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Hypoxia plus Glucose Deprivation Increases NF-κB Activation and Downstream Pro-Inflammatory Enzyme Levels in Human Brain Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

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Vascular inflammation is a key component for cerebrovascular disease and ischemic injury is suggested to be a significant contributor, resulting in either myocardial ischemia or stroke. A strong inflammatory response is characterized by the release of inflammatory cytokines, thus producing

Vascular inflammation is a key component for cerebrovascular disease and ischemic injury is suggested to be a significant contributor, resulting in either myocardial ischemia or stroke. A strong inflammatory response is characterized by the release of inflammatory cytokines, thus producing and/or activating pro-inflammatory proteins in the cell. Our previous studies have demonstrated that hypoxia plus glucose deprivation (HGD), an in vitro model of ischemia, increases the proinflammatory mediator, cyclooxygenase-2 levels (COX-2), in vascular tissues. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation is an upstream transcription factor of COX-2 and had been suggested to be involved in “sterile” inflammation in experimental stroke models. Mechanisms underlying the development and progression of inflammation in the cerebrovasculature following ischemic injury in human tissue has not been addressed. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact of HGD on NF-κB expression and activation in human brain vascular smooth muscle cells (HBVSMC). In addition, we assessed pro-inflammatory mediator levels of downstream NF-κB transcription products, COX-2 and iNOS, and level of its upstream receptor, TLR4. Primary HBVSMC at passage 7 were treated with normoxia (room air) or HGD (1% O2). Following exposure to HGD (3h), cells were isolated, homogenized, and total protein content determined. Lysates, either whole cell or nuclear and cytosolic fractions, were prepped for western blot and analysis. Anti-α-smooth muscle actin was used to verify HBVSMC origin and -actin was used as a loading control. NF-κBp65, phosphorylated NF-κBp65, COX-2, and TLR4 protein levels were all measured post HGD. NF-κBp65 total protein was expressed in HBVSMC and a trend for an increase in levels following HGD was observed. Indirect activation of pNF-kBp65 was assessed via nuclear fractionation studies and was increased following HGD. Lamin AC was used to verify nuclear fractionation. Additional findings suggested that HBVSMC expressed TLR4 however, total protein levels of TLR4 were not altered by HGD. COX-2 and iNOS protein levels were also increased following HGD. In conclusion, these studies indicate that HGD alters proinflammatory enzyme levels, potentially by altering NF-κBp65 activation in human vascular smooth muscle cells. Funding Support: University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and University of Arizona Valley Research Project Grant VRP P1 (RG).

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2018-12

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Lenalidomide modulates high fat diet induced inflammation in human vascular smooth muscle cells

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Vascular inflammation plays a key role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. High fat diet has been associated with cardiovascular risk (1). Therefore, as poor nutrition and poor diet become more widespread, the number of people at risk

Vascular inflammation plays a key role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. High fat diet has been associated with cardiovascular risk (1). Therefore, as poor nutrition and poor diet become more widespread, the number of people at risk to cardiovascular disease increases. We hypothesized that using the cancer drug lenalidomide would reverse the inflammation caused by high fat conditions. Human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells were used as an in vitro model to analyze the effect of lenalidomide on high fat diet induced inflammation. Palmitate, a saturated fatty acid was used to induce inflammation. Since lenalidomide has been shown to inhibit cytokine production and attenuate oxidative stress, we investigated whether lenalidomide alters select markers of vascular inflammation in vascular smooth muscle treated with high fat exposure using palmitate. These markers were cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein levels, TNF-α pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and superoxide ions. Lenalidomide (5 µM) reversed COX-2 protein expression in cells exposed to high fat conditions (100 µM palmitate). In conclusion, high fat exposure elicits an inflammatory response in cultured primary human vascular smooth muscle, but this response appears to be independent of local cytokine or ROS production. Lenalidomide, although effective at reversing palmitate-induced COX-2, alone augments the pro-inflammatory mediators, COX-2 and TNF-α as well as promotes oxidative stress independent of high fat exposure in human vascular smooth muscle cells.

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2017-12

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The Role of Lipolysis in Regulating Plasma Glucose Concentrations in Mourning Doves

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Birds have unusually high plasma glucose concentrations compared to mammals of similar size despite their high metabolic rate. While birds use lipids as their main source of energy, it is still unclear how and why they maintain high plasma glucose

Birds have unusually high plasma glucose concentrations compared to mammals of similar size despite their high metabolic rate. While birds use lipids as their main source of energy, it is still unclear how and why they maintain high plasma glucose concentrations. To investigate a potential underlying mechanism, this study looks at the role of lipolysis in glucose homeostasis. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of decreased glycerol availability (through inhibition of lipolysis) on plasma glucose concentrations in mourning doves. The hypothesis is that decreased availability of glycerol will result in decreased production of glucose through gluconeogenesis leading to reduced plasma glucose concentrations. In the morning of each experiment, mourning doves were collected at the Arizona State University Tempe campus, and randomized into either a control group (0.9% saline) or experimental group (acipimox, 50mg/kg BM). Blood samples were collected prior to treatment, and at 1, 2, and 3 hours post-treatment. At 3 hours, doves were euthanized, and tissue samples were collected for analysis. Acipimox treatment resulted in significant increases in blood glucose concentrations at 1 and 2 hours post- treatment as well as renal triglyceride concentrations at 3 hours post-treatment. Change in plasma free glycerol between 0h and 3h followed an increasing trend for the acipimox treated animals, and a decreasing trend in the saline treated animals. These results do not support the hypothesis that inhibition of lipolysis should decrease blood glycerol and blood glucose levels. Rather, the effects of acipimox in glucose homeostasis appear to differ significantly between birds and mammals suggesting differing mechanisms for glucose homeostasis.

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2015-05

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Hepatic inflammatory response following high fat diet in adolescent male Sprague-Dawley rats

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There has long been a link tied between obesity and such pathological conditions as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and type two diabetes. Studies have shown that feeding rats a diet high in fat results in hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis. Using

There has long been a link tied between obesity and such pathological conditions as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and type two diabetes. Studies have shown that feeding rats a diet high in fat results in hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis. Using a novel short term diet of six weeks with male adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats, our laboratory sought to investigate the early effects of high fat intake on the liver. Prior findings in our laboratory found that a high fat diet (HFD) leads to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as well as other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. This study hypothesized that rats fed a 60% HFD for 6 weeks, unlike a high sucrose or standard chow diet, would have an elevated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with steatohepatitis. TNF-α, TLR4 and XBP1 were chosen for their link to hepatic inflammation. The results of this study found that contrary to the hypothesis, the high fat diet did not induce significant changes in the expression of any inflammatory marker in comparison to a high sucrose or control chow diet.

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2015-05