1. We examined whether endogenous inhibitors of NO synthesis are involved in the augmentation of intimal hyperplasia in rabbits with hyperglycaemia induced by alloxan. 2. Four weeks after the endothelial denudation of carotid artery which had been performed 12 weeks after alloxan, the intimal hyperplasia was greatly augmented with hyperglycaemia. The degree of hyperplasia was assessed using three different parameters of histopathological findings as well as changes in luminal area and intima: media ratio. 3. There were positive and significant correlations between intima:media ratio, plasma glucose, and concentrations of N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) and N(G), N(G)-dimethyl-L-arginine (ADMA) in endothelial cells, that is, the intima:media ratio became greater as plasma glucose and endothelial L-NMMA and ADMA were increased. Furthermore, endothelial L-NMMA and ADMA were increased in proportion to the increase in plasma glucose. 4. In contrast, there were inverse and significant correlations between cyclic GMP production by carotid artery strips with endothelium and plasma glucose, between cyclic GMP production and endothelial L-NMMA and ADMA, and between the intima:media ratio and cyclic GMP production. 5. Exogenously applied L-NMMA and ADMA inhibited cyclic GMP production in a concentration-dependent manner. IC50 values were determined to be 12.1 microM for the former and 26.2 microM for the latter. The cyclic GMP production was abolished after the deliberate removal of endothelium from the artery strips. 6. These results suggest that the augmentation of intimal hyperplasia with hyperglycaemia is closely related to increased accumulation of L-NMMA and ADMA with hyperglycaemia, which would result in an accelerated reduction in NO production/release by endothelial cells. (+info)
(2/1322) Blood-borne tissue factor: another view of thrombosis.
Arterial thrombosis is considered to arise from the interaction of tissue factor (TF) in the vascular wall with platelets and coagulation factors in circulating blood. According to this paradigm, coagulation is initiated after a vessel is damaged and blood is exposed to vessel-wall TF. We have examined thrombus formation on pig arterial media (which contains no stainable TF) and on collagen-coated glass slides (which are devoid of TF) exposed to flowing native human blood. In both systems the thrombi that formed during a 5-min perfusion stained intensely for TF, much of which was not associated with cells. Antibodies against TF caused approximately 70% reduction in the amount of thrombus formed on the pig arterial media and also reduced thrombi on the collagen-coated glass slides. TF deposited on the slides was active, as there was abundant fibrin in the thrombi. Factor VIIai, a potent inhibitor of TF, essentially abolished fibrin production and markedly reduced the mass of the thrombi. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed TF-positive membrane vesicles that we frequently observed in large clusters near the surface of platelets. TF, measured by factor Xa formation, was extracted from whole blood and plasma of healthy subjects. By using immunostaining, TF-containing neutrophils and monocytes were identified in peripheral blood; our data raise the possibility that leukocytes are the main source of blood TF. We suggest that blood-borne TF is inherently thrombogenic and may be involved in thrombus propagation at the site of vascular injury. (+info)
(3/1322) Studies on structural changes of the carotid arteries and the heart in asymptomatic renal transplant recipients.
BACKGROUND: The present study was designed to characterize early structural changes of large arteries in renal transplant recipients with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease and normal blood pressure values, and to analyse the relationship between arterial alterations and those of the heart. METHODS: Intima media thickness and atherosclerotic plaques of the carotid arteries as well as left ventricular geometry and function were examined in 35 asymtomatic renal transplant recipients and 29 age- and sex-matched healthy controls by high resolution B-mode ultrasound and by echocardiography. RESULTS: Intima-media thickness of the carotid arteries was significantly higher in renal transplant recipients (1.21+/-0.08 mm) than in healthy controls (0.74+/-0.04 mm) (P<0.001). Atherosclerotic plaques were found in the majority of renal transplant recipients (71% vs 14% in healthy controls, P<0.001). Left ventricular mass index was significantly increased in the group of renal transplant recipients (264+/-13 g, 146+/-7 g/m2) when compared with healthy controls (155+/-8 g, 83+/-4 g/m2) (P<0.001). Multiple regression analysis in renal transplant recipients showed that intima media thickness of the carotid arteries was significantly related to left ventricular mass index (P<0.02), but not to age, blood pressure, body mass index, serum creatinine, cholesterol and lipoprotein (a) levels. In the group of healthy controls, intima-media thickness of the carotid artery was related to age (P<0.002), but not to left ventricular mass index or the other independent variables. CONCLUSIONS: The present study documents pronounced intima-media thickening in asymptomatic renal transplant recipients. Atherosclerotic lesions are present in most renal transplant recipients with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. We observed a parallelism between arterial wall thickening and left ventricular hypertrophy, although blood pressure levels were normal during haemodialysis therapy and after renal transplantation. (+info)
(4/1322) Arterial damage induced by cryopreservation is irreversible following organ culture.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes which occur to the arterial wall following cryopreservation and thawing and to determine whether these changes are reversible after a week of culture in an organ bath. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rat iliac arterial segments were cryopreserved. Once thawed, the arterial segments were cultured for a period of 0, 1, 2, 4 or 7 days. Freshly isolated rat iliac vessels cultured for 7 days served as the control group. Evaluation was made of ultrastructural changes, the expression of metalloproteinase activity (MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-9) and the apoptotic state of cells. RESULTS: The freezing-thawing process induced damage to the arterial segments compared to fresh control vessels. After 1 week of culture, arteries showed a high degree of tissue degeneration. Only a few individual endothelial cells remained on the luminal surface. There was a gradual increase in the proportion of apoptotic cells. The sequential expression of MMP-1 during the first 2 days and subsequent expression of MMP-3 and MMP-9 were of most significance. CONCLUSIONS: Cryopreservation induced damage to the vessels which could not be reversed by organ culture. The changes observed in the expression of metalloproteinases may be indicative of the degenerative process which occurs in the extracellular matrix. (+info)
(5/1322) Cross-sectional and 4-year longitudinal associations between brachial pulse pressure and common carotid intima-media thickness in a general population. The EVA study.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The cross-sectional and 4-year longitudinal associations between brachial pulse pressure (PP) and ultrasound measurements of common carotid intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) were assessed. METHODS: A population of 957 volunteers aged 59 to 71 years was recruited from the electoral rolls of the city of Nantes (western France) and reexamined 4 years later. Longitudinal changes in PP and CCA-IMT were computed as the difference between 4-year follow-up and baseline values. RESULTS: Baseline CCA-IMT and PP were positively associated in both age- and sex-adjusted analysis (partial correlation coefficient=0.20, P<0.001) and in multivariate analysis adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors and mean blood pressure (partial correlation coefficient=0.18, P<0.001). In longitudinal analysis, baseline PP was associated with the change in 4-year CCA-IMT (partial correlation coefficient=0.11, P<0.001), and baseline CCA-IMT was a predictor of the 4-year change in PP (partial correlation coefficient=0.10, 0.001
(6/1322) Endothelin-1 and its mRNA in the wall layers of human arteries ex vivo.
BACKGROUND: The participation of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in the control of vascular tone in humans has been questioned, on the basis of the finding of subthreshold immunoreactive (ir) ET-1 plasma levels. However, because most ET-1 is secreted abluminally, it might attain a higher concentration in the tunica media than in plasma. Furthermore, evidence indicates that vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) can synthesize ET-1 on stimulation in vitro. We therefore looked for irET-1 in the different layers of the wall of human arteries, including renal, gastric, and internal thoracic artery wall, obtained ex vivo from consenting patients with coronary artery disease and/or high blood pressure undergoing surgery, as well as from young organ donors. METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed immunohistochemistry with specific anti-ET-1 and anti-vWF antibodies followed by detection with an avidin-biotin complex ultrasensitive kit. The presence of preproET-1 and human endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (hECE-1) mRNA was also investigated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in homogenates of vessel wall, including preparations deprived of both endothelium and adventitia, and in isolated VSMCs. We detected irET-1 in the endothelium of all arteries and in the tunica media of internal thoracic artery from most patients with coronary artery disease. PreproET-1 and hECE-1 mRNA was also detected in VSMCs isolated from these vessels. irET-1 and irvWF staining in endothelium and tunica media was measured by use of microscope-coupled computer-assisted technology. Significant correlations between the amount of irET-1 in the tunica media and mean blood pressure (P<0.05), total serum cholesterol (P<0.05), and number of atherosclerotic sites (P<0.001) were found. Thus, in organ donors, irET-1 was detectable almost exclusively in endothelial cells, whereas in patients with coronary artery disease and/or arterial hypertension, sizable amounts of irET-1 were detectable in the tunica media of different types of arteries. In addition, VSMCs isolated from these vessels coexpressed the preproET-1 and hECE-1 genes. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these findings are consistent with the contention that endothelial damage occurs in most patients with atherosclerosis and/or hypertension and that ET-1 is synthesized in VSMCs of these patients. (+info)
(7/1322) Plaque area increase and vascular remodeling contribute to lumen area change after percutaneous transluminal angioplasty of the femoropopliteal artery: an intravascular ultrasound study.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess the change in lumen area (LA), plaque area (PLA), and vessel area (VA) after percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) of the femoropopliteal artery. METHODS: This was a prospective study. Twenty patients were studied with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) immediately after PTA and at follow-up examination. Multiple corresponding IVUS cross-sections were analyzed at the segments that were dilated by PTA (ie, treated sites; n = 168), including the most stenotic site (n = 20) and the nondilated segments (ie, reference sites; n = 77). RESULTS: At follow-up examination, both the PLA increase (13%) and the VA decrease (9%) resulted in a significant LA decrease (43%) at the most stenotic sites (P =.001). At the treated sites, the LA decrease (15%) was smaller and was caused by the PLA increase (15%). At the reference sites, the PLA increase (15%) and the VA increase (6%) resulted in a slight LA decrease (3%). An analysis of the IVUS cross-sections that were grouped according to LA change (difference >/=10%) revealed a similar PLA increase in all the groups: the type of vascular remodeling (VA decrease, no change, or increase) determined the LA change. At the treated sites, the LA change and the VA change correlated closely (r = 0.77, P <.001). At the treated sites, significantly more PLA increase was seen in the IVUS cross-sections that showed hard lesion or media rupture (P <.05). No relationship was found between the presence of dissection and the quantitative changes. CONCLUSION: At the most stenotic sites, lumen narrowing was caused by plaque increase and vessel shrinkage. Both the treated sites and the reference sites showed a significant PLA increase: the type of vascular remodeling determined the LA change at follow-up examination. The extent of the PLA increase was significantly larger in the IVUS cross-sections that showed hard lesion or media rupture. (+info)
(8/1322) Adventitial delivery minimizes the proinflammatory effects of adenoviral vectors.
PURPOSE: Adenovirus-mediated arterial gene transfer is a promising tool in the study of vascular biology and the development of vascular gene therapy. However, intraluminal delivery of adenoviral vectors causes vascular inflammation and neointimal formation. Whether these complications could be avoided and gene transfer efficiency maintained by means of delivering adenoviral vectors via the adventitia was studied. METHODS: Replication-defective adenoviral vectors encoding a beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) gene (AdRSVnLacZ) or without a recombinant gene (AdNull) were infused into the lumen or the adventitia of rabbit carotid arteries. Two days after infusion of either AdRSVnLacZ (n = 8 adventitial, n = 8 luminal) or AdNull (n = 4 luminal), recombinant gene expression was quantitated by histochemistry (performed on tissue sections) and with a beta-gal activity assay (performed on vessel extracts). Inflammation caused by adenovirus infusion was assessed 14 days after infusion of either AdNull (n = 6) or vehicle (n = 6) into the carotid adventitia. Inflammation was assessed by means of examination of histologic sections for the presence of neointimal formation and infiltrating T cells and for the expression of markers of vascular cell activation (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1). To measure the systemic immune response to adventitial infusion of adenovirus, plasma samples (n = 3) were drawn 14 days after infusion of AdNull and assayed for neutralizing antibodies. RESULTS: Two days after luminal infusion of AdRSVnLacZ, approximately 30% of luminal endothelial cells expressed beta-gal. Similarly, 2 days after infusion of AdRSVnLacZ to the adventitia, approximately 30% of adventitial cells expressed beta-gal. beta-gal expression was present in the carotid adventitia, the internal jugular vein adventitia, and the vagus nerve perineurium. Elevated beta-gal activity (50- to 80-fold more than background; P <.05) was detected in extracts made from all AdRSVnLacZ-transduced arteries. The amount of recombinant protein expression per vessel did not differ significantly between vessels transduced via the adventitia (17.1 mU/mg total protein [range, 8.1 to 71.5]) and those transduced via a luminal approach (10.0 mU/mg total protein [range, 3.9 to 42.6]). Notably, adventitial delivery of AdNull did not cause neointimal formation. In addition, vascular inflammation in arteries transduced via the adventitia (ie, T-cell infiltrates and ICAM-1 expression) was confined to the adventitia, sparing both the intima and media. Antiadenoviral neutralizing antibodies were present in all rabbits after adventitial delivery of AdNull. CONCLUSION: Infusion of adenoviral vectors into the carotid artery adventitia achieves recombinant gene expression at a level equivalent to that achieved by means of intraluminal vector infusion. Because adventitial gene transfer can be performed by means of direct application during open surgical procedures, this technically simple procedure may be more clinically applicable than intraluminal delivery. Moreover, despite the generation of a systemic immune response, adventitial infusion had no detectable pathologic effects on the vascular intima or media. For these reasons, adventitial gene delivery may be a particularly useful experimental and clinical tool. (+info)