Endothelial dysfunction and microvascular abnormalities have been reported in patients with cardiac syndrome X (CSX), but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Recent insights suggest that the injured endothelial monolayer is regenerated by circulating bone marrow‐derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs).
To test the hypothesis that the biology of altered EPCs might contribute to the pathophysiology of CSX.
34 subjects (mean (SD) age: 62 (7) years) were enrolled in the study, including 12 patients with CSX, 12 stable subjects with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 10 healthy controls. The number and adhesive function of EPCs were measured in peripheral‐blood samples from these study participants.
The baseline characteristics in patients with CSX and CAD were enhanced Framingham risk scores, more hypertension and lower high‐density lipoproteins than the controls. Patients with CSX and CAD had significantly decreased endothelium‐dependent flow‐mediated vasodilation (FMD) compared with normal controls (normal controls vs CSX vs CAD: 10.6% (3.5%) vs 6.1% (1.8%) vs 4.1% (1.9%), p<0.001), but the difference was not found in endothelium‐independent nitroglycerine‐mediated vasodilation (p = 0.159). Reduced numbers of colony‐forming units (CFU) of EPCs were noted in patients with CSX and CAD (normal vs CSX vs CAD: 41 (9) vs 30 (7) vs 14 (7) CFU/well, p<0.001). Levels of EPCs were shown to be associated with FMD (r = 0.557, p = 0.001) and high‐density lipoprotein (r = 0.339, p = 0.049). Also, attenuated fibronectin adhesion function of EPCs was found in patients with CSX and CAD compared with normal subjects (104 (12) vs 80 (20) vs 65 (13)/well, p<0.001).
This study clearly showed for the first time that compared with normal subjects, patients with CSX have decreased levels and adhesive function of circulating EPCs. These findings may explain the underlying mechanisms which contribute to the endothelial dysfunction and microvascular abnormalities observed in patients with CSX.
New-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) commonly occurs in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Data regarding the value of the CHADS2 score in patients hospitalized for AMI is limited. This study aimed to determine whether the CHADS2 score is associated with new-onset AF and if it can help identify the patients who will benefit most from statin use for the prevention of arrhythmia after AMI.
A total of 724 consecutive AMI patients were enrolled in this study. The patients were divided into 3 groups according to their CHADS2 scores: group 1, score 0; group 2, score 1–2; and group 3, score 3–6. The study endpoint was an episode of new-onset AF that lasted more than 30 seconds during hospitalization at the coronary care unit.
Seventy-eight (10.8%) patients developed new-onset AF, and 273 (37.7%) were on a statin upon admission. The incidence of new-onset AF increased significantly from 5.8% in group 1 to 11.3% in group 2 and 14.3% in group 3 (χ2 for linear trend, P = 0.017). Statin use (odds ratio [OR], 0.22; 95% CI, 0.06–0.85) and CHADS2 score (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.02–2.28) were independent predictors of new-onset AF in AMI patients. Patients with CHADS2 score ≤2 had significantly reduced C-reactive protein level and lower risk of developing new-onset AF if they were taking statins (P < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated the benefit of statin use for preventing new-onset AF in patients with CHADS2 scores ≤2 (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.14–0.81).
The CHADS2 score is a convenient scoring system for predicting the incidence of new-onset AF and may help in identifying the patients who will benefit most from statin use for the prevention of arrhythmia after AMI.
The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) is crucial in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis; yet its role and underlying mechanism in the formation of macrophage foam cells remain unclear. Here, we show increased TRPV1 expression in the area of foamy macrophages in atherosclerotic aortas of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Exposure of mouse bone-marrow-derived macrophages to oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) upregulated the expression of TRPV1. In addition, oxLDL activated TRPV1 and elicited calcium (Ca2+) influx, which were abrogated by the pharmacological TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine. Furthermore, oxLDL-induced lipid accumulation in macrophages was ameliorated by TRPV1 agonists but exacerbated by TRPV1 antagonist. Treatment with TRPV1 agonists did not affect the internalization of oxLDL but promoted cholesterol efflux by upregulating the efflux ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1. Moreover, the upregulation of ABC transporters was mainly through liver X receptor α- (LXRα-) dependent regulation of transcription. Moreover, the TNF-α-induced inflammatory response was alleviated by TRPV1 agonists but aggravated by the TRPV1 antagonist and LXRα siRNA in macrophages. Our data suggest that LXRα plays a pivotal role in TRPV1-activation-conferred protection against oxLDL-induced lipid accumulation and TNF-α-induced inflammation in macrophages.
TiO2 films may be used to alter the wettability and hemocompatibility of cellulose materials. In this study, pure and stoichiometric TiO2 films were grown using atomic layer deposition on both silicon and cellulose substrates. The films were grown with uniform thicknesses and with a growth rate in agreement with literature results. The TiO2 films were shown to profoundly alter the water contact angle values of cellulose depending upon processing characteristics. Higher rates of protein adsorption were noted on TiO2-coated cellulose acetate than on uncoated cellulose acetate. These results suggest that atomic layer deposition is an appropriate method for improving the biological properties of hemostatic agents and other blood-contacting biomaterials.
atomic layer deposition; cellulose; titanium oxide; hemostatic agent; hemocompatibility
Vascular oxidative stress may be increased with age and aggravate endothelial dysfunction and vascular injury in hypertension. This study aimed to investigate the effects of dextromethorphan (DM), a NADPH oxidase inhibitor, either alone or in combination treatment, on blood pressure (BP) and vascular protection in aged spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHRs).
Eighteen-week-old WKY rats and SHRs were housed for 2 weeks. SHRs were randomly assigned to one of the 12 groups: untreated; DM monotherapy with 1, 5 or 25 mg/kg/day; amlodipine (AM, a calcium channel blocker) monotherapy with 1 or 5 mg/kg/day; and combination therapy of DM 1, 5 or 25 mg/kg/day with AM 1 or 5 mg/kg/day individually for 4 weeks. The in vitro effects of DM were also examined. In SHRs, AM monotherapy dose-dependently reduced arterial systolic BP. DM in various doses significantly and similarly reduced arterial systolic BP. Combination of DM with AM gave additive effects on BP reduction. DM, either alone or in combination with AM, improved aortic endothelial function indicated by ex vivo acetylcholine-induced relaxation. The combination of low-dose DM with AM gave most significant inhibition on aortic wall thickness in SHRs. Plasma total antioxidant status was significantly increased by all the therapies except for the combination of high-dose DM with high-dose AM. Serum nitrite and nitrate level was significantly reduced by AM but not by DM or the combination of DM with AM. Furthermore, in vitro treatment with DM reduced angiotensin II-induced reactive oxygen species and NADPH oxidase activation in human aortic endothelial cells.
Treatment of DM reduced BP and enhanced vascular protection probably by inhibiting vascular NADPH oxidase in aged hypertensive animals with or without AM treatment. It provides the potential rationale to a novel combination treatment with low-dose DM and AM in clinical hypertension.
The plasma adiponectin level, a potential upstream and internal facet of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, has a reasonably high heritability. Whether other novel genes influence the variation in adiponectin level and the roles of these genetic variants on subsequent clinical outcomes has not been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, we aimed not only to identify genetic variants modulating plasma adiponectin levels but also to investigate whether these variants are associated with adiponectin-related metabolic traits and cardiovascular diseases.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with high molecular weight forms of adiponectin levels by genotyping 382 young-onset hypertensive (YOH) subjects with Illumina HumanHap550 SNP chips. The culpable single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants responsible for lowered adiponectin were then confirmed in another 559 YOH subjects, and the association of these SNP variants with the risk of metabolic syndrome (MS), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and ischemic stroke was examined in an independent community–based prospective cohort, the CardioVascular Disease risk FACtors Two-township Study (CVDFACTS, n = 3,350).
The SNP (rs4783244) most significantly associated with adiponectin levels was located in intron 1 of the T-cadherin (CDH13) gene in the first stage (P = 7.57 × 10−9). We replicated and confirmed the association between rs4783244 and plasma adiponectin levels in an additional 559 YOH subjects (P = 5.70 × 10−17). This SNP was further associated with the risk of MS (odds ratio [OR] = 1.42, P = 0.027), T2DM in men (OR = 3.25, P = 0.026), and ischemic stroke (OR = 2.13, P = 0.002) in the CVDFACTS.
These findings indicated the role of T-cadherin in modulating adiponectin levels and the involvement of CDH13 or adiponectin in the development of cardiometabolic diseases.
Chronic elevation of glucose level activates vascular inflammation and increases endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes, an early sign of atherogenesis. This study aimed to elucidate the detailed mechanisms of high-glucose-induced endothelial inflammation, and to investigate the potential effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE), an antioxidant herbal medicine, on such inflammation.
Materials and methods
Human aortic endothelial cells were cultured in high glucose or mannitol as osmotic control for 4 days. The expression of cytokines and adhesion molecules and the adhesiveness of endothelial cells to monocytes were examined. The effects of pretreatment of GBE or N-acetylcysteine, an antioxidant, were also investigated.
Either high glucose or mannitol significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, interleukin-6 secretion, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression, as well as endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes. The high-glucose-induced endothelial adhesiveness was significantly reduced either by an anti-ICAM-1 antibody or by an interleukin-6 neutralizing antibody. Interleukin-6 (5 ng/ml) significantly increased endothelial ICAM-1 expression. Piceatannol, a signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1/3 inhibitor, but not fludarabine, a STAT1 inhibitor, suppressed high-glucose-induced ICAM-1 expression. Pretreatment with GBE or N-acetylcysteine inhibited high-glucose-induced ROS, interleukin-6 production, STAT1/3 activation, ICAM-1 expression, and endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes.
Long-term presence of high glucose induced STAT3 mediated ICAM-1 dependent endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes via the osmotic-related redox-dependent interleukin-6 pathways. GBE reduced high-glucose-induced endothelial inflammation mainly by inhibiting interleukin-6 activation. Future study is indicated to validate the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory strategy targeting on interleukin-6 for endothelial protection in in vivo and clinical hyperglycemia.
Antioxidant, Endothelial cells; Ginkgo biloba extract; Glucose; Intercellular adhesion molecule −1; Interleukin −6
Cardiovascular risk increases with the presence of both metabolic syndrome (MetS) and hypertension (HTN). Although the adiponectin (ADIPOQ) gene has been reported to be involved in MetS, its association with HTN remained undetermined. This study aimed to investigate the association of ADIPOQ gene with the phenotypes of HTN and MetS.
A total of 962 participants from 302 families from the Taiwan young-onset hypertension genetic study were enrolled. Plasma adiponectin were measured, and association analysis was conducted by using GEE regression-based method. Another study, of 1448 unrelated participants, was conducted to replicate the association between ADIPOQ gene and variable phenotypes of MetS with or without HTN.
Among 962 subjects from family samples, the lowest plasma adiponectin value was observed in MetS with HTN component (9.3±0.47 µg/ml) compared with hypertensives (13.4±0.74 µg /ml) or MetS without HTN (11.9±0.60 µg/ml, P<0.05). The SNP rs1501299 (G276T) in ADIPOQ gene was found associated with the presence of HTN in MetS (odds ratio for GG+GT vs. TT = 2.46; 95% CI: 1.14-5.3, p = 0.02), but not rs2241766 (T45G). No association of ADIPOQ gene with HTN alone or MetS without HTN was observed. The significant association of the SNP rs1501299 (G276T) with the phenotype of presence of HTN in MetS was confirmed (odds ratio for GG+GT vs. TT = 2.15; 95% CI: 1.1–4.3) in the replication study.
ADIPOQ genetic variants were selectively and specifically associated with the concomitant presence of MetS and HTN, suggesting potential genetic linkage between MetS and HTN.
Elevated plasma levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) has been reported to be associated with insulin resistance and micro/macrovascular diabetic complications, and may predict cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetic patients. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 (DDAH1) is the major enzyme eliminating ADMA in humans, but the effect of genetic variations in DDAH1 on type 2 diabetes and its long-term outcome are unknown.
From July 2006 to June 2009, we assessed the association between polymorphisms in DDAH1 and type 2 diabetes in 814 consecutive unrelated subjects, including 309 type 2 diabetic patients and 505 non-diabetic individuals. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DDAH1, rs233112, rs1498373, rs1498374, rs587843, rs1403956, and rs1241321 were analyzed. Plasma ADMA levels were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
Among the 6 SNPs, only rs1241321 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (AA vs GG+AG, OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.47-0.86, p = 0.004). The association remained unchanged after adjustment for plasma ADMA level. The fasting plasma glucose and log HOMA-IR tended to be lower in subjects carrying the homozygous AA genotype of rs1241321 compared with the GG+AG genotypes. Over a median follow-up period of 28.2 months, there were 44 all-cause mortality and 50 major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE, including cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke). Compared with the GG and AG genotypes, the AA genotype of rs1241321 was associated with reduced risk of MACE (HR = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.11-0.90, p = 0.03) and all-cause mortality (HR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.04-0.80, p = 0.02) only in subgroup with type 2 diabetes. One common haplotype (GGCAGC) was found to be significantly associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.46-0.98, p = 0.04).
Our results provide the first evidence that SNP rs1241321 in DDAH1 is associated with type 2 diabetes and its long-term outcome.
Nanoporous alumina membranes exhibit high pore densities, well-controlled and uniform pore sizes, as well as straight pores. Owing to these unusual properties, nanoporous alumina membranes are currently being considered for use in implantable sensor membranes and water purification membranes. Atomic layer deposition is a thin-film growth process that may be used to modify the pore size in a nanoporous alumina membrane while retaining a narrow pore distribution. In addition, films deposited by means of atomic layer deposition may impart improved biological functionality to nanoporous alumina membranes. In this study, zinc oxide coatings and platinum coatings were deposited on nanoporous alumina membranes by means of atomic layer deposition. PEGylated nanoporous alumina membranes were prepared by self-assembly of 1-mercaptoundec-11-yl hexa(ethylene glycol) on platinum-coated nanoporous alumina membranes. The pores of the PEGylated nanoporous alumina membranes remained free of fouling after exposure to human platelet-rich plasma; protein adsorption, fibrin networks and platelet aggregation were not observed on the coated membrane surface. Zinc oxide-coated nanoporous alumina membranes demonstrated activity against two waterborne pathogens, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The results of this work indicate that nanoporous alumina membranes may be modified using atomic layer deposition for use in a variety of medical and environmental health applications.
atomic layer deposition; self-assembly; nanoporous alumina; antimicrobial; antifouling
Survival of arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) in hemodialysis patients is associated with both far infrared (FIR) therapy and length polymorphisms of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) promoter. In this study, we evaluated whether there is an interaction between FIR radiation and HO-1 in regulating vascular inflammation.
Methods and Results
Treatment of cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (ECs) with FIR radiation stimulated HO-1 protein, mRNA, and promoter activity. HO-1 induction was dependent on the activation of the antioxidant responsive element/NF-E2-related factor-2 complex, and was likely a consequence of heat stress. FIR radiation also inhibited tumor necrosis factor-α-mediated expression of E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukin-8, and the cytokine-mediated adhesion of monocytes to ECs. The anti-inflammatory action of FIR was mimicked by bilirubin, and was reversed by the HO inhibitor, tin protoporphyrin-IX, or by the selective knockdown of HO-1. Finally, the anti-inflammatory effect of FIR was also observed in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
These results demonstrate that FIR therapy exerts a potent anti-inflammatory effect via the induction of HO-1. The ability of FIR therapy to inhibit inflammation may play a critical role in preserving blood flow and patency of AVFs in hemodialysis patients.
endothelium; far infrared therapy; inflammation; leukocyte adhesion
OBJECTIVE—Heme oxygenase (HO) leads to the generation of free iron, carbon monoxide, and bilirubin. A length polymorphism of GT repeats in the promoter of human HO-1 gene has been shown to modulate gene transcription. The aim of this study was to assess the association of the length of (GT)n repeats in the HO-1 gene promoter with serum bilirubin, markers of iron status, and the development of coronary artery disease (CAD).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We screened the allelic frequencies of (GT)n repeats in the HO-1 gene promoter in 986 unrelated individuals who underwent coronary angiography. Serum bilirubin and markers of iron status were evaluated.
RESULTS—The distribution of numbers of (GT)n repeats was divided into two subclasses: class S included shorter (<27) repeats, and class L included longer (≥27) repeats. Among those with diabetes, subjects with the L/L genotype had significantly lower bilirubin levels than those with S/S and S/L genotypes (0.70 ± 0.22 vs. 0.81 ± 0.24 mg/dl, P = 0.001) and higher serum ferritin values (4.76 ± 0.72 vs. 4.28 ± 1.05 μg/l for log ferritin, P = 0.001). Compared with those carrying the S allele, diabetic subjects with the L/L genotype had an almost threefold increase in CAD risk after controlling for conventional risk factors (odds ratio 2.81, [95% CI 1.22–6.47], P = 0.015). With adjustment for both serum bilirubin and ferritin, the effect of HO-1 promoter polymorphism on susceptibility to CAD disappeared.
CONCLUSIONS—Length polymorphism in the HO-1 gene promoter is correlated with susceptibility to CAD in diabetic patients, and this effect might be conveyed through its influence on serum bilirubin and ferritin.
Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and post-angioplasty restenosis. Berberine is a well-known component of the Chinese herb medicine Huanglian (Coptis chinensis), and is capable of inhibiting SMC contraction and proliferation, yet the exact mechanism is unknown. We therefore investigated the effect of berberine on SMC growth after mechanic injury in vitro. DNA synthesis and cell proliferation assay were performed to show that berberine inhibited serum-stimulated rat aortic SMC growth in a concentration-dependent manner. Mechanical injury with sterile pipette tip stimulated the regrowth of SMCs. Treatment with berberine prevented the regrowth and migration of SMCs into the denuded trauma zone. Western blot analysis showed that activation of the MEK1/2 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and up-regulation of early growth response gene (Egr-1), c-Fos and Cyclin D1 were observed sequentially after mechanic injury in vitro. Semi-quantitative reverse-transcription PCR assay further confirmed the increase of Egr-1, c-Fos, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and Cyclin D1 expression in a transcriptional level. However, berberine significantly attenuated MEK/ERK activation and downstream target (Egr-1, c-Fos, Cyclin D1 and PDGF-A) expression after mechanic injury in vitro. Our study showed that berberine blocked injury-induced SMC regrowth by inactivation of ERK/Egr-1 signaling pathway thereby preventing early signaling induced by injury in vitro. The anti-proliferative properties of berberine may be useful in treating disorders due to inappropriate SMC growth.
Berberine; Early growth response gene (Egr-1); Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK); MEK1/2 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2); Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF); Vascular smooth muscle cell
Recent research indicates hypertensive patients with microalbuminuria have decreased endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and increased levels of endothelial apoptotic microparticles (EMP). However, whether these changes are related to a subsequent decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) remains unclear.
Methods and Results
We enrolled totally 100 hypertensive out-patients with eGFR ≥30 mL/min/1.73 m2. The mean annual rate of GFR decline (△GFR/y) was −1.49±3.26 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year during the follow-up period (34±6 months). Flow cytometry was used to assess circulating EPC (CD34+/KDR+) and EMP levels (CD31+/annexin V+) in peripheral blood. The △GFR/y was correlated with the EMP to EPC ratio (r = −0.465, p<0.001), microalbuminuria (r = −0.329, p = 0.001), and the Framingham risk score (r = −0.245, p = 0.013). When we divided the patients into 4 groups according to the EMP to EPC ratio, there was an association between the EMP to EPC ratio and the ΔGFR/y (mean ΔGFR/y: 0.08±3.04 vs. −0.50±2.84 vs. −1.25±2.49 vs. −4.42±2.82, p<0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that increased EMP to EPC ratio is an independent predictor of ΔeGFR/y.
An increased circulating EMP to EPC ratio is associated with subsequent decline in GFR in hypertensive patients, which suggests endothelial damage with reduced vascular repair capacity may contribute to further deterioration of renal function in patients with hypertension.
The epidemiology of idiopathic central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) is not well understood in an Asian population. The present study aimed to investigate the incidence and risk factors for corticosteroid-unrelated CSCR using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database.
Methods and Results
From 2001 to 2006, a total of 786 patients (500 [63.6%] males) who were newly diagnosed with CSCR, aged from 20 to 64 years and had no history of corticosteroid prescription were identified as incident cases of idiopathic CSCR. 3606 age-, gender-, and enrollment time-matched subjects were randomly selected as the control group. The mean annual incidence was 0.21‰ (0.27‰ for males, and 0.15‰ for females; P<0.001), with a male/female ratio of 1.74. The peak incidence was in the 35- to 39-year-old age group (0.30‰), followed by the 40- to 44-year-old age group (0.26‰). Males had a significantly higher mean annual incidence than female only in the middle age groups. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) for potential risk factors of idiopathic CSCR. Only exposure to anti-anxiety drugs (OR, 1.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.09–2.44) was found to be independently associated with idiopathic CSCR among males. No risk factors of idiopathic CSCR were found for females.
This study provides the nationwide, population-based data on the incidence of idiopathic CSCR in adult Asians, and suggests that exposure to anti-anxiety drugs is an independent risk factor for idiopathic CSCR among males.
Precise mechanisms of atrial fibrillation (AF) are uncertain, but their association with esophageal disorders has been recently proposed. The association between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the most common gastroesophageal disorder, and AF remains undetermined. We therefore aimed to investigate the association between GERD and later development of AF.
Methods and Results
Patients with GERD were identified from the 1,000,000-person cohort dataset sampled from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. The study cohort comprised 29,688 newly diagnosed adult GERD patients; 29,597 randomly selected age-, gender-, comobidity-matched subjects comprised the comparison cohort. Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed as a means of comparing the AF-free survival rate for the two cohorts. During a maximum three years of follow-up, a total of 351 patients experienced AF, including 184 (0.62%) patients in the GERD cohort and 167 (0.56%) in the control group. The log-rank test showed that patients with GERD had significantly higher incidence of AF than those without GERD (p = 0.024). After Cox proportional hazard regression model analysis, GERD was independently associated with the increased risk of AF (hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% confidence interval, 1.06–1.61, p = 0.013).
GERD was independently associated with an increased risk of future AF in a nationwide population-based cohort.
Far infra-red (IFR) therapy was shown to exert beneficial effects in cardiovascular system, but effects of IFR on endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) and EPC-related vasculogenesis remain unclear. We hypothesized that IFR radiation can restore blood flow recovery in ischemic hindlimb in diabetic mice by enhancement of EPCs functions and homing process.
Materials and methods
Starting at 4 weeks after the onset of diabetes, unilateral hindlimb ischemia was induced in streptozotocine (STZ)-induced diabetic mice, which were divided into control and IFR therapy groups (n = 6 per group). The latter mice were placed in an IFR dry sauna at 34°C for 30 min once per day for 5 weeks.
Doppler perfusion imaging demonstrated that the ischemic limb/normal side blood perfusion ratio in the thermal therapy group was significantly increased beyond that in controls, and significantly greater capillary density was seen in the IFR therapy group. Flow cytometry analysis showed impaired EPCs (Sca-1+/Flk-1+) mobilization after ischemia surgery in diabetic mice with or without IFR therapy (n = 6 per group). However, as compared to those in the control group, bone marrow-derived EPCs differentiated into endothelial cells defined as GFP+/CD31+ double-positive cells were significantly increased in ischemic tissue around the vessels in diabetic mice that received IFR radiation. In in-vitro studies, cultured EPCs treated with IFR radiation markedly augmented high glucose-impaired EPC functions, inhibited high glucose-induced EPC senescence and reduced H2O2 production. Nude mice received human EPCs treated with IFR in high glucose medium showed a significant improvement in blood flow recovery in ischemic limb compared to those without IFR therapy. IFR therapy promoted blood flow recovery and new vessel formation in STZ-induced diabetic mice.
Administration of IFR therapy promoted collateral flow recovery and new vessel formation in STZ-induced diabetic mice, and these beneficial effects may derive from enhancement of EPC functions and homing process.
Far infra-red therapy; Endothelial progenitor cell; Diabetes; Ischemia
Enhanced reactive oxygen species formation within the kidney following the administration of contrast media may play a key role in the development of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). Bilirubin has emerged as an important endogenous antioxidant molecule. This study was undertaken to determine whether bilirubin is associated with CIN and future cardiovascular events in patients undergoing coronary intervention.
Totally, 544 consecutive patients received coronary intervention were enrolled. All patients were followed up for at least 3 years or until the occurrence of a major event. The primary endpoint was CIN, defined as a rise in serum creatinine (SCr) of 0.5 mg/dl or a 25% increase from the baseline value within 48 hours after the procedure. The secondary endpoint was the combined occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke.
Overall, CIN occurred in 85 (15.6%) patients. All patients were stratified into 3 groups (low/normal/high) according to the serum bilirubin levels. In a multivariate logistic analysis, the odds ratio for CIN with low-bilirubin levels relative to high-bilirubin levels was 11.82 (95% CI, 3.25–43.03). By Cox regression analysis, serum bilirubin levels was an independent predictor of MACE in patients undergoing coronary intervention (low vs. high hazard ratio 2.26; 95% CI, 1.05–4.90).
CIN is a serious complication of coronary intervention. Higher serum bilirubin concentrations were associated with lower risk of CIN and fewer cardiovascular events. The development of interventions that promote bilirubin levels may be a potential target to reduce CIN and future MACE in patients undergoing coronary intervention.
Bisphosphonates are a class of pharmacologic compounds that are commonly used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis and malignant osteolytic processes. Studies have shown that bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a significant role in postnatal neovascularization. Whether the nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate zoledronate inhibits ischemia-induced neovascularization by modulating EPC functions remains unclear.
Unilateral hindlimb ischemia was surgically induced in wild-type mice after 2 weeks of treatment with vehicle or zoledronate (low-dose: 30 μg/kg; high-dose: 100 μg/kg). Doppler perfusion imaging demonstrated that the ischemic limb/normal side blood perfusion ratio was significantly lower in wild-type mice treated with low-dose zoledronate and in mice treated with high-dose zoledronate than in controls 4 weeks after ischemic surgery (control vs. low-dose vs. high-dose: 87±7% vs. *61±18% vs. **49±17%, *p<0.01, **p<0.005 compared to control). Capillary densities were also significantly lower in mice treated with low-dose zoledronate and in mice treated with high-dose zoledronate than in control mice. Flow cytometry analysis showed impaired mobilization of EPC-like cells (Sca-1+/Flk-1+) after surgical induction of ischemia in mice treated with zoledronate but normal levels of mobilization in mice treated with vehicle. In addition, ischemic tissue from mice that received zoledronate treatment exhibited significantly lower levels of the active form of MMP-9, lower levels of VEGF, and lower levels of phosphorylated eNOS and phosphorylated Akt than ischemic tissue from mice that received vehicle. Results of the in vitro studies showed that incubation with zoledronate inhibited the viability, migration, and tube-forming capacities of EPC.
Zoledronate inhibited ischemia-induced neovascularization by impairing EPC mobilization and angiogenic functions. These findings suggest that administration of zoledronate should be withheld in patients with ischemic events such as acute limb ischemia.
Hypertension is a complex disorder with high prevalence rates all over the world. We conducted the first genome-wide gene-based association scan for hypertension in a Han Chinese population. By analyzing genome-wide single-nucleotide-polymorphism data of 400 matched pairs of young-onset hypertensive patients and normotensive controls genotyped with the Illumina HumanHap550-Duo BeadChip, 100 susceptibility genes for hypertension were identified and also validated with permutation tests. Seventeen of the 100 genes exhibited differential allelic and expression distributions between patient and control groups. These genes provided a good molecular signature for classifying hypertensive patients and normotensive controls. Among the 17 genes, IGF1, SLC4A4, WWOX, and SFMBT1 were not only identified by our gene-based association scan and gene expression analysis but were also replicated by a gene-based association analysis of the Hong Kong Hypertension Study. Moreover, cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci associated with the differentially expressed genes were found and linked to hypertension. IGF1, which encodes insulin-like growth factor 1, is associated with cardiovascular disorders, metabolic syndrome, decreased body weight/size, and changes of insulin levels in mice. SLC4A4, which encodes the electrogenic sodium bicarbonate cotransporter 1, is associated with decreased body weight/size and abnormal ion homeostasis in mice. WWOX, which encodes the WW domain-containing protein, is related to hypoglycemia and hyperphosphatemia. SFMBT1, which encodes the scm-like with four MBT domains protein 1, is a novel hypertension gene. GRB14, TMEM56 and KIAA1797 exhibited highly significant differential allelic and expressed distributions between hypertensive patients and normotensive controls. GRB14 was also found relevant to blood pressure in a previous genetic association study in East Asian populations. TMEM56 and KIAA1797 may be specific to Taiwanese populations, because they were not validated by the two replication studies. Identification of these genes enriches the collection of hypertension susceptibility genes, thereby shedding light on the etiology of hypertension in Han Chinese populations.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with advanced atherosclerosis and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence suggests that injured endothelial monolayer is regenerated by circulating bone marrow derived-endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), and levels of circulating EPCs reflect vascular repair capacity. However, the relation between NAFLD and EPC remains unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) might have decreased endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) levels and attenuated EPC function.
Methods and Results
A total of 312 consecutive patients undergoing elective coronary angiography because of suspected coronary artery disease were screened and received examinations of abdominal ultrasonography between July 2009 and November 2010. Finally, 34 patients with an ultrasonographic diagnosis of NAFLD, and 68 age- and sex-matched controls without NAFLD were enrolled. Flow cytometry with quantification of EPC markers (defined as CD34+, CD34+KDR+, and CD34+KDR+CD133+) in peripheral blood samples was used to assess circulating EPC numbers. The adhesive function, and migration, and tube formation capacities of EPCs were also determined in NAFLD patients and controls. Patients with NAFLD had a significantly higher incidence of metabolic syndrome, previous myocardial infarction, hyperuricemia, and higher waist circumference, body mass index, fasting glucose and triglyceride levels. In addition, patients with NAFLD had significantly decreased circulating EPC levels (all P<0.05), attenuated EPC functions, and enhanced systemic inflammation compared to controls. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that circulating EPC level (CD34+KDR+ [cells/105 events]) was an independent reverse predictor of NAFLD (Odds ratio: 0.78; 95% confidence interval: 0.69–0.89, P<0.001).
NAFLD patients have decreased circulating EPC numbers and functions than those without NAFLD, which may be one of the mechanisms to explain atherosclerotic disease progression and enhanced cardiovascular risk in patients with NAFLD.
Dilute ethanol (EtOH) is a widely used agent to remove the corneal epithelium during the modern refractive surgery. The application of EtOH may cause the underlying corneal fibroblasts to undergo apoptosis. This study was designed to investigate the protective effect and potential mechanism of the respiratory chain coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an electron transporter of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and a ubiquitous free radical scavenger, against EtOH-induced apoptosis of corneal fibroblasts. Corneal fibroblasts were pretreated with CoQ10 (10 µM) for 2 h, followed by exposure to different concentrations of EtOH (0.4, 2, 4, and 20%) for 20 s. After indicated incubation period (2–12 h), MTT assay was used to examine cell viability. Treated cells were further assessed by flow cytometry to identify apoptosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the change in mitochondrial membrane potential were assessed using dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate/2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein (DCFH-DA/DCF) assays and flow-cytometric analysis of JC-1 staining, respectively. The activity and expression of caspases 2, 3, 8, and 9 were evaluated with a colorimetric assay and western blot analysis. We found that EtOH treatment significantly decreased the viability of corneal fibroblasts characterized by a higher percentage of apoptotic cells. CoQ10 could antagonize the apoptosis inducing effect of EtOH. The inhibition of cell apoptosis by CoQ10 was significant at 8 and 12 h after EtOH exposure. In EtOH-exposed corneal fibroblasts, CoQ10 pretreatment significantly reduced mitochondrial depolarization and ROS production at 30, 60, 90, and 120 min and inhibited the activation and expression of caspases 2 and 3 at 2 h after EtOH exposure. In summary, pretreatment with CoQ10 can inhibit mitochondrial depolarization, caspase activation, and cell apoptosis. These findings support the proposition that CoQ10 plays an antiapoptotic role in corneal fibroblasts after ethanol exposure.
The use of microneedles for transdermal drug delivery is limited due to the risk of infection associated with formation of channels through the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis. The risk of infection associated with use of microneedles may be reduced by imparting these devices with antimicrobial properties. In this study, a photopolymerization-micromolding technique was used to fabricate microneedle arrays from a photosensitive material containing polyethylene glycol 600 diacrylate, gentamicin sulfate, and a photoinitiator. Scanning electron microscopy indicated that the photopolymerization-micromolding process produced microneedle arrays that exhibited good microneedle-to-microneedle uniformity. An agar plating assay revealed that microneedles fabricated with polyethylene glycol 600 diacrylate containing 2 mg mL−1 gentamicin sulfate inhibited growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Scanning electron microscopy revealed no platelet aggregation on the surfaces of platelet rich plasma-exposed undoped polyethylene glycol 600 diacrylate microneedles and gentamicin-doped polyethylene glycol 600 diacrylate microneedles. These efforts will enable wider adoption of microneedles for transdermal delivery of pharmacologic agents.
Young-onset hypertension has a stronger genetic component than late-onset counterpart; thus, the identification of genes related to its susceptibility is a critical issue for the prevention and management of this disease. We carried out a two-stage association scan to map young-onset hypertension susceptibility genes. The first-stage analysis, a genome-wide association study, analyzed 175 matched case-control pairs; the second-stage analysis, a confirmatory association study, verified the results at the first stage based on a total of 1,008 patients and 1,008 controls. Single-locus association tests, multilocus association tests and pair-wise gene-gene interaction tests were performed to identify young-onset hypertension susceptibility genes. After considering stringent adjustments of multiple testing, gene annotation and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) quality, four SNPs from two SNP triplets with strong association signals (−log10(p)>7) and 13 SNPs from 8 interactive SNP pairs with strong interactive signals (−log10(p)>8) were carefully re-examined. The confirmatory study verified the association for a SNP quartet 219 kb and 495 kb downstream of LOC344371 (a hypothetical gene) and RASGRP3 on chromosome 2p22.3, respectively. The latter has been implicated in the abnormal vascular responsiveness to endothelin-1 and angiotensin II in diabetic-hypertensive rats. Intrinsic synergy involving IMPG1 on chromosome 6q14.2-q15 was also verified. IMPG1 encodes interphotoreceptor matrix proteoglycan 1 which has cation binding capacity. The genes are novel hypertension targets identified in this first genome-wide hypertension association study of the Han Chinese population.