Recent progress in molecular and cellular biology has developed numerous effective cardiovascular drugs. However, there are still a number of diseases for which no known effective therapy exists, such as peripheral arterial disease, ischemic heart disease, restenosis after angioplasty, vascular bypass graft occlusion, and transplant coronary vasculopathy. Currently, gene therapy is emerging as a potential strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease to treat such diseases despite of its limitations. The first human trial in cardiovascular disease was started in 1994 to treat peripheral vascular disease using vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Since then, many different potent angiogenic growth factors have been tested in clinical trials to treat peripheral arterial disease. The results from these clinical trials seem to exceed expectations. Improvement of clinical symptoms in peripheral arterial disease and ischemic heart disease has been reported. In addition, another strategy for combating disease processes, the targeting of transcriptional processes, has been tested in a human trial. Genetically modified vein grafts transfected with decoy against E2F, an essential transcription factor in cell cycle progression, revealed apparent long-term potency in human patients. This review focuses on the future potential of gene therapy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
The glucose disposal effect of insulin after a meal is accounted for in approximately equal measure by the direct action of insulin and the action of HISS (hepatic insulin sensitizing substance) released from the liver and acting on skeletal muscle to stimulate glucose storage as glycogen. The ability of insulin to cause HISS release is determined by hepatic parasympathetic nerves. Eliminating the parasympathetic signal by surgical denervation of the liver or by blockade of hepatic muscarinic receptors, hepatic nitric oxide synthase, or hepatic cyclooxygenase results in insulin resistance that can be accounted for by the absence of HISS action and is referred to as HISS-dependent insulin resistance (HDIR). Animal models in which the insulin resistance has been shown to be HDIR includes the spontaneously hypertensive rat, sucrose fed rats, animals with liver disease, adult offspring of fetal alcohol exposure, acute stress, and ageing. We suggest that HDIR accounts for the major metabolic disturbances in type 2 diabetes, including the postprandial hyperglycemia that results in the majority of pathologies related to diabetes. The observation of meal-induced insulin sensitization (MIS) and the role of HISS allows for consideration of a new paradigm relating meal processing, diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance. New diagnostic approaches and therapeutic targets are described.
Overall, doxorubicine-congestive heart failure (CHF) (male Wistar rats and NMRI mice; 6 challenges with doxorubicine (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.) throughout 15 days and then a 4-week-rest period) is consistently deteriorating throughout next 14 days, if not reversed or ameliorated by therapy (/kg per day): a stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC157 (GEPPPGKPADDAGLV, MW 1419, promisingly studied for inflammatory bowel disease (Pliva; PL 10, PLD-116, PL 14736)) (10 μg, 10 ng), losartan (0.7 mg), amlodipine (0.07 mg), given intragastrically (i.g.) (once daily, rats) or in drinking water (mice). Assessed were big endothelin-1 (BET-1) and plasma enzyme levels (CK, MBCK, LDH, AST, ALT) before and after 14 days of therapy and clinical status (hypotension, increased heart rate and respiratory rate, and ascites) every 2 days. Controls (distilled water (5 ml/kg, i.g., once daily) or drinking water (2 ml/mouse per day) given throughout 14 days) exhibited additionally increased BET-1 and aggravated clinical status, while enzyme values maintained their initial increase. BPC157 (10 μg/kg) and amlodipine treatment reversed the increased BET-1 (rats, mice), AST, ALT, CK (rats, mice), and LDH (mice) values. BPC157 (10 ng/kg) and losartan opposed further increase of BET-1 (rats, mice). Losartan reduces AST, ALT, CK, and LDH serum values. BPC157 (10 ng/kg) reduces AST and ALT serum values. Clinical status of CHF-rats and -mice is accordingly improved by the BPC157 regimens and amlodipine.
Contribution of inward rectifier K+ currents (IK1) and ATP-sensitive K+ currents (IKATP) to membrane potential changes of ventricular myocytes appearing during hypotonic challenge is unclear. We used here the whole cell patch clamp technique, voltage and current clamp modes, to record membrane potentials and ionic currents in isolated guinea pig ventricular myocytes under isotonic or hypotonic perfusion. The difference in osmolarity between iso- and hypotonic solutions was about 100 mOsm. Exposure to hypotonic solution for 60 s induced initial prolongation of action potential duration at 90% of repolarization (APD90) (from 176 ± 10 to 189 ± 11 ms, P<0.05, n = 13). Further perfusion for the next 300 s shorthened APD90 to 135 ± 9 ms (P<0.01, in comparison with control values, n = 13) and depolarized resting potential from −79.2 ± 1.5 to −75.0 ± 0.9 mV, (P<0.05, n = 13). Neither pretreatment with a blocker of IK1 channels, terikalant at 10 μM, nor with a blocker of IKATP channels, glibenclamide at 1 μM, prevented the above-mentioned changes in membrane potential induced by hypotonic challenge when a pipette solution containing 5 mM ATP was used. Also, glibenclamide and terikalant did not affect the hypotonic-sensitive current, obtained by ramp or voltage-step protocols, respectively. Additionally, the current-voltage relationship (I-V curve) of the whole cell hypotonic-sensitive current shifted from an isotonic I-V curve in a parallel way. Our results indicate that IK1 and IKATP do not participate in membrane potential changes induced by hypotonic solution at least in the guinea pig ventricular myocytes with sufficient intracellular ATP.
We investigated the cell death effects of eight xanthones on PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells. Among these compounds, α-mangostin, from the fruit hull of Garcinia mangostana L., had the most potent effect with the EC50 value of 4 μM. α-Mangostin-treated PC12 cells demonstrated typical apoptotic DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 cleavage (equivalent to activation). The flow cytometric analysis indicated that this compound induced apoptosis in time-and concentration-dependent manners. α-Mangostin showed the features of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway such as mitochondrial membrane depolarization and cytochrome c release. Furthermore, α-mangostin inhibited the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase markedly. There was a correlation between the Ca2+-ATPase inhibitory effects and the apoptotic effects of the xanthone derivatives. On the other hand, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK/SAPK), one of the signaling molecules of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, was activated with α-mangostin treatment. These results suggest that α-mangostin inhibits Ca2+-ATPase to cause apoptosis through the mitochondorial pathway.
Acute effect of Mao-Bushi-Saishin-To (Ma-Huang-Fu-Zi-Xi-Xin-Tang in Chinese: MBS) on histamine release was investigated. The IgE-mediated anaphylaxic response in Wistar rats was significantly suppressed by MBS and Mao. However, Saishin and Bushi had no or little effect on the antigen-mediated anaphylaxic reaction. Mao as well as MBS but not Saishin nor Bushi inhibited IgE-mediated histamine release from rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) cells. Consistently, MBS and Mao but not Bushi nor Saishin increased cAMP levels in RBL-2H3 cells. However, ephedrine, methylephedrine, and pseudoephedrine, the main components in Mao, did not affect histamine release. From these results, increase of cAMP levels may account for the inhibitory effect of Mao on histamine release. Furthermore, these inhibitory actions of MBS were mainly due to Mao with an ingredient(s) different from ephedrines.
Effects of V1 (OPC-21268) and V2 (OPC-31260) vasopressin antagonists on blood pressure (BP) short-term variability were investigated in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) under basal conditions and after the stimulation of vasopressin release by hemorrhage. BP was recorded intra-arterially and sampled at 20 Hz to be analyzed on a personal computer. BP time spectra were calculated on 30 stationary overlapping 2048 point-time series. Spectral power was estimated in total (0.00976 – 3 Hz), very low frequency (VLF: 0.00976 – 0.195 Hz), low frequency (LF: 0.195 – 0.605 Hz), and high frequency (HF: 0.8 – 3 Hz) regions. Under basal conditions a V1 antagonist (5 mg/kg, i.v.) decreased BP without affecting BP variability, while combined (V1 + V2) blockade or V2 blockade (1 mg/kg, i.v.) alone did not affect cardiovascular parameters. Mild hemorrhage (5 ml/kg per min) increased HF-BP variability, while moderate (10 ml/kg per min) and massive (15 ml/kg per min) hemorrhage did not affect it. In V1, but not V2, antagonist pre-treated SHR HF-BP increased significantly after moderate and massive hemorrhage. V1 or V2 antagonist pre-treatment also enhanced VLF-BP variability during massive hemorrhage. Moreover V1 blockade prevented hemorrhage-induced bradycardia, while V2 blockade potentiated it. It follows that in adult SHR, vasopressin buffers BP oscillations in HF and VLF frequency domains only in hypovolaemic conditions and that the modulation of the autonomic adjustment of the HR to hemorrhage by vasopressin is preserved.
The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether aminoguanidine attenuated intracranial hypertension and cerebral ischemic injury in experimental heatstroke. Urethane-anesthetized rats were exposed to heat stress (ambient temperature of 43°C) to induce heatstroke. Control rats were exposed to 24°C. Mean arterial pressure, cerebral perfusion pressure, and cerebral blood flow after the onset of heatstroke were all significantly lower than in control rats. However, colonic temperature, intracranial pressure, heart rate, cerebral inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-dependent NO, and neuronal damage score were greater after the onset of heatstroke. Aminoguanidine (30 μmol/kg, i.v.; 30 min before the start of heat exposure) pretreatment significantly attenuated the heatstroke-induced hyperthermia, arterial hypotension, intracranial hypertension, cerebral ischemia and neuronal damage, and increased iNOS-dependent NO formation in the brain. The extracellular concentrations of ischemic (e.g., glutamate and lactate/pyruvate ratio) and damage (e.g., glycerol) markers in the hypothalamus were also increased after the onset of heatstroke. Aminoguanidine pretreatment significantly attenuated the increase in hypothalamic ischemia and damage markers associated with heatstroke. Delaying onset of aminoguanidine administration (i.e., 0 or 30 min after the start of heat exposure) reduced the preventive efficiency on heatstroke-induced hyperthermia, arterial hypotension, intracranial hypertension, cerebral ischemia, and increased iNOS-dependent NO formation in brain. These results suggest that aminoguanidine protects against heatstroke-induced intracranial hypertension and cerebral ischemic injury by inhibition of cerebral iNOS-dependent NO production.
The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in vascular smooth muscle cells is an important factor for pathogenesis of septic shock or multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. The mechanisms of iNOS expression in such conditions are partly known. This study tried to clarify the signal transduction of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) single stimulation that induces iNOS mRNA and protein in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). VSMC were primarily cultured from rat aorta. The concentrations of nitrite in culture media were measured by the Griess reaction. Western blottings and immunoreaction for iNOS, nuclear factor κB (NFκB) p65, and CD14 protein were performed. mRNAs of iNOS and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α were analyzed by RT-PCR. Genistein inhibited LPS induced early phase nitrite production, while pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) inhibited nitrite production at a late phase. PDTC significantly reduced NFκB p65 and iNOS protein expression by LPS. TNFα mRNA expression by LPS was not detected in VSMC. Membranous CD14 glycoprotein was detected in VSMC and soluble CD14 glycoprotein was not detected in fetal bovine serum added in culture media. These results suggest that CD14 glycoprotein is present on the cell membranes of VSMC, a non-myelomonocyte lineage, acting as an LPS receptor. Activations of tyrosine kinase and NFκB p65 are essential for iNOS expression by LPS single stimulation, while TNFα is not a concern to iNOS expression in VSMC.
The role of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced neurogenic responses in ileum was studied by using the ICC-deficient mutant (SLC-W/WV) mouse and its wild type. In the immunohistochemical study with anti-c-Kit antibody, ICC was observed in the myenteric plexus (MY) and deep muscular plexus (DMP) region in the wild type. In the mutant, ICC-MY were lost, only ICC-DMP were present. EFS induced a rapid contraction of the ileal segments from the wild type mouse in the direction of longitudinal muscle. In the mutant mouse, onset of contraction was delayed and its rate was slowed. EFS induced nonadrenergic, noncholinergic (NANC) relaxation in the presence of atropine and guanethidine in the wild type. A nitric oxide synthase inhibitor inhibited the relaxation and L-arginine reversed it. In the mutant, EFS did not induce NANC relaxation. There was no difference between the responsiveness of the segments from wild type and mutant mice to exogenously added acetylcholine or Nor-1. Taking into account the selective loss of ICC-MY in the mutant mice, it seems likely that ICC-MY have an essential role in inducing nitric oxide-mediated relaxation of longitudinal muscle of the mouse ileum and that ICC-MY partly participate in EFS-induced contraction.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are distributed widely throughout the human body, and nearly 50% of current medicines act on a GPCR. GPCRs are considered to consist of seven transmembrane α-helices that form an α-helical bundle in which agonists and antagonists bind. A 3D structure of the target GPCR is indispensable for designing novel medicines acting on a GPCR. We have previously constructed the 3D structure of human P2Y1 (hP2Y1) receptor, a GPCR, by homology modeling with the 3D structure of bovine rhodopsin as a template. In the present study, we have employed an in silico screening for compounds that could bind to the hP2Y1-receptor model using AutoDock 3.0. We selected 21 of the 30 top-ranked compounds, and by measuring intracellular Ca2+ concentration, we identified 12 compounds that activated or blocked the hP2Y1 receptor stably expressed in recombinant CHO cells. 5-Phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP) was found to activate the hP2Y1 receptor with a low ED50 value of 15 nM. The Ca2+ assays showed it had no significant effect on P2Y2, P2Y6, or P2X2 receptors, but acted as a weak agonist on the P2Y12 receptor. This is the first study to rationally identify surrogate ligands for the P2Y-receptor family.
The nociceptive flexor reflex was studied in mice, focusing in particular on movement. Electrical stimuli delivered to the ventral aspect of the toe through a pair of needle electrodes inserted subcutaneously elicited a biphasic withdrawal reflex that was composed of short- and long-latency movements of the ipsilateral hind paw. The first response had a lower activation threshold compared with the second movement. Similar biphasic responses were observed in the afferent volley recorded from the sciatic nerve as well as in the electromyographic activity recorded from the femoris biceps muscle. Tetrodotoxin, applied over the sciatic nerve, abolished the first movement, but the second response was preserved, revealing that the first movement was elicited by the activation of myelinated Aδ-fibers, whereas the second movement was mediated by unmyelinated C-fibers. Thus, simultaneous activation of Aδ- and C-fibers leads to separate, but sequentially occurring withdrawal movements of the hind paw in mice. Systemic administration of morphine suppressed the withdrawal reflex, which was attributable to a preferential reduction of the Aδ-fiber-mediated short-latency component. This method will be useful for understanding how Aδ-fiber- and C-fiber-mediated nociceptive reflexes are affected by drugs in the whole animal system.
We examined the effect of aspirin on urodynamic parameters in normal and cyclophosphamide-induced cystitic rats and compared them in rats with or without sensory denervation. Cystometry was performed under urethane anesthesia; and volume threshold for micturition (VT), micturition frequency (MF), micturition pressure (MP), and micturition volume (MV) were determined. Cystitis was induced by pretreatment with cyclophosphamide and sensory denervation was performed by pretreating animals with a large dose of capsaicin. PGE2 and 6-keto-PGF1α contents in the bladder were determined by ELISA. Sensory intact, cystitic rats showed decrement of VT and increment of MF. Aspirin increased VT and decreased MF in the cystitic condition. Both PGE2 and 6-keto-PGF1α contents in the bladder were significantly increased in cystitic rats, but such increases were completely inhibited by aspirin. In sensory denervated rats, aspirin showed a marginal tendency of increment of VT. Cystitic rats showed overflow micturition in the sensory denervated condition, but VT was the same as that of normal rats. Furthermore, following capsaicin pretreatment, aspirin had no effect on the cystometrogram in cystitic rats. From these findings, it is concluded that suppression of sensory C-fiber via inhibition of PGs synthesis in the bladder is involved in the pharmacological action of aspirin in the detrusor hyperactivity.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether an excitotoxic concentration of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) increases the expression of the phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB) and the DNA-binding activity of the cAMP response element (CRE) in rat retina. Intravitreal injection of NMDA was performed in adult male Wistar rats. p-CREB protein levels in the retina were examined by Western blot analysis. DNA-binding activity of CRE in the retina was evaluated by an electrophoretic mobility gel shift assay (EMSA). We confirmed that NMDA induced the reduction of ganglion cells and the inner plexiform layer of the retina. Western blot analysis showed increases in the expression of p-CREB in the retina 12 and 24 h after intravitreal NMDA injection and dimer formation of CREB in the nuclear fraction at 24 h. Increases of DNA-binding activity were observed in the retina 24 h after NMDA injection by EMSA. Our results suggest that phosphorylation of CREB may involved in NMDA-induced excitotoxicity in rat retina. Phosphorylated CREB seems to be the active form and the one that is transcribed.
We evaluated in vitro, in myocardial and vascular preparations isolated from reserpine-treated rats, the intrinsic sympathomimetic activity (ISA) of carteolol, a β1/β2-adrenoceptor blocking agent used in cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular diseases. In spontaneously beating atria, carteolol, at low concentrations (0.01 and 0.1 μM), antagonized the positive inotropic effect of isoprenaline, whereas at higher concentrations (1 μM to 1 mM), it caused an increase in the force of contraction (EC50: 4.6 ± 0.1 μM, Emax: 17.1 ± 1.1%, with respect to the maximum isoprenaline response) and a slight increase (7.8 ± 1.9% over basal values) in the heart rate. The positive inotropic effect of carteolol was abolished by concentrations of propranolol or timolol (10 μM) much higher than those blocking isoprenaline effects in the same preparations. A similar positive inotropic effect was also observed in electrically driven left atrium and in Langendorff perfused hearts. Functional and biochemical evidences supported the involvement of cAMP in the cardiac action of carteolol. In peripheral arteries (femoral and tail) pre-contracted with phenylephrine, carteolol exerted ISA-related relaxing effects, independent of the presence of endothelium and sensitive to high concentrations (10 μM) of conventional β-blockers. On the basis of these results, we propose to categorize carteolol as a non-conventional partial agonist of both cardiac and vascular β-adrenoceptors.
Adenosine enhances nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. We found that adenosine increases NGF-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), but decreases the duration of phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase. Therefore, we further examined the involvement of protein phosphatase in these effects of adenosine. FK506, a specific calcineurin inhibitor, inhibited the enhancing effect of adenosine on the NGF-induced neurite outgrowth and increased the duration of p38 MAP kinase phosphorylation without affecting ERK phosphorylation. These results suggest that adenosine decreases the duration of p38 MAP kinase via calcineurin activation, which contributes to the enhancement of NGF-induced neurite outgrowth.
We examined the dose-dependent effects of mucopolysaccharide polysulfate (MPS) on coagulation variables and whole-blood viscosity in human blood. Both 0.01% and 0.1% MPS significantly reduced levels of both fibrin monomer and thrombin-antithrombin III complex in a manner similar to that of 2.0 IU/ml heparin sodium. Furthermore, MPS dose-dependently decreased whole-blood viscosity, as measured with an oscillation viscometer. Because MPS can be applied in creams and gels, percutaneous application of MPS may effectively reduce whole-blood viscosity in local veins.
The effects of (1R)-1-benzo[b]thiophen-5-yl-2-[2-(diethylamino)ethoxy]ethan-1-ol hydrochloride (T-588), a cognitive enhancer, on sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced cytotoxicity were examined in cultured rat astrocytes. Treatment with 100 μM SNP for 72 h decreased cell viability and mitochondrial function assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenil tetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction activity, mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and intracellular ATP level. T-588 at 100 μM prevented SNP-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and cell injury. Furthermore, T-588 increased MTT reduction activity without affecting cell proliferation in astrocytes. These results suggest that T-588 has a protective effect against SNP-mediated toxicity via improvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes.