Anderson, CA, United States
Anderson, CA, United States

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Hu X.-Q.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Xiao D.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Zhu R.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Huang X.,Center for Perinatal Biology | And 3 more authors.
Hypertension | Year: 2012

Our previous study demonstrated that increased Ca-activated K+ (BKCa) channel activity played a key role in the normal adaptation of reduced myogenic tone of uterine arteries in pregnancy. The present study tested the hypothesis that chronic hypoxia during gestation inhibits pregnancy-induced upregulation of BKCa channel function in uterine arteries. Resistance-sized uterine arteries were isolated from nonpregnant and near-term pregnant sheep maintained at sea level (≈300 m) or exposed to high-altitude (3801 m) hypoxia for 110 days. Hypoxia during gestation significantly inhibited pregnancy-induced upregulation of BKCa channel activity and suppressed BKCa channel current density in pregnant uterine arteries. This was mediated by a selective downregulation of BKCa channel β1 subunit in the uterine arteries. In accordance, hypoxia abrogated the role of the BKCa channel in regulating pressure-induced myogenic tone of uterine arteries that was significantly elevated in pregnant animals acclimatized to chronic hypoxia. In addition, hypoxia abolished the steroid hormone-mediated increase in the β1 subunit and BKCa channel current density observed in nonpregnant uterine arteries. Although the activation of protein kinase C inhibited BKCa channel current density in pregnant uterine arteries of normoxic sheep, this effect was ablated in the hypoxic animals. The results demonstrate that selectively targeting BKCa channel β1 subunit plays a critical role in the maladaption of uteroplacental circulation caused by chronic hypoxia, which contributes to the increased incidence of preeclampsia and fetal intrauterine growth restriction associated with gestational hypoxia. © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.


Gay M.S.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Li Y.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Xiong F.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Lin T.,Loma Linda University | Zhang L.,Center for Perinatal Biology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The potential adverse effect of synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone therapy on the developing heart remains unknown. The present study investigated the effects of dexamethasone on cardiomyocyte proliferation and binucleation in the developing heart of newborn rats and evaluated DNA methylation as a potential mechanism. Dexamethasone was administered intraperitoneally in a three day tapered dose on postnatal day 1 (P1), 2 and 3 to rat pups in the absence or presence of a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist Ru486, given 30 minutes prior to dexamethasone. Cardiomyocytes from P4, P7 or P14 animals were analyzed for proliferation, binucleation and cell number. Dexamethasone treatment significantly increased the percentage of binucleated cardiomyocytes in the hearts of P4 pups, decreased myocyte proliferation in P4 and P7 pups, reduced cardiomyocyte number and increased the heart to body weight ratio in P14 pups. Ru486 abrogated the effects of dexamethasone. In addition, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) blocked the effects of dexamethasone on binucleation in P4 animals and proliferation at P7, leading to recovered cardiomyocyte number in P14 hearts. 5-AZA alone promoted cardiomyocyte proliferation at P7 and resulted in a higher number of cardiomyocytes in P14 hearts. Dexamethasone significantly decreased cyclin D2, but not p27 expression in P4 hearts. 5-AZA inhibited global DNA methylation and blocked dexamethasone-mediated down-regulation of cyclin D2 in the heart of P4 pups. The findings suggest that dexamethasone acting on glucocorticoid receptors inhibits proliferation and stimulates premature terminal differentiation of cardiomyocytes in the developing heart via increased DNA methylation in a gene specific manner. © 2015 Gay et al.


Goyal R.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Yellon S.M.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Longo L.D.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Mata-Greenwood E.,Center for Perinatal Biology
Placenta | Year: 2010

Objective: Placental insufficiency is a major factor associated with pregnancy complications such as miscarriages, intrauterine growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. Recent studies have identified the Brown Norway (BN) rat as a natural 'model' of placental insufficiency associated with decreased trophoblast remodeling of maternal uterine arteries. Hypothesis: Genetic pathways involved in angiogenesis and immune cell regulation are dysregulated in the placenta of BN rats. Methods: Global gene expression in placentas from BN rats were compared with that from Sprague-Dawley (SD) controls at 17.5 days of gestation using the Affimetrix Rat 1.0 microarray chip, and results confirmed with real-time PCR and immunoblotting. Results: We found significant differences in 272 genes with 108 being up-regulated and 164 down-regulated in BN placentas compared to SD placentas. BN placentas overexpressed genes involved in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) such as Ace, Ace2, Agtr1a, Nox4, and Ephx2, while key genes involved in angiogenesis, such as Mmp1, Mmp10, Fgfbp1, Esr1, Itga2, Rgs5, and Ccnb1 were down-regulated. We also observed increased expression of Timd2, Itm2a, Irak3, and Csf1r, and decreased expression of Slpi, Ncam1, and Igsf3 in BN placentas. In addition, we observed lower placental weights in BN males compared to BN females, together with increased expression of Cyp1a1 in BN males, as compared to BN females. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates differential expression of genes involved in blood pressure, angiogenesis and immune cell regulation in BN placenta, and suggests that the RAS may be involved in the pathogenesis of placental dysfunction observed in BN rats. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Paradis A.N.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Gay M.S.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Wilson C.G.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Wilson C.G.,Loma Linda University | Zhang L.,Center for Perinatal Biology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

In the developing heart, cardiomyocytes undergo terminal differentiation during a critical window around birth. Hypoxia is a major stress to preterm infants, yet its effect on the development and maturation of the heart remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis in a rat model that newborn anoxia accelerates cardiomyocyte terminal differentiation and results in reduced cardiomyocyte endowment in the developing heart via an endothelin-1-dependent mechanism. Newborn rats were exposed to anoxia twice daily from postnatal day 1 to 3, and hearts were isolated and studied at postnatal day 4(P4), 7(P7), and 14 (P14). Anoxia significantly increased HIF-1α protein expression and pre-proET-1 mRNA abundance in P4 neonatal hearts. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was significantly decreased by anoxia in P4 and P7, resulting in a significant reduction of cardiomyocyte number per heart weight in the P14 neonates. Furthermore, the expression of cyclin D2 was significantly decreased due to anoxia, while p27 expression was increased. Anoxia has no significant effect on cardiomyocyte binucleation or myocyte size. Consistently, prenatal hypoxia significantly decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation but had no effect on binucleation in the fetal heart. Newborn administration of PD156707, an ETA-receptor antagonist, significantly increased cardiomyocyte proliferation at P4 and cell size at P7, resulting in an increase in the heart to body weight ratio in P7 neonates. In addition, PD156707 abrogated the anoxia-mediated effects. The results suggest that hypoxia and anoxia via activation of endothelin-1 at the critical window of heart development inhibits cardiomyocyte proliferation and decreases myocyte endowment in the developing heart, which may negatively impact cardiac function later in life. © 2015 Paradis et al.


Blood A.B.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Schroeder H.J.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Herring J.L.,Loma Linda University | Sowers L.C.,Loma Linda University | And 2 more authors.
Circulation | Year: 2011

Background- Nitrite can be converted to nitric oxide (NO) by a number of different biochemical pathways. In newborn lambs, an aerosol of inhaled nitrite has been found to reduce pulmonary blood pressure, possibly acting via conversion to NO by reaction with intraerythrocytic deoxyhemoglobin. If so, the vasodilating effects of nitrite would be attenuated by free hemoglobin in plasma that would rapidly scavenge NO. Methods and Results- Pulmonary vascular pressures and resistances to flow were measured in anesthetized newborn lambs. Plasma hemoglobin concentrations were then elevated, resulting in marked pulmonary hypertension. This effect was attenuated if infused hemoglobin was first oxidized to methemoglobin, which does not scavenge NO. These results further implicate NO as a tonic pulmonary vasodilator. Next, while free hemoglobin continued to be infused, the lambs were given inhaled NO gas (20 ppm), inhaled sodium nitrite aerosol (0.87 mol/L), or an intravascular nitrite infusion (3 mg/h bolus, 5 mg • kg • h infusion). Inhaled NO and inhaled nitrite aerosol both resulted in pulmonary vasodilation. Intravascular infusion of nitrite, however, did not. Increases in exhaled NO gas were observed in lambs while breathing the nitrite aerosol (20 ppb NO) but not during intravascular infusion of nitrite. Conclusions- We conclude that the pulmonary vasodilating effect of inhaled nitrite results from its conversion to NO in airway and parenchymal lung tissue and is not dependent on reactions with deoxyhemoglobin in the pulmonary circulation. Inhaled nitrite aerosol remains a promising candidate to reduce pulmonary hypertension in clinical application. Copyright © 2011 American Heart Association. All rights reserved.


Xue Q.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Patterson A.J.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Xiao D.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Zhang L.,Center for Perinatal Biology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Glucocorticoid regulates angiotensin II receptor (ATR) expression via activating glucocorticoid receptors and binding to glucocorticoid response elements. The regulation of ATR by glucocorticoids in the context of myocardial injury from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is yet to be elucidated. The present study determined the role of ATR in glucocorticoid-induced cardiac protection. Adult male rats were administered once a day i.p. 1 mg/kg/day dexamethasone or dexamethasone plus 10 mg/kg/day RU486 for 5 days. Hearts were then isolated and subjected to I/R injury in a Langendorff preparation. Dexamethasone treatment significantly decreased I/R injury and improved post-ischemic recovery of cardiac function. Dexamethasone increased glucocorticoid receptor binding to glucocorticoid response elements at AT1aR and AT2R promoters, resulting in a significant increase in expression of AT1R protein but a decrease in AT2R expression in the heart. In addition, dexamethasone treatment significantly increased PKCε expression and p-PKCε protein abundance. These dexamethasone-mediated effects were blocked by RU486. More importantly, blockade of AT1R and AT2R with losartan and PD123319 abrogated dexamethasone-induced protection of the heart from I/R injury. The results indicate that glucocorticoid promotesa cardioprotective phenotype associated with the upregulation of AT1R and PKCε and downregulation of AT2R in the heart. © 2014 Xue et al.


Yan-Ling Z.,University of Sichuan | Chang-Quan H.,Third Hospital of Mianyang | Li Y.,Center for Perinatal Biology | Bi-Rong D.,University of Sichuan
Age | Year: 2014

In this study, we examined the association of fasting serum insulin (FSI) and fasting serum glucose (FSG) with cognitive impairment in the very elderly using a sample of Chinese nonagenarians/centenarians. This study used data from a survey that was conducted in 2005 on all residents aged 90 years or more in a district with 2,311,709 inhabitants. FSG, FSI, and cognitive function were analyzed. The sample included 661 unrelated Chinese individuals (aged 90-108 years; mean, 93.52±3.37 years; 67.17% women; FSI, 6.27± 2.27 mU/mL; FSG levels, 4.46±1.45 mmol/L). The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 61.81% and that of hypoinsulinemia was 31.92%. Individuals with hypoinsulinemia showed lower cognitive function scores (14.81±5.79 vs. 15.78±5.24, t=2.160, P =0.031). No differences in cognitive function score between different FSI and FSG groups were significant, and no differences in FSI and FSG between individuals with and without cognitive impairment were statistically significant. Unadjusted multiple logistic regressions showed that hypoinsulinemia, impaired fasting glucose, or diabetes did not change the risk of cognitive impairment significantly. In summary, we found that in elderly subjects, cognitive function appeared associated with FSI, and higher FSI may be associated with enhanced cognitive function. © The Author(s) 2013.


PubMed | Loma Linda University and Center for Perinatal Biology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism | Year: 2016

Vitamin D status increases during healthy mammalian pregnancy, but the molecular determinants remain uncharacterized. The first objective of this study was to determine the effects of pregnancy, and the second objective was to examine the role of chronic hypoxia on vitamin D status and metabolism in an ovine model. We analyzed the plasma levels of cholecalciferol, 25-OH-D, and 1,25-(OH)2D in nonpregnant ewes, near-term pregnant ewes, and their fetuses exposed to normoxia (low altitude) or hypoxia (high-altitude) for 100 days. Hypoxic sheep had increased circulating levels of 25-OH-D and 1,25-(OH)2D compared with normoxic sheep. Hypoxia increases in 25-OH-D were associated with increased expression of renal 25-hydroxylases CYP2R1 and CYP2J. Pregnancy did not increase further the plasma levels of 25-OH-D, but it significantly increased those of the active metabolite, 1,25-(OH)2D, in both normoxic and hypoxic ewes. Increased bioactivation of vitamin D correlated with increased expression of the vitamin D-activating enzyme CYP27b1 and decreased expression of the inactivating enzyme CYP24a1 in maternal kidneys and placentas. Hypoxia increased parathyroid hormone levels and further increased renal CYP27b1. Pregnancy and hypoxia decreased the expression of vitamin D receptor (VDR) in maternal kidney and lung, with opposite effects on placental VDR. We conclude that ovine pregnancy is a model of increased vitamin D status, and long-term hypoxia further improves vitamin D status due to pregnancy- and hypoxia-specific regulation of VDR and metabolic enzymes.


PubMed | Loma Linda University and Center for Perinatal Biology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The potential adverse effect of synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone therapy on the developing heart remains unknown. The present study investigated the effects of dexamethasone on cardiomyocyte proliferation and binucleation in the developing heart of newborn rats and evaluated DNA methylation as a potential mechanism. Dexamethasone was administered intraperitoneally in a three day tapered dose on postnatal day 1 (P1), 2 and 3 to rat pups in the absence or presence of a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist Ru486, given 30 minutes prior to dexamethasone. Cardiomyocytes from P4, P7 or P14 animals were analyzed for proliferation, binucleation and cell number. Dexamethasone treatment significantly increased the percentage of binucleated cardiomyocytes in the hearts of P4 pups, decreased myocyte proliferation in P4 and P7 pups, reduced cardiomyocyte number and increased the heart to body weight ratio in P14 pups. Ru486 abrogated the effects of dexamethasone. In addition, 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) blocked the effects of dexamethasone on binucleation in P4 animals and proliferation at P7, leading to recovered cardiomyocyte number in P14 hearts. 5-AZA alone promoted cardiomyocyte proliferation at P7 and resulted in a higher number of cardiomyocytes in P14 hearts. Dexamethasone significantly decreased cyclin D2, but not p27 expression in P4 hearts. 5-AZA inhibited global DNA methylation and blocked dexamethasone-mediated down-regulation of cyclin D2 in the heart of P4 pups. The findings suggest that dexamethasone acting on glucocorticoid receptors inhibits proliferation and stimulates premature terminal differentiation of cardiomyocytes in the developing heart via increased DNA methylation in a gene specific manner.


PubMed | Karolinska University Hospital, Loma Linda University and Center for Perinatal Biology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) | Year: 2016

Remodeling of the cervix occurs in advance of labor both at term and at preterm birth. Morphological characteristics associated with remodeling in rodents were assessed in cervix biopsies from women at term (39 weeks gestation) and preterm (<33 weeks gestation). Collagen I and III messenger RNA and hydroxyproline concentrations declined in cervix biopsies from women in labor at term and preterm compared to that in the cervix from nonlaboring women. Extracellular collagen was more degraded in sections of cervix from women at term, based on optical density of picrosirius red stain, versus that in biopsies from nonpregnant women. However, collagen structure was unchanged in the cervix from women at preterm labor versus the nonpregnant group. As an indication of inflammation, cell nuclei density was decreased in cervix biopsies from pregnant women irrespective of labor compared to the nonpregnant group. Moreover, CD68-stained macrophages increased to an equivalent extent in cervix subepithelium and stroma from groups in labor, both at term and preterm, as well as in women not in labor at term. Evidence for a similar inflammatory process in the remodeled cervix of women at term and preterm birth parallels results in rodent models. Thus, a conserved final common mechanism involving macrophages and inflammation may characterize the transition to a ripe cervix before birth at term and in advance of premature birth.

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