[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Angiotensin II (Ang II) has been reported to indirectly influence atrial electrical activity and to play a critical role in atrial arrhythmias in hypertensive patients. However, it is unclear whether Ang II has direct effects on the electrophysiological activity of the atrium affected by hypertension. We examined the effects of Ang II on the action potentials of atrial myocytes enzymatically isolated from spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHRs). The action potentials were recorded by the perforated patch-clamp technique and the atrial expression of the receptors AT1a and AT2 was measured by radioimmunoassay. Ang II significantly shortened the action potential durations (APDs) of SHRs without changes in the resting membrane potentials (RMPs). Pretreatment with selective AT1a blockers abolished the Ang II-induced reduction of atrial APDs of SHRs; however, a selective AT2 blocker did not, which was consistent with the results of the receptor assay. Pretreatment with phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase inhibitor, phospholipase C inhibitor, or protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor abolished the Ang II-induced shortening of atrial APDs, but pertussis toxin and protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor did not. To study the effects of chronic AT1a inhibition on Ang II-induced shortening of atrial APD, SHRs were treated with AT1a blocker for 4 weeks. AT1a blocker abolished the Ang II-induced reduction of atrial APDs of SHRs and also significantly lowered their blood pressure. In conclusion, Ang II shortened atrial APDs of SHRs via AT1a coupled with the Gq-mediated inositol triphosphate (IP3)-PKC pathway. Our findings indicated that Ang II caused atrial arrhythmias in hypertensive patients by shortening the effective refractory period of the atrium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is a source of hematopoietic stem cells and other stem cells, and human UCB cells have been reported to contain transplantable hepatic progenitor cells. However, the fractions of UCB cells in which hepatic progenitor cells are rich remain to be clarified. In the present study, first, the fractionated cells by CD34, CD38, and c-kit were transplanted via portal vein of NOD/SCID mice, and albumin mRNA expression was examined in livers at 1 and 3 months posttransplantation. At 1 and 3 months, albumin mRNA expression in CD34+UCB cells-transplanted livers was higher than that in CD34- cells-transplanted livers. Albumin mRNA expression in CD34+CD38+ cells-transplanted livers was higher than that in CD34+CD38- cells-transplanted [corrected] liver at 1 month. However, it was much higher [corrected] in CD34+CD38- cell-transplanted livers at 3 months. Similar expression of albumin mRNA was obtained between CD34+CD38+c-kit+ cells- and CD34+CD38-c-kit- cells-transplanted livers, and between CD34+CD38-c-kit+ cells- and CD34+CD38-c-kit- cells-transplanted livers, respectively. Second, fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were performed to examine whether UCB cells really transdifferentiated into hepatocytes or they only fused with mouse hepatocytes. In mouse liver sections, of 1.2% cells which had human chromosomes, 0.9% cells were due to cell fusion, whereas 0.3% cells were transdifferentiated into human hepatocytes. These results suggest that CD34+UCB cells are rich fractions in hepatic progenitor cells, and that transdifferentiation from UCB cells into hepatocytes as well as cell fusion simultaneously occur in this situation.
Article · Dec 2004 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications