Kae Nakamura

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

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Publications (2)5.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Existing evidence suggests that endothelial lipase (EL) plays an important role in high-densitylipoprotein (HDL) metabolism. Because rabbits are a useful animal model for the study of human lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis, we characterized rabbit EL (rEL) expression and investigated its relationship with plasma HDL levels in normal and hyperlipidemic rabbits. We cloned the rEL cDNA and analyzed the EL tissue expression using Northern blotting, real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting, and in situ hybridization. We evaluated the effects of rEL antisense on plasma HDL levels. We found that rEL mRNA was highly expressed in cholesterol synthesis-related organs, including the liver, testis, and adrenal along with its expression in the lung, kidney, bone marrow, and small intestine. Interestingly, Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits, a model of human familial hypercholesterolemia, had lower plasma levels of HDLs than normal rabbits. The plasma HDL levels in WHHL rabbits were inversely associated with high levels of plasma rEL proteins and hepatic expression of rEL mRNA. Injection of rEL-specific antisense oligonucleotides into rabbits resulted in the elevation of plasma large HDLs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that rEL mRNA was expressed by both endothelial cells and macrophages in the lesions of aortic atherosclerosis of WHHL rabbits. rEL is expressed in multiple tissues and may have many physiological and pathophysiological functions, such as in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis. Our results suggest that EL is an important regulator of plasma HDL levels in rabbits.
    Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis 01/2012; 19(3):213-26. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitroalkene derivatives of nitro-linoleic acid (LNO(2)) and nitro-oleic acid (OA-NO(2)) are nitrated unsaturated fatty acids that can be detected in healthy human plasma, red blood cells and urine. It has been shown that nitroalkenes have potent anti-inflammatory properties in multiple disease models. In the present study, we are the first to investigate the apoptotic effects of nitroalkenes in rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs). We observed that nitroalkenes induce RASMCs apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, nitroalkenes stimulate extrinsic caspase-8 and intrinsic caspase-9 activity to trigger the caspase-3 apoptotic signaling cascade, resulting in RASMCs death. Furthermore, the pro-apoptotic protein, Bad was upregulated and antiapoptotic protein, Bcl-xl was downregulated during nitroalkene-induced apoptosis. These results demonstrate that nitroalkenes can induce RASMCs apoptosis via stimulation of caspase activity and the regulation of apoptotic protein expression levels.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2010; 397(2):239-44. · 2.41 Impact Factor