[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression may be increased by cytokine plasma levels contributing to vascular damage in diabetes. Besides transcriptional regulation, Ca(2+)/CaMKII may play a role in post-translationally controlled iNOS activity. We accordingly investigated the involvement of the Ca(2+)/CaMKIIδ(2) signaling pathway in regulating lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced iNOS activity in cultured aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from diabetic rats. METHODS AND RESULTS: VSMCs obtained from 10 diabetic rats (DR) and 10 control rats (CR) were stimulated with 20 μg/ml LPS. After 24 h, iNOS protein levels were 1.37 fold increased in DR- vs CR-VSMCs (p < 0.05; Western Blot), while iNOS activity (conversion l-((3)H)-arginine into l-((3)H)-citrulline) and intracellular nitrotyrosine levels (immunofluorescence) were about 2.7 fold greater in DR- than in CR-VSMCs. Interestingly, LPS increased intracellular Ca(2+) levels (Fluorescence video imaging) more markedly in DR- than in CR-VSMCs. This was associated with CaMKII activation by phosphorylation, a decreased amount of co-immunoprecipitating iNOS/CaMKIIδ(2) (Western Blot) and increased iNOS activity. The CaMKII inhibitor KN-93 abolished all the LPS-effects. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the Ca(2+)/CaMKIIδ(2) signaling pathway may be an important regulator of iNOS activity in diabetes, and hence contribute to the potential development of innovative therapeutic strategies for vascular complications in diabetes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Insulin resistance (IR) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) share a common soil. We investigated the combined role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting insulin signaling (ENPP1 K121Q, rs1044498; IRS1 G972R, rs1801278; TRIB3 Q84R, rs2295490) on CVD, age at myocardial infarction (MI), in vivo insulin sensitivity and in vitro insulin-stimulated nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity. DESIGN AND SETTING: 1. We first studied, incident cardiovascular events (a composite endpoint comprising myocardial infarction-MI, stroke and cardiovascular death) in 733 patients (2186 person-years, 175 events). 2. In a replication attempt, age at MI was tested in 331 individuals. 3. OGTT-derived insulin sensitivity index (ISI) was assessed in 829 individuals with fasting glucose <126 mg/dl. 4. NOS activity was measured in 40 strains of human vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). RESULTS: 1. Risk variants jointly predicted cardiovascular events (HR = 1.181; p = 0.0009) and, when added to clinical risk factors, significantly improved survival C-statistics; they also allowed a significantly correct reclassification (by net reclassification index) in the whole sample (135/733 individuals) and, even more, in obese patients (116/204 individuals). 2. Risk variants were jointly associated with age at MI (p = 0.006). 3. A significant association was also observed with ISI (p = 0.02). 4. Finally, risk variants were jointly associated with insulin-stimulated NOS activity in HUVECs (p = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Insulin signaling genes variants jointly affect cardiovascular disease, very likely by promoting whole body and endothelium-specific insulin resistance. Further studies are needed to address whether their genotyping help identify very high-risk patients who need specific and/or more aggressive preventive strategies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, which was associated with insulin resistance. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is the major determinant of plasma ADMA. Examining data from the DIAGRAM+ (Diabetes Genetics Replication And Meta-analysis), we identified a variant (rs9267551) in the DDAH2 gene nominally associated with type 2 diabetes (P = 3 × 10(-5)).
initially, we assessed the functional impact of rs9267551 in human endothelial cells (HUVECs), observing that the G allele had a lower transcriptional activity resulting in reduced expression of DDAH2 and decreased NO production in primary HUVECs naturally carrying it. We then proceeded to investigate whether this variant is associated with insulin sensitivity in vivo. To this end, two cohorts of nondiabetic subjects of European ancestry were studied. In sample 1 (n = 958) insulin sensitivity was determined by the insulin sensitivity index (ISI), while in sample 2 (n = 527) it was measured with a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. In sample 1, carriers of the GG genotype had lower ISI than carriers of the C allele (67 ± 33 vs.79 ± 44; P = 0.003 after adjusting for age, gender, and BMI). ADMA levels were higher in subjects carrying the GG genotype than in carriers of the C allele (0.68 ± 0.14 vs. 0.57 ± 0.14 µmol/l; P = 0.04). In sample 2, glucose disposal was lower in GG carriers as compared with C carriers (9.3 ± 4.1 vs. 11.0 ± 4.2 mg × Kg(-1) free fat mass × min(-1); P = 0.009).
A functional polymorphism of the DDAH2 gene may confer increased risk for type 2 diabetes by affecting insulin sensitivity throughout increased ADMA levels.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e36224. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcimimetics, such as R-568, are thought to activate G protein-linked Ca(2+)-sensing receptor (CaSR) by allosterically increasing the affinity of the receptor for Ca(2+) allowing for efficient control of uremic hyperparathyroidism. Several recent studies suggest they possess additional vascular actions. Although it has been postulated that calcimimetics may have a direct effect on CaSR in the blood vessels, further studies are needed to elucidate their vascular CaSR-dependent versus CaSR-independent effects.
Focusing on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), we studied the CaSR expression and distribution by Immunofluorescence and Western Blot analysis. CaSR function was evaluated by measuring the potential effect of calcimimetic R-568 and its enantiomer S-568 upon the modulation of intracellular Ca(2+) levels (using a single cell approach and FURA-2AM), in the presence or absence of Calhex-231, a negative modulator of CaSR. To address their potential vascular functions, we also evaluated R- and S-568-stimulated enzymatic release of Nitric Oxide (NO) by DAF-2DA, by Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) radiometric assay (both in HUVECs and in Human Aortic Endothelial Cells) and by measuring eNOS-ser1177 phosphorylation levels (Immunoblotting). We show that, although the CaSR protein was expressed in HUVECs, it was mainly distributed in cytoplasm while the functional CaSR dimers, usually localized on the plasma membrane, were absent. In addition, regardless of the presence or absence of Calhex-231, both R- and S-568 significantly increased intracellular Ca(2+) levels by mobilization of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores, which in turn augmented NO release by a time- and Ca(2+)-dependent increase in eNOS-ser1177 phosphorylation levels.
Taken together, these data indicate that in human endothelium there is no stereoselectivity in the responses to calcimimetics and that CaSR is probably not involved in the action of R- and S-568. This suggests an additional mechanism in support of the CaSR-independent role of calcimimetics as vasculotrope agents.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30682. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is associated with vascular oxidative imbalance and inflammation. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is associated with a functional inactivation of nitric oxide (NO) due to the reaction with O₂⁻, leading to peroxynitrite (ONOO⁻) formation and subsequent reduction in the beneficial effect of vascular NO bioavailability. Carotenoids'-rich diets have been associated with decreased risk of CVD, but the underlying mechanism is still unknown.
In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), both β-carotene (BC) or lycopene (Lyc) significantly affected tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced inflammation, being associated with a significant decrease in the generation of ROS (spectrofluorometry) and nitrotyrosine (an index of ONOO⁻ formation, cytofluorimetry), an increased NO/cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate) levels (EIA), and a down-regulation of NF-κB-dependent adhesion molecule expression (Western blot and EMSA) and monocyte-HUVEC interaction (adhesion assay). Our results indicate that BC or Lyc treatment reduce the inflammatory response in TNF-α-treated HUVECs. This is due to the redox balance protection and to the maintenance of NO bioavailability.
Our observations provide background for a novel mechanism for carotenoids' anti-inflammatory activity in the vasculature and may contribute to a better understanding of the protective effects of carotenoid-rich diets against CVD risk.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excessive intraperitoneal absorption of glucose during peritoneal dialysis has both local cytotoxic and systemic metabolic effects. Here we evaluate peritoneal dialysis solutions containing L-carnitine, an osmotically active compound that induces fluid flow across the peritoneum. In rats, L-carnitine in the peritoneal cavity had a dose-dependent osmotic effect similar to glucose. Analogous ultrafiltration and small solute transport characteristics were found for dialysates containing 3.86% glucose, equimolar L-carnitine, or combinations of both osmotic agents in mice. About half of the ultrafiltration generated by L-carnitine reflected facilitated water transport by aquaporin-1 (AQP1) water channels of endothelial cells. Nocturnal exchanges with 1.5% glucose and 0.25% L-carnitine in four patients receiving continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis were well tolerated and associated with higher net ultrafiltration than that achieved with 2.5% glucose solutions, despite the lower osmolarity of the carnitine-containing solution. Addition of L-carnitine to endothelial cells in culture increased the expression of AQP1, significantly improved viability, and prevented glucose-induced apoptosis. In a standard toxicity test, the addition of L-carnitine to peritoneal dialysis solution improved the viability of L929 fibroblasts. Thus, our studies support the use of L-carnitine as an alternative osmotic agent in peritoneal dialysis.
Kidney International 04/2011; 80(6):645-54. · 7.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TRIB3, a mammalian tribbles homologue, affects insulin signalling and action by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation. A TRIB3 Q84R gain-of-function polymorphism has been associated with insulin resistance both in vitro and in vivo and with several atherosclerotic phenotypes, including increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). We wanted to replicate this latter association and, if so, to get deeper insights about the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of the TRIB3 Q84R polymorphism in atherosclerosis.
in 430 Caucasians of European ancestry, carotid IMT was increased in QR (n = 116) and RR (n = 15) when compared with QQ (n = 299) subjects (P= 0.009), thus replicating similar data recently obtained among Asians. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) naturally carrying the QQ genotype, 24 h insulin stimulation increased monocyte adhesion, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK)-MAPK activation. Conversely, QR- and RR-HUVECs had increased unstimulated monocyte adhesion, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 expression, and MEK-MAPK activation which did not increase further upon insulin stimulation. In addition, QQ-, QR-, and RR-HUVECs showed similar basal Akt phosphorylation and nitric oxide synthase activity which, however, were significantly increased by insulin only in QQ cells.
the TRIB3 R4 variant is associated with increased carotid IMT also in Caucasians, thus replicating previous data obtained in Asians. In addition, in HUVECs, this variant is associated with unbalanced insulin signalling. This abnormality may favour vasoreactivity, intima-media thickening, and plaque formation and may, therefore, underlie the deleterious role exerted by the variant on the susceptibility to atherosclerosis.
Cardiovascular research 01/2011; 89(1):184-92. · 5.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory lung disease is a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). Mechanisms of unresolved acute inflammation in CF are not completely known, although the involvement of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in nonrespiratory cells is emerging. Here we examined CFTR expression and function in human platelets (PLTs) and found that they express a biologically active CFTR. CFTR blockade gave an ∼50% reduction in lipoxin A(4) (LXA(4)) formation during PLT/polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) coincubations by inhibiting the lipoxin synthase activity of PLT 12-lipoxygenase. PLTs from CF patients generated ∼40% less LXA(4) compared to healthy subject PLTs. CFTR inhibition increased PLT-dependent PMN viability (33.0±5.7 vs. 61.2±8.2%; P=0.033), suppressed nitric oxide generation (0.23±0.04 vs. 0.11±0.002 pmol/10(8) PLTs; P=0.004), while reducing AKT (1.02±0.12 vs. 0.71±0.007 U; P=0.04), and increasing p38 MAPK phosphorylation (0.650±0.09 vs. 1.04±0.24 U; P=0.03). Taken together, these findings indicate that PLTs from CF patients are affected by the molecular defect of CFTR. Moreover, this CF PLT abnormality may explain the failure of resolution in CF.
The FASEB Journal 10/2010; 24(10):3970-80. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance induces increased pulse pressure (PP), endothelial dysfunction (ED), and reduced bioavailability of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (NO). The genetic background of these 3 cardiovascular risk factors might be partly common. The ENPP1 K121Q polymorphism is associated with insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk.
We investigated whether the K121Q polymorphism is associated with increased PP in white Caucasians and with ED in vitro. In 985 individuals, (390 unrelated and 595 from 248 families), the K121Q polymorphism was associated with PP (P=8.0 x 10(-4)). In the families, the Q121 variant accounted for 0.08 of PP heritability (P=9.4 x 10(-4)). This association was formally replicated in a second sample of 475 individuals (P=2.6 x 10(-2)) but not in 2 smaller samples of 289 and 236 individuals (P=0.49 and 0.21, respectively). In the individual patients' data meta-analysis, comprising 1985 individuals, PP was associated with the Q121 variant (P=1.2 x 10(-3)). Human endothelial cells carrying the KQ genotype showed, as compared to KK cells, reduced insulin-mediated insulin receptor autophosphorylation (P=0.03), Ser(473)-Akt phosphorylation (P=0.03), and NO synthase activity (P=0.003).
Our data suggest that the ENPP1 Q121 variant is associated with increased PP in vivo and reduced insulin signaling and ED in vitro, thus indicating a possible pathogenic mechanism for the increased cardiovascular risk observed in ENPP1 Q121 carriers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the endothelium, insulin promotes nitric oxide (NO) production, through the insulin receptor/IRS-1/PI3-Kinase/Akt/eNOS signaling pathway. An inhibitor of insulin action, TRIB3, has recently been identified which affects insulin action by binding to and inhibiting Akt phosphorylation. We have recently described a Q84R gain-of-function polymorphism of TRIB3 with the R84 variant being associated with insulin resistance and an earlier age at myocardial infarction.
To investigate the TRIB3 R84 variant impact on endothelial insulin action, we cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) naturally carrying different TRIB3 genotypes (QQ-, QR-, or RR-HUVECs). TRIB3 inhibitory activity on insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and the amount of protein which was coimmunoprecipitable with Akt were significantly greater in QR- and RR- as compared to QQ- HUVECs. After insulin stimulation, Akt and eNOS activation as well as NO production were markedly decreased in QR- and RR- as compared to QQ-HUVECs. TRIB3 molecular modeling analysis provided insights into the structural changes related to the polymorphisms potentially determining differences in protein-protein interaction with Akt.
Our data demonstrate that the TRIB3 R84 variant impairs insulin signaling and NO production in human endothelial cells. This finding provides a plausible biological background for the deleterious role of TRIB3 R84 on genetic susceptibility to coronary artery disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In end-stage renal disease (ESRD) endothelium may represent a key target for the action of circulating elements, such as modified erythrocytes (RBC) and/or plasmatic factors, that may facilitate inflammation and the vasculopathy associated with uremia. We have previously demonstrated that phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure on the surface of RBC from ESRD patients increases RBC-human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) interactions and causes decreased nitric oxide (NO) production. We postulated that, besides the pro-inflammatory effects due to decreased NO bio-availability, enhanced ESRD-RBC-HUVEC interactions might directly stimulate pro-inflammatory pathways leading to increased vascular adhesion molecule expression. ESRD-RBC-endothelial cell interactions induced a time-dependent up-regulation of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 (measured by Western blot (WB) and real-time PCR), associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation and impairment of the Akt/endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) signaling cascade, measured by WB. In reconstitution experiments, normal RBC incubated with uremic plasma showed increased PS exposure and significantly increased VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 mRNA levels when incubated on HUVEC. Interestingly, ESRD-RBC induced increased expression of adhesion molecules was prevented by Annexin-V (AnV, able to mask PS on RBC surface), anti-integrin-alpha(v)beta3, anti-thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), and PD98059 (a selective inhibitor of MAPK phosphorylation). Moreover, AnV reversed the ESRD-RBC effects on MAPK and Akt/eNOS signaling pathways. Our data demonstrate that, possibly via a direct interaction with the endothelial thrombospondin-(alpha(v)beta3) integrin complex, ESRD-RBC-HUVEC adhesion induces a vascular inflammatory phenotype. Thus, intervention targeting ESRD-RBC increased adhesion to endothelium and/or MAPK and Akt/eNOS pathways may have the potential to prevent vascular lesions under uremic conditions.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 01/2008; 213(3):699-709. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To dissect the effect of hyperinsulinemia versus hyperglycemia on TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) expression in the macrovascular district, we measured TRAIL mRNA and protein in four groups of animals: streptozotocin (SZT)-induced diabetic rats, vehicle-treated control animals, diabetic rats treated with insulin and non-diabetic rats treated with insulin. While the aortas of diabetic rats did not show significant differences in TRAIL expression with respect to vehicle-treated control animals, the aortas of both diabetic and non-diabetic rats treated in vivo for 16 days with insulin showed a significant decrease in TRAIL expression with respect to either diabetic and control rats. Moreover, in vitro treatment of both rat and human vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) with insulin induced the down-regulation of TRAIL protein. While the addition of recombinant TRAIL to rat VSMC promoted the dose-dependent release of bioactive nitric oxide (NO), this effect was significantly counteracted by pre-exposure of VSMC to insulin. These findings suggest that TRAIL might act as an endogenous regulator of the vascular tone and that chronic elevation of insulin might contribute to the vascular abnormalities characterizing type-2 diabetes mellitus by down-regulating TRAIL expression and activity.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 08/2007; 212(1):89-95. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have recently demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) increases endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation, NOS activity, and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), without inducing apoptotic cell death. Although an important factor that regulates eNOS activity is its localization within the cells, little is known about the role of TRAIL in the regulation of eNOS trafficking among cellular compartments and the cytoskeleton involvement in this machinery. Then, we did both quantitative and semi-quantitative evaluations with biochemical assays and immune fluorescence microscopy in the presence of specific inhibitors of NOS activity as well as of cytoskeletal microtubule structures. In our cellular model, TRAIL treatment not only increased NO levels but also caused a time-dependent NO migration of fluorescent spots from the plasma membrane to the inner part of the cells. In unstimulated cells, most of the eNOS was localized at the cell membranes. However, within 10 min following addition of TRAIL, nearly all the cells showed an increased cytoplasm localization of eNOS which appeared co-localized with the Golgi apparatus at a higher extent than in unstimulated cells. These effects were associated to an increased formation of trans-cytoplasm stress fibers with no significant changes of the microtubule network. Conversely, microtubule disruption and Golgi scattering induced with Nocodazole treatment inhibited TRAIL-increased NOS activity, indicating that, on cultured HUVEC, TRAIL ability to affect NO production by regulating eNOS sub-cellular distribution is mediated by cytoskeleton and Golgi complex modifications.
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 04/2006; 97(4):782-94. · 3.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin activates several processes potentially dangerous for the arterial wall and hyperinsulinemia might be atherogenic. However, other insulin effects are protective for the vessel wall and thus anti-atherogenic. Aim of this study was to investigate whether insulin effects on potentially pro-atherogenic and anti-atherogenic processes were differently affected in cells from insulin-resistant individuals.
We determined insulin effect on nitric oxide (NO) production and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 synthesis in 12 fibroblast strains obtained from skin biopsy samples of 6 insulin-sensitive (IS) (clamp M >7 mg/kg body weight per minute) and 6 insulin-resistant (IR) (clamp M <5 mg/kg body weight per minute) healthy volunteers. Insulin effects on NO release and Akt phosphorylation were significantly impaired in fibroblasts from IR as compared with IS individuals. Conversely, there was not any difference between IR and IS strains in insulin ability to increase PAI-1 antigen levels and, after 24-hour insulin incubation, PAI-1 mRNA increase in IR strains was only slightly less than in IS strains. Insulin ability to induce MAPK activation was also comparable in IR and IS cells.
We conclude that in cells from IR individuals, insulin action on anti-atherogenic processes, such as NO release, is impaired, whereas the hormone ability to stimulate atherogenic processes, such as PAI-1 release, is preserved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proliferative modification of vascular smooth muscle cell (vSMC) and impaired bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) have both been proposed among the mechanisms linking diabetes and atherosclerosis. However, diabetes induced modifications in phenotype and nitric oxide synthase(s) (NOS) expression and activity in vSMC have not been fully characterized. In this study, cell morphology, proliferative response to serum, alpha-SMactin levels, eNOS expression and activity, cGMP intracellular content, and superoxide anion release were measured in cultures of vSMC obtained from aorta medial layer of ten diabetic (90% pancreatectomy, DR) and ten control (sham surgery, CR) rats. Vascular SMC from DR showed a less evident "hill and valley" culture morphology, increased growth response to serum, greater saturation density, and lower levels of alpha-SMactin. In the same cells, as compared to CR cells, eNOS mRNA levels and NOS activity were increased, while intracellular cGMP level was lower and superoxide anion production was significantly greater. These data indicate that chronic hyperglycemia might induce, in the vascular wall, an increased number of vSMC proliferative clones which persist in culture and are associated with increased eNOS expression and activity. However, upregulation of eNOS and increased NO synthesis occur in the presence of a marked concomitant increase of O(2-) production. Since NO bioavailability, as reflected by cGMP levels, was not increased in DR cells, it is tempting to hypothesize that the proliferative phenotype observed in DR cells is associated with a redox imbalance responsible quenching and/or trapping of NO, with the consequent loss of its biological activity.
Journal of Cellular Physiology 09/2003; 196(2):378-85. · 4.22 Impact Factor