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Vascular Biology and Therapeutics

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2016) | Viewed by 132780

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Retired, The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 1 Discovery Drive (Room 238), Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA
2. Vascular Vision Pharmaceuticals Co., Rensselaer Polytechnic Park, Troy, NY 12180, USA
Interests: pharmaceuticals; biopharmaceuticals and diagnostics; nanomedicine; cardiovascular diseases; neurological disorders; hematology and oncology; biosimilar and nanosimilar; angiogenesis; inflammation; thrombosis; integrin and cell adhesion molecules; target identification; molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways; preclinical; clinical; marketing and post marketing studies; regulatory and ethical issues
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The theme of this timely Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Special Issue will highlight exciting discoveries in vascular biology that would enhance the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and vascular disorders. This series would provide insights into the interface between inflammation, angiogenesis, and thrombosis in impacting vascular disorders, including atherosclerosis and atherothrombosis, via the alteration in blood flow and organ perfusion (ischemia/reperfusion injury). This Special Issue will focus on mechanisms that regulate inflammation, thrombosis, and angiogenesis that impact various vascular disorders, such as cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular diseases. Additionally, recent advances in the management of various vascular disorders, such as novel anti-dyslipidemia, antithrombotic, anti-angiogenesis, and anti-inflammatory treatments, will be highlighted.

Prof. Dr. Shaker A. Mousa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • vascular biology
  • vascular therapeutics
  • vascular disorders (cerebrovascular, cardiovascular, peripheral vascular disorders).
  • dyslipidemia
  • thrombosis
  • inflammation
  • angiogenesis modulation
  • inflammatory modulators
  • antithrombotics
  • atherosclerosis
  • atherothrombosis
  • novel oral anticoagulants
  • oral antiplatelet
  • anti-PCSK9
  • glycosaminoglycans
  • anti-adhesion molecules
  • anti-selectin
  • anti-integrin

Published Papers (19 papers)

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2494 KiB  
Article
Atg7 Regulates Brain Angiogenesis via NF-κB-Dependent IL-6 Production
by Shi-Fang Zhuang, Dong-Xin Liu, Hui-Jie Wang, Shu-Hong Zhang, Jia-Yi Wei, Wen-Gang Fang, Ke Zhang, Liu Cao, Wei-Dong Zhao and Yu-Hua Chen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18050968 - 3 May 2017
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 6086
Abstract
The formation of brain vasculature is an essential step during central nervous system development. The molecular mechanism underlying brain angiogenesis remains incompletely understood. The role of Atg7, an autophagy-related protein, in brain angiogenesis was investigated in this study. We found that the microvessel [...] Read more.
The formation of brain vasculature is an essential step during central nervous system development. The molecular mechanism underlying brain angiogenesis remains incompletely understood. The role of Atg7, an autophagy-related protein, in brain angiogenesis was investigated in this study. We found that the microvessel density in mice brains with endothelial-specific knockout of Atg7 (Atg7 EKO) was significantly decreased compared to wild-type control. Consistently, in vitro angiogenesis assays showed that Atg7 knockdown impaired angiogenesis in brain microvascular endothelial cells. Further results indicated that knockdown of Atg7 reduced interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression in brain microvascular endothelial cells, which is mediated by NF-κB-dependent transcriptional control. Interestingly, exogenous IL-6 restored the impaired angiogenesis and reduced cell motility caused by Atg7 knockdown. These results demonstrated that Atg7 has proangiogenic activity in brain angiogenesis which is mediated by IL-6 production in a NF-κB-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Ftr82 Is Critical for Vascular Patterning during Zebrafish Development
by Hsueh-Wei Chang, Wen-Der Wang, Chien-Chih Chiu, Chiou-Hua Chen, Yi-Shan Wang, Zih-Ying Chen, Wangta Liu, Ming-Hong Tai, Zhi-Hong Wen and Chang-Yi Wu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18010156 - 13 Jan 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6172
Abstract
Cellular components and signaling pathways are required for the proper growth of blood vessels. Here, we report for the first time that a teleost-specific gene ftr82 (finTRIM family, member 82) plays a critical role in vasculature during zebrafish development. To date, [...] Read more.
Cellular components and signaling pathways are required for the proper growth of blood vessels. Here, we report for the first time that a teleost-specific gene ftr82 (finTRIM family, member 82) plays a critical role in vasculature during zebrafish development. To date, there has been no description of tripartite motif proteins (TRIM) in vascular development, and the role of ftr82 is unknown. In this study, we found that ftr82 mRNA is expressed during the development of vessels, and loss of ftr82 by morpholino (MO) knockdown impairs the growth of intersegmental vessels (ISV) and caudal vein plexus (CVP), suggesting that ftr82 plays a critical role in promoting ISV and CVP growth. We showed the specificity of ftr82 MO by analyzing ftr82 expression products and expressing ftr82 mRNA to rescue ftr82 morphants. We further showed that the knockdown of ftr82 reduced ISV cell numbers, suggesting that the growth impairment of vessels is likely due to a decrease of cell proliferation and migration, but not cell death. In addition, loss of ftr82 affects the expression of vascular markers, which is consistent with the defect of vascular growth. Finally, we showed that ftr82 likely interacts with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Notch signaling. Together, we identify teleost-specific ftr82 as a vascular gene that plays an important role for vascular development in zebrafish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Comparative Evaluation of TRAIL, FGF-2 and VEGF-A-Induced Angiogenesis In Vitro and In Vivo
by Siân P. Cartland, Scott W. Genner, Amna Zahoor and Mary M. Kavurma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17122025 - 2 Dec 2016
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 6727
Abstract
Tumor necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has been implicated in angiogenesis; the growth of new blood vessels from an existing vessel bed. Our aim was to compare pro-angiogenic responses of TRAIL, vascular endothelial growth-factor-A (VEGF-A) and fibroblast growth-factor-2 (FGF-2) either separately (10 ng/mL) or [...] Read more.
Tumor necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has been implicated in angiogenesis; the growth of new blood vessels from an existing vessel bed. Our aim was to compare pro-angiogenic responses of TRAIL, vascular endothelial growth-factor-A (VEGF-A) and fibroblast growth-factor-2 (FGF-2) either separately (10 ng/mL) or in combination, followed by the assessment of proliferation, migration and tubule formation using human microvascular endothelial-1 (HMEC-1) cells in vitro. Angiogenesis was also measured in vivo using the Matrigel plug assay. TRAIL and FGF-2 significantly augmented HMEC-1 cell proliferation and migration, with combination treatment having an enhanced effect on cell migration only. In contrast, VEGF-A did not stimulate HMEC-1 migration at 10 ng/mL. Tubule formation was induced by all three factors, with TRAIL more effective compared to VEGF-A, but not FGF-2. TRAIL at 400 ng/mL, but not VEGF-A, promoted CD31-positive staining into the Matrigel plug. However, FGF-2 was superior, stimulating cell infiltration and angiogenesis better than TRAIL and VEGF-A in vivo. These findings demonstrate that each growth factor is more effective at different processes of angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Understanding how these molecules stimulate different processes relating to angiogenesis may help identify new strategies and treatments aimed at inhibiting or promoting dysregulated angiogenesis in people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Perinatal Arterial Ischemic Stroke Is Associated to Materno-Fetal Immune Activation and Intracranial Arteritis
by Clémence Guiraut, Nicole Cauchon, Martin Lepage and Guillaume Sébire
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17121980 - 25 Nov 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 7080
Abstract
The medium-size intra-cranial arteries arising from the carotid bifurcation are prone to perinatal arterial ischemic strokes (PAIS). PAIS’ physiopathology needs to be better understood to develop preventive and therapeutic interventions that are currently missing. We hypothesized that materno-fetal inflammation leads to a vasculitis [...] Read more.
The medium-size intra-cranial arteries arising from the carotid bifurcation are prone to perinatal arterial ischemic strokes (PAIS). PAIS’ physiopathology needs to be better understood to develop preventive and therapeutic interventions that are currently missing. We hypothesized that materno-fetal inflammation leads to a vasculitis affecting selectively the carotidian tree and promoting a focal thrombosis and subsequent stroke. Dams were injected with saline or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli. A prothrombotic stress was applied on LPS-exposed vs. saline (S)-exposed middle cerebral arteries (MCA). Immunolabeling detected the inflammatory markers of interest. In S-exposed newborn pups, a constitutive higher density of macrophages combined to higher expressions of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) was observed within the wall of intra- vs. extra-cranial cervicocephalic arteries. LPS-induced maternal and placental inflammatory responses mediated by IL-1β, TNF-α and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) were associated with: (i) increased density of pro-inflammatory macrophages (M1 phenotype); and (ii) pro-inflammatory orientation of the IL-1 system (IL-1β/IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) ratio) within the wall of LPS-, vs. S-exposed, intra-cranial arteries susceptible to PAIS. LPS plus photothrombosis, but not sole photothrombosis, triggered ischemic strokes and subsequent motor impairments. Based on these preclinical results, the combination of pro-thrombotic stress and selective intra-cranial arteritis arising from end gestational maternal immune activation seem to play a role in the pathophysiology of human PAIS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Isoliquiritigenin Attenuates Atherogenesis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice
by Fen Du, Quzhen Gesang, Jia Cao, Mei Qian, Li Ma, Dongfang Wu and Hong Yu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111932 - 18 Nov 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6077
Abstract
Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) exhibits antioxidation and anti-inflammation activity. We sought to investigate the effects and mechanism of ISL on the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE−/−) mice. Firstly, we determined that ISL reduced the mRNA levels of inflammatory factors interleukin [...] Read more.
Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) exhibits antioxidation and anti-inflammation activity. We sought to investigate the effects and mechanism of ISL on the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE−/−) mice. Firstly, we determined that ISL reduced the mRNA levels of inflammatory factors interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), while it increased the expression of several lipoprotein-related genes in peritoneal macrophages treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). ISL also enhanced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) protein levels and reversed the changes of ATP-binding cassette transporter A (ABCA1) and cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36) in macrophages treated with oxidative low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL). Then, in an in vivo study, female apoE−/− mice were fed a Western diet with ISL (0, 20, 100 mg/kg/day) added for 12 weeks. We found that ISL decreased the plasma cholesterol levels of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)/LDL, promoted plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) and paraoxonase-1 (PON1) activities, and decreased plasma IL-6, TNF-α, and MCP-1 levels. Moreover, ISL significantly reduced the atherosclerotic lesions and hepatic steatosis in apoE−/− mice. In the liver, ISL altered the expression of several key genes (such as SRBI, ABCA1, ABCG8, PPARγ, and FASN) involving cholesterol-selective uptake and excretion into bile, triglyceride (TG) biosynthesis, and inflammation. These results suggest that the atheroprotective effects of ISL are due to the improvement of lipid metabolism, antioxidation, and anti-inflammation, which involve PPARγ-dependent signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Conjugation with RGD Peptides and Incorporation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Are Equally Efficient for Biofunctionalization of Tissue-Engineered Vascular Grafts
by Larisa V. Antonova, Alexander M. Seifalian, Anton G. Kutikhin, Victoria V. Sevostyanova, Vera G. Matveeva, Elena A. Velikanova, Andrey V. Mironov, Amin R. Shabaev, Tatiana V. Glushkova, Evgeniya A. Senokosova, Georgiy Yu. Vasyukov, Evgeniya O. Krivkina, Andrey Yu. Burago, Yuliya A. Kudryavtseva, Olga L. Barbarash and Leonid S. Barbarash
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111920 - 16 Nov 2016
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5470
Abstract
The blend of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) has recently been considered promising for vascular tissue engineering. However, it was shown that PHBV/PCL grafts require biofunctionalization to achieve high primary patency rate. Here we compared immobilization of arginine–glycine–aspartic acid (RGD)-containing peptides [...] Read more.
The blend of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) has recently been considered promising for vascular tissue engineering. However, it was shown that PHBV/PCL grafts require biofunctionalization to achieve high primary patency rate. Here we compared immobilization of arginine–glycine–aspartic acid (RGD)-containing peptides and the incorporation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as two widely established biofunctionalization approaches. Electrospun PHBV/PCL small-diameter grafts with either RGD peptides or VEGF, as well as unmodified grafts were implanted into rat abdominal aortas for 1, 3, 6, and 12 months following histological and immunofluorescence assessment. We detected CD31+/CD34+/vWF+ cells 1 and 3 months postimplantation at the luminal surface of PHBV/PCL/RGD and PHBV/PCL/VEGF, but not in unmodified grafts, with the further observation of CD31+CD34vWF+ phenotype. These cells were considered as endothelial and produced a collagen-positive layer resembling a basement membrane. Detection of CD31+/CD34+ cells at the early stages with subsequent loss of CD34 indicated cell adhesion from the bloodstream. Therefore, either conjugation with RGD peptides or the incorporation of VEGF promoted the formation of a functional endothelial cell layer. Furthermore, both modifications increased primary patency rate three-fold. In conclusion, both of these biofunctionalization approaches can be considered as equally efficient for the modification of tissue-engineered vascular grafts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Communication
Mast Cells Density Positive to Tryptase Correlate with Microvascular Density in both Primary Gastric Cancer Tissue and Loco-Regional Lymph Node Metastases from Patients That Have Undergone Radical Surgery
by Michele Ammendola, Rosario Sacco, Valeria Zuccalà, Maria Luposella, Rosa Patruno, Pietro Gadaleta, Nicola Zizzo, Cosmo Damiano Gadaleta, Giovambattista De Sarro, Giuseppe Sammarco, Mihai Oltean and Girolamo Ranieri
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1905; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111905 - 15 Nov 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5882
Abstract
Mast Cells (MCs) play a role in immune responses and more recently MCs have been involved in tumoral angiogenesis. In particular MCs can release tryptase, a potent in vivo and in vitro pro-angiogenic factor via proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) activation and mitogen-activated protein kinase [...] Read more.
Mast Cells (MCs) play a role in immune responses and more recently MCs have been involved in tumoral angiogenesis. In particular MCs can release tryptase, a potent in vivo and in vitro pro-angiogenic factor via proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) activation and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation. MCs can release tryptase following c-Kit receptor activation. Nevertheless, no data are available concerning the relationship among MCs Density Positive to Tryptase (MCDPT) and Microvascular Density (MVD) in both primary gastric cancer tissue and loco-regional lymph node metastases. A series of 75 GC patients with stage T2–3N2–3M0 (by AJCC for Gastric Cancer Seventh Edition) undergone to radical surgery were selected for the study. MCDPT and MVD were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and by image analysis system and results were correlated each to other in primary tumor tissue and in metastatic lymph nodes harvested. Furthermore, tissue parameters were correlated with important clinico-pathological features. A significant correlation between MCDPT and MVD was found in primary gastric cancer tissue and lymph node metastases. Pearson t-test analysis (r ranged from 0.74 to 0.79; p-value ranged from 0.001 to 0.003). These preliminary data suggest that MCDPT play a role in angiogenesis in both primary tumor and in lymph node metastases from GC. We suggest that MCs and tryptase could be further evaluated as novel targets for anti-angiogenic therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Progressive Vascular Functional and Structural Damage in a Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Model in Preterm Rabbits Exposed to Hyperoxia
by Julio Jiménez, Jute Richter, Taro Nagatomo, Thomas Salaets, Rozenn Quarck, Allard Wagennar, Hongmei Wang, Jeroen Vanoirbeek, Jan Deprest and Jaan Toelen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101776 - 24 Oct 2016
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 6442
Abstract
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is caused by preterm neonatal lung injury and results in oxygen dependency and pulmonary hypertension. Current clinical management fails to reduce the incidence of BPD, which calls for novel therapies. Fetal rabbits have a lung development that mimics humans and [...] Read more.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is caused by preterm neonatal lung injury and results in oxygen dependency and pulmonary hypertension. Current clinical management fails to reduce the incidence of BPD, which calls for novel therapies. Fetal rabbits have a lung development that mimics humans and can be used as a translational model to test novel treatment options. In preterm rabbits, exposure to hyperoxia leads to parenchymal changes, yet vascular damage has not been studied in this model. In this study we document the early functional and structural changes of the lung vasculature in preterm rabbits that are induced by hyperoxia after birth. Pulmonary artery Doppler measurements, micro-CT barium angiograms and media thickness of peripheral pulmonary arteries were affected after seven days of hyperoxia when compared to controls. The parenchyma was also affected both at the functional and structural level. Lung function testing showed higher tissue resistance and elastance, with a decreased lung compliance and lung capacity. Histologically hyperoxia leads to fewer and larger alveoli with thicker walls, less developed distal airways and more inflammation than normoxia. In conclusion, we show that the rabbit model develops pulmonary hypertension and developmental lung arrest after preterm lung injury, which parallel the early changes in human BPD. Thus it enables the testing of pharmaceutical agents that target the cardiovascular compartment of the lung for further translation towards the clinic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
PlGF and VEGF-A Regulate Growth of High-Risk MYCN-Single Copy Neuroblastoma Xenografts via Different Mechanisms
by Karin Zins, Daniel Kovatchki, Trevor Lucas and Dietmar Abraham
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101613 - 23 Sep 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5093
Abstract
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood and is a rapidly growing, highly-vascularized cancer. NBs frequently express angiogenic factors and high tumor angiogenesis has been associated with poor outcomes. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is an angiogenic protein belonging to [...] Read more.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood and is a rapidly growing, highly-vascularized cancer. NBs frequently express angiogenic factors and high tumor angiogenesis has been associated with poor outcomes. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is an angiogenic protein belonging to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family and is up-regulated mainly in pathologic conditions. Recently, PlGF was identified as a member of a gene expression signature characterizing highly malignant NB stem cells drawing attention as a potential therapeutic target in NB. In the present study, we sought to investigate the expression of PlGF in NB patients and the effect of PlGF inhibition on high-risk MYCN-non-amplified SK-N-AS NB xenografts. Human SK-N-AS cells, which are poorly differentiated and express PlGF and VEGF-A, were implanted subcutaneously in athymic nude mice. Treatment was done by intratumoral injection of replication-incompetent adenoviruses (Ad) expressing PlGF- or VEGF-specific short hairpin (sh)RNA, or soluble (s)VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2). The effect on tumor growth and angiogenesis was analyzed. High PlGF expression levels were observed in human advanced-stage NBs. Down-regulating PlGF significantly reduced NB growth in established NB xenografts by reducing cancer cell proliferation but did not suppress angiogenesis. In contrast, blocking VEGF by administration of Ad(sh)VEGF and Ad(s)VEGFR2 reduced tumor growth associated with decreased tumor vasculature. These findings suggest that PlGF and VEGF-A modulate MYCN-non-amplified NB tumors by different mechanisms and support a role for PlGF in NB biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Antiplatelet Usage Impacts Clot Density in Acute Anterior Circulation Ischemic Stroke
by Slaven Pikija, Jozef Magdic, Anita Lukic, Catharina Schreiber, Johannes Sebastian Mutzenbach, Mark R. McCoy and Johann Sellner
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091382 - 23 Aug 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5155
Abstract
We explored whether clot density in middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion is related to clinical variables, stroke etiology, blood constituents, and prestroke medication. We performed a retrospective chart review of patients with acute ischemic stroke of the anterior circulation admitted to two Central [...] Read more.
We explored whether clot density in middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion is related to clinical variables, stroke etiology, blood constituents, and prestroke medication. We performed a retrospective chart review of patients with acute ischemic stroke of the anterior circulation admitted to two Central European stroke centers. The acquisition of non-contrast enhanced CT (NECT) and CT angiography (CTA) within 4.5 h of symptom onset was obligatory. We assessed the site of MCA occlusion as well as density, area, and length of the clot in 150 patients. The Hounsfield unit values for the clot were divided with contralateral MCA segment to yield relative Hounsfield Unit ratio (rHU). The site of the vessel occlusion (M1 vs. M2) and antiplatelet usage, but not stroke etiology, significantly influenced rHU. We found an inverse correlation of rHU with erythrocyte count (p < 0.001). The multivariate analysis revealed that a higher rHU (i.e., clot being more hyperdense) was more likely with the use of antiplatelets (OR 4.24, CI 1.10–16.31, p = 0.036). Erythrocyte (OR 0.18, CI 0.05–0.55, p = 0.003), and thrombocyte counts (OR 0.99, CI 0.98–0.99, p = 0.029) were associated with odds for more hypodense clots (lower rHU). Our study disclosed that antiplatelet therapy impacts the composition of intracranial clots of the anterior circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Anti-Atherosclerotic Effects of a Phytoestrogen-Rich Herbal Preparation in Postmenopausal Women
by Veronika A. Myasoedova, Tatyana V. Kirichenko, Alexandra A. Melnichenko, Varvara A. Orekhova, Alessio Ravani, Paolo Poggio, Igor A. Sobenin, Yuri V. Bobryshev and Alexander N. Orekhov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081318 - 11 Aug 2016
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 8372
Abstract
The risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis progression is significantly increased after menopause, probably due to the decrease of estrogen levels. The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for prevention of cardiovascular disease in older postmenopausal failed to meet expectations. Phytoestrogens may induce [...] Read more.
The risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis progression is significantly increased after menopause, probably due to the decrease of estrogen levels. The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for prevention of cardiovascular disease in older postmenopausal failed to meet expectations. Phytoestrogens may induce some improvements in climacteric symptoms, but their effect on the progression of atherosclerosis remains unclear. The reduction of cholesterol accumulation at the cellular level should lead to inhibition of the atherosclerotic process in the arterial wall. The inhibition of intracellular lipid deposition with isoflavonoids was suggested as the effective way for the prevention of plaque formation in the arterial wall. The aim of this double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study was to investigate the effect of an isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation on atherosclerosis progression in postmenopausal women free of overt cardiovascular disease. One hundred fifty-seven healthy postmenopausal women (age 65 ± 6) were randomized to a 500 mg isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation containing tannins from grape seeds, green tea leaves, hop cone powder, and garlic powder, or placebo. Conventional cardiovascular risk factors and intima-media thickness of common carotid arteries (cIMT) were evaluated at the baseline and after 12 months of treatment. After 12-months follow-up, total cholesterol decreased by 6.3% in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients (p = 0.011) and by 5.2% in placebo recipients (p = 0.020); low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol decreased by 7.6% in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients (p = 0.040) and by 5.2% in placebo recipients (non-significant, NS); high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreased by 3.4% in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients (NS) and by 4.5% in placebo recipients (p = 0.038); triglycerides decreased by 6.0% in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients (NS) and by 7.1% in placebo recipients (NS). The differences between lipid changes in the isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation and placebo recipients did not reach statistical significance (p > 0.05). Nevertheless, the mean cIMT progression was significantly lower in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients as compared to the placebo group (6 μm, or <1%, versus 100 μm, or 13%; p < 0.001 for the difference). The growth of existing atherosclerotic plaques in isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation recipients was inhibited by 1.5-fold (27% versus 41% in the placebo group). The obtained results demonstrate that the use of isoflavonoid-rich herbal preparation in postmenopausal women may suppress the formation of new atherosclerotic lesions and reduce the progression of existing ones, thus promising new drug for anti-atherosclerotic therapy. Nevertheless, further studies are required to confirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
TNFSF15 Inhibits Blood Retinal Barrier Breakdown Induced by Diabetes
by Feng Jiang, Qingzhong Chen, Liming Huang, Ying Wang, Zhuhong Zhang, Xiangda Meng, Yuanyuan Liu, Chunjie Mao, Fang Zheng, Jingkai Zhang and Hua Yan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17050615 - 25 Apr 2016
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 6677
Abstract
Tumor necrosis factor superfamily 15 (TNFSF15) is an endogenous neovascularization inhibitor and an important negative regulator of vascular homeostasis. This study aimed to explore the potential role of TNFSF15 in diabetic retinopathy. Vitreous TNFSF15 and VEGF levels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) patients [...] Read more.
Tumor necrosis factor superfamily 15 (TNFSF15) is an endogenous neovascularization inhibitor and an important negative regulator of vascular homeostasis. This study aimed to explore the potential role of TNFSF15 in diabetic retinopathy. Vitreous TNFSF15 and VEGF levels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) patients were detected by ELISA. Retinal expression of TNFSF15 and the content of tight junction proteins (TJPs) in rats were detected by immunohistochemistry and Western blot, respectively. The blood retinal barrier (BRB) permeability was evaluated using Evans Blue (EB) dye. The TNFSF15/VEGF ratio was decreased in the vitreous fluid of patients with PDR relative to the controls, even though the expression levels of TNFSF15 were higher. TNFSF15 was dramatically decreased one month later after diabetes induction (p < 0.001), and then increased three months later and thereafter. TNFSF15 treatment significantly protected the BRB in the diabetic animals. Diabetes decreased TJPs levels in the retina, and these changes were inhibited by TNFSF15 treatment. Moreover, TNFSF15 decreased activation of VEGF both in mRNA and protein levels caused by diabetes. These results indicate that TNFSF15 is an important inhibitor in the progression of DR and suggest that the regulation of TNFSF15 shows promise for the development of diabetic retinopathy treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Article
Comparison of Topical Hemostatic Agents in a Swine Model of Extremity Arterial Hemorrhage: BloodSTOP iX Battle Matrix vs. QuikClot Combat Gauze
by Huixi Li, Lin Wang, Amjad Alwaal, Yung-Chin Lee, Amanda Reed-Maldonado, Taylor A. Spangler, Lia Banie, Reginald B. O’Hara and Guiting Lin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17040545 - 12 Apr 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 9193
Abstract
BloodSTOP iX Battle Matrix (BM) and QuikClot Combat Gauze (CG) have both been used to treat traumatic bleeding. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy and initial safety of both products in a swine extremity arterial hemorrhage model, which mimics [...] Read more.
BloodSTOP iX Battle Matrix (BM) and QuikClot Combat Gauze (CG) have both been used to treat traumatic bleeding. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy and initial safety of both products in a swine extremity arterial hemorrhage model, which mimics combat injury. Swine (37.13 ± 0.56 kg, NBM = 11, NCG = 9) were anesthetized and splenectomized. We then isolated the femoral arteries and performed a 6 mm arteriotomy. After 45 s of free bleeding, either BM or CG was applied. Fluid resuscitation was provided to maintain a mean arterial pressure of 65 mmHg. Animals were observed for three hours or until death. Fluoroscopic angiography and wound stability challenge tests were performed on survivors. Tissue samples were collected for histologic examination. Stable hemostasis was achieved in 11/11 BM and 5/9 CG subjects, with recovery of mean arterial pressure and animal survival for three hours (p < 0.05, Odds Ratio (OR) = 18.82 (0.85–415.3)). Time to stable hemostasis was shorter for the BM-treated group (4.8 ± 2.5 min vs. 58 ± 20.1 min; Median = 2, Interquartile Range (IQR) = 0 min vs. Median = 60, IQR = 120 min; p < 0.05) and experienced longer total stable hemostasis (175.2 ± 2.5 min vs. 92.4 ± 29.9 min; Median = 178, IQR = 0 min vs. Median = 120, IQR = 178 min; p < 0.05). Post-treatment blood loss was lower with BM (9.5 ± 2.4 mL/kg, Median = 10.52, IQR = 13.63 mL/kg) compared to CG (29.9 ± 9.9 mL/kg, Median = 29.38, IQR = 62.44 mL/kg) (p = 0.2875). Standard BM products weighed less compared to CG (6.9 ± 0.03 g vs. 20.2 ± 0.4 g) (p < 0.05) and absorbed less blood (3.4 ± 0.8 g vs. 41.9 ± 12.3 g) (p < 0.05). Fluoroscopic angiography showed recanalization in 5/11 (BM) and 0/5 (CG) surviving animals (p = 0.07, OR = 9.3 (0.41–208.8)). The wound stability challenge test resulted in wound re-bleeding in 1/11 (BM) and 5/5 (CG) surviving animals (p < 0.05, OR = 0.013 (0.00045–0.375)). Histologic evidence indicated no wound site, distal limb or major organ damage in either group. BM is more effective and portable in treating arterial hemorrhage compared to CG. There was no histologic evidence of further damage in either group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Review

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Review
The Multifaceted Roles of PI3Kγ in Hypertension, Vascular Biology, and Inflammation
by Marialuisa Perrotta, Giuseppe Lembo and Daniela Carnevale
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1858; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111858 - 8 Nov 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5909
Abstract
PI3Kγ is a multifaceted protein, crucially involved in cardiovascular and immune systems. Several studies described the biological and physiological functions of this enzyme in the regulation of cardiovascular system, while others stressed its role in the modulation of immunity. Although PI3Kγ has been [...] Read more.
PI3Kγ is a multifaceted protein, crucially involved in cardiovascular and immune systems. Several studies described the biological and physiological functions of this enzyme in the regulation of cardiovascular system, while others stressed its role in the modulation of immunity. Although PI3Kγ has been historically investigated for its role in leukocytes, the last decade of research also dedicated efforts to explore its functions in the cardiovascular system. In this review, we report an overview recapitulating how PI3Kγ signaling participates in the regulation of vascular functions involved in blood pressure regulation. Moreover, we also summarize the main functions of PI3Kγ in immune responses that could be potentially important in the interaction with the cardiovascular system. Considering that vascular and immune mechanisms are increasingly emerging as intertwining players in hypertension, PI3Kγ could be an intriguing pathway acting on both sides. The availability of specific inhibitors introduces a perspective of further translational research and clinical approaches that could be exploited in hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Review
The Role of CC-Chemokines in the Regulation of Angiogenesis
by Anisyah Ridiandries, Joanne T. M. Tan and Christina A. Bursill
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111856 - 8 Nov 2016
Cited by 85 | Viewed by 9160
Abstract
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is critical for survival and in the regenerative response to tissue injury or ischemia. However, in diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis, inflammation can cause unregulated angiogenesis leading to excessive neovascularization, which exacerbates disease. Current anti-angiogenic [...] Read more.
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is critical for survival and in the regenerative response to tissue injury or ischemia. However, in diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis, inflammation can cause unregulated angiogenesis leading to excessive neovascularization, which exacerbates disease. Current anti-angiogenic therapies cause complete inhibition of both inflammatory and ischemia driven angiogenesis causing a range of side effects in patients. Specific inhibition of inflammation-driven angiogenesis would therefore be immensely valuable. Increasing evidence suggests that the CC-chemokine class promotes inflammation-driven angiogenesis, whilst there is little evidence for a role in ischemia-mediated angiogenesis. The differential regulation of angiogenesis by CC-chemokines suggests it may provide an alternate strategy to treat angiogenesis associated pathological diseases. The focus of this review is to highlight the significant role of the CC-chemokine class in inflammation, versus ischemia driven angiogenesis, and to discuss the related pathologies including atherosclerosis, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. We examine the pros and cons of anti-angiogenic therapies currently in clinical trials. We also reveal novel therapeutic strategies that cause broad-spectrum inhibition of the CC-chemokine class that may have future potential for the specific inhibition of inflammatory angiogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Review
Extracellular Matrix, a Hard Player in Angiogenesis
by Maurizio Mongiat, Eva Andreuzzi, Giulia Tarticchio and Alice Paulitti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111822 - 1 Nov 2016
Cited by 155 | Viewed by 9221
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex network of proteins, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and polysaccharides. Through multiple interactions with each other and the cell surface receptors, not only the ECM determines the physical and mechanical properties of the tissues, but also profoundly influences cell [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex network of proteins, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and polysaccharides. Through multiple interactions with each other and the cell surface receptors, not only the ECM determines the physical and mechanical properties of the tissues, but also profoundly influences cell behavior and many physiological and pathological processes. One of the functions that have been extensively explored is its impingement on angiogenesis. The strong impact of the ECM in this context is both direct and indirect by virtue of its ability to interact and/or store several growth factors and cytokines. The aim of this review is to provide some examples of the complex molecular mechanisms that are elicited by these molecules in promoting or weakening the angiogenic processes. The scenario is intricate, since matrix remodeling often generates fragments displaying opposite effects compared to those exerted by the whole molecules. Thus, the balance will tilt towards angiogenesis or angiostasis depending on the relative expression of pro- or anti-angiogenetic molecules/fragments composing the matrix of a given tissue. One of the vital aspects of this field of research is that, for its endogenous nature, the ECM can be viewed as a reservoir to draw from for the development of new more efficacious therapies to treat angiogenesis-dependent pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Review
Escaping Antiangiogenic Therapy: Strategies Employed by Cancer Cells
by Mauricio P. Pinto, Paula Sotomayor, Gonzalo Carrasco-Avino, Alejandro H. Corvalan and Gareth I. Owen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091489 - 6 Sep 2016
Cited by 55 | Viewed by 8307
Abstract
Tumor angiogenesis is widely recognized as one of the “hallmarks of cancer”. Consequently, during the last decades the development and testing of commercial angiogenic inhibitors has been a central focus for both basic and clinical cancer research. While antiangiogenic drugs are now incorporated [...] Read more.
Tumor angiogenesis is widely recognized as one of the “hallmarks of cancer”. Consequently, during the last decades the development and testing of commercial angiogenic inhibitors has been a central focus for both basic and clinical cancer research. While antiangiogenic drugs are now incorporated into standard clinical practice, as with all cancer therapies, tumors can eventually become resistant by employing a variety of strategies to receive nutrients and oxygen in the event of therapeutic assault. Herein, we concentrate and review in detail three of the principal mechanisms of antiangiogenic therapy escape: (1) upregulation of compensatory/alternative pathways for angiogenesis; (2) vasculogenic mimicry; and (3) vessel co-option. We suggest that an understanding of how a cancer cell adapts to antiangiogenic therapy may also parallel the mechanisms employed in the bourgeoning tumor and isolated metastatic cells delivering responsible for residual disease. Finally, we speculate on strategies to adapt antiangiogenic therapy for future clinical uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Review
The Potential Role of Kallistatin in the Development of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
by Jiaze Li, Smriti Murali Krishna and Jonathan Golledge
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081312 - 11 Aug 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 7885
Abstract
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a vascular condition that causes permanent dilation of the abdominal aorta, which can lead to death due to aortic rupture. The only treatment for AAA is surgical repair, and there is no current drug treatment for AAA. Aortic [...] Read more.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a vascular condition that causes permanent dilation of the abdominal aorta, which can lead to death due to aortic rupture. The only treatment for AAA is surgical repair, and there is no current drug treatment for AAA. Aortic inflammation, vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis, angiogenesis, oxidative stress and vascular remodeling are implicated in AAA pathogenesis. Kallistatin is a serine proteinase inhibitor, which has been shown to have a variety of functions, potentially relevant in AAA pathogenesis. Kallistatin has been reported to have inhibitory effects on tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) signaling induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. Kallistatin also inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Wnt canonical signaling, which promote inflammation, angiogenesis, and vascular remodeling in various pre-clinical experimental models. This review explores the potential protective role of kallistatin in AAA pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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Review
Hypercholesterolemia Tunes Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells for Inflammation and Atherosclerosis
by Xiaojuan Ma and Yingmei Feng
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17071162 - 19 Jul 2016
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6208
Abstract
As the pathological basis of cardiovascular disease (CVD), atherosclerosis is featured as a chronic inflammation. Hypercholesterolemia is an independent risk factor for CVD. Accumulated studies have shown that hypercholesterolemia is associated with myeloid cell expansion, which stimulates innate and adaptive immune responses, strengthens [...] Read more.
As the pathological basis of cardiovascular disease (CVD), atherosclerosis is featured as a chronic inflammation. Hypercholesterolemia is an independent risk factor for CVD. Accumulated studies have shown that hypercholesterolemia is associated with myeloid cell expansion, which stimulates innate and adaptive immune responses, strengthens inflammation, and accelerates atherosclerosis progression. Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) in bone marrow (BM) expresses a panel of lipoprotein receptors to control cholesterol homeostasis. Deficiency of these receptors abrogates cellular cholesterol efflux, resulting in HSPC proliferation and differentiation in hypercholesterolemic mice. Reduction of the cholesterol level in the lipid rafts by infusion of reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or its major apolipoprotein, apoA-I, reverses hypercholesterolemia-induced HSPC expansion. Apart from impaired cholesterol metabolism, inhibition of reactive oxygen species production suppresses HSPC activation and leukocytosis. These data indicate that the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypercholesterolemia on HSPC proliferation and differentiation could be multifaceted. Furthermore, dyslipidemia also regulates HSPC-neighboring cells, resulting in HSPC mobilization. In the article, we review how hypercholesterolemia evokes HSPC activation and mobilization directly or via its modification of BM microenvironment. We hope this review will bring light to finding key molecules to control HSPC expansion, inflammation, and atherosclerosis for the treatment of CVD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Biology and Therapeutics)
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