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Lee T.-M.,Tainan Municipal An Nan Hospital China Medical University | Lee T.-M.,China Medical University at Taichung | Chung T.-H.,Fu Jen Catholic University | Lin S.-Z.,China Medical University Beigan Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:: Excessive production of fibrosis is a feature of hypertension-induced renal injury. Activation of RhoA/Rho-kinase (ROCK) axis has been shown in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rats. We assessed whether selective endothelin receptor blockers can attenuate renal fibrosis by inhibiting RhoA/ROCK axis in DOCA-salt rats. METHODS:: At 4 weeks after the start of DOCA-salt treatment and uninephrectomization, male Wistar rats were randomized into three groups for 4 weeks: vehicle, ABT-627 (endothelin-A receptor inhibitor) and A192621 (endothelin-B receptor inhibitor). RESULTS:: DOCA-salt was characterized by increased blood pressure, decreased renal function, increased proteinuria, increased glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis with myofibroblast accumulation, increased renal endothelin-1 levels and RhoA activity along with increased expression of connective tissue growth factor at both mRNA and protein levels as compared with uninephrectomized control male Wistar rats. Treatment with a selective mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, eplerenone, ameliorated proteinuria. Impaired renal function and histological changes were overcome by treatment with ABT-627, but not with A192621. The beneficial effects of bosentan, a nonspecific endothelin receptor blocker, on proteinuria, RhoA activity, and connective tissue growth factor levels were similar to ABT-627. Furthermore, in an isolated perfuse kidney, a RhoA inhibitor, C3 exoenzyme, and two ROCK inhibitors, fasudil and Y-27632, significantly attenuated connective tissue growth factor levels. CONCLUSIONS:: These results indicate that DOCA-salt elevates renal endothelin-1 levels and RhoA activity via activation of mineralocorticoid receptor, resulting in renal fibrosis and proteinuria. Endothelin-A receptor blockade can attenuate DOCA-salt-induced renal fibrosis probably through the inhibition of RhoA/ROCK activity and connective tissue growth factor expression. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Lee T.-M.,Tainan Municipal An Nan Hospital China Medical University | Lee T.-M.,China Medical University at Taichung | Lee T.-M.,Taipei Medical University | Lin S.-Z.,China Medical University at Taichung | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Cardiac remodeling was shown to be associated with reduced gap junction expression after myocardial infarction. A reduction in gap junctional proteins between myocytes may trigger ventricular arrhythmia. Therefore, we investigated whether N-acetylcysteine exerted antiarrhythmic effect by preserving connexin43 expression in postinfarcted rats, focusing on cAMP downstream molecules such as protein kinase A (PKA) and exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac). Male Wistar rats after ligating coronary artery were randomized to either vehicle, or N-acetylcysteine for 4 weeks starting 24 hours after operation. Infarct size was similar between two groups. Compared with vehicle, cAMP levels were increased by N-acetylcysteine treatment after infarction. Myocardial connexin43 expression was significantly decreased in vehicle-treated infarcted rats compared with sham operated rats. Attenuated connexin43 expression and function were blunted after administering N-acetylcysteine, assessed by immunofluorescent analysis, dye coupling, Western blotting, and real-time quantitative RT-PCR of connexin43. Arrhythmic scores during programmed stimulation in the N-acetylcysteine-treated rats were significantly lower than those treated with vehicle. In an ex vivo study, enhanced connexin43 levels afforded by N-acetylcysteine were partially blocked by either H-89 (a PKA inhibitor) or brefeldin A (an Epac-signaling inhibitor) and completely blocked when H-89 and brefeldin A were given in combination. Addition of either the PKA specific activator N6Bz or Epac specific activator 8-CPT did not have additional increased connexin43 levels compared with rats treated with lithium chloride alone. These findings suggest that N-acetylcysteine protects ventricular arrhythmias by attenuating reduced connexin43 expression and function via both PKA- and Epac-dependent pathways, which converge through the inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β. © 2013 Lee et al.

Lee T.-M.,Tainan Municipal An Nan Hospital China Medical University | Lee T.-M.,Taipei Medical University | Lin S.-Z.,Tainan Municipal An Nan Hospital China Medical University | Lin S.-Z.,China Medical University at Taichung | And 4 more authors.
Circulation Journal | Year: 2014

Background: The effect of phosphodiesterase-3 (PDE-3) inhibitors on arrhythmia remains controversial, so the purpose of this study was to determine their differential effects on sympathetic hyperinnervation and the involved mechanisms in a rat model of myocardial infarction. Methods and Results: After ligating the coronary artery, male Wistar rats were randomized to cilostazol or milrinone, chemically unrelated inhibitors of PDE-3, or vehicle for 4 weeks. The postinfarction period was associated with increased myocardial norepinephrine levels and oxidant release, as measured by myocardial superoxide level and dihydroethidine fluorescence staining. Infarcted rats in the milrinone- and cilostazol-treated groups had favorable ventricular remodeling with similar potency. Compared with milrinone, cilostazol significantly increased interstitial adenosine levels and reduced the production of myocardial cAMP and superoxide. Cilostazol significantly blunted sympathetic hyperinnervation, as assessed by immunofluorescent analysis of sympathetic innervation, and western blotting and real-time quantitative RT-PCR of nerve growth factor. Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of cilostazol on nerve growth factor was reversed by 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine, a selective A1 receptor antagonist, and enhanced by tempol administration. In spite of similar arrhythmic vulnerability during programmed stimulation in both the vehicle- and cilostazol-treated groups, cilostazol did not have proarrhythmic effects compared with milrinone. Conclusions: Unlike milrinone, cilostazol has therapeutic neutrality in arrhythmias because of adenosine uptake inhibition, which antagonizes the PDE-3-induced increase of sympathetic reinnervation via mediation of an adenosine A1 receptor-mediated antioxidation.

Li Y.-S.,National Dong Hwa University | Harn H.-J.,China Medical University at Taichung | Hsieh D.-K.,Chaoyang University of Technology | Wen T.-C.,National Dong Hwa University | And 5 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2013

Liver transplantation is currently the most efficacious treatment for end-stage liver diseases. However, one main problem with liver transplantation is the limited number of donor organs that are available. Therefore, liver tissue engineering based on cell transplantation that combines materials to mimic the liver is under investigation with the goal of restoring normal liver functions. Tissue engineering aims to mimic the interactions among cells with a scaffold. Particular materials or a matrix serve as a scaffold and provide a three-dimensional environment for cell proliferation and interaction. Moreover, the scaffold plays a role in regulating cell maturation and function via these interactions. In cultures of hepatic lineage cells, regulation of cell proliferation and specific function using biocompatible synthetic, biodegradable bioderived matrices, protein-coated materials, surface-modified nanofibers, and decellularized biomatrix has been demonstrated. Furthermore, beneficial effects of addition of growth factor cocktails to a flow bioreactor or coculture system on cell viability and function have been observed. In addition, a system for growing stem cells, liver progenitor cells, and primary hepatocytes for transplantation into animal models was developed, which produces hepatic lineage cells that are functional and that show long-term proliferation following transplantation. The major limitation of cells proliferated with matrix-based transplantation systems is the high initial cell loss and dysfunction, which may be due to the absence of blood flow and the changes in nutrients. Thus, the development of vascular-like scaffold structures, the formation of functional bile ducts, and the maintenance of complex metabolic functions remain as major problems in hepatic tissue engineering and will need to be addressed to enable further advances toward clinical applications. © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.

Lee T.-M.,China Medical University An Nan Hospital | Lee T.-M.,China Medical University at Taichung | Lee T.-M.,Taipei Medical University | Lin S.-Z.,China Medical University at Taichung | And 4 more authors.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2014

Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) signaling has been shown to play a role in the regulation of nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a master regulator of antioxidant genes, including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). We assessed whether lithium, a GSK-3 inhibitor, attenuates cardiac sympathetic reinnervation after myocardial infarction, a status of high reactive oxygen species (ROS), by attenuating nerve growth factor (NGF) expression and whether Nrf2/HO-1 signaling is involved in the protection. Twenty-four hours after ligation of the left anterior descending artery, male Wistar rats were treated for 4 weeks. The postinfarction period was associated with increased oxidative-nitrosative stress, as measured by myocardial superoxide, nitrotyrosine, and dihydroethidium fluorescent staining. In concert, myocardial norepinephrine levels and immunohistochemical analysis of sympathetic nerve revealed a significant increase in innervation in vehicle-treated rats compared with sham-operated rats. Arrhythmic scores during programmed stimulation in the vehicle-treated rats were significantly higher than those in sham. This was paralleled by a significant upregulation of NGF protein and mRNA in the vehicle-treated rats, which was reduced after administration of LiCl. LiCl stimulated the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and the transactivation of the Nrf2 target gene HO-1. Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase by wortmannin reduced the increase in Nrf2 nucleus translocation and HO-1 expression compared with lithium alone. In addition, the lithium-attenuated NGF levels were reversed in the presence of the Nrf2 inhibitor trigonelline, HO-1 inhibitor SnPP, and peroxynitrite generator SIN-1, indicating the role of Nrf2/HO-1/ROS. In conclusion, lithium protects against ventricular arrhythmias by attenuating NGF-induced sympathetic innervation via antioxidant activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 axis. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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