Proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) appears to play a significant role in chronic pulmonary hypertension. The proliferation of PASMCs is strongly inhibited by some commercial heparin preparations. Heparin fragments were prepared by periodate treatment, followed by sodium borohydride reduction, to enhance potency. The tributylammonium salt of this fragmented heparin was O-acylated with hexanoic anhydride. Gradient polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that the major heparin fragment contained eight disaccharide units. NMR analysis showed that approximately one hexanoyl group per disaccharide residue was present. The O-hexanoyl heparin fragments were assayed for growth inhibitory effect on bovine PASMCs in culture. This derivative was found to be more effective in growth inhibition of bovine PASMCs in culture than the heparin from which it was derived. In the future, it is envisioned that this or similar derivatives may be an effective treatment for pulmonary hypertension.
O-Hexanoyl heparin; Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation
We previously found that deficiency of the sodium–hydrogen exchanger 1 (NHE1) gene prevented hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling in mice, which were accompanied by a significantly reduced proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), and which decreased the medial-wall thickness of pulmonary arteries. That finding indicated the involvement of NHE1 in the proliferation and hypertrophy of PASMCs, but the underlying mechanism was not fully understood. To define the mechanism by which the inhibition of NHE1 decreases hypoxic pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling, we investigated the role of E2F1, a nuclear transcription factor, in silencing the NHE1 gene–induced inhibition of the proliferation, hypertrophy, and migration of human PASMCs. We found that: (1) silencing of NHE1 by short, interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly inhibited PASMC proliferation and cell cycle progression, decreased hypoxia-induced hypertrophy (in terms of cell size and protein/DNA ratio) and migration (in terms of the wound-healing and migration chamber assays); (2) hypoxia induced the expression of E2F1, which was reversed by NHE1 siRNA; and (3) the overexpression of E2F1 blocked the inhibitory effect of NHE1 siRNA on the proliferation, hypertrophy, and migration of PASMCs. The present study determined that silencing the NHE1 gene significantly inhibited the hypoxia-induced proliferation, hypertrophy, and migration of human PASMCs via repression of the nuclear transcription factor E2F1. This study revealed a novel mechanism underlying the regulation of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling via NHE1.
sodium–hydrogen exchanger 1; E2F1; PASMC proliferation; hypertrophy; hypoxia
Hypoxia results in pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling due to induction of pulmonary artery cell proliferation. Besides pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells, pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs) are also involved in the development of pulmonary hypertension, but the effect of hypoxia on PAEC proliferation has not been completely understood.
We investigated PAEC proliferation in mice and rats with hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling as well as in human PAECs under hypoxia.
Results and Conclusion
We did not find significant PAEC proliferation in chronically hypoxic rats or mice. There was a slight decrease in proliferation in mice and rats with pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling. We also did not find significant human PAEC proliferation and cell cycle progression under different levels of oxygen (1, 2, 3, 5 and 10%) for one day, although the same conditions of hypoxia induced significant proliferation and cell cycle progression in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells and pulmonary artery fibroblasts. Exposure to hypoxia for 7 days also did not increase PAEC proliferation. These results demonstrated that hypoxia alone is not a stimulus to PAEC proliferation in vivo and in vitro. The present study provides a novel role for PAECs in hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling.
Pulmonary artery endothelial cell; Proliferation; Hypoxia; Mice; Rats
Heparin (HP) inhibits the growth of several cell types in vitro including bovine pulmonary artery (BPA) smooth muscle cells (SMCs). In initial studies we discovered that an O-hexanoylated low-molecular-weight (LMW) HP derivative having acyl groups with 6-carbon chain length was more potent inhibitor of BPA-SMCs than the starting HP. We prepared several O-acylated LMWHP derivatives having 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 18- carbon acyl chain lengths to determine the optimal acyl chain length for maximum anti-proliferative properties of BPA-SMCs. The starting LMWHP was prepared from unfractionated HP by sodium periodate treatment followed by sodium borohydride reduction. The tri-n-butylammonium salt of this LMWHP was O-acylated with butanoic, hexanoic, octanoic, decanoic, dodecanoic, and stearyl anhydrides separately to give respective O-acylated LMWHP derivatives. Gradient polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) was used to examine the average molecular weights of those O-acylated LMWHP derivatives. NMR analysis indicated the presence of one O-acyl group per disaccharide residue. Measurement of the inhibition of BPA-SMCS as a function of O-acyl chain length shows two optima, at a carbon chain length of 6 (O-hexanoylated LMWHP) and at a carbon chain length 12–18 (O-dodecanoyl and O-stearyl LMWHPs). A solution competition SPR study was performed to test the ability of different O-acylated LMWHP derivatives to inhibit fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 1 and FGF2 binding to surface-immobilized heparin. All the LMWHP derivatives bound to FGF1 and FGF2 but each exhibited slightly different binding affinity.
heparin; low molecular weight heparin; O-acylated; smooth muscle cells; surface plasmon resonance
Ras homolog gene family member A (RhoA) through Rho kinase kinase (ROCK), one of its downstream effectors, regulates a wide range of cell physiological functions, including vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation, by degrading cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p27. Our previous studies found that heparin inhibition of pulmonary artery SMC (PASMC) proliferation and pulmonary hypertension was dependent on p27 up-regulation. To investigate whether ROCK, a regulator of p27, is involved in regulation of heparin inhibition of PASMC proliferation, we analyzed ROCK expression in the lungs from mice and from human PASMCs exposed to hypoxia, and investigated the effect of ROCK expression in vitro by RhoA cDNA transfection. We also investigated the effect of guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF)–H1, an upstream regulator of RhoA, on heparin inhibition of PASMC proliferation by GEF-H1 cDNA transfection. We found that: (1) hypoxia increased ROCK expression in mice and PASMCs; (2) overexpression of RhoA diminished the inhibitory effect of heparin on PASMC proliferation and down-regulated p27 expression; and (3) overexpression of GEF-H1 negated heparin inhibition of PASMC proliferation, which was accompanied by increased GTP-RhoA and decreased p27. This study demonstrates that the RhoA/ROCK pathway plays an important role in heparin inhibition on PASMC proliferation, and reveals that heparin inhibits PASMC proliferation through GEF-H1/RhoA/ROCK/p27 signaling pathway, by down-regulating GEF-H1, RhoA, and ROCK, and then up-regulating p27.
Rho kinase; guanine nucleotide exchange factor–H1; pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell; proliferation; heparin
IgE has a key role in the pathogenesis of allergic responses through its ability to activate mast cells via the receptor FcεR1. In addition to mast cells, many cell types implicated in atherogenesis express FcεR1, but whether IgE has a role in this disease has not been determined. Here, we demonstrate that serum IgE levels are elevated in patients with myocardial infarction or unstable angina pectoris. We found that IgE and the FcεR1 subunit FcεR1α were present in human atherosclerotic lesions and that they localized particularly to macrophage-rich areas. In mice, absence of FcεR1α reduced inflammation and apoptosis in atherosclerotic plaques and reduced the burden of disease. In cultured macrophages, the presence of TLR4 was required for FcεR1 activity. IgE stimulated the interaction between FcεR1 and TLR4, thereby inducing macrophage signal transduction, inflammatory molecule expression, and apoptosis. These IgE activities were reduced in the absence of FcεR1 or TLR4. Furthermore, IgE activated macrophages by enhancing Na+/H+ exchanger 1 (NHE1) activity. Inactivation of NHE1 blocked IgE-induced macrophage production of inflammatory molecules and apoptosis. Cultured human aortic SMCs (HuSMCs) and ECs also exhibited IgE-induced signal transduction, cytokine expression, and apoptosis. In human atherosclerotic lesions, SMCs and ECs colocalized with IgE and TUNEL staining. This study reveals what we believe to be several previously unrecognized IgE activities that affect arterial cell biology and likely other IgE-associated pathologies in human diseases.
Hypoxia has been identified as a major negative factor for tumor progression in clinical observations and in animal studies. However, the precise role of hypoxia in tumor progression has not been fully explained. In this study, we extensively investigated the effect of long-term exposure to hypoxia on tumor progression in vivo.
Rats bearing transplanted tumors consisting of A549 human lung cancer cells (lung cancer tumor) were exposed to hypoxia for different durations and different levels of oxygen. The tumor growth and metastasis were evaluated. We also treated A549 lung cancer cells (A549 cells) with chronic hypoxia and then implanted the hypoxia-pretreated cancer cells into mice. The effect of exposure to hypoxia on metastasis of Lewis lung carcinoma in mice was also investigated.
We found that long-term exposure to hypoxia a) significantly inhibited lung cancer tumor growth in xenograft and orthotopic models in rats, b) significantly reduced lymphatic metastasis of the lung cancer in rats and decreased lung metastasis of Lewis lung carcinoma in mice, c) reduced lung cancer cell proliferation and cell cycle progression in vitro, d) decreased growth of the tumors from hypoxia-pretreated A549 cells, e) decreased Na+-K+ ATPase α1 expression in hypoxic lung cancer tumors, and f) increased expression of hypoxia inducible factors (HIF1α and HIF2α) but decreased microvessel density in the lung cancer tumors. In contrast to lung cancer, the growth of tumor from HCT116 human colon cancer cells (colon cancer tumor) was a) significantly enhanced in the same hypoxia conditions, accompanied by b) no significant change in expression of Na+-K+ ATPase α1, c) increased HIF1α expression (no HIF2α was detected) and d) increased microvessel density in the tumor tissues.
This study demonstrated that long-term exposure to hypoxia repressed tumor progression of the lung cancer from A549 cells and that decreased expression of Na+-K+ ATPase was involved in hypoxic inhibition of tumor progression. The results from this study provide new insights into the role of hypoxia in tumor progression and therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment.
hypoxia; tumor growth; metastasis; A549 lung cancer cells; Lewis lung carcinoma; HCT116 colon cancer cells; animals
Heparin (HP) inhibits the proliferation of bovine pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (BPASMC's), among other cell types in vitro. In order to develop a potential therapeutic agent to reverse vascular remodeling, we are involved in deciphering the relationship between the native HP structure and its antiproliferative potency. We have previously reported the influence of the molecular size and the effects of various O-sulfo and N-acetyl groups of HP on growth-inhibitory activity. In this study, to understand the influence of carboxyl groups in the HP structure required for endogenous activity, a chemically modified derivative of native HP was prepared by converting the carboxyl groups of hexuronic acid residues in HP to primary hydroxyl groups. This modification procedure involves the treatment of HP with N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N-ethylcarbodiimide followed by reduction with NaBH4 to yield carboxyl-reduced heparin (CR-HP). When compared to the antiproliferative potency of native HP on cultured BPASMC's at three dose levels (1, 10, and 100 μg/mL), the CR-HP showed significantly less potency at all the doses. These results suggest that hexuronic acid residues in both major and variable sequences in HP are essential for the antiproliferative properties of native HP.
CXCR4 is the receptor for chemokine CXCL12 and reportedly plays an important role in systemic vascular repair and remodeling, but the role of CXCR4 in development of pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling has not been fully understood.
In this study we investigated the role of CXCR4 in the development of pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling by using a CXCR4 inhibitor AMD3100 and by electroporation of CXCR4 shRNA into bone marrow cells and then transplantation of the bone marrow cells into rats.
We found that the CXCR4 inhibitor significantly decreased chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling in rats and, most importantly, we found that the rats that were transplanted with the bone marrow cells electroporated with CXCR4 shRNA had significantly lower mean pulmonary pressure (mPAP), ratio of right ventricular weight to left ventricular plus septal weight (RV/(LV+S)) and wall thickness of pulmonary artery induced by chronic hypoxia as compared with control rats.
The hypothesis that CXCR4 is critical in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in rats has been demonstrated. The present study not only has shown an inhibitory effect caused by systemic inhibition of CXCR4 activity on pulmonary hypertension, but more importantly also has revealed that specific inhibition of the CXCR4 in bone marrow cells can reduce pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling via decreasing bone marrow derived cell recruitment to the lung in hypoxia. This study suggests a novel therapeutic approach for pulmonary hypertension by inhibiting bone marrow derived cell recruitment.
Background and objective
Chronic hypoxia induces pulmonary hypertension in mice. Smooth muscle cell hyperplasia and medial thickening characterize the vasculature of these animals. Thrombospondin-1 null (TSP-1-/-) mice spontaneously develop pulmonary smooth muscle cell hyperplasia and medial thickening. In addition, TSP-1 produced by the pulmonary endothelium inhibits pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell growth. Based on these observations we sought to describe the pulmonary vascular changes in TSP-1-/- mice exposed to chronic hypoxia.
We exposed TSP-1-/- and wild type (WT) mice to a fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) of 0.1 for up to six weeks. Pulmonary vascular remodeling was evaluated using tissue morphometrics. Additionally, right ventricle systolic pressures (RVSP) and right ventricular hypertrophy by right ventricle/left ventricle + septum ratios (RV/LV+S) were measured to evaluate pulmonary hypertensive changes. Finally, acute pulmonary vasoconstriction response in both TSP-1-/- and WT mice was evaluated by acute hypoxia and U-46619 (a prostaglandin F2 analog) response.
In hypoxia, TSP-1-/- mice had significantly lower RVSP, RV/LV+S ratios and less pulmonary vascular remodeling when compared to WT mice. TSP-1-/- mice also had significantly lower RVSP in response to acute pulmonary vasoconstriction challenges than their WT counterparts.
TSP-1-/- mice had diminished pulmonary vasoconstriction response and were less responsive to hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension than their wild type counterparts. This observation suggests that TSP-1 could play an active role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension associated with hypoxia.
Systematic analysis of the influence of diet on the initiation and progression of prostate cancer is often difficult in human populations, for which dietary variables overlap a diversity of genetic backgrounds and social behaviors. Animal models that emulate human prostate cancer allow experimental analysis of the mechanisms of action of nutritional agents that show anti-prostate cancer activity.
We have used an orthotopic implant model to characterize the in vivo response of androgen-sensitive LNCaP prostate tumors to three well-characterized soy dietary supplements: isoflavone depleted soy protein, soy phytochemical concentrate (SPC), and genistin.
In male SCID mice orthotopically implanted with the androgen-sensitive human prostate cell line LNCaP, dietary supplements of soy protein, genistin, and SPC reduced primary tumor weight by 42% (P=0.07), 57% (P < 0.05) and 70% (P < 0.005), respectively. All three soy supplements significantly increased tumor apoptosis and decrease microvessel density, with no significant change in tumor proliferation. Each supplement produced a distinct serum androgen response, with genistin producing the greatest decrease in total serum testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) (P < 0.05) and the greatest increase in testosterone to DHT ratio (P < 0.05) and soy protein the greatest decrease in bioactive androgen (P < 0.05). Only SPC significantly inhibited metastases to lymph nodes and lungs, and only SPC produced a significant increase in tumor p53 expression.
Taken together, these data suggest that the anti-prostate cancer activity of dietary soy protein, soy phytochemicals, and genistin use different molecular pathways. In addition, we have demonstrated that this animal model can be used in the design of dietary strategies for prostate cancer prevention and therapy.
soy bioactive components; prostate cancer; orthotopic model; biomarker
Breast cancer is significantly less prevalent among Asian women, whose diets contain high intake of soy products and tea. The objective of our present study was to identify the combined effects of dietary soy phytochemicals and tea components on breast tumor progression in a clinically relevant in vivo model of MCF-7 androgen-dependent human breast tumor in female SCID mice. MCF-7 tumor growth, tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, microvessel density, and expressions of tumor estrogen receptors were compared in mice treated with genistin-rich soy isoflavones (GSI), soy phytochemical concentrate (SPC), black tea (BT), green tea (GT), SPC/BT combination and SPC/GT combination. GSI and SPC led to dose-dependent inhibition of MCF-7 tumor growth via inhibition of cancer cell proliferation in vivo. GT showed more potent anti-breast tumor activity than BT. GT infusion at 1.5 g tealeaf/100 mL water produced significant (p < 0.05) reductions of 56% in final tumor weight. GT plus SPC at 0.1% of the diet further reduced final tumor weight by 72% (p < 0.005). Analysis of serum and tumor biomarkers showed that the combined effects of SPC and GT inhibited tumor angiogenesis, and reduced estrogen receptor (ER)-α and serum levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I. Our study suggests that dietary SPC plus GT may be used as a potential effective dietary regimen for inhibiting progression of estrogen-dependent breast cancer.
breast cancer; soy phytochemicals; tea
Rationale: Our previous studies found that Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE) activity played an essential role in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) proliferation and in the development of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling. Other investigators recently observed increased expression of the NHE isoform 1 (NHE1) gene in rodents with pulmonary hypertension induced by hypoxia. However, a causal role for the NHE1 gene in pulmonary hypertension has not been determined.
Objectives: To determine the causal role of the NHE1 gene in pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling.
Methods: We used NHE1-null mice to define the role of the NHE1 gene in the development of pulmonary hypertension and remodeling induced by hypoxia and to delineate the NHE1 regulatory pathway.
Measurements and Main Results: After 2 weeks of exposure to hypoxia, in contrast to wild-type hypoxic littermates, there was no significant increase in right ventricular systolic pressure, in the ratio of right ventricular to left ventricular plus septal weight [RV/(LV + S)], or in medial wall thickness of the pulmonary arterioles in homozygous mice (NHE1−/−). There was a significant decrease in Rho kinase (ROCK1 and ROCK2) expression, accompanied by an increase in p27 expression in NHE1−/− mice.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that deficiency of the NHE1 gene prevented the development of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling in mice and revealed a novel regulatory pathway associated with NHE1 signaling.
Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1; pulmonary hypertension; vascular remodeling; hypoxia; mouse
Lethal phenotypes of human prostate cancer are characterized by progression to androgen-independence and metastasis. For want of a clinically relevant animal model, mechanisms behind this progression remain unclear. Our study used an in vivo model of androgen-sensitive LNCaP human prostate cancer cell xenografts in male SCID mice to study the cellular and molecular biology of tumor progression. Primary tumors were established orthotopically, and the mice were then surgically castrated to withdraw androgens. Five generations of androgen-independent tumors were developed using castrated host mice. Tumor samples were used to determine expressions of cellular and molecular markers. Androgen-independent tumors had increased proliferation and decreased apoptosis compared to androgen-sensitive tumors, outcomes associated with elevated expression of p53, p21/waf1, bcl-2, bax and the bcl-2/bax ratio. Blood vessel growth in androgen-independent tumor was associated with increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor. Overexpression of androgen receptor mRNA and reduced expression of androgen receptor protein in androgen-independent tumors suggest that the androgen receptor signaling pathway may play an important role in the progression of human prostate cancer to androgen-independence. The in vivo orthotopic LNCaP tumor model described in our study mimics the clinical course of human prostate cancer progression. As such, it can be used as a model for defining the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer progression to androgen-independence and for evaluating the effect of preventive or therapeutic regimens for androgen-independent human prostate cancer.
prostate cancer; androgen-sensitive; androgen-independent; orthotopic model
Although high doses of single bioactive agents may have potent anticancer effects, the chemopreventive properties of the Asian diet may result from interactions among several components that potentiate the activities of any single constituent. In Asia, where intake of soy products and tea consumption are very high, aggressive prostate cancer is significantly less prevalent in Asian men. The objective of the present study was to identify possible synergistic effects between soy and tea components on prostate tumor progression in a mouse model of orthotopic androgen-sensitive human prostate cancer. Soy phytochemical concentrate (SPC), black tea and green tea were compared with respect to tumorigenicity rate, primary tumor growth, tumor proliferation index and microvessel density, serum androgen level and metastases to lymph nodes. SPC, black tea and green tea significantly reduced tumorigenicity. SPC and black tea also significantly reduced final tumor weights. Green tea did not reduce final tumor weight, although it tended to elevate (P = 0.14) the serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT) concentration. The combination of SPC and black tea synergistically inhibited prostate tumorigenicity, final tumor weight and metastases to lymph nodes in vivo. The combination of SPC and green tea synergistically inhibited final tumor weight and metastasis and significantly reduced serum concentrations of both testosterone and DHT in vivo. Inhibition of tumor progression was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis. This study suggests that further research is warranted to study the role of soy and tea combination as effective nutritional regimens in prostate cancer prevention.
prostate cancer; soy phytochemicals; tea; synergy
We recently found that low-molecular-weight hyaluronan was induced by cyclic stretch in lung fibroblasts and accumulated in lungs from animals with ventilator-induced lung injury. The low-molecular-weight hyaluronan produced by stretch increased interleukin-8 production in epithelial cells, and was accompanied by an upregulation of hyaluronan synthase–3 mRNA. We hypothesized that low-molecular-weight hyaluronan induced by high VT was dependent on hyaluronan synthase 3, and was associated with ventilator-induced lung injury. Effects of high VT ventilation in C57BL/6 wild-type and hyaluronan synthase–3 knockout mice were compared. Significantly increased neutrophil infiltration, macrophage inflammatory protein–2 production, and lung microvascular leak were found in wild-type animals ventilated with high VT. These reactions were significantly reduced in hyaluronan synthase–3 knockout mice, except the capillary leak. Wild-type mice ventilated with high VT were found to have increased low-molecular-weight hyaluronan in lung tissues and concomitant increased expression of hyaluronan synthase–3 mRNA, neither of which was found in hyaluronan synthase–3 knockout mice. We conclude that high VT induced low-molecular-weight hyaluronan production is dependent on de novo synthesis through hyaluronan synthase 3, and plays a role in the inflammatory response of ventilator-induced lung injury.
hyaluronic acid; knockout mice; mechanical ventilation; tidal volume