[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Ureters are fundamental for keeping kidneys free from uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), but we have shown that 2 strains (J96 and 536) can subvert this role and reduce ureteric contractility. To deter-mine whether this is (1) a widespread feature of UPEC, (2) exhibited only by UPEC, and (3) dependent upon type 1 fimbriae, we analyzed strains representing epidemiologically important multilocus sequence types ST131, ST73, and ST95 and non-UPEC E. coli. Methods. Contractility and calcium transients in intact rat ureters were compared between strains. Mannose and fim mutants were used to investigate the role of type 1 fimbriae. Results. Non-UPEC had no significant effect on contractility, with a mean decrease after 8 hours of 8.8%, compared with 8.8% in controls. UPEC effects on contractility were strain specific, with decreases from 9.47% to 96.7%. Mannose inhibited the effects of the most potent strains (CFT073 and UTI89) but had variable effects among other UPEC strains. Mutation and complementation studies showed that the effects of the UTI89 cystitis isolate were fimH dependent. Conclusions. We find that (1) non-UPEC do not affect ureteric contractility, (2) impairment of contractility is a common feature of UPEC, and (3) the mechanism varies between strains, but for the most potent UPEC type 1 fimbriae are involved. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common laboratory-confirmed infections in Europe and North America, accounting for substantial medical costs worldwide . Most UTIs are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Indeed studies suggest that
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2012; 206(10):1589. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of births worldwide complicated by diabetes mellitus is increasing. In the UK, for example, <25% of diabetic women have a non-instrumental vaginal delivery. Strikingly, more than half the Caesarean sections (CS) in these patients are non-elective, but the reasons for this are not understood. We have tested the hypothesis that poor myometrial contractility as a consequence of the disease contributes to this high CS rate.
We compared spontaneous, high K depolarisation and oxytocin-induced contractions from diabetic and matched control patients having an elective CS. To investigate the mechanism of any differences we measured intracellular Ca, and performed western blotting and compared the tissues histologically.
There was significantly decreased contraction amplitude and duration in uteri from diabetic compared with control patients, even when possible confounders such as BMI were analysed. Reduced intracellular calcium signals and expression of calcium entry channels were found in uteruses from diabetic patients, which, along with a reduction in muscle content found on histological examination, could explain the reduced force. Myometrium from diabetic patients was responsive to oxytocin, but still did not reach the levels found in non-diabetic patients.
These are the first data investigating myometrium in diabetic patients and they support the hypothesis that there is poorer contractility even in the presence of oxytocin. The underlying mechanism is related to reduced Ca channel expression and intracellular calcium signals and a decrease in muscle mass. We conclude that these factors significantly contribute to the increased emergency CS rate in diabetic patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine if hypoxia and the hypoxia mimetic cobalt chloride regulate the activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 in cultures of equine hoof keratinocytes. These effects were assessed in primary cultures of laminar keratinocytes using gelatin zymography. Incubation of keratinocytes with cobalt chloride significantly increased the levels of active MMP-2 compared to untreated controls. Hypoxia significantly increased the expression of active MMP-2 and -9 in keratinocyte cultures. This up-regulation was observed after 6h and peaked at 24h. The study findings provide novel evidence of a potential link between hypoxia within the hoof and up-regulation of MMPs which may in turn result in damage to the lamellar basement membrane.
The Veterinary Journal 03/2011; 190(2):e54-9. · 2.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Na, K-ATPase activity relies on the composition of its catalytic alpha, beta, and FXYD constituents, all of which are expressed as multiple isoforms (4alpha, 4beta, and 7 FXYD). We used reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry to study Na, K-ATPase expression in uterine samples from nonlaboring elective and laboring emergency caesarean sections (CSs). Transcripts of alpha1 to 3, beta1 to 3, and FXYD1 isoforms were detected in all samples, but FXYD2 was only present in hysterectomy samples. Abundant immunoreactivity of alpha1 and moderate alpha2 was localized in myometrial smooth muscle and secretory glands of all groups. Smooth muscle and gland epithelia showed diffuse cytoplasmic alpha3 immunoreactivity. beta isoforms were detected in all groups but beta3 showed much denser immunoreactivity in myometrial samples taken from women in labor. In pregnancy, there was a switch in isoform expression, resulting in increased beta3 and decreased FXYD2 at the protein and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels. Na, K-ATPase isoform alterations may modulate uterine contractility during labor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ascending urinary tract infections, a significant cause of kidney damage, are predominantly caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). However, the role and mechanism of changes in ureteric function during infection are poorly understood. We therefore investigated the effects of UPEC on Ca signaling and contractions in rat (n = 17) and human (n = 6) ureters. Ca transients and force were measured and effects of UPEC on the urothelium were monitored in live tissues. In both species, luminal exposure of ureters to UPEC strains J96 and 536 caused significant time-dependent decreases in phasic and high K depolarization-induced contractility, associated with decreases in the amplitude and duration of the Ca transients. These changes were significant after 3-5 h and irreversible over the next 5 h. The infection causes increased activity of K channels, causing inhibition of voltage-gated Ca entry, and K channel blockers could reverse the effects of UPEC on ureteric function. A smaller direct effect on Ca entry also occurs. Nonpathogenic E. coli (TG2) or abluminal application of UPEC did not produce changes in Ca signaling or contractility. UPEC exposure also caused significant impairment of urothelial barrier function; luminal application of the Ca channel blocker nifedipine caused a reduction in contractions as it entered the tissue, an effect not observed in untreated ureters. Thus, UPEC impairs ureteric contractility in a Ca-dependent manner, largely caused by stimulation of potassium channels and this mechanism is dependent on host-urothelium interaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium-activated potassium channels are important in a variety of smooth muscles, contributing to excitability and contractility. In the myometrium previous work has focussed on the large conductance channels (BK), and the role of small conductance channels (SK) has received scant attention, despite the finding that over-expression of an SK channel isoform (SK3) results in uterine dysfunction and delayed parturition. This study therefore characterises the expression of the three SK channel isoforms (SK1-3) in rat myometrium throughout pregnancy and investigates their effect on cytosolic [Ca] and force and compares this with that of BK channels. Consistent expression of all SK isoform transcripts and clear immunostaining of SK1-3 was found. Inhibition of SK1-3 channels (apamin, scyllatoxin) significantly inhibited outward current, caused membrane depolarisation and elicited action potentials in previously quiescent cells. Apamin or scyllatoxin increased the amplitude of [Ca] and force in spontaneously contracting myometrial strips throughout gestation. The functional effect of SK inhibition was larger than that of BK channel inhibition. Thus we show for the first time that SK1-3 channels are expressed and translated throughout pregnancy and contribute to outward current, regulate membrane potential and hence Ca signals in pregnant rat myometrium. They contribute more to quiescence that BK channels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FXYD proteins have been proposed to function as regulators of Na, K-ATPase function by lowering affinities of the system for potassium and sodium. However, their distribution in normal human tissues has not been studied. We have therefore used immunohistochemistry and semi-quantitative histomorphometric analysis to determine the relative expression at the protein level and distribution of FXYD1 (phospholemman) and FXYD2 (gamma subunit of Na, K-ATPase) in human Tissue MicroArrays (TMAs). Expression of FXYD1 was abundant in heart, kidney, placenta, skeletal muscle, gastric and anal mucosa, small intestine and colon. Lower FXYD1 expression was detected in uterine, intestinal and bladder smooth muscle, choroid plexus, liver, gallbladder, spleen, breast, prostate and epididymis. The tissue distribution of FXYD2 was less extensive compared to that of FXYD1. There was an abundant expression in kidney and choroid plexus and moderate expression in placenta, amniotic membranes, breast epithelium, salivary glands, pancreas and uterine endometrium. Weaker FXYD2 expression was detected in the adrenal medulla, liver, gallbladder, bladder and pancreas. The common denominator in the distribution of FXYD1 and FXYD2 was expression in highly active transport epithelia of the kidney, choroid plexus, placenta and salivary glands. This study reveals, in human tissues, the specific expression of FXYD proteins, which may associate with Na, K-ATPase in selected cell types and modulate its catalytic properties.
Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger: official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft 10/2009; 192(1):7-16. · 1.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determined the mechanisms of calcium signaling in the human ureter, and the relationship to peristaltic contractions and bundular structure in living tissue, thereby advancing the understanding of ureteral function in health and obstruction and reflux.
Confocal imaging of 31 ureters was performed and simultaneous force and calcium measurements were made. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting were also performed.
Confocal imaging showed a 3-dimensional network of smooth muscle bundles with no defined longitudinal or circular layers. Fast propagating Ca waves spread throughout the bundles, were closely associated with contraction and depended on L-type Ca channel entry. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting demonstrated L-type Ca channels, Ca dependent K channels, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-adenosine triphosphatase isoforms 2 and 3, inositol triphosphate, and ryanodine receptors. Modulation of Ca and K channel activity was a potent mechanism for affecting Ca and force, whereas manipulation of the sarcoplasmic reticulum had little effect.
To our knowledge this study represents the first measurements of Ca signals in the human ureter obtained during phasic contractions and in response to agonists. Results show that it is controlled by fast propagating Ca waves, which spread rapidly between the muscle bundles, producing regular contractions, and drugs that interfere with excitability or Ca entry through L-type Ca channels have profound effects on Ca signaling and contractility. These data are discussed in relation to the treatment of patients with suspected ureteral dysfunction using Ca entry blockers.
The Journal of urology 08/2008; 180(1):398-405. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aquaporins (AQPs) play fundamental roles in water and osmolyte homeostasis by facilitating water and small solute movement across plasma membranes of epithelial, endothelial, and other tissues. AQP proteins are abundantly expressed in the mammalian kidney, where they have been shown to play essential roles in fluid balance and urine concentration. Thus far, the majority of studies on renal AQPs have been carried out in laboratory rodents and sheep; no data have been published on the expression of AQPs in kidneys of equines or other large mammals. The aim of this comparative study was to determine the expression and nephron segment localization of AQP1-4 in Equus caballus by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry with custom-designed rabbit polyclonal antisera. AQP1 was found in apical and basolateral membranes of the proximal convoluted tubules and thin descending limbs of the loop of Henle. AQP2 expression was specifically detected in apical membranes of cortical, medullary, and papillary collecting ducts. AQP3 was expressed in basolateral membranes of cortical, medullary, and papillary collecting ducts. Immunohistochemistry also confirmed AQP4 expression in basolateral membranes of cells lining the distal convoluted and connecting tubules. Western blots revealed high expression of AQP1-4 in the equine kidney. These observations confirm that AQPs are expressed in the equine kidney and are found in similar nephron locations to mouse, rat, and human kidney. Equine renal AQP proteins are likely to be involved in acute and chronic regulation of body fluid composition and may be implicated in water balance disorders brought about by colic and endotoxemia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two P-type Ca transporters, the plasma membrane Ca-ATPase (PMCA) and the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca-ATPase (SERCA), play a crucial role in maintaining Ca homeostasis, controlling contractility and contributing to excitably and cell signalling in smooth muscle cells. There is considerable structural homology between the two Ca-ATPases; they both have transmembrane spanning regions, have similar ATP-phosphorylated intermediaries, counter transport protons and are regulated by several second messengers. They both also exist in several isoforms and have many splice variants, which presumably impart some of their tissue specific functions. We describe the relative contribution of PMCA and the Na-Ca exchanger to Ca efflux in relaxation to smooth muscle, including recent data from transgenic mice, which has begun to elucidate the specific contributions of individual isoforms to Ca signalling. We then consider Ca release and uptake into the SR in smooth muscle. Experiments investigating the distribution of SERCA in smooth muscle cells have provided new insights into control of SR luminal Ca, and the effects of SR Ca load on signalling, is discussed. This is followed by a detailed consideration of the interactions between the surface membrane and SR membrane pumps, exchangers and ion channels in smooth muscle, along with their distribution to caveolae and cholesterol-rich membrane domains. Where relevant the importance of these functions to health and disease are noted. We conclude that the dynamic changes in splice variants expressed, constituents of membrane microdomains and environment of the sub-sarcolemmal space, close to the SR, need to be the focus of future research, so that the full importance of Ca transporters to smooth muscle signalling cascades can be better understood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aquaporins facilitate osmotically driven water movement across cell membranes. Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) is a major water channel in the central nervous system where it participates in cerebral water balance. AQP4 is also present in basolateral membranes of lower respiratory tract airway and renal collecting duct epithelial cells, gastric parietal cells and skeletal muscle cells. However, the distribution of AQP4 in many other tissues is still unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and relative abundance of AQP4 in human Tissue MicroArrays (TMAs) and human protein microarrays by immunohistochemistry and chemiluminescence. In the central nervous system AQP4 was abundantly expressed in the cerebral cortex, cerebellar cortex (purkinje/granular layer), ependymal cell layer, hippocampus and spinal cord. Lower levels were detected in choroid plexus, white matter and meninges. In the musculoskeletal system AQP4 was highly expressed in the sarcolemma of skeletal muscle from the chest and neck. In the male genital system AQP4 was moderately expressed in seminiferous tubules, seminal vesicles, prostate and epidiymis. In the respiratory system AQP4 was moderately expressed in lung and bronchus. AQP expression was abundant in the kidney. In the gastrointestinal system AQP4 was moderately present in basolateral membranes of parietal cells at the base of gastric glands. AQP4 was also detected in salivary glands, adrenals, anterior pituitary, prostate and seminal vesicles. Human protein microarrays verified the TMA data. Our findings suggest that AQP4 is expressed more widely than previously thought in human organs and may be involved in prostatic and seminal fluid formation.