The evolution of early fibromuscular lesions hemodynamically induced in the dog renal artery. I. Light and transmission electron microscopy. (1/3541)

In view of the important roles of arterial intimal fibromuscular lesions as precursors of atherosclerotic plaque and occlusive lesions in arterial reconstructions, a model has been developed for the rapid hemodynamic induction of these lesions by anastomosis of the dog right renal artery to the inferior vena cava. Light and transmission electron microscopic observations were made on the arterial shunt after periods of rapid flow ranging form 10 minutes to 2 hours to identify initial factor(s) and evolutionary mechanisms in the etiology of the lesions. The sequence of events included aberrations in ruthenium red staining of the endothelial luminal membrane at 10 minutes, multilayered thickening of the subendothelial basement membrane (BM) at 15 minutes, and initial reorientation and migration of smooth muscle cells (SMC) into the intima along with the appearance of areas of degeneration of the internal elastic lamina (IEL) at 30 minutes. The endothelial cells were still intact in some areas overlying the SMC migration and IEL degeneration, but they were separating from the surface in other such areas. As subendothelium became exposed, some platelet adherence was noted. By 2 hours, the entire wall reaction was fully developed. Initial observations indicate that in the evolution of this hemodynamically induced lesion visible alteration in the endothelial cells is not prerequisite to degeneration of the underlying IEL and reorientation and migration of medial SMC.  (+info)

A strategy for enhancing the transcriptional activity of weak cell type-specific promoters. (2/3541)

Cell type- and tissue-specific promoters play an important role in the development of site-selective vectors for gene therapy. A large number of highly specific promoters has been described, but their applicability is often hampered by their inefficient transcriptional activity. In this study, we describe a new strategy for enhancing the activity of weak promoters without loss of specificity. The basic principle of this strategy is to establish a positive feedback loop which is initiated by transcription from a cell type-specific promoter. This was achieved by using a cell type-specific promoter to drive the simultaneous expression of the desired effector/reporter gene product and a strong artificial transcriptional activator which stimulates transcription through appropriate binding sites in the promoter. Using a VP16-LexA chimeric transcription factor, we show that this approach leads to a 14- to > 100-fold enhancement of both the endothelial cell-specific von Willebrand factor promoter and the gastrointestinal-specific sucrase-isomaltase promoter while maintaining approximately 30- to > 100-fold cell type specificity.  (+info)

Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel angiopoietin family protein, angiopoietin-3. (3/3541)

Using homology-based PCR, we have isolated cDNA encoding a novel member (491 amino acids) of the angiopoietin (Ang) family from human adult heart cDNA and have designated it angiopoietin-3 (Ang3). The NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal portions of Ang-3 contain the characteristic coiled-coil domain and fibrinogen-like domain that are conserved in other known Angs. Ang3 has a highly hydrophobic region at the N-terminus (approximately 21 amino acids) that is typical of a signal sequence for protein secretion. Ang3 mRNA is most abundant in adrenal gland, placenta, thyroid gland, heart and small intestine in human adult tissues. Additionally, Ang3 is a secretory protein, but is not a mitogen in endothelial cells.  (+info)

Acetylcholine-induced membrane potential changes in endothelial cells of rabbit aortic valve. (4/3541)

1. Using a microelectrode technique, acetylcholine (ACh)-induced membrane potential changes were characterized using various types of inhibitors of K+ and Cl- channels in rabbit aortic valve endothelial cells (RAVEC). 2. ACh produced transient then sustained membrane hyperpolarizations. Withdrawal of ACh evoked a transient depolarization. 3. High K+ blocked and low K+ potentiated the two ACh-induced hyperpolarizations. Charybdotoxin (ChTX) attenuated the ACh-induced transient and sustained hyperpolarizations; apamin inhibited only the sustained hyperpolarization. In the combined presence of ChTX and apamin, ACh produced a depolarization. 4. In Ca2+-free solution or in the presence of Co2+ or Ni2+, ACh produced a transient hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization. In BAPTA-AM-treated cells, ACh produced only a depolarization. 5. A low concentration of A23187 attenuated the ACh-induced transient, but not the sustained, hyperpolarization. In the presence of cyclopiazonic acid, the hyperpolarization induced by ACh was maintained after ACh removal; this maintained hyperpolarization was blocked by Co2+. 6. Both NPPB and hypertonic solution inhibited the membrane depolarization seen after ACh washout. Bumetanide also attenuated this depolarization. 7. It is concluded that in RAVEC, ACh produces a two-component hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization. It is suggested that ACh-induced Ca2+ release from the storage sites causes a transient hyperpolarization due to activation of ChTX-sensitive K+ channels and that ACh-activated Ca2+ influx causes a sustained hyperpolarization by activating both ChTX- and apamin-sensitive K+ channels. Both volume-sensitive Cl- channels and the Na+-K+-Cl- cotransporter probably contribute to the ACh-induced depolarization.  (+info)

The cyclo-oxygenase-dependent regulation of rabbit vein contraction: evidence for a prostaglandin E2-mediated relaxation. (5/3541)

1. Arachidonic acid (0.01-1 microM) induced relaxation of precontracted rings of rabbit saphenous vein, which was counteracted by contraction at concentrations higher than 1 microM. Concentrations higher than 1 microM were required to induce dose-dependent contraction of vena cava and thoracic aorta from the same animals. 2. Pretreatment with a TP receptor antagonist (GR32191B or SQ29548, 3 microM) potentiated the relaxant effect in the saphenous vein, revealed a vasorelaxant component in the vena cava response and did not affect the response of the aorta. 3. Removal of the endothelium from the venous rings, caused a 10 fold rightward shift in the concentration-relaxation curves to arachidonic acid. Whether or not the endothelium was present, the arachidonic acid-induced relaxations were prevented by indomethacin (10 microM) pretreatment. 4. In the saphenous vein, PGE2 was respectively a 50 and 100 fold more potent relaxant prostaglandin than PGI2 and PGD2. Pretreatment with the EP4 receptor antagonist, AH23848B, shifted the concentration-relaxation curves of this tissue to arachidonic acid in a dose-dependent manner. 5. In the presence of 1 microM arachidonic acid, venous rings produced 8-10 fold more PGE2 than did aorta whereas 6keto-PGF1alpha and TXB2 productions remained comparable. 6. Intact rings of saphenous vein relaxed in response to A23187. Pretreatment with L-NAME (100 microM) or indomethacin (10 microM) reduced this response by 50% whereas concomitant pretreatment totally suppressed it. After endothelium removal, the remaining relaxing response to A23187 was prevented by indomethacin but not affected by L-NAME. 7. We conclude that stimulation of the cyclo-oxygenase pathway by arachidonic acid induced endothelium-dependent, PGE2/EP4 mediated relaxation of the rabbit saphenous vein. This process might participate in the A23187-induced relaxation of the saphenous vein and account for a relaxing component in the response of the vena cava to arachidonic acid. It was not observed in thoracic aorta because of the lack of a vasodilatory receptor and/or the poorer ability of this tissue than veins to produce PGE2.  (+info)

Studies of the role of endothelium-dependent nitric oxide release in the sustained vasodilator effects of corticotrophin releasing factor and sauvagine. (6/3541)

1. The mechanisms of the sustained vasodilator actions of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and sauvagine (SVG) were studied using rings of endothelium de-nuded rat thoracic aorta (RTA) and the isolated perfused rat superior mesenteric arterial vasculature (SMA). 2. SVG was approximately 50 fold more potent than CRF on RTA (EC40: 0.9 +/- 0.2 and 44 +/- 9 nM respectively, P < 0.05), and approximately 10 fold more active in the perfused SMA (ED40: 0.05 +/- 0.02 and 0.6 +/- 0.1 nmol respectively, P < 0.05). Single bolus injections of CRF (100 pmol) or SVG (15 pmol) in the perfused SMA caused reductions in perfusion pressure of 23 +/- 1 and 24 +/- 2% that lasted more than 20 min. 3. Removal of the endothelium in the perfused SMA with deoxycholic acid attenuated the vasodilatation and revealed two phases to the response; a short lasting direct action, and a sustained phase which was fully inhibited. 4. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase with L-NAME (100 microM) L-NMMA (100 microM) or 2-ethyl-2-thiopseudourea (ETPU, 100 microM) had similar effects on the vasodilator responses to CRF as removal of the endothelium, suggesting a pivotal role for nitric oxide. However the selective guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[l,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-alpha]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 10 microM) did not affect the response to CRF. 5. High potassium (60 mM) completely inhibited the vasodilator response to CRF in the perfused SMA, indicating a role for K channels in this response. 6. Compared to other vasodilator agents acting via the release of NO, the actions of CRF and SVG are strikingly long-lasting, suggesting a novel mechanism of prolonged activation of nitric oxide synthase.  (+info)

Nicotine increases plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 production by human brain endothelial cells via protein kinase C-associated pathway. (7/3541)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Smoking both increases stroke risk and reduces the risk of thrombolysis-associated intracerebral hemorrhage. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is a major regulator of fibrinolysis; elevation of PAI-1 is associated with an increased risk of thrombotic disorders. We studied the effect of nicotine, an important constituent of cigarette smoke, on PAI-1 production by human brain endothelial cells. METHODS: Adult human central nervous system endothelial cells (CNS-EC) were used for tissue culture experiments. We analyzed culture supernatant for PAI-1 protein and measured PAI-1 mRNA (by Northern blot analysis) and protein kinase C (PK-C) activity. RESULTS: Nicotine at 100 nmol/L increased PAI-1 protein production and mRNA expression by CNS-EC. After 72 hours of exposure to nicotine, the concentration of secreted PAI-1 in the cell supernatant was increased 1.90+/-0.2 fold compared with untreated cells. PAI-1 mRNA also increased approximately twofold. Inhibition of PK-C completely abolished this effect. Nicotine had no effect on the concentration of tissue plasminogen activator. CONCLUSIONS: Nicotine increases brain endothelial cell PAI-1 mRNA expression and protein production via PK-C-dependent pathway. These findings provide new insights into why smoking may be associated with predisposition to thrombosis and inversely associated with intracerebral hemorrhage after therapeutic tissue plasminogen activator therapy.  (+info)

Rat liver endothelial cell glutamine transporter and glutaminase expression contrast with parenchymal cells. (8/3541)

Despite the central role of the liver in glutamine homeostasis in health and disease, little is known about the mechanism by which this amino acid is transported into sinusoidal endothelial cells, the second most abundant hepatic cell type. To address this issue, the transport of L-glutamine was functionally characterized in hepatic endothelial cells isolated from male rats. On the basis of functional analyses, including kinetics, cation substitution, and amino acid inhibition, it was determined that a Na+-dependent carrier distinct from system N in parenchymal cells, with properties of system ASC or B0, mediated the majority of glutamine transport in hepatic endothelial cells. These results were supported by Northern blot analyses that showed expression of the ATB0 transporter gene in endothelial but not parenchymal cells. Concurrently, it was determined that, whereas both cell types express glutamine synthetase, hepatic endothelial cells express the kidney-type glutaminase isozyme in contrast to the liver-type isozyme in parenchymal cells. This represents the first report of ATB0 and kidney-type glutaminase isozyme expression in the liver, observations that have implications for roles of specific cell types in hepatic glutamine homeostasis in health and disease.  (+info)