Ines Eichler

Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg an der Lahn, Hesse, Germany

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Publications (11)63.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Currently, there is an unmet clinical need for novel immunosuppressive agents for long-term prevention of kidney transplant rejection as alternatives to the nephrotoxic calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine (CsA). Recent studies have shown that K(+) channels have a crucial role in T-lymphocyte activity. We investigated whether combined blockade of the T-cell K(+) channels K(Ca)3.1 and K(v)1.3, both of which regulate calcium signaling during lymphocyte activation, is effective in prevention of rejection of kidney allografts from Fisher rats to Lewis rats. All recipients were initially treated with CsA (5 mg/kg d) for 7 days. In rats with intact allograft function, treatment was continued for 10 days with either CsA (5 mg/kg d), or a combination of TRAM-34 (K(Ca)3.1 inhibitor; 120 mg/kg d) plus Stichodactyla helianthus toxin (ShK, K(v)1.3 inhibitor; 80 microg/kg 3 times daily), or vehicle alone. Kidney sections were stained with periodic acid-Schiff or hematoxylin-eosin and histochemically for markers of macrophages (CD68), T-lymphocytes (CD43), or cytotoxic T-cells (CD8). Our results showed that treatment with TRAM-34 and ShK reduced total interstitial mononuclear cell infiltration (-42%) and the number of CD43+ T-cells (-32%), cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells (-32%), and CD68+ macrophages (-26%) in allografts when compared to vehicle treatment alone. Efficacy of TRAM-34/ShK treatment was comparable with that of CsA. In addition, no visible organ damage or other discernible adverse effects were observed with this treatment. Thus, selective blockade of T-lymphocyte K(Ca)3.1 and K(v)1.3 channels may represent a novel alternative therapy for prevention of kidney allograft rejection.
    Transplantation Proceedings 01/2009; 41(6):2601-6. · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic renal failure (CRF) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity, abnormal arterial tone, and endothelial dysfunction. Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-channels (K(Ca)) are important regulators of endothelial function by controlling endothelial hyperpolarization and thus endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)-mediated vasodilations. Here we tested the hypothesis whether an altered function of endothelial K(Ca) and diminished EDHF-mediated vasodilation contribute to the endothelial dysfunction in the rat remnant kidney model of chronic renal failure. Functional expression of endothelial K(Ca) currents and endothelium-dependent vasodilations in rat carotid arteries were assessed by using patch-clamp techniques, single-cell reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and a pressure myograph 8 weeks after either subtotal 5/6 nephrectomy in normotensive or hypertensive, or sham-operated rats. Acetylcholine (ACh)-induced EDHF-mediated vasodilations were present in sham-operated rats, but almost absent in both normotensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats and hypertensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats. In experiments without blocking nitric oxide/prostacyclin synthesis, endothelium-dependent vasodilation to ACh was significantly reduced in both normotensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats and hypertensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats. In sham-operated rats, 1-ethyl-2-benzimidazolinone (1-EBIO), a selective opener of endothelial small and intermediate K(Ca), induced a substantial EDHF-mediated vasodilation, which was greatly reduced in hypertensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats and in normotensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats. In patch-clamp experiments, mean K(Ca) currents were significantly reduced in endothelial cells from hypertensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats and normotensive 5/6 nephrectomy rats when compared to sham-operated rats. Concordantly, single-cell reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed a greatly reduced frequency of endothelial cells expressing the K(Ca) genes, SKCa3 and IKCa1 in 5/6 nephrectomy rats compared to sham-operated rats. Experimental CRF leads to a loss of EDHF-type vasodilation which was caused at least in part by an impaired functional expression of endothelial hyperpolarizing K(Ca). The loss of EDHF-type vasodilation may contribute to endothelial dysfunction and abnormal arterial tone in CRF.
    Kidney International 07/2005; 67(6):2280-7. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ca2+-activated K+ (K(Ca)) channels have been proposed to promote mitogenesis in several cell types. Here, we tested whether the intermediate-conductance K(Ca) channel (IKCa1) and the large-conductance K(Ca) channel (BK(Ca)) contribute to endothelial cell (EC) proliferation and angiogenesis. Function and expression of IKCa1 and BK(Ca)/Slo were investigated by patch-clamp analysis and real-time RT-PCR in human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) and in dermal human microvascular ECs 1 (HMEC-1). HMEC-1 expressed IKCa1 and BK(Ca)/Slo, whereas HUVECs expressed IKCa1. A 48-hour exposure to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) augmented IKCa1 current amplitudes and induced a 3-fold increase in IKCa1 mRNA expression in HUVECs and HMEC-1. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was also effective in upregulating IKCa1. BK(Ca)/Slo expression and current amplitudes in HMEC-1 were not altered by bFGF. bFGF- and VEGF-induced EC proliferation was suppressed by charybdotoxin, clotrimazole, or the selective IKCa1 blocker 1-[(2-chlorophenyl)diphenylmethyl]-1H-pyrazole (TRAM-34), whereas inhibition of BK(Ca)/Slo by iberiotoxin was ineffective. In the Matrigel plug assay in mice, administration of TRAM-34 for 2 weeks significantly suppressed angiogenesis by approximately 85%. bFGF and VEGF upregulate expression of IKCa1 in human ECs. This upregulation of IKCa1 seems to be required for mitogen-induced EC proliferation and angiogenesis in vivo. Selective IKCa1 blocker might be of therapeutic value to prevent tumor angiogenesis.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 05/2005; 25(4):704-9. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dent's disease is an inherited tubulopathy caused by a mutation in the CLCN5 chloride channel gene. It is characterized by low-molecular weight proteinuria, hypercalciuria, nephrolithiasis or nephrocalcinosis, rickets and eventual-progressive renal failure. Onset of clinical symptoms show a great variability, making a diagnosis at an early stage of the disease often difficult. Given the variably clinical picture, genetic analysis can provide a reliable method to confirm the diagnosis. Here, we report on the case of a patient with progressive renal failure showing signs of a tubular lesion and symptoms of Dent's disease. Although this rare disease was suspected by means of the clinical features, it was genetic analysis that confirmed the diagnosis and revealed a novel mutation in the CLCN5 gene.
    Clinical nephrology 12/2004; 62(5):387-90. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wall shear stress associated with blood flow is a major stimuli for generation of endothelial vasodilating and antithrombotic factors and it also regulates endothelial gene expression. Activation of endothelial intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (IK(Ca)) is important for the control of endothelial function by inducing cell hyperpolarization and thus generation of the endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor. In the present study we tested whether the IK(Ca) encoding IKCa1 gene is regulated by laminar shear stress (LSS). Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were subjected to LSS with a magnitude of 0.5-15 dyn/cm(2) and time intervals of 2-24 h in a flow cone apparatus. Expression of the IKCa1 gene and IK(Ca)-functions were determined by using real time RT-PCR and patch-clamp techniques. A short 2-4 h-or long 24 h-exposure to a LSS with a low (venous) magnitude of 0.5 dyn/cm(2) had no effect on IKCa1 expression levels. An exposure for 2 and 4 h to LSS with an intermediate magnitude of 5 dyn/cm(2) was also ineffective, whereas an exposure for 24 h induced a significant threefold up-regulation of IKCa1 expression levels. An exposure to LSS with a higher (arterial) magnitude of 15 dyn/cm(2), resulted in an eightfold up-regulation of IKCa1 expression levels after a 4 h-exposure and a fourfold increase of IKCa1 expression levels at 24 h. The increased IKCa1 expression levels following exposure to high levels of LSS resulted in enhanced IK(Ca) whole-cell currents and in an increased hyperpolarization of the endothelium in response to ATP and the IK(Ca) opener 1-EBIO. Inhibition of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase 1/2 (MEK/ERK) pathway by PD98059 prevented the LSS-induced up-regulation of IKCa1 expression levels and IK(Ca) whole-cell currents indicating that augmentation of IKCa1 expression levels is mediated by the LSS-induced activation of the MEK/ERK pathway. Long term exposure to LSS up-regulates expression and function of endothelial IK(Ca). This increase might represent a new important mechanism in endothelial adaptation to altered hemodynamics.
    Cardiovascular Research 01/2004; 60(3):488-96. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angioplasty stimulates proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), leading to neointimal thickening and vascular restenosis. In a rat model of balloon catheter injury (BCI), we investigated whether alterations in expression of Ca2+-activated K+ channels (KCa) contribute to intimal hyperplasia and vascular restenosis. Function and expression of KCa in mature medial and neointimal VSMC were characterized in situ by combined single-cell RT-PCR and patch-clamp analysis. Mature medial VSMC exclusively expressed large-conductance KCa (BKCa) channels. Two weeks after BCI, expression of BKCa was significantly reduced in neointimal VSMC, whereas expression of intermediate-conductance KCa (IKCa1) channels was upregulated. In the aortic VSMC cell line, A7r5 epidermal growth factor (EGF) induced IKCa1 upregulation and EGF-stimulated proliferation was suppressed by the selective IKCa1 blocker TRAM-34. Daily in vivo administration of TRAM-34 to rats significantly reduced intimal hyperplasia by approximately 40% at 1, 2, and 6 weeks after BCI. Two weeks of treatment with the related compound clotrimazole was equally effective. Reduction of intimal hyperplasia was accompanied by decreased neointimal cell content, with no change in the rate of apoptosis or collagen content. The switch toward IKCa1 expression may promote excessive neointimal VSMC proliferation. Blockade of IKCa1 could therefore represent a new therapeutic strategy to prevent restenosis after angioplasty.
    Circulation 10/2003; 108(9):1119-25. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelium-derived nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been proposed to regulate vascular tone by complex mechanisms, including the modulation of ion channel function. In endothelial function itself, activation of Ca2+-activated K+ channels (KCa) plays a crucial role by inducing hyperpolarization, which promotes membrane potential-driven Ca2+ influx and Ca2+-dependent synthesis of vasodilatory factors. In the present study, we tested whether nitric oxide and ROS modulate endothelial KCa function. By employing the patch-clamp technique in endothelium of porcine renal arteries in situ, we identified a large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel (big K+ channel, BKCa) with a conductance of 297 +/- 6 pS. Channel activity was strongly controlled by the membrane potential and the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration (EC50 3.1 +/- 0.5 micromol/L Ca2+ at 0 mV). Channel activity was inhibited by Ba2+ and iberiotoxin. At submicromolar [Ca2+]i, nitric oxide induced a dose-dependent stimulation of BKCa activity with a 10-fold increase at the highest dose tested (1 micromol/L). A similar stimulation was achieved by the nitric oxide donors, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), and diethylamine nitric oxide complex (DEA-NO). In contrast, ROS and, in particular, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) led to dose-dependent inactivation of BKCa with an IC50 of 80 +/- 6 nmol/L and 1.1 +/- 0.4 micromol/L, respectively. In isolated porcine renal arteries, bradykinin-induced vasodilation was significantly reduced by either iberiotoxin or H2O2. Direct stimulation of endothelial BKCa by nitric oxide might represent a novel mechanism of autocrine regulation of endothelial function and points to a positive feedback mechanism by promoting hyperpolarization and nitric oxide production itself. The ROS-induced inhibition of BKCa could be part of the cellular mechanisms by which ROS impairs endothelium-dependent vasodilation.
    Kidney International 08/2003; 64(1):199-207. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Activation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-channels (K(Ca)) has been suggested to play a key role in endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)-mediated vasodilation. However, due to the low selectivity of commonly used K(Ca)-channel blockers it is still elusive which endothelial K(Ca)-subtypes mediate hyperpolarization and thus initiate EDHF-mediated vasodilation. 2. Using the non-cytochrome P450 blocking clotrimazole-derivatives, 1-[(2-chlorophenyl) diphenylmethyl]-1H-pyrazole (TRAM-34) and 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2,2-diphenylacetonitrile (TRAM-39) as highly selective IK1-inhibitors, we investigated the role of the intermediate-conductance K(Ca) (rIK1) in endothelial hyperpolarization and EDHF-mediated vasodilation. 3. Expression and function of rIK1 and small-conductance K(Ca) (rSK3) were demonstrated in situ in single endothelial cells of rat carotid arteries (CA). rIK1-currents were blocked by TRAM-34 or TRAM-39, while rSK3 was blocked by apamin. In current-clamp experiments, endothelial hyperpolarization in response to acetylcholine was abolished by the combination of apamin and TRAM-34. 4. In phenylephrine-preconstricted CA, acetylcholine-induced NO and prostacyclin-independent vasodilation was almost completely blocked by ChTX, CLT, TRAM-34, or TRAM-39 in combination with the SK3-blocker apamin. Apamin, TRAM-34, and CLT alone or sulphaphenzole, a blocker of the cytochrome P450 isoform 2C9, were ineffective in blocking the EDHF-response. 5. In experiments without blocking NO and prostacyclin synthesis, the combined blockade of SK3 and IK1 reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation. 6. In conclusion, the use of selective IK1-inhibitors together with the SK3-blocker apamin revealed that activation of both K(Ca), rIK1 and rSK3 is crucial in mediating endothelial hyperpolarization and generation of the EDHF-signal while the cytochrome P450 pathway seems to play a minor or no role in rat CA.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 03/2003; 138(4):594-601. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    Ralf Köhler, Ines Eichler
    British Journal of Pharmacology 01/2003; · 5.07 Impact Factor
  • S Brakemeier, I Eichler, J Hoyer
    DMW - Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 12/2002; 127(45):2392-5. · 0.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stretch-activated cation channels (SAC) have been suggested to act as endothelial mechanosensors for hemodynamic forces. Ca(2+) influx through SAC could induce an intracellular Ca(2+) signal stimulating Ca(2+)-dependent synthesis of vasodilators like NO, prostacyclin, or EDHF. In the present study we tested whether laminar shear stress (LSS) regulates SAC function. Electrophysiological properties of SAC were investigated in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) subjected to defined levels of LSS in a flow-cone apparatus. In HUVEC, we identified a Ca(2+) permeable SAC that was activated by membrane stretch. Single-channel current densities of SAC in cell-attached patches were significantly increased in HUVEC exposed to an LSS of 5 dyn/cm(2) for 4 h (1.15+/-0.17 SAC/patch) compared to HUVEC kept in stationary culture (0.46+/-0.07 SAC/patch). Exposure of HUVEC to a higher LSS of 15 dyn/cm(2) for 4 h induced similar up-regulation of SAC (1.27+/-0.21 SAC/patch). After 24 h exposure to LSS of 15 dyn/cm(2), single-channel current densities of SAC remained up-regulated (1.07+/-0.18 SAC/patch) compared to controls. In addition, stretch-sensitivity of SAC (channel activity NP(o) at -30 mmHg) significantly increased after 2 h of exposure to LSS of 5 and 15 dyn/cm(2) and remained up-regulated after 24 h. Inhibition of protein kinases and tyrosine kinases by H7 and genistein, respectively, prevented LSS-induced alteration of SAC function. Single-channel current density and mechanosensitivity of SAC in HUVEC is up-regulated by LSS. Up-regulation of SAC function leads to enhanced mechanosensitive Ca(2+) influx, and represents a novel adaptive mechanism of the endothelium in the presence of altered hemodynamic forces.
    Cardiovascular Research 02/2002; 53(1):209-18. · 5.81 Impact Factor