Belinda A Farnfield

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (5)13.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sepsis and endotoxaemia are important causes of morbidity and mortality in humans. Research on sepsis focuses on rodent models most of which are poorly responsive to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and thus do not mimic very well the high sensitivity of humans. Therefore, there is a need to develop more clinically relevant models. Horses suffer from a similar endotoxaemic syndrome to humans with high morbidity and mortality. LPS analogues that act as antagonists at Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) are being developed as novel treatments for endotoxaemia. Due to differences in recognition of ligands by TLR4 from different mammalian species, individual LPS molecules may act as agonists in some species and antagonists in others. The synthetic lipid A analogue E5531 is an antagonist at TLR4 in humans and mice, but its effects at TLR4 from other species are unknown. In the studies reported here, Escherichia coli LPS is a full agonist on equine bone marrow macrophage-like cells and its effects are antagonised by E5531. Similarly, E. coli LPS is an agonist and E5531 an antagonist on monocytes isolated from peripheral blood of healthy horses and human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells, transiently transfected to express horse TLR4 and its associated cell surface proteins MD2 and CD14. In contrast, both E. coli LPS and E5531 behave as agonists in horse whole blood by inducing production of equivalent amounts of the inflammatory mediator prostaglandin. This finding suggests that modification of E5531 may occur in whole blood, for example, deacylation, which alters its activity. This comparative study has revealed a novel pharmacological action of E5531 and emphasises the importance of extending studies of this nature beyond the normal rodent models.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 05/2007; 116(3-4):182-9. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Annexin-1 (ANXA1) is a glucocorticoid-regulated protein that modulates the effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on macrophages. Exogenous administration of peptides derived from the N-terminus of ANXA1 reduces LPS-stimulated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, but the effects of altering the endogenous expression of this protein are unclear. We transfected RAW264.7 murine macrophage-like cell lines to over-express constitutively ANXA1 and investigated whether this protein modulates the induction of iNOS, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in response to LPS. In contrast to exogenous administration of N-terminal peptides, endogenous over-expression of ANXA1 results in up-regulation of LPS-induced iNOS protein expression and activity. However, levels of iNOS mRNA are unchanged. ANXA1 has no effect on COX-2 or TNF-alpha production in response to LPS. In experiments to investigate the mechanisms underlying these phenomena we observed that activation of signalling proteins classically associated with iNOS transcription was unaffected. Over-expression of ANXA1 constitutively activates extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK)-1 and ERK-2, components of a signalling pathway not previously recognized as regulating LPS-induced iNOS expression. Inhibition of ERK activity, by the inhibitor U0126, reduced LPS-induced iNOS expression in our cell lines. Over-expression of ANXA1 also modified LPS-induced phosphorylation of the ERK-regulated translational regulation factor eukaryotic initiation factor 4E. Our data suggest that ANXA1 may modify iNOS levels by post-transcriptional mechanisms. Thus differential effects on iNOS expression in macrophages are seen when comparing acute administration of ANXA1 peptides versus the chronic endogenous over-expression of ANXA1.
    Immunology 04/2006; 117(3):340-9. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present set of studies was to develop a new primate model of focal ischemia with reperfusion for long-term functional assessment in the common marmoset. Initially, the cerebral vascular anatomy of the marmoset was interrogated by Araldite-cast and ink-perfusion methods to determine the feasibility of an intravascular surgical approach. The methods showed that the internal carotid artery was highly tortuous in its passage, precluding the development of an extracranial method of inducing temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion in the marmoset. A pilot dose-response study investigated an intracranial approach of topically applying endothelin-1 (ET-1) to the M2 portion of the middle cerebral artery in a small sample of marmosets for up to 6 hours (n = 2 or 3 per group). Dose-dependent reductions in middle cerebral artery vessel caliber followed by gradual reperfusion were inversely related to increases in corrected lesion volume after ET-1 treatment, relative to vehicle control application. Finally, the functional consequences of ET-1-induced lesions to the M2 vascular territory were assessed up to 24 hours after surgery using the optimal dose established in the pilot study (2.5 nmol/25 microL). ET-1-treated marmosets (n = 4) showed marked contralateral motor deficits in grip strength and retrieval of food rewards and contralateral sensory/motor neglect towards tactile stimulation, relative to their ipsilateral side and vehicle-treated marmosets (n = 4). Strong correlations were shown between contralateral impairments and histopathologic parameters, which revealed unilateral putamen and cortical damage to the middle cerebral artery territory. No deficits were shown on general mobility, and self-care was promptly resumed in ET-1 marmosets after surgery. These results show that this novel model of ischemia with reperfusion in the marmoset has the potential to assess long-term function and to gauge the efficacy of novel therapeutic strategies targeted for clinical stroke.
    Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 02/2004; 24(1):24-41. · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Clare E Bryant, Belinda A Farnfield, Heidi J Janicke
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) carprofen, flunixin meglumine, and phenylbutazone have cyclooxygenase (COX)-independent effects that specifically inhibit activation of the proinflammatory transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NfkappaB). Purified ovine COX-1 and -2 and cultures of RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. The COX-1 and -2 inhibitory effects of the NSAIDs were tested in assays that used purified ovine COX-1 and -2. Prostaglandin production was analyzed by use of a radioimmunoassay. Inhibitory effects of these drugs on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induction of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and LPS-stimulated translocation of NficB were determined by use of RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. Flunixin meglumine and phenylbutazone were selective inhibitors of COX-1. Carprofen and flunixin meglumine, but not phenylbutazone, inhibited LPS-induction of iNOS. Carprofen and, to a lesser degree, flunixin meglumine had inhibitory effects on NFkappaB activation. The ability of drugs such as carprofen and flunixin meglumine to inhibit activation of NfkappaB-dependent genes such as iNOS, in addition to their effects on COX, suggests an additional mechanism for their anti-inflammatory effects and may explain the ability of flunixin meglumine to be an effective inhibitor of the effects of endotoxin in horses with endotoxemia.
    American Journal of Veterinary Research 03/2003; 64(2):211-5. · 1.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the measurement of cardiac output parameters in anesthetized adult male beagle dogs has been validated against a widely accepted thermodilution method. Using a multislice cine gradient echo MRI method to acquire images of the entire heart, left ventricular lumen volumes were measured at systole and diastole in seven animals. Cardiac output correlated well (R 2 = 0.88) with thermodilution measurements made in a parallel manner, both before and during acute stimulation with the inotrope dobutamine. In a chronic study of changes in cardiac morphology and function brought about by the antihypertensive minoxidil, MRI reliably detected the expected increases in stroke volume (28%) and cardiac output (58%) resulting from neural reaction to decreased blood pressure. Left ventricular lumen enlarged as well in response to fluid retention and plasma volume increase. Two in four minoxidil-treated animals also developed clear MRI-visible pericardial effusion.
    Toxicology mechanisms and methods 01/2003; 13(1):39-43. · 1.37 Impact Factor