Ralph hnson Va Medical Center

Charleston, United States

Ralph hnson Va Medical Center

Charleston, United States
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Paintlia A.S.,Medical University of South Carolina | Paintlia M.K.,Medical University of South Carolina | Singh A.K.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Singh I.,Medical University of South Carolina
GLIA | Year: 2013

We earlier documented that lovastatin (LOV)-mediated inhibition of small Rho GTPases activity protects vulnerable oligodendrocytes (OLs) in mixed glial cell cultures stimulated with Th1 cytokines and in a murine model of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the precise mechanism of OL protection remains unclear. We here employed genetic and biochemical approaches to elucidate the underlying mechanism that protects LOV treated OLs from Th1 (tumor necrosis factor-α) and Th17 (interleukin-17) cytokines toxicity in in vitro. Cytokines enhanced the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial membrane depolarization with corresponding lowering of glutathione (reduced) level in OLs and that were reverted by LOV. In addition, the expression of ROS detoxifying enzymes (catalase and superoxide-dismutase 2) and the transactivation of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR)-α/-β/-γ including PPAR-γ coactivator-1α were enhanced by LOV in similarly treated OLs. Interestingly, LOV-mediated inhibition of small Rho GTPases, i.e., RhoA and cdc42, and Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) activity enhanced the levels of PPAR ligands in OLs via extracellular signal regulated kinase (1/2)/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase/cytoplasmic phospholipase 2/cyclooxygenase-2 signaling cascade activation. Small hairpin RNA transfection-based studies established that LOV mainly enhances PPAR-α and less so of PPAR-β and PPAR-γ transactivation that enhances ROS detoxifying defense in OLs. In support of this, the observed LOV-mediated protection was lacking in PPAR-α-deficient OLs exposed to cytokines. Collectively, these data provide unprecedented evidence that LOV-mediated inhibition of the Rho-ROCK signaling pathway boosts ROS detoxifying defense in OLs via PPAR-α-dependent mechanism that has implication in neurodegenerative disorders including MS. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Funk J.A.,Medical University of South Carolina | Schnellmann R.G.,Medical University of South Carolina | Schnellmann R.G.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Kidney ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury elicits cellular injury in the proximal tubule, and mitochondrial dysfunction is a pathological consequence of I/R. Promoting mitochondrial biogenesis (MB) as a repair mechanism after injury may offer a unique strategy to restore both mitochondrial and organ function. Rats subjected to bilateral renal pedicle ligation for 22min were treated once daily with the SIRT1 activator SRT1720 (5mg/kg) starting 24h after reperfusion until 72h-144h. SIRT1 expression was elevated in the renal cortex of rats after I/R+vehicle treatment (IRV), but was associated with less nuclear localization. SIRT1 expression was even further augmented and nuclear localization was restored in the kidneys of rats after I/R+SRT1720 treatment (IRS). PGC-1α was elevated at 72h-144h in IRV and IRS kidneys; however, SRT1720 treatment induced deacetylation of PGC-1α, a marker of activation. Mitochondrial proteins ATP synthase β, COX I, and NDUFB8, as well as mitochondrial respiration, were diminished 24h-144h in IRV rats, but were partially or fully restored in IRS rats. Urinary kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) was persistently elevated in both IRV and IRS rats; however, KIM-1 tissue expression was attenuated in IRS rats. Additionally, sustained loss of Na+,K+-ATPase expression and basolateral localization and elevated vimentin in IRV rats was normalized in IRS rats, suggesting restoration of a differentiated, polarized tubule epithelium. The results suggest that SRT1720 treatment expedited recovery of mitochondrial protein expression and function by enhancing MB, which was associated with faster proximal tubule repair. Targeting MB may offer unique therapeutic strategy following ischemic injury. © 2013.


Li X.,Medical University of South Carolina | Hartwell K.J.,Medical University of South Carolina | Hartwell K.J.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Owens M.,Medical University of South Carolina | And 7 more authors.
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Background: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can noninvasively stimulate the brain and transiently amplify or block behaviors mediated through a region. We hypothesized that a single high-frequency rTMS session over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would reduce cue craving for cigarettes compared with a sham TMS session. Methods: Sixteen non-treatment-seeking, nicotine-dependent participants were randomized to receive either real high-frequency rTMS (10 Hz, 100% resting motor threshold, 5-sec on, 10-sec off for 15 min; 3000 pulses) or active sham (eSham) TMS over the DLPFC in two visits with 1 week between visits. The participants received cue exposure before and after rTMS and rated their craving after each block of cue presentation. Results: Stimulation of the left DLFPC with real, but not sham, rTMS reduced craving significantly from baseline (64.1±5.9 vs. 45.7±6.4, t = 2.69, p =.018). When compared with neutral cue craving, the effect of real TMS on cue craving was significantly greater than the effect of sham TMS (12.5±10.4 vs. -9.1±10.4; t = 2.07, p =.049). More decreases in subjective craving induced by TMS correlated positively with higher Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence score (r =.58, p =.031) and more cigarettes smoked per day (r =.57, p =.035). Conclusions: One session of high-frequency rTMS (10 Hz) of the left DLPFC significantly reduced subjective craving induced by smoking cues in nicotine-dependent participants. Additional studies are needed to explore rTMS as an aid to smoking cessation. © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry.


Lopes-Virella M.F.,Medical University of South Carolina | Baker N.L.,Medical University of South Carolina | Hunt K.J.,Medical University of South Carolina | Cleary P.A.,George Washington University | And 2 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVE-The current study aimed to determine in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications cohort whether or not abnormal levels of markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction measured in samples collected at DCCT baseline were able to predict the development of macroalbuminuria. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-Levels of inflammation and endothelial cell dysfunction biomarkers were measured in 1,237 of 1,441 patients enrolled in the DCCT study who were both free of albuminuria and cardiovascular disease at baseline. To test the association of log-transformed biomarkers with albuminuria, generalized logistic regression models were used to quantify the association of increased levels of biomarkers and development of abnormal albuminuria. Normal, micro-, and macroalbuminuria were the outcomes of interest. RESULTS-In the logistic regression models adjusted by DCCT treatment assignment, baseline albumin excretion rate, and use of ACE/angiotensin receptor blocker drugs, one unit increase in the standardized levels of soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) was associated with an 87% increase in the odds to develop macroalbuminuria and one unit increase in the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1; total and active), and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFR)-1 and -2 lead to a 30-50% increase in the odds to develop macroalbuminuria. Following adjustment for DCCT baseline retinopathy status, age, sex, HbA1c, and duration of diabetes, significant associations remained for sE-selectin and TNFR-1 and -2 but not for IL-6 or PAI-1. CONCLUSIONS-Our study indicates that high levels of inflammatory markers, mainly E-selectin and sTNRF-1 and -2, are important predictors of macroalbuminuria in patients with type 1 diabetes. © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.


Taylor J.J.,Medical University of South Carolina | Borckardt J.J.,Medical University of South Carolina | George M.S.,Medical University of South Carolina | George M.S.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center
Pain | Year: 2012

The concurrent rise of undertreated pain and opiate abuse poses a unique challenge to physicians and researchers alike. A focal, noninvasive form of brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been shown to produce acute and chronic analgesic effects when applied to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), but the anatomical and pharmacological mechanisms by which prefrontal rTMS induces analgesia remain unclear. Data suggest that DLPFC mediates top-down analgesia via gain modulation of the supraspinal opioidergic circuit. This potential pathway might explain how prefrontal rTMS reduces pain. The purpose of this sham-controlled, double-blind, crossover study was to determine whether left DLPFC rTMS-induced analgesia was sensitive to μ-opioid blockade. Twenty-four healthy volunteers were randomized to receive real or sham TMS after either intravenous saline or naloxone pretreatment. Acute hot and cold pain via quantitative sensory testing and hot allodynia via block testing on capsaicin-treated skin were assessed at baseline and at 0, 20, and 40 minutes after TMS treatment. When compared to sham, real rTMS reduced hot pain and hot allodynia. Naloxone pretreatment significantly reduced the analgesic effects of real rTMS. These results demonstrate that left DLPFC rTMS-induced analgesia requires opioid activity and suggest that rTMS drives endogenous opioidergic pain relief in the human brain. Further studies with chronic dosing regimens of drugs that block or augment the actions of opiates are needed to determine whether TMS can augment opiates in chronic or postoperative pain management. © 2011 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


George M.S.,Institute of Psychiatry | George M.S.,Medical University of South Carolina | George M.S.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Aston-Jones G.,Medical University of South Carolina
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2010

Although the preceding chapters discuss much of the new knowledge of neurocircuitry of neuropsychiatric diseases, and an invasive approach to treatment, this chapter describes and reviews the noninvasive methods of testing circuit-based theories and treating neuropsychiatric diseases that do not involve implanting electrodes into the brain or on its surface. These techniques are transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and transcranial direct current stimulation. Two of these approaches have FDA approval as therapies. © 2010 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.


Lopes-Virella M.F.,Medical University of South Carolina | Lopes-Virella M.F.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Virella G.,Medical University of South Carolina
Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Human low density lipoprotein (LDL) undergoes oxidation and glycation in vivo. By themselves, oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and AGE-LDL have proinflammatory properties and are considered atherogenic. But the atherogenicity of these lipoproteins are significantly increased as a consequence of the formation of immune complexes (IC) involving specific autoantibodies. OxLDL and AGE antibodies have been shown to be predominantly of the IgG1 and IgG3 isotypes. OxLDL antibodies are able to activate the complement system by the classical pathway and to induce FcR-mediated phagocytosis. In vitro and ex vivo studies performed with modified LDL-IC have proven their pro-inflammatory and atherogenic properties. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the levels of circulating modified LDL-IC correlate with parameters indicative of cardiovascular and renal disease in diabetic patients and other patient populations. The possibility that spontaneously formed or induced modified LDL antibodies (particularly IgM oxLDL antibodies) may have a protective effect has been suggested, but the data is unclear and needs to be further investigated. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.


Lopes-Virella M.F.,Medical University of South Carolina | Lopes-Virella M.F.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Virella G.,Medical University of South Carolina
Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis | Year: 2013

There is strong evidence supporting a key role of the adaptive immune response in atherosclerosis, given that both activated Th cells producing predominantly interferon-γ and oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and the corresponding antibodies have been isolated from atheromatous plaques. Studies carried out using immune complexes (IC) prepared with human LDL and rabbit antibodies have demonstrated proatherogenic and pro-inflammatory properties, mostly dependent on the engagement of Fcγ receptors I and II in macrophages and macrophage-like cell lines. Following the development of a methodology for isolating modified LDL (mLDL) antibodies from serum and isolated IC, it was confirmed that antibodies reacting with oxLDL and advanced glycation end product-modified LDL are predominantly IgG of subtypes 1 and 3 and that mLDL IC prepared with human reagents possesses pro-inflammatory and proatherogenic properties. In previous studies, LDL separated from isolated IC has been analyzed for its modifications, and the reactivity of antibodies isolated from the same IC with different LDL modifications has been tested. Recently, we obtained strong evidence suggesting that the effects of mLDL IC on phagocytic cells are modulated by the composition of the mLDL. Clinical studies have shown that the level of mLDL in circulating IC is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and, in diabetic patients, other significant complications, such as nephropathy and retinopathy. In conclusion, there is convincing ex vivo and clinical data supporting the hypothesis that, in humans, the humoral immune response to mLDL is pathogenic rather than protective.


Oates J.C.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Oates J.C.,Medical University of South Carolina
Autoimmunity | Year: 2010

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune syndrome marked by autoantibody production. Innate immunity is essential to transform humoral autoimmunity into the clinical lupus phenotype. Nitric oxide (NO) is a membrane- permeable signaling molecule involved in a broad array of biologic processes through its ability to modify proteins, lipids, and DNA and alter their function and immunogenicity. The literature regarding mechanisms through which NO regulates inflammation and cell survival is filled with contradictory findings. However, the effects of NO on cellular processes depend on its concentration and its interaction with reactive oxygen. Understanding this interaction will be essential to determine mechanisms through which reactive intermediates induce cellular autoimmunity and contribute to a sustained innate immune response and organ damage in SLE. © 2010 Informa UK Ltd.


Basile J.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Neutel J.,Orange County Research Center
Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease | Year: 2010

The treatment of hypertension should cause blood pressure (BP) changes that reduce the long-term risks of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. There are considerable clinical benefits to be gained by promptly treating patients to recognized BP goals, particularly for those at high risk. This may be achieved by the use of combination therapy as first-line treatment. However, despite widely acknowledged therapeutic guidelines, there are significant gaps between current treatment recommendations and their implementation in clinical practice. One important explanation for inadequate treatment and subsequent poor BP control is clinical inertia. Undertreatment and clinical inertia may sometimes be mistaken for treatment-resistant hypertension, as is often the case in specific patient populations whose disease is often considered a challenge to treat because of a greater risk of cardiovascular complications (e.g. Blacks, obese patients, and those with diabetes). The availability of fixed-dose drug combinations may address some of the common misconceptions thought to promote clinical inertia. Few studies have specifically focused on subpopulations with difficult-to-treat hypertension that is uncontrolled on monotherapies. One example is an ongoing 20-week, multicenter, prospective, blinded endpoint, dose-titration, treat-to-goal study evaluating the efficacy and safety of initial fixed-dose combination therapy with amlodipine/olmesartan medoxomil, and further up-titration with hydrochlorothiazide, in patients with hypertension who are uncontrolled on antihypertensive monotherapy. This study may demonstrate the benefits of treating patients with hypertension to goal using initial fixed-dose combination therapy, even in patients considered to be at a higher risk of cardiovascular complications. © The Author(s), 2010.

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