Mechanisms of atherogenesis have been studied extensively in genetically engineered mice with disturbed cholesterol metabolism such as those lacking either the LDL receptor (
Srinivas D. Sithu, Marina V. Malovichko, Krista A. Riggs, Nalinie S. Wickramasinghe, Millicent G. Winner, Abhinav Agarwal, Rihab E. Hamed-Berair, Anuradha Kalani, Daniel W. Riggs, Aruni Bhatnagar, Sanjay Srivastava
Non–transferrin-bound iron (NTBI) and free hemoglobin (Hb) accumulate in circulation following stored RBC transfusions. This study investigated transfusion, vascular disease, and mortality in guinea pigs after stored RBC transfusion alone and following cotransfusion with apo-transferrin (apo-Tf) and haptoglobin (Hp). The effects of RBC exchange transfusion dose (1, 3, and 9 units), storage period (14 days), and mortality were evaluated in guinea pigs with a vascular disease phenotype. Seven-day mortality and the interaction between iron and Hb as cocontributors to adverse outcome were studied. Concentrations of iron and free Hb were greatest after transfusion with 9 units of stored RBCs compared with fresh RBCs or stored RBCs at 1- and 3-unit volumes. Nine units of stored RBCs led to mortality in vascular diseased animals, but not normal animals. One and 3 units of stored RBCs did not cause a mortality effect, suggesting the concomitant relevance of NTBI and Hb on outcome. Cotransfusion with apo-Tf or Hp restored survival to 100% following 9-unit RBC transfusions in vascular diseased animals. Our data suggest that increases in plasma NTBI and Hb contribute to vascular disease–associated mortality through iron-enhanced Hb oxidation and enhanced tissue injury.
Jin Hyen Baek, Ayla Yalamanoglu, Yamei Gao, Ricardo Guenster, Donat R. Spahn, Dominik J. Schaer, Paul W. Buehler
Antibody-secreting cells are generated in regional lymphoid tissues and traffic as plasmablasts (PBs) via lymph and blood to target sites for local immunity. We used multiparameter flow cytometry to define PB trafficking programs (TPs, combinations of adhesion molecules and chemoattractant receptors) and their imprinting in patients in response to localized infection or immune insults. TPs enriched after infection or autoimmune inflammation of mucosae correlate with sites of immune response or symptoms, with different TPs imprinted during small intestinal, colon, throat, and upper respiratory immune challenge. PBs induced after intramuscular or intradermal influenza vaccination, including flu-specific antibody–secreting cells, display TPs characterized by the lack of mucosal homing receptors. PBs of healthy donors display diverse mucosa-associated TPs, consistent with homeostatic immune activity. Identification of TP signatures of PBs may facilitate noninvasive monitoring of organ-specific immune responses.
Yekyung Seong, Nicole H. Lazarus, Lusijah Sutherland, Aida Habtezion, Tzvia Abramson, Xiao-Song He, Harry B. Greenberg, Eugene C. Butcher
Impaired PPARγ activity in endothelial cells causes oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction which causes a predisposition to hypertension, but the identity of key PPARγ target genes that protect the endothelium remain unclear. Retinol-binding protein 7 (RBP7) is a PPARγ target gene that is essentially endothelium specific. Whereas RBP7-deficient mice exhibit normal endothelial function at baseline, they exhibit severe endothelial dysfunction in response to cardiovascular stressors, including high-fat diet and subpressor angiotensin II. Endothelial dysfunction was not due to differences in weight gain, impaired glucose homeostasis, or hepatosteatosis, but occurred through an oxidative stress–dependent mechanism which can be rescued by scavengers of superoxide. RNA sequencing revealed that RBP7 was required to mediate induction of a subset of PPARγ target genes by rosiglitazone in the endothelium including adiponectin. Adiponectin was selectively induced in the endothelium of control mice by high-fat diet and rosiglitazone, whereas RBP7 deficiency abolished this induction. Adiponectin inhibition caused endothelial dysfunction in control vessels, whereas adiponectin treatment of RBP7-deficient vessels improved endothelium-dependent relaxation and reduced oxidative stress. We conclude that RBP7 is required to mediate the protective effects of PPARγ in the endothelium through adiponectin, and RBP7 is an endothelium-specific PPARγ target and regulator of PPARγ activity.
Chunyan Hu, Henry L. Keen, Ko-Ting Lu, Xuebo Liu, Jing Wu, Deborah R. Davis, Stella-Rita C. Ibeawuchi, Silke Vogel, Frederick W. Quelle, Curt D. Sigmund
Occurrence of transient ischemic attacks (TIA) and cerebral strokes is a recognized risk associated with cocaine abuse. Here, we use a rodent model along with optical imaging to study cocaine-induced TIA and the associated dynamic changes in cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv) and cerebrovasculature. We show that chronic cocaine exposure in mice resulted in marked cortical hypoperfusion, in significant arterial and venous vasoconstriction, and in a sensitized vascular response to an acute cocaine injection. Starting after 10 days of exposure, an acute cocaine challenge to these mice resulted in a TIA, which presented as hemiparalysis and was associated with an abrupt exacerbation of CBFv. The severity of the TIA correlated with the decreases in cortical CBFv such that the greater the decreases in flow, the longer the TIA duration. The severity of TIA peaked around 17–22 days of cocaine exposure and decreased thereafter in parallel to a reorganization of CBFv from superficial to deep cortical layers, along with an increase in vessel density into these layers. Here, we document for the first time to our knowledge evidence of a TIA in an animal model of chronic cocaine exposure that was associated with profound decreases in CBFv, and we revealed that while the severity of the TIA initially increased with repeated exposures, it subsequently improved in parallel to an increase in the vessel density. This suggests that strategies to accelerate cerebrovascular recovery might be therapeutically beneficial in cocaine abusers.
Jiang You, Nora D. Volkow, Kicheon Park, Quijia Zhang, Kevin Clare, Congwu Du, Yingtian Pan
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a multifaceted vascular disease where development and severity are determined by both genetic and environmental factors. Over the past decade, there has been an acceleration of the discovery of molecular effectors that mediate PH pathogenesis, including large numbers of microRNA molecules that are expressed in pulmonary vascular cell types and exert system-wide regulatory functions in all aspects of vascular health and disease. Due to the inherent pleiotropy, overlap, and redundancy of these molecules, it has been challenging to define their integrated effects on overall disease manifestation. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the roles of microRNAs in PH with an emphasis on potential methods to discern the hierarchical motifs governing their multifunctional and interconnected activities. Deciphering this higher order of regulatory structure will be crucial for overcoming the challenges of developing these molecules as biomarkers or therapeutic targets, in isolation or combination.
Vinny Negi, Stephen Y. Chan
Maintenance of vascular integrity in the adult animal is needed for survival, and it is critically dependent on the endothelial lining, which controls barrier function, blood fluidity, and flow dynamics. However, nodal regulators that coordinate endothelial identity and function in the adult animal remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that endothelial KLF2 and KLF4 control a large segment of the endothelial transcriptome, thereby affecting virtually all key endothelial functions. Inducible endothelial-specific deletion of
Panjamaporn Sangwung, Guangjin Zhou, Lalitha Nayak, E. Ricky Chan, Sandeep Kumar, Dong-Won Kang, Rongli Zhang, Xudong Liao, Yuan Lu, Keiki Sugi, Hisashi Fujioka, Hong Shi, Stephanie D. Lapping, Chandra C. Ghosh, Sarah J. Higgins, Samir M. Parikh, Hanjoong Jo, Mukesh K. Jain
In the central nervous system, endothelial cells (ECs) and pericytes (PCs) of blood vessel walls cooperatively form a physical and chemical barrier to maintain neural homeostasis. However, in diabetic retinopathy (DR), the loss of PCs from vessel walls is assumed to cause breakdown of the blood-retina barrier (BRB) and subsequent vision-threatening vascular dysfunctions. Nonetheless, the lack of adequate DR animal models has precluded disease understanding and drug discovery. Here, by using an anti-PDGFRβ antibody, we show that transient inhibition of the PC recruitment to developing retinal vessels sustained EC-PC dissociations and BRB breakdown in adult mouse retinas, reproducing characteristic features of DR such as hyperpermeability, hypoperfusion, and neoangiogenesis. Notably, PC depletion directly induced inflammatory responses in ECs and perivascular infiltration of macrophages, whereby macrophage-derived VEGF and placental growth factor (PlGF) activated VEGFR1 in macrophages and VEGFR2 in ECs. Moreover, angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2) upregulation and Tie1 downregulation activated FOXO1 in PC-free ECs locally at the leaky aneurysms. This cycle of vessel damage was shut down by simultaneously blocking VEGF, PlGF, and Angpt2, thus restoring the BRB integrity. Together, our model provides new opportunities for identifying the sequential events triggered by PC deficiency, not only in DR, but also in various neurological disorders.
Shuntaro Ogura, Kaori Kurata, Yuki Hattori, Hiroshi Takase, Toshina Ishiguro-Oonuma, Yoonha Hwang, Soyeon Ahn, Inwon Park, Wataru Ikeda, Sentaro Kusuhara, Yoko Fukushima, Hiromi Nara, Hideto Sakai, Takashi Fujiwara, Jun Matsushita, Masatsugu Ema, Masanori Hirashima, Takashi Minami, Masabumi Shibuya, Nobuyuki Takakura, Pilhan Kim, Takaki Miyata, Yuichiro Ogura, Akiyoshi Uemura
Amphetamine (AMPH) or methamphetamine (METH) abuse can cause oxidative damage and is a risk factor for diseases including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAECs) from AMPH-associated-PAH patients show DNA damage as judged by γH2AX foci and DNA comet tails. We therefore hypothesized that AMPH induces DNA damage and vascular pathology by interfering with normal adaptation to an environmental perturbation causing oxidative stress. Consistent with this, we found that AMPH alone does not cause DNA damage in normoxic PAECs, but greatly amplifies DNA damage in hypoxic PAECs. The mechanism involves AMPH activation of protein phosphatase 2A, which potentiates inhibition of Akt. This increases sirtuin 1, causing deacetylation and degradation of HIF1α, thereby impairing its transcriptional activity, resulting in a reduction in pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 and impaired cytochrome
Pin-I Chen, Aiqin Cao, Kazuya Miyagawa, Nancy F. Tojais, Jan K. Hennigs, Caiyun G. Li, Nathaly M. Sweeney, Audrey S. Inglis, Lingli Wang, Dan Li, Matthew Ye, Brian J. Feldman, Marlene Rabinovitch
Optical imaging methods have been developed to measure lymphatic function in skin; however, the lymphatic system of many organs is not accessible to this technology. Since lymphatic transport of macromolecules from any organ proceeds to the blood circulation, we aimed to develop a method that can measure lymphatic function by monitoring the fluorescence in a superficial vein of an interstitially injected tracer. We selected a 40-kDa PEGylated near-infrared dye conjugate, as it showed lymphatic system–specific uptake and extended circulation in blood. Lymphatic transport to blood from subcutaneous tissue required a transit time before signal enhancement was seen in blood followed by a steady rise in signal over time. Increased lymphatic transport was apparent in awake mice compared with those under continuous anesthesia. The methods were validated in K14-VEGFR-3-Fc and K14-VEGF-C transgenic mice with loss and gain of lymphatic function, respectively. Reduced lymphatic transport to blood was also found in aged mice. The technique was also able to measure lymphatic transport from the peritoneal cavity, a location not suitable for optical imaging. The method is a promising, simple approach for assessment of lymphatic function and for monitoring of therapeutic regimens in mouse models of disease and may have potential for clinical translation.
Steven T. Proulx, Qiaoli Ma, Diana Andina, Jean-Christophe Leroux, Michael Detmar
Regeneration of hepatic sinusoidal vasculature is essential for non-fibrotic liver regrowth and restoration of its metabolic capacity. However, little is known about how this specialized vascular niche is regenerated. Here we show that activation of endothelial sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1P1) by its natural ligand bound to HDL (HDL-S1P) induces liver regeneration and curtails fibrosis. In mice lacking HDL-S1P, liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy was impeded and associated with aberrant vascular remodeling, thrombosis and peri-sinusoidal fibrosis. Notably, this “maladaptive repair” phenotype was recapitulated in mice that lack S1P1 in the endothelium. Reciprocally, enhanced plasma levels of HDL-S1P or administration of SEW2871, a pharmacological agonist specific for S1P1 enhanced regeneration of metabolically functional vasculature and alleviated fibrosis in mouse chronic injury and cholestasis models. This study shows that natural and pharmacological ligands modulate endothelial S1P1 to stimulate liver regeneration and inhibit fibrosis, suggesting that activation of this pathway may be a novel therapeutic strategy for liver fibrosis.
Bi-Sen Ding, Catherine H. Liu, Yue Sun, Yutian Chen, Steven L. Swendeman, Bongnam Jung, Deebly Chavez, Zhongwei Cao, Christina Christoffersen, Lars Bo Nielsen, Susan R. Schwab, Shahin Rafii, Timothy Hla
Life-sustaining responses to low oxygen, or hypoxia, depend on signal transduction by HIFs, but the underlying mechanisms by which cells sense hypoxia are not completely understood. Based on prior studies suggesting a link between the β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) and hypoxia responses, we hypothesized that the β-AR mediates hypoxia sensing and is necessary for HIF-1α accumulation. Beta blocker treatment of mice suppressed hypoxia induction of renal HIF-1α accumulation, erythropoietin production, and erythropoiesis in vivo. Likewise, beta blocker treatment of primary human endothelial cells in vitro decreased hypoxia-mediated HIF-1α accumulation and binding to target genes and the downstream hypoxia-inducible gene expression. In mechanistic studies, cAMP-activated PKA and/or GPCR kinases (GRK), which both participate in β-AR signal transduction, were investigated. Direct activation of cAMP/PKA pathways did not induce HIF-1α accumulation, and inhibition of PKA did not blunt HIF-1α induction by hypoxia. In contrast, pharmacological inhibition of GRK, or expression of a GRK phosphorylation–deficient β-AR mutant in cells, blocked hypoxia-mediated HIF-1α accumulation. Mass spectrometry–based quantitative analyses revealed a hypoxia-mediated β-AR phosphorylation barcode that was different from the classical agonist phosphorylation barcode. These findings indicate that the β-AR is fundamental to the molecular and physiological responses to hypoxia.
Hoi I. Cheong, Kewal Asosingh, Olivia R. Stephens, Kimberly A. Queisser, Weiling Xu, Belinda Willard, Bo Hu, Josephine Kam Tai Dermawan, George R. Stark, Sathyamangla V. Naga Prasad, Serpil C. Erzurum
Angiogenesis and co-optive vascular remodeling are prerequisites of solid tumor growth. Vascular heterogeneity, notably perivascular composition, may play a critical role in determining the rate of cancer progression. The contribution of vascular pericyte heterogeneity to cancer progression and therapy response is unknown. Here, we show that angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) orchestrates pericyte heterogeneity in breast cancer with an effect on metastatic disease and response to chemotherapy. Using multispectral imaging of human breast tumor specimens, we report that perivascular composition, as defined by the ratio of PDGFRβ– and desmin+ pericytes, provides information about the response to epirubicin but not paclitaxel. Using 17 distinct patient-derived breast cancer xenografts, we demonstrate a cancer cell–derived influence on stromal Ang2 production and a cancer cell–defined control over tumor vasculature and perivascular heterogeneity. The aggressive features of tumors and their distinct response to therapies may thus emerge by the cancer cell–defined engagement of distinct and heterogeneous angiogenic programs.
Jiha Kim, Pedro Correa de Sampaio, Donna Marie Lundy, Qian Peng, Kurt W. Evans, Hikaru Sugimoto, Mihai Gagea, Yvonne Kienast, Nayra Soares do Amaral, Rafael Malagoli Rocha, Hans Petter Eikesdal, Per Eystein Lønning, Funda Meric-Bernstam, Valerie S. LeBleu
Larry N. Agbor, Stella-Rita C. Ibeawuchi, Chunyan Hu, Jing Wu, Deborah R. Davis, Henry L. Keen, Frederick W. Quelle, Curt D. Sigmund
Emerging evidence indicates that upregulation of the ER stress–induced pro-osteogenic transcription factor ATF4 plays an important role in vascular calcification, a common complication in patients with aging, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). In this study, we demonstrated the pathophysiological role of ATF4 in vascular calcification using global
Masashi Masuda, Shinobu Miyazaki-Anzai, Audrey L. Keenan, Yuji Shiozaki, Kayo Okamura, Wallace S. Chick, Kristina Williams, Xiaoyun Zhao, Shaikh Mizanoor Rahman, Yin Tintut, Christopher M. Adams, Makoto Miyazaki
Inositol 1, 4, 5-trisphosphate receptor–mediated (IP3R-mediated) calcium (Ca2+) release has been proposed to play an important role in regulating vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) contraction for decades. However, whether and how IP3R regulates blood pressure in vivo remains unclear. To address these questions, we have generated a smooth muscle–specific IP3R triple-knockout (smTKO) mouse model using a tamoxifen-inducible system. In this study, the role of IP3R-mediated Ca2+ release in adult VSMCs on aortic vascular contractility and blood pressure was assessed following tamoxifen induction. We demonstrated that deletion of IP3Rs significantly reduced aortic contractile responses to vasoconstrictors, including phenylephrine, U46619, serotonin, and endothelin 1. Deletion of IP3Rs also dramatically reduced the phosphorylation of MLC20 and MYPT1 induced by U46619. Furthermore, although the basal blood pressure of smTKO mice remained similar to that of wild-type controls, the increase in systolic blood pressure upon chronic infusion of angiotensin II was significantly attenuated in smTKO mice. Taken together, our results demonstrate an important role for IP3R-mediated Ca2+ release in VSMCs in regulating vascular contractility and hypertension.
Qingsong Lin, Guiling Zhao, Xi Fang, Xiaohong Peng, Huayuan Tang, Hong Wang, Ran Jing, Jie Liu, W. Jonathan Lederer, Ju Chen, Kunfu Ouyang
Secondary lymphedema is a common postcancer treatment complication, but the underlying pathological processes are poorly understood and no curative treatment exists. To investigate lymphedema pathomechanisms, a top-down approach was applied, using genomic data and validating the role of a single target. RNA sequencing of lymphedematous mouse skin indicated upregulation of many T cell–related networks, and indeed depletion of CD4+ cells attenuated lymphedema. The significant upregulation of Foxp3, a transcription factor specifically expressed by regulatory T cells (Tregs), along with other Treg-related genes, implied a potential role of Tregs in lymphedema. Indeed, increased infiltration of Tregs was identified in mouse lymphedematous skin and in human lymphedema specimens. To investigate the role of Tregs during disease progression, loss-of-function and gain-of-function studies were performed. Depletion of Tregs in transgenic mice with Tregs expressing the primate diphtheria toxin receptor and green fluorescent protein (
Epameinondas Gousopoulos, Steven T. Proulx, Samia B. Bachmann, Jeannette Scholl, Dimitris Dionyssiou, Efterpi Demiri, Cornelia Halin, Lothar C. Dieterich, Michael Detmar
Hypertension is nearly universal yet poorly controlled in the elderly despite proven benefits of intensive treatment. Mice lacking mineralocorticoid receptors in smooth muscle cells (SMC-MR-KO) are protected from rising blood pressure (BP) with aging, despite normal renal function. Vasoconstriction is attenuated in aged SMC-MR-KO mice, thus they were used to explore vascular mechanisms that may contribute to hypertension with aging. MicroRNA (miR) profiling identified miR-155 as the most down-regulated miR with vascular aging in MR-intact but not SMC-MR-KO mice. The aging-associated decrease in miR-155 in mesenteric resistance vessels was associated with increased mRNA abundance of MR and of predicted miR-155 targets Cav1.2 (L-type calcium channel (LTCC) subunit) and angiotensin type-1 receptor (AgtR1). SMC-MR-KO mice lacked these aging-associated vascular gene expression changes. In HEK293 cells, MR repressed miR-155 promoter activity. In cultured SMCs, miR-155 decreased Cav1.2 and AgtR1 mRNA. Compared to MR-intact littermates, aged SMC-MR-KO mice had decreased systolic BP, myogenic tone, SMC LTCC current, mesenteric vessel calcium influx, LTCC-induced vasoconstriction and angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction and oxidative stress. Restoration of miR-155 specifically in SMCs of aged MR-intact mice decreased Cav1.2 and AgtR1 mRNA and attenuated LTCC-mediated and angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction and oxidative stress. Finally, in a trial of MR blockade in elderly humans, changes in serum miR-155 predicted the BP treatment response. Thus, SMC-MR regulation of miR-155, Cav1.2 and AgtR1 impacts vasoconstriction with aging. This novel mechanism identifies potential new treatment strategies and biomarkers to improve and individualize antihypertensive therapy in the elderly.
Jennifer J. DuPont, Amy McCurley, Ana P. Davel, Joseph McCarthy, Shawn B. Bender, Kwangseok Hong, Yan Yang, Jeung-Ki Yoo, Mark Aronovitz, Wendy E. Baur, Demetra D. Christou, Michael A. Hill, Iris Z. Jaffe
Cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPCs) expressing the ISL1-LIM–homeodomain transcription factor contribute developmentally to cardiomyocytes in all 4 chambers of the heart. Here, we show that ISL1-CPCs can be applied to myocardial regeneration following injury. We used a rapid 3D methylcellulose approach to form murine and human ISL1-CPC spheroids that engrafted after myocardial infarction in murine hearts, where they differentiated into cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, integrating into the myocardium and forming new blood vessels. ISL1-CPC spheroid–treated mice exhibited reduced infarct area and increased blood vessel formation compared with control animals. Moreover, left ventricular (LV) contractile function was significantly better in mice transplanted with ISL1-CPCs 4 weeks after injury than that in control animals. These results provide proof-of-concept of a cardiac repair strategy employing ISL1-CPCs that, based on our previous lineage-tracing studies, are committed to forming heart tissue, in combination with a robust methylcellulose spheroid–based delivery approach.
Oscar Bartulos, Zhen Wu Zhuang, Yan Huang, Nicole Mikush, Carol Suh, Alda Bregasi, Lin Wang, William Chang, Diane S. Krause, Lawrence H. Young, Jordan S. Pober, Yibing Qyang
We have previously identified prohibitin (PHB) and annexin A2 (ANX2) as proteins interacting on the surface of vascular endothelial cells in white adipose tissue (WAT) of humans and mice. Here, we demonstrate that ANX2 and PHB also interact in adipocytes. Mice lacking ANX2 have normal WAT vascularization, adipogenesis, and glucose metabolism but display WAT hypotrophy due to reduced fatty acid uptake by WAT endothelium and adipocytes. By using cell culture systems in which ANX2/PHB binding is disrupted either genetically or through treatment with a blocking peptide, we show that fatty acid transport efficiency relies on this protein complex. We also provide evidence that the interaction between ANX2 and PHB mediates fatty acid transport from the endothelium into adipocytes. Moreover, we demonstrate that ANX2 and PHB form a complex with the fatty acid transporter CD36. Finally, we show that the colocalization of PHB and CD36 on adipocyte surface is induced by extracellular fatty acids. Together, our results suggest that an unrecognized biochemical interaction between ANX2 and PHB regulates CD36-mediated fatty acid transport in WAT, thus revealing a new potential pathway for intervention in metabolic diseases.
Ahmad Salameh, Alexes C. Daquinag, Daniela I. Staquicini, Zhiqiang An, Katherine A. Hajjar, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Mikhail G. Kolonin
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