Masaaki Soma

University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken, Japan

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Publications (14)37.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: ω-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases. Cytochrome P-450 (CYP) 2J2 that is expressed in endothelial cells metabolizes arachidonic acids to biologically active epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) that possess anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects. We studied the effects of EPA and DHA on the expression of CYP 2J2 mRNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells and found that EPA, but not DHA, increased the expression of CYP 2J2 mRNA in a dose-dependent and a time-dependent manner. EPA-induced CYP 2J2 expression was significantly inhibited by pretreatment with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ antagonist, GW9662. EPA, but not DHA, caused a significant increase in cellular levels of 11,12-dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid that is a stable metabolite of 11,12-EET, which was blocked by pretreatment with GW9662. These data demonstrate that EPA increases CYP 2J2 mRNA expression and 11,12-EET production via PPARγ in endothelial cells and indicate a novel protective role of EPA and PPARγ against vascular inflammation.
    Journal of Cardiology 12/2009; 54(3):368-74. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The voltage-gated Na(+) channels (Na(v)) and their corresponding current (I(Na)) are involved in several cellular processes, crucial to metastasis of cancer cells. We investigated the effects of eicosapentaenoic (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on I(Na) and metastatic functions (cell proliferation, endocytosis and invasion) in human and rat prostate cancer cell lines (PC-3 and Mat-LyLu cells). The whole-cell voltage clamp technique and conventional/quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis were used. The presence of Na(v) proteins was shown by immunohistochemical methods. Alterations in the fatty acid composition of phospholipids after treatment with EPA and metastatic functions were also examined. A transient inward Na(+) current (I(Na)), highly sensitive to tetrodotoxin, and Na(V) proteins were found in these cells. Expression of Na(V)1.6 and Na(V)1.7 transcripts (SCN8A and SCN9A) was predominant in PC-3 cells, while Na(V)1.7 transcript (SCN9A) was the major component in Mat-LyLu cells. Tetrodotoxin or synthetic small interfering RNA targeted for SCN8A and SCN9A inhibited metastatic functions (endocytosis and invasion), but failed to inhibit proliferation in PC-3 cells. Exposure to EPA produced a rapid and concentration-dependent suppression of I(Na). In cells chronically treated (up to 72h) with EPA, the EPA content of cell lipids increased time-dependently, while arachidonic acid content decreased. Treatment of PC-3 cells with EPA decreased levels of mRNA for SCN9A and SCN8A, cell proliferation, invasion and endocytosis. Treatment with EPA inhibited I(Na) directly and also indirectly, by down-regulation of Na(v) mRNA expression in prostate cancer cells, thus inhibiting their metastatic potential.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 02/2009; 156(3):420-31. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on the stability of Kv1.5 channel protein. The expression and function of Kv1.5 (Kv1.5-FLAG) in transfected African green monkey kidney fibroblast cells as well as rat atrium were estimated by immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence and patch-clamp techniques. Both EPA and DHA immediately blocked Kv1.5 channel current in a dose-dependent manner, accompanied by reduction of their phosphorylation. Chronic treatment (for 12 h) with EPA at lower concentrations (0.3-10 muM) increased the level of Kv1.5-FLAG protein as well as Kv1.5 channel current without changes in its gating kinetics, prolonging its half-life; in contrast, both EPA and DHA at higher concentrations (30-100 muM) decreased the expression of Kv1.5-FLAG. EPA at the higher concentrations also decreased mRNA of Kv1.5 and synapse-associated protein 97 expression. EPA at the lower concentrations increased Kv1.5 expression in the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and cell membrane. EPA-induced increase of Kv1.5 channel expression and current was abolished by pretreatment with the protein transport inhibitor brefeldin A or colchicines, and by the Kv1.5 channel blocker 4-aminopyridine. Oral administration of EPA (30 mg/kg) increased the level of endogenous Kv1.5 in rat atria. These results indicate that chronic treatment with EPA at lower concentrations stabilizes Kv1.5 channel protein in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus thereby enhancing the Kv1.5 channel current on the cell membrane.
    European journal of pharmacology 01/2009; 604(1-3):93-102. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence demonstrates that dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with reduced incidence of cardiovascular events. However, the molecular mechanisms by which n-3 PUFAs prevent atherosclerosis are not fully understood. Here, we examined the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a major n-3 PUFA, on the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in ApoE-deficient mice. Five-week-old ApoE-deficient male mice were fed on western-type diet supplemented with 5% (w/w) EPA (EPA group, n=7) or not (control group, n=5) for 13 weeks. An analysis of the fatty acid composition of liver homogenates revealed a marked increase of the n-3 PUFA content in the EPA group (n-3/n-6 ratio: 0.20+/-0.01 vs. 2.5+/-0.2, p<0.01). En face Sudan IV staining of the aorta and oil red O-staining of the aortic sinus revealed that EPA significantly suppressed the development of atherosclerotic lesions. We also observed anti-atherosclerotic effects of EPA in LDL-receptor-deficient mice. The lesions of the EPA group contained more collagen (19.6+/-2.4% vs. 32.9+/-3.9%, p<0.05) and smooth muscle cells (1.3+/-0.2% vs. 3.6+/-0.8%, p<0.05) and less macrophages (32.7+/-4.1% vs. 14.7+/-2.0%, p<0.05). Pretreatment with EPA attenuated the up-regulation of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and MCP-1 in HUVECs as well as the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in macrophage-like cells induced by TNF-alpha. The anti-inflammatory effects of EPA were abrogated when the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) was suppressed. EPA may potentially reduce and stabilize atherosclerotic lesions through its anti-inflammatory effects.
    Atherosclerosis 05/2008; 197(2):524-33. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) compared with n-6 linoleic acid (LA) in an endometriosis rat model. We focused on the relationship between lipid metabolism and inflammatory reactions in endometriosis based on the hypothesis that a lipid intake imbalance is one of the factors responsible for the recent increase of endometriosis. Prospective, randomized experimental study. Animal surgery laboratory in a university hospital. Sprague-Dawley rats (female, 6 weeks old). Rats were fed a diet with EPA (n = 9) or with LA (n = 9) for 2 weeks. Two weeks after feeding, the uterus was autotransplanted to the peritoneum to construct an endometriosis model. Feeding was continued for a total of 6 weeks. Two and 4 weeks after autotransplantation, three rats of each group were killed and evaluated. Endometriotic lesions were morphologically evaluated and their fatty acid composition was examined. Gene expression in these tissues was evaluated by cDNA microarray analysis and quantative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In the EPA group, the n-3:n-6 ratio in each tissue significantly increased and the thickening of the interstitium, an active site for inflammation in endometriosis, was significantly suppressed (0.30 +/- 0.09 mm [EPA group] vs. 0.77 +/- 0.23 mm [LA group]). The mRNA of metalloproteinases, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-1r, prostaglandin E synthase (Ptges), and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB were reduced in the EPA group. EPA supplementation might be a valid strategy for the treatment of endometriosis.
    Fertility and sterility 01/2008; 90(4 Suppl):1496-502. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cardiovascular benefit of fish oil in humans and experimental animals has been reported. Endothelin (ET)-1 is a well-known cardiac hypertrophic factor. However, although many studies link a fish oil extract, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), to cardiac protection, the effects of EPA on cardiac hypertrophy and underlying mechanism(s) are unclear. The present study investigated whether EPA prevents ET-1-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy; the potential pathways likely to underlie such an effect were also investigated. Cardiomyocytes were isolated from neonatal rat heart, cultured for 3 days, and then treated for 24 h with vehicle only (control), treated with 0.1 nM ET-1 only, or pretreated with 10 microM EPA and then treated with 0.1 nM ET-1. The cells were harvested, and changes in cell surface area, protein synthesis, expression of a cytoskeletal (alpha-actinin) protein, and cell signaling were analyzed. ET-1 induced a 97% increase in cardiomyocyte surface area, a 72% increase in protein synthesis rate, and an increase in expression of alpha-actinin and signaling molecule [transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), and c-Jun]. Development of these ET-1-induced cellular changes was attenuated by EPA. Moreover, the hypertrophied cardiomyocytes showed a 1.5- and a 1.7-fold increase in mRNA expression of atrial and brain natriuretic peptides, the classical molecular markers of cardiac hypertrophy, respectively; these changes were also suppressed by EPA. Here we show that ET-1 induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and expression of hypertrophic markers, possibly mediated by JNK and TGF-beta 1 signaling pathways. These ET-1-induced effects were blocked by EPA, a major fish oil ingredient, suggesting that fish oil may have beneficial protective effects on cardiac hypertrophy.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 09/2006; 291(2):H835-45. · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cardiovascular benefit of fish oil, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in humans and experimental animals has been reported. The role of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in cardiac hypertrophy is well known. Endothelin-1 stimulates prepro-ET-1 mRNA expression in cardiomyocytes, and the autocrine/paracrine system of ET-1 is important for cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Although many studies link EPA to cardiac protection, the effect of EPA on cardiac hypertrophy has yet to be clarified. Recently, we demonstrated that ET-1-induced cardiomyocytic change could be prevented by pretreatment with EPA. The present study investigated the changes of different components of the ET system at the mRNA level in ET-1-administered cardiomyocytes, and examined the effect of EPA pretreatment. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from 2-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats, cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium and Ham F12 supplemented with 0.1% fatty acid-free bovine serum albumin for 3 days. At Day 4 of culture, the cardiomyocytes were divided into 3 groups: control group, ET-1-treated (0.1 nM) group, and ET-1-treated group pretreated with EPA (10 microM). Twenty-four hours after treatment, the gene expressions of different components of the endothelin system in three experimental groups were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Prepro-ET-1 mRNA expression was 53% upregulated in ET-1-induced hypertrophied cardiomyocytes and suppressed in the EPA-pretreated group. Endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) was also increased in ET-1-administered cardiomyocytes by 42% compared with the control group and was reversed in the EPA-pretreated group. The two receptors of ET system, ET(A) and ET(B), tended to be increased in the ET-1-treated group, but no statistical significance was seen among study groups. Endothelin-1 increased prepro-ET-1 and ECE-1 mRNA expression in hypertrophied-neonatal cardiomyocytes, and this was reversed with EPA pretreatment. Thus, EPA may play a crucial role in the regression of ET-1-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, partly through the suppression of ET-1 and ECE-1 expression.
    Experimental Biology and Medicine 07/2006; 231(6):888-92. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiomyocytes release (or metabolize) several diffusible agents (e.g., nitric oxide [NO], endothelin-1 [ET-1], and angiotensin II) that exert direct effects on myocyte function under various pathologic conditions. Although cardiac hypertrophy is a compensatory mechanism in response to different cardiovascular diseases, there can be a pathologic transition in which the myocardium becomes dysfunctional. Recently, NO has been found to be an important regulator of cardiac remodeling. Specifically, NO has been recognized as a potent antihypertrophic and proapoptotic mediator in cultured cardiomyocytes. We demonstrated that ET-1-induced hypertrophic remodeling in neonatal cardiomyocytes was arrested by pretreatment with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a major component of fish oil. In some recent studies, EPA has demonstrated cardioprotective effects by modulating NO. This study investigated the changes in NO synthase (NOS) in ET-1-induced hypertrophied cardiomyocytes and in total levels of nitrates and nitrites. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from 2-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats and were cultured in D-MEM/Ham F12 supplemented with 0.1% fatty acid-free bovine serum albumin for 3 days. At Day 4 of culture, the cardiomyocytes were divided into three groups: control group, ET-1 (0.1 nM) group, and ET-1 pretreated with EPA (10 microM) group. NOS gene expression was evaluated 24 hrs after treatment using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Endothelial NOS (eNOS) mRNA expression was decreased in the ET-1 group compared with controls and was unchanged by pretreatment with EPA. mRNA expression of inducible NOS (iNOS) was significantly increased in ET-1-treated cardiomyocytes and was suppressed by EPA pretreatment. Neuronal NOS gene expression and total NO level did not exhibit a statistically significant change in any of the groups. There may be some interaction between ET-1, eNOS, and iNOS in ET-1-induced and EPA-regressed hypertrophied cardiomyocytes that suppress iNOS expression without modulating total NO level or eNOS gene expression.
    Experimental Biology and Medicine 07/2006; 231(6):913-8. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human heart failure is preceded by a process called cardiac remodeling, in which heart chambers progressively enlarge and contractile function deteriorates. Programmed cell death (apoptosis) of cardiac muscle cells has been identified as an essential process in the progression to heart failure. The execution of the apoptotic program entails complex interactions between and execution of multiple molecular subprograms. Endothelin (ET)-1, a potent vasoconstrictor peptide, is synthesized and secreted by cardiomyocytes and induces hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes. The cardiovascular benefit of fish oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in humans and experimental animals was reported. Recently, we found that ET-1-induced cardiomyocytic remodeling could be prevented by pretreatment with EPA. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether there would be any alteration in the expression of important apoptosis-related molecules in ET-1-administered hypertrophied cardiomyocytes. We also sought to determine, if there are alterations in apoptotic molecules, what type of role for EPA would then exist. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from 2-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats and were cultured for 3 days. At Day 4 of culture, the cardiomyocytes were divided into three groups: control, the ET-1 (0.1 nM)-treated group, and the ET-1 group pretreated with EPA (10 microM). Twenty-four hours after the treatment, the gene expressions of three important molecules related to apoptosis (caspase-3, Bax, and Bcl-2) in three experimental groups were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The present study could not demonstrate any significant or representative alteration in any of the above three apoptosis-related important markers in either ET-1-induced hypertrophied cardiomyocytes with or without EPA pretreatment. The present study would at least be able to exclude the involvement of some representative molecules related to apoptosis in ET-1-induced hypertrophied cardiomyocytes. In addition, the present study demonstrates that the antihypertrophic effect of EPA to ET-1-administered cardiomyocytes appears not to modulate the apoptosis signaling cascade.
    Experimental Biology and Medicine 07/2006; 231(6):932-6. · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Atherosclerosis Supplements - ATHEROSCLER SUPPL. 01/2006; 7(3):448-448.
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated acute and chronic effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on voltage-gated Na+ current (I(Na)) expressed in cultured human bronchial smooth muscle cells (hBSMCs). The whole-cell voltage clamp technique and quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis were applied. The alterations in the fatty acid composition of phospholipids after treatment with EPA were also examined. Extracellular application of EPA produced a rapid and concentration-dependent suppression of tetrodotoxin-sensitive I(Na) with the half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 2 microM. After washing out EPA with albumin, I(Na) returned to the control level. Similar inhibitory effects were observed regarding other fatty acids (docosahexaenoic, arachidonic, stearic, and oleic acids), but EPA was the most potent inhibitor. The effect of EPA on I(Na) was not blocked by nordihydroguaiaretic acid and indometacin, and was accompanied by a significant shift of the steady-state inactivation curve to more negative potentials. In cells chronically treated with EPA, the EPA content of the cell lipid fraction (mol%) increased time-dependently, while arachidonic acid (AA) decreased, resulting in an increase of EPA to AA ratio. Then, the level of mRNA (SCN9A) encoding I(Na) decreased significantly. These results provide novel evidence that EPA not only rapidly inhibits I(Na), but also reduces the mRNA levels of the Na+ channel after cellular incorporation of EPA in cultured hBSMCs.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2005; 331(4):1452-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • Atherosclerosis Supplements - ATHEROSCLER SUPPL. 01/2005; 6(1):41-42.
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    ABSTRACT: cis-Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the major fatty acids contained in fish oil, and are known to affect the various physiological properties of cell membranes in humans. The present study investigated the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids on endothelin-1 (ET-1) production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and on insulin activity. After addition of various concentrations of EPA, docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, or linoleic acid to a culture medium, the concentration of ET-1 was measured using ELISA, and that of ET-1 mRNA was determined by RT-PCR. The results showed that EPA had the strongest inhibitory effect (p<0.05) on both basal ET-1 production and ET-1 mRNA levels. In addition, insulin (1 micromol/l) markedly increased ET-1 production, and EPA also significantly decreased the effect induced by insulin. Pretreatment with Ca2+ chelator EGTA (1 mmol/l), NOS inhibitor L-NAME (300 micromol/l), or calmodulin antagonist W-7 (300 micromol/l) inhibited NO production by EPA (100 micromol/l), but these pretreatments had no effect on ET-1 production by EPA. These findings suggest that EPA reduces basal and insulin-enhanced ET-1 production by inhibiting ET-1 mRNA production. These effects of EPA may contribute to its vasorelaxant and anti-atherosclerotic effects.
    Hypertension Research 08/2003; 26(8):655-61. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intake of fish oil is known to have cardioprotective effects and reduce cardiovascular mortality. However, it is not widely recognized that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), exerts beneficial effects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether EPA attenuates the severity of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury and which cellular mechanism is involved. Rabbits were treated with or without EPA (600 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks. Infarct size was measured in open-chest rabbits after 30-minute occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and after the subsequent 3-hour reperfusion. In several groups, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), an inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase, or charybdotoxin, a blocker of calcium-activated potassium (K(Ca)) channels, was infused intravenously beginning 20 minutes before LAD occlusion and continuing during reperfusion. Infarct size was reduced in the group treated with EPA compared with the control group (7.2 +/- 1.0% vs 24.6 +/- 2.3%; P < 0.01). The occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias in the reperfusion period tended to decrease in the EPA group. Either L-NAME or charybdotoxin partially blunted or completely abolished the infarct size-limiting effect of EPA, respectively. Eicosapentaenoic acid significantly increased the n-3:n-6 ratio of PUFA. Eicosapentaenoic acid reduces myocardial infarct size, mainly via the opening of K(Ca) channel-mediated and partially NO-mediated mechanisms in rabbit hearts.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 07/2003; 41(6):964-9. · 2.38 Impact Factor