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1.  Lymphatic function is required prenatally for lung inflation at birth 
Neonatal mice lacking lymphatic vessels due to loss of lymphangiogenic factor CCBE1 or VEGFR3 function fail to inflate their lungs, suggestive of respiratory failure in infants with congenital pulmonary lymphangiectasia.
Mammals must inflate their lungs and breathe within minutes of birth to survive. A key regulator of neonatal lung inflation is pulmonary surfactant, a lipoprotein complex which increases lung compliance by reducing alveolar surface tension (Morgan, 1971). Whether other developmental processes also alter lung mechanics in preparation for birth is unknown. We identify prenatal lymphatic function as an unexpected requirement for neonatal lung inflation and respiration. Mice lacking lymphatic vessels, due either to loss of the lymphangiogenic factor CCBE1 or VEGFR3 function, appear cyanotic and die shortly after birth due to failure of lung inflation. Failure of lung inflation is not due to reduced surfactant levels or altered development of the lung but is associated with an elevated wet/dry ratio consistent with edema. Embryonic studies reveal active lymphatic function in the late gestation lung, and significantly reduced total lung compliance in late gestation embryos that lack lymphatics. These findings reveal that lymphatic vascular function plays a previously unrecognized mechanical role in the developing lung that prepares it for inflation at birth. They explain respiratory failure in infants with congenital pulmonary lymphangiectasia, and suggest that inadequate late gestation lymphatic function may also contribute to respiratory failure in premature infants.
doi:10.1084/jem.20132308
PMCID: PMC4010903  PMID: 24733830
2.  Crystallographic analysis of human hemoglobin elucidates the structural basis of the potent and dual antisickling activity of pyridyl derivatives of vanillin. Corrigendum 
A correction to the paper by Abdulmalik et al. [(2011), Acta Cryst. D67, 920–928].
The affiliation of one of the authors of Abdulmalik et al. (2011) [Acta Cryst. D67, 920–928] is corrected.
doi:10.1107/S0907444911045860
PMCID: PMC3337008
hemoglobin; oxygen affinity; sickle-cell disease; polymerization; T state; R2 state; corrigendum
3.  Crystallographic analysis of human hemoglobin elucidates the structural basis of the potent and dual antisickling activity of pyridyl derivatives of vanillin 
Pyridyl derivatives of vanillin increase the fraction of the more soluble oxygenated sickle hemoglobin and/or directly increase the solubility of deoxygenated sickle hemoglobin. Crystallographic analysis reveals the structural basis of the potent and dual antisickling activity of these derivatives.
Vanillin has previously been studied clinically as an antisickling agent to treat sickle-cell disease. In vitro investigations with pyridyl derivatives of vanillin, including INN-312 and INN-298, showed as much as a 90-fold increase in antisickling activity compared with vanillin. The compounds preferentially bind to and modify sickle hemoglobin (Hb S) to increase the affinity of Hb for oxygen. INN-312 also led to a considerable increase in the solubility of deoxygenated Hb S under completely deoxygenated conditions. Crystallographic studies of normal human Hb with INN-312 and INN-298 showed that the compounds form Schiff-base adducts with the N-terminus of the α-subunits to constrain the liganded (or relaxed-state) Hb conformation relative to the unliganded (or tense-state) Hb conformation. Interestingly, while INN-298 binds and directs its meta-positioned pyridine-methoxy moiety (relative to the aldehyde moiety) further down the central water cavity of the protein, that of INN-312, which is ortho to the aldehyde, extends towards the surface of the protein. These studies suggest that these compounds may act to prevent sickling of SS cells by increasing the fraction of the soluble high-affinity Hb S and/or by stereospecific inhibition of deoxygenated Hb S polymerization.
doi:10.1107/S0907444911036353
PMCID: PMC3211971  PMID: 22101818
hemoglobin; oxygen affinity; sickle-cell disease; polymerization; T state; R2 state
4.  Inhibition of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 reduces complex coronary atherosclerotic plaque development 
Nature medicine  2008;14(10):1059-1066.
Increased lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity is associated with increased risk of cardiac events, but it is not known whether Lp-PLA2 is a causative agent. Here we show that selective inhibition of Lp-PLA2 with darapladib reduced development of advanced coronary atherosclerosis in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic swine. Darapladib markedly inhibited plasma and lesion Lp-PLA2 activity and reduced lesion lysophosphatidylcholine content. Analysis of coronary gene expression showed that darapladib exerted a general anti-inflammatory action, substantially reducing the expression of 24 genes associated with macrophage and T lymphocyte functioning. Darapladib treatment resulted in a considerable decrease in plaque area and, notably, a markedly reduced necrotic core area and reduced medial destruction, resulting in fewer lesions with an unstable phenotype. These data show that selective inhibition of Lp-PLA2 inhibits progression to advanced coronary atherosclerotic lesions and confirms a crucial role of vascular inflammation independent from hypercholesterolemia in the development of lesions implicated in the pathogenesis of myocardial infarction and stroke.
doi:10.1038/nm.1870
PMCID: PMC2885134  PMID: 18806801

Results 1-4 (4)