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1.  Obese and diabetic KKAy mice show increased mortality but improved cardiac function following myocardial infarction 
Introduction of the yellow obese gene (Ay) into mice (KKAy) results in obesity and diabetes by 5 weeks of age.
Using this model of type 2 diabetes, we evaluated male and female 6–8 month old wild type (WT, n=10) and KKAy (n=22) mice subjected to myocardial infraction (MI) and sacrificed at day (d) 7.
Despite similar infarct sizes (50±4% for WT and 49±2% for KKAy, p=N.S.), the 7 d post-MI survival was 70% (n=7/10) in WT mice and 45% (n=10/22) in KKAy mice (p<0.05). Plasma glucose levels were 1.4 fold increased in KKAy mice at baseline, compared to WT (p<0.05). Glucose levels did not change in WT mice but decreased 38% in KKAy post-MI (p<0.05). End-diastolic and end-systolic dimensions post-MI were smaller and fractional shortening improved in the KKAy (5±1% in WT and 10±2% in KKAy, p<0.05 for all). The improved cardiac function in KKAy was accompanied by reduced macrophage numbers and collagen I and III levels (both p<0.05). Griffonia (Bandeiraea) simplicifolia lectin-I staining for vessel density demonstrated fewer vessels in KKAy infarcts (5.9±0.5%) compared to WT infarcts (7.3±0.1%, p<0.05).
In conclusion, our study in KKAy mice revealed a paradoxical reduced post-MI survival but improved cardiac function through reduced inflammation, extracellular matrix accumulation, and neovascularization in the infarct region. These results indicate a dual role effect of obesity in the post-MI response.
PMCID: PMC3965668  PMID: 23896047
obesity; diabetes; extracellular matrix; heart failure; inflammation; myocardial infarction
2.  Obesity-mediated inflammatory microenvironment stimulates osteoclastogenesis and bone loss in mice 
Experimental gerontology  2010;46(1):43-52.
Clinical evidence indicates that fat is inversely proportional to bone mass in elderly obese women. However, it remains unclear whether obesity accelerates bone loss. In this report we present evidence that increased visceral fat leads to inflammation and subsequent bone loss in 12-month-old C57BL/6J mice that were fed 10% corn oil (CO)-based diet and a control lab chow (LC) for 6 months. As expected from our previous work, CO-fed mice demonstrated increased visceral fat and enhanced total body fat mass compared to LC. The adipocyte-specific PPARγ and bone marrow (BM) adiposity were increased in CO-fed mice. In correlation with those modifications, inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α) were significantly elevated in COfed mice compared to LC-fed mice. This inflammatory BM microenvironment resulted in increased superoxide production in osteoclasts and undifferentiated BM cells. In CO-fed mice, the increased number of osteoclasts per trabecular bone length and the increased osteoclastogenesis assessed ex-vivo suggest that CO diet induces bone resorption. Additionally, the up-regulation of osteoclast-specific cathepsin k and RANKL expression and down-regulation of osteoblast-specific RUNX2/Cbfa1 supports this bone resorption in CO-fed mice. Also, COfed mice exhibited lower trabecular bone volume in the distal femoral metaphysis and had reduced OPG expression. Collectively, our results suggest that increased bone resorption in mice fed a CO-enriched diet is possibly due to increased inflammation mediated by the accumulation of adipocytes in the BM microenvironment. This inflammation may consequently increase osteoclastogenesis, while reducing osteoblast development in CO-fed mice.
PMCID: PMC2998554  PMID: 20923699
Aging; adipocytes; bone marrow adiposity; obesity; osteoporosis; visceral fat
3.  Streptococcus pneumoniae Translocates into the Myocardium and Forms Unique Microlesions That Disrupt Cardiac Function 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(9):e1004383.
Hospitalization of the elderly for invasive pneumococcal disease is frequently accompanied by the occurrence of an adverse cardiac event; these are primarily new or worsened heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. Herein, we describe previously unrecognized microscopic lesions (microlesions) formed within the myocardium of mice, rhesus macaques, and humans during bacteremic Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. In mice, invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) severity correlated with levels of serum troponin, a marker for cardiac damage, the development of aberrant cardiac electrophysiology, and the number and size of cardiac microlesions. Microlesions were prominent in the ventricles, vacuolar in appearance with extracellular pneumococci, and remarkable due to the absence of infiltrating immune cells. The pore-forming toxin pneumolysin was required for microlesion formation but Interleukin-1β was not detected at the microlesion site ruling out pneumolysin-mediated pyroptosis as a cause of cell death. Antibiotic treatment resulted in maturing of the lesions over one week with robust immune cell infiltration and collagen deposition suggestive of long-term cardiac scarring. Bacterial translocation into the heart tissue required the pneumococcal adhesin CbpA and the host ligands Laminin receptor (LR) and Platelet-activating factor receptor. Immunization of mice with a fusion construct of CbpA or the LR binding domain of CbpA with the pneumolysin toxoid L460D protected against microlesion formation. We conclude that microlesion formation may contribute to the acute and long-term adverse cardiac events seen in humans with IPD.
Author Summary
Hospitalization for community-acquired pneumonia carries a documented risk for adverse cardiac events. These occur during infection and contribute to elevated mortality rates in convalescent individuals up to 1 year thereafter. We describe a previously unrecognized pathogenic mechanism by which Streptococcus pneumoniae, the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia, causes direct cardiotoxicity and forms microscopic bacteria-filled lesions within the heart. Microlesions were detected in experimentally infected mice and rhesus macaques, as well as in heart sections from humans who succumbed to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Cardiac microlesion formation required interaction of the bacterial adhesin CbpA with host Laminin receptor and bacterial cell wall with Platelet-activating factor receptor. Microlesion formation also required the pore-forming toxin pneumolysin. When infected mice were rescued with antibiotics, we observed robust signs of collagen deposition at former lesion sites. Thus, microlesions and the scarring that occurs thereafter may explain why adverse cardiac events occur during and following IPD.
PMCID: PMC4169480  PMID: 25232870
4.  Aging and energetics’ ‘Top 40’ future research opportunities 2010-2013 
F1000Research  2014;3:219.
Background: As part of a coordinated effort to expand our research activity at the interface of Aging and Energetics a team of investigators at The University of Alabama at Birmingham systematically assayed and catalogued the top research priorities identified in leading publications in that domain, believing the result would be useful to the scientific community at large.
Objective: To identify research priorities and opportunities in the domain of aging and energetics as advocated in the 40 most cited papers related to aging and energetics in the last 4 years.
Design: The investigators conducted a search for papers on aging and energetics in Scopus, ranked the resulting papers by number of times they were cited, and selected the ten most-cited papers in each of the four years that include 2010 to 2013, inclusive.
Results:   Ten research categories were identified from the 40 papers.  These included: (1) Calorie restriction (CR) longevity response, (2) role of mTOR (mechanistic target of Rapamycin) and related factors in lifespan extension, (3) nutrient effects beyond energy (especially resveratrol, omega-3 fatty acids, and selected amino acids), 4) autophagy and increased longevity and health, (5) aging-associated predictors of chronic disease, (6) use and effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), (7) telomeres relative to aging and energetics, (8) accretion and effects of body fat, (9) the aging heart,  and (10) mitochondria, reactive oxygen species, and cellular energetics.
Conclusion: The field is rich with exciting opportunities to build upon our existing knowledge about the relations among aspects of aging and aspects of energetics and to better understand the mechanisms which connect them.
PMCID: PMC4197746  PMID: 25324965
5.  Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP)-9: a proximal biomarker for cardiac remodeling and a distal biomarker for inflammation 
Pharmacology & therapeutics  2013;139(1):32-40.
Adverse cardiac remodeling following myocardial infarction (MI) remains a significant cause of congestive heart failure. Additional and novel strategies that improve our ability to predict, diagnose, or treat remodeling are needed. Numerous groups have explored single and multiple biomarker strategies to identify diagnostic prognosticators of remodeling progression, which will improve our ability to promptly and accurately identify high-risk individuals. The identification of better clinical indicators should further lead to more effective prediction and timely treatment.
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9) is one potential biomarker for cardiac remodeling, as demonstrated by both animal models and clinical studies. In animal MI models, MMP-9 expression significantly increases and is linked with inflammation, diabetic microvascular complications, extracellular matrix degradation and synthesis, and cardiac dysfunction. Clinical studies have also established a relationship between MMP-9 and post-MI remodeling and mortality, making MMP-9 a viable candidate to add to the multiple biomarker list.
By definition, a proximal biomarker shows a close relationship with its target disease, whereas a distal biomarker exhibits non-targeted disease modifying outcomes. In this review, we explore the ability of MMP-9 to serve as a proximal biomarker for cardiac remodeling and a distal biomarker for inflammation. We summarize the current molecular basis and clinical platform that allow us to include MMP-9 as a biomarker in both categories.
PMCID: PMC3660444  PMID: 23562601
biomarker; cardiovascular; congestive heart failure; inflammation; MMP-9; myocardial infarction
6.  Texas 3-Step decellularization protocol: Looking at the cardiac extracellular matrix 
Journal of proteomics  2013;86:10.1016/j.jprot.2013.05.004.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a critical tissue component, providing structural support as well as important regulatory signaling cues to govern cellular growth, metabolism, and differentiation. The study of ECM proteins, however, is hampered by the low solubility of ECM components in common solubilizing reagents. ECM proteins are often not detected during proteomics analyses using unbiased approaches due to solubility issues and relatively low abundance compared to highly abundant cytoplasmic and mitochondrial proteins. Decellularization has become a common technique for ECM protein-enrichment and is frequently used in engineering studies. Solubilizing the ECM after decellularization for further proteomic examination has not been previously explored in depth. In this study, we describe testing of a series of protocols that enabled us to develop a novel optimized strategy for the enrichment and solubilization of ECM components. Following tissue decellularization, we use acid extraction and enzymatic deglycosylation to facilitate resolubilization. The end result is the generation of three fractions for each sample: soluble components, cellular components, and an insoluble ECM fraction. These fractions, developed in mass spectrometry-compatible buffers, are amenable to proteomics analysis. The developed protocol allows identification (by mass spectrometry) and quantification (by mass spectrometry or immunoblotting) of ECM components in tissue samples.
Biological significance
The study of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in pathological and non-pathological conditions is often hampered by the low solubility of ECM components in common solubilizing reagents. Additionally, ECM proteins are often not detected during global proteomic analyses due to their relatively low abundance compared to highly abundant cytoplasmic and mitochondrial proteins. In this manuscript we describe testing of a series of protocols that enabled us to develop a final novel optimized strategy for the enrichment and solubilization of ECM components. The end result is the generation of three fractions for each sample: soluble components, cellular components, and an insoluble ECM fraction. By analysis of each independent fraction, differences in protein levels can be detected that in normal conditions would be masked. These fractions are amenable to mass spectrometry analysis to identify and quantify ECM components in tissue samples. The manuscript places a strong emphasis on the immediate practical relevance of the method, particularly when using mass spectrometry approaches; additionally, the optimized method was validated and compared to other methodologies described in the literature.
PMCID: PMC3879953  PMID: 23681174
Extracellular matrix; Enrichment; Decellularization; Heart; Solubility; Matrix metalloproteinases
7.  Concentrated fish oil (Lovaza®) extends lifespan and attenuates kidney disease in lupus-prone short-lived (NZBxNZW)F1 mice 
A growing number of reports indicate that anti-inflammatory actions of fish oil (FO) are beneficial against systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the majority of pre-clinical studies were performed using 5–20% FO, which is higher than the clinically relevant dose for lupus patients. The present study was performed in order to determine the effective low dose of FDA-approved concentrated FO (Lovaza®) compared to the commonly used FO-18/12 (18-Eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]/12-Docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]). We examined the dose-dependent response of Lovaza® (1% and 4%) on an SLE mouse strain (NZB×NZW)F1 and compared the same with 1% and 4% placebo, as well as 4% FO-18/12, maintaining standard chow as the control. Results show for the first time that 1% Lovaza® extends maximal lifespan (517 d) and 4% Lovaza® significantly extends both the median (502 d) and maximal (600 d) life span of (NZB×NZW)F1 mice. In contrast, FO-18/12 extends only median lifespan (410 d) compared to standard chow diet (301 d). Additionally, 4% Lovaza® significantly decreased anti-dsDNA antibodies, reduced glomerulonephritis and attenuated lipopolysaccharide-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α) in splenocytes compared to placebo. 4% Lovaza® was also shown to reduce the expression of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, while increasing renal anti-oxidant enzymes in comparison to placebo. Notably, NFκB activation and p65 nuclear translocation were lowered by 4% Lovaza® compared to placebo. These data indicate that 1% Lovaza® is beneficial, but 4% Lovaza® is more effective in suppressing glomerulonephritis and extending life span of SLE-prone short-lived mice, possibly via reducing inflammation signaling and modulating oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3970264  PMID: 23918873
Fish oil; inflammation; kidney disease; lifespan; lupus; survival
8.  DHA derivatives of fish oil as dietary supplements: a nutrition-based drug discovery approach for therapies to prevent metabolic cardiotoxicity 
Expert opinion on drug discovery  2012;7(8):711-721.
During the early 1970s, Danish physicians Jorn Dyerberg and colleagues observed that Greenland Eskimos consuming fatty fishes exhibited low incidences of heart disease. Fish oil is now one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. In 2004, concentrated fish oil was approved as a drug by the FDA for the treatment of hyperlipidemia. Fish oil contains two major omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). With advancements in lipid concentration and purification techniques, EPA- or DHA-enriched products are now commercially available, and the availability of these components in isolation allows their individual effects to be examined. Newly synthesized derivatives and endogenously discovered metabolites of DHA exhibit therapeutic utility for obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
Areas covered
This review summarizes our current knowledge on the distinct effects of EPA and DHA to prevent metabolic syndrome and reduce cardiotoxicity risk. Since EPA is an integral component of fish oil, we will briefly review EPA effects, but our main theme will be to summarize effects of the DHA derivatives that are available today. We focus on using nutrition-based drug discovery to explore the potential of DHA derivatives for the treatment of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.
Expert opinion
The safety and efficacy evaluation of DHA derivatives will provide novel biomolecules for the drug discovery arsenal. Novel nutritional-based drug discoveries of DHA derivatives or metabolites may provide realistic and alternative strategies for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3969443  PMID: 22724444
cardiovascular disease; dietary supplement; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; fish oil; metabolic syndrome; obesity
9.  Matrix Metalloproteinase-28 Deletion Exacerbates Cardiac Dysfunction and Rupture Following Myocardial Infarction in Mice by Inhibiting M2 Macrophage Activation 
Circulation research  2012;112(4):675-688.
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-28 regulates the inflammatory and extracellular matrix (ECM) responses in cardiac aging, but the roles of MMP-28 after myocardial infarction (MI) have not been explored.
To determine the impact of MMP-28 deletion on post-MI remodeling of the left ventricle (LV)
Methods and Results
Adult C57BL/6J wild type (WT, n=76) and MMP null (MMP-28−/−, n=86) mice of both sexes were subjected to permanent coronary artery ligation to create MI. MMP-28 expression decreased post-MI, and its cell source shifted from myocytes to macrophages. MMP-28 deletion increased day 7 mortality as a result of increased cardiac rupture post-MI. MMP-28−/− mice exhibited larger LV volumes, worse LV dysfunction, a worse LV remodeling index, and increased lung edema. Plasma MMP-9 levels were unchanged in the MMP-28−/− mice but increased in WT mice at day 7 post-MI. The mRNA levels of inflammatory and ECM proteins were attenuated in the infarct regions of MMP-28−/− mice, indicating reduced inflammatory and ECM responses. M2 macrophage activation was impaired when MMP-28 was absent. MMP-28 deletion also led to decreased collagen deposition and fewer myofibroblasts. Collagen cross-linking was impaired, due to decreased expression and activation of lysyl oxidase in the infarcts of MMP-28−/− mice. The LV tensile strength at day 3 post-MI, however, was similar between the two genotypes
MMP-28 deletion aggravated MI induced LV dysfunction and rupture, due to defective inflammatory response and scar formation by suppressing M2 macrophage activation.
PMCID: PMC3597388  PMID: 23261783
Myocardial infarction; MMP-28; fibroblast; macrophage phenotype; inflammation
10.  Extracellular Matrix and Fibroblast Communication Following Myocardial Infarction 
The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural support by serving as a scaffold for cells, and as such the ECM maintains normal tissue homeostasis and mediates the repair response following injury. In response to myocardial infarction (MI), ECM expression is generally upregulated in the left ventricle (LV), which regulates LV remodeling by modulating scar formation. The ECM directly affects scar formation by regulating growth factor release and cell adhesion, and indirectly affects scar formation by regulating the inflammatory, angiogenic, and fibroblast responses. This review summarizes the current literature on ECM expression patterns and fibroblast mechanisms in the myocardium, focusing on the ECM response to MI. In addition, we discuss future research areas that are needed to better understand the molecular mechanisms of ECM action, both in general and as a means to optimize infarct healing.
PMCID: PMC3518752  PMID: 22926488
extracellular matrix; myocardial infarction; fibroblasts; cardiac myocytes; cell-ECM communication; proteomics
11.  Transgenic Overexpression of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in Macrophages Attenuates the Inflammatory Response and Improves Left Ventricular Function Post-Myocardial Infarction 
Following myocardial infarction (MI), activated macrophages infiltrate into the necrotic myocardium as part of a robust pro-inflammatory response and secrete matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). Macrophage activation, in turn, modulates the fibrotic response, in part by stimulating fibroblast extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis. We hypothesized that overexpression of human MMP-9 in mouse macrophages would amplify the inflammatory and fibrotic responses to exacerbate left ventricular dysfunction. Unexpectedly, at day 5 post-MI, ejection fraction was improved in transgenic (TG) mice (25±2%) compared to the wild type (WT) mice (18±2%; p<0.05). By gene expression profiling, 23 of 84 inflammatory genes were decreased in the left ventricle infarct (LVI) region from the TG compared to WT mice (all p<0.05). Concomitantly, TG macrophages isolated from the LVI, as well as TG peritoneal macrophages stimulated with LPS, showed decreased inflammatory marker expression compared to WT macrophages. In agreement with attenuated inflammation, only 7 of 84 cell adhesion and ECM genes were increased in the TG LVI compared to WT LVI, while 43 genes were decreased (all p<0.05). These results reveal a novel role for macrophage-derived MMP-9 in blunting the inflammatory response and limiting ECM synthesis to improve left ventricular function post-MI.
PMCID: PMC3472138  PMID: 22884843
myocardial infarction; matrix metalloproteinase-9; extracellular matrix; inflammation; cardiac remodeling; mice; macrophage
13.  Mathematical modeling and stability analysis of macrophage activation in left ventricular remodeling post-myocardial infarction 
BMC Genomics  2012;13(Suppl 6):S21.
About 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure and 70% of heart failure cases are caused by myocardial infarction (MI). Following myocardial infarction, increased cytokines induce two major types of macrophages: classically activated macrophages which contribute to extracellular matrix destruction and alternatively activated macrophages which contribute to extracellular matrix construction. Though experimental results have shown the transitions between these two types of macrophages, little is known about the dynamic progression of macrophages activation. Therefore, the objective of this study is to analyze macrophage activation patterns post-MI.
We have collected experimental data from adult C57 mice and built a framework to represent the regulatory relationships among cytokines and macrophages. A set of differential equations were established to characterize the regulatory relationships for macrophage activation in the left ventricle post-MI based on the physical chemistry laws. We further validated the mathematical model by comparing our computational results with experimental results reported in the literature. By applying Lyaponuv stability analysis, the established mathematical model demonstrated global stability in homeostasis situation and bounded response to myocardial infarction.
We have established and validated a mathematical model for macrophage activation post-MI. The stability analysis provided a possible strategy to intervene the balance of classically and alternatively activated macrophages in this study. The results will lay a strong foundation to understand the mechanisms of left ventricular remodelling post-MI.
PMCID: PMC3481436  PMID: 23134700
14.  t10c12-CLA maintains higher bone mineral density during aging by modulating osteoclastogenesis and bone marrow adiposity 
Journal of cellular physiology  2011;226(9):2406-2414.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to positively influence calcium and bone metabolism. Earlier, we showed that CLA (equal mixture of c9t11-CLA and t10c12-CLA) could protect age-associated bone loss by modulating inflammatory markers and osteoclastogenesis. Since, c9t11-CLA and t10c12-CLA isomers differentially regulate functional parameters and gene expression in different cell types, we examined the efficacy of individual CLA isomers against age-associated bone loss using 12 months old C57BL/6 female mice fed for 6 months with 10% corn oil (CO), 9.5% CO + 0.5% c9t11-CLA, 9.5% CO + 0.5% t10c12-CLA or 9.5% CO + 0.25% c9t11-CLA + 0.25% t10c12-CLA. Mice fed a t10c12-CLA diet maintained a significantly higher bone mineral density (BMD) in femoral, tibial and lumbar regions than those fed CO and c9t11-CLA diets as measured by dual-energy-x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The increased BMD was accompanied by a decreased production of osteoclastogenic factors i.e. RANKL, TRAP5b, TNF-alpha and IL-6 in serum. Moreover, a significant reduction of high fat diet-induced bone marrow adiposity was observed in t10c12-CLA fed mice as compared to that of CO and c9t11-CLA fed mice, as measured by Oil-Red-O staining of bone marrow sections. In addition, a significant reduction of osteoclast differentiation and bone resorbing pit formation was observed in t10c12-CLA treated RAW 264.7 cell culture stimulated with RANKL as compared to that of c9t11-CLA and linoleic acid treated cultures. In conclusion, these findings suggest that t10c12-CLA is the most potent CLA isomer and it exerts its anti-osteoporotic effect by modulating osteoclastogenesis and bone marrow adiposity.
PMCID: PMC3103755  PMID: 21660964
Conjugated linoleic acids; Aging; Inflammation; bone resorption; Cytokines; Cell differentiation
15.  Combination of conjugated linoleic acid with fish oil prevents age-associated bone marrow adiposity in C57Bl/6J mice 
The inverse relationship between fat in bone marrow and bone mass in the skeleton of aging subjects is well-known. However, there is no precise therapy for the treatment of bone marrow adiposity. We investigated the ability of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and fish oil (FO), alone or in combination, to modulate bone loss using 12 months old C57Bl/6J mice fed 10% corn oil (CO) diet as control or supplemented with 0.5% CLA or 5% FO or 0.5% CLA+5% FO for 6 months. We found, CLA fed mice exhibited reduced body weight, body fat mass (BFM), and enhanced hind leg lean mass (HLLM) and bone mineral density (BMD) in different regions measured by DXA; however, associated with fatty liver and increased insulin resistance; whereas, FO fed mice exhibited enhanced BMD, improved insulin sensitivity, with no changes in BFM and HLLM. Interestingly, CLA+FO fed mice exhibited reduced body weight, BFM, PPARγ and cathepsin K expression in bone marrow with enhanced BMD and HLLM. Moreover, CLA+FO supplementation reduced liver hypertrophy and improved insulin sensitivity with remarkable attenuation of bone marrow adiposity, inflammation and oxidative stress in aging mice. Therefore, CLA with FO combination might be a novel dietary supplement to reduce fat mass and improve BMD.
PMCID: PMC2965806  PMID: 20656466
Conjugated linoleic acid; bone adiposity; fat mass; fish oil; obesity
16.  Fish oil decreases inflammation and reduces cardiac remodeling in rosiglitazone treated aging mice 
Pharmacological Research  2010;63(4):300-307.
Clinical studies suggest that rosiglitazone (RSG) treatment may increase the incidence of heart failure in diabetic patients. In this study, we examined whether a high corn oil diet with RSG treatment in insulin resistant aging mice exerted metabolic and pro-inflammatory effects that stimulate cardiac dysfunction. We also evaluated whether fish oil attenuated these effects. Female C57BL/6J mice (13 months old) were divided into 5 groups: (1) lean control (LC), (2) corn oil, (3) fish oil, (4) corn oil + RSG and (5) fish oil + RSG. Mice fed a corn oil enriched diet and RSG developed hypertrophy of the left ventricle (LV) and decreased fractional shortening, despite a significant increase in total body lean mass. In contrast, LV hypertrophy was prevented in RSG treated mice fed a fish oil enriched diet. Importantly, hyperglycemia was controlled in both RSG groups. Further, fish oil + RSG decreased LV expression of atrial and brain natriuretic peptides, fibronectin and the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α, concomitant with increased interleukin-10 and adiponectin levels compared to the corn oil + RSG group. Fish oil + RSG treatment suppressed inflammation, increased serum adiponectin, and improved fractional shortening, attenuating the cardiac remodeling seen in the corn oil + RSG diet fed C57BL/6J insulin resistant aging mice. Our results suggest that RSG treatment has context-dependent effects on cardiac remodeling and serves a negative cardiac role when given with a corn oil enriched diet.
PMCID: PMC3326603  PMID: 21193042
Aging; Corn oil; Fish oil; Cardiac remodeling; Inflammation; Left ventricle hypertrophy; Rosiglitazone
17.  High Fat Diet-Induced Animal Model of Age-associated Obesity and Osteoporosis 
Osteoporosis and obesity remain a major public health concern through its associated fragility and fractures. Several animal models for the study of osteoporotic bone loss, such as ovariectomy (OVX) and denervation, require unique surgical skills and expensive set up. The challenging aspect of these age-associated diseases is that no single animal model exactly mimics the progression of these human-specific chronic conditions. Accordingly, to develop a simple and novel model of post menopausal bone loss with obesity, we fed either a high fat diet containing 10% corn oil (CO) or standard rodent lab chow (LC) to 12 month old female C57Bl/6J mice for 6 months. As a result, CO fed mice exhibited increased body weight, total body fat mass (BFM), abdominal fat mass and reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in different skeletal sites measured by Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA). We also observed that decreased bone mineral density (BMD) with age in CO fed obese mice was accompanied by increased bone marrow adiposity, up-regulation of PPARγ, cathepsin k and increased pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) in bone marrow and splenocytes, when compared to that of LC fed mice. Therefore, this appears to be a simple, novel and convenient age-associated model of post menopausal bone loss, in conjunction with obesity, which can be used in pre-clinical drug discovery to screen new therapeutic drugs or dietary interventions for the treatment of obesity and osteoporosis in the human population.
PMCID: PMC2888860  PMID: 20149618
Adipocytes; animal model; bone adiposity; fat mass; obesity; osteoporosis; pro-inflammatory cytokines
18.  Docosahexaenoic acid-enriched fish oil attenuates kidney disease and prolongs median and maximal life span of autoimmune lupus-prone mice 
The therapeutic efficacy of individual components of fish oils (FO) in various human inflammatory diseases still remains unresolved, possibly due to low levels of n-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or lower ratio of DHA to EPA. Since FO enriched with DHA (FO-DHA) or EPA (FO-EPA) has become available recently, we investigated their efficacy on survival and inflammatory kidney disease in a well-established animal model of human Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Results show for the first time that FO-DHA dramatically extends both the median (658 days) and maximal (848 days) lifespan of (NZB × NZW)F1 (B × W) mice. In contrast, FO-EPA fed mice had a median and maximal lifespan of ~384 and 500 days, respectively. Investigations into possible survival mechanisms revealed that FO-DHA (Vs. FO-EPA) lowers serum anti-dsDNA antibodies, IgG deposition in kidneys, and proteinuria. Further, FO-DHA lowered LPS-mediated increases in serum IL-18 levels and caspase-1-dependent cleavage of pro-IL-18 to mature IL-18 in kidneys. Moreover, FO-DHA suppressed LPS-mediated PI3K, Akt, and NF-κB activations in kidney. These data indicate that DHA, but not EPA, is the most potent n-3 fatty acid that suppresses glomerulonephritis and extends lifespan of SLE-prone short-lived B × W mice, possibly via inhibition of IL-18 induction and IL-18-dependent signaling.
PMCID: PMC2952419  PMID: 20368275
19.  Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) prevents age associated skeletal muscle loss 
In this study, we examined the effect of CLA isomers in preventing age-associated muscle loss and the mechanisms underlying this effect, using 12 months old C57BL/6 mice fed 10% corn oil (CO) or a diet supplemented with 0.5% c9t11-CLA, t10c12-CLA or c9t11-CLA+t10c12-CLA (CLA-mix) for 6 months. Both t10c12-CLA and CLA-mix groups showed significantly higher muscle mass, as compared to CO and c9t11-CLA groups, measured by dual-energy-Xray-absorptiometry and muscle wet weight. Enhanced mitochondrial ATP production, with higher membrane potential, and elevated muscle antioxidant enzymes (catalase and glutathione peroxidase) production, accompanied by slight increase in H2O2 production was noted in t10c12-CLA and CLA-mix groups, as compared to that of CO and c9t11-CLA groups. Oxidative stress, as measured by serum malondialdehyde and inflammation, as measured by LPS-treated splenocyte IL-6 and TNF-alpha, were significantly less in CLA isomers groups. Thus, CLA may be a novel dietary supplement that will prevent sarcopenia by maintaining redox balance during aging.
PMCID: PMC2893570  PMID: 19393220
Lipid; sarcopenia; aging; redox balance; oxidative stress; inflammation
20.  The fat-1 transgene in mice increases antioxidant potential, reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and enhances PPARγ and SIRT-1 expression on a calorie restricted diet 
Both n-3 fatty acids (FA) and calorie-restriction (CR) are known to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects in animals and humans. In this study, we investigated the synergistic anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative capacity of n-3 FA and CR using Fat-1 transgenic mice (Fat-1) that are capable of converting n-6 FA to n-3 FA endogenously. Wild type (WT) and Fat-1 mice were maintained on ad libitum (AL) or CR (40% less than AL) AIN-93 diet supplemented with 10% corn oil (rich in n-6 FA) for 5 months. Significantly lower levels of n-6/n-3 FA ratio were observed in serum, muscle and liver of Fat-1 mice fed AL or CR as compared to that of WT mice fed AL or CR. Muscle catalase (CAT), super oxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities, and liver CAT and SOD activities were found higher in Fat-1 mice as compared to that of WT mice. These activities were more pronounced in Fat-1/CR group as compared to other groups. Serum pro-inflammatory markers, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 were found lower in Fat-1 mice, as compared to that of WT mice. This anti-inflammatory effect was also more pronounced in Fat-1/CR group as compared to that of other groups. Furthermore, significantly higher levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPA R)gamma and life prolonging gene, sirtuin (SIRT)-1 expression were found in liver of Fat-1/CR mice, as compared to that of WT/CR mice. These data suggest that n-3 FA along with moderate CR may prolong lifespan by attenuating inflammation and oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC2835919  PMID: 20716918
lipids; n-3 fatty acids; calorie restriction; inflammation; oxidative stress; aging; TNFα; IL-6; IL-1β; PPARγ; SIRT-1

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