(1/1299) Repopulation of different layers of host human Bruch's membrane by retinal pigment epithelial cell grafts.

PURPOSE: To determine the morphology of human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) after reattachment to different ultrastructural layers of human Bruch's membrane (BM). METHODS: Bruch's membrane explants were prepared from eyes of 23 human donors (age range, 11-89 years). The basal lamina of the RPE, inner collagenous layer, and elastin layer were removed sequentially by mechanical and enzymatic techniques. First-passage cells of human RPE (15,000 cells/6 mm explant) from three donors (ages, 52, 64, and 80 years) were plated onto different layers of human BM, and the explants were examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy up to 21 days later. RESULTS: RPE flattened and extended footplates 6 hours after plating onto basal lamina. Cells remained round 6 and 24 hours after plating onto the inner collagenous, elastin, or outer collagenous layer. The RPE cells became confluent 14 days after plating onto basal lamina but did not become confluent up to 21 days after plating onto the inner collagenous or elastin layer. Sparse round cells were observed 21 days after plating onto deeper layers, suggesting extensive loss of RPE. CONCLUSIONS: The morphology and subsequent behavior of the RPE reattached to BM depends on the anatomic layer of BM available for cell reattachment. The results suggest that the ability of transplanted RPE to repopulate BM in age-related macular degeneration and other disorders may depend on the layer of BM available to serve as a substrate for cell reattachment.  (+info)

(2/1299) Suppression of experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms by systemic treatment with a hydroxamate-based matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (RS 132908).

BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are associated with chronic inflammation, disruption of medial elastin, and increased local production of elastolytic matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The purpose of this study was to investigate how treatment with a hydroxamate-based MMP antagonist (RS 132908) might affect the development of experimental AAAs. METHODS: Male Wistar rats underwent intraluminal perfusion of the abdominal aorta with 50 units of porcine pancreatic elastase followed by treatment for 14 days with RS 132908 (100 mg/kg/day subcutaneously; n = 8) or with vehicle alone (n = 6). The external aortic diameter (AD) was measured in millimeters before elastase perfusion and at death, with AAA defined as an increase in AD (DeltaAD) of at least 100%. Aortic wall elastin and collagen concentrations were measured with assays for desmosine and hydroxyproline, and fixed aortic tissues were examined by light microscopy. RESULTS: AAAs developed in all vehicle-treated rats, with a mean AD (+/- SE) that increased from 1.60 +/- 0.03 mm before perfusion to 5.98 +/- 1.02 mm on day 14 (DeltaAD = 276.4 +/- 67.7%). AAAs developed in only five of eight animals (62.5%) after MMP inhibition, with a mean AD that increased from 1.56 +/- 0.05 mm to 3.59 +/- 0.34 mm (DeltaAD = 128.1 +/- 18.7%; P <.05, vs vehicle). The overall inhibition of aortic dilatation attributable to RS 132908 was 53.6 +/- 6.8%. Aortic wall desmosine fell by 85.4% in the vehicle-treated rats (1210.6 +/- 87.8 pmol/sample to 176.7 +/- 33.4 pmol/sample; P <.05) but only by 65.6% in the animals treated with RS 312908 (416.2 +/- 120.5 pmol/sample). In contrast, hydroxyproline was not significantly affected by either elastase perfusion or drug treatment. Microscopic examination revealed the preservation of pericellular elastin and a greater degree of fibrocollagenous wall thickening after MMP inhibition, with no detectable difference in the extent of inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Systemic MMP inhibition suppresses aneurysmal dilatation in the elastase-induced rodent model of AAA. Consistent with its direct inhibitory effect on various MMPs, RS 132908 promotes the preservation of aortic elastin and appears to enhance a profibrotic response within the aortic wall. Hydroxamate-based MMP antagonists may therefore be useful in the development of pharmacologic approaches to the suppression of AAAs.  (+info)

(3/1299) Connective tissues: matrix composition and its relevance to physical therapy.

In the last 2 decades, the understanding of CT structure and function has increased enormously. It is now clear that the cells of the various CTs synthesize a variety of ECM components that act not only to underpin the specific biomechanical and functional properties of tissues, but also to regulate a variety of cellular functions. Importantly for the physical therapist, and as discussed above, CTs are responsive to changes in the mechanical environment, both naturally occurring and applied. The relative proportions of collagens and PGs largely determine the mechanical properties of CTs. The relationship between the fibril-forming collagens and PG concentration is reciprocal. Connective tissues designed to resist high tensile forces are high in collagen and low in total PG content (mostly dermatan sulphate PGs), whereas CTs subjected to compressive forces have a greater PG content (mostly chondroitin sulphate PGs). Hyaluronan has multiple roles and not only provides tissue hydration and facilitation of gliding and sliding movements but also forms an integral component of large PG aggregates in pressure-resisting tissues. The smaller glycoproteins help to stabilize and link collagens and PGs to the cell surface. The result is a complex interacting network of matrix molecules, which determines both the mechanical properties and the metabolic responses of tissues. Patients with CT problems affecting movement are frequently examined and treated by physical therapists. A knowledge of the CT matrix composition and its relationship to the biomechanical properties of these tissues, particularly the predictable responses to changing mechanical forces, offers an opportunity to provide a rational basis for treatments. The complexity of the interplay among the components, however, requires that further research be undertaken to determine more precisely the effects of treatments on the structure and function of CTs.  (+info)

(4/1299) Interaction between leukocyte elastase and elastin: quantitative and catalytic analyses.

Solubilization of elastin by human leukocyte elastase (HLE) cannot be analyzed by conventional kinetic methods because the biologically relevant substrate is insoluble and the concentration of enzyme-substrate complex has no physical meaning. We now report quantitative measurements of the binding and catalytic interaction between HLE and elastin permitted by analogy to receptor-ligand systems. Our results indicated that a limited and relatively constant number of enzyme binding sites were available on elastin, and that new sites became accessible as catalysis proceeded. The activation energies and solvent deuterium isotope effects were similar for catalysis of elastin and a soluble peptide substrate by HLE, yet the turnover number for HLE digestion of elastin was 200-2000-fold lower than that of HLE acting on soluble peptide substrates. Analysis of the binding of HLE to elastin at 0 degrees C, in the absence of significant catalytic activity, demonstrated two classes of binding sites (Kd=9.3x10(-9) M and 2.5x10(-7) M). The higher affinity sites accounted for only 6% of the total HLE binding capacity, but essentially all of the catalytic activity, and dissociation of HLE from these sites was minimal. Our studies suggest that interaction of HLE with elastin in vivo may be very persistent and permit progressive solubilization of this structurally important extracellular matrix component.  (+info)

(5/1299) UVB irradiation stimulates deposition of new elastic fibers by modified epithelial cells surrounding the hair follicles and sebaceous glands in mice.

UVB irradiation stimulates the synthesis of elastin in the skin of humans and experimental animals. In this study we localized the site and the cells that are responsible for the synthesis of murine dermal elastic fibers. SKH-1 hairless mice were irradiated with UVB and the skin removed for light microscopy, electron microscopy, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical studies. In response to chronic low doses of UVB there was an initial moderate increase in tropoelastin mRNA in the papillary dermis. By contrast, there was a continuous marked elevation of collagen alpha1(I) message localizing to sites of inflammatory cell influx throughout the upper and lower dermis. After 25 wk of UV irradiation there was a 2-fold increase in skin elastin, yet total collagen remained unchanged. Serial desmosine analysis from en face sections indicated the increase in elastin content was due to dermal elastic fibers, an increase in the size and number of the dermal cysts, and an increase in subpanniculus elastic fibers. Elastin stains of en face sections suggested that the elastic fibers in the upper dermis were exclusively derived from cells lining the epithelial root sheath and sebaceous glands. In response to UV irradiation, the elastic fibers increased in number and size, wrapping around these structures and aligning in both directions as long fibers parallel to the body axis. Electron micrographs indicated that modified epithelial cells in close proximity to the flattened epithelial cells that encircled the root sheath and sebaceous glands were the source of the elastic fibers.  (+info)

(6/1299) Targeted overexpression of elafin protects mice against cardiac dysfunction and mortality following viral myocarditis.

Serine elastases degrade elastin, stimulate vascular smooth muscle cell migration and proliferation, and are associated with myocardial damage. To evaluate the impact of elastase inhibition on cardiovascular development and disease, transgenic mice were created in which the mouse preproendothelin-1 promoter was used to target elafin overexpression to the cardiovascular system. To distinguish the transgene from endogenous elafin, constructs were made incorporating a FLAG sequence; the COOH-terminus FLAG-tagged elafin construct produced a stable, functionally active gene product and was used to create transgenic mice. Consistent with endothelin expression, abundant elafin mRNA was observed in transgenic F1 embryos (embryonic day 13.5) and in adult transgenic mice heart, trachea, aorta, kidney, lung, and skin, but not in liver, spleen, and intestine. Functional activity of the transgene was confirmed by heightened myocardial elastase inhibitory activity. No tissue abnormalities were detected by light microscopy or elastin content. However, injection of 10 plaque-forming units (PFU) of encephalomyocarditis virus resulted in death within 11 days in 10 out of 12 nontransgenic mice compared with one out of nine transgenic littermates. This reduced mortality was associated with better cardiac function and less myocardial inflammatory damage. Thus, elafin expression may confer a protective advantage in myocarditis and other inflammatory diseases.  (+info)

(7/1299) The smooth muscle cell. III. Elastin synthesis in arterial smooth muscle cell culture.

Primate arterial smooth muscle cells and skin fibroblasts were examined for their ability to synthesize elastin in culture. In the presence of the lathyrogen beta-aminopropionitrile, the smooth muscle cells incorporate [3H]lysine into a lysyl oxidase substrate that was present in the medium and associated with the cell layer. A component having a mol wt of 72,000 and an electrophoretic mobility similar to that of authentic tropoelastin was isolated from the labeled smooth muscle cells by coacervation and fractionation with organic solvents. In the absence of beta-aminopropionitrile, long-term cultures of smooth muscle cells incorporated [14C]lysine into desmosine and isodesmosine, the cross-link amino acids unique to elastin. In contrast, no desmosine formation occurred in the fibroblast cultures. These characteristics demonstrate that arterial smooth muscle cells are capable of synthesizing both soluble and cross-lined elastin in culture.  (+info)

(8/1299) Identification of a large region of secondary structure in the 3'-untranslated region of chicken elastin mRNA with implications for the regulation of mRNA stability.

Synthesis of aortic elastin peaks in the perinatal period and then is strongly down-regulated with postnatal vascular development. Our laboratory has previously shown that changes in elastin mRNA stability contribute to this developmental decrease in elastin production. Here we identify a large region of stable secondary structure in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of chicken elastin mRNA. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction or polymerase chain reaction amplification of the 3'-UTR consistently resulted in products with an approximately 328-bp deletion from the central region of the 3'-UTR, suggesting the presence of secondary structure. The presence of this structure was confirmed by probing the 3'-UTR with RNases with selectivity for single- or double-stranded RNA. Gel migration shift assays using cytosolic extracts from 2-day old chicken aorta demonstrate specific binding of a cytosolic protein to riboprobes containing the 3'-UTR of elastin but not to riboprobes either corresponding to other areas of the message or containing the 3'-UTR but lacking the region of secondary structure. Binding of cytosolic protein was particularly prominent in aortic extracts from 2-day old chickens, a time when elastin message is stable, as compared with 8- and 15-week old chickens, when the elastin message is relatively unstable, suggesting that this region of secondary structure may play a role in developmental regulation of stability of elastin mRNA.  (+info)