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Publications (6)42.35 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Both chronic hypoxia and allergic inflammation induce vascular remodeling in the lung, but only chronic hypoxia appears to cause PH. We investigate the nature of the vascular remodeling and the expression and role of hypoxia-induced mitogenic factor (HIMF/FIZZ1/RELMalpha) in explaining this differential response. METHODS: We induced pulmonary vascular remodeling through either chronic hypoxia or antigen sensitization and challenge. Mice were evaluated for markers of PH and pulmonary vascular remodeling throughout the lung vascular bed as well as HIMF expression and genomic analysis of whole lung. RESULTS: Chronic hypoxia increased both mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) and right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy; these changes were associated with increased muscularization and thickening of small pulmonary vessels throughout the lung vascular bed. Allergic inflammation, by contrast, had minimal effect on mPAP and produced no RV hypertrophy. Only peribronchial vessels were significantly thickened, and vessels within the lung periphery did not become muscularized. Genomic analysis revealed that HIMF was the most consistently upregulated gene in the lungs following both chronic hypoxia and antigen challenge. HIMF was upregulated in the airway epithelial and inflammatory cells in both models, but only chronic hypoxia induced HIMF upregulation in vascular tissue. CONCLUSIONS: The results show that pulmonary vascular remodeling in mice induced by chronic hypoxia or antigen challenge is associated with marked increases in HIMF expression. The lack of HIMF expression in the vasculature of the lung and no vascular remodeling in the peripheral resistance vessels of the lung is likely to account for the failure to develop PH in the allergic inflammation model.
    Respiratory research 01/2013; 14(1):1. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a lethal syndrome associated with the pathogenic remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature and the emergence of apoptosis-resistant cells. Apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain (ARC) is an inhibitor of multiple forms of cell death known to be abundantly expressed in striated muscle. We show for the first time that ARC is expressed in arterial smooth muscle cells of the pulmonary vasculature and is markedly upregulated in several experimental models of PH. In this study, we test the hypothesis that ARC expression is essential for the development of chronic hypoxia-induced PH. Experiments in which cells or mice were rendered ARC-deficient revealed that ARC not only protected pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells from hypoxia-induced death, but also facilitated growth factor-induced proliferation and hypertrophy and hypoxia-induced downregulation of selective voltage-gated potassium channels, the latter a hallmark of the syndrome in humans. Moreover, ARC-deficient mice exhibited diminished vascular remodeling, increased apoptosis, and decreased proliferation in response to chronic hypoxia, resulting in marked protection from PH in vivo. Patients with PH have significantly increased ARC expression not only in remodeled vessels but also in the lumen-occluding lesions associated with severe disease. These data show that ARC, previously unlinked to pulmonary hypertension, is a critical determinant of vascular remodeling in this syndrome.
    Circulation 11/2011; 124(23):2533-42. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been well demonstrated that phosphodiesterase-5A (PDE5A) is expressed in smooth muscle cells and plays an important role in regulation of vascular tone. The role of endothelial PDE5A, however, has not been yet characterized. The present study was undertaken to determine the presence, localization, and potential physiologic significance of PDE5A within vascular endothelial cells. We demonstrate primary location of human, mouse, and bovine endothelial PDE5A at or near caveolae. We found that the spatial localization of PDE5A at the level of caveolin-rich lipid rafts allows for a feedback loop between endothelial PDE5A and nitric oxide synthase (NOS3). Treatment of human endothelium with PDE5A inhibitors resulted in a significant increase in NOS3 activity, whereas overexpression of PDE5A using an adenoviral vector, both in vivo and in cell culture, resulted in decreased NOS3 activity and endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The molecular mechanism responsible for these interactions is primarily regulated by cGMP-dependent second messenger. PDE5A overexpression also resulted in a significant decrease in protein kinase 1 (PKG1) activity. Overexpression of PKG1 rapidly activated NOS3, whereas silencing of the PKG1 gene with siRNA inhibited both NOS3 phosphorylation (S1179) and activity, indicating a novel role for PKG1 in direct regulation of NOS3. Our data collectively suggest another target for PDE5A inhibition in endothelial dysfunction and provide another physiologic significance for PDE5A in the modulation of endothelial-dependent flow-mediated vasodilation. Using both in vitro and in vivo models, as well as human data, we show that inhibition of endothelial PDE5A improves endothelial function.
    Cardiovascular Research 03/2011; 90(2):353-63. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying schistosomiasis-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH), one of the most common causes of PH worldwide, remain unclear. We sought to determine whether Schistosoma mansoni causes experimental PH associated with pulmonary vascular remodeling in an interleukin (IL)-13-dependent manner. IL-13Ralpha1 is the canonical IL-13 signaling receptor, whereas IL-13Ralpha2 is a competitive nonsignaling decoy receptor. Wild-type, IL-13Ralpha1(-/-), and IL-13Ralpha2(-/-) C57BL/6J mice were percutaneously infected with S. mansoni cercariae, followed by i.v. injection of eggs. We assessed PH with right ventricular catheterization, histological evaluation of pulmonary vascular remodeling, and detection of IL-13 and transforming growth factor-beta signaling. Infected mice developed pulmonary peri-egg granulomas and arterial remodeling involving predominantly the vascular media. In addition, gain-of-function IL-13Ralpha2(-/-) mice had exacerbated vascular remodeling and PH. Mice with loss of IL-13Ralpha1 function did not develop PH and had reduced pulmonary vascular remodeling. Moreover, the expression of resistin-like molecule-alpha, a target of IL-13 signaling, was increased in infected wild-type and IL-13Ralpha2(-/-) but not IL-13Ralpha1(-/-) mice. Phosphorylated Smad2/3, a target of transforming growth factor-beta signaling, was increased in both infected mice and humans with the disease. Our data indicate that experimental schistosomiasis causes PH and potentially relies on up-regulated IL-13 signaling.
    American Journal Of Pathology 09/2010; 177(3):1549-61. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which comprises emphysema and chronic bronchitis resulting from prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke (CS), is a major public health burden with no effective treatment. Emphysema is also associated with pulmonary hypertension, which can progress to right ventricular failure, an important cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with COPD. Nuclear erythroid 2 p45 related factor-2 (Nrf2) is a redox-sensitive transcription factor that up-regulates a battery of antioxidative genes and cytoprotective enzymes that constitute the defense against oxidative stress. Recently, it has been shown that patients with advanced COPD have a decline in expression of the Nrf2 pathway in lungs, suggesting that loss of this antioxidative protective response is a key factor in the pathophysiological progression of emphysema. Furthermore, genetic disruption of Nrf2 in mice causes early-onset and severe emphysema. The present study evaluated whether the strategy of activation of Nrf2 and its downstream network of cytoprotective genes with a small molecule would attenuate CS-induced oxidative stress and emphysema. Nrf2(+/+) and Nrf2(-/-) mice were fed a diet containing the potent Nrf2 activator, 1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole (CDDO-Im), while being exposed to CS for 6 months. CDDO-Im significantly reduced lung oxidative stress, alveolar cell apoptosis, alveolar destruction, and pulmonary hypertension in Nrf2(+/+) mice caused by chronic exposure to CS. This protection from CS-induced emphysema depended on Nrf2, as Nrf2(-/-) mice failed to show significant reduction in alveolar cell apoptosis and alveolar destruction after treatment with CDDO-Im. These results suggest that targeting the Nrf2 pathway during the etiopathogenesis of emphysema may represent an important approach for prophylaxis against COPD.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 106(1):250-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Daily exposure to particulate matter (PM) is known to adversely affect cardiac function and is also known to be exaggerated with senescence. This study tests the hypothesis that cardiac function is uniquely altered by PM exposure in senescent mice. A mechanism for PM-induced cardiac effects is also postulated by examining the activity of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in heart tissue. Echocardiography is performed in awake 18- and 28-mo-old mice at baseline and immediately following 3-h exposures to either filtered air or carbon black (CB; approximately 400 microg/m3) on 4 days. At 28 mo, left ventricular diameter at end-systole and end-diastole is significantly (P < 0.05) elevated, and fractional shortening is significantly reduced (49 +/- 3% vs. 56 +/- 3%) with CB exposure. In vivo hemodynamic measurements at 28 mo also demonstrate significant (P < 0.05) reductions in ejection fraction and increases in right ventricular and pulmonary vascular pressures following CB exposure. Functional changes at 28 mo are associated with increased ROS production as suggested by enhanced luminol activity. This elevated ROS production with aging and CB exposure is attributable to NOS uncoupling. Measurements of natriuretic peptide (atrial and brain) transcription and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2 and MMP9) activity in heart tissue are significantly (P < 0.05) amplified with senescence and exposure to CB, pointing to increased cardiac stress and remodeling. These results demonstrate that acute PM exposure reduces cardiac contractility in senescent mice, and this decline in function is associated with increased ROS production linked to NOS uncoupling.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 07/2008; 295(1):R252-63. · 3.28 Impact Factor