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Biessels G.J.,University Utrecht | Reagan L.P.,University of South Carolina | Reagan L.P.,Wm Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Clinical studies suggest a link between type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and insulin resistance (IR) and cognitive dysfunction, but there are significant gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Animal models of IR help to bridge these gaps and point to hippocampal IR as a potential mediator of cognitive dysfunction in T2DM, as well as in Alzheimer disease (AD). This Review highlights these observations and discusses intervention studies which suggest that the restoration of insulin activity in the hippocampus may be an effective strategy to alleviate the cognitive decline associated with T2DM and AD. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Eckhouse S.R.,Medical University of South Carolina | Logdon C.B.,Medical University of South Carolina | Oelsen J.M.,Medical University of South Carolina | Patel R.K.,Medical University of South Carolina | And 9 more authors.
Circulation | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND - Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs) develop secondary to abnormal aortic extracellular matrix remodeling, resulting in a weakened and dilated aortic wall that progressed to rupture if left unattended. Currently, no diagnostic/prognostic tests are available for the detection of TAA disease. This is largely driven by the lack of a large animal model, which would permit longitudinal/mechanistic studies. Accordingly, the objective of the present study was to establish a reproducible porcine model of aortic dilatation, which recapitulates the structural and biochemical changes observed during human TAA development. METHODS AND RESULTS - Descending TAAs were induced in Yorkshire pigs (20-25 kg; n=7) through intra-adventitial injections of collagenase (5 mL, 0.35 mg/mL) and periadventitial application of crystalline CaCl2 (0.5 g). Three weeks after TAA induction, aortas were harvested and tissue was collected for biochemical and histological measurements. A subset of animals underwent MRI preoperatively and at terminal surgery. Results were compared with sham-operated controls (n=6). Three weeks after TAA induction, aortic luminal area increased by 38±13% (P=0.018 versus control). Aortic structural changes included elastic lamellar degradation and decreased collagen content. The protein abundance of matrix metalloproteinases 3, 8, 9, and 12 increased in TAA tissue homogenates, whereas tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases 1 and 4 decreased. CONCLUSIONS - These data demonstrate aortic dilatation, aortic medial degeneration, and alterations in matrix metalloproteinase/tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase abundance, consistent with TAA formation. This study establishes for the first time a large animal model of TAA that recapitulates the hallmarks of human disease and provides a reproducible test bed for examining diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc. Source

Eckhouse S.R.,Medical University of South Carolina | Eckhouse S.R.,Ralph hnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center | Jones J.A.,Medical University of South Carolina | Jones J.A.,Ralph hnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Alternative and innovative targeted strategies hold relevance in improving the current treatments for ischemic heart disease (IHD). One potential treatment modality, gene targeting, may provide a unique alternative to current IHD therapies. The principal function of gene targeting in IHD is to augment the expression of an endogenous gene through amplification of an exogenous gene, delivered by a plasmid or a viral vector to enhance myocardial perfusion, and limit the long-term sequelae. The initial clinical studies of gene targeting in IHD were focused upon induction of angiogenic factors and the outcomes were equivocal. Nevertheless, significant advancements have been made in viral vectors, mode of delivery, and potentially relevant targets for IHD. Several of these advancements, particularly with a focus on translational large animal studies, are the focus of this review. The development of novel vectors with prolonged transduction efficiency and minimal inflammation, coupled with hybrid perfusion-mapping delivery devices, and improving the safety of vector use and efficacy of gene systems are but a few of the exciting progresses that are likely to proceed to clinical studies in the near future. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

Tomar S.,University of South Carolina | Zumbrun E.E.,University of South Carolina | Nagarkatti M.,University of South Carolina | Nagarkatti M.,Wm Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center | Nagarkatti P.S.,University of South Carolina
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics | Year: 2015

Acute liver failure (ALF) is a potentially life-threatening disorder without any effective treatment strategies. D-Galactosamine (GalN)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALF is a widely used animal model to identify novel hepato-protective agents. In the present study, we investigated the potential of a cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, JWH-133 [(6aR,10aR)-3-(1,1-dimethyl-butyl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d] pyran], in the amelioration of GalN/LPS-induced ALF. JWH-133 treatment protected the mice from ALF-associated mortality, mitigated alanine transaminase and proinflammatory cytokines, suppressed histopathological and apoptotic liver damage, and reduced liver infiltration of mononuclear cells (MNCs). Furthermore, JWH-133 pretreatment of M1/M2-polarized macrophages significantly increased the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) in M1 macrophages and potentiated the expression of M2 markers in M2-polarized macrophages. In vivo, JWH-133 treatment also suppressed ALF-triggered expression of M1 markers in liver MNCs, while increasing the expression of M2 markers such as Arg1 and IL-10. microRNA (miR) microarray analysis revealed that JWH-133 treatment altered the expression of only a few miRs in the liver MNCs. Gene ontology analysis of the targets of miRs suggested that Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling was among the most significantly targeted cellular pathways. Among the altered miRs, miR-145 was found to be the most significantly decreased. This finding correlated with concurrent upregulated expression of its predicted target gene, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 3, a negative regulator of TLR4 signaling. Together, these data are the first to demonstrate that CB2 activation attenuates GalN/LPS-induced ALF by inducing an M1 to M2 shift in macrophages and by regulating the expression of unique miRs that target key molecules involved in the TLR4 pathway. Source

Hegde V.L.,University of South Carolina | Singh U.P.,University of South Carolina | Nagarkatti P.S.,University of South Carolina | Nagarkatti M.,University of South Carolina | Nagarkatti M.,Wm Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Journal of Immunology | Year: 2015

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural nonpsychotropic cannabinoid from marijuana (Cannabis sativa) with anti-epileptic and antiinflammatory properties. Effect of CBD on naive immune system is not precisely understood. In this study, we observed that administering CBD into naive mice triggers robust induction of CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in the peritoneum, which expressed functional arginase 1, and potently suppressed T cell proliferation ex vivo. Furthermore, CBDMDSC suppressed LPS-induced acute inflammatory response upon adoptive transfer in vivo. CBD-induced suppressor cells were comprised of CD11b+Ly6-G+Ly6-C+ granulocytic and CD11b+Ly6-G-Ly6-C+ monocytic subtypes, with monocytic MDSC exhibiting higher T cell-suppressive function. Induction of MDSC by CBD was markedly attenuated in Kit-mutant (KitW/W-v) mast cell-deficient mice. MDSC response was reconstituted upon transfer of wild-type bone marrow-derived mast cells in KitW/W-v mice, suggesting the key role of cKit (CD117) as well as mast cells. Moreover, mast cell activator compound 48/80 induced significant levels of MDSC in vivo. CBD administration in mice induced G-CSF, CXCL1, and M-CSF, but not GM-CSF. G-CSF was found to play a key role in MDSC mobilization inasmuch as neutralizing G-CSF caused a significant decrease in MDSC. Lastly, CBD enhanced the transcriptional activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ in luciferase reporter assay, and PPAR-γ selective antagonist completely inhibited MDSC induction in vivo, suggesting its critical role. Together, the results suggest that CBD may induce activation of PPAR-γ in mast cells leading to secretion of G-CSF and consequent MDSC mobilization. CBD being a major component of Cannabis, our study indicates that marijuana may modulate or dysregulate the immune system by mobilizing MDSC. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc. Source

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