Publications by authors named "Grzegorz Wilk"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

T-Cell-Derived miRNA-214 Mediates Perivascular Fibrosis in Hypertension.

Circ Res 2020 04 17;126(8):988-1003. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

From the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom (R.N., E.M., A.N.D.C., D.S., P.M., D.G., T.J.G.).

Rationale: Despite increasing understanding of the prognostic importance of vascular stiffening linked to perivascular fibrosis in hypertension, the molecular and cellular regulation of this process is poorly understood.

Objectives: To study the functional role of microRNA-214 (miR-214) in the induction of perivascular fibrosis and endothelial dysfunction driving vascular stiffening.

Methods And Results: Out of 381 miRs screened in the perivascular tissues in response to Ang II (angiotensin II)-mediated hypertension, miR-214 showed the highest induction (8-fold, =0.0001). MiR-214 induction was pronounced in perivascular and circulating T cells, but not in perivascular adipose tissue adipocytes. Global deletion of miR-214 prevented Ang II-induced periaortic fibrosis, , , and expression, hydroxyproline accumulation, and vascular stiffening, without difference in blood pressure. Mechanistic studies revealed that miR-214 mice were protected against endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and increased Nox2, all of which were induced by Ang II in WT mice. Ang II-induced recruitment of T cells into perivascular adipose tissue was abolished in miR-214 mice. Adoptive transfer of miR-214 T cells into RAG1 mice resulted in reduced perivascular fibrosis compared with the effect of WT T cells. Ang II induced hypertension caused significant change in the expression of 1380 T cell genes in WT, but only 51 in miR-214. T cell activation, proliferation and chemotaxis pathways were differentially affected. MiR-214 prevented Ang II-induction of profibrotic T cell cytokines (, , and ) and chemokine receptors (CCR1, CCR2, CCR4, CCR5, CCR6, and CXCR3). This manifested in reduced in vitro and in vivo T cell chemotaxis resulting in attenuation of profibrotic perivascular inflammation. Translationally, we show that miR-214 is increased in plasma of patients with hypertension and is directly correlated to pulse wave velocity as a measure of vascular stiffness.

Conclusions: T-cell-derived miR-214 controls pathological perivascular fibrosis in hypertension mediated by T cell recruitment and local profibrotic cytokine release.
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April 2020

Causal association between periodontitis and hypertension: evidence from Mendelian randomization and a randomized controlled trial of non-surgical periodontal therapy.

Eur Heart J 2019 11;40(42):3459-3470

Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-107, Krakow, Poland.

Aims: Inflammation is an important driver of hypertension. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease, which could provide a mechanism for pro-hypertensive immune activation, but evidence of a causal relationship in humans is scarce. We aimed to investigate the nature of the association between periodontitis and hypertension.

Methods And Results: We performed a two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis in the ∼750 000 UK-Biobank/International Consortium of Blood Pressure-Genome-Wide Association Studies participants using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SIGLEC5, DEFA1A3, MTND1P5, and LOC107984137 loci GWAS-linked to periodontitis, to ascertain their effect on blood pressure (BP) estimates. This demonstrated a significant relationship between periodontitis-linked SNPs and BP phenotypes. We then performed a randomized intervention trial on the effects of treatment of periodontitis on BP. One hundred and one hypertensive patients with moderate/severe periodontitis were randomized to intensive periodontal treatment (IPT; sub- and supragingival scaling/chlorhexidine; n = 50) or control periodontal treatment (CPT; supragingival scaling; n = 51) with mean ambulatory 24-h (ABPM) systolic BP (SBP) as primary outcome. Intensive periodontal treatment improved periodontal status at 2 months, compared to CPT. This was accompanied by a substantial reduction in mean SBP in IPT compared to the CPT (mean difference of -11.1 mmHg; 95% CI 6.5-15.8; P < 0.001). Systolic BP reduction was correlated to periodontal status improvement. Diastolic BP and endothelial function (flow-mediated dilatation) were also improved by IPT. These cardiovascular changes were accompanied by reductions in circulating IFN-γ and IL-6 as well as activated (CD38+) and immunosenescent (CD57+CD28null) CD8+T cells, previously implicated in hypertension.

Conclusion: A causal relationship between periodontitis and BP was observed providing proof of concept for development of clinical trial in a large cohort of hypertensive patients. NCT02131922.
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November 2019

Vascular transcriptome profiling identifies Sphingosine kinase 1 as a modulator of angiotensin II-induced vascular dysfunction.

Sci Rep 2017 03 9;7:44131. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland.

Vascular dysfunction is an important phenomenon in hypertension. We hypothesized that angiotensin II (AngII) affects transcriptome in the vasculature in a region-specific manner, which may help to identify genes related to vascular dysfunction in AngII-induced hypertension. Mesenteric artery and aortic transcriptome was profiled using Illumina WG-6v2.0 chip in control and AngII infused (490 ng/kg/min) hypertensive mice. Gene set enrichment and leading edge analyses identified Sphingosine kinase 1 (Sphk1) in the highest number of pathways affected by AngII. Sphk1 mRNA, protein and activity were up-regulated in the hypertensive vasculature. Chronic sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) infusion resulted in a development of significantly increased vasoconstriction and endothelial dysfunction. AngII-induced hypertension was blunted in Sphk1 mice (systolic BP 167 ± 4.2 vs. 180 ± 3.3 mmHg, p < 0.05), which was associated with decreased aortic and mesenteric vasoconstriction in hypertensive Sphk1 mice. Pharmacological inhibition of S1P synthesis reduced vasoconstriction of mesenteric arteries. While Sphk1 is important in mediating vasoconstriction in hypertension, Sphk1 mice were characterized by enhanced endothelial dysfunction, suggesting a local protective role of Sphk1 in the endothelium. S1P serum level in humans was correlated with endothelial function (arterial tonometry). Thus, vascular transcriptome analysis shows that S1P pathway is critical in the regulation of vascular function in AngII-induced hypertension, although Sphk1 may have opposing roles in the regulation of vasoconstriction and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation.
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March 2017

Treatment of denture-related stomatitis improves endothelial function assessed by flow-mediated vascular dilation.

Arch Med Sci 2017 Feb 18;13(1):66-74. Epub 2016 Dec 18.

Department of Dental Prophylaxis and Experimental Dentistry, Dental School, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland; Oral Sciences Research Group, Glasgow Dental School, School of Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Introduction: The presence of oral inflammation has recently been linked with the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. While numerous studies have described links between periodontitis and endothelial dysfunction, little is known about the influence of denture-related stomatitis (DRS) on cardiovascular risk. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether the treatment of DRS can lead to improvement of the clinical measures of vascular dysfunction.

Material And Methods: The DRS patients were treated with a local oral antifungal agent for 3 weeks. Blood pressure, flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and nitroglycerine-mediated vascular dilatation (NMD) were measured during three study visits: before treatment, one day and two months after conclusion of antifungal therapy.

Results: Flow-mediated dilatation measurements showed significant improvement of endothelial function 2 months after treatment (FMD median 5%, 95 CI: 3-8.3 vs. 11%, 95% CI: 8.8-14.4; < 0.01), while there was no difference in control, endothelium-independent vasorelaxations (NMD; median = 15.3%, 95% CI: 10.8-19.3 vs. 12.7%, 95% CI: 10.6-15; = 0.3). Other cardiovascular parameters such as systolic (median = 125 mm Hg; 95% CI: 116-129 vs. 120 mm Hg, 95% CI: 116-126; = 0.1) as well as diastolic blood pressure and heart rate (median = 65.5 bpm, 95% CI: 56.7-77.7 vs. 71 bpm, 95% CI: 66.7-75; = 0.5) did not change during or after the treatment.

Conclusions: Treatment of DRS is associated with improvement of endothelial function. Since endothelial dysfunction is known to precede the development of severe cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis and hypertension, patients should be more carefully screened for DRS in general dental practice, and immediate DRS treatment should be advised.
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February 2017

Th responses are not altered by natural exposure to seasonal allergens in pollen-sensitive patients.

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2016 24;12:55. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Translational Medicine Laboratory, Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, School of Medicine, Jagiellonian University, Skarbowa 1, 31-121 Cracow, Poland ; Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Allergic rhinitis affects 10-30 % of the global population and this number is likely to increase in the forthcoming years. Moreover, it commonly co-exists with allergic asthma as a chronic allergic respiratory syndrome. While the involvement of Th cells in allergy is well understood, alterations of pro-inflammatory Th responses remain poorly characterized. The aim of our study was to determine whether natural seasonal allergen exposure causes changes in T cell subset characteristics in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Methods: Sixteen patients with allergic rhinitis/atopic asthma (9M, 7F; age 31.8 ± 12.1) and 16 healthy controls were recruited into the study (9M, 7F; age 31.2 ± 5.3). Blood samples were collected from the patients 1-3 months before pollen season (visit 1), within 7 days of the appearance of pollen/initiation of allergic symptoms (visit 2) and 2 weeks after visit 2 following the introduction of symptomatic treatment with antihistamines (visit 3). Flow cytometry was used to assess major T cell subsets (naïve, central memory, effector memory and CD45RA+ effector) and key T cell cytokine production (IFNγ, IL-17A, TNF and IL-4) using intracellular staining. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and paired t test.

Results: As expected, an increase in the percentage of IL-4+ CD4+ cells was observed during natural pollen exposure in patients with allergic respiratory syndrome. No significant changes were observed in the production of other cytokines, including Th cells, which tended to be lower than in the control population but unchanged during pollen exposure. Introduction of antihistamine treatment led to only moderate changes in cytokine production from CD4 and CD8 T cells. Selective changes in CD8+ T cells were observed during natural pollen exposure including a decrease in transient cells (with features of CD45RA+ and CD45RO+ cells) and a decrease in the percentage of central memory cells in the peripheral circulation. Within the CD4 cell group the total percentage of CD45RA positive CD4 cells was increased during pollen exposure.

Conclusions: Th and Th responses are not altered during pollen season but allergen exposure affects T cell activation and memory cell status in patients with allergic respiratory syndrome.
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October 2016

Systemic T Cells and Monocyte Characteristics in Patients with Denture Stomatitis.

J Prosthodont 2017 Jan 16;26(1):19-28. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Institute of Dentistry, Department of Dental Prophylaxis and Experimental Dentistry, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland.

Purpose: Chronic inflammatory disorders of the oral cavity, such as periodontitis, were recently linked to systemic immune activation. Since fungal oral infections have not yet been studied in this respect, the aim of our study is to determine whether the local inflammation caused by oral fungal infection of the palatal tissue (denture stomatitis-DS) is associated with the systemic inflammatory response. This question is becoming essential as the population ages.

Materials And Methods: Peripheral blood of DS patients (n = 20) and control patients (n = 24) was assessed with flow cytometry to determine lymphocyte and monocyte profiles. Intracellular cytometric analysis was carried out to establish cytokine production by T cells. DS was diagnosed based on clinical symptoms of DS such as swelling and redness of oral mucosa, confirmed by microbiological swabs for fungal colonization with Candida species. The control group was recruited from denture users without clinical and microbiological signs of oral infections.

Results: Percentages of peripheral lymphocytes, T cells, monocytes, and their subpopulations were similar in both studied groups. The exception was median percentages of CD25+ T cell subsets, which were significantly lower in DS patients than in control subjects. This reduction was observed in both CD4 T cell subset (16.7% and 28.1%; p = 0.0006) and CD8 T cell subset (4.6% and 7.0%; p = 0.007) CONCLUSIONS: While DS and associated local fungal infection do not overtly affect activation of monocytes or lymphocytes, the number of CD 25+ T cells is significantly lower in the DS patients, possibly indicating limited potential for the infection clearance in denture-using aging patients.
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January 2017

Intima-media thickness and endothelial dysfunction in GCK and HNF1A-MODY patients.

Eur J Endocrinol 2015 Mar 10;172(3):277-83. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Department of Metabolic DiseasesJagiellonian University Medical College, 15 Kopernika Street, Krakow 31-501, PolandUniversity HospitalKrakow, PolandTranslational Medicine LaboratoryDepartment of Internal MedicineDepartment of Clinical BiochemistryJagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, PolandDepartment of PediatricsOncology, Hematology and Diabetology, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland Department of Metabolic DiseasesJagiellonian University Medical College, 15 Kopernika Street, Krakow 31-501, PolandUniversity HospitalKrakow, PolandTranslational Medicine LaboratoryDepartment of Internal MedicineDepartment of Clinical BiochemistryJagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, PolandDepartment of PediatricsOncology, Hematology and Diabetology, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Objective: Mutations in the glucokinase (GCK) gene, along with hepatocyte nuclear factor 1A (HNF1A) gene mutations, are the most frequent cause of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). GCK-MODY patients are typically characterized by a moderate fasting hyperglycemia; however, little is known about atherosclerosis and intermediate-related phenotypes in these subjects.

Design: To examine carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and endothelial function assessed by brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in GCK gene mutations carriers and HNF1A-MODY.

Methods: A total of 64 subjects with GCK gene mutations, and 52 HNF1A gene mutation carriers as well as 53 nondiabetic controls were examined. IMT and FMD were assessed by ultrasonography. Appropriate statistical tests were performed to assess differences between the groups, and multivariate linear regression was done for the association with IMT and FMD.

Results: The clinical characteristics of all groups were similar with the mean age at examination of 35.1, 41.1, and 39.5 years for GCK, HNF1A and the control group respectively. The highest mean IMT value was in the HNF1A-MODY group: 7.0±1.4 mm, whereas it reached 6.3±1.4 mm in GCK mutation carriers and 6.3±1.3 mm in controls (P=0.008). After adjustment for possible clinical and biochemical cofounders, IMT remained higher in HNF1A-MODY patients as compared with GCK-MODY patients (P=0.02) and controls (P=0.0003). FMD was significantly lower in HNF1A (9.9±4.6%) and GCK-MODY (11.1±4.6%) patients in comparison with controls (13.9±4.7%; P=0.0001). After adjustment, FMD remained lower in HNF1A-MODY (P=0.0005) and GCK-MODY patients (P=0.01) as compared with controls.

Conclusions: Both examined MODY groups demonstrated evidence of endothelial dysfunction. In addition, HNF1-MODY patients seem to be more prone to an early atherosclerotic phenotype.
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March 2015

GTP cyclohydrolase I gene polymorphisms are associated with endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

PLoS One 2014 4;9(11):e108587. Epub 2014 Nov 4.

Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland; Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Background: The genetic background of atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is complex and poorly understood. Studying genetic components of intermediate phenotypes, such as endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress, may aid in identifying novel genetic components for atherosclerosis in diabetic patients.

Methods: Five polymorphisms forming two haplotype blocks within the GTP cyclohydrolase 1 gene, encoding a rate limiting enzyme in tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis, were studied in the context of flow and nitroglycerin mediated dilation (FMD and NMD), intima-media thickness (IMT), and plasma concentrations of von Willebrand factor (vWF) and malondialdehyde (MDA).

Results: Rs841 was associated with FMD (p = 0.01), while polymorphisms Rs10483639, Rs841, Rs3783641 (which form a single haplotype) were associated with both MDA (p = 0.012, p = 0.0015 and p = 0.003, respectively) and vWF concentrations (p = 0.016, p = 0.03 and p = 0.045, respectively). In addition, polymorphism Rs8007267 was also associated with MDA (p = 0.006). Haplotype analysis confirmed the association of both haplotypes with studied variables.

Conclusions: Genetic variation of the GCH1 gene is associated with endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in T2DM patients.
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July 2015

Denture-related stomatitis is associated with endothelial dysfunction.

Biomed Res Int 2014 19;2014:474016. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Department of Prophylaxis and Experimental Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland ; Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.

Unlabelled: Oral inflammation, such as periodontitis, can lead to endothelial dysfunction, accelerated atherosclerosis, and vascular dysfunction. The relationship between vascular dysfunction and other common forms of oral infections such as denture-related stomatitis (DRS) is unknown. Similar risk factors predispose to both conditions including smoking, diabetes, age, and obesity. Accordingly, we aimed to investigate endothelial function and major vascular disease risk factors in 44 consecutive patients with dentures with clinical and microbiological features of DRS (n = 20) and without DRS (n = 24). While there was a tendency for higher occurrence of diabetes and smoking, groups did not differ significantly in respect to major vascular disease risk factors. Groups did not differ in main ambulatory blood pressure, total cholesterol, or even CRP. Importantly, flow mediated dilatation (FMD) was significantly lower in DRS than in non-DRS subjects, while nitroglycerin induced vasorelaxation (NMD) or intima-media thickness (IMT) was similar. Interestingly, while triglyceride levels were normal in both groups, they were higher in DRS subjects, although they did not correlate with either FMD or NMD.

Conclusions: Denture related stomatitis is associated with endothelial dysfunction in elderly patients with dentures. This is in part related to the fact that diabetes and smoking increase risk of both DRS and cardiovascular disease.
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March 2015

Endothelial function assessment in atherosclerosis: comparison of brachial artery flow‑mediated vasodilation and peripheral arterial tonometry.

Pol Arch Med Wewn 2013 11;123(9):443-52. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Introduction:  Endothelial dysfunction, characterized by the loss of nitric oxide bioavailability, is a key element in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and an important prognostic factor in cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the development of reliable, safe, and noninvasive methods of endothelial function assessment is important for their use in cardiovascular risk stratification. Brachial artery flow‑mediated dilation (FMD) is widely used in research but technical difficulties and problems with calibration between laboratories limit its clinical use. Reactive hyperemia-peripheral artery tonometry (RH‑PAT, EndoPAT) has been developed as a simpler, cheaper, and potentially more reproducible method.

Objectives:  We aimed to investigate associations between RH‑PAT and FMD in relation to atherosclerotic risk factor profile.

Patients And Methods:  The study involved 80 subjects (52 men, 28 women) aged 43.6 ±14.8 years, with moderate‑to‑low cardiovascular risk (mean SCORE, 2.2% ±2%), in whom FMD, RH‑PAT, and intima-media thickness (IMT) were determined.

Results:  The reactive hyperemia index (RHI) measured by RH‑PAT correlated with FMD (r = 0.35, P <0.01). However, no significant correlation was observed between RHI and IMT, SCORE, or the number of classical atherosclerotic risk factors (hypertension, smoking, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia), while FMD was significantly correlated with IMT (r = -0.53, P <0.001), risk factors (r = -0.55, P <0.05), and SCORE (r = -0.4, P <0.05).

Conclusions:  Despite its technical requirements, FMD is a more sensitive method than RH‑PAT in evaluating the effect of classical atherosclerotic risk factors on vascular endothelial function. Microvasculature response during RH‑PAT needs to be further studied, including the assessment of nonendothelial factors that may affect the measurements, before RH‑PAT becomes the universal tool for the evaluation of the endothelial cells.
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October 2015

Novel therapeutic approaches in limiting oxidative stress and inflammation.

Curr Pharm Biotechnol 2012 Oct;13(13):2456-66

Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum, Skarbowa 1, 31-121 Krakow, Poland.

The interaction between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases. Thus, antioxidant strategies may be important in immune regulation and in limiting inflammation. Surprisingly, large clinical trials have shown that ROS scavenging by antioxidant vitamins is ineffective or even harmful in spite of the fact that reactive oxygen species themselves are pro-inflammatory, regulate immune system and enhance atherosclerosis. Therefore, there is a need of novel, more specific antioxidant and anti-inflammatory approaches aimed on prevention of ROS formation, by targeting specific molecular pathways involved in ROS generation and their activation of pro-inflammatory cascades. Potential targets include the NADPH oxidases (Nox enzymes), xanthine oxidase, endothelial nitric oxide synthase and mitochondrial oxidases. Nox enzymes play central role, as they can stimulate other enzymatic sources of ROS. The interplay between inflammation and oxidative stress is discussed in the context of adipose tissue, perivascular inflammation and role of the central nervous system in immune regulation. All of the above participate in "brain-vessel axis" critical in the pathogenesis of numerous pathologies. Role of cytokines such as TNF-alpha, IL-17 or IL-6 and their links to superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production are discussed. Statins, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists, block upstream signaling of Nox activation, including MAP kinase signaling or G protein activation, which contribute to their clinical effectiveness. Here, we discuss novel possibilities that drugs directly inhibiting Nox activation could successfully inhibit oxidative stress and inflammation related to cardiovascular disease. Moreover, we describe potential gene therapy approaches in limiting oxidative stress in the vasculature. These approaches can become also useful in cancer immunomodulation.
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October 2012

Mechanisms of increased vascular superoxide production in human varicose veins.

Pol Arch Med Wewn 2011 Sep;121(9):279-86

Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Kraków, Poland.

Introduction: Varicose vein disease is one of the most common morbidities in the developed countries. Recent studies have shown that oxidative stress is increased in varicose veins (VV) and venous insufficiency. However, the exact mechanisms of oxidative stress in VV remain unknown.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to measure superoxide anion production and analyze its enzymatic sources in VV in comparison with control human saphenous veins (HSV). Superoxide production was also compared between the proximal and distal segments of the veins.

Patients And Methods: Proximal and distal segments of varicose veins (14 patients, aged 52 ±3.5 years) and control veins (15 patients, aged 56 ±4 years) were obtained during VV removal or elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery, respectively. Subjects were matched for age, sex, and the major risk factors for atherosclerosis. Superoxide was measured by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (5 μmol/l) in the presence and absence of oxidase inhibitors.

Results: Superoxide production was increased in VV compared with control HSV. This increase was particularly evident in the distal segments of VV. There was a significant correlation between superoxide production in the proximal and distal segments of HSV but not of VV. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases and uncoupled nitric oxide synthase (NOS) were the major sources of superoxide in VV, because their inhibitors greatly attenuated superoxide production in VV.

Conclusions: NADPH oxidases and NOS could represent valuable drug targets for pharmacological treatment and prevention of varicose vein disease. Oxidative stress may provide a link between endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, and immune activation and the development of chronic venous dysfunction.
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September 2011