Elucida Research LLC

Beverly, MA, United States

Elucida Research LLC

Beverly, MA, United States

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Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC | Walter M.F.,U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases | Self-Medlin Y.,Elucida Research LLC | Mason R.P.,Elucida Research LLC | Mason R.P.,Brigham and Women's Hospital
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology | Year: 2013

We tested the hypothesis that atorvastatin active metabolite (ATM), on the basis of its distinct structural features and potent antioxidant activity, preferentially inhibits lipid oxidation in human small dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL) and other small lipid vesicles. LDL, sdLDL, and various subfractions were isolated from human plasma by sequential ultracentrifugation, treated with ATM, atorvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, or simvastatin and were subjected to copper-induced oxidation. Lipid oxidation was measured spectrophotometrically as a function of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances formation. Similar analyses were performed in reconstituted lipid vesicles enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and prepared at various sizes. ATM was found to inhibit sdLDL oxidation in a dose-dependent manner. The antioxidant effects of ATM in sdLDL were 1.5 and 4.7 times greater (P < 0.001) than those observed in large buoyant LDL and very low-density lipoprotein subfractions, respectively. ATM had similar dose- and size-dependent effects in reconstituted lipid vesicles. None of these effects were reproduced by atorvastatin (parent) or any of the other statins examined in this study. These data suggest that ATM interacts with sdLDL in a specific manner that also confers preferential resistance to oxidative stress. Such interactions may reduce sdLDL atherogenicity and improve clinical outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease. © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Mason R.P.,Harvard University | Mason R.P.,Elucida Research LLC | Jacob R.F.,Harvard University | Kubant R.,Ohio University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Most patients with diabetes also have hypertension, a risk factor associated with atherothrombotic disease and characterized by endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction and loss of nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Recent studies suggest a possible antihypertensive effect with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibition; however, the underlying mechanism is not understood. In this study, we tested the effects of the DPP4 inhibitor, saxagliptin, on EC function, blood pressure, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1) levels in hypertensive rats. Spontaneously hypertensive rats were treated with vehicle or saxagliptin (10 mg•-1kg•day-1) for 8 weeks. NO and peroxynitrite (ONOO) release from aortic and glomerular ECs was stimulated with calcium ionophore and measured using electrochemical nanosensor technology. Changes in EC function were correlated with fasting glucose levels. Saxagliptin treatment was observed to increase aortic and glomerular NO release by 22% (P < 0.001) and 23% (P < 0.001), respectively, with comparable reductions in ONOO levels; the NO/ONOO ratio increased by >50% in both EC types (P < 0.001) as compared with vehicle. Saxagliptin also reduced mean arterial pressure from 170 ± 10 to 158 ± 10 mm Hg (P < 0.001) and decreased sICAM-1 levels by 37% (P < 0.01). The results of this study suggest that DPP4 inhibition reduces blood pressure and inflammation in hypertensive rats while increasing NO bioavailability. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Mason R.P.,Harvard University | Mason R.P.,Elucida Research LLC | Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC | Shrivastava S.,CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes | Year: 2016

Cholesterol crystalline domains characterize atherosclerotic membranes, altering vascular signaling and function. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce membrane lipid peroxidation and subsequent cholesterol domain formation. We evaluated non-peroxidation-mediated effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), other TG-lowering agents, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and other long-chain fatty acids on membrane fluidity, bilayer width, and cholesterol domain formation in model membranes. In membranes prepared at 1.5:1 cholesterol-to-phospholipid (C/P) mole ratio (creating pre-existing domains), EPA, glycyrrhizin, arachidonic acid, and alpha linolenic acid promoted the greatest reductions in cholesterol domains (by 65.5%, 54.9%, 46.8%, and 45.2%, respectively) compared to controls; other treatments had modest effects. EPA effects on cholesterol domain formation were dose-dependent. In membranes with 1:1 C/P (predisposing domain formation), DHA, but not EPA, dose-dependently increased membrane fluidity. DHA also induced cholesterol domain formation without affecting temperature-induced changes in–bilayer unit cell periodicity relative to controls (d-space; 57 Å–55 Å over 15–30 °C). Together, these data suggest simultaneous formation of distinct cholesterol-rich ordered domains and cholesterol-poor disordered domains in the presence of DHA. By contrast, EPA had no effect on cholesterol domain formation and produced larger d-space values relative to controls (60 Å–57 Å; p < 0.05) over the same temperature range, suggesting a more uniform maintenance of lipid dynamics despite the presence of cholesterol. These data indicate that EPA and DHA had different effects on membrane bilayer width, membrane fluidity, and cholesterol crystalline domain formation; suggesting omega-3 fatty acids with differing chain length or unsaturation may differentially influence membrane lipid dynamics and structural organization as a result of distinct phospholipid/sterol interactions. © 2016


Mason R.P.,Harvard University | Mason R.P.,Elucida Research LLC | Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC | Kubant R.,Ohio University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis | Year: 2011

Aim: Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction contributes to insulin resistance in diabetes and is characterized by reduced nitric oxide (NO) release, increased nitroxidative stress and enhanced inflammation. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of improved postprandial glucose control on EC function in insulin-resistant rats as compared to fasting glucose (FG) changes. Methods: Obese Zucker rats were treated with 10 mg/kg/day saxagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitor, for 4 or 8 weeks and compared to lean rats. NO and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) release from aortic and glomerular ECs was measured ex vivo using amperometric approaches and correlated with FG, postprandial glucose, insulin, soluble CD40 (sCD40) and L-citrulline levels. Results: Saxagliptin treatment improved NO production and reduced ONOO- release prior to any observed changes in FG levels. In untreated obese animals, NO release from aortic and glomerular ECs decreased by 22% and 31%, respectively, while ONOO- release increased by 26% and 40%. Saxagliptin increased aortic and glomerular NO release by 18% and 31%, respectively, with comparable reductions in ONOO- levels; the NO/ONOO- ratio, an indicator of NO synthase coupling, increased by >40%. Improved glycemic control was further associated with a reduction in sCD40 levels by more than ten-fold (from 300±206 to 22±22 pg/mL, p<0.001). Conclusion: These findings indicate that enhanced glycemic control with DPP4 inhibition improved NO release and reduced inflammation in a manner not predicted by FG changes alone.


PubMed | CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Harvard University and Elucida Research LLC
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochimica et biophysica acta | Year: 2016

Cholesterol crystalline domains characterize atherosclerotic membranes, altering vascular signaling and function. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce membrane lipid peroxidation and subsequent cholesterol domain formation. We evaluated non-peroxidation-mediated effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), other TG-lowering agents, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and other long-chain fatty acids on membrane fluidity, bilayer width, and cholesterol domain formation in model membranes. In membranes prepared at 1.5:1 cholesterol-to-phospholipid (C/P) mole ratio (creating pre-existing domains), EPA, glycyrrhizin, arachidonic acid, and alpha linolenic acid promoted the greatest reductions in cholesterol domains (by 65.5%, 54.9%, 46.8%, and 45.2%, respectively) compared to controls; other treatments had modest effects. EPA effects on cholesterol domain formation were dose-dependent. In membranes with 1:1 C/P (predisposing domain formation), DHA, but not EPA, dose-dependently increased membrane fluidity. DHA also induced cholesterol domain formation without affecting temperature-induced changes in-bilayer unit cell periodicity relative to controls (d-space; 57-55 over 15-30C). Together, these data suggest simultaneous formation of distinct cholesterol-rich ordered domains and cholesterol-poor disordered domains in the presence of DHA. By contrast, EPA had no effect on cholesterol domain formation and produced larger d-space values relative to controls (60-57; p<0.05) over the same temperature range, suggesting a more uniform maintenance of lipid dynamics despite the presence of cholesterol. These data indicate that EPA and DHA had different effects on membrane bilayer width, membrane fluidity, and cholesterol crystalline domain formation; suggesting omega-3 fatty acids with differing chain length or unsaturation may differentially influence membrane lipid dynamics and structural organization as a result of distinct phospholipid/sterol interactions.


Mizuno Y.,Harvard University | Mizuno Y.,Elucida Research LLC | Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC | Mason R.P.,Harvard University | Mason R.P.,Elucida Research LLC
Current Cardiology Reports | Year: 2010

A number of structural and functional mechanisms have been identified in the pathogenesis of hypertensive vascular disease, each of which requires effective therapy to reduce global cardiovascular risk. Hypertension, together with other cardiovascular risk factors, promotes endothelial dysfunction as evidenced by decreased nitric oxide (NO) release and reduced vascular responsiveness to normal vasodilatory stimuli. In addition, the mechanical forces inherent in hypertension activate neurohormonal mechanisms, including the renin-angiotensin system, which modulate vessel wall structure and function. Antihypertensive drugs may have class-specific hemodynamic and physiologic effects that attenuate these vascular disease processes. Pharmacologic approaches that enhance endothelial NO bioavailability have been shown to restore vasodilation while reducing clinical events. These agents improve NO bioavailability by increasing endogenous production through enzymatic mechanisms or by promoting the direct release of NO by its redox congeners in a spontaneous fashion. In this article, we review the basic mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction along with the use and comparative therapeutic benefits of various pharmacologic interventions, with particular emphasis on antihypertensive agents. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Mason R.P.,Harvard University | Mason R.P.,Elucida Research LLC | Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes | Year: 2015

Lipid oxidation leads to endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, and foam cell formation during atherogenesis. Glucose also contributes to lipid oxidation and promotes pathologic changes in membrane structural organization, including the development of cholesterol crystalline domains. In this study, we tested the comparative effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid indicated for the treatment of very high triglyceride (TG) levels, and other TG-lowering agents (fenofibrate, niacin, and gemfibrozil) on lipid oxidation in human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) as well as membrane lipid vesicles prepared in the presence of glucose (200 mg/dL). We also examined the antioxidant effects of EPA in combination with atorvastatin o-hydroxy (active) metabolite (ATM). Glucose-induced changes in membrane structural organization were measured using small angle x-ray scattering approaches and correlated with changes in lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) levels. EPA was found to inhibit LDL oxidation in a dose-dependent manner (1.0-10.0 μM) and was distinguished from the other TG-lowering agents, which had no significant effect as compared to vehicle treatment alone. Similar effects were observed in membrane lipid vesicles exposed to hyperglycemic conditions. The antioxidant activity of EPA, as observed in glucose-treated vesicles, was significantly enhanced in combination with ATM. Glucose treatment produced highly-ordered, membrane-restricted, cholesterol crystalline domains, which correlated with increased LOOH levels. Of the agents tested in this study, only EPA inhibited glucose-induced cholesterol domain formation. These data demonstrate that EPA, at pharmacologic levels, inhibits hyperglycemia-induced changes in membrane lipid structural organization through a potent antioxidant mechanism associated with its distinct, physicochemical interactions with the membrane bilayer.


Mizuno Y.,Bunkyo University | Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC | Mason R.P.,Brigham and Women's Hospital
Therapy | Year: 2011

Reduced cardiovascular events and mortality have been reported for hypertensive subjects treated with dihydropyridine-type calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and inhibitors of the renin-â€"angiotensin system (RAS) in clinical trials. Recent evidence suggests that these agents may have vascular benefits that cannot be attributed to the reduction of blood pressure alone. Dihydropyridine-type CCBs and RAS blockers have been shown to improve endothelial activity while reducing inflammation. These changes in vascular activity have been confirmed by pulse wave analyses, which show a reduced impact of pressure wave reflections on central systolic blood pressure. In this article, we examine the separate and combined effects of CCB and RAS inhibition in reducing cardiovascular risk through enhanced vascular function. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.


Jacob R.F.,Elucida Research LLC | Aleo M.D.,Pfizer | Self-Medlin Y.,Elucida Research LLC | Doshna C.M.,Pfizer | And 2 more authors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2013

Purpose. Naphthalene induces cataract formation through the accumulation of its reactive metabolite, 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ), in the ocular lens. 1,2-NQ increases lens protein oxidation and disrupts fiber cell membrane function; however, the association of these effects with changes in membrane structure is not understood. The goal of this study was to determine the direct effects of 1,2-NQ on membrane lipid oxidation and structural organization. Methods. Iodometric approaches were used to measure the effects of naphthalene and 1,2-NQ on lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) formation in model membranes composed of cholesterol and dilinoleoylphosphatidylcholine. Membrane samples were prepared at various cholesterol-to-phospholipid mole ratios and subjected to autoxidation at 37°C for 48 hours in the absence or presence of either agent alone (0.1-5.0 μM) or in combination with vitamin E. Small-angle x-ray diffraction was used to measure the effects of naphthalene and 1,2-NQ on membrane structure before and after exposure to oxidative stress. Results. 1,2-NQ increased LOOH formation by 250% (P < 0.001) and 350% (P < 0.001) at 1.0 and 5.0 μM, respectively, whereas naphthalene decreased LOOH levels by 25% (P < 0.01) and 10% (NS). The pro-oxidant effect of 1,2-NQ was inversely affected by membrane cholesterol enrichment and completely blocked by vitamin E. 1,2-NQ also increased cholesterol domain formation by 360% in membranes exposed to oxidative stress; however, no significant changes in membrane lipid organization were observed with naphthalene under the same conditions. Conclusions. These data suggest a novel mechanism for naphthalene-induced cataract, facilitated by the direct effects of 1,2-NQ on lipid peroxidation and cholesterol domain formation. © 2013 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.


PubMed | Harvard University and Elucida Research LLC
Type: | Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications | Year: 2016

Widely available fish oil dietary supplements (DS) may contain fats and oxidized lipids in addition to the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids (OM3FAs) for which they are purchased. Little is known about the potential biological effects of these oxidized lipids. The objective of this study was to assess the fatty acid content, oxidation products, and biological effects of leading fish oil DS available in the United States. Three top-selling fish oil DS in the US were included in this analysis. Fatty acid composition was measured using gas chromatography. Lipid oxidation (primary and secondary products) was measured by spectroscopy in both DS and a prescription OM3FA product. OM3FAs were also isolated and concentrated from DS and were tested for the ability to inhibit copper-induced oxidation of human small dense low-density lipoprotein particles (sdLDL) in vitro. Fish oil DS were found to contain more than 30 different fatty acids, including 10 to 14 different saturated species comprising up to 36% of the total fatty acid content. Levels of OM3FA also varied widely among DS (33%-79%). Primary (peroxide), secondary (anisidine), and total oxidation products exceeded maximum levels established by international standards of quality in the DS but not the prescription OM3FA product. Oxidation of sdLDL was inhibited by >95% (P<0.001) with non-oxidized forms of OM3FA but not with OM3FAs isolated from DS, which were a mixture of oxidized and non-oxidized OM3FAs. These data indicate that levels of saturated fat and oxidized OM3FA found in common DS may interfere with their intended/potential biological benefits.

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