5,414 research outputs found

    Biperiodic superlattices and the transparent state

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    Coquelin et al. studied biperiodic semiconductor superlattices, which consist of alternating cell types, one with wide wells and the other narrow wells, separated by equal strength barriers. If the wells were identical, it would be a simply periodic system of N=2nN = 2n half-cells. When asymmetry is introduced, an allowed band splits at the Bragg point into two disjoint allowed bands. The Bragg resonance turns into a transparent state located close to the band edge of the lower(upper) band when the first(second) well is the wider. Analysis of this system gives insight into how band splitting occurs. Further we consider semi-periodic systems having N=2n+1N= 2n+1 half-cells. Surprisingly these have very different transmission properties, with an envelope of maximum transmission probability that crosses the envelope of minima at the transparent point.Comment: 12 pages, 10 figures Version 2: improved figures using colour, and some small improvements in the text, in response to referee comments Version 3: incorporates changes which arose in proofs stag

    Nitric oxide and peroxynitrite in health and disease

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    The discovery that mammalian cells have the ability to synthesize the free radical nitric oxide (NO) has stimulated an extraordinary impetus for scientific research in all the fields of biology and medicine. Since its early description as an endothelial-derived relaxing factor, NO has emerged as a fundamental signaling device regulating virtually every critical cellular function, as well as a potent mediator of cellular damage in a wide range of conditions. Recent evidence indicates that most of the cytotoxicity attributed to NO is rather due to peroxynitrite, produced from the diffusion-controlled reaction between NO and another free radical, the superoxide anion. Peroxynitrite interacts with lipids, DNA, and proteins via direct oxidative reactions or via indirect, radical-mediated mechanisms. These reactions trigger cellular responses ranging from subtle modulations of cell signaling to overwhelming oxidative injury, committing cells to necrosis or apoptosis. In vivo, peroxynitrite generation represents a crucial pathogenic mechanism in conditions such as stroke, myocardial infarction, chronic heart failure, diabetes, circulatory shock, chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Hence, novel pharmacological strategies aimed at removing peroxynitrite might represent powerful therapeutic tools in the future. Evidence supporting these novel roles of NO and peroxynitrite is presented in detail in this review

    Nitrosative stress and pharmacological modulation of heart failure

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    Dysregulation of nitric oxide (NO) and increased oxidative and nitrosative stress are implicated in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Peroxynitrite is a reactive oxidant that is produced from the reaction of nitric oxide with superoxide anion and impairs cardiovascular function through multiple mechanisms, including activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Recent studies suggest that the neutralization of peroxynitrite or pharmacological inhibition of MMPs and PARP are promising new approaches in the experimental therapy of various forms of myocardial injury. In this article, the role of nitrosative stress and downstream mechanisms, including activation of MMPs and PARP, in various forms of heart failure are discussed and novel emerging therapeutic strategies offered by neutralization of peroxynitrite and inhibition of MMPs and PARP in these pathophysiological conditions are reviewed

    The Purinergic System as a Pharmacological Target for the Treatment of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases

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    Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) encompass a wide range of seemingly unrelated conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Despite differing etiologies, these diseases share common inflammatory pathways, which lead to damage in primary target organs and frequently to a plethora of systemic effects as well. The purinergic signaling complex comprising extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides and their receptors, the P2 and P1 purinergic receptors, respectively, as well as catabolic enzymes and nucleoside transporters is a major regulatory system in the body. The purinergic signaling complex can regulate the development and course of IMIDs. Here we provide a comprehensive review on the role of purinergic signaling in controlling immunity, inflammation, and organ function in IMIDs. In addition, we discuss the possible therapeutic applications of drugs acting on purinergic pathways, which have been entering clinical development, to manage patients suffering from IMIDs

    Beneficial effects of a novel ultrapotent poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor in murine models of heart failure

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    Overactivation of the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) contributes to the development of cell dysfunction and tissue injury in various pathophysiological conditions associated with oxidative and nitrosative stress, including myocardial reperfusion injury, heart transplantation, diabetic cardiomyopathy and chronic heart failure. In recent studies, we have demonstrated the beneficial effects of a novel ultrapotent PARP inhibitor, INO-1001, on cardiac and endothelial dysfunction and remodeling in rat model of advanced aging-associated chronic heart failure and in a mouse model of heart failure induced by aortic banding. In the current study, we have investigated the effect of INO-1001 on the development of heart failure induced by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery, heart failure induced by doxorubicin and acute myocardial dysfunction induced by bacterial endotoxin. In the coronary ligation model, a significantly depressed left ventricular performance and impaired vascular relaxation of aortic rings were found, and PARP inhibition significantly improved both cardiac function and vascular relaxation. In the doxorubicin model, a single injection of doxorubicin induced high mortality and a significant decrease in left ventricular systolic pressure, +dP/dt, -dP/dt, stroke volume, stroke work, ejection fraction and cardiac output. Treatment with the PARP inhibitor reduced doxorubicin-induced mortality and markedly improved cardiac function. PARP inhibition did not interfere with doxorubicin's antitumor effect. In the endotoxin model of cardiac dysfunction, PARP inhibition attenuated the suppression of myocardial contractility elicited by endotoxin. The current data strengthen the view that PARP inhibition may represent an effective approach for the experimental therapy of various forms of acute and chronic heart failure

    Poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase inhibition decreases angiogenesis

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    Inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP), a nuclear enzyme involved in regulating cell death and cellular responses to DNA repair, show considerable promise in the treatment of cancer both in monotherapy as well as in combination with chemotherapeutic agents and radiation. We have recently demonstrated that PARP inhibition with 3-aminobenzamide or PJ-34 reduced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced proliferation, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro. Here, we show dose-dependent reduction of VEGF- and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-induced proliferation, migration, and tube formation of HUVECs in vitro by two potent PARP inhibitors 5-aminoisoquinolinone-hydrochloride (5-AIQ) and 1,5-isoquinolinediol (IQD). Moreover, PARP inhibitors prevented the sprouting of rat aortic ring explants in an ex vivo assay of angiogenesis. These results establish the novel concept that PARP inhibitors have antiangiogenic effects, which may have tremendous clinical implications for the treatment of various cancers, tumor metastases, and certain retinopathies

    Homocysteine induces cell death in H9C2 cardiomyocytes through the generation of peroxynitrite

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    Homocysteine (HCY) is toxic on blood vessels, but a potential direct toxicity of HCY on the heart is unknown. We addressed this issue by exposing H9C2 cardiomyocytes to HCY (0.1-5 mM) for up to 6h. At these concentrations, HCY reduced cell viability, induced necrosis and apoptosis and triggered the cleavage of caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). This was associated with the intracellular generation of the potent oxidant peroxynitrite. Removing peroxynitrite by the decomposition catalyst FeTPPS considerably reduced LDH release, DNA fragmentation, cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP, and restored normal cell morphology. In additional experiments performed in primary rat ventricular cardiomyocytes, HCY (1 mM, 6h) activated the phosphorylation of the MAP kinases ERK and JNK, two essential stress signaling kinases regulating myocardial apoptosis, hypertrophy and remodeling. These results provide the first demonstration that HCY kills cardiomyocytes through the generation of peroxynitrite and can activate key signaling cascades in the myocardium

    Pharmacological inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibits angiogenesis

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    Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a nuclear enzyme which plays an important role in regulating cell death and cellular responses to DNA repair. Pharmacological inhibitors of PARP are being considered as treatment for cancer both in monotherapy as well as in combination with chemotherapeutic agents and radiation, and were also reported to be protective against untoward effects exerted by certain anticancer drugs. Here we show that pharmacological inhibition of PARP with 3-aminobenzamide or PJ-34 dose-dependently reduces VEGF-induced proliferation, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro. These results suggest that treatment with PARP inhibitors may exert additional benefits in various cancers and retinopathies by decreasing angiogenesis

    Peroxynitrite activates ERK via Raf-1 and MEK, independently from EGF receptor and p21Ras in H9C2 cardiomyocytes

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    Peroxynitrite is a potent oxidant and nitrating species proposed as a direct effector of myocardial damage in a wide range of cardiac diseases. Whether peroxynitrite also acts indirectly, by modulating cell signal transduction pathways in the myocardium, has not been investigated. Here, we examined the ability of peroxynitrite to activate extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK), a MAP kinase which has been linked with hypertrophic and anti-apoptotic responses in the heart, in cultured H9C2 cardiomyocytes. Peroxynitrite elicited a concentration- and time-dependent activation of ERK, secondary to the upstream activation of MEK 1 (ERK kinase). Activation of MEK-ERK by peroxynitrite was related to the upstream activation of Raf-1 kinase, as ERK and MEK phosphorylation were prevented by the Raf-1 inhibitor BAY43-9006. These effects of peroxynitrite were not associated with the activation of p21(Ras), known as a common signaling target of cellular oxidative stress. In contrast to ERK activation mediated by the epidermal growth factor (EGF), ERK activation by peroxynitrite was not prevented by AG1478 (EGF receptor inhibitor). Peroxynitrite acted through oxidative, but not nitrative chemistry, as ERK remained activated while nitration was prevented by the flavanol epicatechin. In addition to ERK, peroxynitrite also potently activated two additional members of the MAP kinase family of signaling proteins, JNK and p38. Thus, peroxynitrite activates ERK in cardiomyocytes through an unusual signaling cascade involving Raf-1 and MEK 1, independently from EGFR and P21(Ras), and also acts as a potent activator of JNK and p38. These results provide the novel concept that peroxynitrite may represent a previously unrecognized signaling molecule in various cardiac pathologies

    Peroxynitrite is a major trigger of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in vitro and in vivo

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    Recent evidence indicates that peroxynitrite represents a major cytotoxic effector in heart diseases, but its mechanisms of action are still not known exactly. Notably, the ability of peroxynitrite to trigger cardiomyocyte apoptosis, a crucial mode of cell death in many cardiac conditions, remains poorly defined. We evaluated apoptotic and necrotic cell death in cultured H9C2 cardiomyocytes, following a brief (20 min) exposure to peroxynitrite (50-500 microM). Peroxynitrite-dependent myocardial toxicity was then investigated in a rat model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MIR), where the effects of peroxynitrite were blocked by the superoxide dismutase mimetics and peroxynitrite scavenger Mn(III)-tetrakis(4-benzoic acid) porphyrin (MnTBAP). In vitro, peroxynitrite killed cardiomyocytes mostly through apoptosis (DNA fragmentation, apoptotic nuclear alterations, caspase-3 activation, and PARP cleavage), but not necrosis (propidium iodide staining and LDH release). In vivo, MIR triggered myocardial oxidative stress (malondialdehyde generation), nitrotyrosine formation, neutrophil accumulation, and the cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP, indicating ongoing myocardial apoptosis. MnTBAP suppressed these alterations, allowing a considerable reduction of myocardial injury. Thus, peroxynitrite triggers apoptosis in cardiomyocytes in vitro and in the myocardium in vivo, through a pathway involving caspase-3 activation and the cleavage of PARP. These results provide important novel information on the mechanisms of myocardial toxicity of peroxynitrite