Ryuji Toh

Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States

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Publications (47)264.07 Total impact


  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of telmisartan plus amlodipine with telmisartan plus hydrochlorothiazide for the treatment of uncontrolled hypertension. Methods: Japanese hypertensive patients with uncontrolled hypertension, despite taking angiotensin II receptor blockers, were assigned randomly to either a fixed-dose combination of telmisartan/amlodipine (n=36) or telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide (n=39). The primary endpoint was the change in office blood pressure from the baseline value at 12 weeks. Results: Both telmisartan/amlodipine and telmisaratan/hydrochlorothiazide reduced the office blood pressure efficiently (systole: -25.5±12.1 vs. -24.3±15.0 mmHg, P=0.705; diastole: -10.8±13.8 vs. -11.4±12.3 mmHg, P=0.832). Treatment with telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide resulted in the quicker onset of blood pressure-lowering effects compared with telmisartan/amlodipine. The target therapeutic blood pressure was similar in both groups at the 12-week visit. Home blood pressure measurements taken in the mornings and evenings were also similar in both groups. Compared with the telmisartan/amlodipine group, serum potassium and brain natriuretic peptide levels decreased and uric acid and hemoglobin A1c levels increased significantly in the telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide group. Both treatment groups showed a significant reduction in urine albumin. However, the estimated glomerular filtration rate decreased slightly but significantly in the telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide group alone. Severe adverse effects were not observed in both groups. Conclusion: Combination therapy with telmisartan/amlodipine or telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide led to efficient blood pressure reduction among Japanese patients with previously uncontrolled hypertension with angiotensin II receptor blocker monotherapy.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Blood pressure monitoring
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    ABSTRACT: Adverse effects of dietary intake of trans-fatty acids (TFA) on the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) are well recognized in Western countries. The risk of TFA, however, has not been well clarified in Japan. We investigated the association of serum TFA concentration with serum lipid profile, coronary risk factors, and prevalence of CAD.Methods and Results:A total of 902 patients, who were hospitalized at Kobe University Hospital from July 2008 to March 2012 and gave written informed consent, were enrolled in this study. Among them, 463 patients had CAD, and 318 patients had metabolic syndrome (MetS). Serum TFA, elaidic acid (trans-9-C18:1) and linolelaidic acid (trans-9, 12-C18:2), were measured on gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Serum TFA level had a positive correlation with body mass index, waist circumference, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B48, and an inverse correlation with age and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Fasting serum TFA, by age quartile in the young generation with CAD and/or MetS, was higher than that in patients without CAD and/or MetS. On multivariate logistic regression, TFA was identified as a CAD risk after adjustment for classical risk factors. Serum TFA concentration was elevated in young patients with CAD and/or MetS. Diet-derived TFA may cause a serious health problem, particularly in the young generation in Japan.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Circulation Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Large earthquakes have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. In Japan, the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji (H-A) Earthquake was an urban-underground-type earthquake, whereas the 2011 Great East Japan (GEJ) Earthquake was an ocean-trench type. In the present study, we examined how these different earthquake types affected CVD mortality.Methods and Results:We examined death certificate data from 2008 to 2012 for 131 municipalities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures (n=320,348) and from 1992 to 1996 for 220 municipalities in Hyogo, Osaka, and Kyoto prefectures (n=592,670). A Poisson regression model showed significant increases in the monthly numbers of acute myocardial infarction (AMI)-related deaths (incident rate ratio [IRR] GEJ=1.34, P=0.001; IRR of H-A=1.57, P<0.001) and stroke-related deaths (IRR of GEJ=1.42, P<0.001; IRR of H-A=1.33, P<0.001) after the earthquakes. Two months after the earthquakes, AMI deaths remained significant only for H-A (IRR=1.13, P=0.029). When analyzing the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) after the earthquakes using the Cochran-Armitage trend test, seismic intensity was significantly associated with AMI mortality for 2 weeks after both the GEJ (P for trend=0.089) and H-A earthquakes (P for trend=0.005). Following the GEJ and H-A earthquakes, there was a sharp increase in CVD mortality. The effect of the disaster was sustained for months after the H-A earthquake, but was diminished after the GEJ Earthquake. (Circ J 2015; 79: 1000-1008).
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Circulation Journal
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    ABSTRACT: -Stiffening of the aortic wall is a phenomenon consistently observed in age and in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). However, its role in AAA pathophysiology is largely undefined. -Using an established murine elastase-induced AAA model, we demonstrate that segmental aortic stiffening (SAS) precedes aneurysm growth. Finite element analysis (FEA) reveals that early stiffening of the aneurysm-prone aortic segment leads to axial (longitudinal) wall stress generated by cyclic (systolic) tethering of adjacent, more compliant wall segments. Interventional stiffening of AAA-adjacent aortic segments (via external application of surgical adhesive) significantly reduces aneurysm growth. These changes correlate with reduced segmental stiffness of the AAA-prone aorta (due to equalized stiffness in adjacent segments), reduced axial wall stress, decreased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), attenuated elastin breakdown, and decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines and macrophage infiltration, as well as attenuated apoptosis within the aortic wall. Cyclic pressurization of segmentally stiffened aortic segments ex vivo increases the expression of genes related to inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Finally, human ultrasound studies reveal that aging, a significant AAA risk factor, is accompanied by segmental infrarenal aortic stiffening. -The present study introduces the novel concept of segmental aortic stiffening (SAS) as an early pathomechanism generating aortic wall stress and triggering aneurysmal growth, thereby delineating potential underlying molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets. In addition, monitoring SAS may aid the identification of patients at risk for AAA.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Circulation

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Scope: Since excessive intake of trans-fatty acid (TFA) increases the risk of myocardial infarction, we investigated the effects of TFA on thrombus formation using animal and cell culture experiments. Methods and results: C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet containing TFA or cis-fatty acid (5% each of total calories) or a chow diet for 4 weeks, and thrombus formation was induced in the carotid artery by He-Ne laser irradiation. The high-TFA diet significantly promoted thrombus formation in the carotid artery compared to the chow or cis-fatty acid diet. TFA activated the inflammatory signaling pathway in cultured endothelial cells and in mice; aortic gene expression levels of antithrombogenic molecules, including thrombomodulin and tissue factor pathway inhibitor, were decreased, and the expression levels of prothrombogenic molecules were increased in TFA-treated mice. TFA markedly upregulated the prothrombogenic molecules and downregulated the antithrombogenic molecules in endothelial cells. In addition, TFA induced phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and nuclear factor-κB. The TFA-activated signal pathways and prothrombogenic phenotypic changes of endothelial cells were inhibited by genetic or pharmacological inactivation of Toll-like receptors 2 and 4. Conclusion: TFA aggravates the antithrombogenic phenotypes of vascular endothelial cells via Toll-like receptors and promotes thrombus formation in mice.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
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    ABSTRACT: Identification and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remain among the most prominent challenges in vascular medicine. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulators of cardiovascular pathology and represent intriguing targets to limit AAA expansion. Here we show, by using two established murine models of AAA disease along with human aortic tissue and plasma analysis, that miR-24 is a key regulator of vascular inflammation and AAA pathology. In vivo and in vitro studies reveal chitinase 3-like 1 (Chi3l1) to be a major target and effector under the control of miR-24, regulating cytokine synthesis in macrophages as well as their survival, promoting aortic smooth muscle cell migration and cytokine production, and stimulating adhesion molecule expression in vascular endothelial cells. We further show that modulation of miR-24 alters AAA progression in animal models, and that miR-24 and CHI3L1 represent novel plasma biomarkers of AAA disease progression in humans.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: It has been reported that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) loses anti-inflammatory function and promotes atherosclerosis under pathological conditions. However, no pharmacological therapy to improve HDL function is currently available. We aimed to evaluate the effect of oral administration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on HDL function. Methods: Japanese patients with dyslipidemia were treated with EPA (1800 mg/day, 4 weeks), and anti-inflammatory functions of HDL were assessed utilizing in vitro cell-based assays. Results: The EPA treatment did not change serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but it significantly increased EPA concentrations in the serum and HDL fraction. The EPA/arachidonic acid ratio in the HDL was in proportion to that in the serum, suggesting that the orally administered EPA was efficiently incorporated into the HDL particles. The HDL after EPA treatment showed significantly increased activity of anti-oxidative enzyme, paraoxonase-1. In addition, the EPA-rich HDL significantly improved endothelial cell migration, and markedly inhibited cytokine-induced expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, compared to HDL before the EPA treatment. Moreover, the EPA-rich HDL augmented cholesterol efflux capacity from macrophages. Conclusion: Oral administration of EPA regenerated anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory functions of HDL, and promoted cholesterol efflux from macrophages. Therefore, EPA may transform "dysfunctional HDL" to "functional", in patients with coronary risk factors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Atherosclerosis

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Cardiac Failure
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    ABSTRACT: Granular leukocyte-derived myeloperoxidase (MPO) promotes oxidation of lipoproteins, while paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has antioxidant properties for high-density lipoprotein (HDL). We evaluated their effects on coronary risk stratification and function of lipoproteins. A total 158 patients who had previously undergone percutaneous coronary intervention and who had been hospitalized for coronary re-angiography were enrolled. Coronary lesions (restenosis or de novo lesion) were observed in 84 patients but not associated with conventional lipid profile. In contrast, serum MPO levels and PON1 activities were significantly associated with the prevalence of coronary lesions. The high MPO/PON1 ratio, when cutoff values were set at 1.59, was independently correlated with restenosis (odds ratio 6.4, 95% CI 2.2-19.3, P = 0.001) and de novo lesions (odds ratio 3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.4, P = 0.014). We isolated HDL from patients with high or low MPO/PON1 ratio, and compared anti-inflammatory properties of HDL. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were stimulated with inflammatory cytokine, and the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) was evaluated. HDL isolated from patients with low serum MPO/PON1 ratio inhibited VCAM-1 expression significantly greater than that with high MPO/PON1 ratio. We also demonstrated that the cholesterol efflux capacity of apolipoprotein B-depleted serum from patients with high MPO/PON1 ratio was significantly decreased than that with low MPO/PON1 ratio. MPO/PON1 ratio could be a useful marker for secondary prevention of coronary artery disease through modulation of HDL function.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Atherosclerosis
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Granular leukocyte-derived myeloperoxidase (MPO) promotes oxidation of lipoproteins, while paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has antioxidant properties for high-density lipoprotein (HDL). We evaluated their effects on coronary risk stratification and function of lipoproteins. Methods and results A total 158 patients who had previously undergone percutaneous coronary intervention and who had been hospitalized for coronary re-angiography were enrolled. Coronary lesions (restenosis or de novo lesion) were observed in 84 patients but not associated with conventional lipid profile. In contrast, serum MPO levels and PON1 activities were significantly associated with the prevalence of coronary lesions. The high MPO/PON1 ratio, when cutoff values were set at 1.59, was independently correlated with restenosis (odds ratio 6.4, 95% CI 2.2–19.3, P = 0.001) and de novo lesions (odds ratio 3.5, 95% CI 1.3–9.4, P = 0.014). We isolated HDL from patients with high or low MPO/PON1 ratio, and compared anti-inflammatory properties of HDL. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were stimulated with inflammatory cytokine, and the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) was evaluated. HDL isolated from patients with low serum MPO/PON1 ratio inhibited VCAM-1 expression significantly greater than that with high MPO/PON1 ratio. We also demonstrated that the cholesterol efflux capacity of apolipoprotein B-depleted serum from patients with high MPO/PON1 ratio was significantly decreased than that with low MPO/PON1 ratio. Conclusions MPO/PON1 ratio could be a useful marker for secondary prevention of coronary artery disease through modulation of HDL function.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Atherosclerosis
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Endothelial lipase (EL) is a determinant of plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). However, little is known about the impact of EL activity on plasma lipid profile. We aimed to establish a new method to evaluate EL-specific phospholipase activity in humans. Methods: Plasma samples were obtained from 115 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 154 patients without CAD. Plasma EL protein was immunoprecipitated using an anti-EL monoclonal antibody after plasma non-specific immunoglobulins were removed by incubation with ProteinA. The phospholipase activity of the immunoprecipitated samples was measured using a fluorogenic phospholipase substrate, Bis-BODIPY FL C11-PC. Results: The EL-specific phospholipase assay revealed that plasma EL activity was inversely correlated with HDL-C levels (R = -0.3088, p<0.0001). In addition, the EL activity was associated with cigarette smoking. Furthermore, EL activity in CAD patients was significantly higher than that in nonCAD patients. Concomitantly, the HDL-C level in CAD patients were significantly lower than that in non-CAD patients. Conclusion: We have established a method for human plasma EL-specific phospholipase activity by combination of EL immunoprecipitation and a fluorogenic phospholipid substrate. Plasma EL activity was associated with not only plasma HDL-C levels but also the risks for CAD.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
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    ABSTRACT: Significance: Arterial blood vessels functionally and structurally adapt to altering hemodynamic forces in order to accommodate changing needs and to provide stress homeostasis. This ability is achieved at the cellular level by converting mechanical stimulation into biochemical signals (i.e., mechanotransduction). Physiological mechanical stress helps maintain vascular structure and function, whereas pathologic or aberrant stress may impair cellular mechano-signaling, and initiate or augment cellular processes that drive disease. Recent advances: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may represent an intriguing class of mechanically regulated second messengers. Chronically enhanced ROS generation may be induced by adverse mechanical stresses, and is associated with a multitude of vascular diseases. Although a causal relationship has clearly been demonstrated in large numbers of animal studies, an effective ROS-modulating therapy still remains to be established by clinical studies. Critical issues and future directions: This review article focuses on the role of various mechanical forces (in the form of laminar shear stress, oscillatory shear stress, or cyclic stretch) as modulators of ROS-driven signaling, and their subsequent effects on vascular biology and homeostasis, as well as on specific diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Specifically, it highlights the significance of the various NADPH oxidase (NOX) isoforms as critical ROS generators in the vasculature. Directed targeting of defined components in the complex network of ROS (mechano-)signaling may represent a key for successful translation of experimental findings into clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
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    ABSTRACT: The contribution of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease to human morbidity and mortality has increased in the aging, industrialized world. In response, extraordinary efforts have been launched to determine the molecular and pathophysiological characteristics of the diseased aorta. This work aims to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to limit AAA expansion and, ultimately, rupture. Contributions from multiple research groups have uncovered a complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory milieu, which is believed to be essential for maintaining aortic vascular homeostasis. Recently, novel small noncoding RNAs, called microRNAs, have been identified as important transcriptional and post-transcriptional inhibitors of gene expression. MicroRNAs are thought to "fine tune" the translational output of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) by promoting mRNA degradation or inhibiting translation. With the discovery that microRNAs act as powerful regulators in the context of a wide variety of diseases, it is only logical that microRNAs be thoroughly explored as potential therapeutic entities. This current review summarizes interesting findings regarding the intriguing roles and benefits of microRNA expression modulation during AAA initiation and propagation. These studies utilize disease-relevant murine models, as well as human tissue from patients undergoing OPEN ACCESS
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Although statins increase the plasma concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), it has not been elucidated whether the increased HDL particles possess normal antiatherosclerotic properties. Pitavastatin functions to increase the plasma HDL-C level and decrease the lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level. In the present study, we sought to examine the qualitative changes in HDL during pitavastatin treatment. Methods: A total of 30 patients with dyslipidemia were treated with 2 mg of pitavastatin for four weeks. The cholesterol efflux capacity and activities of the antioxidative enzymes paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) and platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) were evaluated using polyethethylene glycol-treated HDL fractions before and after pitavastatin treatment. Results: Pitavastatin treatment decreased the serum LDL-C level by 39% and increased the serum HDL-C level by 9% (p<0.05). In addition, pitavastatin increased the phospholipid content of HDL by 7.8% (p<0.05). The pitavastatin-induced increase in the HDL-C level coincided with an increase in the cholesterol efflux capacity of the isolated HDL fraction of 8.6% (p<0.05). The post-pitavastatin treatment activity of HDL-associated PON-1 (paraoxonase and arylesterase) was increased by 9% (p<0.05) and 11% (p<0.05), respectively, while the HDL-associated PAF-AH activity was not affected by pitavastatin. Conclusions: In addition to its LDL-C-lowering effects, pitavastatin elevates the HDL-C level and enhances the cholesterol efflux capacity and antioxidative properties of HDL. Pitavastatin therefore increases the amount of functional HDL without attenuating HDL quality.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
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    ABSTRACT: Lipoprotein lipase has been considered as the only enzyme capable of generating lipid-derived fatty acids for cardiac energy. Endothelial lipase is another member of the triglyceride lipase family and hydrolyzes high-density lipoproteins. Although endothelial lipase is expressed in the heart, its function remains unclear. We assessed the role of endothelial lipase in the genesis of heart failure. Pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy was generated in endothelial lipase-/- and wild-type mice by ascending aortic banding. Endothelial lipase expression in cardiac tissues was markedly elevated in the early phase of cardiac hypertrophy in wild-type mice, whereas lipoprotein lipase expression was significantly reduced. Endothelial lipase-/- mice showed more severe systolic dysfunction with left-ventricular dilatation compared with wild-type mice in response to pressure overload. The expression of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation-related genes, such as carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 and medium-chain acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase, was significantly lower in the heart of endothelial lipase-/- mice than in wild-type mice. Also, endothelial lipase-/- mice had lower myocardial adenosine triphosphate levels than wild-type mice after aortic banding. In cultured cardiomyocytes, endothelial lipase was upregulated by inflammatory stimuli, whereas lipoprotein lipase was downregulated. Endothelial lipase-overexpression in cardiomyocytes resulted in an upregulation of fatty acid oxidation-related enzymes and intracellular adenosine triphosphate accumulation in the presence of high-density lipoprotein. Endothelial lipase may act as an alternative candidate to provide fatty acids to the heart and regulate cardiac function. This effect seemed relevant particularly in the diseased heart, where lipoprotein lipase action is downregulated.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Hypertension
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    ABSTRACT: Background: To identify new therapeutic targets for coronary artery disease (CAD), we investigated whether fasting serum concentration of apolipoprotein (apo) B48 could be a marker for CAD. Methods: Patients with CAD were divided into those with new-onset CAD [i.e., those receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for the first time] and those with chronic CAD (i.e., those receiving follow-up coronary angiography). Fasting serum biochemical analyses were performed on admission and 6 months after the PCI. Results: On admission, serum LDL-C concentrations in patients with chronic CAD (n=138), presumably receiving statin treatment, were lower than in patients with new-onset CAD (n=50, p<0.02) or without CAD (n=71, p<0.001). Nevertheless, apoB48 was higher in CAD patients than in those without CAD (p<0.001). After adjusting for classic cardiovascular risk factors, multivariate logistic regression analyses showed apoB48 to be an independent predictor of coronary risk in new-onset or chronic CAD, irrespective of the LDL-C levels. Moreover, apoB48 was markedly increased during the follow-up period in CAD patients having new lesion progression after the prior PCI. Conclusion: Fasting serum apoB48 concentration could be a marker of new onset as well as chronic CAD, and predict new lesion progression in secondary prevention.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Genomewide association studies have implicated allelic variation at 9p21.3 in multiple forms of vascular disease, including atherosclerotic coronary heart disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. As for other genes at 9p21.3, human expression quantitative trait locus studies have associated expression of the tumor suppressor gene CDKN2B with the risk haplotype, but its potential role in vascular pathobiology remains unclear. Methods and results: Here we used vascular injury models and found that Cdkn2b knockout mice displayed the expected increase in proliferation after injury, but developed reduced neointimal lesions and larger aortic aneurysms. In situ and in vitro studies suggested that these effects were attributable to increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis. Adoptive bone marrow transplant studies confirmed that the observed effects of Cdkn2b were mediated through intrinsic vascular cells and were not dependent on bone marrow-derived inflammatory cells. Mechanistic studies suggested that the observed increase in apoptosis was attributable to a reduction in MDM2 and an increase in p53 signaling, possibly due in part to compensation by other genes at the 9p21.3 locus. Dual inhibition of both Cdkn2b and p53 led to a reversal of the vascular phenotype in each model. Conclusions: These results suggest that reduced CDKN2B expression and increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis may be one mechanism underlying the 9p21.3 association with aneurysmal disease.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

Publication Stats

685 Citations
264.07 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012-2016
    • Stanford University
      • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 2005-2015
    • Kobe University
      • • Division of Evidence-based Laboratory Medicine (Sysmex)
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      Kōbe, Hyōgo, Japan