Chlamydia pneumoniae and atherosclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To review the literature for evidence that chronic infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae is associated with atherosclerosis and acute coronary syndromes. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE and Institute of Science and Information bibliographic databases were searched at the end of September 1998. Indexing terms used were chlamydi*, heart, coronary, and atherosclerosis. Serological and pathological studies published as papers in any language since 1988 or abstracts since 1997 were selected. DATA EXTRACTION: It was assumed that chronic C pneumoniae infection is characterised by the presence of both specific IgG and IgA, and serological studies were examined for associations that fulfilled these criteria. Pathological studies were also reviewed for evidence that the presence of C pneumoniae in diseased vessels is associated with the severity and extent of atherosclerosis. DATA SYNTHESIS: The majority of serological studies have shown an association between C pneumoniae and atherosclerosis. However, the number of cases in studies that have reported a positive association when using strict criteria for chronic infection is similar to the number of cases in studies which found no association. Nevertheless, the organism is widely found in atherosclerotic vessels, although it may not be at all diseased sites and is not confined to the most severe lesions. Rabbit models and preliminary antibiotic trials suggest that the organism might exacerbate atherosclerosis. CONCLUSION: More evidence is required before C pneumoniae can be accepted as playing a role in atherosclerosis. Although use of antibiotics in routine practice is not justified, large scale trials in progress will help to elucidate the role of C pneumoniae. (+info)
Quantification of tumour vasculature and hypoxia by immunohistochemical staining and HbO2 saturation measurements.
Despite the possibility that tumour hypoxia may limit radiotherapeutic response, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. A new methodology has been developed in which information from several sophisticated techniques is combined and analysed at a microregional level. First, tumour oxygen availability is spatially defined by measuring intravascular blood oxygen saturations (HbO2) cryospectrophotometrically in frozen tumour blocks. Second, hypoxic development is quantified in adjacent sections using immunohistochemical detection of a fluorescently conjugated monoclonal antibody (ELK3-51) to a nitroheterocyclic hypoxia marker (EF5), thereby providing information relating to both the oxygen consumption rates and the effective oxygen diffusion distances. Third, a combination of fluorescent (Hoechst 33342 or DiOC7(3)) and immunohistological (PECAM-1/CD31) stains is used to define the anatomical vascular densities and the fraction of blood vessels containing flow. Using a computer-interfaced microscope stage, image analysis software and a 3-CCD colour video camera, multiple images are digitized, combined to form a photo-montage and revisited after each of the three staining protocols. By applying image registration techniques, the spatial distribution of HbO2 saturations is matched to corresponding hypoxic marker intensities in adjacent sections. This permits vascular configuration to be related to oxygen availability and allows the hypoxic marker intensities to be quantitated in situ. (+info)
Expression of neuropeptide Y receptors mRNA and protein in human brain vessels and cerebromicrovascular cells in culture.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been suggested as an important regulator of CBF. However, except for the presence of Y1 receptors in large cerebral arteries, little is known about its possible sites of action on brain vessels. In this study, we sought to identify the NPY receptors present in the human cerebrovascular bed. Specific Y1 receptor binding sites, localized on the smooth muscle of human pial vessels and potently competed by NPY, polypeptide YY (PYY), and the selective Y1 receptor antagonist BIBP 3226, were identified by quantitative radioautography of the Y1 radioligand [125I]-[Leu31, Pro34]-PYY. In contrast, no specific binding of the Y2-([125I]-PYY3-36) and Y4/Y5-(125I-human pancreatic polypeptide [hPP]) radioligands could be detected. By in situ hybridization, expression of Y1 receptor mRNA was restricted to the smooth muscle layer of pial vessels, whereas no specific signals were detected for either Y2, Y4, or Y5 receptors. Similarly, using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), mRNA for Y1 but not Y2, Y4, or Y5 receptors was consistently detected in isolated human pial vessels, intracortical microvessels, and capillaries. In human brain microvascular cells in culture, PCR products for the Y1 receptors were exclusively found in the smooth muscle cells. In cultures of human brain astrocytes, a cell type that associates intimately with brain microvessels, PCR products for Y1, Y2, and Y4 but not Y5 receptors were identified. Finally, NPY significantly inhibited the forskolin-induced cAMP production in smooth muscle but not in endothelial cell cultures. We conclude that smooth muscle Y1 receptors are the primary if not exclusive NPY receptors associated with human brain extraparenchymal and intraparenchymal blood vessels, where they most likely mediate cerebral vasoconstriction. (+info)
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin alters cardiovascular and craniofacial development and function in sac fry of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
Hallmark signs of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) toxicity in rainbow trout sac fry, are yolk sac edema, hemorrhage, craniofacial malformation, and growth retardation culminating in mortality. Our objective was to determine the role of cardiovascular dysfunction in the development of this toxicity. An embryotoxic TCDD dose (385 pg/g egg) caused a progressive reduction in blood flow in rainbow trout sac fry manifested first and most dramatically in the 1st and 2nd branchial arches and vessels perfusing the lower jaw. Blood flow was reduced later in the infraorbital artery and occipital vein of the head as well as segmental vessels and caudal vein of the trunk. Reduced perfusion occurred last in gill branchial arteries involved with oxygen uptake and the subintestinal vein and vitelline vein involved with nutrient uptake. Although heart rate throughout sac fry development was not affected, heart size at 50 days post-fertilization (dpf) was reduced far more than body weight or length, suggesting that the progressive circulatory failure caused by TCDD is associated with reduced cardiac output. Craniofacial development was arrested near hatch, giving rise to craniofacial malformations in which the jaws and anterior nasal structures were underdeveloped. Unlike the medaka embryo, in which TCDD causes apoptosis in the medial yolk vein, endothelial cell death was not observed in rainbow trout sac fry. These findings suggest a primary role for arrested heart development and reduced perfusion of tissues with blood in the early-life stage toxicity of TCDD in trout. (+info)
The effects of levonorgestrel implants on vascular endothelial growth factor expression in the endometrium.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and the microvascular density of the endometrium were studied in Norplant users and normal controls, using immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded endometrial sections. The VEGF staining index was quantified using computerized image analysis. The VEGF staining index between stages of the menstrual cycle and between normal and Norplant endometria were compared. Norplant VEGF staining index was analysed for correlation with microvascular density, duration of Norplant use, the number of bleeding/spotting days in the reference period up to 90 days prior to biopsy, and the length of time since the last bleeding/spotting episode. The results showed that immunoreactive VEGF was detected predominantly in endometrial glands but weakly expressed in the stroma throughout the menstrual cycle, and also in Norplant users. Large variation in the VEGF staining index between individuals was observed and no significant difference in the VEGF staining index was detected between stages of the menstrual cycle for the glands and stroma. The glandular and stromal VEGF staining indices were significantly higher in Norplant than in normal endometrium (P<1x10(-4)). No correlation was found between the Norplant VEGF staining index and endometrial microvascular density, duration of Norplant use, the number of bleeding/spotting days in the reference period, and the length of time since the last bleeding/spotting episode. The VEGF staining index was higher in glands than stroma for both normal and Norplant endometrium. The results suggest a differential control of endometrial glandular versus stromal VEGF expression, and possible positive effects of levonorgestrel on VEGF expression. (+info)
Acetylcholine-induced relaxation in blood vessels from endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout mice.
1. Isometric tension was recorded in isolated rings of aorta, carotid, coronary and mesenteric arteries taken from endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout mice (eNOS(-/-) mice) and the corresponding wild-type strain (eNOS(+/+) mice). The membrane potential of smooth muscle cells was measured in coronary arteries with intracellular microelectrodes. 2. In the isolated aorta, carotid and coronary arteries from the eNOS(+/+) mice, acetylcholine induced an endothelium-dependent relaxation which was inhibited by N(omega)-L-nitro-arginine. In contrast, in the mesenteric arteries, the inhibition of the cholinergic relaxation required the combination of N(omega)-L-nitro-arginine and indomethacin. 3. The isolated aorta, carotid and coronary arteries from the eNOS(-/-) mice did not relax in response to acetylcholine. However, acetylcholine produced an indomethacin-sensitive relaxation in the mesenteric artery from eNOS(-/-) mice. 4. The resting membrane potential of smooth muscle cells from isolated coronary arteries was significantly less negative in the eNOS(-/-) mice (-64.8 +/- 1.8 mV, n = 20 and -58.4 +/- 1.9 mV, n = 17, for eNOS(+/+) and eNOS(-/-) mice, respectively). In both strains, acetylcholine, bradykinin and substance P did not induce endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizations whereas cromakalim consistently produced hyperpolarizations (- 7.9 +/- 1.1 mV, n = 8 and -13.8 +/- 2.6 mV, n = 4, for eNOS(+/+) and eNOS(-/-) mice, respectively). 5. These findings demonstrate that in the blood vessels studied: (1) in the eNOS(+/+) mice, the endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine involve either NO or the combination of NO plus a product of cyclo-oxygenase but not EDHF; (2) in the eNOS(-/-) mice, NO-dependent responses and EDHF-like responses were not observed. In the mesenteric arteries acetylcholine releases a cyclo-oxygenase derivative. (+info)
BDNF is a target-derived survival factor for arterial baroreceptor and chemoafferent primary sensory neurons.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports survival of 50% of visceral afferent neurons in the nodose/petrosal sensory ganglion complex (NPG; Ernfors et al., 1994a; Jones et al., 1994; Conover et al., 1995; Liu et al., 1995; Erickson et al., 1996), including arterial chemoafferents that innervate the carotid body and are required for development of normal breathing (Erickson et al., 1996). However, the relationship between BDNF dependence of visceral afferents and the location and timing of BDNF expression in visceral tissues is unknown. The present study demonstrates that BDNF mRNA and protein are transiently expressed in NPG targets in the fetal cardiac outflow tract, including baroreceptor regions in the aortic arch, carotid sinus, and right subclavian artery, as well as in the carotid body. The period of BDNF expression corresponds to the onset of sensory innervation and to the time at which fetal NPG neurons are BDNF-dependent in vitro. Moreover, baroreceptor innervation is absent in newborn mice lacking BDNF. In addition to vascular targets, vascular afferents themselves express high levels of BDNF, both during and after the time they are BDNF-dependent. However, endogenous BDNF supports survival of fetal NPG neurons in vitro only under depolarizing conditions. Together, these data indicate two roles for BDNF during vascular afferent pathway development; initially, as a target-derived survival factor, and subsequently, as a signaling molecule produced by the afferents themselves. Furthermore, the fact that BDNF is required for survival of functionally distinct populations of vascular afferents demonstrates that trophic requirements of NPG neurons are not modality-specific but may instead be associated with innervation of particular organ systems. (+info)
Increased renal resistive index in patients with essential hypertension: a marker of target organ damage.
BACKGROUND: Increased renal resistance detected by ultrasound (US) Doppler has been reported in severe essential hypertension (EH) and recently was shown to correlate with the degree of renal impairment in hypertensive patients with chronic renal failure. However, the pathophysiological significance of this finding is still controversial. METHODS: In a group of 211 untreated patients with EH, we evaluated renal resistive index (RI) by US Doppler of interlobar arteries and early signs of target organ damage (TOD). Albuminuria was measured as the albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) in three non-consecutive first morning urine samples. Left ventricular mass was evaluated by M-B mode echocardiography, and carotid wall thickness (IMT) by high resolution US scan. RESULTS: RI was positively correlated with age (r=0.25, P=0.003) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) (r=0.2, P=0.02) and with signs of early TOD, namely ACR (r=0.22, P=0.01) and IMT (r=0.17, P<0.05), and inversely correlated with renal volume (r=-0.22, P=0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (r=-0.23, P=0.006). Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that age, gender, ACR and SBP independently influence RI and together account for approximately 20% of its variations (F=8.153, P<0.0001). When clinical data were analysed according to the degree of RI, the patients in the top quartile were found to be older (P<0.05) and with higher SBP (P<0.05) as well as early signs of TOD, namely increased ACR (P<0.002) and IMT (P<0.005 by ANOVA), despite similar body mass index, uric acid, fasting blood glucose, lipid profile and duration of hypertension. Furthermore, patients with higher RI showed a significantly higher prevalence of microalbuminuria (13 vs 12 vs 3 vs 33% chi2=11.72, P=0.008) and left ventricular hypertrophy (40 vs 43 vs 32 vs 60%, chi2=9.25, P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Increased RI is associated with early signs of TOD in EH and could be a marker of intrarenal atherosclerosis. (+info)