Publications by authors named "Giovanni Siciliani"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Mild endothelial dysfunction in Sirt3 knockout mice fed a high-cholesterol diet: protective role of a novel C/EBP-β-dependent feedback regulation of SOD2.

Basic Res Cardiol 2016 May 12;111(3):33. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Department of Cardiology, University Heart Center Zurich, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistr. 100, 8091, Zurich, Switzerland.

Sirtuin 3 (Sirt3) is an NAD(+)-dependent mitochondrial deacetylase associated with superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2)-mediated protection from oxidative stress. We have reported accelerated weight gain and impaired metabolic flexibility in atherosclerotic Sirt3 (-/-) mice. Oxidative stress is a hallmark of endothelial dysfunction. Yet, the role of Sirt3 in this context remains unknown. Thus, we aimed to unravel the effects of endogenous Sirt3 on endothelial function and oxidative stress. Knockdown of Sirt3 in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) increased intracellular mitochondrial superoxide accumulation, as assessed by electron spin resonance spectroscopy and fluorescence imaging. Endothelium-dependent relaxation of aortic rings from Sirt3 (-/-) mice exposed to a normal diet did not differ from wild-type controls. However, following 12 weeks of high-cholesterol diet and increasing oxidative stress, endothelial function of Sirt3 (-/-) mice was mildly impaired compared with wild-type controls. Relaxation was restored upon enhanced superoxide scavenging using pegylated superoxide dismutase. Knockdown of Sirt3 in cultured HAEC diminished SOD2 specific activity, which was compensated for by a CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBP-β)-dependent transcriptional induction of SOD2. Abrogation of this feedback regulation by simultaneous knockdown of C/EBP-β and Sirt3 exacerbated mitochondrial superoxide accumulation and culminated into endothelial cell death upon prolonged culture. Taken together, Sirt3 deficiency induces a mild, superoxide-dependent endothelial dysfunction in mice fed a high-cholesterol diet. In cultured endothelial cells, a novel C/EBP-β-dependent rescue mechanism maintains net SOD2 activity upon transient knockdown of Sirt3.
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May 2016

Systemic VEGF inhibition accelerates experimental atherosclerosis and disrupts endothelial homeostasis--implications for cardiovascular safety.

Int J Cardiol 2013 Oct 2;168(3):2453-61. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Division of Cardiology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Cardiovascular Research, Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Objectives: This study sought to examine the effects and underlying mechanisms of systemic VEGF inhibition in experimental atherosclerosis and aortic endothelial cells.

Background: Pharmacological inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a major mediator of angiogenesis, has become a widely applied treatment of certain cancers and multiple ocular diseases including age-related macular degeneration. However, recent clinical trials raise concern for systemic vascular adverse effects, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to revoke the approval of bevacizumab for metastatic breast cancer.

Methods: Eight-week old apolipoprotein E knockout mice received a high-cholesterol diet (1.25% cholesterol) for 24 weeks and were exposed to a systemic pan-VEGF receptor inhibitor (PTK787/ZK222584, 50mg/kg/d) or placebo (gavage) for the last 10 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions were characterized in thoraco-abdominal aortae and aortic arches. Mechanistic analyses were performed in cultured human aortic endothelial cells.

Results: Systemic VEGF inhibition increased atherosclerotic lesions by 33% whereas features of plaque vulnerability (i.e. necrotic core size, fibrous cap thickness) remained unchanged compared with controls. Aortic eNOS expression was decreased (trend). In human endothelial cells VEGF inhibition induced a dose-dependent increase in mitochondrial superoxide generation with an uncoupling of eNOS, resulting in reduced NO availability and decreased proliferation.

Conclusion: Systemic VEGF inhibition disrupts endothelial homeostasis and accelerates atherogenesis, suggesting that these events contribute to the clinical cardiovascular adverse events of VEGF-inhibiting therapies. Cardiovascular safety profiles of currently applied anti-angiogenic regimens should be determined to improve patient selection for therapy and allow close monitoring of patients at increased cardiovascular risk.
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October 2013