Publications by authors named "Ivana Sreckovic"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Circulating cord blood HDL-S1P complex preserves the integrity of the feto-placental vasculature.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2020 04 15;1865(4):158632. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Perinatal and long-term offspring morbidities are strongly dependent on the preservation of placental vascular homeostasis during pregnancy. In adults, the HDL-apoM-S1P complex protects the endothelium and maintains vascular integrity. However, the metabolism and biology of cord blood-derived HDLs (referred to as neonatal HDL, nHDL) strikingly differ from those in adults. Here, we investigate the role of neonatal HDLs in the regulation of placental vascular function. We show that nHDL is a major carrier of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which is anchored to the particle through apoM (r = 0.90, p < 0.0001) in the fetal circulation. Furthermore, this complex interacts with S1P receptors on the feto-placental endothelium and activates specifically extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK) and phospholipase C (PLC) downstream signaling, promotes endothelial cell proliferation and calcium flux. Notably, the nHDL-S1P complex triggers actin filaments reorganization, leading to an enhancement of placental endothelial barrier function. Additionally, nHDL induces vasorelaxation of isolated placental chorionic arteries. Taken together, these results suggest that circulating nHDL exerts vasoprotective effects on the feto-placental endothelial barrier mainly via S1P signaling.
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April 2020

Sexual dimorphism of miRNA signatures in feto-placental endothelial cells is associated with altered barrier function and actin organization.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2020 01;134(1):39-51

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Endothelial function and the risk for endothelial dysfunction differ between males and females. Besides the action of estrogen, sex chromosome gene expression and programming effects also provoke this sexual dimorphism. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as regulators of endothelial cell function and dysfunction. We here hypothesized distinct miRNA expression patterns in male versus female human endothelial cells that contribute to the functional differences. We used our well-established model of fetal endothelial cells isolated from placenta (fpEC) and analyzed sexual dimorphic miRNA expression and potentially affected biological functions. Next-generation miRNA sequencing of fpEC isolated after pregnancies with male and female neonates identified sex-dependent miRNA expression patterns. Potential biological pathways regulated by the altered set of miRNAs were determined using mirPath and mirSystem softwares, and suggested differences in barrier function and actin organization. The identified pathways were further investigated by monolayer impedance measurements (ECIS) and analysis of F-actin organization (Phalloidin). Nine miRNAs were differentially expressed in fpEC of male versus female neonates. Functional pathways most significantly regulated by these miRNAs included 'Adherens junction', 'ECM receptor interaction' and 'Focal adhesion'. These pathways control monolayer barrier function and may be paralleled by altered cytoskeletal organization. In fact, monolayer impedance was higher in fpEC of male progeny, and F-actin staining revealed more pronounced peripheral stress fibers in male versus female fpEC. Our data highlight that endothelial cell function differs between males and females already in utero, and that altered miRNAs are associated with sex dependent differences in barrier function and actin organization.
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January 2020

First results concerning the safety, walking, and satisfaction with an innovative, microprocessor-controlled four-axes prosthetic foot.

Prosthet Orthot Int 2018 Jun 5;42(3):350-356. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Ottobock Healthcare Products, Vienna, Austria.

Background: The microprocessor-controlled foot Meridium is a prosthetic component with adjustable stance-phase characteristics.

Objectives: To investigate subjects' and prosthetists' perception of safety, walking, and satisfaction during first routine fittings.

Study Design: Multicenter, prospective, observational cohort study.

Methods: Data regarding demographics, fitting process, safety, daily life activities, and satisfaction were obtained through questionnaires. The follow-up period was 7 months.

Results: In all, 89% of 70 users were satisfactorily fitted within the first two visits. Compared to previous feet, users reported improvements in walking on level ground (54% of subjects), uneven ground (82%), ascending (97%), and descending ramps (91%). More than 45% of the users perceived an improvement in safety and stability while standing and walking. No difference was observed in concentration, exertion, and pain. Overall user satisfaction with Meridium was 50% and the foot was preferred by 40% of users. Amputation level, age and mobility grade did not influence subjects' preference. Prosthetists recommended Meridium for 59% of subjects. A correlation analysis revealed that transfemoral amputees fitted with Genium and/or having a long residual limb strongly preferred Meridium ( p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Meridium was appreciated by amputees with a preference for natural walking and requirement to safely and comfortably negotiate uneven terrain and slopes. Clinical relevance Amputees preferring Meridium perceive benefits with safe, comfortable, and natural walking. While the perception of benefits regarding the negotiation of uneven terrain and slopes is very high, the correlation to product preference is moderate. Individual assessment and trial fitting might be essential to identify patients who benefit greatly.
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June 2018

Gestational diabetes mellitus modulates neonatal high-density lipoprotein composition and its functional heterogeneity.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2014 Nov 12;1841(11):1619-27. Epub 2014 Aug 12.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Austria. Electronic address:

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is related to neonatal macrosomia and an increased risk of vascular events. We hypothesized that GDM exerts qualitative effects on neonatal high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL was isolated from control (n=11) and GDM maternal/neonatal donors (n=9) and subjected to shotgun proteomics. Differences in HDL mobility were assessed by FPLC and native gel-electrophoresis. Paraoxonase (PON1) activity, cholesterol ester-transfer protein (CETP) mass and activity, phospholipid, triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations were quantified with commercial kits. Total anti-oxidative capacity and cholesterol efflux capability of HDLs were measured. Four proteins involved in lipid metabolism, inflammation and innate immunity were differentially expressed between controls and GDM neonates. ApoM (decreased, p<0.05) and SAA1 (increased, p<0.05) showed the same differences on both, maternal and neonatal GDM HDL. Lower PON1 protein expression was corroborated by lower activity (p<0.05) which in turn was associated with attenuated anti-oxidant capacity of GDM HDL. Protein changes were accompanied by increased levels of triglycerides and decreased levels of cholesterol esters, respectively. The observed differences in GDM HDL lipid moiety may be related to CETP mass and activity alterations. The rate of cholesterol efflux from term trophoblasts to maternal and from placental endothelial cells to neonatal GDM HDL was impaired (p<0.05). In conclusion, GDM causes changes in HDL composition and is intimately associated with impaired cholesterol efflux capability as well as diminished anti-oxidative particle properties. Remodeling of neonatal GDM HDL in utero supports the hypothesis that maternal conditions in pregnancy impact neonatal lipoprotein metabolism.
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November 2014

Distinct composition of human fetal HDL attenuates its anti-oxidative capacity.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2013 Apr 13;1831(4):737-46. Epub 2013 Jan 13.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.

In human high-density lipoprotein (HDL) represents the major cholesterol carrying lipoprotein class in cord blood, while cholesterol is mainly carried by low-density lipoprotein in maternal serum. Additionally, to carrying cholesterol, HDL also associates with a range of proteins as cargo. We tested the hypothesis that fetal HDL carries proteins qualitatively and quantitatively different from maternal HDL. These differences then contribute to distinct HDL functionality in both circulations. Shotgun proteomics and biochemical analyses were used to assess composition/function of fetal and maternal HDL isolated from uncomplicated human pregnancies at term of gestation. The pattern of analyzed proteins that were statistically elevated in fetal HDL (apoE, proteins involved in coagulation, transport processes) suggests a particle characteristic for the light HDL2 sub-fraction. In contrast, proteins that were enriched in maternal HDL (apoL, apoF, PON1, apoD, apoCs) have been described almost exclusively in the dense HDL3 fraction and relevant to its anti-oxidative function and role in innate immunity. Strikingly, PON1 mass and activity were 5-fold lower (p<0.01) in the fetus, which was accompanied by attenuation of anti-oxidant capacity of fetal HDL. Despite almost equal quantity of CETP in maternal and fetal HDL, its enzymatic activity was 55% lower (p<0.001) in the fetal circulation, whereas LCAT activity was not altered. These findings indicate that maternally derived HDL differs from fetal HDL with respect to its proteome, size and function. Absence of apoA-1, apoL and PON1 on fetal HDL is associated with decreased anti-oxidative properties together with deficiency in innate immunity collectively indicating distinct HDLs in fetuses.
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April 2013

Phospholipid transfer protein is differentially expressed in human arterial and venous placental endothelial cells and enhances cholesterol efflux to fetal HDL.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012 Jul 6;97(7):2466-74. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology, Medical University of Graz, A-8010 Graz, Austria.

Context: Phospholipid (PL) transfer protein (PLTP) plays a crucial role in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism. In the fetal circulation, HDL particles are the main cholesterol carriers and are involved in maternal-fetal cholesterol transfer across human placental endothelial cells (HPEC).

Objective: The aim was to investigate local function(s) of PLTP at the fetoplacental endothelium. Because HPEC display morphological and functional diversity when isolated from arteries or veins, we hypothesized that PLTP activity may differ between arterial and venous HPEC.

Design: We determined PLTP mRNA and activity levels from isolated HPEC and investigated PLTP-mediated remodeling of fetal HDL particles and their capacity in mediating cholesterol efflux from HPEC.

Results: Incubation of fetal HDL with active human plasma PLTP resulted in increased particle size (12.6 vs. 13.2 nm, P < 0.05), with a concomitant increase (3.5-fold) in pre-β-mobile HDL particles. Arterial HPEC showed higher Pltp expression levels and secreted PL transfer activity (1.8-fold, P < 0.001) than venous HPEC. In contrast to adult HDL(3), [(3)H]cholesterol efflux to fetal HDL was 21% higher (P < 0.05) from arterial than from venous HPEC. PLTP-facilitated particle conversion increased the cholesterol efflux capacity of fetal HDL to similar extents (55 and 48%, P < 0.001) from arterial and venous HPEC, respectively.

Conclusion: PLTP mediates PL transfer and participates in reverse cholesterol transport pathways at the fetoplacental barrier. Enhanced cellular cholesterol efflux from HPEC to fetal HDL remodeled by PLTP supports the idea of a local atheroprotective role of PLTP in the placental vasculature.
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July 2012

The prostaglandin E2 receptor EP4 is expressed by human platelets and potently inhibits platelet aggregation and thrombus formation.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2010 Dec 11;30(12):2416-23. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, Universitaetsplatz 4, A-8010 Graz, Austria.

Objective: Low concentrations of prostaglandin (PG) E(2) enhance platelet aggregation, whereas high concentrations inhibit it. The effects of PGE(2) are mediated through 4 G protein-coupled receptors, termed E-type prostaglindin (EP) receptor EP1, EP2, EP3, and EP4. The platelet-stimulating effect of PGE(2) has been suggested to involve EP3 receptors. Here we analyzed the receptor usage relating to the inhibitory effect of PGE(2).

Methods And Results: Using flow cytometry, we found that human platelets expressed EP4 receptor protein. A selective EP4 agonist (ONO AE1-329) potently inhibited the platelet aggregation as induced by ADP or collagen. This effect could be completely reversed by an EP4 antagonist, but not by PGI(2), PGD(2), and thromboxane receptor antagonists or cyclooxygenase inhibition. Moreover, an EP4 antagonist enhanced the PGE(2)-induced stimulation of platelet aggregation, indicating a physiological antiaggregatory activity of EP4 receptors. The inhibitory effect of the EP4 agonist was accompanied by attenuated Ca(2+) flux, inhibition of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa, and downregulation of P-selectin. Most importantly, adhesion of platelets to fibrinogen under flow and in vitro thrombus formation were effectively prevented by the EP4 agonist. In this respect, the EP4 agonist synergized with acetylsalicylic acid.

Conclusions: These results are suggestive of EP4 receptor activation as a novel antithrombotic strategy.
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December 2010