Cynthia J Meininger

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States

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Publications (74)314.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted with rats to determine the safety of long-term dietary supplementation with L-arginine. Beginning at 6 weeks of age, male and female rats were fed a casein-based semi-purified diet containing 0.61 % L-arginine and received drinking water containing L-arginine-HCl (0, 1.8, or 3.6 g L-arginine/kg body-weight/day; n = 10/group). These supplemental doses of L-arginine were equivalent to 0, 286, and 573 mg L-arginine/kg body-weight/day, respectively, in humans. After a 13-week supplementation period, blood samples were obtained from rats for biochemical analyses. Supplementation with L-arginine increased plasma concentrations of arginine, ornithine, proline, homoarginine, urea, and nitric oxide metabolites without affecting those for lysine, histidine, or methylarginines, while reducing plasma concentrations of ammonia, glutamine, free fatty acids, and triglycerides. L-Arginine supplementation enhanced protein gain and reduced white-fat deposition in the body. Based on general appearance, feeding behavior, and physiological parameters, all animals showed good health during the entire experimental period; Plasma concentrations of all measured hormones (except leptin) did not differ between control and arginine-supplemented rats. L-Arginine supplementation reduced plasma levels of leptin. Additionally, L-arginine supplementation increased L-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase activity in kidneys but not in the liver or small intestine, suggesting tissue-specific regulation of enzyme expression by L-arginine. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with L-arginine (e.g., 3.6 g/kg body-weight/day) is safe in rats for at least 91 days. This dose is equivalent to 40 g L-arginine/kg body-weight/day for a 70-kg person. Our findings help guide clinical studies to determine the safety of long-term oral administration of L-arginine to humans.
    Amino Acids 05/2015; 47(9). DOI:10.1007/s00726-015-1992-3 · 3.29 Impact Factor
  • Ying Yang · Zhenlong Wu · Cynthia J Meininger · Guoyao Wu
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    ABSTRACT: Reduced availability of nitric oxide (NO) in the vasculature is a major factor contributing to the impaired action of insulin on blood flow and, therefore, insulin resistance in obese and diabetic subjects. Available evidence shows that vascular insulin resistance plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in developed nations. Interestingly, increased concentrations of L-leucine in the plasma occur in obese humans and other animals with vascular dysfunction. Among branched-chain amino acids, L-leucine is unique in inhibiting NO synthesis from L-arginine in endothelial cells and may modulate cardiovascular homeostasis in insulin resistance. Results of recent studies indicate that L-leucine is an activator of glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase (GFAT), which is the first and a rate-controlling enzyme in the synthesis of glucosamine (an inhibitor of endothelial NO synthesis). Through stimulating the mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway and thus protein synthesis, L-leucine may enhance GFAT protein expression, thereby inhibiting NO synthesis in endothelial cells. We propose that reducing circulating levels of L-leucine or endothelial GFAT activity may provide a potentially novel strategy for preventing and/or treating cardiovascular disease in obese and diabetic subjects. Such means may include dietary supplementation with either α-ketoglutarate to enhance the catabolism of L-leucine in the small intestine and other tissues or with N-ethyl-L-glutamine to inhibit GFAT activity in endothelial cells. Preventing leucine-induced activation of GFAT by nutritional supplements or pharmaceutical drugs may contribute to improved cardiovascular function by enhancing vascular NO synthesis.
    Amino Acids 03/2015; 47(3). DOI:10.1007/s00726-014-1904-y · 3.29 Impact Factor
  • Shengdi Hu · Xilong Li · Reza Rezaei · Cynthia J Meininger · Catherine J McNeal · Guoyao Wu
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted with a swine model to determine the safety of long-term dietary supplementation with L-arginine-HCl or L-arginine free base. Beginning at 30 days of age, pigs were fed a corn- and soybean meal-based diet (31.5 g/kg body weight/day) supplemented with 0, 1.21, 1.81 or 2.42 % L-arginine-HCl (Experiment 1) or with 0, 1, 1.5 or 2 % L-arginine (Experiment 2). The supplemental doses of 0, 1, 1.5, and 2 % L-arginine provided pigs with 0, 315, 473, and 630 mg L-arginine/kg body weight/day, respectively, which were equivalent to 0, 286, 430, and 573 mg L-arginine/kg body weight/day, respectively, in humans. At 121 days of age (91 days after initiation of supplementation), blood samples were obtained from the jugular vein of pigs at 1 and 4 h after feeding for hematological and clinical chemistry tests. Dietary supplementation with L-arginine increased plasma concentrations of arginine, ornithine, proline, albumin and reticulocytes, while reducing plasma concentrations of ammonia, free fatty acids, triglyceride, cholesterol, and neutrophils. L-Arginine supplementation enhanced protein gain and reduced white-fat deposition in the body. Other variables in standard hematology and clinical chemistry tests, serum concentrations of insulin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I did not differ among all the groups of pigs. These results indicate that dietary supplementation with L-arginine (up to 630 mg/kg body weight/day) is safe in pigs for at least 91 days. Our findings help guide clinical studies to determine the safety of long-term oral administration of L-arginine to humans.
    Amino Acids 02/2015; 47(5). DOI:10.1007/s00726-015-1921-5 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metastatic melanoma is a deadly form of cancer with few therapeutic options and the cause of more than 9480 deaths annually in the USA alone. Novel treatment options for this disease are urgently needed. Here we test the efficacy of a novel melanoma drug, the human recombinant Co-arginase (CoArgIPEG), against an aggressive A375 melanoma mouse model. CoArgIPEG is a modification of the naturally occurring human enzyme with improved stability, catalytic activity, and potentially lower immunogenicity compared with current amino acid-depleting drugs. Marked tumor growth reductions (mean P=0.0057) with apoptosis induction and proliferation inhibition are noted with CoArgIPEG treatment, both in the presence and in the absence of supplemental citrulline. Further, improved therapeutic efficacy has been noted against A375 xenografts relative to the naturally occurring human recombinant arginase enzyme at lower doses of CoArgIPEG. Unfortunately, after 1 month, half of the relapsing tumors showed argininosuccinate synthase induction, which correlated with Ser62-phosphorylated cMyc. Although argininosuccinate synthase induction could not be induced in vitro, a drug targeting pathway previously demonstrated to be associated with Ser62 cMyc phosphorylation - U0126 - in combination with CoArgIPEG demonstrated an in-vitro synergistic response (combination indices 0.13±0.10 and 0.14±0.10 with or without citrulline, respectively). Overall, favorable efficacy and potential synergy with other antimelanoma drugs support CoArgIPEG as a potent, novel cancer therapeutic.
    Melanoma Research 10/2014; DOI:10.1097/CMR.0000000000000119 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Development of obesity in animals is affected by energy intake, dietary composition, and metabolism. Useful models for studying this metabolic problem are Sprague-Dawley rats fed low-fat (LF) or high-fat (HF) diets beginning at 28 days of age. Through experimental design, their dietary intakes of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals per kg body weight (BW) do not differ in order to eliminate confounding factors in data interpretation. The 24-h energy expenditure of rats is measured using indirect calorimetry. A regression model is constructed to accurately predict BW gain based on diet, initial BW gain, and the principal component scores of respiratory quotient and heat production. Time-course data on metabolism (including energy expenditure) are analyzed using a mixed effect model that fits both fixed and random effects. Cluster analysis is employed to classify rats as normal-weight or obese. HF-fed rats are heavier than LF-fed rats, but rates of their heat production per kg non-fat mass do not differ. We conclude that metabolic conversion of dietary lipids into body fat primarily contributes to obesity in HF-fed rats.
    Frontiers in Bioscience 06/2014; 19:967-985. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The knowledge of the basic principles of lymphatic function, still remains, to a large degree, rudimentary and will require significant research efforts. Recent studies of the physiology of the mesenteric lymphatic vessels (MLVs) suggested the presence of an endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) other than nitric oxide. In this study we tested the hypothesis that lymphatic endothelium-derived histamine relaxes MLVs.Methods We measured and analyzed parameters of lymphatic contractility in isolated and pressurized rat mesenteric lymphatic vessels under control conditions and after pharmacological blockade of nitric oxide by Nω-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME, 100 μM) or/and histamine production by α-methyl-DL-histidine dihydrochloride (α-MHD, 10 μM). Effectiveness of α-MHD was confirmed immunohistochemically. We also used immunohistochemical labeling and western blot analysis of the histamine-producing enzyme, histidine decarboxylase (HDC). Additionally we blocked HDC protein expression in MLVs by transient transfection with vivo-morpholino oligos.ResultsWe found that only combined pharmacological blockade of nitric oxide and histamine production completely eliminates flow-dependent relaxation of lymphatic vessels, thus confirming a role for histamine as an EDRF in MLVs. We also confirmed the presence of histidine decarboxylase and histamine inside lymphatic endothelial cells.Conclusions Our study supports a role for histamine as an EDRF in MLVs.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Microcirculation (New York, N.Y.: 1994) 04/2014; 21(7). DOI:10.1111/micc.12143 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Extracts of Russian Tarragon (RT) have been reported to produce anti-hyperglycemic effects and influence plasma creatine (Cr) levels while supplementing with creatine monohydrate (CrM). The purpose of this preliminary study was to determine if short-term, low-dose aqueous RT extract ingestion prior to CrM supplementation influences whole body Cr retention, muscle Cr or measures of anaerobic sprint performance. In a double-blind, randomized, and crossover manner; 10 recreationally trained males (20 +/- 2 yrs; 179 +/- 9 cm; 91.3 +/- 34 kg) ingested 500 mg of aqueous RT extract (Finzelberg, Andernach, Germany) or 500 mg placebo 30-minutes prior to ingesting 5 g of CrM (Creapure(R), AlzChem AG, Germany) twice per day for 5-days then repeated after a 6-week wash-out period. Urine was collected at baseline and during each of the 5-days of supplementation to determine urine Cr content. Whole body Cr retention was estimated from urine samples. Muscle biopsies were obtained for determination of muscle free Cr content. Participants also performed two 30-second Wingate anaerobic capacity tests prior to and following supplementation for determination of peak power (PP), mean power (MP), and total work (TW). Data were analysed by repeated measures MANOVA. Whole body daily Cr retention increased in both groups following supplementation (0.0 +/- 0.0; 8.2 +/- 1.4, 6.5 +/- 2.4, 5.6 +/- 3.2, 6.1 +/- 2.6, 4.8 +/- 3.2 g . d-1; p = 0.001) with no differences observed between groups (p = 0.59). After 3 and 5-days of supplementation, respectively, both supplementation protocols demonstrated a significant increase in muscle free Cr content from baseline (4.8 +/- 16.7, 15.5 +/- 23.6 mmol . kg-1 DW, p = 0.01) with no significant differences observed between groups (p = 0.34). Absolute change in MP (9 +/- 57, 35 +/- 57 W; p = 0.031), percent change in MP (2.5 +/- 10.5, 6.7 +/- 10.4%; p = 0.026), absolute change in TW (275 +/- 1,700, 1,031 +/- 1,721 J; p = 0.032), and percent change in TW (2.5 +/- 10.5, 6.6 +/- 10.4%; p = 0.027) increased over time in both groups with no differences observed between groups. Short-term CrM supplementation (10 g . d-1 for 5-days) significantly increased whole body Cr retention and muscle free Cr content. However, ingesting 500 mg of RT 30-min prior to CrM supplementation did not affect whole body Cr retention, muscle free Cr content, or anaerobic sprint capacity in comparison to ingesting CrM with a placebo.
    Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 02/2014; 11(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1550-2783-11-6 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Male Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats were used to study effects of oral administration of interferon tau (IFNT) in reducing obesity. Eighteen ZDF rats (28 days of age) were assigned randomly to receive 0, 4, or 8 μg IFNT/kg body weight (BW) per day (n = 6/group) for 8 weeks. Water consumption was measured every two days. Food intake and BW were recorded weekly. Energy expenditure in 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-week-old rats was determined using indirect calorimetry. Starting at 7 weeks of age, urinary glucose, and ketone bodies were tested daily. Rates of glucose and oleate oxidation in liver, brown adipose tissue, and abdominal adipose tissue, as well as leucine catabolism in skeletal muscle, and lipolysis in white and brown adipose tissues were greater for rats treated with 8 μg IFNT/kg BW/day in comparison with control rats. Treatment with 8 μg IFNT/kg BW/day increased heat production, reduced BW gain and adiposity, ameliorated fatty liver syndrome, delayed the onset of diabetes, and decreased concentrations of glucose, free fatty acids, triacylglycerol, cholesterol, and branched-chain amino acids in plasma, compared with control rats. Oral administration of 8 µg IFNT/kg BW/day ameliorated oxidative stress in skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue, as indicated by decreased ratios of oxidized glutathione to reduced glutathione and increased concentrations of tetrahydrobiopterin. These results indicate that IFNT stimulates oxidation of energy substrates and reduces obesity in ZDF rats and may have broad important implications for preventing and treating obesity-related diseases in mammals. © 2013 BioFactors, 2013.
    BioFactors 09/2013; 39(5). DOI:10.1002/biof.1113 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cdc42 is a Ras-related GTPase that plays an important role in the regulation of a range of cellular functions, including cell migration, proliferation and survival. Consistent with its critical functions in vitro, the inactivation of Cdc42 in mice has been shown to result in embryonic lethality at E6.5 before blood vessel formation. To determine the role of Cdc42 in new blood vessel formation, we have generated vascular endothelial cell (EC)-specific Cdc42 knockout mice by crossing Cdc42/flox mice with Tie2-Cre mice. The deletion of Cdc42 in ECs caused embryonic lethality with vasculogenesis and angiogenesis defects. We observed that Cdc42 is critical for EC migration and survival but not for cell cycle progression. Moreover, we found that the inactivation of Cdc42 in ECs decreased the VEGFR2 protein level on the EC surface and promoted the production of a 75 kD membrane-associated C-terminal VEGFR2 fragment. Using cultured primary mouse ECs and human umbilical vein ECs, we have demonstrated that the deletion of Cdc42 increased ADAM17-mediated VEGFR2 shedding. Notably, inhibition of ADAM17 or overexpression VEGFR2 can partially rescue Cdc42 deletion-induced EC apoptosis. These data indicate that Cdc42 is essential for VEGFR2-mediated signal transduction in blood vessel formation.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 08/2013; 33(21). DOI:10.1128/MCB.00650-13 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule synthesized from L-arginine by NO synthase in animals. Increasing evidence shows that NO regulates the mammalian metabolism of energy substrates and that these effects of NO critically depend on its concentrations at the reaction site and the period of exposure. High concentrations of NO (in the micromolar range) irreversibly inhibit complexes I, II, III, IV, and V in the mitochondrial respiratory chain, whereas physiological levels of NO (in the nanomolar range) reversibly reduce cytochomrome oxidase. Thus, NO reduces oxygen consumption by isolated mitochondria to various extents. In intact cells, through cGMP and AMP-activated protein kinase signaling, physiological levels of NO acutely stimulate uptake and oxidation of glucose and fatty acids by skeletal muscle, heart, liver, and adipose tissue, while inhibiting the synthesis of glucose, glycogen and fat in the insulin-sensitive tissues, and enhancing lipolysis in white adipocytes. Chronic effects of physiological levels of NO in vivo include stimulation of angiogenesis, blood flow, mitochondrial biogenesis, and brown adipocyte development. Modulation of NO-mediated pathways through dietary supplementation with L-arginine or its precursor L-citrulline may provide an effective, practical strategy to prevent and treat metabolic syndrome, including obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia in mammals, including humans. © 2013 BioFactors, 2013.
    BioFactors 07/2013; 39(4). DOI:10.1002/biof.1099 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11/2012; 9(1). DOI:10.1186/1550-2783-9-S1-P11 · 1.91 Impact Factor
  • Hai H Hoang · Samuel V Padgham · Cynthia J Meininger
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review: The endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is constitutively expressed but dynamically regulated by a number of factors. Building our knowledge of this regulation is necessary to understand and modulate the bioavailability of nitric oxide, central to the cardiovascular complications of diabetes and other diseases. This review will focus on the eNOS substrate (L-arginine), its cofactor (tetrahydrobiopterin), and mechanisms related to the uncoupling of eNOS activity. Recent findings: The global arginine bioavailability ratio has been proposed as a biomarker reflective of L-arginine availability, arginase activity, and citrulline cycling, as all of these processes impact eNOS activity. The failure of oral supplementation of tetrahydrobiopterin to recouple eNOS has emphasized the importance of the tetrahydrobiopterin to dihydrobiopterin ratio. Identification of transporters for biopterin species as well as signals that regulate endogenous arginine production have provided insight for alternative strategies to raise endothelial tetrahydrobiopterin levels while reducing dihydrobiopterin and alter eNOS activity. Finally, new information about redox regulation of eNOS itself may point to ways of controlling oxidative stress in the vasculature. Summary: Restoring proper eNOS activity is key to ameliorating or preventing cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Continued investigation is needed to uncover new means for maintaining endothelial nitric oxide bioavailability.
    11/2012; 16(1). DOI:10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835ad1ef
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    ABSTRACT: Creatine monohydrate (CrM) has been consistently reported to increase muscle creatine content and improve high-intensity exercise capacity. However, a number of different forms of creatine have been purported to be more efficacious than CrM. The purpose of this study was to determine if a buffered creatine monohydrate (KA) that has been purported to promote greater creatine retention and training adaptations with fewer side effects at lower doses is more efficacious than CrM supplementation in resistance-trained individuals. In a double-blind manner, 36 resistance-trained participants (20.2 ± 2 years, 181 ± 7 cm, 82.1 ± 12 kg, and 14.7 ± 5% body fat) were randomly assigned to supplement their diet with CrM (Creapure® AlzChem AG, Trostberg, Germany) at normal loading (4 x 5 g/d for 7-days) and maintenance (5 g/d for 21-days) doses; KA (Kre-Alkalyn®, All American Pharmaceutical, Billings, MT, USA) at manufacturer's recommended doses (KA-L, 1.5 g/d for 28-days); or, KA with equivalent loading (4 x 5 g/d for 7-days) and maintenance (5 g/d) doses of CrM (KA-H). Participants were asked to maintain their current training programs and record all workouts. Muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis, fasting blood samples, body weight, DEXA determined body composition, and Wingate Anaerobic Capacity (WAC) tests were performed at 0, 7, and 28-days while 1RM strength tests were performed at 0 and 28-days. Data were analyzed by a repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and are presented as mean ± SD changes from baseline after 7 and 28-days, respectively. Muscle free creatine content obtained in a subgroup of 25 participants increased in all groups over time (1.4 ± 20.7 and 11.9 ± 24.0 mmol/kg DW, p = 0.03) after 7 and 28-days, respectively, with no significant differences among groups (KA-L -7.9 ± 22.3, 4.7 ± 27.0; KA-H 1.0 ± 12.8, 9.1 ± 23.2; CrM 11.3 ± 23.9, 22.3 ± 21.0 mmol/kg DW, p = 0.46). However, while no overall group differences were observed (p = 0.14), pairwise comparison between the KA-L and CrM groups revealed that changes in muscle creatine content tended to be greater in the CrM group (KA-L -1.1 ± 4.3, CrM 11.2 ± 4.3 mmol/kg DW, p = 0.053 [mean ± SEM]). Although some significant time effects were observed, no significant group x time interactions (p > 0.05) were observed in changes in body mass, fat free mass, fat mass, percent body fat, or total body water; bench press and leg press 1RM strength; WAC mean power, peak power, or total work; serum blood lipids, markers of catabolism and bone status, and serum electrolyte status; or, whole blood makers of lymphocytes and red cells. Serum creatinine levels increased in all groups (p < 0.001) with higher doses of creatine promoting greater increases in serum creatinine (p = 0.03) but the increases observed (0.1 - 0.2 mg/dl) were well within normal values for active individuals (i.e., <1.28 ± 0.2 mg/dl). Serum LDL was decreased to a greater degree following ingesting loading doses in the CrM group but returned to baseline during the maintenance phase. No side effects were reported. Neither manufacturers recommended doses of KA (1.5 g/d) or KA with equivalent loading (20 g/d for 7-days) and maintenance doses (5 g/d for 21-days) of CrM promoted greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, strength, or anaerobic capacity than CrM (20 g/d for 7-days, 5 g/d for 21-days). There was no evidence that supplementing the diet with a buffered form of creatine resulted in fewer side effects than CrM. These findings do not support claims that consuming a buffered form of creatine is a more efficacious and/or safer form of creatine to consume than creatine monohydrate.
    Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 09/2012; 9(1):43. DOI:10.1186/1550-2783-9-43 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial adherens junction proteins constitute an important element in the control of microvascular permeability. Platelet-activating factor (PAF) increases permeability to macromolecules via translocation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) to cytosol and stimulation of eNOS-derived nitric oxide signaling cascade. The mechanisms by which nitric oxide signaling regulates permeability at adherens junctions are still incompletely understood. We explored the hypothesis that PAF stimulates hyperpermeability via S-nitrosation (SNO) of adherens junction proteins. We measured PAF-stimulated SNO of β-catenin and p120-catenin (p120) in 3 cell lines: ECV-eNOSGFP, EAhy926 (derived from human umbilical vein), and postcapillary venular endothelial cells (derived from bovine heart endothelium) and in the mouse cremaster muscle in vivo. SNO correlated with diminished abundance of β-catenin and p120 at the adherens junction and with hyperpermeability. Tumor necrosis factor-α increased nitric oxide production and caused similar increase in SNO as PAF. To ascertain the importance of eNOS subcellular location in this process, we used ECV-304 cells transfected with cytosolic eNOS (GFPeNOSG2A) and plasma membrane eNOS (GFPeNOSCAAX). PAF induced SNO of β-catenin and p120 and significantly diminished association between these proteins in cells with cytosolic eNOS but not in cells wherein eNOS is anchored to the cell membrane. Inhibitors of nitric oxide production and of SNO blocked PAF-induced SNO and hyperpermeability, whereas inhibition of the cGMP pathway had no effect. Mass spectrometry analysis of purified p120 identified cysteine 579 as the main S-nitrosated residue in the region that putatively interacts with vascular endothelial-cadherin. Our results demonstrate that agonist-induced SNO contributes to junctional membrane protein changes that enhance endothelial permeability.
    Circulation Research 07/2012; 111(5):553-63. DOI:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.274548 · 11.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diminished vascular endothelial cell nitric oxide (NO) production is a major factor in the complex pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus. In this report, we demonstrate that insulin not only maintains endothelial NO production through regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), but also via the regulation of argininosuccinate synthase (AS), which is the rate-limiting step of the citrulline-NO cycle. Using serum starved, cultured vascular endothelial cells, we show that insulin up-regulates AS and eNOS transcription to support NO production. Moreover, we show that insulin enhances NO production in response to physiological cues such as bradykinin. To translate these results to an in vivo model, we show that AS transcription is diminished in coronary endothelial cells isolated from rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. Importantly, we demonstrate restoration of AS and eNOS transcription by insulin treatment in STZ-diabetic rats, and show that this restoration was accompanied by improved endothelial function as measured by endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. Overall, this report demonstrates, both in cell culture and whole animal studies, that insulin maintains vascular function, in part, through the maintenance of AS transcription, thus ensuring an adequate supply of arginine to maintain vascular endothelial response to physiological cues.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2012; 421(1):9-14. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.03.074 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In several tumours the endogenous activity of histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the enzyme stimulating histamine synthesis, sustains the autocrine trophic effect of histamine on cancer progression. Cholangiocarcinoma is a biliary cancer with limited treatment options. Histamine interacts with four G-protein coupled receptors, H1-H4 histamine receptors (HRs). To determine the effects of histamine stimulation and inhibition of histamine synthesis (by modulation of HDC) on cholangiocarcinoma growth. In vitro studies were performed using multiple human cholangiocarcinoma lines. The expression levels of the histamine synthetic machinery and HRs were evaluated along with the effects of histamine stimulation and inhibition on cholangiocarcinoma proliferation. A xenograft tumour model was used to measure tumour volume after treatment with histamine or inhibition of histamine synthesis by manipulation of HDC. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression was measured in cholangiocarcinoma cells concomitant with the evaluation of the expression of CD31 in endothelial cells in the tumour microenvironment. Cholangiocarcinoma cells display (1) enhanced HDC and decreased monoamine oxidase B expression resulting in increased histamine secretion; and (2) increased expression of H1-H4 HRs. Inhibition of HDC and antagonising H1HR decreased histamine secretion in Mz-ChA-1 cells. Long-term treatment with histamine increased proliferation and VEGF expression in cholangiocarcinoma that was blocked by HDC inhibitor and the H1HR antagonist. In nude mice, histamine increased tumour growth (up to 25%) and VEGF expression whereas inhibition of histamine synthesis (by reduction of HDC) ablated the autocrine stimulation of histamine on tumour growth (~80%) and VEGF expression. No changes in angiogenesis (evaluated by changes in CD31 immunoreactivity) were detected in the in vivo treatment groups. The novel concept that an autocrine loop (consisting of enhanced histamine synthesis by HDC) sustains cholangiocarcinoma growth is proposed. Drug targeting of HDC may be important for treatment of patients with cholangiocarcinoma.
    Gut 08/2011; 61(5):753-64. DOI:10.1136/gutjnl-2011-300007 · 14.66 Impact Factor
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    Cynthia J Meininger · Guoyao Wu
    Hypertension 06/2011; 58(2):145-7. DOI:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.174003 · 6.48 Impact Factor
  • Mark C Bowers · Laura A Hargrove · Katherine A Kelly · Guoyao Wu · Cynthia J Meininger
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    ABSTRACT: NADPH oxidase, a source of superoxide anion (·O2(-)), can be stimulated by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL). We examined whether tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) could reduce OxLDL-induced ·O2(-) production by NADPH oxidase, increasing nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Endothelial cells incubated with OxLDL produced more ·O2(-) (35-67%) than untreated cells, with the highest increase 1 hour after OxLDL addition. The elevated ·O2(-) production correlated with the translocation of the p47phox subunit of NADPH oxidase from the cytosol to the membrane. Cells exhibited a marked decrease in both BH4 (83 per cent) and NO (54 per cent) in the same hour following exposure to OxLDL. An NADPH oxidase inhibitor, apocynin, or antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, substantially attenuated the reduction in both BH4 and NO. The ·O2(-) production was increased when cells were pretreated with an inhibitor of BH4 synthesis and decreased following pretreatment with a BH4 precursor, suggesting that NADPH oxidase-induced imbalance of endothelial NO and ·O2(-) production can be modulated by BH4 concentrations. BH4 may be critical in combating oxidative stress, restoring proper redox state, and reducing risk for cardiovascular disease including atherosclerosis.
    Frontiers in bioscience (Scholar edition) 06/2011; 3(4):1263-72.
  • Xiaoqing Lei · Cuiping Feng · Chuang Liu · Guoyao Wu · Cynthia J Meininger · Fenglai Wang · Defa Li · Junjun Wang
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    ABSTRACT: L-Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid for humans and plays an important role in the regulation of cardiovascular function and antioxidative defense. Previous studies have focused on the important role of L-arginine as a physiological precursor in the generation of nitric oxide and polyamines in endothelial cells (cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels). Because of the rapid development of high-throughput proteomics technology, there is now growing interest in studying roles for L-arginine in modulating endothelial-cell protein expression. Of particular interest, recent proteomics analysis has shown that treatment of coronary venular endothelial cells with a physiological level of L-arginine (e.g., 0.1 mM) increases expression of structural proteins (vimentin and tropomyosin) and cytochrome bc1 complex iii-chain A, while decreasing expression of stress-related proteins (PDZ domain containing-3), in these cells. These findings aid in elucidating the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effect of physiological levels of L-arginine on the circulatory system.
    Frontiers in bioscience (Scholar edition) 01/2011; 3(2):655-61.
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to determine the role of calcium-activated, small (SK), intermediate (IK), and large (BK) conductance potassium channels in initiating the development of an anti-inflammatory phenotype elicited by preconditioning with an exogenous hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) donor, sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS). Intravital microscopy was used to visualize rolling and firmly adherent leukocytes in vessels of the small intestine of mice preconditioned with NaHS (in the absence and presence of SK, IK, and BK channel inhibitors, apamin, TRAM-34, and paxilline, respectively) or SK/IK (NS-309) or BK channel activators (NS-1619) 24 h before ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). I/R induced marked increases in leukocyte rolling and adhesion, effects that were largely abolished by preconditioning with NaHS, NS-309, or NS-1619. The postischemic anti-inflammatory effects of NaHS-induced preconditioning were mitigated by BKB channel inhibitor treatment coincident with NaHS, but not by apamin or TRAM-34, 24 h before I/R. Confocal imaging and immunohistochemistry were used to demonstrate the presence of BKα subunit staining in both endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells of isolated, pressurized mesenteric venules. Using patch-clamp techniques, we found that BK channels in cultured endothelial cells were activated after exposure to NaHS. Bath application of the same concentration of NaHS used in preconditioning protocols led to a rapid increase in a whole cell K(+) current; specifically, the component of K(+) current blocked by the selective BK channel antagonist iberiotoxin. The activation of BK current by NaHS could also be demonstrated in single channel recording mode where it was independent of a change in intracellular Ca(+) concentration. Our data are consistent with the concept that H(2)S induces the development of an anti-adhesive state in I/R in part mediated by a BK channel-dependent mechanism.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 11/2010; 299(5):H1554-67. DOI:10.1152/ajpheart.01229.2009 · 3.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
314.42 Total Impact Points


  • 1999–2015
    • Texas A&M University
      • • Department of Biology
      • • Department of Health and Kinesiology
      • • Department of Animal Science
      College Station, Texas, United States
  • 1995–2014
    • Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
      • • Systems Biology and Translational Medicine
      • • Department of Medical Physiology
      • • College of Medicine
      • • Cardiovascular Research Institute and Department of Medical Physiology
      Bryan, Texas, United States
  • 2001
    • Cardiovascular Research Foundation
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2000
    • Texas A&M University System
      College Station, Texas, United States