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1.  Increased expression of vascular endothelin type B and angiotensin type 1 receptors in patients with ischemic heart disease 
Background
Endothelin-1 and angiotensin II are strong vasoconstrictors. Patients with ischemic heart disease have elevated plasma levels of endothelin-1 and angiotensin II and show increased vascular tone. The aim of the present study was to examine the endothelin and angiotensin II receptor expression in subcutaneous arteries from patients with different degrees of ischemic heart disease.
Methods
Subcutaneous arteries were obtained, by biopsy from the abdomen, from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery because of ischemic heart disease (n = 15), patients with angina pectoris without established myocardial infarction (n = 15) and matched cardiovascular healthy controls (n = 15). Endothelin type A (ETA) and type B (ETB), and angiotensin type 1 (AT1) and type 2 (AT2) receptors expression and function were examined using immunohistochemistry, Western blot and in vitro pharmacology.
Results
ETA and, to a lesser extent, ETB receptor staining was observed in the healthy vascular smooth muscle cells. The level of ETB receptor expression was higher in patients undergoing CABG surgery (250% ± 23%; P < 0.05) and in the patients with angina pectoris (199% ± 6%; P < 0.05), than in the healthy controls (100% ± 28%). The data was confirmed by Western blotting. Arteries from CABG patients showed increased vasoconstriction upon administration of the selective ETB receptor agonist sarafotoxin S6c, compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05). No such difference was found for the ETA receptors. AT1 and, to a lesser extent, AT2 receptor immunostaining was seen in the vascular smooth muscle cells. The level of AT1 receptor expression was higher in both the angina pectoris (128% ± 25%; P < 0.05) and in the CABG patients (203% ± 41%; P < 0.05), as compared to the healthy controls (100% ± 25%). The increased AT1 receptor expression was confirmed by Western blotting. Myograph experiment did however not show any change in vasoconstriction to angiotensin II in CABG patients compared to healthy controls (P = n.s).
Conclusion
The results demonstrate, for the first time, upregulation of ETB and AT1 receptors in vascular smooth muscle cells in ischemic heart disease. These receptors may play a role in the pathophysiology of ischemic heart disease and could provide important targets for pharmaceutical interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-40
PMCID: PMC2744906  PMID: 19706169
2.  Up-regulation of endothelin type B receptors in the human internal mammary artery in culture is dependent on protein kinase C and mitogen-activated kinase signaling pathways 
Background
Up-regulation of vascular endothelin type B (ETB) receptors is implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Culture of intact arteries has been shown to induce similar receptor alterations and has therefore been suggested as a suitable method for, ex vivo, in detail delineation of the regulation of endothelin receptors. We hypothesize that mitogen-activated kinases (MAPK) and protein kinase C (PKC) are involved in the regulation of endothelin ETB receptors in human internal mammary arteries.
Methods
Human internal mammary arteries were obtained during coronary artery bypass graft surgery and were studied before and after 24 hours of organ culture, using in vitro pharmacology, real time PCR and Western blot techniques. Sarafotoxin 6c and endothelin-1 were used to examine the endothelin ETA and ETB receptor effects, respectively. The involvement of PKC and MAPK in the endothelin receptor regulation was examined by culture in the presence of antagonists.
Results
The endohtelin-1-induced contraction (after endothelin ETB receptor desensitization) and the endothelin ETA receptor mRNA expression levels were not altered by culture. The sarafotoxin 6c contraction, endothelin ETB receptor protein and mRNA expression levels were increased after organ culture. This increase was antagonized by; (1) PKC inhibitors (10 μM bisindolylmaleimide I and 10 μM Ro-32-0432), and (2) inhibitors of the p38, extracellular signal related kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and C-jun terminal kinase (JNK) MAPK pathways (10 μM SB203580, 10 μM PD98059 and 10 μM SP600125, respectively).
Conclusion
In conclusion, PKC and MAPK seem to be involved in the up-regulation of endothelin ETB receptor expression in human internal mammary arteries. Inhibiting these intracellular signal transduction pathways may provide a future therapeutic target for hindering the development of vascular endothelin ETB receptor changes in cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-8-21
PMCID: PMC2553399  PMID: 18778461
3.  A compare between myocardial topical negative pressure levels of -25 mmHg and -50 mmHg in a porcine model 
Background
Topical negative pressure (TNP), widely used in wound therapy, is known to stimulate wound edge blood flow, granulation tissue formation, angiogenesis, and revascularization. We have previously shown that application of a TNP of -50 mmHg to the myocardium significantly increases microvascular blood flow in the underlying tissue. We have also shown that a myocardial TNP levels between -75 mmHg and -150 mmHg do not induce microvascular blood flow changes in the underlying myocardium. The present study was designed to elucidate the difference between -25 mmHg and -50 mmHg TNP on microvascular flow in normal and ischemic myocardium.
Methods
Six pigs underwent median sternotomy. The microvascular blood flow in the myocardium was recorded before and after the application of TNP using laser Doppler flowmetry. Analyses were performed before left anterior descending artery (LAD) occlusion (normal myocardium), and after 20 minutes of LAD occlusion (ischemic myocardium).
Results
A TNP of -25 mmHg significantly increased microvascular blood flow in both normal (from 263.3 ± 62.8 PU before, to 380.0 ± 80.6 PU after TNP application, * p = 0.03) and ischemic myocardium (from 58.8 ± 17.7 PU before, to 85.8 ± 20.9 PU after TNP application, * p = 0.04). A TNP of -50 mmHg also significantly increased microvascular blood flow in both normal (from 174.2 ± 20.8 PU before, to 240.0 ± 34.4 PU after TNP application, * p = 0.02) and ischemic myocardium (from 44.5 ± 14.0 PU before, to 106.2 ± 26.6 PU after TNP application, ** p = 0.01).
Conclusion
Topical negative pressure of -25 mmHg and -50 mmHg both induced a significant increase in microvascular blood flow in normal and in ischemic myocardium. The increase in microvascular blood flow was larger when using -25 mmHg on normal myocardium, and was larger when using -50 mmHg on ischemic myocardium; however these differences were not statistically significant.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-8-14
PMCID: PMC2467401  PMID: 18570679
4.  Organ culture: a new model for vascular endothelium dysfunction 
Background
Endothelium dysfunction is believed to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of organ culture as a model for endothelium dysfunction.
Methods
The isometric tension was recorded in isolated segments of the rat mesenteric artery branch, before and after organ culture for 20 h. Vasodilatation was expressed as % of preconstriction with U46619. The acetylcholine (ACh) induced nitric oxide (NO) mediated dilatation was studied in the presence of 10 μM indomethacin, 50 nM charybdotoxin and 1 μM apamin. Endothelium-derived hyperpolarising factor (EDHF) was studied in the presence of 0.1 mM L-NOARG and indomethacin. Prostaglandins were studied in the presence of L-NOARG, charybdotoxin and apamin.
Results
The ACh-induced NO and prostaglandin-mediated dilatations decreased significantly during organ culture (NO: 84% in control and 36% in cultured; prostaglandins: 48% in control and 16% in cultured). Notably, the total ACh-dilatation was not changed. This might be explained by the finding that EDHF alone stimulated a full dilatation even after organ culture (83% in control and 80% in cultured). EDHF may thereby compensate for the loss in NO and prostaglandin-mediated dilatation. Dilatations induced by forskolin or sodium nitroprusside did not change after organ culture, indicating intact smooth muscle cell function.
Conclusions
Organ culture induces a loss in NO and prostaglandin-mediated dilatation, which is compensated for by EDHF. This shift in mediator profile resembles that in endothelium dysfunction. Organ culture provides an easily accessible model where the molecular changes that take place, when endothelium dysfunction is developed, can be examined over time.
PMCID: PMC113257  PMID: 12019023

Results 1-4 (4)