Uniformly-sized preparations with average microbubble (MB) diameters from 1 µm to 7 µm were produced reliably by sonicating decafluorobutane-saturated solutions of serum albumin and dextrose. Detailed protocols for producing and size-separating the MBs are presented, along with the effects that changing each production parameter (serum albumin concentration, sonication power, sonication time, etc.) had on MB size distribution and acoustic stability. These protocols can be used to produce MBs for experimental applications or serve as templates for developing new protocols that yield MBs with physical and acoustic properties better suited to specific applications. Size stability and ultrasonic performance quality control tests were developed to assure that successive MB preparations perform identically and to distinguish the physical and acoustic properties of identically sized MBs produced with different serum albumin-dextrose formulations and sonication parameters. MBs can be stored at 5°C for protracted periods (2 weeks to one year depending on formulation).
microbubble; ultrasound; contrast agent; production; sonication; cavitation
Nitric Oxide (NO) plays a critical role in diverse physiological and pathological processes. We show that a hypomorphic mouse model of argininosuccinate lyase (Asl) deficiency exhibits a distinct phenotype manifest by multi-organ dysfunction and NO deficiency. Loss of Asl leads to reduced NO synthesis due to decreased endogenous arginine synthesis as well as reduced utilization of extracellular arginine for NO production in both humans and mice. Hence, ASL as seen in other species through evolution has a structural function in addition to its catalytic activity. Importantly, therapy with nitrite rescued the tissue autonomous NO deficiency in hypomorphic Asl mice, while a NOS independent NO donor restored NO-dependent vascular reactivity in subjects with ASL deficiency. Our data demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for ASL in NOS function and NO homeostasis. Hence, ASL may serve as a target for manipulating NO production in experimental models, as well as treatment of NO-related diseases.
Ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) are intravenously infused microbubbles that add definition to ultrasonic images. Ultrasound contrast agents continue to show clinical promise in cardiovascular imaging, but their biological effects are not known with confidence. We used a cholesterol-fed rabbit model to evaluate these effects when used in conjunction with ultrasound (US) to image the descending aorta.
Male New Zealand White rabbits (n = 41) were weaned onto an atherogenic diet containing 1% cholesterol, 10% fat, and 0.11% magnesium. At 21 days, rabbits were exposed to contrast US at 1 of 4 pressure levels using either the UCA Definity (Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc, North Billerica, MA) or a saline control (n = 5 per group). Blood samples were collected and analyzed for lipids and von Willebrand factor (vWF), a marker of endothelial function. Animals were euthanized at 42 days, and tissues were collected for histologic analysis.
After adjustment for pre-exposure vWF, high-level US (in situ [at the aorta] peak rarefactional pressure of 1.4 or 2.1 MPa) resulted in significantly lower vWF 1 hour post exposure (P = .0127; Padj < .0762). This difference disappeared within 24 hours. Atheroma thickness in the descending aorta was lower in animals receiving the UCA compared to animals receiving saline.
Contrast US affected the descending aorta, as evidenced by two separate outcome measures. These results may be a first step in elucidating a previously unknown biological effect of UCAs. Further research is warranted to characterize the effects of this procedure.
analysis of covariance; atherosclerosis; biomarkers; contrast media; endothelium; microbubbles; ultrasound
Gamunex 10% (Talecris Biotherapeutics, Research Triangle Park, NC), a commercially available preparation of pooled human immunoglobulin G, has been proposed as an antitoxin therapy against bacterial toxins released in infectious endophthalmitis. Its biocompatibility with two commonly used intraocular infusion fluids was evaluated to determine feasibility of its clinical application in endophthalmitis treatment.
Gamunex 10% was mixed with BSS or BSS Plus (Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, TX) such that it constituted a range of 1.25%–50% by volume. Osmolality, pH, optical density, and ionic strength were measured across this range of concentrations.
The amount of pH reduction with increasing concentrations of Gamunex 10% was similar for both BSS and BSS Plus. In BSS Plus, solutions containing up to 20% by volume of Gamunex 10% remained at near-physiologic pH (∼7.0 or above). No physiologically significant changes in osmolality or optical density measurements that would be anticipated to have profound physiological effects were observed at any of the measured concentrations, nor was there visual evidence of tubidity/precipitation. A gradual increase in ionic strength was observed with increasing concentrations of Gamunex 10%.
Potentially therapeutic mixtures of Gamunex 10% in 2 commonly used intraocular infusion fluids, BSS and BSS Plus, showed no evidence of bioincompatibility when the solutions were evaluated for changes in osmolality, pH, ionic strength, aggregation, or precipitation.
The interaction of ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) and ultrasound (US) provides a way to spatially and temporally target tissues. Recently, UCAs have been used therapeutically to induce localized angiogenesis. Ultrasound contrast agents, however, have been documented to induce negative bioeffects. To further understand the balance of risks and benefits of UCAs and to examine the mechanism of US-UCA–induced angiogenesis, this study explored the role of UCAs, in particular Definity (Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc, North Billerica, MA), in producing an angiogenic response.
The gracilis muscles of Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to 1-MHz US. The rats were euthanized the same day or allowed to recover for 3 or 6 days post exposure (DPE). Ultrasound peak rarefactional pressures (Prs) of 0.25, 0.83, 1.4, and 2.0 MPa were used while rats were infused with either saline or Definity. Assessments for angiogenesis included capillary density, inflammation, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), both acutely (0 DPE) and at 3 and 6 DPE.
The results of this study suggest that the angiogenic response is dependent on infusion media, Pr, and DPE. While capillary density did not reach significance, VEGF expression was significant for infusion media, Pr, and DPE with inflammation co-occurrence (P < .05).
These results suggest that the angiogenic response is elicited by a mechanical effect of US-UCA stimulation of VEGF that is potentially optimized when collapse occurs.
angiogenesis; proangiogenic therapy; therapeutic ultrasound; ultrasound contrast agent; ultrasound-induced bioeffects; vascular endothelial growth factor
In vivo estimations of the frequency-dependent acoustic attenuation (α) and backscatter (η) coefficients using radio frequency (RF) echoes acquired with clinical ultrasound systems must be independent of the data acquisition setup and the estimation procedures. In a recent in vivo assessment of these parameters in rodent mammary tumors, overall agreement was observed among α and η estimates using data from four clinical imaging systems. In some cases, particularly in highly attenuating heterogeneous tumors, multi-system variability was observed. This paper compares α and η estimates of a well-characterized rodent-tumor-mimicking homogeneous phantom scanned using 7 transducers with the same four clinical imaging systems: a Siemens Acuson S2000, an Ultrasonix RP, a Zonare Z.one, and a VisualSonics Vevo2100. α and η estimates of lesion-mimicking spheres in the phantom were independently assessed by three research groups, who analyzed their system’s RF echo signals. Imaging-system-based estimates of α and η of both lesion-mimicking spheres were comparable to through-transmission laboratory estimates and to predictions using Faran’s theory, respectively. A few notable variations in results among the clinical systems were observed, but the average and maximum percent difference between α estimates and laboratory-assessed values was 11% and 29%, respectively. Excluding a single outlier dataset, the average and maximum average difference between η estimates for the clinical systems and values predicted from scattering theory was 16% and 33%, respectively. These results were an improvement over previous inter-laboratory comparisons of attenuation and backscatter estimates. Although the standardization of our estimation methodologies can be further improved, this study validates our results from previous rodent breast-tumor model studies.
Attenuation coefficient; backscatter coefficient; phantom; quantitative ultrasound
Three-dimensional impedance maps (3DZMs) are virtual volumes of acoustic impedance values constructed from histology to represent tissue microstructure acoustically. From the 3DZM, the ultrasonic backscattered power spectrum can be predicted and model based scatterer properties, such as effective scatterer diameter (ESD), can be estimated. Additionally, the 3DZM can be exploited to visualize and identify possible scattering sites, which may aid in the development of more effective scattering models to better represent the ultrasonic interaction with underlying tissue microstructure. In this study, 3DZMs were created from a set of human fibroadenoma samples. ESD estimates were made assuming a fluid-filled sphere form factor model from 3DZMs of volume 300 × 300 × 300 µm. For a collection of 33 independent human fibroadenoma tissue samples, the ESD was estimated to be 111 ± 40.7 µm. The 3DZMs were then investigated visually to identify possible scattering sources which conformed to the estimated model scatterer dimensions. This estimation technique allowed a better understanding of the spatial distribution and variability of the estimates throughout the volume.
Biomedical ultrasound; tissue modeling; ultra-sonic backscatter analysis; ultrasound simulation
Ultrasound (US) and ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) provide a way to noninvasively induce targeted angiogenesis. However, there exists a lack of understanding regarding the mechanisms of this process that has impeded progress. This study sought to characterize the angiogenic response, by both exploring the role of UCA concentration ([UCA]) in bioeffect induction at 0 days post exposure (DPE) and assessing the bioeffect as a possible potentiator of angiogenesis at 5 DPE.
A 1-MHz ultrasonic transducer was used to expose the gracilis muscles of Sprague Dawley rats for 5 min with a 10-μs pulse duration, 10-Hz pulse repetition frequency, and 0.7-MPa peak rarefactional acoustic pressure (pr). Four [UCA]s were tested: 0x (saline), 1×, 5×, and 10×, where 1× is 5% Definity by volume of solution. Evans blue dye (EBD) was used to quantify changes in acute vascular permeability (0 DPE), and VEGF expression was quantified at 5 DPE to support that angiogenesis had occurred. CD31 staining was used to assess capillary density at both time points.
[UCA] was a significant parameter for determining EBD leakage (permeability) and VEGF expression (p < 0.001 for both). However, [UCA] was not a significant parameter for capillary density at 0 or 5 DPE. Multiple comparisons between 0 and 5 DPE showed that only 10× [UCA] at 5 DPE was significantly different than 0 DPE, suggesting a [UCA] dependence of the angiogenic response.
This study suggests that [UCA] was a significant parameter in the induction of an angiogenic response with US and UCAs. It also suggests that rather than damage from US and UCAs, as previously speculated, a nondestructive mechanical interaction between the UCAs and vascular endothelium induces bioeffects to potentiate the angiogenic response.
Angiogenesis; VEGF; Ultrasound-induced bioeffects; Ultrasound contrast agent; Proangiogenic therapy; Therapeutic ultrasound
TP-434 is a novel, broad-spectrum fluorocycline antibiotic with activity against bacteria expressing major antibiotic resistance mechanisms, including tetracycline-specific efflux and ribosomal protection. The mechanism of action of TP-434 was assessed using both cell-based and in vitro assays. In Escherichia coli cells expressing recombinant tetracycline resistance genes, the MIC of TP-434 (0.063 μg/ml) was unaffected by tet(M), tet(K), and tet(B) and increased to 0.25 and 4 μg/ml in the presence of tet(A) and tet(X), respectively. Tetracycline, in contrast, was significantly less potent (MIC ≥ 128 μg/ml) against E. coli cells when any of these resistance mechanisms were present. TP-434 showed potent inhibition in E. coli in vitro transcription/translation (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 0.29 ± 0.09 μg/ml) and [3H]tetracycline ribosome-binding competition (IC50 = 0.22 ± 0.07 μM) assays. The antibacterial potencies of TP-434 and all other tetracycline class antibiotics tested were reduced by 4- to 16-fold, compared to that of the wild-type control strain, against Propionibacterium acnes strains carrying a 16S rRNA mutation, G1058C, a modification that changes the conformation of the primary binding site of tetracycline in the ribosome. Taken together, the findings support the idea that TP-434, like other tetracyclines, binds the ribosome and inhibits protein synthesis and that this activity is largely unaffected by the common tetracycline resistance mechanisms.
To determine whether NOX 5 is expressed in rabbit corneal stromal cells (RCSC). NADPH oxidases (NOXes) are enzymes that preferentially use NADPH as a substrate and generate superoxide. Several isoforms of NOXes function as multi-protein complexes while NOX5 and DUOXs do not require the accessory proteins for their activity and possess calcium binding EF hands.
Human NOX5 primers were used to amplify the rabbit NOX5 by RT-PCR. Amplified product was sequenced to confirm its identity. The protein encoded by the NOX5 was identified by western blot analysis. NOX5 siRNA was used to reduce transcript, protein, and calcium stimulated activity. In silico analyses were performed to establish the putative structure, functions, and evolution of rabbit NOX5.
NOX activity was measured in RCSC with NADPH rather than NADH as a substrate. RT-PCR with NOX5 primers amplified 288 bp product using RCSC cDNA, which, when sequenced, confirmed its identity to human NOX5 mRNA. This sequence was used to predict the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) NOX5 gene. NOX5 siRNA reduced amounts of NOX5 mRNA in RCSC and reduced ionomycin stimulated superoxide production. A protein of about 65 to 70 kDa encoded by the NOX5 was detected by western blot analysis. In silico analysis predicted a putative rabbit NOX5 protein containing 801 amino acids. Motif searches predicted the presence of at least 3 putative EF-hands in N-terminus and a NOX domain in C terminal region.
The data document that the NOX5 gene was expressed in cells of lagomorphs unlike rodents, making the rabbit an interesting model to study NOX5 functions. The activity of the rabbit NOX5 was calcium stimulated, a trait of NOX5 in general. NOX5 may also prove to be a useful genetic marker for studying the taxonomic position of lagomorphs and the Glires classification.
Age-dependent threshold and superthreshold behaviors of ultrasound-induced lung hemorrhage were investigated with one hundred ten 12.6±0.8-day-old rats, one hundred ten 22.9±0.8-day-old rats, and one hundred 57.7±3.9-day-old rats. Exposure conditions were: 2.8 MHz, 10-s exposure duration, 1-kHz pulse repetition frequency and 1.3-μs pulse duration. The in situ (at the pleural surface) peak rarefactional pressure (pr(insitu)) ranged between 1.4 and 10.8 MPa for which there were either 9 or 10 acoustic pressure groups for each of the three rat ages (10 rats/exposure group). For each of the three rat ages there were also shams; there were no lesions in the shams. The pr(insitu) levels were randomized within each age group; rat age was not randomized. Individuals involved in animal handling, exposure, and lesion scoring were blinded to the exposure condition. In addition, one hundred fifty six 72-day-old rats were included from three completed studies (same experimental conditions) to provide a fourth age group for the analysis. Probit regression analysis was used to examine the dependence of the occurrence of lesions on pr(insitu) in the four age groups. Likewise, lesion depth and lesion root surface area were analyzed using Gaussian tobit regression analysis. Although pr(insitu) was a significant variable, no significant age dependence of the pr(insitu) effect was found. Furthermore, age had no significant effect on either the rate of occurrence or the depth of lesions. Given the occurrence of a lesion, a weak age dependence was found for the median surface area of the induced lesion (p-value = 0.037).
lung; pulmonary hemorrhage; pulsed ultrasound; rat
Epidemiological studies have shown dietary magnesium (Mg) intake and serum Mg levels to be inversely correlated with the development of atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that low levels of Mg would promote atherosclerotic plaque development in rabbits. New Zealand white rabbits (4 months old, n = 22) were fed an atherogenic diet containing 0.12% (−Mg), 0.27% (control), or 0.43% (+Mg) Mg for 8 weeks. Blood samples were obtained at baseline, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks and were assayed for total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), non-HDL, triglycerides (TG), C-reactive protein, serum Mg, and erythrocyte Mg. Aortas from −Mg had significantly more plaque, with an intima thickness 42% greater than control and 36% greater than +Mg. Serum cholesterol levels rose over time, and at 8 weeks, −Mg had the highest and +Mg the lowest total and non-HDL cholesterol and TG levels, although these results did not reach significance. Over time, serum Mg levels increased, and erythrocyte Mg levels decreased. C-reactive protein significantly increased in all groups at 4 and 6 weeks but returned to baseline levels by 8 weeks. This study supports the hypothesis that inadequate intake of Mg results in an increase in atherosclerotic plaque development in rabbits.
Magnesium; C-reactive protein; Cholesterol; Rabbit; Atherosclerosis
Angelman syndrome (AS) is caused by reduced or absent expression of the maternally inherited ubiquitin protein ligase 3A gene (UBE3A), which maps to chromosome 15q11–q13. UBE3A is subject to genomic imprinting in neurons in most regions of the brain. Expression of UBE3A from the maternal chromosome is essential to prevent AS, because the paternally inherited gene is not expressed, probably mediated by antisense UBE3A RNA. We hypothesized that increasing methylation might reduce expression of the antisense UBE3A RNA, thereby increasing UBE3A expression from the paternal gene and ameliorating the clinical phenotype. We conducted a trial using two dietary supplements, betaine and folic acid to promote global levels of methylation and attempt to activate the paternally inherited UBE3A gene. We performed a number of investigations at regular intervals including general clinical and developmental evaluations, biochemical determinations on blood and urine, and electroencephalographic studies. We report herein the data on 48 children with AS who were enrolled in a double-blind placebo-controlled protocol using betaine and folic acid for 1 year. There were no statistically significant changes between treated and untreated children; however, in a small subset of patients we observed some positive trends.
Angelman syndrome; methylation; high dose folic acid; betaine; imprinting disorders; treatment; promotion of methylation
An estimated up to 7% of high-risk cardiac surgery patients return to the operating room for bleeding. Aprotinin was used extensively as an antifibrinolytic agent in cardiac surgery patients for over 15 years and it showed efficacy in reducing bleeding. Aprotinin was removed from the market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after a large prospective, randomized clinical trial documented an increased mortality risk associated with the drug. Further debate arose when a meta-analysis of 211 randomized controlled trials showed no risk of renal failure or death associated with aprotinin. However, only patients with normal kidney function have been studied.
In this study, we look at a single center clinical trial using patients with varying degrees of baseline kidney function to answer the question: Does aprotinin increase odds of death given varying levels of preoperative kidney dysfunction?
Based on our model, aprotinin use was associated with a 3.8-fold increase in odds of death one year later compared to no aprotinin use with p-value = 0.0018, regardless of level of preoperative kidney dysfunction after adjusting for other perioperative variables.
Lessons learned from our experience using aprotinin in the perioperative setting as an antifibrinolytic during open cardiac surgery should guide us in testing future antifibrinolytic drugs for not only efficacy of preventing bleeding, but for overall safety to the whole organism using long-term clinical outcome studies, including those with varying degree of baseline kidney function.
complex cardiac surgery; aprotinin; bleeding; renal dysfunction; mortality; antifibrinolytic drugs
To translate quantitative ultrasound (QUS) from the laboratory into the clinic, it is necessary to demonstrate that the measurements are platform independent. Because the backscatter coefficient (BSC) is the fundamental estimate from which additional QUS estimates are calculated, agreement between BSC results using different systems must be demonstrated. This study was an intercomparison of BSCs from in vivo spontaneous rat mammary tumors acquired by different groups using 3 clinical array systems and a single-element laboratory scanner system.
Radio frequency data spanning the 1- to 14-MHz frequency range were acquired in 3 dimensions from all animals using each system. Each group processed their radio frequency data independently, and the resulting BSCs were compared. The rat tumors were diagnosed as either carcinoma or fibroadenoma.
Carcinoma BSC results exhibited small variations between the multiple slices acquired with each transducer, with similar slopes of BSC versus frequency for all systems. Somewhat larger variations were observed in fibroadenomas, although BSC variations between slices of the same tumor were of comparable magnitude to variations between transducers and systems. The root mean squared (RMS) errors between different transducers and imaging platforms were highly variable. The lowest RMS errors were observed for the fibroadenomas between 4 and 5 MHz, with an average RMS error of 4 × 10−5 cm−1Sr−1 and an average BSC value of 7.1 × 10−4 cm−1Sr−1, or approximately 5% error. The highest errors were observed for the carcinoma between 7 and 8 MHz, with an RMS error of 1.1 × 10−1 cm−1Sr−1 and an average BSC value of 3.5 × 10−2 cm−1Sr−1, or approximately 300% error.
This technical advance shows the potential for QUS technology to function with different imaging platforms.
backscatter coefficient; quantitative ultrasound; spontaneous mammary tumors
The solution to the problem of plane wave and point source scattering by two concentric fluid spheres is derived. The effect of differences in sound speed, density, and absorption coefficient is taken into account. The scattered field is then found in the limit as the outer sphere becomes an infinitely thin shell and compared to the solution for a single fluid sphere for verification. A simulation is then performed using the concentric fluid sphere solution as an approximation to the human head and compared to the solution of a single fluid sphere with the properties of either bone or water. The solutions were found to be similar outside of the spheres but differ significantly inside the spheres.
The frequency-dependent ultrasound backscatter from tissues contains information about the microstructure that can be quantified. In many cases, the anatomic microstructure details responsible for ultrasonic scattering remain unidentified. However, their identification would lead to potentially improved methodologies for characterizing tissue and diagnosing disease from ultrasonic backscatter measurements. Recently, three-dimensional (3D) acoustic models of tissue microstructure, termed 3D impedance maps (3DZMs), were introduced to help to identify scattering sources [J. Mamou, M. L. Oelze, W. D. O’Brien, Jr., and J. F. Zachary, “Identifying ultrasonic scattering sites from 3D impedance maps,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117, 413–423 (2005)]. In the current study, new 3DZM methodologies are used to model and identify scattering structures. New processing procedures (e.g., registration, interpolations) are presented that allow more accurate 3DZMs to be constructed from histology. New strategies are proposed to construct scattering models [i.e., form factor (FF)] from 3DZMs. These new methods are tested on simulated 3DZMs, and then used to evaluate 3DZMs from three different rodent tumor models. Simulation results demonstrate the ability of the extended strategies to accurately predict FFs and estimate scatterer properties. Using the 3DZM methods, distinct FFs and scatterer properties were obtained for each tumor examined.
Utrasonic backscatter is useful for characterizing tissues and several groups have reported methods for estimating backscattering properties. Previous interlaboratory comparisons have been made to test the ability to accurately estimate the backscatter coefficient (BSC) by different laboratories around the world. Results of these comparisons showed variability in BSC estimates but were acquired only for a relatively narrow frequency range, and, most importantly, lacked reference to any independent predictions from scattering theory. The goal of this study was to compare Faran-scattering-theory predictions with cooperatively-measured backscatter coefficients for low-attenuating and tissue-like attenuating phantoms containing glass sphere scatterers of different sizes for which BSCs can independently be predicted. Ultrasonic backscatter measurements were made for frequencies from 1 to 12 MHz. Backscatter coefficients were estimated using two different planar-reflector techniques at two laboratories for two groups of phantoms. Excellent agreement was observed between BSC estimates from both laboratories. In addition, good agreement with the predictions of Faran’s theory was obtained, with average fractional (bias) errors ranging from 8–14%. This interlaboratory comparison demonstrates the ability to accurately estimate parameters derived from the BSC, including an effective scatterer size and the acoustic concentration, both of which may prove useful for diagnostic applications of ultrasound tissue characterization.
Backscatter; interlaboratory comparison; tissue characterization
Sonoporation uses ultrasound (US) and ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) to enhance cell permeabilization, thereby allowing delivery of therapeutic compounds non-invasively into specific target cells. The objective of this study was to elucidate the biophysical mechanism of sonoporation, specifically the role of UCAs as well as exposure frequency. The inertial cavitation (IC) thresholds of the lipid-shelled octafluoropropane UCA were directly compared to the levels of generated sonoporation to determine the involvement of UCAs in producing sonoporation.
Chinese hamster ovary cells were exposed as a monolayer in a solution of the UCA, 500,000-Da fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran, and phosphate-buffered saline to 30 seconds of pulsed US (pulse duration, 5 cycles; pulse repetition frequency, 10 Hz) at 3 frequencies (0.92, 3.2, and 5.6 MHz). The peak rarefactional pressure (Pr) was varied over a range from 4 kPa to 4.1 MPa, and 5 to 7 independent replicates were performed at each pressure.
The experimental observations demonstrated that IC was likely not the physical mechanism for sonoporation. Sonoporation activity was observed at pressure levels below the threshold for IC of the UCA (1.27 ± 0.32 MPa at 0.92 MHz, 0.84 ± 0.19 MPa at 3.2 MHz, and 2.57 ± 0.26 MPa at 5.6 MHz) for all 3 frequencies examined. The Pr values at which the peak sonoporation activity occurred were 1.4 MPa at 0.92 MHz, 0.25 MPa at 3.2 MHz, and 2.3 MPa at 5.6 MHz. The UCA collapse thresholds followed a similar trend. A 1-way analysis of variance test confirmed that sonoporation activity differed among the 3 frequencies examined (P = 10−8).
These results thus suggest that sonoporation is related to linear and/or nonlinear oscillation of the UCA occurring at pressure levels below the IC threshold.
Chinese hamster ovary cells; inertial cavitation; sonoporation; thresholds; ultrasound contrast agent
Gene trap insertional mutagenesis was used as a high-throughput approach to discover cellular genes participating in viral infection by screening libraries of cells selected for survival from lytic infection with a variety of viruses. Cells harboring a disrupted ADAM10 (A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease 10) allele survived reovirus infection, and subsequently ADAM10 was shown by RNA interference to be important for replication of HIV-1.
Silencing ADAM10 expression with small interfering RNA (siRNA) 48 hours before infection significantly inhibited HIV-1 replication in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages and in CD4+ cell lines. In agreement, ADAM10 over-expression significantly increased HIV-1 replication. ADAM10 down-regulation did not inhibit viral reverse transcription, indicating that viral entry and uncoating are also independent of ADAM10 expression. Integration of HIV-1 cDNA was reduced in ADAM10 down-regulated cells; however, concomitant 2-LTR circle formation was not detected, suggesting that HIV-1 does not enter the nucleus. Further, ADAM10 silencing inhibited downstream reporter gene expression and viral protein translation. Interestingly, we found that while the metalloprotease domain of ADAM10 is not required for HIV-1 replication, ADAM15 and γ-secretase (which proteolytically release the extracellular and intracellular domains of ADAM10 from the plasma membrane, respectively) do support productive infection.
We propose that ADAM10 facilitates replication at the level of nuclear trafficking. Collectively, our data support a model whereby ADAM10 is cleaved by ADAM15 and γ-secretase and that the ADAM10 intracellular domain directly facilitates HIV-1 nuclear trafficking. Thus, ADAM10 represents a novel cellular target class for development of antiretroviral drugs.
The ability of ultrasound (US) and ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) to induce angiogenesis has been explored as a means of restoring blood flow to ischemic muscle. Because UCAs demonstrate an increasing percentage of collapse cavitation with increasing US pressure (Pr), this study sought to explore the effects of a US Pr that produces 100% collapse cavitation, determine the capillary density changes, and determine the time point of angiogenic rebound in a normal animal model.
Using a 1-MHz focused transducer and a peak rarefactional US Pr of 3.8 MPa, rat gracilis muscles were exposed to US, and bioeffects were assessed. Capillary density, as a measure of angiogenesis, was examined. As an additional measure, inflammatory cells were quantified via a color threshold analysis to detect the presence of CD31 and CD34 as a percentage of the total section on stained slides. Six groups (0, 3, 6, 13, 20, and 27 days postexposure [DPE]; n = 3 each) and 5 cage controls were used to characterize the angiogenic response.
Ultrasound-UCA treatment caused the capillary density to decrease acutely (0 DPE) by 70% and inflammatory cells to increase by up to 250%. The angiogenic rebound was observed at 3 DPE but did not return to control levels by 27 DPE, suggesting an incomplete healing response.
Capillary destruction and inflammation played an important role in the angiogenic response induced by US-UCA. Exposure that causes 100% collapse cavitation causes capillary destruction from which normal rats are unable to recover and suggests a nontherapeutic effect.
collapse cavitation; capillary damage; inflammation; proangiogenic therapy; therapeutic ultrasound
Cell death is an essential process in normal development and homeostasis. In
eyes, corneal epithelial injury leads to the death of cells in underlying
stroma, an event believed to initiate corneal wound healing. The molecular
basis of wound induced corneal stromal cell death is not understood in
detail. Studies of others have indicated that ceramide may play significant
role in stromal cell death following LASIK surgery. We have undertaken the
present study to investigate the mechanism of death induced by C6 ceramide
in cultures of human corneal stromal (HCSF) fibroblasts.
Cultures of HCSF were established from freshly excised corneas. Cell death
was induced in low passage (p<4) cultures of HCSF by treating the cells
with C6 ceramide or C6 dihydroceramide as a control. Cell death was assessed
by Live/Dead cell staining with calcein AM and ethidium homodimer-1 as well
as Annexin V staining, caspase activation and TUNEL staining Mitochondrial
dysfunction was assessed by Mito Sox Red, JC-1 and cytochrome C release Gene
expression was examined by qPCR and western blotting.
Our data demonstrate ceramide caused mitochondrial dysfunction as evident
from reduced MTT staining, cyto c release from
mitochondria, enhanced generation of ROS, and loss in mitochondrial membrane
potential (ΔΨm). Cell death was evident from Live -Dead
Cell staining and the inability to reestablish cultures from detached cells.
Ceramide induced the expression of the harikari gene(HRK) and up-regulated
JNK phosphorylation. In ceramide treated cells HRK was translocated to
mitochondria, where it was found to interact with mitochondrial protein p32.
The data also demonstrated HRK, p32 and BAD interaction. Ceramide-induced
expression of HRK, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death were reduced by
HRK knockdown with HRK siRNA.
Our data document that ceramide is capable of inducing death of corneal
stromal fibroblasts through the induction of HRK mediated mitochondria
von Willebrand Factor (vWF) is a multimeric plasma protein important for platelet plug formation. As part of its haemostatic role, it is released from endothelial cells during vascular stress or injury and is considered an excellent biomarker of endothelial function. Currently, there are no validated kits available to measure vWF in rabbits. We developed a sensitive and reproducible sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of vWF in rabbit plasma using commercially available antibodies and reagents. Purified human vWF was used as a calibrator standard with a dynamic range of 1.56–100 ng/mL. The Minimum Required Dilution for rabbit plasma was 1:100. When plasma was spiked with 3.76 or 10 ng/mL vWF, recovery was 108 ± 2% and 93 ± 2%, respectively. Intra- and inter-assay precision for 8 rabbit plasma samples were 3% and 4%, respectively. The Minimum Detectable Concentration was 254 pg/mL for purified human vWF and 1:10,700 dilution of cholesterol-fed rabbit plasma, and the Reliable Detection Limits were 457 pg/mL and 1:5940. Three freeze-thaw cycles significantly decreased vWF concentrations for purified human vWF and 2 of 3 plasma samples assayed. This ELISA provides sensitive and reproducible measurements of rabbit plasma vWF, which is an important biomarker for cardiovascular research.
von Willebrand Factor; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; atherosclerosis; biomarkers; endothelium; rabbits
Alternatively activated macrophages prevent lethal intestinal pathology caused by worm ova in mice infected with the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni through mechanisms that are currently unclear. This study demonstrates that arginase I (Arg I), a major product of IL-4– and IL-13–induced alternatively activated macrophages, prevents cachexia, neutrophilia, and endotoxemia during acute schistosomiasis. Specifically, Arg I-positive macrophages promote TGF-β production and Foxp3 expression, suppress Ag-specific T cell proliferation, and limit Th17 differentiation. S. mansoni-infected Arg I-deficient bone marrow chimeras develop a marked accumulation of worm ova within the ileum but impaired fecal egg excretion compared with infected wild-type bone marrow chimeras. Worm ova accumulation in the intestines of Arg I-deficient bone marrow chimeras was associated with intestinal hemorrhage and production of molecules associated with classical macrophage activation (increased production of IL-6, NO, and IL-12/IL-23p40), but whereas inhibition of NO synthase-2 has marginal effects, IL-12/IL-23p40 neutralization abrogates both cachexia and intestinal inflammation and reduces the number of ova within the gut. Thus, macrophage-derived Arg I protects hosts against excessive tissue injury caused by worm eggs during acute schistosomiasis by suppressing IL-12/IL-23p40 production and maintaining the Treg/Th17 balance within the intestinal mucosa.
We tested the hypothesis that increasing methyl-group pools might promote transcriptional repression by other methyl-binding proteins or by mutant methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 with altered affinity, ameliorating the clinical features of Rett syndrome. A 12-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled folate–betaine trial enrolled 73 methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 mutation positive female participants meeting consensus criteria for Rett syndrome. Participants were randomized as young (< age 5 years) or old (≥ age 5 years). Structured clinical assessments occurred at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. Primary outcome measures included quantitative evaluation of breathing and hand movements during wakefulness, growth, anthropometry, motor/behavioral function, and qualitative evaluations from electroencephalograms and parent questionnaires. In all, 68 participants completed the study. Objective evidence of improvement was not found. Subjective improvement from parent questionnaires was noted for the <5 years group. This study should inform future treatment trials regarding balancing participants with specific mutations and comparable severity to minimize selection bias.
Rett syndrome; MECP2; methylation; folate; betaine; vitamin B12