Travis W Hein

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Bryan, Texas, United States

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Publications (53)273.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Endothelial cells synthesize vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) and vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 (ET-1) from NO synthase (eNOS) and endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1), respectively. Protein kinase C (PKC) and Rho kinase (ROCK) are major signaling molecules mediating vasoconstriction. Although endothelial cells express eNOS, ECE-1, ETB receptors, PKC and ROCK, their influences on ET-1-induced vasoconstriction remain elusive. Herein, we studied whether these endothelial signaling molecules modulate retinal arteriolar constriction to ET-1. Methods: Porcine retinal arterioles were isolated and pressurized for vasomotor study, under conditions with intact or denuded endothelium, using videomicroscopic techniques. Results: Retinal arterioles developed similar resting tone (≈45% of maximum diameter) with or without endothelium. Endothelial denudation attenuated vasoconstriction to ET-1 precursor, big ET-1, by ≈50% but did not affect vasoconstrictions to ET-1, ETB agonist sarafotoxin S6c, or PKC activator phorbol-12, 13-dibutyrate (PDBu). ROCK inhibitor H-1152 caused vasodilation and abolished vasoconstrictions to ET-1 and PDBu independent of endothelium. With L-type voltage-operated calcium channel (L-VOCC) blocker nifedipine, PDBu-induced vasoconstriction was abolished and converted to NO-mediated vasodilation in the presence of endothelium. The ET-1-induced vasoconstriction was not affected by NO released from endothelium during flow elevation. Conclusions: Endothelial and smooth muscle ECE-1 contribute equally to synthesis of vasoactive ET-1 in retinal arterioles, with nominal role of endothelial ETB receptors in vasoconstriction to ET-1. PKC activation leads to endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilation when smooth muscle contraction is ablated by L-VOCC blockade. It appears that endothelial cells and NO play modest roles in modulating ROCK-dependent vasoconstriction and are insufficient to counteract smooth muscle contractions to ET-1 and PKC activation.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 10/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Studies in cultured endothelium implicate that lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) or Fcγ receptor II (CD32) contributes to the pro-atherogenic effects of C-reactive protein (CRP). However, identity of the receptors linking to deleterious actions of CRP in vasomotor regulation remains unknown. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that LOX-1 contributes to adverse effects of CRP on endothelium-dependent vasomotor function in resistance arterioles. Methods and Results: Porcine coronary arterioles were isolated for vasoreactivity study, dihydroethidium fluorescence staining of superoxide, immunohistochemical localization of receptors, immunoprecipitation of receptor/CRP interaction, and protein blot. Intraluminal treatment of pressurized arterioles with a pathophysiological level of CRP (7 µg/mL, 60 minutes) attenuated endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO)-mediated and prostacyclin (PGI2)-mediated dilations to serotonin and arachidonic acid, respectively. LOX-1 and CD32 were both detected in the endothelium of arterioles. Blockade of LOX-1 with either pharmacological antagonist κ-carrageenan or anti-LOX-1 antibody prevented the detrimental effect of CRP on vasodilator function, whereas anti-CD32 antibody treatment was ineffective. Denudation of endothelium and blockade of LOX-1 but not CD32 prevented CRP-induced elevation of superoxide in the vessel wall. CRP was co-immunoprecipitated with LOX-1 and CD32 from CRP-treated arterioles. Similarly, LOX-1 and CD32 blockade both prevented CRP-induced arteriolar expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), a thrombogenic protein. Conclusions: CRP elicits endothelium-dependent oxidative stress and compromises NO- and PGI2-mediated vasomotor function via LOX-1 activation. By contrast, both LOX-1 and CD32 mediate PAI-1 upregulation in arterioles by CRP. Thus, activation of LOX-1 and CD32 may contribute to vasomotor dysfunction and pro-atherogenic actions of CRP, respectively.
    Circulation Research 10/2013; · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Delayed cerebral vasospasm is thought to be caused by factors released from a subarachnoid blood clot. Because vasospasm occurs several days after hemorrhage, we hypothesized that clotted blood releases vasoactive factors as it ages. Targeted proteomics identified histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) as a potentially vasoactive factor released within the first 72 hours of clot formation. In vitro studies revealed that HRG caused moderate (∼30%) dilation of cannulated cerebral arterioles and proliferation of cerebrovascular endothelial cells. We conclude that HRG released from clotted blood, while unlikely to contribute to cerebral vasospasm, might provide important vasodilatory or angiogenic stimuli after hemorrhagic stroke.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 26 June 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.106.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 06/2013; · 5.46 Impact Factor
  • Travis W Hein, Wenjuan Xu, Yi Ren, Lih Kuo
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    ABSTRACT: AIMS: Adenosine is a potent vasodilator contributing to cerebral blood flow regulation during metabolic stress. However, the distribution of adenosine receptor subtypes and underlying signaling mechanisms for dilation of pial arterioles remain unclear. The present study aimed at addressing these issues.Methods and ResultsIsolated porcine pial arterioles were subjected to study of vasomotor function, localization of adenosine receptors and production of nitric oxide (NO). Concentration-dependent vasodilation to adenosine was inhibited by A2A receptor antagonist ZM241385 but not by A1 receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine. A2A receptors were detected in endothelium and smooth muscle of pial arterioles via immunohistochemistry. Adenosine significantly increased arteriolar production of NO, and the induced dilation was insensitive to KATP channel blocker glibenclamide but was attenuated by endothelial denudation, NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME or guanylyl cyclase inhibitor ODQ in a similar manner. Both inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channel inhibitor barium and cAMP signaling inhibitor Rp-8-Br-cAMPS attenuated adenosine-induced dilation. In the presence of L-NAME or the absence of endothelium, addition of Rp-8-Br-cAMPS but not barium further reduced adenosine-induced responses. Barium diminished endothelium-independent vasodilation to NO donor sodium nitroprusside. Comparable to the adenosine-induced response, vasodilation to A2A receptor agonist CGS21680 was attenuated by endothelial removal, ZM241385, L-NAME, barium or Rp-8-Br-cAMPS, but not by glibenclamide. CONCLUSIONS: Adenosine evokes dilation of porcine pial arterioles via parallel activation of endothelial and smooth muscle A2A receptors. Stimulation of endothelial NO production activates smooth muscle guanylyl cyclase for vasodilation by opening Kir channels. Adenosine also activates smooth muscle cAMP signaling leading to vasodilation.
    Cardiovascular Research 03/2013; · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    Lih Kuo, Travis W Hein
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    ABSTRACT: Overproduction of reactive oxygen species, i.e., oxidative stress, is associated with the activation of redox signaling pathways linking to inflammatory insults and cardiovascular diseases by impairing endothelial function and consequently blood flow dysregulation due to microvascular dysfunction. This review focuses on the regulation of vasomotor function in the coronary microcirculation by endothelial nitric oxide (NO) during oxidative stress and inflammation related to the activation of L-arginine consuming enzyme arginase. Superoxide produced in the vascular wall compromises vasomotor function by not only scavenging endothelium-derived NO but also inhibiting prostacyclin synthesis due to formation of peroxynitrite. The upregulation of arginase contributes to the deficiency of endothelial NO and microvascular dysfunction in various vascular diseases by initiating or following oxidative stress and inflammation. Hydrogen peroxide, a diffusible and stable oxidizing agent, exerts vasodilator function and plays important roles in the physiological regulation of coronary blood flow. In occlusive coronary ischemia, the release of hydrogen peroxide from the microvasculature helps to restore vasomotor function of coronary collateral microvessels with exercise training. However, excessive production and prolonged exposure of microvessels to hydrogen peroxide impairs NO-mediated endothelial function by reducing L-arginine availability through hydroxyl radical-dependent upregulation of arginase. The redox signaling can be a double-edged sword in the microcirculation, which helps tissue survival in one way by improving vasomotor regulation and elicits oxidative stress and tissue injury in the other way by causing vascular dysfunction. The impact of vascular arginase on the development of vasomotor dysfunction associated with angiotensin II receptor activation, hypertension, ischemia-reperfusion, hypercholesterolemia, and inflammatory insults is discussed.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2013; 4:237.
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial cells synthesize vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) and vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 (ET-1) from NO synthase (eNOS) and endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1), respectively. Protein kinase C (PKC) and Rho kinase (ROCK) are major signaling molecules mediating vasoconstriction. Although endothelial cells express eNOS, ECE-1, endothelin B (ETB) receptors, PKC, and ROCK, their influences on ET-1-induced vasoconstriction remain elusive. We studied whether these endothelial signaling molecules modulate retinal arteriolar constriction to ET-1. Porcine retinal arterioles were isolated and pressurized for vasomotor study, under conditions with intact or denuded endothelium, using videomicroscopic techniques. Retinal arterioles developed similar resting tone (≈45% of maximum diameter) with or without endothelium. Endothelial denudation attenuated vasoconstriction to ET-1 precursor, big ET-1, by almost equal to 50%, but did not affect vasoconstrictions to ET-1, ETB agonist sarafotoxin S6c, or PKC activator phorbol-12, 13-dibutyrate (PDBu). The ROCK inhibitor H-1152 caused vasodilation, and abolished vasoconstrictions to ET-1 and PDBu independent of endothelium. With L-type voltage-operated calcium channel (L-VOCC) blocker nifedipine, PDBu-induced vasoconstriction was abolished and converted to NO-mediated vasodilation in the presence of endothelium. The ET-1-induced vasoconstriction was unaffected by NO released from endothelium during flow elevation. Endothelial and smooth muscle ECE-1 contribute equally to synthesis of vasoactive ET-1 in retinal arterioles, with nominal role of endothelial ETB receptors in vasoconstriction to ET-1. The PKC activation leads to endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilation when smooth muscle contraction is ablated by L-VOCC blockade. Endothelial cells and NO appear to have modest roles in modulating ROCK-dependent vasoconstriction, and are insufficient to counteract smooth muscle contractions to ET-1 and PKC activation.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 01/2013; 54(12):7587-94. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Although hyperglycemia is implicated in retinal vascular dysfunction associated with the development of diabetic retinopathy, the temporal influence of hyperglycemia on retinal arteriolar reactivity remains unclear. Development of a large animal model of diabetes relevant to the human retina for evaluation of vascular function is also lacking. Herein, we examined nitric oxide (NO)-mediated dilation and endothelin-1 (ET-1)-induced constriction in retinal arterioles at various time periods in a porcine model of type 1 diabetes. METHODS: Retinal arterioles were isolated from streptozocin-induced diabetic pigs (2, 6, and 12 weeks of hyperglycemia, 427 ± 23 mg/dl) and age-matched control pigs (73 ± 4 mg/dl), and then cannulated and pressurized for vasoreactivity study using videomicroscopic techniques. RESULTS: Retinal arterioles isolated from control and diabetic pigs developed comparable levels of myogenic tone. The endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilations to bradykinin and stepwise increases in luminal flow were significantly reduced within 2 wk of hyperglycemia. The inhibitory effect was comparable following 6- and 12-wk of hyperglycemia. However, the endothelium-independent vasodilation to sodium nitroprusside was unaffected. Constriction of retinal arterioles to ET-1 was unaltered at all time periods of hyperglycemia. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide the first direct evidence for selective impairment of endothelium-dependent NO-mediated dilation of retinal arterioles within 2 wk of hyperglycemia in a pig model of diabetes. By contrast, the ability of arteriolar smooth muscle to dilate to NO donor or contract to ET-1 was unaffected throughout the study period. This endothelial vasodilator dysfunction during early diabetes may contribute to development of retinopathy with chronic hyperglycemia.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 11/2012; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of endothelium-derived factors in the retinal arteriolar responses to acute severe elevation in systemic blood pressure (BP) in cats. Acute elevation of mean arterial BP by 60% for 5 min was achieved by inflating a balloon-tipped catheter in the descending aorta. The retinal arteriolar diameter, flow velocity, wall shear rate (WSR) and blood flow (RBF) changes during BP elevation were assessed with laser Doppler velocimetry 2 h after intravitreal injections of nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor l-NAME, cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin, endothelin-1 receptor antagonists (BQ-123 for type A and BQ-788 for type B), or Rho kinase inhibitor fasudil. BP elevation caused a marked increase in retinal arteriolar flow velocity and WSR with slight vasoconstriction, resulting in an increase in RBF. The increases in velocity, WSR and RBF, but not diameter, were correlated with the increase in ocular perfusion pressure. With l-NAME or indomethacin, the increase in RBF upon BP elevation was significantly attenuated due to enhanced retinal arteriolar vasoconstriction. In contrast, BQ-123 and fasudil potentiated the increased RBF. BQ-788 had no effect on arteriolar diameter and hemodynamics. Our data suggest that acute elevation of BP by 60% leads to an increase in RBF due to the release of NO and prostanoids probably through a shear stress-induced vasodilation mechanism. The release of endothelin-1 and Rho kinase activation help to limit RBF augmentation by counteracting the vasodilation. It appears that the retinal endothelium, by releasing vasoactive substances, contributes to RBF regulation during acute severe elevation of systemic blood pressure.
    Experimental Eye Research 08/2012; 103:63-70. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    Lih Kuo, Naris Thengchaisri, Travis W Hein
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    ABSTRACT: Overproduction of reactive oxygen species is closely associated with cardiovascular diseases in part by impairing endothelial function and consequently compromising blood flow regulation. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide are elevated under various disease states with reduced endothelium-derived nitric oxide bioavailability. The oxidative stress elicited by angiotensin II, C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-α is mediated by the activation of different redox signaling pathways in the microvasculature. The upregulation of L-arginine consuming enzyme arginase also contributes to the reduced nitric oxide bioavailability during oxidative stress. Hydrogen peroxide exhibits vasodilator function in the coronary microcirculation and plays an important role in the physiological regulation of coronary blood flow. However, excessive production of hydrogen peroxide impairs endothelial function by reducing L-arginine availability through hydroxyl radical-mediated upregulation of arginase. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the effects superoxide and hydrogen peroxide on vasomotor function regulated by the endothelium-derived nitric oxide and prostacyclin in the coronary microcirculation.
    Molecular Medicine & Therapeutics. 08/2012; 1(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Although endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide implicated in several retinal pathologies, the underlying mechanism of vasoconstriction is understood incompletely. We addressed this issue by assessing the contributions of extracellular calcium (Ca²⁺), L-type voltage-operated calcium channels (L-VOCCs), Rho kinase (ROCK), and protein kinase C (PKC) to ET-1-induced constriction of porcine retinal arterioles, all of which have been implicated commonly in vascular smooth muscle contraction. Porcine retinal arterioles (~50-100 μm) were isolated for vasomotor study and molecular assessment of ROCK isoforms. Isolated arterioles developed stable basal tone at 55 cmH₂O luminal pressure and constricted to ET-1 (0.1 nM) with a 40 ± 6% reduction in resting diameter in 20 minutes. In the absence of extraluminal Ca²⁺, arterioles lost basal tone and failed to constrict to ET-1. Although L-VOCC inhibitor nifedipine reduced basal tone and blocked vasoconstriction to PKC activator PDBu, vasoconstriction to ET-1 was unaffected. The broad-spectrum PKC inhibitor Gö-6983 abolished vasoconstriction to PDBu, but did not alter ET-1-induced vasoconstriction or basal tone. Incubation of arterioles with ROCK inhibitor H-1152 abolished basal tone and vasoconstrictions to ET-1 and PDBu. Both ROCK1 and ROCK2 isoforms were expressed in the retinal arteriolar wall. Extracellular Ca²⁺ entry via L-VOCCs and basal ROCK activity play important roles in the maintenance of basal tones of porcine retinal arterioles. ET-1-induced constriction is mediated by extracellular Ca²⁺ entry independent of L-VOCCs and by ROCK activation without the involvement of PKC. However, direct PKC activation can cause vasoconstriction via L-VOCC and ROCK signaling.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 03/2012; 53(6):2904-12. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Effects of hypertension on arteries and arterioles often manifest first as a thickened wall, with associated changes in passive material properties (e.g., stiffness) or function (e.g., cellular phenotype, synthesis and removal rates, and vasomotor responsiveness). Less is known, however, regarding the relative evolution of such changes in vessels from different vascular beds. Methods: We used an aortic coarctation model of hypertension in the mini-pig to elucidate spatiotemporal changes in geometry and wall composition (including layer-specific thicknesses as well as presence of collagen, elastin, smooth muscle, endothelial, macrophage, and hematopoietic cells) in three different arterial beds, specifically aortic, cerebral, and coronary, and vasodilator function in two different arteriolar beds, the cerebral and coronary. Results: Marked geometric and structural changes occurred in the thoracic aorta and left anterior descending coronary artery within 2 weeks of the establishment of hypertension and continued to increase over the 8-week study period. In contrast, no significant changes were observed in the middle cerebral arteries from the same animals. Consistent with these differential findings at the arterial level, we also found a diminished nitric oxide-mediated dilation to adenosine at 8 weeks of hypertension in coronary arterioles, but not cerebral arterioles. Conclusion: These findings, coupled with the observation that temporal changes in wall constituents and the presence of macrophages differed significantly between the thoracic aorta and coronary arteries, confirm a strong differential progressive remodeling within different vascular beds. Taken together, these results suggest a spatiotemporal progression of vascular remodeling, beginning first in large elastic arteries and delayed in distal vessels.
    Frontiers in Physiology 01/2012; 3:420.
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    ABSTRACT: Because retinal vascular disease is associated with ischemia and increased oxidative stress, the vasodilator function of retinal arterioles was examined after retinal ischemia induced by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). The role of superoxide anions in the development of vascular dysfunction was assessed. IOP was increased and maintained at 80 to 90 mm Hg for 30, 60, or 90 minutes by infusing saline into the anterior chamber of a porcine eye. The fellow eye with normal IOP (10-20 mm Hg) served as control. In some pigs, superoxide dismutase mimetic TEMPOL (1 mM) or vehicle (saline) was injected intravitreally before IOP elevation. After enucleation, retinal arterioles were isolated and pressurized without flow for functional analysis by recording diameter changes using videomicroscopic techniques. Dihydroethidium (DHE) was used to detect superoxide production in isolated retinal arterioles. Isolated retinal arterioles developed stable basal tone and the vasodilations to endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO)-mediated agonists bradykinin and L-lactate were significantly reduced only by 90 minutes of ischemia. However, vasodilation to endothelium-independent NO donor sodium nitroprusside was unaffected after all time periods of ischemia. DHE staining showed that 90 minutes of ischemia significantly increased superoxide levels in retinal arterioles. Intravitreal injection of membrane-permeable radical scavenger but not vehicle before ischemia prevented elevation of vascular superoxide and preserved bradykinin-induced dilation. Endothelium-dependent NO-mediated dilation of retinal arterioles is impaired by 90 minutes of ischemia induced by elevated IOP. The inhibitory effect appears to be mediated by the alteration of NO signaling via vascular superoxide.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 11/2011; 53(1):30-6. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) is an important vasodilator that regulates the vasomotor function. However, it remains unclear whether diabetes/hyperglycemia-induced vascular impairments extend to the EDHF. The present study aims to determine the effect of high glucose (HG) on EDHF-mediated arteriolar dilation and the underlying mechanism. Porcine coronary arterioles were isolated and pressurized for vasomotor study. Cultured porcine coronary artery endothelial cells (ECs) were used for molecular and biochemical analysis. Our results demonstrate that bradykinin (BK)-simulated arteriolar dilation is mediated by nitric oxide (NO) and EDHF pathways. Direct incubation of HG impaired vasodilation to BK but not to sodium nitroprusside (endothelium-independent vasodilator). In the presence of inhibitors of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and cyclooxygenase, the EDHF-mediated dilation was reduced by HG incubation. The inhibitory effect of HG was prevented by treating the vessels with superoxide scavenger Tempol. In cultured coronary endothelial cells, HG reduced endothelial epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET) production as well as cytochrome P450 epoxygenase (CYP) activity. Furthermore, the superoxide production was elevated in ECs after HG incubation. Pretreatment with Tempol before HG incubation prevented the increase of cellular superoxide and abolished the decrease of CYP activity. Collectively, our results suggest that, in addition to NO-mediated pathway, HG impairs the EET/EDHF-mediated vasodilation in coronary arterioles via the elevated level of superoxide leading to inhibition of CYP activity in coronary ECs.
    Microvascular Research 11/2011; 82(3):356-63. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In subtotal nephrectomy (SN)- and salt-induced hypertension, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays a compensatory role to attenuate the blood pressure increase in the absence of an increase in the neuronal synthesis and release of this peptide. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether the mechanism of this antihypertensive activity is through enhanced sensitivity of the vasculature to the dilator actions of this neuropeptide. Hypertension was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by SN and 1% saline drinking water. Control rats were sham-operated and given tap water to drink. After 11 days, rats had intravenous (drug administration) and arterial (continuous mean arterial pressure recording) catheters surgically placed and were studied in a conscious unrestrained state. Baseline mean arterial pressure was higher in the SN-salt rats (157 ± 5 mmHg) compared with controls (128 ± 3 mmHg). Administration of CGRP (and adrenomedullin) produced a significantly greater dose-dependent decrease in mean arterial pressure in SN-salt rats compared with controls (∼2.0-fold for both the low and high doses). Interestingly, isolated superior mesenteric arterioles from SN-salt rats were significantly more responsive to the dilator effects of CGRP (but not adenomedullin) than the controls (pEC(50), SN-salt, 14.0 ± 0.1 vs. control, 12.0 ± 0.1). Analysis of the CGRP receptor proteins showed that only the receptor component protein was increased significantly in arterioles from SN-salt rats. These data indicate that the compensatory antihypertensive effects of CGRP result from an increased sensitivity of the vasculature to dilator activity of this peptide. The mechanism may be via the upregulation of receptor component protein, thereby providing a more efficient coupling of the receptor to the signal transduction pathways.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 06/2011; 301(3):H683-8. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) causes impairment of endothelium-dependent, nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation involving l-arginine deficiency. However, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Since arginase and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) share the substrate l-arginine, we hypothesized that OxLDL may reduce l-arginine availability to eNOS for NO production, and thus vasodilation, by up-regulating arginase. To test this hypothesis, porcine subepicardial arterioles (70-130 μm) were isolated for vasomotor study and for immunohistochemical detection of arginase and eNOS expressions. The coronary arterioles dilated dose-dependently to the endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilator serotonin. This vasodilation was inhibited in the same manner by NOS inhibitor N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and by lumenal OxLDL (0.5 mg protein/mL). The inhibitory effect of OxLDL was reversed after treating the vessels with either l-arginine (3 mM) or arginase inhibitor difluoromethylornithine (DFMO; 0.4 mM). Consistent with vasomotor alterations, OxLDL inhibited serotonin-induced NO release from coronary arterioles and this inhibition was reversed by DFMO. Vascular arginase activity was significantly elevated by OxLDL. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that OxLDL increased arginase I expression in the vascular wall without altering eNOS expression. Taken together, these results suggest that OxLDL up-regulates arginase I, which contributes to endothelial dysfunction by reducing l-arginine availability to eNOS for NO production and thus vasodilation.
    Microcirculation (New York, N.Y.: 1994) 01/2011; 18(1):36-45. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the arteriolar segment contributes to flow regulation, there is sparse information at the single microvessel level on how vasomotor function is regulated in the human retina. The authors have previously reported vasoreactivity and its underlying mechanisms in isolated porcine retinal arterioles. Herein, they studied human retinal arterioles for comparison. Retinal tissues were obtained from seven patients undergoing enucleation. Human and porcine retinal arterioles were isolated and pressurized to 55 cm H(2)O luminal pressure for vasoreactivity study using videomicroscopic techniques. Isolated human and porcine retinal arterioles developed myogenic tone and dilated dose dependently to bradykinin, adenosine, and sodium nitroprusside. Stepwise increases in luminal flow produced graded dilation with approximately 60% dilation at the highest flow tested. Nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor L-NAME nearly abolished dilations to bradykinin and flow and attenuated the adenosine-induced dilation without altering the response to nitroprusside. Endothelin-1 caused dose-dependent constriction. Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor H-1152 blocked both myogenic tone and endothelin-1-induced constriction. Responses of retinal arterioles to all agonists and increased flow were similar between pigs and humans. Isolated human retinal arterioles dilate to bradykinin and increased flow in an NO-dependent manner. NO contributes, in part, to adenosine-induced vasodilation. Conversely, ROCK activation mediates myogenic tone and endothelin-1-induced vasoconstriction. Similarities in these vasoactive responses and the underlying mechanisms between human and porcine retinal arterioles support the latter as a viable experimental model of the human retinal microcirculation.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 10/2009; 51(3):1583-90. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    Travis W Hein, Erion Qamirani, Yi Ren, Lih Kuo
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelium-derived vasodilators, i.e., nitric oxide (NO), prostacyclin (PGI(2)) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), play important roles in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis. C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation and cardiovascular disease, has been shown to inhibit NO-mediated vasodilation. The goal of this study was to determine whether CRP also affects endothelial arachidonic acid (AA)-prostanoid pathways for vasomotor regulation. Porcine coronary arterioles were isolated and pressurized for vasomotor study, as well as for molecular and biochemical analysis. AA elicited endothelium-dependent vasodilation and PGI(2) release. PGI(2) synthase (PGI(2)-S) inhibitor trans-2-phenyl cyclopropylamine blocked vasodilation to AA but not to serotonin (endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilator). Intraluminal administration of a pathophysiological level of CRP (7 microg/mL, 60 min) attenuated vasodilations to serotonin and AA but not to nitroprusside, exogenous PGI(2), or hydrogen peroxide (endothelium-dependent PGE(2) activator). CRP also reduced basal NO production, caused tyrosine nitration of endothelial PGI(2)-S, and inhibited AA-stimulated PGI(2) release from arterioles. Peroxynitrite scavenger urate failed to restore serotonin dilation, but preserved AA-stimulated PGI(2) release/dilation and prevented PGI(2)-S nitration. NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME and superoxide scavenger TEMPOL also protected AA-induced vasodilation. Collectively, our results suggest that CRP stimulates superoxide production and the subsequent formation of peroxynitrite from basal released NO compromises PGI(2) synthesis, and thus endothelium-dependent PGI(2)-mediated dilation, by inhibiting PGI(2)-S activity through tyrosine nitration. By impairing PGI(2)-S function, and thus PGI(2) release, CRP could promote endothelial dysfunction and participate in the development of coronary artery disease.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 06/2009; 47(2):196-202. · 5.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery disease results in progressive vascular stenosis associated with chronic myocardial ischemia. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates endothelial cell angiogenic responses to revascularize ischemic tissues; however, the effect of chronic hypoxia on the responsiveness of endothelial cells to VEGF remains unclear. We, therefore, investigated whether hypoxia alters VEGF-stimulated signaling and angiogenic responses in primary human coronary artery endothelial (HCAE) cells. Exposure of HCAE cells to hypoxia (1% O(2)) for 24 h decreased VEGF-stimulated endothelial cell migration ( approximately 82%), proliferation ( approximately 30%), and tube formation. Hypoxia attenuated VEGF-stimulated activation of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) ( approximately 72%) and reduced NO production in VEGF-stimulated cells from 237 +/- 38.8 to 61.3 +/- 28.4 nmol/l. Moreover, hypoxia also decreased the ratio of phosphorylated eNOS to total eNOS in VEGF-stimulated cells by approximately 50%. This effect was not observed in thrombin-stimulated cells, suggesting that hypoxia specifically inhibited VEGF signaling upstream of eNOS phosphorylation. VEGF-induced activation of Akt, ERK1/2, p38, p70S6 kinases, and S6 ribosomal protein was also attenuated in hypoxic cells. Moreover, VEGF-stimulated phosphorylation of VEGF receptor-2 (KDR) at Y996 and Y1175 was decreased by hypoxia. This decrease correlated with a 70 +/- 12% decrease in KDR protein expression. Analysis of mRNA from these cells showed that hypoxia reduced steady-state levels of KDR mRNA by 52 +/- 16% and decreased mRNA stability relative to normoxic cells. Our findings demonstrate that chronic hypoxia attenuates VEGF-stimulated signaling in HCAE cells by specific downregulation of KDR expression. These data provide a novel explanation for the impaired angiogenic responses to VEGF in endothelial cells exposed to chronic hypoxia.
    AJP Cell Physiology 03/2009; 296(5):C1162-70. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with increased cardiovascular events and endothelial dysfunction. We have previously shown that CRP decreases endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity in endothelial cells and inhibits endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation in vitro. Herein, we examined the effect of in vivo administration of CRP on endothelial function and underlying mechanisms in a valid animal model. Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally daily for 3 days with human CRP or human serum albumin (HuSA) at 20 mg/kg body weight. On day 4, mesenteric arterioles were isolated and pressurized for vasomotor study and aortic tissue was subjected to biochemical and molecular analysis. Dilation of mesenteric arterioles to acetylcholine but not to sodium nitroprusside was significantly reduced following CRP treatment. The eNOS activity, eNOS dimer/monomer ratio, tetrahydrobiopterin levels, and protein expression of GTPCH1 were significantly lower in aortic tissue homogenates from CRP-treated than HuSA-treated rats. CRP treatment also resulted in increased dihydroethidium staining for superoxide in aortic endothelium and membrane translocation of p47phox, a regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase. Our data provide novel evidence for the detrimental action of CRP in vivo by impairing eNOS-dependent vasodilation and uncoupling of eNOS.
    Atherosclerosis 03/2009; 206(1):61-8. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of the endothelin (ET) system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of retinal ischemic disease. Although ET-1, the predominant endogenous isoform of ET, has been shown to cause constriction of retinal vessels, the expression and functional significance of its synthesis and the involved specific ET receptors in retinal arterioles remain unknown. The authors examined the roles of ET(A) and ET(B) receptors and of endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE)-1 in ET-1-induced vasomotor responses of single retinal arterioles. To exclude systemic confounding effects, porcine retinal arterioles were isolated for vasoreactivity and molecular studies. Isolated and pressurized retinal arterioles developed basal tone and constricted in a manner dependent on concentration to ET-1. ET-1 precursor big ET-1 elicited time-dependent vasoconstriction over 20 minutes, which was blocked by the ECE-1 inhibitor phosphoramidon. ET(A) receptor antagonist BQ123 inhibited most (approximately 90%) of vasoconstrictions to ET-1 and big ET-1. ET(B) receptor agonist sarafotoxin also elicited concentration-dependent constriction of retinal arterioles but with significantly less potency than ET-1. ET(B) receptor antagonist BQ788 abolished vasoconstriction to sarafotoxin but only slightly reduced responses to ET-1 and big ET-1. Protein and mRNA expressions of ET(A), ET(B), and ECE-1 were detected in retinal arterioles. Immunohistochemistry revealed ET(A) and ET(B) receptors predominantly in smooth muscle and ECE-1 predominantly in endothelium and smooth muscle. ET-1 elicits constriction of retinal arterioles predominantly through the activation of smooth muscle ET(A) receptors. Endogenous production of ET-1 from vascular ECE-1 is sufficient to evoke ET(A) receptor-dependent constriction in retinal arterioles.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 02/2009; 50(7):3329-36. · 3.43 Impact Factor

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2k Citations
273.45 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1998–2013
    • Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
      • • Surgery
      • • Systems Biology and Translational Medicine
      • • College of Medicine
      • • Department of Medical Physiology
      Bryan, Texas, United States
  • 2006–2012
    • Asahikawa Medical University
      • Department of Ophthalmology
      Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan
  • 2001–2011
    • University of Rochester
      • Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
      Rochester, NY, United States
  • 2001–2009
    • Texas A&M University
      College Station, Texas, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • Scott & White
      Temple, Texas, United States
  • 1999
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      Los Angeles, California, United States