Masashi Shiomi

Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Kawasaki Si, Kanagawa, Japan

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Publications (139)567.64 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA) is an artificial environmental endocrine disrupter. Excess exposure to BPA may induce many disorders in the metabolism and cardiovascular system. However, the underlying toxicological mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study, we administered genetically hyperlipidemic Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL-MI) rabbits (male, 14 week old), which have more common features with humans than the mouse and rat especially in the metabolism and cardiovascular system, with BPA at 40 mg kg–1 day–1 for 8 weeks by gavage and compared their plasma lipids, glucose and insulin response with those of the vehicle group. All of the rabbits were sacrificed, and their pancreas, liver, adipose tissue, heart and aorta were analyzed using histological and morphometric methods. Furthermore, we treated human hepatoma HepG2 cells and human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), with different doses of BPA based on the serum BPA levels in the WHHL rabbits for 6 h to investigate the possible molecular mechanisms. Our results showed that BPA-treated rabbits showed insulin resistance, prominent adipose accumulation and hepatic steatosis. Additionally, BPA exposure also caused myocardial injury and enhanced the development of atherosclerosis in the aortic arch with increased macrophage number (86%) and advanced lesion areas (69%). Increased expression of inflammatory genes found in the liver of BPA-treated rabbits along with the up-regulation of ER stress, lipid and glucose homeostasis and inflammatory genes in the cultured HepG2 cells and HUVECs suggest that BPA may induce metabolic disorders and enhance atherosclerosis through regulating above molecular pathways in the liver and endothelium. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/jat.3103 · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental endocrine disrupter. Excess exposure to BPA may increase susceptibility to many metabolic disorders, but it is unclear whether BPA exposure has any adverse effects on the development of atherosclerosis. To determine whether there are such effects, we investigated the response of Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits to 400-µg/kg BPA per day, administered orally by gavage, over the course of 12 weeks and compared aortic and coronary atherosclerosis in these rabbits to the vehicle group using histological and morphometric methods. In addition, serum BPA, cytokines levels and plasma lipids as well as pathologic changes in liver, adipose and heart were analyzed. Moreover, we treated human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and rabbit aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs) with different doses of BPA to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in BPA action(s). BPA treatment did not change the plasma lipids and body weights of the WHHL rabbits; however, the gross atherosclerotic lesion area in the aortic arch was increased by 57% compared to the vehicle group. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses revealed marked increases in advanced lesions (37%) accompanied by smooth muscle cells (60%) but no significant changes in the numbers of macrophages. With regard to coronary atherosclerosis, incidents of coronary stenosis increased by 11% and smooth muscle cells increased by 73% compared to the vehicle group. Furthermore, BPA-treated WHHL rabbits showed increased adipose accumulation and hepatic and myocardial injuries accompanied by up-regulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammatory and lipid metabolism markers in livers. Treatment with BPA also induced the expression of ER stress and inflammation related genes in cultured HUVECs. These results demonstrate for the first time that BPA exposure may increase susceptibility to atherosclerosis in WHHL rabbits.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e110977. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110977 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are closely associated with cardiovascular diseases, but whether CRP is directly involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is still under debate. Many controversial and contradictory results using transgenic mice and rabbits have been published but it is also unclear whether CRP lowering can be used for the treatment of atherosclerosis. In the current study, we examined the effects of the rabbit CRP antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) on the development of atherosclerosis in WHHL rabbits. CRP ASO treatment led to a significant reduction of plasma CRP levels; however, both aortic and coronary atherosclerotic lesions were not significantly changed compared to those of control WHHL rabbits. These results suggest that inhibition of plasma CRP does not affect the development of atherosclerosis in WHHL rabbits.
    Mediators of Inflammation 04/2014; 2014:979132. DOI:10.1155/2014/979132 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Probucol is a lipid-lowering drug that is often prescribed for the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia. However, it is not known whether probucol can change the lesion quality of atherosclerosis. Methods: We examined this possibility using WHHL rabbits, a model of human familial hypercholesterolemia. Three-month-old male WHHL rabbits were treated with either probucol(85 mg/kg/day) or atorvastatin(6 mg/kg/day) for 16 weeks, and their plasma lipid levels and atherosclerotic lesions were compared with those of a control group. Results: We found that probucol treatment reduced the plasma cholesterol levels, but less remarkably than atorvastatin treatment. In spite of this, probucol treatment led to a prominent reduction of aortic en face lesions by 39%(P<0.01), whereas atorvastatin reduced these by 16%(P>0.05), compared with those in the control. Histological examinations revealed that the aortic lesions of probucol-treated rabbits were characterized by reduced macrophages and increased smooth muscle cells compared with those from both the control and atorvastatin groups. Furthermore, probucol treatment reduced the coronary artery stenosis and increased the plaque stability. Conclusions: These results suggest that probucol treatment may have beneficial effects on the plaque stability of hypercholesterolemic patients.
    Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis 03/2014; DOI:10.5551/jat.21600 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we present a novel image analysis methodology to quantify and to classify morphological details in tissue collagen fibril organization and lipid deposition. Co-localized collagen (second harmonic, SHG) and lipid (coherent Raman, CARS) images of atherosclerotic artery walls were acquired by a supercontinuum-powered multi-modal nonlinear microscope. Textural features based on the first-order statistics (FOS) and gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) parameters were extracted from the SHG and CARS images. Multi-group classifications based on support vector machine of SHG and CARS images were subsequently performed to investigate the potential of texture analysis in providing quantitative descriptors of structural and compositional changes during disease progression. Using a rabbit model, different collagen remodeling and lipid accumulation patterns in disease tissues can be successfully tracked using these image statistics, thus providing a robust foundation for classification. When the variation of the CARS image features were tracked against the age of the rabbit, it was noticed that older animals (advanced plaques) present a more complex necrotic core containing high-lipid extracellular structures with various shapes and distribution. With combined FOS and GLCM texture statistics, we achieved reliable classification of SHG and CARS images acquired from atherosclerotic arteries with >90% accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. The proposed image analysis methodology can also be applied in a wide range of applications to evaluate conditions involving collagen re-modeling and prominent lipid accumulation.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 01/2014; DOI:10.1117/12.2038232 · 0.20 Impact Factor
  • Masashi Shiomi, Tomonari Koike, Takashi Ito
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    ABSTRACT: This year marks the 40th year since the discovery of a mutant rabbit showing spontaneous hyperlipidemia, which is the proband of the Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbit strain, an animal model of familial hypercholesterolemia, and the first statin, a general term for inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase, a rate limiting enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis. Nowadays, statins are the primary drug of choice for treating cardiovascular disease. Although several reviews have described clinical trials and in vitro studies of statins, the anti-atherosclerotic effects of statins on animal models have not been comprehensively reviewed. This review summarized the contribution of WHHL rabbits to elucidating the anti-atherosclerotic effects of statins in vivo. Studies using WHHL rabbits verified that statins suppress plaque destabilization by reducing unstable components (foam cells derived from macrophages, foam cell debris, and extracellular lipid accumulation), preventing smooth muscle cell reductions, and increasing the collagen content of plaques. In addition, the expression of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue factor are decreased in intimal macrophages by statin treatment. Lipid-lowering effects of statins alter plaque biology by reducing the proliferation and activation of macrophages, a prominent source of the molecules responsible for plaque instability and thrombogenicity. Although statins remain the standard treatment for cardiovascular disease, new therapeutics are eagerly awaited. WHHL rabbits will continue to contribute to the development of therapeutics.
    Atherosclerosis 11/2013; 231(1):39-47. DOI:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.08.030 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histologic techniques to compare the uptake by the rabbit atherosclerotic wall of 4 types of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles, i.e. SPIO, mannan-coated SPIO (M-SPIO), ultrasmall SPIO (USPIO), and mannan-coated USPIO (M-USPIO). All experimental protocols were approved by our institutional animal experimentation committee. We intravenously injected 12 Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits with one of the 4 types of SPIO (0.8mmol Fe/kg). Two other rabbits served as the control. The rabbits underwent in vivo contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) before- and 5 days after these injections; excised aortae were subjected to in vitro MRI. In the in vivo and in vitro studies we assessed the signal intensity of the vessels at identical regions of interest (ROI) and calculated the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For histologic assessment we evaluated the iron-positive regions in Prussian blue-stained specimens. There were significant differences in iron-positive regions where M-USPIO>USPIO, M-SPIO>SPIO, USPIO>SPIO (p<0.05) but not between M-USPIO and M-SPIO. The difference between the pre- and post-injection SNR was significantly greater in rabbits treated with M-USPIO than USPIO and in rabbits injected with M-SPIO than SPIO (p<0.05). On in vitro MRI scans SNR tended to be lower in M-USPIO- and M-SPIO- than USPIO- and SPIO-treated rabbits (p<0.1). Histologic and imaging analysis showed that mannan-coated SPIO and USPIO particles were taken up more readily by the atherosclerotic rabbit wall than uncoated SPIO and USPIO.
    European journal of radiology 08/2013; 82(11). DOI:10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.07.017 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study tested the hypothesis that vasospasm can trigger coronary plaque injury and acute ischemic myocardial damage. Myocardial infarction-prone strain of the Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits received an intravenous bolus of ergonovine maleate (0.45 µmol/kg) during intravenous infusion of norepinephrine (12 nmol/kg per minute) to provoke coronary spasm in vivo. After this treatment, coronary angiography demonstrated vasospasm, and the ECG showed ischemic abnormalities (ST depression/elevation and T-wave inversion) in 77% of animals (23/30). These changes normalized after nitroglycerin injection. In rabbits that demonstrated these ECG findings for >20 minutes, echocardiograms showed left ventricular wall motion abnormality. Serum levels of heart-type fatty acid-binding protein, cardiac troponin-I, and myoglobin increased markedly 4 hours after spasm provocation. In coronary lesions of myocardial infarction-prone strain of the Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits with provoked coronary spasm, we observed intimal injury in 60.9% in the form of endothelial cell protrusions (39.1%), denudation (30.4%), and macrophage extravasation (56.5%). Plaque disruption with luminal thrombus, however, was only seen in 2 of 23 animals (8.7%), and mural microthrombus was rarely observed (4.3%). These observations show that provocation of vasospasm in myocardial infarction-prone strain of the Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits associates with subsequent ischemic myocardial damage. Although treatment with spasmogens altered aspects of plaque morphology, for example, endothelial protrusion and macrophage emigration, thrombosis was rare in these animals with chronic atherosclerotic disease.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 08/2013; 33(11). DOI:10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.301303 · 5.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we present an image analysis methodology capable of quantifying morphological changes in tissue collagen fibril organization caused by pathological conditions. Texture analysis based on first-order statistics (FOS) and second-order statistics such as gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) was explored to extract second-harmonic generation (SHG) image features that are associated with the structural and biochemical changes of tissue collagen networks. Based on these extracted quantitative parameters, multi-group classification of SHG images was performed. With combined FOS and GLCM texture values, we achieved reliable classification of SHG collagen images acquired from atherosclerosis arteries with >90% accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. The proposed methodology can be applied to a wide range of conditions involving collagen re-modeling, such as in skin disorders, different types of fibrosis and muscular-skeletal diseases affecting ligaments and cartilage.
    Scientific Reports 07/2013; 3. DOI:10.1038/srep02190 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Erythropoietin (EPO), a type I cytokine originally identified for its critical role in hematopoiesis, has been shown to have nonhematopoietic, tissue-protective effects, including suppression of atherosclerosis. However, prothrombotic effects of EPO hinder its potential clinical use in non-anemic patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the present study, we investigated the anti-atherosclerotic effects of helix B surface peptide (HBSP), a nonerythropoietic, tissue-protective compound derived from EPO, using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human monocytic THP-1 cells in vitro and Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic spontaneous myocardial infarction (WHHLMI) rabbits in vivo. In HUVECs, HBSP inhibited apoptosis (≈70%) induced by C-reactive protein (CRP), a direct mediator of atherosclerosis. Using a small interfering RNA approach, Akt was shown to be a key molecule in HBSP-mediated prevention of apoptosis. HBSP also attenuated CRP-induced production of TNF-α and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in THP-1 cells. In the WHHLMI rabbit, HBSP significantly suppressed progression of coronary atherosclerotic lesions as assessed by mean cross-sectional stenosis (HBSP; 21.3 ± 2.2% vs. control peptide; 38.0 ± 2.7%) and inhibited coronary artery endothelial cell apoptosis with increased activation of Akt. Furthermore, TNF-α expression and the number of M1 macrophages and M1/M2 macrophage ratio in coronary atherosclerotic lesions were markedly reduced in HBSP-treated animals. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that HBSP suppresses coronary atherosclerosis, in part by inhibiting endothelial cell apoptosis through activation of Akt and in association with decreased TNF-α production and modified macrophage polarization in coronary atherosclerotic lesions. Since HBSP does not have the prothrombotic effects of EPO, our study may provide a novel therapeutic strategy that prevents progression of coronary artery disease.
    Molecular Medicine 05/2013; 19. DOI:10.2119/molmed.2013.00037 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) plays a major role in reverse cholesterol transport. Many researchers have been working to enhance the biochemical function of HDL for use in therapy. Although HDL therapy using injections of apolipoprotein (apo)-A-I mimetics, apo A-I Milano or full-length apo A-I is dramatically effective, it is still unclear whether apo A-I or apo A-I mimetics actually enter atherosclerotic plaque and remove cholesterol from the lipid burden. We synthesized a novel 24-amino acid apo A-I mimetic peptide (known as FAMP) that potently removes cholesterol via specific ATP-binding cassette transporter A1. We then investigated the potential of FAMP to image developing plaque lesions in vivo. Methods and Results: FAMP was modified with 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) and radiolabeled with gallium-68 (68Ga) for noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET) in an animal model (familial hypercholesterolemic myocardial infarction-prone rabbits: WHHL-MI) with atherosclerotic lesions. The 68Ga-DOTA-FAMP was dramatically taken up by atherosclerotic tissues in the blood vessels and aorta of WHHL-MI rabbits, but not the control rabbits. Conclusions: An apo A-I mimetic peptide with 68Ga-DOTA is a promising candidate diagnostic tracer for PET imaging of the atherosclerotic lipid burden and may contribute to the development of a tool for the diagnosis of plaque with PET.
    Circulation Journal 03/2013; 77(6). DOI:10.1253/circj.CJ-12-0736 · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Despite the significant effort in developing radioprobes for atherosclerosis, few have low molecular weight. Oxidized LDL (OxLDL), a highly proinflammatory and proatherogenic factor that is abundant in atherosclerotic plaques, plays a pivotal role in plaque destabilization, which makes OxLDL a relevant probe target. We developed a radioiodinated short peptide, AHP7, as a low molecular weight probe for specific OxLDL imaging and evaluated its utility using myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits (WHHLMI). METHODS: [(125)I]AHP7 was designed and synthesized based on the sequence of Asp-hemolysin, an OxLDL binding protein extracted from Aspergillus fumigatus. In vitro binding studies with OxLDL having varying degrees of oxidation were performed. Radioactivity accumulation in the aorta was measured 30min post-administration in rabbits. Autoradiography and histological studies were performed using serial aorta sections. A radioiodinated scrambled peptide ([(125)I]AHP scramble) was used as a negative control. RESULTS: [(125)I]AHP7 bound to OxLDL in proportion to the degree of oxidation (R=0.91, P<0.0001) and was inhibited by unlabeled AHP7 in a concentration-dependent manner. The aorta accumulation level and aorta/blood and aorta/muscle ratios of [(125)I]AHP7 in WHHLMI were 2.8-, 1.3- and 1.8-fold higher, respectively, than those in control rabbits (P<0.001). Co-administration of AHP7 significantly reduced [(125)I]AHP7 radioactivity in aorta sections (P<0.0001). Regional radioactivity levels in the aorta sections showed nonuniformity but similarity to the immunohistochemical OxLDL density. CONCLUSIONS: The potential of radioiodinated AHP7 for selectively imaging OxLDL was demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 11/2012; 40(1). DOI:10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2012.08.002 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine whether the myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHLMI) rabbit with visceral fat accumulation is a new animal model for human metabolic syndrome, we examined the relationship between mesenteric fat accumulation and insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis. Glucose tolerance tests were performed using adult (11- to 15-month-old) and middle-aged (17- to 21-month-old) WHHLMI rabbits fed standard chow restrictedly. In addition, lipoprotein lipid levels, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, mesenteric fat weight and physical and physiological parameters were measured. Mesenteric fat was stained immunohistochemically. The mesenteric adipose tissue was positive for monoclonal antibodies against macrophages, C-reactive protein and monocyte chemoattractant protein. In adult rabbits, mesenteric fat correlated to aortic lesion area, insulin resistance, fasting immunoreactive insulin, serum CRP, abdominal circumference and body weight. In middle-aged rabbits, mesenteric fat correlated to lipoprotein lipid levels in addition to the parameters showing a significant correlation in adult rabbits, excluding aortic lesion area. The WHHLMI rabbit with visceral fat accumulation is a new animal model for metabolic syndrome.
    Pathobiology 06/2012; 79(6):329-38. DOI:10.1159/000338767 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect atherosclerotic lesions containing accumulations of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIO). Positing that improved USPIO with a higher affinity for atherosclerotic plaques would yield better plaque images, we performed MRI and histologic studies to compare the uptake of dextran- and mannan-dextran-coated USPIO (D-USPIO and DM-USPIO, respectively) by the atherosclerotic walls of rabbits. We intravenously injected atherosclerotic rabbits with DM-USPIO (n = 5) or D-USPIO (n = 5). Two rabbits were the controls. The doses delivered were 0.08 (dose 1) (n = 1), 0.4 (dose 2) (n = 1), or 0.8 (dose 3) (n = 3) mmol iron/Kg. The dose 3 rabbits underwent in vivo contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) before and 5 days after USPIO administration. Afterwards, all animals were euthanized, the aortae were removed and subjected to in vitro MRI study. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the aortic wall in the same region of interest (ROI) was calculated in both in vivo and in vitro studies. Histological assessment through measurement of iron-positive regions in Prussian blue-stained specimens showed that iron-positive regions were significantly larger in rabbits injected with DM- rather than D-USPIO (P < 0.05) for all doses. In vivo MRA showed that the SNR-reducing effect of DM- was greater than that of D-USPIO (P < 0.05). With in vitro MRI scans, SNR was significantly lower in rabbits treated with dose 2 of DM-USPIO compared with D-USPIO treatment (P < 0.05), and it tended to be lower at dose 3 (P < 0.1). In conclusion, we suggest that DM-USPIO is superior to D-USPIO for the study of atherosclerotic lesions in rabbits.
    International Journal of Nanomedicine 05/2012; 7:2271-80. DOI:10.2147/IJN.S29417 · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects of chronic hyperlipidemia on bladder function, we examined the functional and histological changes of the bladder in myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL-MI) rabbits. Two age groups of WHHL-MI rabbits (6–12 months old, young WHHL-MI rabbits; and 20–24 months old, old WHHL-MI rabbits group) and the sex- and age-matched control rabbits were prepared. Bladder functions were evaluated using frequency volume charts and cystometrograms, and functional experiments using isolated bladder specimens. Histological studies of bladder were performed with HE staining and immunohistochemical staining with mouse monoclonal S-100 protein antibodies and sheep polyclonal calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antibodies. In cystometrograms, it has been demonstrated that WHHL-MI rabbits showed significantly shorter micturition interval, smaller voided volume with non-voiding contractions compared to control. There was no significant difference in voiding pressure between young WHHL-MI and control rabbits. However, old WHHL-MI rabbits showed a lower voiding pressure than control rabbits. The functional experiments revealed that carbachol- and electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced contractile responses of isolated bladder strips were significantly increased in young WHHL-MI rabbits than in control rabbits. However, in the bladder strips of old WHHL-MI rabbits, decreased responses to carbachol and EFS were observed. In WHHL-MI rabbits, bladder urothelium became thinner, smooth muscle area decreased and connective tissue area increased gradually with aging. A significant decrease in S-100 protein-positive neurons, and an increased number of CGRP-positive neurons were observed in both young and old WHHL-MI rabbits. The data demonstrated that there were differences in bladder dysfunction between young and old WHHL-MI rabbits. Old WHHL-MI rabbits showed detrusor hyperactivity with impaired contraction. This study may demonstrate the developmental mechanism of bladder dysfunction in chronic hyperlipidemia.
    Lower urinary tract symptoms 03/2012; 4(s1). DOI:10.1111/j.1757-5672.2011.00138.x · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Existing evidence suggests that endothelial lipase (EL) plays an important role in high-densitylipoprotein (HDL) metabolism. Because rabbits are a useful animal model for the study of human lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis, we characterized rabbit EL (rEL) expression and investigated its relationship with plasma HDL levels in normal and hyperlipidemic rabbits. We cloned the rEL cDNA and analyzed the EL tissue expression using Northern blotting, real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting, and in situ hybridization. We evaluated the effects of rEL antisense on plasma HDL levels. We found that rEL mRNA was highly expressed in cholesterol synthesis-related organs, including the liver, testis, and adrenal along with its expression in the lung, kidney, bone marrow, and small intestine. Interestingly, Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits, a model of human familial hypercholesterolemia, had lower plasma levels of HDLs than normal rabbits. The plasma HDL levels in WHHL rabbits were inversely associated with high levels of plasma rEL proteins and hepatic expression of rEL mRNA. Injection of rEL-specific antisense oligonucleotides into rabbits resulted in the elevation of plasma large HDLs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that rEL mRNA was expressed by both endothelial cells and macrophages in the lesions of aortic atherosclerosis of WHHL rabbits. rEL is expressed in multiple tissues and may have many physiological and pathophysiological functions, such as in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis. Our results suggest that EL is an important regulator of plasma HDL levels in rabbits.
    Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis 01/2012; 19(3):213-26. DOI:10.5551/jat.11148 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether features indicative of myocardial ischemia occur in the electrocardiograms (ECG) in myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHLMI) rabbits, an animal model for human familial hypercholesterolemia. ECG were recorded in 110 anesthetized WHHLMI rabbits (age, 10 to 39 mo) by using unipolar and bipolar limb leads with or without chest leads. We noted the following electrocardiographic changes: T wave inversion (37.4%), ST segment depression (31.8%), deep Q wave (16.3%), reduced R wave amplitude (7.3%), ST segment elevation (2.7%), and high T wave (1.8%). These ECG changes resembled those in human patients with coronary heart disease. Histopathologic examination revealed that the left ventricular wall showed acute myocardial lesions, including loss of cross-striations, vacuolar degeneration, coagulation necrosis of cardiac myocytes, and edema between myofibrils, in addition to chronic myocardial lesions such as myocardial fibrosis. The coronary arteries that caused these ECG changes were severely stenosed due to atherosclerotic lesions. Ischemic ECG changes corresponded to the locations of the myocardial lesions. Normal ECG waveforms were similar between WHHLMI rabbits and humans, in contrast to the large differences between rabbits and mice or rats. In conclusion, ischemic ECG changes in WHHLMI rabbits reflect the location of myocardial lesions, making this model useful for studying coronary heart disease.
    Comparative medicine 01/2012; 62(5):409-18. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonlinear optical (NLO) microscopy provides a minimally invasive optical method for fast molecular imaging at subcellular resolution with 3D sectioning capability in thick, highly scattering biological tissues. In the current study, we demonstrate the imaging of arterial tissue using a nonlinear optical microscope based on photonic crystal fiber and a single femto-second oscillator operating at 800nm. This NLO microscope system is capable of simultaneous imaging extracellular elastin/collagen structures and lipid distribution within aortic tissue obtained from coronary atherosclerosis-prone WHHLMI rabbits (Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbit-myocardial infarction) Clear pathological differences in arterial lumen surface were observed between healthy arterial tissue and atherosclerotic lesions through NLO imaging.
    SPIE; 01/2012
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    ABSTRACT: The composition and structure of atherosclerotic lesions can be directly related to the risk they pose to the patient. Multimodal nonlinear optical (NLO) microscopy provides a powerful means to visualize the major extracellular components of the plaque that critically determine its structure. Textural features extracted from NLO images were investigated for their utility in providing quantitative descriptors of structural and compositional changes associated with plaque development. Ten texture parameters derived from the image histogram and gray level co-occurrence matrix were examined that highlight specific structural and compositional motifs that distinguish early and late stage plaques. Tonal-texture parameters could be linked to key histological features that characterize vulnerable plaque: the thickness and density of the fibrous cap, size of the atheroma, and the level of inflammation indicated through lipid deposition. Tonal and texture parameters from NLO images provide objective metrics that correspond to structural and biochemical changes that occur within the vessel wall in early and late stage atherosclerosis.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 08/2011; 56(16):5319-34. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/56/16/016 · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study analyzed the antiatherogenic effects of newly developed apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) mimetic peptide/phospholipid complexes (ETC-642) against the aortic plaque burden in vivo. We used human macrophage cells to analyze cholesterol efflux by ETC-642. Watanabe-heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits were divided into 3 groups: low- (15mg/kg) and high-dose ETC-642 (50mg/kg), and placebo. The test material was injected twice/week for 12 weeks. The aortic plaque burden was assessed by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) at 0 and 12 weeks. Plasma lipid profiles were analyzed by capillary isotachophoresis every 4 weeks. ETC-642 had an effect on cholesterol efflux comparable to that of conventional rHDL. In WHHL rabbits, high-dose ETC-642 inhibited the progression of aortic atherosclerosis compared to placebo. There was no change in the percentage of plaque volume (%PV) in the high-dose group between before (30.9%) and after infusion (28.6%), whereas there was a significant increase in the control group from 27.8% to 37.9%. ETC-642 significantly reduced charge-modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by converting more negative-charged modified LDL to less negative-charged LDL, and reduced small dense (sd) LDL by converting it into large, buoyant (lb) LDL. Changes in the %PV were positively correlated with changes in negative-charged modified LDL (r=0.61, p<0.01) and sdLDL (r=0.59, p<0.01), and negatively correlated with changes in less negative-charged LDL (r=-0.43, p<0.01) and lbLDL (r=-0.57, p<0.01). In conclusion, the ETC-642-induced remodeling of sdLDL to large and lbLDL and the enhancement of cholesterol efflux may prevent progression of the aortic plaque burden. HDL-based therapy may be useful for preventing the progression of plaque volume.
    Atherosclerosis 06/2011; 218(2):300-7. DOI:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.05.029 · 3.97 Impact Factor

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3k Citations
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  • 1985–2015
    • Central Institute for Experimental Animals
      Kawasaki Si, Kanagawa, Japan
  • 1994–2014
    • Kobe University
      • • Institute for Experimental Animals
      • • Department of Medicine
      Kōbe, Hyōgo, Japan
    • St.Mary's Hospital (Fukuoka - Japan)
      Hukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 2010
    • Austrian Academy of Sciences
      • Institute of Biophysics and Nanosystems Research
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2009
    • University of Yamanashi
      • Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering
      Kōfu-shi, Yamanashi-ken, Japan
  • 2002–2005
    • University of Tsukuba
      • Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
      Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken, Japan
  • 2003
    • Chiba University
      Tiba, Chiba, Japan
  • 2001
    • Kagoshima University
      • Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences
      Kagosima, Kagoshima, Japan
    • Fukuoka University
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Hukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan
  • 1999
    • Fukushima Medical University
      • Department of Cardiology and Hematology
      Hukusima, Fukushima, Japan