C Page

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

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Publications (3)15.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The relative importance of endothelium- and cardiomyocyte-derived nitric oxide (NO) is unknown, with a lack of direct studies on cardiac microvessel endothelial cells (CMEC) and cardiomyocytes regarding relative cellular NO production. To assess and compare baseline and hypoxia-induced NO and ONOO- production in cardiomyocytes and CMEC. Rat cardiomyocytes were isolated, and cultured rat CMEC were purchased commercially. Hypoxia (+/- NOS inhibitors) was induced by mineral oil layering or hypoxic culture. NO and ONOO- were detected by FACS analysis of DAF-2/DA and DHR123, respectively. Total eNOS was determined by Western blot analysis. 1) Baseline NO production in CMEC was sevenfold (cultured cells) and 26-fold (isolated cells) higher than in cardiomyocytes, 2) eNOS expression was 22-fold higher in CMEC, 3) hypoxia increased NO production in both cell types, albeit to a larger extent in CMEC, 4) in hypoxic cardiomyocytes, nonselective NOS and iNOS-specific inhibition attenuated NO production, whereas in CMEC, iNOS-specific inhibition was ineffective, and 5) baseline ONOO- production was 2.2 times greater in CMEC than in cardiomyocytes. Using a novel approach, this study demonstrated that CMEC produce more baseline NO than cardiomyocytes, and that hypoxia activates NOS to increase NO production in both cell types. Baseline eNOS content was higher in CMEC than in cardiomyocytes, suggesting that differences in baseline NO production were eNOS-associated.
    The FASEB Journal 03/2006; 20(2):314-6. DOI:10.1096/fj.05-4225fje · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which long-chain dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) protect against cardiovascular disease are largely unknown. The present study determines the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) on the response of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes to simulated ischaemia (SI) and reperfusion (R). Myocytes isolated from 1-2 day old Wistar rat hearts were cultured with or without EPA or ARA and exposed to 1 h SI followed by 30 minutes reperfusion. Apoptosis was evaluated by caspase-3 activation, poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and nuclear condensation. EPA (20microM) and ARA (20microM) significantly inhibited caspase-3 activation and PARP-cleavage and reduced the apoptotic index during reperfusion. Both fatty acids significantly increased ERK phosphorylation and decreased p38 phosphorylation during reperfusion. The mechanism of action of ARA on the MAPKs was further investigated with okadaic acid (to inhibit serine-threonine phosphatases) and orthovanadate (to inhibit tyrosine phosphatases). Vanadate, but not okadaic acid, significantly reduced ARA-induced inhibition of p38 phosphorylation, suggesting the involvement a tyrosine phosphatase during SI/R. Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1), a dual-specificity phosphatase, was targeted and a significant induction of MKP-1 by ARA and EPA was observed. It was demonstrated for the first time that EPA and ARA protect neonatal cardiac myocytes from ischaemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis through activation of ERK as well as induction of a dual-specific phosphatase, causing dephosphorylation of the pro-apoptotic kinase, p38. The cardioprotective effects of EPA and ARA could also be demonstrated on the functional recovery of isolated perfused hearts subjected to global ischemia.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 01/2006; 39(6):940-54. DOI:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2005.08.004 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rat neonatal ventricular myocytes exposed to simulated ischaemia and reperfusion (SI/R) were used as an in vitro model to delineate the role(s) of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal protein kinase (JNK), as well as PKB in apoptosis. Exposure of the myocytes to SI (simulated ischaemia - energy depletion induced by KCN and 2-deoxy- D-glucose) reduced cell viability, as measured by the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and stimulated apoptosis as evidenced by caspase-3 activation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. However, morphological evidence of increased apoptosis, detected by staining with Hoechst 33342, was only seen in response to reperfusion. This suggests that although ischaemic conditions are sufficient to induce cellular markers of apoptosis (PARP cleavage and caspase-3 activation), reperfusion is required to complete the apoptotic pathway in these cells. Furthermore, SI resulted in a rapid, strong, biphasic activation of p38 concomitant with a weak and transient activation of the two ERK isoenzymes, p42/p44-MAPK. Reperfusion for 5 minutes resulted in a strong phosphorylation of p42/p44-MAPK, while no additional p38 activation was seen at this stage. On the other hand, p46/p54-MAPK (JNK) was phosphorylated in response to 5 minutes of reperfusion only and not during SI alone. A peak of PKB/Akt (Ser(473)) activity was seen within 5 minutes of exposure to SI, whereas PKB/Akt (Thr(308)) phosphorylation remained at the baseline level. Both PKB/Akt phosphorylation sites (Ser(473) and Thr(308)) were phosphorylated after 5 minutes of reperfusion. Inhibition of PI-3-kinase activity, using wortmannin, decreased phosphorylation on both sites during SI. However, only SI/R-induced PKB/Akt phosphorylation on Thr(308) was reduced by wortmannin. Myocytes pre-treated with SB203580, a p38-inhibitor, displayed a significant increase in cell viability [63.67 +/- 1.85 to 84.33 +/- 4.8% (p < 0.05)] and attenuation of the apoptotic index during SI/R [22.6 +/- 2.94% to 9 +/- 0.43% (p < 0.001)], while SP600125, a specific JNK inhibitor, caused a significant increase in caspase-3 activation [1.66 +/- 0.03 fold to 2.56 +/- 0.27 fold (p < 0.001)] and apoptotic index [22.6 +/- 2.94% to 32.75 +/- 6.13% (p < 0.05)]. However, PD98059, an ERK inhibitor, failed to affect apoptosis during SI/R. Inhibition of PI-3-kinase prevented the increase in mitochondrial viability usually observed during reperfusion. Interestingly, wortmannin caused a significant increase in PARP cleavage during reperfusion, but had no effect on caspase-3 activation or the apoptotic index. Our results suggest that p38 has a pro-apoptotic role while JNK phosphorylation is protective in our cell model and that these kinases act via caspase-3 to prevent or promote cell survival in response to SI/R-induced injury.
    Archiv für Kreislaufforschung 10/2004; 99(5):338-50. DOI:10.1007/s00395-004-0478-3 · 5.41 Impact Factor