Eileen Benavidez

Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA, United States

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Publications (4)13.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Increasing data suggest that oxidative stress, due to an increased production of reactive oxygen species and/or a decrease in antioxidants, is involved in the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension. Several antioxidant systems regulate the presence of oxidant species in vivo, and of primary interest are the superoxide dismutases (SOD) and catalase. However, little is known about the expression of antioxidant enzymes during the development of pulmonary hypertension. This study uses our lamb model of increased postnatal pulmonary blood flow, secondary to in utero aortopulmonary graft placement (shunt lambs), to investigate the expression patterns as well as activities of antioxidant enzymes during the early development of pulmonary hypertension. Protein levels of catalase, SOD1, SOD2, and SOD3 were evaluated by Western blot, and the activities of catalase and SOD were also quantified. In control lambs, protein expression and activities of catalase and SOD2 increased postnatally (P < 0.05). However, SOD1 and SOD3 protein levels did not change. In shunt lambs, catalase, SOD1, and SOD2 protein levels all increased over the first 8 wk of life (P < 0.05). However, SOD3 did not change. This was associated with an increase in the activities of catalase and SOD2 (P < 0.05). Compared with control lambs, catalase and SOD2 protein levels were decreased in 2-wk-old shunt lambs and this was associated with increased levels of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and superoxide (P < 0.05). Developmentally superoxide but not H(2)O(2) levels significantly increased in both shunt and control lambs with levels being significantly higher in shunt compared with control lambs at 2 and 4 but not 8 wk. These data suggest that the antioxidant enzyme systems are dynamically regulated postnatally, and this regulation is altered during the development of pulmonary hypertension secondary to increased pulmonary blood flow. An increased understanding of these alterations may have important therapeutic implications for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension secondary to increased pulmonary blood flow.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 11/2007; 293(4):L960-71. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A lamb model of pulmonary hypertension, developed by inserting an aortopulmonary vascular graft (shunt), displays vascular remodeling and increased pulmonary blood flow characteristic of children with congenital heart disease. The purpose of this study was to determine whether expression of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), a smooth muscle cell mitogen, is altered in shunt lambs. FGF-2 mRNA and protein levels were increased in lung tissue extracts from shunt lambs at 4 wk of age relative to age-matched controls (p < 0.05). FGF-2 protein levels were also increased in the pulmonary arteries and serum of shunt lambs (p < 0.05). Pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMC) and endothelial cells (PAEC) were isolated from 4 wk-old lambs and subjected to cyclic stretch and laminar shear stress to mimic increased pulmonary blood flow. Stretch and shear increased FGF-2 promoter activity, and intracellular and extracellular FGF-2 protein levels in both cell types (p < 0.05). Exogenous FGF-2 stimulated PASMC proliferation at levels detected in the extracellular medium of sheared cells (p < 0.05). Elevated FGF-2 signaling by PASMC and PAEC exposed to increased pulmonary blood flow may play a role in the pulmonary vascular remodeling associated with the shunt model of pulmonary hypertension secondary to congenital heart disease.
    Pediatric Research 02/2007; 61(1):32-6. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although oxidative stress is known to contribute to endothelial dysfunction-associated systemic vascular disorders, its role in pulmonary vascular disorders is less clear. Our previous studies, using isolated pulmonary arteries taken from lambs with surgically created heart defect and increased pulmonary blood flow (Shunt), have suggested a role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the endothelial dysfunction of pulmonary hypertension, but in vivo data are lacking. Thus the initial objective of this study was to determine whether Shunt lambs had elevated levels of ROS generation and whether this was associated with alterations in antioxidant capacity. Our results indicate that superoxide, but not hydrogen peroxide, levels were significantly elevated in Shunt lambs. In addition, we found that the increase in superoxide generation was not associated with alterations in antioxidant enzyme expression or activity. These data suggested that there is an increase in superoxide generation rather than a decrease in scavenging capacity in the lung. Thus we next examined the expression of various subunits of the NADPH oxidase complex as a potential source of the superoxide production. Results indicated that the expression of Rac1 and p47(phox) is increased in Shunt lambs. We also found that the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyliodonium (DPI) significantly reduced dihydroethidium (DHE) oxidation in lung sections prepared from Shunt but not Control lambs. As DPI can also inhibit endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) superoxide generation, we repeated this experiment using a more specific NADPH oxidase inhibitor (apocynin) and an inhibitor of NOS (3-ethylisothiourea). Our results indicated that both inhibitors significantly reduced DHE oxidation in lung sections prepared from Shunt but not Control lambs. To further investigate the mechanism by which eNOS becomes uncoupled in Shunt lambs, we evaluated the levels of dihydrobiopterin (BH(2)) and tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) in lung tissues of Shunt and Control lambs. Our data indicated that although BH(4) levels were unchanged, BH(2) levels were significantly increased. Finally, we demonstrated that the addition of BH(2) produced an increase in superoxide generation from purified, recombinant eNOS. In conclusion our data demonstrate that the development of pulmonary hypertension in Shunt lambs is associated with increases in oxidative stress that are not explained by decreases in antioxidant expression or activity. Rather, the observed increase in oxidative stress is due, at least in part, to increased expression and activity of the NADPH oxidase complex and uncoupled eNOS due to elevated levels of BH(2).
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 07/2006; 290(6):L1069-77. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous in vivo studies indicate that inhaled nitric oxide (NO) decreases nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity and that this decrease is associated with significant increases in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) upon the acute withdrawal of inhaled NO (rebound pulmonary hypertension). In vitro studies suggest that superoxide and peroxynitrite production during inhaled NO therapy may mediate these effects, but in vivo data are lacking. The objective of this study was to determine the role of superoxide in the decrease in NOS activity and rebound pulmonary hypertension associated with inhaled NO therapy in vivo. In control lambs, 24 h of inhaled NO (40 ppm) decreased NOS activity by 40% (P<0.05) and increased endothelin-1 levels by 64% (P<0.05). Withdrawal of NO resulted in an acute increase in PVR (60.7%, P<0.05). Associated with these changes, superoxide and peroxynitrite levels increased more than twofold (P<0.05) following 24 h of inhaled NO therapy. However, in lambs treated with polyethylene glycol-conjugated superoxide dismutase (PEG-SOD) during inhaled NO therapy, there was no change in NOS activity, no increase in superoxide or peroxynitrite levels, and no increase in PVR upon the withdrawal of inhaled NO. In addition, endothelial NOS nitration was 18-fold higher (P<0.05) in control lambs than in PEG-SOD-treated lambs following 24 h of inhaled NO. These data suggest that superoxide and peroxynitrite participate in the decrease in NOS activity and rebound pulmonary hypertension associated with inhaled NO therapy. Reactive oxygen species scavenging may be a useful therapeutic strategy to ameliorate alterations in endogenous NO signaling during inhaled NO therapy.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 03/2006; 290(2):L359-66. · 3.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

139 Citations
13.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007
    • Georgia Health Sciences University
      • Vascular Biology Center
      Augusta, GA, United States
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Evanston, IL, United States
  • 2006–2007
    • University of Montana
      • Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
      Missoula, Montana, United States