[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation plays a critical role in atherosclerosis and is associated with upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). We studied bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to track iNOS gene expression in a murine model of vascular inflammation.
Macrophage-rich vascular lesions were induced by carotid ligation plus high-fat diet and streptozotocin-induced diabetes in 18 iNOS-luc reporter mice. In vivo iNOS expression was imaged serially by BLI over 14 days, followed by in situ BLI and histology.
BLI signal from ligated carotids increased over 14 days (9.7 ± 4.4 × 10(3 ) vs. 4.4 ± 1.7 × 10(3) photons/s/cm(2)/sr at baseline, p < 0.001 vs. baseline, p < 0.05 vs. sham controls). Histology confirmed substantial macrophage infiltration, with iNOS and luciferase expression, only in ligated left carotid arteries and not controls.
BLI allows in vivo detection of iNOS expression in murine carotid lesions and may provide a valuable approach for monitoring vascular gene expression and inflammation in small animal models.
Molecular imaging and biology: MIB: the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging 11/2010; 13(6):1061-6. · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large-scale gene expression studies provide significant insight into genes differentially regulated in disease processes such as cancer. However, these investigations offer limited understanding of multisystem, multicellular diseases such as atherosclerosis. A systems biology approach that accounts for gene interactions, incorporates nontranscriptionally regulated genes, and integrates prior knowledge offers many advantages. We performed a comprehensive gene level assessment of coronary atherosclerosis using 51 coronary artery segments isolated from the explanted hearts of 22 cardiac transplant patients. After histological grading of vascular segments according to American Heart Association guidelines, isolated RNA was hybridized onto a customized 22-K oligonucleotide microarray, and significance analysis of microarrays and gene ontology analyses were performed to identify significant gene expression profiles. Our studies revealed that loss of differentiated smooth muscle cell gene expression is the primary expression signature of disease progression in atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we provide insight into the severe form of coronary artery disease associated with diabetes, reporting an overabundance of immune and inflammatory signals in diabetics. We present a novel approach to pathway development based on connectivity, determined by language parsing of the published literature, and ranking, determined by the significance of differentially regulated genes in the network. In doing this, we identify highly connected "nexus" genes that are attractive candidates for therapeutic targeting and followup studies. Our use of pathway techniques to study atherosclerosis as an integrated network of gene interactions expands on traditional microarray analysis methods and emphasizes the significant advantages of a systems-based approach to analyzing complex disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Basic science research has made great contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine. Scientific studies have had a
major impact on clinical practices and outcomes. For example, the principles of cardiac contractile function and unique aspects
of hemodynamic loading on the ventricles were defined in animal studies. These findings translated directly into pressure
monitoring devices used for patients in the acute care setting. The rationale for drug therapies for treating cardiovascular
diseases was based primarily on data derived from basic science investigations. For example, the treatment of heart failure
and cardiac arrhythmias evolved from elegant pharmacologic and physiologic studies. A clear path has emerged from the basic
science laboratory to the bedside.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To expand our knowledge of factors involved in lipid metabolism in the blood vessel wall, we have cloned unique molecular isoforms of endothelial cell-derived lipase (EDL) (HGMW-approved symbol/LIPG). One isoform encoded a truncated protein (EDL2a) lacking the first 80 amino acid residues of the previously characterized EDL1a isoform, including the signal peptide. A similar second clone (EDL2b) was identified that lacked not only the first 80 amino acids, but also a 74-amino-acid region that encodes a portion of the lid domain. RT-PCR analysis confirmed expression of EDL2a/2b isoforms in several human tissues and cultured cells, including endothelial cells. Western blot and immunofluorescence studies using stable transfectants revealed that EDL2a and EDL2b were localized in the cytosol, while, EDL1a was secreted into the culture medium. Cell extracts of EDL2a/2b transfectants did not have triglyceride or phospholipase activity. Thus endothelial cells express three EDL isoforms, two of which remain intracellular and do not function as lipases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apelin is among the most potent stimulators of cardiac contractility known. However, no physiological or pathological role for apelin-angiotensin receptor-like 1 (APJ) signaling has ever been described.
We performed transcriptional profiling using a spotted cDNA microarray with 12 814 unique clones on paired samples of left ventricle obtained before and after placement of a left ventricular assist device in 11 patients. The significance analysis of microarrays and a novel rank consistency score designed to exploit the paired structure of the data confirmed that natriuretic peptides were among the most significantly downregulated genes after offloading. The most significantly upregulated gene was the G-protein-coupled receptor APJ, the specific receptor for apelin. We demonstrate here using immunoassay and immunohistochemical techniques that apelin is localized primarily in the endothelium of the coronary arteries and is found at a higher concentration in cardiac tissue after mechanical offloading. These findings imply an important paracrine signaling pathway in the heart. We additionally extend the clinical significance of this work by reporting for the first time circulating human apelin levels and demonstrating increases in the plasma level of apelin in patients with left ventricular dysfunction.
The apelin-APJ signaling pathway emerges as an important novel mediator of cardiovascular control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endothelial cell-selective adhesion molecule (ESAM) is a member of the immunoglobulin receptor family that mediates homophilic interactions between endothelial cells. To address potential in vivo angiogenic functions of this molecule, mice lacking ESAM (ESAM-/-) were generated by gene-targeted deletion. ESAM-/- mice did not show overt morphological defects in the vasculature. To evaluate the role of ESAM in pathological angiogenesis, wild type (WT) and ESAM-/- mice were injected with melanoma and Lewis lung carcinoma cells. By 14 days after injection, tumor volumes of B16F10 and LL/2 in ESAM-/- mice were 48 and 37% smaller, respectively, compared with WT mice. Vascular density of the tumors, as determined by CD31 staining, was also decreased in the ESAM null animals. Matrigel plug assays showed less neovascularization in ESAM-/- mice than in WT mice. ESAM-/- endothelial cells exhibited less in vitro tube formation and decreased migration in response to basic fibroblast growth factor when compared with WT cells, and endothelial-like yolk sac cells engineered to overexpress ESAM showed accelerated tube formation in vitro. These in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that ESAM has a redundant functional role in physiological angiogenesis but serves a unique and essential role in pathological angiogenic processes such as tumor growth.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2003; 278(36):34598-604. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cells maintain the interface between the systemic circulation and soft tissues and mediate critical processes such as inflammation in a vascular bed-selective fashion. To expand our understanding of the genetic pathways that underlie these specific functions, we have focused on the identification of novel genes that are differentially expressed in all endothelial cells, as well as restricted groups of this cell type. Virtual subtraction was conducted employing gene expression data deposited in public databases and 384 genes identified. These genes were spotted on custom microarrays, along with 288 genes identified through subtraction cloning from TGF-beta-stimulated endothelial cells. Arrays were evaluated with RNA samples representing endothelial cells cultured from four vascular sources and five non-endothelial cell types. These studies identified 64 pan-endothelial markers that were differentially expressed with at least a threefold difference (range 3- to 55-fold). In addition, differences in gene expression profiles among endothelial cells from different vascular beds were identified. Validation of these findings was performed by RNA blot expression studies, and a number of the novel genes were shown to be expressed under angiogenic conditions in the developing mouse embryo. The combined tools of database mining and transcriptional profiling thus provide expanded knowledge of endothelial cell gene expression and endothelial cell biology.