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(1/333) Enhanced fatty streak formation in C57BL/6J mice by immunization with heat shock protein-65.

Recent data suggest that the immune system is involved in atherogenesis. Thus, interest has been raised as to the possible antigens that could serve as the initiators of the immune reaction. In the current work, we studied the effects of immunization with recombinant heat shock protein-65 (HSP-65) and HSP-65-rich Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MT) on early atherogenesis in C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet or a high-cholesterol diet (HCD). A rapid, cellular immune response to HSP-65 was evident in mice immunized with HSP-65 or with MT but not in the animals immunized with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) alone. Early atherosclerosis was significantly enhanced in HCD-fed mice immunized with HSP-65 (n=10; mean aortic lesion size, 45 417+/-9258 microm2) or MT (n=15; 66 350+/-6850 microm2) compared with PBS-injected (n=10; 10 028+/-3599 microm2) or nonimmunized (n=10; 9500+/-2120 microm2) mice. No fatty streak lesions were observed in mice fed a chow diet regardless of the immunization protocol applied. Immunohistochemical analysis of atherosclerotic lesions from the HSP-65- and MT-immunized mice revealed infiltration of CD4 lymphocytes compared with the relatively lymphocyte-poor lesions in the PBS-treated or nonimmunized mice. Direct immunofluorescence analysis of lesions from HSP-65- and MT-immunized mice fed an HCD exhibited extensive deposits of immunoglobulins compared with the fatty streaks in the other study groups, consistent with the larger and more advanced lesions found in the former 2 groups. This model, which supports the involvement of HSP-65 in atherogenesis, furnishes a valuable tool to study the role of the immune system in atherogenesis.  (+info)

(2/333) Sino-aortic denervation augments the increase in blood pressure seen during paradoxical sleep in the rat.

Using a computer assisted telemetric system, we have re-examined the effect of sino-aortic denervation (SAD) on the changes in arterial blood pressure (AP) and heart rate (HR) during sleep in the rat suitably recovered from the operation. Eight 1 hourly polygraphic recordings were performed 4 weeks after the initial SAD surgery. In the SAD rats, the increase in AP during paradoxical sleep (PS) was much larger than that in sham-operated rats. HR in the SAD rats increased on-going from slow-wave sleep to PS, but it showed no change in sham-operated rats. The present study suggests that chronic SAD causes the enhanced AP increase during PS concomitantly with the persistent hypertension and tachycardia across sleep-wake states.  (+info)

(3/333) Effect of sinoaortic denervation on frequency-domain estimates of baroreflex sensitivity in conscious cats.

In animals and humans, baroreceptor modulation of the sinus node in daily life can be studied by identification of the number of sequences in which systolic blood pressure (SBP) and pulse interval (PI) linearly decrease or increase for several beats. It is also studied by power spectral analysis of SBP and PI in regions where their powers are coherent, although, in contrast to the sequence method, whether this frequency-domain method specifically reflects the baroreceptor-heart rate reflex has not been adequately tested. We recorded intra-arterial BP for approximately 3.5 h in eight conscious cats, first intact and then 7-10 days after sinoaortic denervation (SAD). Sensitivity of baroreceptor-heart rate reflex was assessed in 120-s segments by the square root of the ratio of PI and SBP spectral powers (alpha) in the regions around 0.1 (MF) and 0.3 (HF) Hz, and coherence between PI and SBP spectral powers in MF and HF regions was computed. SAD increased overall SBP variability and reduced PI variability throughout the frequency range examined. SAD markedly reduced (P < 0.01) both alpha-MF (-65.6%) and alpha-HF (-79. 9%) and consistently reduced the number of coherent segments [i.e., where coherence (K2) > 0.5] and average coherence values in the MF region. In the HF region, however, SAD did not alter the number of coherent segments, and although average coherence value throughout the HF band was reduced, in restricted portions of the band (different between animals), a high coherence value survived denervation. No significant changes were seen in any measured variables in five sham-operated cats. Thus the frequency-domain method specifically reflects baroreflex modulation of heart rate in the MF region only. In the HF region, in contrast, baroreflex and nonbaroreflex influences on the sinus node both contribute to a variable degree to determination of heart rate responses to BP oscillations. If used to study baroreflex function in daily life, this method should use the coefficient derived from MF data.  (+info)

(4/333) Influence of the high density lipoprotein receptor SR-BI on reproductive and cardiovascular pathophysiology.

The high density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor SR-BI (scavenger receptor class B type I) mediates the selective uptake of plasma HDL cholesterol by the liver and steroidogenic tissues. As a consequence, SR-BI can influence plasma HDL cholesterol levels, HDL structure, biliary cholesterol concentrations, and the uptake, storage, and utilization of cholesterol by steroid hormone-producing cells. Here we used homozygous null SR-BI knockout mice to show that SR-BI is required for maintaining normal biliary cholesterol levels, oocyte development, and female fertility. We also used SR-BI/apolipoprotein E double homozygous knockout mice to show that SR-BI can protect against early-onset atherosclerosis. Although the mechanisms underlying the effects of SR-BI loss on reproduction and atherosclerosis have not been established, potential causes include changes in (i) plasma lipoprotein levels and/or structure, (ii) cholesterol flux into or out of peripheral tissues (ovary, aortic wall), and (iii) reverse cholesterol transport, as indicated by the significant reduction of gallbladder bile cholesterol levels in SR-BI and SR-BI/apolipoprotein E double knockout mice relative to controls. If SR-BI has similar activities in humans, it may become an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in a variety of diseases.  (+info)

(5/333) Non-coronary sinus of Valsalva aneurysm diagnosed after a road traffic accident.

A 38 year old man with a huge unruptured sinus of Valsalva aneurysm, complicated with severe valvar aortic regurgitation, is described. The aneurysm was detected by echocardiography in the asymptomatic patient who presented with an intense precordial diastolic rumble after a road traffic accident. The patient had successful surgery for the aneurysm and aortic valve replacement. Possible aetiologies for the aneurysm and a brief revision of clinical aspects and treatment are discussed.  (+info)

(6/333) Nociceptin modulates renal sympathetic nerve activity through a central action in conscious rats.

Nociceptin, an endogenous agonist of the opioid receptor-like(1) receptor, is expressed in the hypothalamus, where it is implicated in autonomic nervous system control. However, the central actions of nociceptin on sympathetic nerve activity have not been studied. We investigated the effect of intracerebroventricularly administered nociceptin (2-10 nmol) on blood pressure, heart rate (HR), and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) in conscious rats and sinoaortic-denervated (SAD) rats. Intracerebroventricularly administered nociceptin resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and HR in intact rats. RSNA decreased 31.5 +/- 2.1 and 19.9 +/- 5.0% at a dose of 2 and 5 nmol, respectively. In SAD rats, MAP, HR, and RSNA decreased in a dose-dependent manner, and the maximum responses were larger than those in intact rats. The decrease in HR induced by nociceptin was blocked by propranolol but not by atropine, which indicates that nociceptin is acting by inhibiting cardiac sympathetic outflow. These nociceptin-induced depressor and bradycardic responses were not antagonized by pretreatment with naloxone and nocistatin. These findings suggest that central nociceptin may have a functional role in regulating cardiovascular and sympathetic nervous systems.  (+info)

(7/333) Unusual congenital coronary anomaly and myocardial ischaemia.

Angiography was used to diagnose a rare congenital coronary anomaly with myocardial ischaemia in a woman with typical angina. All three coronary arteries arose from a solitary coronary ostium in the right aortic sinus; the left anterior descending coronary artery followed a septal course, the circumflex coronary artery ran behind the ascending aorta, and the right coronary artery followed a normal course. No significant coronary lumen narrowing was found. Transoesophageal echocardiography confirmed the anomalous origin and course of the aberrant coronary arteries. An exercise test reproduced angina, and ECG changes and myocardial perfusion study showed an anterior reversible defect. In contrast to previous reports, myocardial ischaemia was associated with the septal (intramuscular) course of the left anterior descending coronary artery; there was no other significant coronary artery disease.  (+info)

(8/333) Clinical profile of congenital coronary artery anomalies with origin from the wrong aortic sinus leading to sudden death in young competitive athletes.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to characterize the clinical profile and identify clinical markers that would enable the detection during life of anomalous coronary artery origin from the wrong aortic sinus (with course between the aorta and pulmonary trunk) in young competitive athletes. BACKGROUND: Congenital coronary artery anomalies are not uncommonly associated with sudden death in young athletes, the catastrophic event probably provoked by myocardial ischemia. Such coronary anomalies are rarely identified during life, often because of insufficient clinical suspicion. However, since anomalous coronary artery origin is amenable to surgical treatment, timely clinical identification is crucial. METHODS: Because of the paucity of available data characterizing the clinical profile of wrong sinus coronary artery malformations, we reviewed two large registries comprised of young competitive athletes who died suddenly, assembled consecutively in the U.S. and Italy. RESULTS: We reported 27 sudden deaths in young athletes, identified solely at autopsy and due to either left main coronary artery from the right aortic sinus (n = 23) or right coronary artery from the left sinus (n = 4). Each athlete died either during (n = 25) or immediately after (n = 2) intense exertion on the athletic field. Fifteen athletes (55%) had no clinical cardiovascular manifestations or testing during life. However, in the remaining 12 athletes (45%) aged 16 +/- 7, certain clinical data were available. Premonitory symptoms had occurred in 10, including syncope in four (exertional in three and recurrent in two, 3 to 24 months before death) and chest pain in five (exertional in three, all single episodes, < or =24 months before death). All cardiovascular tests were within normal limits, including 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) pattern (in 9/9), stress ECG with maximal exercise (in 6/6) and left ventricular wall motion and cardiac dimensions by two-dimensional echocardiography (in 2/2). CONCLUSIONS: With regard to congenital coronary artery anomalies of wrong aortic sinus origin in young competitive athletes, 1) standard testing with ECG under resting or exercise conditions is unlikely to provide clinical evidence of myocardial ischemia and would not be reliable as screening tests in large athletic populations, 2) premonitory cardiac symptoms not uncommonly occurred shortly before sudden death (typically associated with anomalous left main coronary artery), suggesting that a history of exertional syncope or chest pain requires exclusion of this anomaly. These observations have important implications for the preparticipation screening of competitive athletes.  (+info)