63 research outputs found

    Requirement for sphingosine kinase 1 in mediating phase 1 of the hypotensive response to anandamide in the anaesthetised mouse

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    In the isolated rat carotid artery, the endocannabinoid anandamide induces endothelium-dependent relaxation via activation of the enzyme sphingosine kinase (SK). This generates sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) which can be released from the cell and activates S1P receptors on the endothelium. In anaesthetised mice, anandamide has a well-characterised triphasic effect on blood pressure but the contribution of SK and S1P receptors in mediating changes in blood pressure has never been studied. Therefore, we assessed this in the current study. The peak hypotensive response to 1 and 10 mg/kg anandamide was measured in control C57BL/6 mice and in mice pretreated with selective inhibitors of SK1 (BML-258, also known as SK1-I) or SK2 ((R)-FTY720 methylether (ROMe), a dual SK1/2 inhibitor (SKi) or an S1P1 receptor antagonist (W146). Vasodilator responses to S1P were also studied in isolated mouse aortic rings. The hypotensive response to anandamide was significantly attenuated by BML-258 but not by ROMe. Antagonising S1P1 receptors with W146 completely blocked the fall in systolic but not diastolic blood pressure in response to anandamide. S1P induced vasodilation in denuded aortic rings was blocked by W146 but caused no vasodilation in endothelium-intact rings. This study provides evidence that the SK1/S1P regulatory-axis is necessary for the rapid hypotension induced by anandamide. Generation of S1P in response to anandamide likely activates S1P1 to reduce total peripheral resistance and lower mean arterial pressure. These findings have important implications in our understanding of the hypotensive and cardiovascular actions of cannabinoids

    A Role for the Long Noncoding RNA SENCR in Commitment and Function of Endothelial Cells

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    Despite the increasing importance of long non-coding RNA in physiology and disease, their role in endothelial biology remains poorly understood. Growing evidence has highlighted them to be essential regulators of human embryonic stem cell differentiation. SENCR, a vascular-enriched long non-coding RNA, overlaps the Friend Leukemia Integration virus 1 (FLI1) gene, a regulator of endothelial development. Therefore, we wanted to test the hypothesis that SENCR may contribute to mesodermal and endothelial commitment as well as in endothelial function. We thus developed new differentiation protocols allowing generation of endothelial cells from human embryonic stem cells using both directed and haemogenic routes. The expression of SENCR was markedly regulated during endothelial commitment using both protocols. SENCR did not control the pluripotency of pluripotent cells; however its overexpression significantly potentiated early mesodermal and endothelial commitment. In HUVEC, SENCR induced proliferation, migration and angiogenesis. SENCR expression was altered in vascular tissue and cells derived from patients with critical limb ischemia and premature coronary artery disease compared to controls. Here, we showed that SENCR contributes to the regulation of endothelial differentiation from pluripotent cells and controls the angiogenic capacity of HUVEC. These data give novel insight into the regulatory processes involved in endothelial development and function

    A Novel Plaque Enriched Long Noncoding RNA in Atherosclerotic Macrophage Regulation (PELATON)

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    Objective: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are an emergent class of molecules with diverse functional roles, widely expressed in human physiology and disease. Although some lncRNAs have been identified in cardiovascular disease, their potential as novel targets in the prevention of atherosclerosis is unknown. We set out to discover important lncRNAs in unstable plaque and gain insight into their functional relevance. Approach and Results: Analysis of RNA sequencing previously performed on stable and unstable atherosclerotic plaque identified a panel of 47 differentially regulated lncRNAs. We focused on LINC01272, a lncRNA upregulated in unstable plaque previously detected in inflammatory bowel disease, which we termed PELATON (plaque enriched lncRNA in atherosclerotic and inflammatory bowel macrophage regulation). Here, we demonstrate that PELATON is highly monocyte- and macrophage-specific across vascular cell types, and almost entirely nuclear by cellular fractionation (90%-98%). In situ hybridization confirmed enrichment of PELATON in areas of plaque inflammation, colocalizing with macrophages around the shoulders and necrotic core of human plaque sections. Consistent with its nuclear localization, and despite containing a predicted open reading frame, PELATON did not demonstrate any protein-coding potential in vitro. Functionally, knockdown of PELATON significantly reduced phagocytosis, lipid uptake and reactive oxygen species production in high-content analysis, with a significant reduction in phagocytosis independently validated. Furthermore, CD36, a key mediator of phagocytic oxLDL (oxidized low-density lipoprotein) uptake was significantly reduced with PELATON knockdown. Conclusions: PELATON is a nuclear expressed, monocyte- and macrophage-specific lncRNA, upregulated in unstable atherosclerotic plaque. Knockdown of PELATON affects cellular functions associated with plaque progression

    Pain and Problem Behavior in Cats and Dogs

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    We argue that there is currently an under-reporting of the ways in which pain can be associated with problem behavior, which is seriously limiting the recognition of this welfare problem. A review of the caseloads of 100 recent dog cases of several authors indicates that a conservative estimate of around a third of referred cases involve some form of painful condition, and in some instances, the figure may be nearly 80%. The relationship is often complex but always logical. Musculoskeletal but also painful gastro-intestinal and dermatological conditions are commonly recognized as significant to the animal’s problem behavior. The potential importance of clinical abnormalities such as an unusual gait or unexplained behavioral signs should not be dismissed by clinicians in general practice, even when they are common within a given breed. In general, it is argued that clinicians should err on the side of caution when there is a suspicion that a patient could be in pain by carefully evaluating the patient’s response to trial analgesia, even if a specific physical lesion has not been identified

    The Human-Specific and Smooth Muscle Cell-Enriched LncRNA SMILR Promotes Proliferation by Regulating Mitotic CENPF mRNA and Drives Cell-Cycle Progression Which Can Be Targeted to Limit Vascular Remodeling.

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    RATIONALE: In response to blood vessel wall injury, aberrant proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) causes pathological remodeling. However, the controlling mechanisms are not completely understood. OBJECTIVE: We recently showed that the human long noncoding RNA, SMILR, promotes vascular SMCs proliferation by a hitherto unknown mechanism. Here, we assess the therapeutic potential of SMILR inhibition and detail the molecular mechanism of action. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used deep RNA-sequencing of human saphenous vein SMCs stimulated with IL (interleukin)-1α and PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor)-BB with SMILR knockdown (siRNA) or overexpression (lentivirus), to identify SMILR-regulated genes. This revealed a SMILR-dependent network essential for cell cycle progression. In particular, we found using the fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator viral system that SMILR regulates the late mitotic phase of the cell cycle and cytokinesis with SMILR knockdown resulting in ≈10% increase in binucleated cells. SMILR pulldowns further revealed its potential molecular mechanism, which involves an interaction with the mRNA of the late mitotic protein CENPF (centromere protein F) and the regulatory Staufen1 RNA-binding protein. SMILR and this downstream axis were also found to be activated in the human ex vivo vein graft pathological model and in primary human coronary artery SMCs and atherosclerotic plaques obtained at carotid endarterectomy. Finally, to assess the therapeutic potential of SMILR, we used a novel siRNA approach in the ex vivo vein graft model (within the 30 minutes clinical time frame that would occur between harvest and implant) to assess the reduction of proliferation by EdU incorporation. SMILR knockdown led to a marked decrease in proliferation from ≈29% in controls to ≈5% with SMILR depletion. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, we demonstrate that SMILR is a critical mediator of vascular SMC proliferation via direct regulation of mitotic progression. Our data further reveal a potential SMILR-targeting intervention to limit atherogenesis and adverse vascular remodeling

    Smooth muscle enriched long non-coding RNA (SMILR) regulates cell proliferation

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    Background—Phenotypic switching of vascular smooth muscle cells from a contractile to a synthetic state is implicated in diverse vascular pathologies, including atherogenesis, plaque stabilization, and neointimal hyperplasia. However, very little is known about the role of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) during this process. Here, we investigated a role for lncRNAs in vascular smooth muscle cell biology and pathology. Methods and Results—Using RNA sequencing, we identified >300 lncRNAs whose expression was altered in human saphenous vein vascular smooth muscle cells following stimulation with interleukin-1α and platelet-derived growth factor. We focused on a novel lncRNA (Ensembl: RP11-94A24.1), which we termed smooth muscle–induced lncRNA enhances replication (SMILR). Following stimulation, SMILR expression was increased in both the nucleus and cytoplasm, and was detected in conditioned media. Furthermore, knockdown of SMILR markedly reduced cell proliferation. Mechanistically, we noted that expression of genes proximal to SMILR was also altered by interleukin-1α/platelet-derived growth factor treatment, and HAS2 expression was reduced by SMILR knockdown. In human samples, we observed increased expression of SMILR in unstable atherosclerotic plaques and detected increased levels in plasma from patients with high plasma C-reactive protein. Conclusions—These results identify SMILR as a driver of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and suggest that modulation of SMILR may be a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce vascular pathologies

    Cognition and bimanual performance in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: Protocol for a multicentre, cross-sectional study

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    © 2018 The Author(s). Background: Motor outcomes of children with unilateral cerebral palsy are clearly documented and well understood, yet few studies describe the cognitive functioning in this population, and the associations between the two is poorly understood. Using two hands together in daily life involves complex motor and cognitive processes. Impairment in either domain may contribute to difficulties with bimanual performance. Research is yet to derive whether, and how, cognition affects a child's ability to use their two hands to perform bimanual tasks. Methods/Design: This study will use a prospective, cross-sectional multi-centre observational design. Children (aged 6-12 years) with unilateral cerebral palsy will be recruited from one of five Australian treatment centres. We will examine associations between cognition, bimanual performance and brain neuropathology (lesion type and severity) in a sample of 131 children. The primary outcomes are: Motor - the Assisting Hand Assessment; Cognitive - Executive Function; and Brain - lesion location on structural MRI. Secondary data collected will include: Motor - Box and Blocks, ABILHAND- Kids, Sword Test; Cognitive - standard neuropsychological measures of intelligence. We will use generalized linear modelling and structural equation modelling techniques to investigate relationships between bimanual performance, executive function and brain lesion location. Discussion: This large multi-centre study will examine how cognition affects bimanual performance in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. First, it is anticipated that distinct relationships between bimanual performance and cognition (executive function) will be identified. Second, it is anticipated that interrelationships between bimanual performance and cognition will be associated with common underlying neuropathology. Findings have the potential to improve the specificity of existing upper limb interventions by providing more targeted treatments and influence the development of novel methods to improve both cognitive and motor outcomes in children with unilateral cerebral palsy

    Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search

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    Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations. More importantly, annotations of the same document pairs contributed by different scientists were highly concordant. We further show that the three representative baseline methods used to generate recommended articles for evaluation (Okapi Best Matching 25, Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency and PubMed Related Articles) had similar overall performances. Additionally, we found that these methods each tend to produce distinct collections of recommended articles, suggesting that a hybrid method may be required to completely capture all relevant articles. The established database server located at https://relishdb.ict.griffith.edu.au is freely available for the downloading of annotation data and the blind testing of new methods. We expect that this benchmark will be useful for stimulating the development of new powerful techniques for title and title/abstract-based search engines for relevant articles in biomedical research.Peer reviewe
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