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Publications (2)14.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to ambient fine particulate matter air pollution (PM(2.5); < 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter) induces endothelial dysfunction and increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to postnatal endothelial repair and regeneration. In humans and mice, EPC levels are decreased upon exposure to elevated levels of PM(2.5). We examined the mechanism by which PM(2.5) exposure suppresses circulating levels of EPCs. Mice were exposed to HEPA-filtered air or concentrated ambient fine particulate matter (CAP, 30-100 µg/m³) from downtown Louisville (Kentucky) air, and progenitor cells from peripheral blood or bone marrow were analyzed by flow cytometry or by culture ex vivo. Exposure of the mice to CAP (6 hr/day) for 4-30 days progressively decreased circulating levels of EPCs positive for both Flk-1 and Sca-1 (Flk-1(+)/Sca-1(+)) without affecting stem cells positive for Sca-1 alone (Sca-1(+)). After 9 days of exposure, a 7-day exposure-free period led to complete recovery of the circulating levels of Flk-1(+)/Sca-1(+) cells. CAP exposure decreased circulating levels of EPCs independent of apoptosis while simultaneously increasing Flk-1(+)/Sca-1(+) cells in the bone marrow. We observed no change in tissue deposition of these cells. CAP exposure suppressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced Akt and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation in the aorta, and it prevented VEGF/AMD3100-induced mobilization of Flk-1(+)/Sca-1(+) cells into the peripheral blood. Treatment with stem cell factor/AMD3100 led to a greater increase in circulating Flk-1(+)/Sca-1(+) cells in CAP-exposed mice than in mice breathing filtered air. Exposure to PM(2.5) increases EPC levels in the bone marrow by preventing their mobilization to the peripheral blood via inhibition of signaling events triggered by VEGF-receptor stimulation that are upstream of c-kit activation. Suppression of EPC mobilization by PM(2.5) could induce deficits in vascular repair or regeneration.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2012; 120(6):848-56. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects 71 million American adults and remains the leading cause of death in the United States and Europe. Despite studies that suggest that the development of CVD may be linked to intrauterine growth or early events in childhood, little direct experimental evidence supports the notion. We investigated whether exposure to cigarette smoke in utero alters the risk of developing CVD later in life. We exposed B(6)C(3)F(1) mice (via whole-body inhalation) to either filtered air or mainstream cigarette smoke (MCS, at a particle concentration of 15 mg/m(3)) from gestational day 4 to parturition. Adult offspring were fed a normal chow diet or switched to a high-fat diet 2 weeks before sacrifice. We measured dam and offspring body weight, plasma lipid parameters, lipoprotein subclass particle numbers and sizes, and total antioxidant capacities. Adult female mice prenatally exposed to MCS demonstrated significantly higher body weight and levels of plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein than did their air-exposed counterparts. When fed a high-fat diet for 2 weeks, males, but not females, exposed prenatally to MCS gained substantially more weight and exhibited dramatic alterations in total cholesterol and HDL levels compared with their air-exposed counterparts. These data provide, for the first time, direct experimental evidence supporting the notion that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke affects offspring weight gain and induces a lipid profile that could alter the offspring's risk of developing CVD later in life.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 08/2009; 117(7):1042-8. · 7.26 Impact Factor