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- Activation of Rac-1 and RhoA Contributes to Podocyte Injury in Chronic Kidney Disease (2013)
- Rho-family GTPases like RhoA and Rac-1 are potent regulators of cellular signaling that control gene expression, migration and inflammation. Activation of Rho-GTPases has been linked to podocyte dysfunction, a feature of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). We investigated the effect of Rac-1 and Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibition on progressive renal failure in mice and studied the underlying mechanisms in podocytes. SV129 mice were subjected to 5/6-nephrectomy which resulted in arterial hypertension and albuminuria. Subgroups of animals were treated with the Rac-1 inhibitor EHT1846, the ROCK inhibitor SAR407899 and the ACE inhibitor Ramipril. Only Ramipril reduced hypertension. In contrast, all inhibitors markedly attenuated albumin excretion as well as glomerular and tubulo-interstitial damage. The combination of SAR407899 and Ramipril was more effective in preventing albuminuria than Ramipril alone. To study the involved mechanisms, podocytes were cultured from SV129 mice and exposed to static stretch in the Flexcell device. This activated RhoA and Rac-1 and led via TGFβ to apoptosis and a switch of the cells into a more mesenchymal phenotype, as evident from loss of WT-1 and nephrin and induction of α-SMA and fibronectin expression. Rac-1 and ROCK inhibition as well as blockade of TGFβ dramatically attenuated all these responses. This suggests that Rac-1 and RhoA are mediators of podocyte dysfunction in CKD. Inhibition of Rho-GTPases may be a novel approach for the treatment of CKD.
- Inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase promotes albuminuria in mice with progressive renal disease (2010)
- Epoxyeicotrienoic acids (EETs) are cytochrome P450-dependent anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory derivatives of arachidonic acid, which are highly abundant in the kidney and considered reno-protective. EETs are degraded by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and sEH inhibitors are considered treatment for chronic renal failure (CRF). We determined whether sEH inhibition attenuates the progression of CRF in the 5/6-nephrectomy model (5/6-Nx) in mice. 5/6-Nx mice were treated with a placebo, an ACE-inhibitor (Ramipril, 40 mg/kg), the sEH-inhibitor cAUCB or the CYP-inhibitor fenbendazole for 8 weeks. 5/6-Nx induced hypertension, albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulo-interstitial damage and these effects were attenuated by Ramipril. In contrast, cAUCB failed to lower the blood pressure and albuminuria was more severe as compared to placebo. Plasma EET-levels were doubled in 5/6 Nx-mice as compared to sham mice receiving placebo. Renal sEH expression was attenuated in 5/6-Nx mice but cAUCB in these animals still further increased the EET-level. cAUCB also increased 5-HETE and 15-HETE, which derive from peroxidation or lipoxygenases. Similar to cAUCB, CYP450 inhibition increased HETEs and promoted albuminuria. Thus, sEH-inhibition failed to elicit protective effects in the 5/6-Nx model and showed a tendency to aggravate the disease. These effects might be consequence of a shift of arachidonic acid metabolism into the lipoxygenase pathway.
- Activation of TRPC6 channels is essential for lung ischaemia–reperfusion induced oedema in mice (2012)
- Lung ischaemia–reperfusion-induced oedema (LIRE) is a life-threatening condition that causes pulmonary oedema induced by endothelial dysfunction. Here we show that lungs from mice lacking nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (Nox2y/−) or the classical transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6−/−) are protected from LIR-induced oedema (LIRE). Generation of chimeric mice by bone marrow cell transplantation and endothelial-specific Nox2 deletion showed that endothelial Nox2, but not leukocytic Nox2 or TRPC6, are responsible for LIRE. Lung endothelial cells from Nox2- or TRPC6-deficient mice showed attenuated ischaemia-induced Ca2+ influx, cellular shape changes and impaired barrier function. Production of reactive oxygen species was completely abolished in Nox2y/− cells. A novel mechanistic model comprising endothelial Nox2-derived production of superoxide, activation of phospholipase C-γ, inhibition of diacylglycerol (DAG) kinase, DAG-mediated activation of TRPC6 and ensuing LIRE is supported by pharmacological and molecular evidence. This mechanism highlights novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of LIRE.
- Therapeutic efficacy of TBC3711 in monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension (2011)
- Background: Endothelin-1 signalling plays an important role in pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension. Although different endothelin-A receptor antagonists are developed, a novel therapeutic option to cure the disease is still needed. This study aims to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of the selective endothelin-A receptor antagonist TBC3711 in monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats. Methods: Monocrotaline-injected male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized and treated orally from day 21 to 35 either with TBC3711 (Dose: 30 mg/kg body weight/day) or placebo. Echocardiographic measurements of different hemodynamic and right-heart hypertrophy parameters were performed. After day 35, rats were sacrificed for invasive hemodynamic and right-heart hypertrophy measurements. Additionally, histologic assessment of pulmonary vascular and right-heart remodelling was performed. Results: The novel endothelin-A receptor antagonist TBC3711 significantly attenuated monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension, as evident from improved hemodynamics and right-heart hypertrophy in comparison with placebo group. In addition, muscularization and medial wall thickness of distal pulmonary vessels were ameliorated. The histologic evaluation of the right ventricle showed a significant reduction in fibrosis and cardiomyocyte size, suggesting an improvement in right-heart remodelling. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the selective endothelin-A receptor antagonist TBC3711 demonstrates therapeutic benefit in rats with established pulmonary hypertension, thus representing a useful therapeutic approach for treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
- Soluble epoxide hydrolase limits mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation (2011)
- Background Cytochrome-P450 (CYP450) epoxygenases metabolise arachidonic acid (AA) into four different biologically active epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET) regioisomers. Three of the EETs (i.e., 8,9-, 11,12- and 14,15-EET) are rapidly hydrolysed by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). Here, we investigated the role of sEH in nociceptive processing during peripheral inflammation. Results In dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we found that sEH is expressed in medium and large diameter neurofilament 200-positive neurons. Isolated DRG-neurons from sEH-/- mice showed higher EET and lower DHET levels. Upon AA stimulation, the largest changes in EET levels occurred in culture media, indicating both that cell associated EET concentrations quickly reach saturation and EET-hydrolyzing activity mostly effects extracellular EET signaling. In vivo, DRGs from sEH-deficient mice exhibited elevated 8,9-, 11,12- and 14,15-EET-levels. Interestingly, EET levels did not increase at the site of zymosan-induced inflammation. Cellular imaging experiments revealed direct calcium flux responses to 8,9-EET in a subpopulation of nociceptors. In addition, 8,9-EET sensitized AITC-induced calcium increases in DRG neurons and AITC-induced calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) release from sciatic nerve axons, indicating that 8,9-EET sensitizes TRPA1-expressing neurons, which are known to contribute to mechanical hyperalgesia. Supporting this, sEH-/- mice showed increased nociceptive responses to mechanical stimulation during zymosan-induced inflammation and 8,9-EET injection reduced mechanical thresholds in naive mice. Conclusion Our results show that the sEH can regulate mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation by inactivating 8,9-EET, which sensitizes TRPA1-expressing nociceptors. Therefore we suggest that influencing the CYP450 pathway, which is actually highly considered to treat cardiovascular diseases, may cause pain side effects.
- Inhalation of the BKCa-Opener NS1619 Attenuates Right Ventricular Pressure and Improves Oxygenation in the Rat Monocrotaline Model of Pulmonary Hypertension (2013)
- Background: Right heart failure is a fatal consequence of chronic pulmonary hypertension (PH). The development of PH is characterized by increased proliferation of vascular cells, in particular pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and pulmonary artery endothelial cells. In the course of PH, an escalated right ventricular (RV) afterload occurs, which leads to increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. BKCa channels are ubiquitously expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells and their opening induces cell membrane hyperpolarization followed by vasodilation. Moreover, BK activation induces anti-proliferative effects in a multitude of cell types. On this basis, we hypothesized that treatment with the nebulized BK channel opener NS1619 might be a therapy option for pulmonary hypertension and tested this in rats. Methods: (1) Rats received monocrotaline injection for PH induction. Twenty-four days later, rats were anesthetized and NS1619 or the solvent was administered by inhalation. Systemic hemodynamic parameters, RV hemodynamic parameters, and blood gas analyses were measured before as well as 30 and 120 minutes after inhalation. (2) Rat PASMCs were stimulated with PDGF-BB in the presence and absence of NS1619. AKT, ERK1 and ERK2 activation were investigated by western blot analyses, and relative cell number was determined 48 hours after stimulation. Results: Inhalation of a 12 µM and 100 µM NS1619 solution significantly reduced RV pressure without affecting systemic arterial pressure. Blood gas analyses demonstrated significantly reduced carbon dioxide and improved oxygenation in NS1619-treated animals pointing towards a considerable pulmonary shunt-reducing effect. In PASMC’s, NS1619 (100 µM) significantly attenuated PASMC proliferation by a pathway independent of AKT and ERK1/2 activation. Conclusion: NS1619 inhalation reduces RV pressure and improves oxygen supply and its application inhibits PASMC proliferation in vitro. Hence, BK opening might be a novel option for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.