Hypertension and Vascular Research Center

Wake Forest, NC, United States

Hypertension and Vascular Research Center

Wake Forest, NC, United States
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Shaltout H.A.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Gerdes L.,Brain State Technologies LLC | Lee S.W.,Brain State Technologies LLC
Brain and Behavior | Year: 2015

Objective: Explore potential use of a temporal lobe electrical asymmetry score to discriminate between sympathetic and parasympathetic tendencies in autonomic cardiovascular regulation. Methods: 131 individuals (82 women, mean age 43.1, range 13-83) with diverse clinical conditions completed inventories for depressive (CES-D or BDI-II) and insomnia-related (ISI) symptomatology, and underwent five-minute recordings of heart rate and blood pressure, allowing calculation of heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), followed by one-minute, two-channel, eyes-closed scalp recordings of brain electrical activity. A temporal lobe high-frequency (23-36 Hz) electrical asymmetry score was calculated for each subject by subtracting the average amplitude in the left temporal region from amplitude in the right temporal region, and dividing by the lesser of the two. Results: Depressive and insomnia-related symptomatology exceeding clinical threshold levels were reported by 48% and 50% of subjects, respectively. Using a cutoff value of 5% or greater to define temporal high-frequency asymmetry, subjects with leftward compared to rightward asymmetry were more likely to report use of a sedative-hypnotic medication (42% vs. 22%, P = 0.02). Among subjects with asymmetry of 5% or greater to 30% or greater, those with rightward compared to leftward temporal high-frequency asymmetry had higher resting heart rate (≥5% asymmetry, 72.3 vs. 63.8, P = 0.004; ≥10%, 71.5 vs. 63.0, P = 0.01; ≥20%, 72.2 vs. 64.2, P = 0.05; ≥30%, 71.4 vs. 64.6, P = 0.05). Subjects with larger degrees of rightward compared to leftward temporal high-frequency asymmetry had lower baroreflex sensitivity (≥40% asymmetry, 10.6 vs. 16.4, P = 0.03; ≥50% asymmetry, 10.4 vs. 16.7, P = 0.05). Conclusion: In a heterogeneous population, individuals with rightward compared to leftward temporal high-frequency electrical asymmetry had higher resting heart rate and lower BRS. Two-channel recording of brain electrical activity from bilateral temporal regions appears to hold promise for further investigation as a means to assess cortical activity associated with autonomic cardiovascular regulation. © 2015 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Marshall A.C.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Shaltout H.A.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Shaltout H.A.,Alexandria University | Pirro N.T.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology | Year: 2013

Antenatal betamethasone (BM) therapy accelerates lung development in preterm infants but may induce early programming events with long-term cardiovascular consequences. To elucidate these events, we developed a model of programming whereby pregnant ewes are administered BM (2 doses of 0.17 mg/kg) or vehicle at the 80th day of gestation and offspring are delivered at term. BM-exposed (BMX) offspring develop elevated blood pressure; decreased baroreflex sensitivity; and alterations in the circulating, renal, and brain renin-angiotensin systems (RAS) by 6 mo of age. We compared components of the choroid plexus fourth ventricle (ChP4) and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) RAS between control and BMX male offspring at 6 mo of age. In the choroid plexus, high-molecular-weight renin protein and ANG I-intact angiotensinogen were unchanged between BMX and control animals. Angiotensinconverting enzyme 2 (ACE2) activity was threefold higher than either neprilysin (NEP) or angiotensin 1-converting enzyme (ACE) in control and BMX animals. Moreover, all three enzymes were equally enriched by approximately 2.5-fold in ChP4 brush-border membrane preparations. CSF ANG-(1-7) levels were significantly lower in BMX animals (351.8 ± 76.8 vs. 77.5 ± 29.7 fmol/mg; P < 0.05) and ACE activity was significantly higher (6.6 ± 0.5 vs. 8.9 ± 0.5 fmol·min-1·ml-1; P < 0.05), whereas ACE2 and NEP activities were below measurable limits. A thiol-sensitive peptidase contributed to the majority of ANG-(1-7) metabolism in the CSF, with higher activity in BMX animals. We conclude that in utero BM exposure alters CSF but not ChP RAS components, resulting in lower ANG-(1-7) levels in exposed animals. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.


Marshall A.C.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Pirro N.T.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Diz D.I.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Chappell M.C.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2014

Angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)] is an alternative product of the brain renin-angiotensin system that exhibits central actions to lower blood pressure and improve baroreflex sensitivity. We previously identified a peptidase that metabolizes Ang-(1-7) to the inactive metabolite product Ang-(1-4) in CSF of adult sheep. This study purified the peptidase 1445-fold from sheep brain medulla and characterized this activity. The peptidase was sensitive to the chelating agents o-phenanthroline and EDTA, as well as the mercury compound p-chloromercuribenzoic acid (PCMB). Selective inhibitors to angiotensin- converting enzyme, neprilysin, neurolysin, and thimet oligopeptidase did not attenuate activity; however, the metallopeptidase agent JMV-390 was a potent inhibitor of Ang-(1-7) hydrolysis (Ki = 0.8 nM). Kinetic studies using 125I-labeled Ang-(1-7), Ang II, and Ang I revealed comparable apparent Km values (2.6, 2.8, and 4.3 μM, respectively), but a higher apparent Vmax for Ang-(1-7) (72 vs. 30 and 6 nmol/min/mg, respectively; p < 0.01). HPLC analysis of the activity confirmed the processing of unlabeled Ang-(1-7) to Ang-(1-4) by the peptidase, but revealed < 5% hydrolysis of Ang II or Ang I, and no hydrolysis of neurotensin, bradykinin or apelin-13. The unique characteristics of the purified neuropeptidase may portend a novel pathway to influence actions of Ang-(1-7) within the brain. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.


Moore E.D.,Nutrition Research Center | Metheny-Barlow L.J.,Nutrition Research Center | Gallagher P.E.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Robbins M.E.,Nutrition Research Center
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2013

About 500,000 new cancer patients will develop brain metastases in 2013. The primary treatment modality for these patients is partial or whole brain irradiation which leads to a progressive, irreversible cognitive impairment. Although the exact mechanisms behind this radiation-induced brain injury are unknown, neuroinflammation in glial populations is hypothesized to play a role. Blockers of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) prevent radiation-induced cognitive impairment and modulate radiation-induced neuroinflammation. Recent studies suggest that RAS blockers may reduce inflammation by increasing endogenous concentrations of the anti-inflammatory heptapeptide angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)]. Ang-(1-7) binds to the AT(1-7) receptor and inhibits MAP kinase activity to prevent inflammation. This study describes the inflammatory response to radiation in astrocytes characterized by radiation-induced increases in (i) IL-1β and IL-6 gene expression; (ii) COX-2 and GFAP immunoreactivity; (iii) activation of AP-1 and NF-κB transcription factors; and (iv) PKCα, MEK, and ERK (MAP kinase) activation. Treatment with U-0126, a MEK inhibitor, demonstrates that this radiation-induced inflammation in astrocytes is mediated through the MAP kinase pathway. Ang-(1-7) inhibits radiation-induced inflammation, increases in PKCα, and MAP kinase pathway activation (phosphorylation of MEK and ERK). Additionally Ang-(1-7) treatment leads to an increase in dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1). Furthermore, treatment with sodium vanadate (Na 3VO4), a phosphatase inhibitor, blocks Ang-(1-7) inhibition of radiation-induced inflammation and MAP kinase activation, suggesting that Ang-(1-7) alters phosphatase activity to inhibit radiation-induced inflammation. These data suggest that RAS blockers inhibit radiation-induced inflammation and prevent radiation-induced cognitive impairment not only by reducing Ang II but also by increasing Ang-(1-7) levels. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Wang H.,Medical Center Boulevard | Jessup J.A.,Medical Center Boulevard | Lin M.S.,Medical Center Boulevard | Chagas C.,Medical Center Boulevard | And 2 more authors.
Cardiovascular Research | Year: 2012

Aims: GPR30 is a novel oestrogen receptor expressed in various tissues, including the heart. We determined the role of GPR30 in the maintenance of left ventricular (LV) structure and diastolic function after the surgical loss of ovarian hormones in the female mRen2.Lewis rat, a model emulating the cardiac phenotype of the post-menopausal woman. Methods and results: Bilateral oophorectomy (OVX) or sham surgery was performed in study rats; the selective GPR30 agonist, G-1 (50 g/kg/day), or vehicle was given subcutaneously to OVX rats from 1315 weeks of age. Similar to the cardiac phenotype of sham rats, G-1 preserved diastolic function and structure relative to vehicle-treated OVX littermates independent of changes in blood pressure. G-1 limited the OVX-induced increase in LV filling pressure, LV mass, wall thickness, interstitial collagen deposition, atrial natriuretic factor and brain natriuretic peptide mRNA levels, and cardiac NAD(P)H oxidase 4 (NOX4) expression. In vitro studies showed that G-1 inhibited angiotensin II-induced hypertrophy in H9c2 cardiomyocytes, evidenced by reductions in cell size, protein content per cell, and atrial natriuretic factor mRNA levels. The GPR30 antagonist, G15, inhibited the protective effects of both oestradiol and G-1 on this hypertrophy. Conclusion: These data show that the GPR30 agonist G-1 mitigates the adverse effects of oestrogen loss on LV remodelling and the development of diastolic dysfunction in the study rats. This expands our knowledge of the sex-specific mechanisms underlying diastolic dysfunction and provides a potential therapeutic target for reducing the progression of this cardiovascular disease process in post-menopausal women. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2012.


Lindsey S.H.,Tulane University | da Silva A.S.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Silva M.S.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Chappell M.C.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center
American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Previously, we reported that chronic activation of the estrogen receptor GPR30 by its selective agonist G-1 decreases blood pressure in ovariectomized hypertensive mRen2.Lewis (mRen2) rats but not intact male littermates. Furthermore, G-1 relaxes female mesenteric resistance arteries via both endothelium-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Because of the lack of a blood pressure-lowering effect by G-1 in males and the potential influence of aging on estrogen receptor expression, we hypothesized that GPR30-dependent vasodilation and receptor expression are altered in males and aged females. Thus, we assessed the response to 17β-estradiol or G-1 in mesenteric arteries obtained from 15-wk-old normotensive Lewis and hypertensive mRen2 females and males as well as 52-wk-old Lewis females. Vasodilation to 17β-estradiol (E2) and G-1 was significantly attenuated in 15-wk-old Lewis and mRen2 males compared with age-matched females. Pretreatment of male vessels with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME had no significant effect on the estradiol or G-1 response. In aged females, E2 and G-1 vasorelaxation was also significantly blunted; however, L-NAME essentially abolished the response. Associated with the reduced vascular responses, GPR30 expression in mesenteric arteries was approximately 50% lower in males and aged females compared with young females. We conclude that alterations in GPR30 expression and signaling may contribute to vascular dysfunction in aging females and a greater blood pressure in hypertensive males. © the American Physiological Society.


Yamaleyeva L.M.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Gilliam-Davis S.,Winston-Salem State University | Almeida I.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Bridget Brosnihan K.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology | Year: 2012

We examined the impact of early diabetes on the circulating and kidney renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in male and female mRen2.Lewis (mRen2) hypertensive rats. Diabetes (DB) was induced by streptozotocin (STZ; 65 mg/kg) at 11 wk of age for 4 wk without insulin replacement. Systolic blood pressures were not increased in DB males or females compared with controls (CON). Circulating angiotensinconverting enzyme 2 (ACE2) increased ninefold (P < 0.05) in DB females and threefold (P < 0.05) in DB males, but circulating ACE and ANG II were higher in the DB groups. Serum C-reactive protein was elevated in DB females but not DB males, and the vascular responses to acetylcholine and estradiol were attenuated in the DB females. Proteinuria, albuminuria, and angiotensinogen excretion increased to a similar extent in both DB females and males. Glomerular VEGF expression also increased to a similar extent in both DB groups. Renal inflammation (CD68 +cells) increased only in DB females although males exhibited greater inflammation that was not different with DB. Cortical ACE2 did not change in DB females but was reduced (30%) in DB males. Renal neprilysin activity (>75%, P < 0.05) was markedly reduced in the DB females to that in the DB and CON males. ACE activity was significantly lower in both female (75%, P < 0.05) and male (50%; P < 0.05) DB groups, while cortical ANG II and Ang-(1-7) levels were unchanged. In conclusion, female mRen2 rats are not protected from vascular damage, renal inflammation, and kidney injury in early STZ-induced diabetes despite a marked increase in circulating ACE2 and significantly reduced ACE within the kidney. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.


Lindsey S.H.,Tulane University | Liu L.,Tulane University | Chappell M.C.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center
Steroids | Year: 2014

Our previous work showed that chronic activation of the membrane-bound estrogen receptor GPR30/GPER significantly lowers blood pressure in ovariectomized hypertensive mRen2.Lewis female rats which may, in part, reflect direct vasodilatory actions. The current study assessed the hypothesis that cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling contributes to GPER-mediated vasorelaxation. In mesenteric resistance arteries from intact Lewis females, relaxation to 17-β-estradiol (E2; 47 ± 3% of phenylephrine contraction vs. vehicle 89 ± 2%, P < 0.001) or G-1 (44 ± 8%, P < 0.001) was blunted to a similar extent by denuding (P < 0.001) or the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor l-NAME (P < 0.001). In contrast, the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin did not alter vasodilation (P > 0.05). The cAMP analog Rp-cAMPS partially attenuated vasodilation (65 ± 7%, P < 0.001), while the combination of l-NAME and Rp-cAMPS exhibited additive effects to effectively abolish vasorelaxation (P > 0.05 vs. vehicle). Pretreatment of endothelium-intact vessels with the adenylyl cyclase inhibitor SQ (63 ± 6%) or the guanylyl cyclase inhibitor ODQ (62 ± 9%) both partially inhibited the response to G-1 (P < 0.01), while pretreatment with the both inhibitors completely abolished vasorelaxation (P > 0.05 vs. vehicle). In denuded vessels only SQ reduced the response (88 ± 3%, P < 0.001). Moreover, G-1 significantly increased intracellular cAMP levels in cultured mesenteric smooth muscle cells (P < 0.05). We conclude that GPER-dependent vasorelaxation apparently involves both endothelial release of nitric oxide which activates guanylyl cyclase and smooth muscle cell activation of adenylyl cyclase. Downstream production of cyclic nucleotides and stimulation of protein kinases may phosphorylate proteins to promote vascular smooth muscle cell relaxation. The ability of GPER to initiate these signaling pathways may contribute to the beneficial vascular effects of estrogen. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Lindsey S.H.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Chappell M.C.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center
Gender Medicine | Year: 2011

Although female protection from cardiovascular diseases declines with the fall in circulating sex hormones experienced during menopause, clinical trials in older women fail to demonstrate beneficial effects for hormone replacement therapy. The recent discovery of GPR30, a membrane-bound estrogen receptor that is structurally and functionally unique from the steroid receptors ERα and ERβ, has unveiled additional signaling pathways by which estrogen may influence cardiovascular health. This review takes an organ-based approach to assess the expression and function of GPR30 in the cardiovascular system. We concluded that although the current literature does suggest a cardiovascular role for GPR30, additional exploration is necessary to fully elucidate the estrogenic actions mediated by this novel receptor. © 2011 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc. All rights reserved.


Brosnihan K.B.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Bharadwaj M.S.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Yamaleyeva L.M.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center | Neves L.A.A.,Hypertension and Vascular Research Center
Placenta | Year: 2012

Previous studies showed that angiotensin (Ang) II and Ang-(1-7) concentrations were reduced in the implantation site at day 7 of pregnancy in Sprague-Dawley rats as compared to the site immediately adjacent to it, which does not have the embryo attached, clearly showing the importance of the blastocyst in the regulation of renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the regulation of the RAS in the decidualized uterus in the pseudopregnant rat, a model without the presence of a conceptus. Methods: Ovariectomized, adult female rats were sensitized for the decidual cell reaction with steroid treatments; decidualization was induced by oil-injection of the right horn; the left horn served as a control. The uterine content of Ang I, Ang II, and Ang-(1-7) was examined in the decidualized and non-decidualized uteri. Results: Both Ang-(1-7) and Ang II and ACE and ACE2 mRNA were significantly reduced in the decidualized horn as compared to the non-decidualized horn. Immunocytochemical characterization of Ang II, Ang-(1-7), ACE and ACE2 demonstrated that Ang-(1-7), Ang II, and ACE2 polarize to the anti-mesometrial pole with decidualization. Conclusion: The decidualization process elicits marked reduction in uterine Ang II and Ang-(1-7) content as compared to the non-decidualized horn. The differential immunocytochemical expression of Ang II and Ang-(1-7) with ACE2, but not ACE in the anti-mesometrial pole of the decidualized horn may favor the formation and action of Ang-(1-7) in the anti-mesometrial pole, an area which plays a role in triggering the decidualization process. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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