Enhanced renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activation contributes to proteinuria and chronic kidney disease by increasing glomerular and tubulointerstitial oxidative stress, promotion of fibrosis. Renin activation is the rate limiting step in angiotensin (Ang II) and aldosterone generation, and recent work suggests direct renin inhibition improves proteinuria comparable to that seen with Ang type 1 receptor (AT1R) blockade. This is important as, even with contemporary use of AT1R blockade, the burden of kidney disease remains high. Thereby, we sought to determine if combination direct renin inhibition with AT1R blockade in vivo, via greater attenuation of kidney oxidative stress, would attenuate glomerular and proximal tubule injury to a greater extent than either intervention alone. We utilized the transgenic Ren2 rat with increased tissue RAS activity and higher serum levels of aldosterone, which manifests hypertension and proteinuria. Ren2 rats were treated with renin inhibition (aliskiren), AT1R blockade (valsartan), the combination (aliskiren+valsartan), or vehicle for 21 days. Compared to Sprague-Dawley controls, Ren2 rats displayed increased systolic pressure (SBP), circulating aldosterone, proteinuria and greater urine levels of the proximal tubule protein excretory marker beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase (β-NAG). These functional and biochemical alterations were accompanied by increases in kidney tissue NADPH oxidase subunit Rac1 and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) content as well as fibronectin and collagen type III. These findings occurred in conjunction with reductions in the podocyte-specific protein podocin as well as the proximal tubule-specific megalin. Further, in transgenic animals there was increased tubulointerstitial fibrosis on light microscopy as well as ultrastructural findings of glomerular podocyte foot-process effacement and reduced tubular apical endosomal/lysosomal activity. Combination therapy led to greater reductions in SBP and serum aldosterone, but did not result in greater improvement in markers of glomerular and tubular injury (ie. β-NAG) compared to either intervention alone. Further, combination therapy did not improve markers of oxidative stress and podocyte and proximal tubule integrity in this transgenic model of RAAS-mediated kidney damage despite greater reductions in serum aldosterone and BP levels.
Aldosterone; Combination; Renin inhibition; AT1R blockade; Podocyte; β-NAG; Oxidative Stress
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a leading genetic cause of infantile death. Loss of a gene called Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) and, as a result, reduced levels of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein leads to SMA development. SMA is characterized by the loss of functional motor neurons in the spinal cord. However, accumulating evidence suggest the contribution of other organs to the composite SMA phenotype and disease progression. A growing number of congenital heart defects have been identified in severe SMA patients. Consistent with the clinical cases, we have recently identified developmental and functional heart defects in two SMA mouse models, occurring at embryonic stage in a severe SMA model and shortly after birth in a less severe model (SMNΔ7). Our goal was to examine the late stage cardiac abnormalities in untreated SMNΔ7 mice and to determine whether gene replacement therapy restores cardiac structure/function in rescued SMNΔ7 model. To reveal the extent of the cardiac structural/functional repair in the rescued mice, we analyzed the heart of untreated and treated SMNΔ7 model using self-complementary Adeno-associated virus (serotype 9) expressing the full-length SMN cDNA. We examined the characteristics of the heart failure such as remodeling, fibrosis, oxidative stress, and vascular integrity in both groups. Our results clearly indicate that fibrosis, oxidative stress activation, vascular remodeling, and a significant decrease in the number of capillaries exist in the SMA heart. The cardiac structural defects were improved drastically in the rescued animals, however, the level of impairment was still significant compared to the age-matched wildtype littermates. Furthermore, functional analysis by in vivo cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed that the heart of the treated SMA mice still exhibit functional defects. In conclusion, cardiac abnormalities are only partially rescued in post-birth treated SMA animals and these abnormalities may contribute to the premature death of vector-treated SMA animals with seemingly rescued motor function but an average life span of less than 70 days as reported in several studies.
SMA; scAAV9; Cardiac function; Oxidative stress; Vascular remodeling; MRI
Increased sympathetic outflow, renin–angiotensin system (RAS) activity, and oxidative stress are critical mechanisms underlying the adverse cardiovascular effects of dietary salt excess. Nebivolol is a third-generation, highly selective β1-receptor blocker with RAS-reducing effects and additional antioxidant properties. This study evaluated the hypothesis that nebivolol reduces salt-induced cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHRs) by suppressing cardiac RAS and oxidative stress.
Male SHRs (8 weeks of age) were given an 8% high salt diet (HSD; n = 22), whereas their age-matched controls (n = 10) received standard chow. In a subgroup of HSD rats (n = 11), nebivolol was given at a dose of 10 mg/kg per day by gastric gavage.
After 5 weeks, HSD exacerbated hypertension as well as increased left-ventricular weight and collagen deposition while impairing left-ventricular relaxation. Salt-induced cardiac remodeling and dysfunction were associated with increased plasma renin concentration (PRC), cardiac angiotensin II immunostaining, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)/ACE2 mRNA and activity ratio. HSD also increased cardiac 3-nitrotyrosine staining indicating enhanced oxidative stress. Nebivolol treatment did not alter the salt-induced increase in arterial pressure, left-ventricular weight, and cardiac dysfunction but reduced PRC, cardiac angiotensin II immunostaining, ACE/ACE2 ratio, oxidative stress, and fibrosis.
Our data suggest that nebivolol, in a blood pressure-independent manner, ameliorated cardiac oxidative stress and associated fibrosis in salt-loaded SHRs. The beneficial effects of nebivolol may be attributed, at least in part, to the decreased ACE/ACE2 ratio and consequent reduction of cardiac angiotensin II levels.
β1-adrenergic receptors; angiotensin II; blood pressure; cardiac fibrosis; nebivolol; salt
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine kinase that regulates phosphorylation (p) of its target ribosomal S6 kinase (S6K1), whose activation can lead to glomerular and proximal tubular cell (PTC) injury and associated proteinuria. Increased mTOR/S6K1 signaling regulates signaling pathways that target fibrosis through adherens junctions. Recent data indicate aldosterone signaling through the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) can activate the mTOR pathway. Further, antagonism of the MR has beneficial effects on proteinuria that occur independent of hemodynamics.
Accordingly, hypertensive transgenic TG(mRen2)27 (Ren2) rats, with elevated serum aldosterone and proteinuria, and age-matched Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with either a low dose (1 mg/kg/day) or a conventional dose (30 mg/kg/day) of spironolactone (MR antagonist) or placebo for 3 weeks.
Ren2 rats displayed increases in urine levels of the PTC brush border lysosomal enzyme N-acetyl-β-aminoglycosidase (β-NAG) in conjunction with reductions in PTC megalin, the apical membrane adherens protein T-cadherin and basolateral α-(E)-catenin, and fibrosis. In concert with these abnormalities, Ren2 renal cortical tissue also displayed increased Ser2448 (p)/activation of mTOR and Thr389 (p)-S6K1 and increased 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) content, a marker for peroxynitrite. Low-dose spironolactone had no effect on blood pressure but decreased proteinuria and β-NAG comparable to a conventional dose of this MR antagonist. Both doses of spironolactone attenuated ultrastructural maladaptive alterations and led to comparable reductions in (p)-mTOR/(p)-S6K1, 3-NT, fibrosis, and increased expression of α-(E)-catenin, T- and N-cadherin.
Thereby, MR antagonism improves proximal tubule integrity by targeting mTOR/S6K1 signaling and redox status independent of changes in blood pressure.
Cadherin; Megalin; β-NAG; Proteinuria
Hypertension is often associated with increased oxidative stress and systemic insulin resistance. Use of β adrenergic receptor blockers in hypertension is limited due to potential negative influence on insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. We sought to determine the impact of nebivolol, a selective vasodilatory β1adrenergic blocker, on whole-body insulin sensitivity, skeletal muscle oxidative stress, insulin signaling and glucose transport in the transgenic TG(mRen2)27rat (Ren2). This rodent model manifests increased tissue renin angiotensin expression, excess oxidative stress, and whole-body insulin resistance.
Research design and methods
Young (age 6-9 wks) Ren2 and age-matched Sprague-Dawley control rats were treated with nebivolol 10 mg/kg/day or placebo for 21 days. Basal measurements were obtained for glucose and insulin to calculate the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA–IR). Additionally, insulin metabolic signaling, NADPH oxidase activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ultrastructural changes as evaluated by transmission electron microscopy were examined ex vivo in skeletal muscle tissue.
The Ren2 rat demonstrated systemic insulin resistance as examined by HOMA-IR, along with impaired insulin metabolic signaling in skeletal muscle. This was associated with increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial remodeling. Treatment with nebivolol was associated with improvement in insulin resistance and decreased NADPH oxidase activity/levels ROS in skeletal muscle tissue.
Nebivolol treatment for 3 weeks reduces NADPH oxidase activity and improves systemic insulin resistance, in concert with reduced oxidative stress in skeletal muscle in a young rodent model of hypertension, insulin resistance and enhanced tissue RAS expression.
Insulin resistance; oxidative stress; skeletal muscle
Angiotensin (Ang) II contributes to tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Recent data highlight mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) signaling in tubulointerstitial fibrosis; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. Thereby, we investigated the role of Ang II on mTOR/S6K1-dependent proximal tubule (PT) injury, remodeling, and fibrosis.
We utilized young transgenic Ren2 rats (R2-T) and Sprague-Dawley rats (SD-T) treated with the Ang type 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker telmisartan (2 mg · kg−1 · day−1) or vehicle (R2-C; SD-C) for 3 weeks to examine PT structure and function.
Ren2 rats displayed increased systolic blood pressure, proteinuria and increased PT oxidant stress and remodeling. There were parallel increases in kidney injury molecule-1 and reductions in neprilysin and megalin with associated ultrastructural findings of decreased clathrin-coated pits, endosomes, and vacuoles. Ren2 rats displayed increased Serine2448 phosphorylation of mTOR and downstream S6K1, in concert with ultrastructural basement membrane thickening, tubulointerstitial fibrosis and loss of the adhesion molecule N-cadherin. Telmisartan treatment attenuated proteinuria as well as the biochemical and tubulointerstitial structural abnormalities seen in the Ren2 rats.
Our observations suggest that Ang II activation of the AT1R contributes to PT brush border injury and remodeling, in part, due to enhanced mTOR/S6K1 signaling which promotes tubulointerstitial fibrosis through loss of N-cadherin.
Angiotensin II; mTOR; N-Cadherin; Proximal tubule; Tubulointerstitial fibrosis
There are important sex-related differences in the prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Indeed, premenopausal women have a lower prevalence of these conditions relative to age-matched men. Estrogen participates in the modulation of insulin sensitivity, energy balance, and body composition. In this paper, we investigated the impact of estrogen signaling through estrogen receptor α (ERα) on systemic insulin sensitivity and insulin signaling in skeletal muscle.
In 14- and 30-week-old female ERα knockout (ERαKO) mice and age-matched controls, we assessed insulin sensitivity by a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing. Blood pressure was evaluated by tail cuff and telemetry. We studied ex vivo insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue, as well as insulin metabolic signaling molecule phosphorylation by immunoblotting and oxidative stress by immunostaining for 3-nitrotyrosine.
Body weight was higher in ERαKO mice at 14 and 30 weeks of age. At 30 weeks, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing and clamp results demonstrated impaired systemic insulin sensitivity in ERαKO mice. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in soleus was lower in ERαKO mice at both ages. The insulin receptor substrate 1/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase association and the activation of protein kinase B were decreased in ERαKO mice, whereas immunostaining for 3-nitrotyrosine was increased.
Our data demonstrate a critical age-dependent role for estrogen signaling through ERα on whole-body insulin sensitivity and insulin metabolic signaling in skeletal muscle tissue. These findings have potential translational implications for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease in women, who are at increased risk for these conditions.
Estrogen; Insulin resistance; Skeletal muscle
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system plays an important role in the development and progression of hypertension and accelerated atherosclerosis (atheroscleropathy) associated with the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Additionally, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system plays an important role in vascular-endothelial-intimal cellular and extracellular remodeling.
Thoracic aortas of young male transgenic heterozygous (mRen2)27 (Ren2) rats were utilized for this ultrastructural study. This lean model of hypertension, insulin resistance and oxidative stress harbors the mouse renin gene with increased local tissue (aortic) levels of angiotensin II and angiotensin type 1 receptors and elevated plasma aldosterone levels.
The ultrastructural observations included marked endothelial cell retraction, separation, terminal nuclear lifting, adjacent duplication, apoptosis and a suggestion of endothelial progenitor cell attachment. The endothelium demonstrated increased caveolae, microparticles, depletion of Weibel-Palade bodies, loss of cell-cell and basal adhesion hemidesmosome-like structures, platelet adhesion and genesis of subendothelial neointima.
These observational ultrastructural studies of the transgenic Ren2 vasculature provide an in-depth evaluation of early abnormal remodeling changes within conduit-elastic arteries under conditions of increased local levels of angiotensin II, oxidative stress, insulin resistance and hypertension.
Angiotensin II; Extracellular matrix remodeling; Hypertension; Intima; NADPH oxidase; Oxidative stress; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
We investigated renal effects of nebivolol, a selective β1-receptor blocker with additional antioxidative ability, in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) where increased salt intake induces oxidative stress and worsens renal function as a result of further activation of the renin-angiotensin and sympathetic nervous systems.
Male SHR were given an 8% salt diet (HS; n = 22) for 5 weeks; their age-matched controls (n = 9) received standard chow. Nebivolol was given at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day for 5 weeks in 11 HS rats.
HS increased blood pressure, plasma renin concentration, urinary protein excretion, and renal nitroxidative stress while decreasing renal blood flow and angiotensin 1–7 receptor (mas) protein expression. There was no change in angiotensin II type 1 receptor expression among the experimental groups. Nebivolol did not alter the salt-induced increase in blood pressure but reduced urinary protein excretion, plasma renin concentration, and nitroxidative stress. Nebivolol also increased neuronal NOS expression while preventing the salt-induced decrease in renal blood flow and mas protein expression.
Nebivolol prevented salt-induced kidney injury and associated proteinuria in SHR through a blood pressure-independent mechanism. Its protective effects may be related to reduction in oxidative stress, increases in neuronal NOS and restoration of angiotensin II type 1/mas receptor balance.
Salt; Hypertension; Kidney; Oxidative stress; Nitric oxide; β1-Receptor antagonism
The impact of nebivolol therapy on the renal proximal tubular cell (PTC) structure and function was investigated in a transgenic (TG) rodent model of hypertension and the cardiometabolic syndrome. The TG Ren2 rat develops nephropathy with proteinuria, increased renal angiotensin II levels and oxidative stress, and PTC remodeling. Nebivolol, a β1-antagonist, has recently been shown to reduce albuminuria, in part, through reductions in renal oxidative stress. Accordingly, we hypothesized that nebivolol therapy would attenuate PTC damage and tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Young Ren2 (R2-N) and SD (SD-N) rats were treated with nebivolol (10 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (R2-C; SD-C) for 3 weeks. PTC structure and function were tested using transmission electron microscopy and functional measurements.
Nebivolol treatment decreased urinary N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase, tubulointerstitial ultrastructural remodeling and fibrosis, NADPH oxidase activity, 3-nitrotyrosine levels, and increased megalin and lysosomal-associated membrane protein-2 immunostaining in PTCs. Ultrastructural abnormalities that were improved with therapy included altered canalicular structure, reduced endosomes/lysosomes and PTC vacuoles, basement membrane thickening, and mitochondrial remodeling/fragmentation.
These observations support the notion that nebivolol may improve PTC reabsorption of albumin and other glomerular filtered small molecular weight proteins in association with the attenuation of oxidative stress, tubulointerstitial injury and fibrosis in this rat model of metabolic kidney disease.
NADPH oxidase; Proximal tubule cell; Megalin
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions with far-reaching health care and economic implications. Overnutrition, characterized by excess intake of carbohydrates and fats, has been associated with end-organ damage in several tissues, including the heart and the kidney. Furthermore, overnutrition is one of the most important modifiable and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia as well as associated mechanisms, including enhanced renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activity, inflammation, and oxidative stress, have been implicated in obesity-related cardiorenal injury. In this review, the effect of overnutrition on heart and kidney disease is assessed in a rodent model of overnutrition and obesity, the Zucker obese rat.
Cardiorenal syndrome; Heart/kidney disease; Obesity; Overnutrition; Zucker rat model
Recent data implicate oxidative stress as a mediator of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and of the associated pathological changes to the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricle (RV). Increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS), altered redox state, and elevated oxidant stress have been demonstrated in the lungs and RV of several animal models of PH, including chronic hypoxia, monocrotaline toxicity, caveolin-1 knock-out mouse, and the transgenic Ren2 rat which overexpresses the mouse renin gene. Generation of ROS in these models is derived mostly from the activities of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidases, xanthine oxidase, and uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase. As disease progresses circulating monocytes and bone marrow-derived monocytic progenitor cells are attracted to and accumulate in the pulmonary vasculature. Once established, these inflammatory cells generate ROS and secrete mitogenic and fibrogenic cytokines that induce cell proliferation and fibrosis in the vascular wall resulting in progressive vascular remodeling. Deficiencies in antioxidant enzymes also contribute to pulmonary hypertensive states. Current therapies were developed to improve endothelial function, reduce pulmonary artery pressure, and slow the progression of vascular remodeling in the pulmonary vasculature by targeting deficiencies in either NO (PDE-type 5 inhibition) or PGI2 (prostacyclin analogs), or excessive synthesis of ET-1 (ET receptor blockers) with the intent to improve patient clinical status and survival. New therapies may slow disease progression to some extent, but long term management has not been achieved and mortality is still high. Although little is known concerning the effects of current pulmonary arterial hypertension treatments on RV structure and function, interest in this area is increasing. Development of therapeutic strategies that simultaneously target pathology in the pulmonary vasculature and RV may be beneficial in reducing mortality associated with RV failure.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Rosuvastatin; Oxidative stress; Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase; Statins
Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and sympathetic nervous system activation are crucial in the pathogenesis of hypertension, cardiovascular and renal disease. NADPH oxidase-mediated increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS) are an important mediator for RAAS-induced cardiovascular and renal injury. Increased levels of ROS can diminish the bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO), a critical modulator of RAAS effects on the kidney. Thereby, we hypothesized that in vivo nebivolol therapy in a rodent model of activated RAAS would attenuate glomerular damage and proteinuria through its actions to reduce NADPH oxidase activity/ROS and increase bioavailable NO.
We utilized the transgenic Ren2 rat which displays heightened tissue RAAS, hypertension, and proteinuria. Ren2 rats (6–9 weeks of age) and age-matched Sprague-Dawley littermates were treated with nebivolol 10 mg/kg/day (osmotic mini-pump) for 21 days.
Ren2 rats exhibited increases in systolic blood pressure, proteinuria, kidney cortical tissue total NADPH oxidase activity and subunits (Rac1, p67phox, and p47phox), ROS and 3-nitrotyrosine, as well as reductions in podocyte protein markers; each of these parameters improved with nebivolol treatment along with increases in renal endothelial NO synthase expression.
Our data suggest that nebivolol improves proteinuria through reductions in renal RAAS-mediated increases in NADPH oxidase/ROS and increases in bioavailable NO.
Nebivolol; Proteinuria; NADPH oxidase; Reactive oxygen species
The pericyte's role has been extensively studied in retinal tissues of diabetic retinopathy; however, little is known regarding its role in such tissues as the pancreas and skeletal muscle. This supportive microvascular mural cell plays an important and novel role in cellular and extracellular matrix remodeling in the pancreas and skeletal muscle of young rodent models representing the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Transmission electron microscopy can be used to evaluate these tissues from young rodent models of insulin resistance and T2DM, including the transgenic Ren2 rat, db/db obese insulin resistantߞT2DM mouse, and human islet amyloid polypeptide (HIP) rat model of T2DM. With this method, the earliest pancreatic remodeling change was widening of the islet exocrine interface and pericyte hypercellularity, followed by pericyte differentiation into islet and pancreatic stellate cells with early fibrosis involving the islet exocrine interface and interlobular interstitium. In skeletal muscle there was a unique endothelial capillary connectivity via elongated longitudinal pericyte processes in addition to pericyte to pericyte and pericyte to myocyte cellcell connections allowing for paracrine communication. Initial pericyte activation due to moderate oxidative stress signaling may be followed by hyperplasia, migration and differentiation into adult mesenchymal cells. Continued robust oxidative stress may induce pericyte apoptosis and impaired cellular longevity. Circulating antipericyte autoantibodies have recently been characterized, and may provide a screening method to detect those patients who are developing pericyte loss and are at greater risk for the development of complications of T2DM due to pericytopathy and rarefaction. Once detected, these patients may be offered more aggressive treatment strategies such as
early pharmacotherapy in addition to lifestyle changes targeted to maintaining pericyte integrity. In conclusion, we have provided a review of current knowledge regarding the pericyte and novel ultrastructural findings regarding its role in metabolic syndrome and T2DM.
Insulin resistance is associated with obesity and may be accompanied by left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and myocardial remodeling. Decreased insulin metabolic signaling and increased oxidative stress may promote these maladaptive changes. In this context, the β-blocker nebivolol has been reported to improve insulin sensitivity, increase eNOS activity, and reduce NADPH oxidase-induced superoxide generation. We hypothesized that nebivolol would attenuate diastolic dysfunction and myocardial remodeling by blunting myocardial oxidant stress and promoting insulin metabolic signaling in a rodent model of obesity, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Six week old male Zucker obese (ZO) and age-matched Zucker lean (ZL) rats were treated with nebivolol (10 mg·kg−1·day−1) for 21 days and myocardial function was assessed by cine magnetic resonance imaging. Compared to untreated ZL rats, untreated ZO rats exhibited prolonged diastolic relaxation time (27.7±2.5 vs 40.9±2.0 ms; P<0.05) and reduced initial diastolic filling rate (6.2±0.5 vs 2.8±0.6 μl/ms; P<0.05) in conjunction with increased HOMA-IR (7±2 vs 95±21; P<0.05), interstitial and pericapillary fibrosis, abnormal cardiomyocyte histoarchitecture, 3-nitrotyrosine, and NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide. Nebivolol improved diastolic relaxation (32.8±0.7 ms; P<0.05 vs untreated ZO), reduced fibrosis and remodeling in ZO rats, in concert with reductions in nitrotyrosine, NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide, and improvements in the insulin metabolic signaling, eNOS activation, and weight gain (381±7 vs 338±14 g; P<0.05). Results support the hypothesis that nebivolol reduces myocardial structural maladaptive changes and improves diastolic relaxation in concert with improvements in insulin sensitivity, and eNOS activation, concomitantly with reductions in oxidative stress.
nebivolol; oxidative stress; insulin resistance; diastolic relaxation; MRI
Emerging evidence indicates that mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) blockade reduces the risk of cardiovascular events beyond those predicted by its blood pressure (BP)-lowering actions; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. To investigate whether protection elicited by MR blockade is through attenuation of vascular apoptosis and injury, independently of BPlowering, we administered a low dose of the MR antagonist spironolactone or vehicle for 21 days to hypertensive transgenic Ren2 rats with elevated plasma aldosterone levels. Although Ren2 rats developed higher systolic BPs compared to Sprague-Dawley (SD) littermates, low dose spironolactone treatment did not reduce systolic BP compared with untreated Ren2 rats. Ren2 rats exhibited vascular injury as evidenced by increased apoptosis, hemidesmosome-like structure loss, mitochondrial abnormalities, and lipid accumulation compared with SD, and these abnormalities were attenuated by MR antagonism. Protein kinase B (Akt) activation is critical to vascular homeostasis via regulation of cell survival and expression of apoptotic genes. Akt serine473 phosphorylation was impaired in Ren2 aortas, and restored with MR antagonism. In vivo MR antagonist treatment promoted anti-apoptotic effects by increasing phosphorylation of BAD serine136 and expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, decreasing cytochrome c release and BAD expression, and suppressing caspase-3 activation. Furthermore, MR antagonism substantially reduced the elevated NADPH oxidase activity and lipid peroxidation, expression of angiotensin II, angiotensin type 1 receptor and MR, in Ren2 vasculature. These results demonstrate that MR antagonism protects the vasculature from aldosterone-induced vascular apoptosis and structural injury via rescuing Akt activation, independent of BP effects.
Aldosterone; Oxidative Stress; Akt Activation; Vascular Apoptosis and Injury
Ultrastructural observations reveal a continuous interstitial matrix connection between the endocrine and exocrine pancreas, which is lost due to fibrosis in rodent models and humans with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Widening of the islet exocrine interface (IEI) appears to result in loss of desmosomes and adherens junctions between islet and acinar cells and is associated with hypercellularity consisting of pericytes and inflammatory cells in T2DM pancreatic tissue. Organized fibrillar collagen was closely associated with pericytes, which are known to differentiate into myofibroblasts – pancreatic stellate cells. Importantly, some pericyte cellular processes traverse both the connecting IEI and the endoacinar interstitium of the exocrine pancreas.
Loss of cellular paracrine communication and extracellular matrix remodeling fibrosis in young animal models and humans may result in a dysfunctional insulino-acinar-ductal – incretin gut hormone axis resulting in pancreatic insufficiency and glucagon like peptide deficiency known to exist in prediabetes and overt T2DM in humans.
Activation of reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase by angiotensin II is integral to the formation of oxidative stress in the vasculature and the kidney. 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibition is associated with reductions of oxidative stress in the vasculature and kidney and associated decreases in albuminuria. Effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibition on oxidative stress in the kidney and filtration barrier integrity are poorly understood. To investigate, we used transgenic TG(mRen2)27 (Ren2) rats, which harbor the mouse renin transgene and renin-angiotensin system activation, and an immortalized murine podocyte cell line. We treated young, male Ren2 and Sprague-Dawley rats with rosuvastatin (20 mg/kg IP) or placebo for 21 days. Compared with controls, we observed increases in systolic blood pressure, albuminuria, renal NADPH oxidase activity, and 3-nitrotryosine staining, with reductions in the rosuvastatin-treated Ren2. Structural changes on light and transmission electron microscopy, consistent with periarteriolar fibrosis and podocyte foot-process effacement, were attenuated with statin treatment. Nephrin expression was diminished in the Ren2 kidney and trended to normalize with statin treatment. Angiotensin II–dependent increases in podocyte NADPH oxidase activity and subunit expression (NOX2, NOX4, Rac, and p22phox) and reactive oxygen species generation were decreased after in vitro statin treatment. These data support a role for increased NADPH oxidase activity and subunit expression with resultant reactive oxygen species formation in the kidney and podocyte. Furthermore, statin attenuation of NADPH oxidase activation and reactive oxygen species formation in the kidney/podocyte seems to play roles in the abrogation of oxidative stress-induced filtration barrier injury and consequent albuminuria.
angiotensin II; albuminuria; glomerular filtration barrier; transgenic Ren2 rat; rosuvastatin
The transgenic human islet amyloid polypeptide (HIP) rat model of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) parallels the functional and structural changes in human islets with T2DM.
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) was utilized to observe the ultrastructural changes in islet microcirculation.
Pancreatic tissue from male Sprague Dawley rats (2, 4, 8, 14 months) were used as controls (SDC) and compared to the 2-, 4-, 8- and 14-month-old HIP rat models.
The 2-month-old HIP model demonstrated no islet or microcirculation remodeling changes when compared to the SDC models. The 4-month-old HIP model demonstrated significant pericapillary amyloid deposition and diminution of pericyte foot processes as compared to the SDC models. The 8-month-old model demonstrated extensive islet amyloid deposition associated with pericyte and β-cell apoptosis when compared with SDC. The 14-month-old HIP model demonstrated a marked reduction of β-cells and intra-islet capillaries with near complete replacement of islets by amyloidoses. Increased cellularity in the region of the islet exocrine interface was noted in the 4- to 14-month-old HIP models as compared to SDC. In contrast to intra-islet capillary rarefaction there was noticeable angiogenesis in the islet exocrine interface. Pericytes seemed to be closely associated with collagenosis, intra-islet adipogenesis and angiogenesis in the islet exocrine interface.
The above novel findings regarding the microcirculation and pericytes could assist researchers and clinicians in a better morphological understanding of T2DM and lead to new strategies for prevention and treatment of T2DM.
amylin; angiogenesis; apoptosis; beta cell; islet amyloid; islet fibrosis; exocrine pancreas
Elongation factor-1α (EF-1α) promotes the delivery of aminoacyl-tRNA to the acceptor site of the ribosome during protein synthesis. The enzyme has a number of additional functions, including regulation of apoptosis and interaction with the cytoskeleton. We determined the distribution of EF-1α in larval tissues of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, with a monoclonal antibody generated to EF-1α from Sf21 cells, a cell line developed from ovarian tissue of S. frugiperda. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that EF-1α comprised 1.9–9.9 % of the total protein within the tissues that were examined, which included fat body, Malpighian tubules, midgut, muscle, salivary glands, trachea, and ventral nerve cord. To a certain extent, EF-1α concentrations reflected the expected metabolic activity level of each of the represented tissues. Closer examination by immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that EF-1α concentrations varied among different cell types within a given tissue, i.e. midgut columnar epithelial cells yielded strong signals, while goblet cells failed to react with the EF-1α -specific antibody.
lepidopteran; translation; apoptosis; monoclonal antibody; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); immunofluorescence microscopy