demonstrate the importance of the balance of prostaglandins produced in the intestinal tract for maintaining intestinal homeostasis and impacting tumor development.
PMCID: PMC4385488  PMID: 25460828
Prostaglandins; Colitis; Tumorigenesis; Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1; Cytosolic phosphlipase A2; Intestine
4.  Ethanol at Low Concentrations Protects Glomerular Podocytes through Alcohol Dehydrogenase and 20-HETE 
Clinical studies suggest cardiovascular and renal benefits of ingesting small amounts of ethanol. Effects of ethanol, role of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) or of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) in podocytes of the glomerular filtration barrier have not been reported. We found that mouse podocytes at baseline generate 20-HETE and express ADH but not CYP2e1. Ethanol at high concentrations altered the actin cytoskeleton, induced CYP2e1, increased superoxide production and inhibited ADH gene expression. Ethanol at low concentrations upregulated the expression of ADH and CYP4a12a. 20-HETE, an arachidonic acid metabolite generated by CYP4a12a, blocked the ethanol-induced cytoskeletal derangement and superoxide generation. Ethanol at high concentration or ADH inhibitor increased glomerular albumin permeability in vitro. 20-HETE and its metabolite produced by ADH activity, 20-carboxy-arachidonic acid, protected the glomerular permeability barrier against an ADH inhibitor, puromycin or FSGS permeability factor. We conclude that ADH activity is required for glomerular function, 20-HETE is a physiological substrate of ADH in podocytes and that podocytes are useful biosensors to understand glomeruloprotective effects of ethanol.
PMCID: PMC4385495  PMID: 25447342
Ethanol; Podocytes; Glomerular Filtration Barrier; Chronic Kidney Disease; Oxidative stress; Alcohol dehydrogenase; Proteinuria; 20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acid; 20-Carboxy-Arachidonic Acid
5.  Comparison of the effects of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on plasma levels of free and esterified oxylipins 
It is believed that many of the beneficial effects of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) are mediated by their oxidized metabolites, the oxylipins. The formation and biological role of many cytochrome P450 and lipoxygenase derived hydroxy, epoxy and dihydroxy FA, particularly of oxylipins esterified in polar lipids and triglycerides remain unclear. In this study, we compared the impact of twelve weeks of LC n-3 PUFA supplementation on the patterns of free and total (sum of esterified and free) hydroxy, epoxy and dihydroxy FAs.
Subjects and Methods
Subjects (5 male; 5 female) between 46 and 70 years were supplemented with 1.1 g/d of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 0.74 g/d docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as ethyl esters. Blood samples were drawn before and after twelve weeks of treatment. Oxylipins in plasma were analyzed by LC-MS directly for free oxylipins and after saponification. Relative FA composition in erythrocyte membranes was analyzed by GC.
LC n-3 PUFA treatment led to a significant increase in EPA (200%) and DHA (23%) in erythrocyte membranes. Of the oxylipins measured in plasma, total and free EPA-derived metabolites were highly increased (70 to 150%), while total AA-derived metabolites were decreased on average by 30%. There was no effect on DHA-metabolites. Concentrations of total hydroxy and epoxy FAs in plasma were considerably higher compared to free hydroxy and epoxy FAs (up to 350 times), while levels of most free dihydroxy FAs were in a similar range to total dihydroxy FAs. However, the individual ratios between total and free plasma oxylipins remained unchanged after LC n-3 PUFA treatment.
Discussion and Conclusions
LC n-3 PUFA supplementation causes a shift in the levels of circulating oxylipins, having the strongest impact on EPA-derived epoxy, dihydroxy and hydroxy FA. The unchanged ratio of free and esterified oxylipins in plasma indicates that both concentrations are valuable biomarkers for assessing the individual status of these lipid mediators.
PMCID: PMC4247815  PMID: 24880049
eicosanoids; epoxides; diols; EPA; DHA; PUFA; arachidonic acid; omega-3 fatty acids
Eicosanoids derived from the enzymatic oxidation of arachidonic acid play important roles in a large number of physiological and pathological processes in humans. Many animal and cellular models have been used to investigate the intricate mechanisms regulating their biosynthesis and actions. Zebrafish is a widely used model to study the embryonic development of vertebrates. It expresses homologs of the key enzymes involved in eicosanoid production, and eicosanoids have been detected in extracts from adult or embryonic fish. In this study we prepared cell suspensions from kidney marrow, the main hematopoietic organ in fish. Upon stimulation with calcium ionophore, these cells produced eicosanoids including PGE2, LTB4, 5-HETE and, most abundantly, 12-HETE. They also produced small amounts of LTB5 derived from eicosapentaenoic acid. These eicosanoids were also produced in kidney marrow cells stimulated with ATP, and this production was greatly enhanced by preincubation with thimerosal, an inhibitor of arachidonate reacylation into phospholipids. Microsomes from these cells exhibited acyltransferase activities consistent with expression of MBOAT5/LPCAT3 and MBOAT7/LPIAT1, the main arachidonoyl-CoA:lysophospholipid acyltransferases. In summary, this work introduces a new cellular model to study the regulation of eicosanoid production through a phospholipid deacylation-reacylation cycle from a well-established, versatile vertebrate model species.
PMCID: PMC4252513  PMID: 25175316
arachidonic acid; eicosanoids; prostaglandins; leukotrienes; lipid mediators of inflammation; animal models; zebrafish; lysophospholipid acyltransferases; phospholipids
Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) protect against the development of insulin resistance in rodents. EETs are hydrolyzed to less biologically active diols by soluble epoxide hydrolase (encoded for by EPHX2). Functional variants of EPHX2 encode for enzymes with increased (Lys55Arg) or decreased (Arg287Gln) hydrolase activity. This study tested the hypothesis that variants of EPHX2 are associated with insulin sensitivity or secretion in humans. Subjects participating in metabolic phenotyping studies were genotyped. Eighty-five subjects underwent hyperglycemic clamps. There was no relationship between the Lys55Arg genotype and insulin sensitivity or secretion. In contrast, the EPHX2 287Gln variant was associated with higher insulin sensitivity index (p=0.019 controlling for body mass index and metabolic syndrome). Also, there was an interactive effect of EPHX2 Arg287Gln genotype and body mass index on insulin sensitivity index (p=0.029). There was no relationship between EPHX2 Arg287Gln genotype and acute or late-phase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but disposition index was higher in 287Gln carriers compared with Arg/Arg (p=0.022). Plasma EETs correlated with insulin sensitivity index (r=0.64, p=0.015 for total EETs) and were decreased in the metabolic syndrome. A genetic variant that results in decreased soluble epoxide hydrolase activity is associated with increased insulin sensitivity, as are higher EETs.
PMCID: PMC4253976  PMID: 25173047
soluble epoxide hydrolase; epoxyeicosatrienoic acids; insulin sensitivity; metabolic syndrome
P450 eicosanoids are important regulators of the cerebral microcirculation, but their role in cerebral small vessel disease is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) is linked to reduced cerebral microvascular eicosanoid signaling. We analyzed human brain tissue from individuals formerly enrolled in the Oregon Brain Aging Study, who had a history of cognitive impairment histopathological evidence of microvascular disease. VCI subjects had significantly higher lesion burden both on premortem MRI and postmortem histopathology compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Mass spectrometry-based eicosanoid analysis revealed that 14,15-dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (DHET) was elevated in cortical brain tissue from VCI subjects. Immunoreactivity of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), the enzyme responsible for 14,15-DHET formation, was localized to cerebral microvascular endothelium, and was enhanced in microvessels of affected tissue. Finally, we evaluated the genotype frequency of two functional single nucleotide polymorphisms of sEH gene EPHX2 in VCI and control groups. Our findings support a role for sEH and a potential benefit from sEH inhibitors in age-related VCI.
PMCID: PMC4254026  PMID: 25277097
vascular cognitive impairment; soluble epoxide hydrolase; white matter hyperintensity; EPHX2; epoxyeicosatrienoic acids; EETs
9.  PGE2 Reduces MMP-14 and Increases Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 in Cardiac Fibroblasts 
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is elevated during cardiac injury and we have previously shown that mice lacking the PGE EP4 receptor display dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with increased expression of the membrane type matrix metalloproteinase, MMP-14. We thus hypothesized that PGE2 regulates expression of MMP-14 and also affects fibroblast migration. Primary cultures of neonatal rat ventricular fibroblasts (NVFs) were used to test the effects of PGE2. Gene and protein expression was assessed by real time RT-PCR and Western blot, MMP activity was determined by zymography and migration of NVF was assessed by motility in a transwell system. PGE2 reduced expression of MMP-14 and these effects were antagonized by an EP4 antagonist. An EP4 agonist mimicked the effect of PGE2. PGE2 also increased mRNA and protein levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), an inhibitor of MMP activation. However, PGE2-stimulation of PAI-1 was mediated by the EP1/EP3 receptor and not EP4. Migration of NVF was assessed by motility in a transwell system. Treatment of NVFs with PGE2 reduced the number of cells migrating towards 10% FCS. Treatment with the EP2 agonist also reduced migration but did not affect MMP-14 expression or PAI-1. Our results suggest that PGE2 utilizes different receptors and mechanisms to ultimately decrease MMP expression and NVF migration.
PMCID: PMC4254138  PMID: 25263346
Prostaglandin E2; fibroblasts; matrix metalloproteinase; EP receptors; migration; plasminogen activator inhibitor-1
10.  The Role of Long Chain Fatty Acids and Their Epoxide Metabolites in Nociceptive Signaling 
Lipid derived mediators contribute to inflammation and the sensing of pain. The contributions of omega-6 derived prostanoids in enhancing inflammation and pain sensation are well known. Less well explored are the opposing anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of the omega-6 derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. Far less has been described about the epoxidized metabolites derived from omega-3 long chain fatty acids. The epoxide metabolites are turned over rapidly with enzymatic hydrolysis by the soluble epoxide hydrolase being the major elimination pathway. Despite this, the overall understanding of the role of lipid mediators in the pathology of chronic pain is growing. Here we review the role of long chain fatty acids and their metabolites in alleviating both acute and chronic pain conditions. We focus specifically on the epoxidized metabolites of omega-6 and omega-3 long chain fatty acids as well as a novel strategy to modulate their activity in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4254344  PMID: 25240260
Omega-3 fatty acids; epoxy fatty acids (EpFAs); epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs); epoxydocosapentanoic acids (EDP, EpDPEs); soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH); pain
11.  ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids-derived lipid metabolites on angiogenesis, inflammation and cancer 
Epidemiological and pre-clinical studies support the anti-tumor effects of ω-3 PUFAs; however, the results from human trials are mixed, making it difficult to provide dietary guidelines or recommendations of ω-3 PUFAs for disease prevention or treatment. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which ω-3 PUFAs inhibit cancer could lead to better nutritional paradigms and human trials to clarify their health effects. The ω-3 PUFAs exert their biological activities mainly through the formation of bioactive lipid metabolites. Here we discuss the biology of cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase and cytochrome P450 enzymes-derived ω-3-series lipid metabolites on angiogenesis, inflammation and cancer.
PMCID: PMC4306447  PMID: 25019221
ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; cyclooxygenase; lipoxygenase; cytochrome P450
12.  Urinary CYP Eicosanoid Excretion Correlates with Glomerular Filtration in African-Americans with Chronic Kidney Disease 
Previous studies have indicated that cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolites of arachidonic acid (AA), i.e., 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), play an important role in the regulation of renal tubular and vascular function. The present study for the first time profiled HETEs and epoxygenase derived dihydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid diHETEs levels in spot urines and plasma in 262 African American patients from the University of Mississippi Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic and 31 African American controls. Significant correlations in eGFR and urinary 20-HETE/creatinine and 19-HETE/ creatinine levels were observed. The eGFR increased by 17.47 [p=0.001] and 60.68 [(p=0.005] ml/min/ for each ng/mg increase in 20-HETE and 19-HETE levels, respectively. Similar significant positive associations were found between the other urinary eicosanoids and eGFR and also with 19-HETE/urine creatinine concentration and proteinuria. We found that approximately 80% of plasma HETEs and 30% diHETEs were glucuronidated and the fractional excretion of 20-HETE was less than 1%. These results suggest that there is a significant hepatic source of urinary 20-HETE glucuronide and EETs with extensive renal biotransformation to metabolites which may play a role in the pathogenesis of CKD.
PMCID: PMC4396182  PMID: 25151892
eicosanoids; cytochrome P450; chronic kidney disease; biomarkers; HETE; EETs; diHETEs
13.  Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Null Mice Exhibit Female and Male Differences In Regulation of Vascular Homeostasis 
Increased CYP epoxygenase activity and consequently up regulation of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) levels provides protection against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Conversion of arachidonic acid epoxides to diols by soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) diminishes the beneficial cardiovascular properties of these epoxyeicosanoids. We therefore examined the possible biochemical consequences of sEH deletion on vascular responses in male and female mice. Through the use of the sEH KO mouse, we provide evidence of differences in the compensatory response in the balance between nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), EETs and the vasoconstrictor 20-HETE in male and female KO mice. Serum levels of adiponectin, TNFα, IL-1b and MCP1 and protein expression in vascular tissue of p-AMPK, p-AKT and p-eNOS were measured. Deletion of sEH caused a significant (p<0,05) decrease in body weight, and an increase in adiponectin, pAMPK and pAKT levels in female KO mice compared to male KO mice. Gene deletion resulted in a higher production of renal EETs in female KO compared to male KO mice and, concomitantly, we observed an increase in renal 20-HETEs levels and superoxide anion production only in male KO mice. sEH deletion increased p-AKT and p-eNOS protein expression but decreased p-AMPK levels in female KO mice. Increased levels of p-eNOS at Thr-495 were observed only in KO male mice. While p-eNOS at 1177 were not significantly different between male and female. Nitric oxide production was unaltered in male KO mice. These results provide evidence of gender differences in the preservation of vascular homeostasis in response to sEH deletion which involves regulation of phosphorylation of eNOS at the 495 site.
PMCID: PMC4575626  PMID: 25908301
pAKT; pAMPK; adiponectin; EETs
14.  Increased EETs participate in peripheral endothelial dysfunction of cirrhosis 
The hyperdynamic circulation of cirrhosis participates in the pathophysiology of portal hypertension. P450-dependent epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET) are potent vasodilators. We evaluated plasma levels of EETs in cirrhotic patients and the effect of epoxygenase and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibition on skin blood flow, measured by laser Doppler flowmetry, in normal subjects and cirrhotic patients with and without ascites. Free plasma EETs were increased in cirrhotic patients compared to normal subjects, while the ratio between 8,9-, 11,12-, and 14-15-EET was the same. In cirrhotic patients without ascites, skin blood flow was significantly increased compared to normal subjects. In patients with ascites skin blood flow was significantly reduced compared to control subjects and patients without ascites. Inhibition of epoxygenase with miconazole and of NOS with L-NG-Nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME) decreased basal skin flow in normal subjects and in cirrhotic patients, the effect being higher in cirrhotic patients. Miconazole caused a further decrease in flow when administered with L-NAME, both in normal subjects and in cirrhotic patients. In conclusion, EETs participate in the control of peripheral circulation of normal subjects and in the pathophysiology of peripheral vasodilatation of cirrhotic patients with ascites.
PMCID: PMC4547526  PMID: 22245571
Cirrhosis; Hyperdynamic circulation; Portal hypertension; Arachidonic acid; Cytochrome P450; Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET); Laser Doppler flowmetry; Skin blood flow; Nitric oxide
15.  The Red Blood Cell Participates in Regulation of the Circulation by Producing and Releasing Epoxyeicosatrienoic Acids 
Red blood cells (RBCs) have an important function in regulation of the circulation by producing and releasing epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) in response to a low O2 environment such as encountered in the cardiac microcirculation during exercise. RBCs, in their role as sensors of low pO2, release ATP and critical lipid mediators, the EETs. Both cis- and trans-EETs are synthesized and stored in RBCs and are hydrolyzed by soluble epoxide hydrolases (sEH). The trans-EETs differ from cis-EETs in their higher vascular potencies and more rapid metabolism by sEH. Thus, inhibition of sEH results in greater trans-EET levels and increased positive vascular effects of trans-EETs vs cis-EETs. The trans-EETs are responsible for a significant decline in the elevated blood pressure in the spontaneously hypertensive rat on treatment with a sEH inhibitor to raise EET levels. We predict that trans-EETs and cis-EETs will occupy important therapeutic roles in a broad spectrum of diseases and abnormal physiological conditions such as that resulting from high salt intake and hypertension.
PMCID: PMC4545588  PMID: 22178722
epoxyeicosatrienoic acids; red blood cells
16.  11,12-EET increases porto-sinusoidal resistance and may play a role in endothelial dysfunction of portal hypertension 
CYP450-dependent epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are potent arterial vasodilators, while 20-hydroxyeicosatatraenoic acid (20-HETE) is a vasoconstrictor. We evaluated their role in the control of portal circulation in normal and cirrhotic (CCl4 induced) isolated perfused rat liver. Phenylephrine (PE) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) increased portal perfusion pressure, as did arachidonic acid (AA), 20-HETE, and 11,12-EET. Inhibition of 20-HETE with 12,12-dibromododecenoic acid (DBDD) did not affect basal pressure nor the responses to PE, ET-1, or AA. However, inhibition of epoxygenase with miconazole caused a significant reduction in the response to ET-1 and to AA, without affecting neither basal pressure nor the response to PE. Hepatic vein EETs concentration increased in response to ET-1, and was increased in cirrhotic, compared to control, livers. 20HETE levels were non-measurable. Miconazole decreased portal perfusion pressure in cirrhotic livers. In conclusion, 20HETE and EETs increase portal resistance; EETs, but not 20-HETE, mediate in part the pressure response to ET-1 in the portal circulation and may be involved in pathophysiology of portal hypertension.
PMCID: PMC4540347  PMID: 21856435
Liver circulation; Arachidonic acid; Cytochrome P450; Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET); 20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20HETE); Cirrhotic portal hypertension
17.  Mass Spectrometry Advances in Lipidomica: Collision Induced Decomposition of Kdo2-Lipid A 
Mass spectrometry has made significant advances in the analysis of lipid substances, both simple and complex present in extracts of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The development of the ionization techniques of electrospray ionization and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization have both been applied to the analysis of lipids. The example of the types of structural information that can be obtained from MALDI-TOF tandem mass spectrometry is exemplified by the analysis of Kdo2-lipid A, a complex lipopolysaccharide known to activate Toll-like 4-receptors on mammalian cells. Analysis of Kdo2-lipid A obtained from an E. coli WBB06 was found to generate an abundant [M-H]- ion at m/z 2236.4 and a more abundant carbon-13 isotope at m/z 2237.4. Furthermore, collisional activation of the lipid A portion of the molecule at m/z 1796.3 resulted in a series of ions corresponding to the loss of all four fatty acyl groups as neutral carboxylic acids. An altogether different challenge of mass spectrometry applied to the area of lipid analysis is that of quantitative analysis. Two rather different requirements have emerged. One with high precision and accuracy for the measurement of relatively few lipid species that are produced at very low concentrations and typically interact with specific receptor proteins. A rather different challenge is that for the analysis of abundant lipid classes, which are composed of multiple molecular species that can approach several hundred under certain circumstances.
PMCID: PMC4535423  PMID: 16099398
18.  Increase of EPA-derived hydroxy, epoxy and dihydroxy fatty acid levels in human plasma after a single dose of long-chain omega-3 PUFA 
Several supplementation studies with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) describe an increase of EPA-derived hydroxy, epoxy and dihydroxy fatty acids in blood, while changes in levels of other LC n-3 and n-6 PUFA-derived oxylipins were minor. In order to investigate the kinetics of changes in oxylipin levels in response to LC n-3 PUFA ingestion, we conducted a single dose treatment study with healthy subjects.
Subjects and methods
In the present kinetic study, we compared patterns of hydroxy, epoxy and dihydroxy fatty acids in plasma of 6 healthy men before and after 6, 8, 24, and 48 h of fish oil (1008 mg EPA and 672 mg DHA) ingestion. Levels of EPA- as well as other LC PUFA-derived hydroxy, epoxy and dihydroxy fatty acids were analyzed in plasma by LC–MS. Additionally, levels of these oxylipins were compared with their parent PUFA levels in plasma phospholipids.
All EPA-derived oxylipin levels were significantly increased 6 h after LC n-3 PUFA ingestion and gradually drop thereafter reaching the baseline levels about 48 h after treatment. The relative increase in EPA plasma phospholipid levels highly correlated with the increase of plasma EPA-derived oxylipin levels at different time points. In contrast, plasma levels of arachidonic acid- and DHA-derived oxylipins as well as parent PUFA levels in plasma phospholipids were hardly changed.
Discussion and conclusions
Our findings demonstrate that a single dose of LC n-3 PUFAs can rapidly induce a shift in the EPA oxylipin profile of healthy subjects within a few hours. Taking the high biological activity of the EPA-derived epoxy fatty acids into account, even short-term treatment with LC n-3 PUFAs may cause systemic effects, which warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC4172375  PMID: 24667634
Oxylipins; Eicosanoids; Arachidonic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid
19.  Multiple Drug Resistance-Associated Protein 4 (MRP4), Prostaglandin Transporter (PGT), and 15-Hydroxyprostaglandin Dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) as Determinants of PGE2 Levels in Cancer 
The cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme and major lipid product, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) are elevated in many solid tumors including those of the breast and are associated with a poor prognosis. Targeting this enzyme is somewhat effective in preventing tumor progression, but is associated with cardiotoxic secondary effects when used chronically. PGE2 functions by signaling through four EP receptors (EP1-4), resulting in several different cellular responses, many of which are pro-tumorigenic, and there is growing interest in the therapeutic potential of targeting EP4 and EP2. Other members in this signaling pathway are gaining more attention. PGE2 is transported out of and into cells by two unique transport proteins. Multiple Drug Resistance-Associated Protein 4 (MRP4) and Prostaglandin Transporter (PGT) modulate PGE2 signaling by increasing or decreasing the levels of PGE2 available to cells. 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) metabolizes PGE2 and silences the pathway in this manner (Figure 1). The purpose of this review is to summarize the extensive data supporting the importance of the COX-2 pathway in tumor biology with a focus on more recently described pathway members and their role in modulating PGE2 signaling. This review describes evidence supporting roles for MRP4, PGT and 15-PGDH in several tumor types with an emphasis on the roles of these proteins in breast cancer. Defining the importance of these latter pathway members will be key to developing new therapeutic approaches that exploit the tumor-promoting COX-2 pathway.
PMCID: PMC4385402  PMID: 25433169
20.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC4292900  PMID: 23291334
21.  Pathogen Induced Chemo-attractant Hepoxilin A3 Drives Neutrophils, but not Eosinophils across Epithelial Barriers 
Pathogen induced migration of neutrophils across mucosal epithelial barriers requires epithelial production of the chemotactic lipid mediator, hepoxilin A3 (HXA3). HXA3 is an eicosanoid derived from arachidonic acid. Although eosinophils are also capable of penetrating mucosal surfaces, eosinophilic infiltration occurs mainly during allergic processes whereas neutrophils dominate mucosal infection. Both neutrophils and eosinophils can respond to chemotactic gradients of certain eicosanoids, however, it is not known whether eosinophils respond to pathogen induced lipid mediators such as HXA3. In this study, neutrophils and eosinophils were isolated from human blood and placed on the basolateral side of polarized epithelial monolayers grown on permeable Transwell filters and challenged by various chemotactic gradients of distinct lipid mediators. We observed that both cell populations migrated across epithelial monolayers in response to a leukotriene B4 (LTB4) gradient, whereas only eosinophils migrated towards a prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) gradient. Interestingly, while pathogen induced neutrophil trans-epithelial migration was substantial, pathogen induced eosinophil trans-epithelial migration was not observed. Further, gradients of chemotactic lipids derived from pathogen infected epithelial cells known to be enriched for HXA3 as well as purified HXA3 drove significant numbers of neutrophils across epithelial barriers, whereas eosinophils failed to respond to these gradients. These data suggest that although the eicosanoid HXA3 serves as an important neutrophil chemo-attractant at mucosal surfaces during pathogenic infection, HXA3 does not appear to exhibit chemotactic activity towards eosinophils.
PMCID: PMC4004677  PMID: 24315875
neutrophils; eosinophils; eicosanoids; hepoxilin A3; leukotriene B4; prostaglandin D2
22.  Roles of the epoxygenase CYP2J2 in the endothelium 
Prostaglandins & other lipid mediators  2013;107:10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2013.02.003.
Cytochrome p450 (CYP)2J2 is an epoxygenase enzyme that metabolises arachidonic acid to epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs). EETs are inactivated by soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which converts them in to their corresponding dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs). CYP2J2 is highly expressed in cardiovascular tissue including the heart and vascular endothelial cells. CYP2J2 and the EETs it produces have been shown to have a diverse range of effects on the vasculature, including the regulation of inflammation, vascular tone, cellular proliferation, angiogenesis, and metabolism. This review will examine these established and emerging roles of CYP2J2 in the biology of vascular endothelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3711961  PMID: 23474289
endothelial; epoxygenase; inflammation; metabolism; angiogenesis; dilation
23.  Genetic Deletion of Microsomal Prostaglandin E Synthase-1 Suppresses Mouse Mammary Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis 
Prostaglandins & other lipid mediators  2013;0:10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2013.04.002.
The cyclooxygenase/prostaglandin (COX/PG) signaling pathway is of central importance in inflammation and neoplasia. COX inhibitors are widely used for analgesia and also have demonstrated activity for cancer prophylaxis. However, cardiovascular toxicity associated with this drug class diminishes their clinical utility and motivates the development of safer approaches both for pain relief and cancer prevention. The terminal synthase microsomal PGE synthase-1 (mPGES-1) has attracted considerable attention as a potential target. Overexpression of mPGES-1 has been observed in both colorectal and breast cancers, and gene knockout and overexpression approaches have established a role for mPGES-1 in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. Here we evaluate the contribution of mPGES-1 to mammary tumorigenesis using a gene knockout approach. Mice deficient in mPGES-1 were crossed with a strain in which breast cancer is driven by overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu). Loss of mPGES-1 was associated with a substantial reduction in intramammary PGE2 levels, aromatase activity, and angiogenesis in mammary glands from HER2/neu transgenic mice. Consistent with these findings, we observed a significant reduction in multiplicity of tumors ≥1mm in diameter, suggesting that mPGES-1 contributes to mammary tumor growth. Our data identify mPGES-1 as a potential anti-breast cancer target.
PMCID: PMC3830707  PMID: 23624019
Mouse; mPGES-1; breast cancer; aromatase; angiogenesis; PGE2
Prostaglandins & other lipid mediators  2013;0:10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2013.07.002.
Lipoxygenases regulate vascular function by metabolizing arachidonic acid (AA) to dilator eicosanoids. Previously, we showed that endothelium-targeted adenoviral vector-mediated gene transfer of the human 15-lipoxygenase-1 (h15-LO-1) enhances arterial relaxation through the production of vasodilatory hydroxyepoxyeicosatrienoic acid (HEETA) and trihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (THETA) metabolites. To further define this function, a transgenic (Tg) mouse line that overexpresses h15-LO-1 was studied. Western blot, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR results confirmed expression of 15-LO-1 transgene in tissues, especially high quantity in coronary arterial wall, of Tg mice. Reverse-phase HPLC analysis of [14C]-AA metabolites in heart tissues revealed enhanced 15-HETE synthesis in Tg vs. WT mice. Among the 15-LO-1 metabolites, 15-HETE, erythro-13-H-14,15-EETA, and 11(R),12(S),15(S)-THETA relaxed the mouse mesenteric arteries to the greatest extent. The presence of h15-LO-1 increased acetylcholine- and AA-mediated relaxation in mesenteric arteries of Tg mice compared to WT mice. 15-LO-1 expression was most abundant in heart; therefore, we used the Langendorff heart model to test the hypothesis that elevated 15-LO-1 levels would increase coronary flow following a short ischemia episode. Both peak flow and excess flow of reperfused hearts were significantly elevated in hearts from Tg compared to WT mice being 2.03 and 3.22 times greater, respectively. These results indicate that h15-LO-1-derived metabolites are highly vasoactive and may play a critical role in regulating coronary blood flow.
PMCID: PMC3844054  PMID: 23872364
15-lipoxygenase; eicosanoids; vasodilation; coronary flow; ischemia/reperfusion; reactive hyperemia; endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor
25.  Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-2 mediated NFκB activation contributes to tumor necrosis factor-α induced VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells 
Prostaglandins & other lipid mediators  2013;0:10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2013.06.001.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates a wide array of biological functions in endothelial cells. We previously showed that S1P receptor subtype 2 (S1P2) is significantly up-regulated in the atherosclerotic endothelium (J. Biol. Chem. 283:30363, 2008). In this study, we investigated the roles of S1P2-mediated signaling in the proinflammatory responses of endothelial cells. Treatment with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), a proinflammatory cytokine, increased the expression of S1P2 receptors in endothelial cells. TNFα treatment also enhanced sphingosine kinase 1 expression and increased S1P production. Pharmacological inhibition or knockdown of S1P2 receptors completely abrogated the TNFα-induced VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule 1) and ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1) expression in endothelial cells. In contrast, pharmacological inhibition or knockdown of other S1P receptor subtypes had no effect on the TNFα-stimulated ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression. Moreover, ectopic expression of S1P2 receptors increased VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells in response to S1P stimulation. Mechanistically, we show that antagonizing S1P2 signaling markedly inhibited the TNFα-stimulated NFκB activation. Utilizing the NFκB reporter luciferase assay, the S1P/S1P2 signaling was shown to stimulate NFκB activation. Moreover, the S1P/S1P2-stimulated VCAM-1/ICAM-1 expression was completely abolished by the pharmacological inhibitor of NFκB. Collectively, our data suggest that TNFα treatment activates autocrine S1P/S1P2 signaling, which subsequently activates NFκB and leads to the proinflammatory responses in endothelial cells.
PMCID: PMC3844125  PMID: 23770055
sphingosine-1-phosphate; S1P family of G-protein coupled receptor; sphingolipids; sphingosine kinase; vasculature

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