944 research outputs found

    Cardiac myocyte-specific knock-out of calcium-independent phospholipase A2γ (iPLA2γ) decreases oxidized fatty acids during ischemia/reperfusion and reduces infarct size

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    Calcium-independent phospholipase A(2)γ (iPLA(2)γ) is a mitochondrial enzyme that produces lipid second messengers that facilitate opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and contribute to the production of oxidized fatty acids in myocardium. To specifically identify the roles of iPLA(2)γ in cardiac myocytes, we generated cardiac myocyte-specific iPLA(2)γ knock-out (CMiPLA(2)γKO) mice by removing the exon encoding the active site serine (Ser-477). Hearts of CMiPLA(2)γKO mice exhibited normal hemodynamic function, glycerophospholipid molecular species composition, and normal rates of mitochondrial respiration and ATP production. In contrast, CMiPLA(2)γKO mice demonstrated attenuated Ca(2+)-induced mPTP opening that could be rapidly restored by the addition of palmitate and substantially reduced production of oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Furthermore, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in CMiPLA(2)γKO mice (30 min of ischemia followed by 30 min of reperfusion in vivo) dramatically decreased oxidized fatty acid production in the ischemic border zones. Moreover, CMiPLA(2)γKO mice subjected to 30 min of ischemia followed by 24 h of reperfusion in vivo developed substantially less cardiac necrosis in the area-at-risk in comparison with their WT littermates. Furthermore, we found that membrane depolarization in murine heart mitochondria was sensitized to Ca(2+) by the presence of oxidized PUFAs. Because mitochondrial membrane depolarization and calcium are known to activate iPLA(2)γ, these results are consistent with salvage of myocardium after I/R by iPLA(2)γ loss of function through decreasing mPTP opening, diminishing production of proinflammatory oxidized fatty acids, and attenuating the deleterious effects of abrupt increases in calcium ion on membrane potential during reperfusion

    Differential response of lymphatic, venous and arterial endothelial cells to angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2

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    BACKGROUND: The lymphatic system complements the blood circulatory system in absorption and transport of nutrients, and in the maintenance of homeostasis. Angiopoietins 1 and 2 (Ang1 and Ang2) are regulators of both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis through the Tek/Tie-2 receptor tyrosine kinase. The response of endothelial cells to stimulation with either Ang1 or Ang2 is thought to be dependent upon the origin of the endothelial cells. In this study, we examined the effects of the angiopoietins on lymphatic, venous and arterial primary endothelial cells (bmLEC, bmVEC and bmAEC, respectively), which were isolated and cultured from bovine mesenteric vessels. RESULTS: BmLEC, bmVEC and bmAEC cell populations all express Tie-2 and were shown to express the appropriate cellular markers Prox-1, VEGFR3, and Neuropilin-1 that define the particular origin of each preparation. We showed that while bmLECs responded slightly more readily to angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) stimulation, bmVECs and bmAECs were more sensitive to Ang1 stimulation. Furthermore, exposure of bmLECs to Ang2 induced marginally higher levels of proliferation and survival than did exposure to Ang1. However, exposure to Ang1 resulted in higher levels of migration in bmLECs than did to Ang2. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that although both Ang1 and Ang2 can activate the Tie-2 receptor in bmLECs, Ang1 and Ang2 may have distinct roles in mesenteric lymphatic endothelial cells

    Liquid sprays and flow studies in the direct-injection diesel engine under motored conditions

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    A two dimensional, implicit finite difference method of the control volume variety, a two equation model of turbulence, and a discrete droplet model were used to study the flow field, turbulence levels, fuel penetration, vaporization, and mixing in diesel engine environments. The model was also used to study the effects of engine speed, injection angle, spray cone angle, droplet distribution, and intake swirl angle on the flow field, spray penetration and vaporization, and turbulence in motored two-stroke diesel engines. It is shown that there are optimum conditions for injection, which depend on droplet distribution, swirl, spray cone angle, and injection angle. The optimum conditions result in good spray penetration and vaporization and in good fuel mixing. The calculation presented clearly indicates that internal combustion engine models can be used to assess, at least qualitatively, the effects of injection characteristics and engine operating conditions on the flow field and on the spray penetration and vaporization in diesel engines

    Who bears the burden of climate variability? A comparative analysis of the impact of weather conditions on inequality in Vietnam and Indonesia

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    Is climate variability regressive? One argument could be as follows: People living in areas with high risk of climate hazards usually correspond to the most disadvantaged populations. Due to existing structural inequalities, they have limited opportunities to cope with climate hazards and often fall into a spiral of further poverty and social exclusion. In this paper, we investigate whether climate variability indeed has a regressive effect in Vietnam and Indonesia where both climate variability and inequality have been increasing. We directly analyse the effect of annual and seasonal temperature on income and income inequality across years. We do so by looking at the Vietnamese and Indonesian populations as a whole and also investigating more in-depth how these impacts change for the most vulnerable and marginalised groups. Our results suggest that climate variability increases inequality and that its biggest burden is bore by existing vulnerable groups. In Indonesia, these groups are rural, farming, low educated, female headed households, whose income is significantly reduced because of changes in climate conditions. Similarly, in Vietnam, ethnic minorities, rural, farming, and agricultural households bear the biggest impact of climate variability. Interestingly, some households in Vietnam are able to completely offset short-term impact of climate variability, using remittances and transfer as an insurance, but our findings also show that their coping strategy does not withstand longer term impacts of persistent climate variability. Despite the remarkable efforts of the national governments in supporting most vulnerable and marginalised groups in the Vietnamese and Indonesian societies in the past decades, specific interventions are needed to address the needs of those who are still bearing the biggest burden of climate impacts to finally allow even the “last mile” groups to escape poverty and exclusion

    Synthetic Peptide CK2.3 Enhances Bone Mineral Density in Senile Mice.

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    Background: Osteoporosis is a silent disease caused by low bone mineral density that results in bone fractures in 1 out of 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50. Although several treatments for osteopenia and osteoporosis are available, they have severe side effects and new treatments are desperately needed. Current treatments usually target osteoclasts and inhibit their activity or differentiation. Treatments that decrease osteoclast differentiation and activity but enhance osteogenesis and osteoblast activity are not available. We recently developed a peptide, CK2.3, that induces bone formation and increases bone mineral density as demonstrated by injection over the calvaria of 6 to 9-day-old mice and tail vein injection of 8-week-old mice. CK2.3 also decreased osteoclast formation and activity. However, these studies raise questions: does CK2.3 induce similar results in old mice and if so, what is the effective CK2.3 concentration and, is the bone mineral density of vertebrae of the spinal column increased as well? Methods: CK2.3 was systematically injected into the tail vein of female 6-month old mice with various concentrations of CK2.3: 0.76 μg/kg, 2.3 μg/kg, or 6.9 μg/kg per mice. Mice were sacrificed one week, two weeks, and four weeks after the first injection. Their spines and femurs were collected and analyzed for bone formation. Results: Femur and lumbar spine analyses found increased bone mineral density (BMD) and mineral apposition rate, with greater stiffness observed in femoral samples four weeks after the first injection. Histochemistry showed that osteoclastogenesis was suppressed in CK2.3 treated senile mice. Conclusions: For the first time, this study showed the increase of lumbar spine BMD by CK2.3. Moreover, it showed that enhancement of femur BMD was accompanied by increased femur stiffness only at medium concentration of CK2.3 four weeks after the first injection indicating the maintenance of bone\u27s structural integrity by CK2.3

    A Phase I and Pharmacologic Study of Weekly Gemcitabine in Combination with Infusional 5-fluorodeoxyuridine and Oral Calcium Leucovorin

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    Purpose: Since preclinical studies have shown more than additive cytotoxicity and DNA damage with the combination of gemcitabine and 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine (FUDR), we studied this combination in a phase I trial. Methods: Gemcitabine alone was given in cycle 1 as a 24-h, 2-h or 1-h i.v. infusion weekly for 3 of 4 weeks; if tolerated, a 24-h i.v. infusion of FUDR was added with oral leucovorin. The cycle was aborted for grade 3 thrombocytopenia, grade 4 neutropenia, and grade 2 or worse nonhematologic toxicity. Results: During cycle 1, six of eight patients who received 150 or 100 mg/m2 over 24 h had dose-limiting neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, fatigue or mucositis. Six of seven patients treated with 1000 mg/m2 over 2 h required a gemcitabine dose reduction for cycle 2 (thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, fatigue). Of 25 assessable patients who received gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 over 1 h, 7 did not complete cycle 1 due to thrombocytopenia (n = 6) or diarrhea (n = 1). Of 42 patients entered, 27 received at least one course of gemcitabine/FUDR (5-19.5 mg/m2 over 24 h) without appreciable toxicity. Due to a shortage of FUDR, the protocol was closed early. Gemcitabine plasma concentrations averaged 0.061 μM (24 h), 16.3 μM (2 h), and 31.9 μM (1 h). In 21 paired bone marrow mononuclear cell samples obtained before treatment and during FUDR infusion, thymidylate synthase ternary complex was only seen during FUDR infusion. Conclusions: Gemcitabine 100-150 mg/m2 over 24 h was poorly tolerated, whereas toxicity was acceptable with 800-1000 mg/m2 over 1 h. Inhibition of the target enzyme was demonstrated at all FUDR doses

    Human papillomavirus and survival of patients with oropharyngeal cancer.

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    BACKGROUND: Oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinomas caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) are associated with favorable survival, but the independent prognostic significance of tumor HPV status remains unknown. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of the association between tumor HPV status and survival among patients with stage III or IV oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma who were enrolled in a randomized trial comparing accelerated-fractionation radiotherapy (with acceleration by means of concomitant boost radiotherapy) with standard-fractionation radiotherapy, each combined with cisplatin therapy, in patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Proportional-hazards models were used to compare the risk of death among patients with HPV-positive cancer and those with HPV-negative cancer. RESULTS: The median follow-up period was 4.8 years. The 3-year rate of overall survival was similar in the group receiving accelerated-fractionation radiotherapy and the group receiving standard-fractionation radiotherapy (70.3% vs. 64.3%; P=0.18; hazard ratio for death with accelerated-fractionation radiotherapy, 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.13), as were the rates of high-grade acute and late toxic events. A total of 63.8% of patients with oropharyngeal cancer (206 of 323) had HPV-positive tumors; these patients had better 3-year rates of overall survival (82.4%, vs. 57.1% among patients with HPV-negative tumors; P\u3c0.001 by the log-rank test) and, after adjustment for age, race, tumor and nodal stage, tobacco exposure, and treatment assignment, had a 58% reduction in the risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.27 to 0.66). The risk of death significantly increased with each additional pack-year of tobacco smoking. Using recursive-partitioning analysis, we classified our patients as having a low, intermediate, or high risk of death on the basis of four factors: HPV status, pack-years of tobacco smoking, tumor stage, and nodal stage. CONCLUSIONS: Tumor HPV status is a strong and independent prognostic factor for survival among patients with oropharyngeal cancer. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00047008.
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