Tucker, GA, United States

InVasc Therapeutics

Tucker, GA, United States
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Ying Z.,Tongji University | Ying Z.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Chen M.,Tongji University | Chen M.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Objective: Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, and Nrf2 is the transcriptional factor central in cellular antioxidant responses. In the present study, we investigate the effect of a dihydrolipoic acid derivative lipoicmethylenedioxyphenol (LMDP) on the progression of atherosclerosis and test whether its effect on atherosclerosis ismediated by Nrf2. Methods and Results: Both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning and en face analysis reveal that 14 weeks of treatment with LMDP markedly reduced atherosclerotic burden in a rabbit balloon vascular injury model. Myograph analyses show decreased aortic contractile response to phenylephrine and increased aortic response to acetylcholine and insulin in LMDP-treated animals, suggesting that LMDP inhibits atherosclerosis through improving vascular function. A role of Nrf2 signaling in mediating the amelioration of vascular function by LMDP was supported by increased Nrf2 translocation into nuclear and increased expression of Nrf2 target genes. Furthermore, chemotaxis analysis with Boydem chamber shows that leukocytes isolated from LMDP-treated rabbits had reduced chemotaxis, and knock-down of Nrf2 significantly reduced the effect of LMDP on the chemotaxis of mouse macrophages. Conclusion: Our results support that LMDP has an anti-atherosclerotic effect likely through activation of Nrf2 signaling and subsequent inhibition of macrophage chemotaxis. © 2016 Ying et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Connell B.J.,University of Prince Edward Island | Khan B.V.,University of Prince Edward Island | Khan B.V.,InVasc Therapeutics | Khan B.V.,Atlanta Vascular Research Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Cardiology Research and Practice | Year: 2012

Background. Lipoic acid (LA), which has significant antioxidant properties, may also function as a potent neuroprotectant. The synthetic compounds INV-155, INV-157, INV-159, and INV-161 are physiochemical combinations of lipoic acid and captopril. We sought to determine if these compounds have neuroprotective potential following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. Methods. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intravenously with captopril (1-50mg/kg) 30 minutes prior to MCAO. Blood pressure, heart rate, baroreceptor reflex sensitivity, and infarct size were measured. In addition, dose response effect on infarct size and cardiovascular parameters was determined using INV-155, INV-157, INV-159, and INV-161 and compared to captopril and LA. Results. Pretreatment with captopril and LA at all doses tested was neuroprotective. The compounds INV-159 (0.5-10mg/kg) and INV-161 (1-10mg/kg) produced a significant,dose-dependent decrease in infarct size. In contrast, INV-155 and INV-157 had no effect on infarct size. Conclusions. Combined pretreatment with captopril potentiated the neuroprotective benefit observed following LA alone. Both INV-159 and INV-161 were also neuroprotective. These results suggest that patients taking combinations of captopril and LA, either as combination therapy or in the form of INV-159 or INV-161, may also benefit from significant protection against cerebral infarction. © 2012 Barry J. Connell et al.

Liu C.,Hangzhou Normal University | Liu C.,Ohio State University | Desikan R.,InVasc Therapeutics | Ying Z.,Ohio State University | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Inflammation and oxidative stress play fundamental roles in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Myeloperoxidase has been extensively implicated as a key mediator of inflammatory and redox-dependent processes in atherosclerosis. However, the effect of synthetic myeloperoxidase inhibitors on atherosclerosis has been insufficiently studied. In this study, ApoE-/- mice were randomized to low- and high-dose INV-315 groups for 16 weeks on high-fat diet. INV-315 resulted in reduced plaque burden and improved endothelial function in response to acetylcholine. These effects occurred without adverse events or changes in body weight or blood pressure. INV-315 treatment resulted in a decrease in iNOS gene expression, superoxide production and nitrotyrosine content in the aorta. Circulating IL-6 and inflammatory CD11b+/Ly6Glow/7/4hi monocytes were significantly decreased in response to INV-315 treatment. Acute pretreatment with INV-315 blocked TNFα-mediated leukocyte adhesion in cremasteric venules and inhibited myeloperoxidase activity. Cholesterol efflux was significantly increased by high-dose INV-315 via ex-vivo reverse cholesterol transport assays. Our results suggest that myeloperoxidase inhibition may exert anti-atherosclerotic effects via inhibition of oxidative stress and enhancement of cholesterol efflux. These findings demonstrate a role for pharmacologic modulation of myeloperoxidase in atherosclerosis. © 2012 Liu et al.

Ying Z.,Ohio State University | Kherada N.,Ohio State University | Farrar B.,Ohio State University | Kampfrath T.,Ohio State University | And 9 more authors.
Life Sciences | Year: 2010

Aims: Alpha-lipoic acid (LA) is a commonly used dietary supplement that exerts anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in vivo and in vitro. We investigated the mechanisms by which LA may confer protection in models of established atherosclerosis. Main methods: Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits were fed with high cholesterol chow for 6weeks and then randomized to receive either high cholesterol diet alone or combined with LA (20mg/kg/day) for 12weeks. Vascular function was analyzed by myography. The effects of LA on T cell migration to chemokine gradients was assessed by Boyden chamber. NF-κB activation was determined by measuring translocation and electrophoresis migration shift assay (EMSA). Key findings: LA decreased body weight by 15±5% without alterations in lipid parameters. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) analysis demonstrated that LA reduced atherosclerotic plaques in the abdominal aorta, with morphological analysis revealing reduced lipid and inflammatory cell content. Consistent with its effect on atherosclerosis, LA improved vascular reactivity (decreased constriction to angiotensin II and increased relaxation to acetylcholine and insulin), inhibited NF-κB activation, and decreased oxidative stress and expression of key adhesion molecules in the vasculature. LA reduced T cell content in atherosclerotic plaque in conjunction with decreasing ICAM and CD62L (l-selectin) expression. These effects were confirmed by demonstration of a direct effect of LA in reducing T cell migration in response to CCL5 and SDF-1 and decreasing T cell adhesion to the endothelium by intra-vital microscopy. Significance: The present findings offer a mechanistic insight into the therapeutic effects of LA on atherosclerosis. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.

Ying Z.,Ohio State University | Desikan R.,InVasc Therapeutics | Xu X.,Ohio State University | Maiseyeu A.,Ohio State University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2012

Although statin therapy is a cornerstone of current low density lipoprotein (LDL)-lowering strategies, there is a need for additional therapies to incrementally lower plasma LDL cholesterol. In this study, we investigated the effect of several methylenedioxyphenol derivatives in regulating LDL cholesterol through induction of LDL receptor (LDLR). INV-403, a modified methylenedioxyphenol derivative, increased LDLR mRNA and protein expression in HepG2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. These effects were apparent even under conditions of HMG-CoA reductase inhibition. Electrophoresis migration shift assays demonstrated that INV-403 activates SREBP2 but not SREBP1c, with immunoblot analysis showing an increased expression of the mature form of SREBP2. Knockdown of SREBP2 reduced the effect of INV-403 on LDLR expression. The activation of SREBP2 by INV-403 is partly mediated by Akt/GSK3β pathways through inhibition of phosphorylation-dependent degradation by ubiquitin-proteosome pathway. Treatment of C57Bl/6j mice with INV-403 for two weeks increased hepatic SREBP2 levels (mature form) and upregulated LDLR with concomitant lowering of plasma LDL levels. Transient expression of a LDLR promoter-reporter construct, a SRE-mutant LDLR promoter construct, and a SRE-only construct in HepG2 cells revealed an effect predominantly through a SRE-dependent mechanism. INV-403 lowered plasma LDL cholesterol levels through LDLR upregulation. These results indicate a role for small molecule approaches other than statins for lowering LDL cholesterol. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Ying Z.,Ohio State University | Kherada N.,Ohio State University | Kampfrath T.,Ohio State University | Mihai G.,Ohio State University | And 7 more authors.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology | Year: 2011

Objective-: Sesamol, a phenolic component of lignans, has been previously shown to reduce lipopolysaccharide-induced oxidative stress and upregulate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/endothelial nitric oxide synthase pathways. In the present study, we synthesized a modified form of sesamol (INV-403) to enhance its properties and assessed its effects on atherosclerosis. Methods and Results-: Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits were fed with high-cholesterol chow for 6 weeks and then randomized to receive high-cholesterol diet either alone or combined with INV-403 (20 mg/kg per day) for 12 weeks. Serial MRI analysis demonstrated that INV-403 rapidly reduced atherosclerotic plaques (within 6 weeks), with confirmatory morphological analysis at 12 weeks posttreatment revealing reduced atherosclerosis paralleled by reduction in lipid and inflammatory cell content. Consistent with its effect on atherosclerosis, INV-403 improved vascular function (decreased constriction to angiotensin II and increased relaxation to acetylcholine), reduced systemic and plaque oxidative stress, and inhibited nuclear factor-κB activation via effects on nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha (IκBα) phosphorylation with coordinate reduction in key endothelial adhesion molecules. In vitro experiments in cultured endothelial cells revealed effects of INV-403 in reducing IκBα phosphorylation via inhibition of IκB kinase 2 (IKK2). Conclusion-: INV-403 is a novel modified lignan derivative that potently inhibits atherosclerosis progression via its effects on IKK2 and nuclear factor-κB signaling. Copyright © 2011 American Heart Association. All rights reserved.

InVasc Therapeutics and Ohio State University | Date: 2012-06-12

Pharmaceutical compounds and compositions are provided which are methylenedioxy phenolic compounds and their derivatives, along with methods of making them and methods of using them for therapeutic purposes. The compounds and compositions are advantageous in that they can be used to treat or prevent cardiovascular disease, vascular disease and/or inflammatory disease, as well as Type I and Type II Diabetes and Dyslipidemia patients at risk for hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular and renal disease.

Connell B.J.,University of Prince Edward Island | Saleh M.C.,University of Prince Edward Island | Khan B.V.,University of Prince Edward Island | Khan B.V.,InVasc Therapeutics | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology | Year: 2012

Previous work in our laboratory has provided evidence that preadministration of apocynin and lipoic acid at subthreshold levels for neuroprotection enhanced the neuroprotective capacity when injected in combination. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to determine whether a co-drug consisting of lipoic acid and apocynin functional groups bound by a covalent bond, named UPEI-100, is capable of similar efficacy using a rodent model of stroke. Male rats were anesthetized with Inactin (100 mg/kg iv), and the middle cerebral artery was occluded for 6 h or allowed to reperfuse for 5.5 h following a 30-min occlusion (ischemia/reperfusion, I/R). Preadministration of UPEI-100 dose-dependently decreased infarct volume in the I/R model (P < 0.05), but not in the middle cerebral artery occlusion model of stroke. Using the optimal dose, we then injected UPEI-100 during the stroke or at several time points during reperfusion, and significant neuroprotection was observed when UPEI-100 was administered up to 90 min following the start of reperfusion (P < 0.05). A time course for this neuroprotective effect showed that UPEI-100 resulted in a decrease in infarct volume following 2 h of reperfusion compared with vehicle. The time course of this neuroprotective effect was also used to study several mediators along the antioxidant pathway and showed that UPEI-100 increased the level of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and oxidized glutathione and decreased a marker of lipid peroxidation due to oxidative stress (HNE-His adduct formation). Taken together, the data suggest that UPEI-100 may utilize similar pathways to those observed for the two parent compounds; however, it may also act through a different mechanism of action. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.

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