Physiology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 371
Nerve growth factor gene and hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats
(LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1996-02-01)
OBJECTIVE: High blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is associated with increased sympathetic innervation of key tissues, possibly as the result of increased nerve growth factor (NGF). The aim of this study was to test for genetic linkage of the NGF gene to high blood pressure. DESIGN: We studied NGF gene expression in young SHR and examined linkage of the NGF locus to mean arterial pressure in genetically segregating crosses of SHR and normotensive Donryu (DRY) rats. METHODS: NGF mRNA was measured by Northern blot, and a restriction fragment length polymorphism of the NGF gene revealed after digestion with the NsiI restriction enzyme was used to study inheritance. RESULTS: Levels of NGF mRNA were detected easily in the kidneys of 2-, 4- and 10-week-old SHR but not in age-matched DRY rats. In an F2 population, the blood pressure of rats homozygous for the DRY NGF allele was 6 mmHg less than in heterozygotes and 8 mmHg less than in rats homozygous for the SHR NGF allele (analysis of variance, P < 0.004). In backcross rats the blood pressure of NGF heterozygotes was not significantly different from that of SHR homozygotes. CONCLUSION: These results indicate differences in renal NGF mRNA in SHR during the development of hypertension and suggest that a genetic locus in or near the NGF gene contributes in a Mendelian dominant pattern to a significant increment in blood pressure in SHR.
Low affinity nerve growth factor receptor gene co-segregates with decreased bodyweight and increased left ventricular weight in spontaneously hypertensive rats
1. The sympathetic nervous system influences the cardiovascular and hormonal systems and sympathetic innervation is dependent on nerve growth factor (NGF). The NGF gene is linked genetically to high blood pressure in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and there exists a mutation in the SHR low affinity NGF receptor (LNGFR) gene. 2. To determine whether the LNGFR mutation was linked genetically with cardiovascular phenotypes we studied an F2 population derived from SHR and normotensive Donryu (DRY) rats. 3. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), left ventricular mass (LVM) and related phenotypes were measured in 127 20 week old male F2 rats and correlated with the inheritance of the SHR mutation (S) and/or the DRY allele (D) of the LNGFR. 4. Analysis of variance revealed that the S mutation was associated with a significantly lower bodyweight in F2 rats (P < 0.0001). 5. The S mutation was associated with a significant (P < 0.007) increase in LVM:bodyweight ratio, but not with differences in right ventricular or kidney weights corrected for bodyweight. We found no association between MAP and LNGFR alleles or genotypes. 6. These results suggest that the mutation in the signal peptide of LNGFR may serve as a useful marker for the analysis of genetic factor(s) involved in the differential determination of body size and heart weight.
Persistent reduction in renal nerve growth factor mRNA after perindopril treatment of young spontaneously hypertensive rats
(LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1998-02-01)
Nerve growth factor (NGF) determines sympathetic innervation of target tissues, and NGF levels are increased in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Angiotensin can affect NGF levels, and the persistent reduction in blood pressure after brief angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition in young SHR may involve long-term changes in NGF and sympathetic innervation. We measured the relative abundance of renal NGF mRNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in SHR during and after treatment from 6 to 10 weeks of age with vehicle, perindopril (3 mg/kg per day), the bradykinin B2 antagonist Hoe 140 (0.5 mg/kg per day), both perindopril and Hoe 140, or angiotensin II (Ang II; 200 ng/kg per minute). Glomerular filtration rates were estimated at 10 and 20 weeks of age. At 10 weeks of age, Ang II caused a significant (P<.01) increase and perindopril caused a significant (P<.01) decrease in renal NGF mRNA levels. Blockade of the bradykinin B2 receptor during perindopril treatment attenuated (P<.05) the reduction in NGF mRNA levels. Renal NGF mRNA (P=.005) and blood pressure (P<.001) remained significantly lower than control 10 weeks after perindopril treatment was stopped. The partial reduction in blood pressure at 20 weeks of age in rats that had received perindopril and Hoe 140 was not associated with any difference in renal NGF mRNA. Perindopril-induced long-term reduction in renal NGF mRNA levels may decrease sympathetic innervation and thereby contribute to the long-term posttreatment blood pressure reduction.
Independent genetic susceptibility to cardiac hypertrophy in inherited hypertension
(LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1998-03-01)
Cardiac hypertrophy is a common but not inevitable complication of hypertension. Variation in heart size in hypertensives may reflect independent genetic susceptibility to cardiac hypertrophy. Using an experimental genetic model, we determined the location of quantitative trait loci responsible for cardiac hypertrophy and/or hypertension. We studied 182 F2 male animals derived from a cross of the spontaneously hypertensive rat and normotensive Donryu rats. Direct mean arterial pressure (MAP) and left ventricular (LV) mass were measured at 20 weeks of age, and DNA was obtained for linkage analysis. The estimated heritability of MAP was 62% and for LV mass expressed per unit of body weight (relative LV mass) was 76%. We used 185 polymorphic markers, with an average intermarker distance of 12.3 centimorgans for a genome-wide scan in a representative subgroup of 46 animals to identify preliminary quantitative trait loci, which were then mapped in all 182 male F2 rats. Two loci showed logarithm of the odds scores of > 4.0. One on chromosome 2, Lvm-1, was linked to relative LV mass but showed no evidence of linkage to MAP. Another locus on chromosome 1, Map-1, was linked to MAP. In the same region, a locus Lvm-2 was linked with relative LV mass. These data indicate the existence of a genetic locus on chromosome 2 of the spontaneously hypertensive rat that affects relative LV mass independently of blood pressure.
Nerve growth factor gene locus explains elevated renal nerve growth factor mRNA in young spontaneously hypertensive rats
(LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 1998-10-01)
Nerve growth factor (NGF) controls the growth of sympathetic nerves and is increased in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The NGF gene has been linked genetically with hypertension in the SHR strain and may explain high NGF mRNA levels. To test for genetic linkage between the NGF gene and its expression in vivo, we examined renal NGF mRNA levels in male SHR, control Donryu rats (DRY), and F2 rats derived from SHR and DRY at ages 2, 4, 10, and 20 weeks. Tail-cuff blood pressure was measured at 4, 10, and 20 weeks of age. NGF mRNA levels in SHR (NGF genotype: SS) were higher than those in DRY (NGF genotype: DD) at 2, 4, and 10 weeks of age (P<0.0001) but the same at 20 weeks of age. In the F2 generation, the S allele was associated with significantly (P=0.01) higher renal NGF mRNA levels at 2 weeks of age. Mean NGF mRNA levels fell (P=0.01) with age in F2 rats, and the difference between SS and DD genotype F2 rats diminished at older ages and was not significant. In F2 rats there was a positive correlation between the number of NGF S alleles inherited and tail-cuff pressure (P<0.007). Our findings indicate that the NGF locus is an important regulator of NGF mRNA levels. It is likely that mutations in or near the NGF gene explain in part high early NGF gene expression in SHR.
Feeding Induced by Cannabinoids Is Mediated Independently of the Melanocortin System
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-05-21)
BACKGROUND: Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, stimulate appetite, and cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R) antagonists suppress appetite and promote weight loss. Little is known about how CB1-R antagonists affect the central neurocircuitry, specifically the melanocortin system that regulates energy balance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we show that peripherally administered CB1-R antagonist (AM251) or agonist equally suppressed or stimulated feeding respectively in A(y) , which lack a functional melanocortin system, and wildtype mice, demonstrating that cannabinoid effects on feeding do not require melanocortin circuitry. CB1-R antagonist or agonist administered into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) equally suppressed or stimulated feeding respectively, in both genotypes. In addition, peripheral and central cannabinoid administration similarly induced c-Fos activation in brain sites suggesting mediation via motivational dopaminergic circuitry. Amperometry-detected increases in evoked dopamine (DA) release by the CB1-R antagonist in nucleus accumbens slices indicates that AM251 modulates DA release from VTA terminals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate that the effects of cannabinoids on energy balance are independent of hypothalamic melanocortin circuitry and is primarily driven by the reward system.
Sub region-specific modulation of synchronous neuronal burst firing after a kainic acid insult in organotypic hippocampal cultures
BACKGROUND: Excitotoxicity occurs in a number of pathogenic states including stroke and epilepsy. The adaptations of neuronal circuits in response to such insults may be expected to play an underlying role in pathogenesis. Synchronous neuronal firing can be induced in isolated hippocampal slices and involves all regions of this structure, thereby providing a measure of circuit activity. The effect of an excitotoxic insult (kainic acid, KA) on Mg2+-free-induced synchronized neuronal firing was tested in organotypic hippocampal culture by measuring extracellular field activity in CA1 and CA3. RESULTS: Within 24 hrs of the insult regional specific changes in neuronal firing patterns were evident as: (i) a dramatic reduction in the ability of CA3 to generate firing; and (ii) a contrasting increase in the frequency and duration of synchronized neuronal firing events in CA1. Two distinct processes underlie the increased propensity of CA1 to generate synchronized burst firing; a lack of ability of the CA3 region to 'pace' CA1 resulting in an increased frequency of synchronized events; and a change in the 'intrinsic' properties limited to the CA1 region, which is responsible for increased event duration. Neuronal quantification using NeuN immunoflurescent staining and stereological confocal microscopy revealed no significant cell loss in hippocampal sub regions, suggesting that changes in the properties of neurons within this region were responsible for the KA-mediated excitability changes. CONCLUSION: These results provide novel insight into adaptation of hippocampal circuits following excitotoxic injury. KA-mediated disruption of the interplay between CA3 and CA1 clearly increases the propensity to synchronized firing in CA1.
SLC2A9 Is a High-Capacity Urate Transporter in Humans
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-10-01)
BACKGROUND: Serum uric acid levels in humans are influenced by diet, cellular breakdown, and renal elimination, and correlate with blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, gout, and cardiovascular disease. Recent genome-wide association scans have found common genetic variants of SLC2A9 to be associated with increased serum urate level and gout. The SLC2A9 gene encodes a facilitative glucose transporter, and it has two splice variants that are highly expressed in the proximal nephron, a key site for urate handling in the kidney. We investigated whether SLC2A9 is a functional urate transporter that contributes to the longstanding association between urate and blood pressure in man. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We expressed both SLC2A9 splice variants in Xenopus laevis oocytes and found both isoforms mediate rapid urate fluxes at concentration ranges similar to physiological serum levels (200-500 microM). Because SLC2A9 is a known facilitative glucose transporter, we also tested whether glucose or fructose influenced urate transport. We found that urate is transported by SLC2A9 at rates 45- to 60-fold faster than glucose, and demonstrated that SLC2A9-mediated urate transport is facilitated by glucose and, to a lesser extent, fructose. In addition, transport is inhibited by the uricosuric benzbromarone in a dose-dependent manner (Ki = 27 microM). Furthermore, we found urate uptake was at least 2-fold greater in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells overexpressing SLC2A9 splice variants than nontransfected kidney cells. To confirm that our findings were due to SLC2A9, and not another urate transporter, we showed that urate transport was diminished by SLC2A9-targeted siRNA in a second mammalian cell line. In a cohort of men we showed that genetic variants of SLC2A9 are associated with reduced urinary urate clearance, which fits with common variation at SLC2A9 leading to increased serum urate. We found no evidence of association with hypertension (odds ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9 to 1.05, p > 0.33) by meta-analysis of an SLC2A9 variant in six case-control studies including 11,897 participants. In a separate meta-analysis of four population studies including 11,629 participants we found no association of SLC2A9 with systolic (effect size -0.12 mm Hg, 95% CI -0.68 to 0.43, p = 0.664) or diastolic blood pressure (effect size -0.03 mm Hg, 95% CI -0.39 to 0.31, p = 0.82). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that SLC2A9 splice variants act as high-capacity urate transporters and is one of the first functional characterisations of findings from genome-wide association scans. We did not find an association of the SLC2A9 gene with blood pressure in this study. Our findings suggest potential pathogenic mechanisms that could offer a new drug target for gout.
Functional Deficits in nNOS mu-Deficient Skeletal Muscle: Myopathy in nNOS Knockout Mice
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-10-13)
Skeletal muscle nNOSmu (neuronal nitric oxide synthase mu) localizes to the sarcolemma through interaction with the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein (DAG) complex, where it synthesizes nitric oxide (NO). Disruption of the DAG complex occurs in dystrophinopathies and sarcoglycanopathies, two genetically distinct classes of muscular dystrophy characterized by progressive loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness and increased fatigability. DAG complex instability leads to mislocalization and downregulation of nNOSmu; but this is thought to play a minor role in disease pathogenesis. This view persists without knowledge of the role of nNOS in skeletal muscle contractile function in vivo and has influenced gene therapy approaches to dystrophinopathy, the majority of which do not restore sarcolemmal nNOSmu. We address this knowledge gap by evaluating skeletal muscle function in nNOS knockout (KN1) mice using an in situ approach, in which the muscle is maintained in its normal physiological environment. nNOS-deficiency caused reductions in skeletal muscle bulk and maximum tetanic force production in male mice only. Furthermore, nNOS-deficient muscles from both male and female mice exhibited increased susceptibility to contraction-induced fatigue. These data suggest that aberrant nNOSmu signaling can negatively impact three important clinical features of dystrophinopathies and sarcoglycanopathies: maintenance of muscle bulk, force generation and fatigability. Our study suggests that restoration of sarcolemmal nNOSmu expression in dystrophic muscles may be more important than previously appreciated and that it should be a feature of any fully effective gene therapy-based intervention.
Cross talk of signals between EGFR and IL-6R through JAK2/STAT3 mediate epithelial-mesenchymal transition in ovarian carcinomas
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2009-01-13)
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in ovarian carcinomas, with direct or indirect activation of EGFR able to trigger tumour growth. We demonstrate significant activation of both signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 and its upstream activator Janus kinase (JAK)2, in high-grade ovarian carcinomas compared with normal ovaries and benign tumours. The association between STAT3 activation and migratory phenotype of ovarian cancer cells was investigated by EGF-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in OVCA 433 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Ligand activation of EGFR induced a fibroblast-like morphology and migratory phenotype, consistent with the upregulation of mesenchyme-associated N-cadherin, vimentin and nuclear translocation of beta-catenin. This occurred concomitantly with activation of the downstream JAK2/STAT3 pathway. Both cell lines expressed interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), and treatment with EGF within 1 h resulted in a several-fold enhancement of mRNA expression of IL-6. Consistent with that, EGF treatment of both OVCA 433 and SKOV3 cell lines resulted in enhanced IL-6 production in the serum-free medium. Exogenous addition of IL-6 to OVCA 433 cells stimulated STAT3 activation and enhanced migration. Blocking antibodies against IL-6R inhibited IL-6 production and EGF- and IL-6-induced migration. Specific inhibition of STAT3 activation by JAK2-specific inhibitor AG490 blocked STAT3 phosphorylation, cell motility, induction of N-cadherin and vimentin expression and IL6 production. These data suggest that the activated status of STAT3 in high-grade ovarian carcinomas may occur directly through activation of EGFR or IL-6R or indirectly through induction of IL-6R signalling. Such activation of STAT3 suggests a rationale for a combination of anti-STAT3 and EGFR/IL-6R therapy to suppress the peritoneal spread of ovarian cancer.