Publications by authors named "Luca Mazzetti"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Restoring nitric oxide cytosolic calcium regulation by cyclic guanosine monophosphate protein kinase I alpha transfection in coronary endothelial cells of spontaneously hypertensive rats.

J Vasc Res 2012 15;49(3):221-30. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

In microcoronary endothelial cells (RCEs) from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), the nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP)-dependent proteinkinase I (cGKI) pathway cannot regulate the cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]i) dynamic as in RCEs from Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY). We investigated the altered downstream NO target in SHR cells and, since cGKI expression was low, whether the re-expression of cGKIα in SHR RCEs could restore NO calcium responsiveness. We measured [Ca2+]i dynamic by fura-2 imaging analysis and the cGKI level by RT-PCR and Western blot in SHR and WKY RCEs. Plasmids encoding for enhanced green fluorescence protein or cGKIα-enhanced green fluorescence protein were transiently transfected in SHR RCEs, and [Ca2+]i was evaluated. Angiotensin-II (AT-II) increased [Ca2+]i in a concentration-dependent way in both strains. Whereas in WKY, endogenously produced NO and cyclic GMP analog decreased the AT-II-induced [Ca2+]i transient, they were ineffective in SHR RCEs. The cGKI level was low in SHR cells. However, after cGKIα re-expression, endogenous NO decreased the AT-II-induced [Ca2+]i transient, while endothelial NO synthase and cGKI inhibition prevented it. The low expression of cGKI in SHR accounts for the absent regulation of the agonist-induced [Ca2+]i transient by the NO/cyclic GMP pathway. Studies on cGKI in humans could contribute to a better understanding of cardiovascular pathologies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000332911DOI Listing
July 2012

Altered nitric oxide calcium responsiveness of aortic smooth muscle cells in spontaneously hypertensive rats depends on low expression of cyclic guanosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase type I.

J Hypertens 2009 Jun;27(6):1258-67

Department of Pharmacology, Viale Pieraccini, 6-University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Objectives: The nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP)/cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase type I (cGKI) pathway has been extensively investigated in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) as a possible pathogenetic factor. Therefore, we investigated the role of nitric oxide/cGKI on intracellular calcium dynamics ([Ca2+]i) of aortic smooth muscle cells isolated from control normotensive Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) and SHR.

Methods: Rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs) were obtained from 12 to 16-week-old WKY and SHR. [Ca2+]i dynamics were monitored by imaging analysis of fura-2-loaded RASMCs. cGKI mRNA and cGKI protein expression were evaluated by reverse transcription-PCR and western blot. Plasmids codifying for enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) or cGKIalpha-EGFP were transfected on SHR RASMCs.

Results: Angiotensin II similarly increased [Ca2+]i in WKY and SHR RASMCs. In WKY RASMCs, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine (SNAP, 1-100 micromol/l) reduced the decay time of angiotensin II-induced [Ca2+]i transient. On the contrary, in SHR cells, SNAP was ineffective. Dibutyryl cyclic GMP (1-100 nmol/l), a membrane-permeable cyclic GMP analogue, behaved similarly to SNAP. In naive SHR RASMCs, cGKI mRNA and cGKI protein were low or absent. After transfection of a plasmid encoding for cGKIalpha-EGFP, the [Ca2+]i dynamic of SHR-transfected cells regained sensitivity to the nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway.

Conclusion: The low expression of cGKI determines the lack of nitric oxide/cyclic GMP-dependent regulation on [Ca2+]i transient in SHR RASMCs. This alteration may contribute to the development of hypertension and explain suboptimal responses to nitroglycerin and other nitric oxide-releasing molecules in patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0b013e328329d18cDOI Listing
June 2009

Effects of relaxin on vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells in normotensive and hypertensive rats.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2005 May;1041:311-3

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

We tested the effects of relaxin on [Ca2+]i response to angiotensin II in smooth muscle (vSMC) and endothelial cells isolated from hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive (WKY) rats. Relaxin markedly reduced the [Ca2+]i response of vSMCs from WKY, but not from SHR rats. Western blots showed that cGMP-dependent protein kinase G was reduced in vSMCs from SHR as compared with WKY rats. Relaxin also blunted the [Ca2+]i response in endothelial cells from WKY, but not from SHR rats. However, in endothelial cells from SHR and WKY rats, protein kinase G was nearly unexpressed, thus accounting for an alternative pathway of the intracellular response to nitric oxide and relaxin. Hence, vSMCs and endothelial cells in SHR rats show a deficiency response to nitric oxide that may render them insensitive to relaxin.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1196/annals.1282.048DOI Listing
May 2005

Influence of resting tension on protease-activated receptor-mediated relaxation in guinea-pig tracheas.

Pulm Pharmacol Ther 2005 30;18(2):141-50. Epub 2004 Dec 30.

Department of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini, 6, 50139 Firenze, Italy.

We investigate the role of resting tension on thrombin (THR) induced relaxation of guinea-pig tracheas precontracted with acetylcholine (ACh). Isometric contractions of isolated guinea-pig tracheas were recorded at 4 and 6 g resting tension; and ACh dose-response curves were performed. THR relaxed ACh-precontracted tracheas and this effect was mimicked by the type 2 protease activating receptor agonist peptide (PAR-2 AP) and trypsin. The relaxant effect of 3 U ml(-1) THR and 100 nmol ml(-1) PAR-2 AP was prevented at 4 g by preincubation with the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor l-NAME and at 6g resting tension by ibuprofen and diclofenac. However, adenosine trisphospahate (ATP) relaxation was totally prevented by cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors but not by NOS inhibitors at both resting tensions. Resting tension influenced the effect of PGE2 on contractile tone of isolated guinea-pig tracheas, the maximal relaxation being -11.1+/-2.97 and -2.0+/-0.4 6 mg mg(-1) tissue wet weight at 6 and 4 g, respectively. Moreover, 30 nmol ml(-1) PGE2 can relax ACh-precontracted tracheas, being the effect up to 91 and 30% at 6 and 4 g, respectively. These data demonstrate that trachea responsiveness is highly dependent on the smooth muscle length, revealing new aspects of stretch-activated receptors that can influence trachea responsiveness in vivo.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pupt.2004.11.006DOI Listing
May 2005

Pirenoxine prevents oxidative effects of argon fluoride excimer laser irradiation in rabbit corneas: biochemical, histological and cytofluorimetric evaluations.

J Photochem Photobiol B 2005 Jan;78(1):35-42

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, V.le Pierraccini, 6, Florence, Italy.

The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with excimer laser irradiation is recognized as a possible cause of corneal haze following photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Our work was aimed at investigating in vitro the oxidative effects induced by subablative laser fluences and at demonstrating the protective effectiveness of pirenoxine. Comparative trials of subablative fluence on rabbit eyes with or without 10(-5) M pirenoxine were carried out. Superoxide anion (O(2)(-)), conjugated diene (CD), and thiobarbituric acid reagent substance (TBARS) formation were analyzed. Cellular death was evaluated by flow cytometry. Histological examinations were also performed. No appraisable differences in O(2)(-),CD,andTBARS formation were detected soon after irradiation, whereas they all increased following incubation. Pirenoxine inhibited such increases. Cytofluorimetric and histological observations gave coherent results. The experimental data indicate that oxidative and toxic effects are ascribable to ROS avalanches triggered by laser irradiation-induced photodissociation and are inhibited by pirenoxine.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2004.09.005DOI Listing
January 2005

Antioxidant protection in cultured corneal cells and whole corneas submitted to UV-B exposure.

J Photochem Photobiol B 2003 Oct;71(1-3):59-68

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, V.le Pieraccini 6, Florence 50139, Italy.

Several corneal pathologies are characterized by the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS); therefore, we evaluated the protection afforded by pirenoxine and melatonin to corneal cell culture and whole rabbit cornea from ultraviolet exposure and other oxidant systems. Rabbit cornea cell (SIRC) plates and whole corneas were exposed to UV-B (80 or 800 mJ/cm2) or incubated with fMLP-stimulated autologous macrophages, in the presence or absence of pirenoxine or melatonin (10(-5) M). The protective activity of compounds was assessed by measuring superoxide anion formation, inhibition of oxidation and mitochondrial viability. Moreover the ex vivo protective effect of pirenoxine and melatonin was verified in the whole cornea submitted to UV-B exposure in vitro. Our experimental data demonstrate that pirenoxine and melatonin were able to inhibit the superoxide formation and oxidative effect in cell culture and whole rabbit corneas submitted to UV-B exposure or to incubation with fMLP-stimulated autologous macrophages. Mitochondrial viability was restored in epithelial cells of rabbit cornea but not in SIRCs. Moreover, both compounds are also able to increase ex vivo epithelial corneal cell defences against the in vitro UV-B induced lipid peroxidation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2003.07.004DOI Listing
October 2003

High-Yield Method for Isolation and Culture of Endothelial Cells from Rat Coronary Blood Vessels Suitable for Analysis of Intracellular Calcium and Nitric Oxide Biosynthetic Pathways.

Biol Proced Online 2002 Oct;4:32-37

Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Section of Histology, University of Florence, Italy. V. le G. Pieraccini, 6, I-50139 Florence. Italy.; Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, Italy. V. le G. Pieraccini, 6, I-50139 Florence. Italy.

We describe here a method for isolating endothelial cells from rat heart blood vessels by means of coronary microperfusion with collagenase. This methods makes it possible to obtain high amounts of endothelial cells in culture which retain the functional properties of their in vivo counterparts, including the ability to uptake fluorescently-labeled acetylated low-density lipoproteins and to respond to vasoactive agents by modulating intracellular calcium and by upregulating intrinsic nitric oxide generation. The main advantages of our technique are: (i) good reproducibility, (ii) accurate sterility that can be maintained throughout the isolation procedure and (iii) high yield of pure endothelial cells, mainly due to microperfusion and temperature-controlled incubation with collagenase which allow an optimal distribution of this enzyme within the coronary vascular bed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1251/bpo31DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC145554PMC
October 2002

The ACh-induced contraction in rat aortas is mediated by the Cys Lt1 receptor via intracellular calcium mobilization in smooth muscle cells.

Br J Pharmacol 2003 Feb;138(4):707-15

Department of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini, 6 50139 Florence, Italy.

1. Our previously published data indicate that an endogenously produced 5-lipoxygenase metabolite can strongly contract isolated endothelium-preserved rat aortic strips when cyclo-oxygenase isoenzymes are inhibited. Therefore, we decided to investigate if cysteinyl-containing leukotrienes (Cys Lts) are involved in this endothelium-dependent contraction. 2. The isometric contraction of endothelium-preserved rat aortic strips was recorded in preparations preincubated with 5 microM indomethacin and precontracted with phenylephrine, adjusting resting tension at 0.7 g. Acetylcholine (ACh) contracted control strips. Montelukast and MK-571, selective type 1 Cys Lts receptor (Cys Lt(1)) antagonists and the Cys Lt(1)/Cys Lt(2) (type 2 Cys Lts receptor) antagonist BAYu9773 dose-dependently prevented ACh-induced contraction, their IC(50)s being 2.2, 3.1 and 7.9 nM respectively. The leukotriene B4 receptor antagonist U75302 was far less potent (IC(50) 1.5 microM). 3. In rat aorta smooth muscle cells (RASMs), Western blot analysis showed the presence of Cys Lt(1) and Cys Lt(2) receptors, the Cys Lt(1) receptor being predominantly expressed. 4. In fura-2 loaded RASMs, LTD4 (0.01-100 nM) and LTC4 (200-800 nM) dose-dependently increased intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). Montelukast (1-100 nM) reduced LTD4-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase, its IC(50) being approximately 10 nM. BAY u9773 exhibited significantly low effectiveness. 5. LTD4 (10 nM) induced a redistribution of smooth muscle actin fibres throughout the cytoplasm as visualized by confocal microscopy. 6. In conclusion, Cys Lt(1) activation by endogenously produced Cys Lts, can contract rat aortas, while Cys Lt(2) only marginally influences aortic tone. Intracellularly, this effect is mediated by an increase in [Ca(2+)](i). Therefore, Cys Lts, by inducing vascular contraction, can contribute to systemic hypertension.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjp.0705087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1573698PMC
February 2003

Antifibrogenic effects of canrenone, an antialdosteronic drug, on human hepatic stellate cells.

Gastroenterology 2003 Feb;124(2):504-20

Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Università di Firenze, Italy.

Background & Aims: Several lines of evidence indicate that aldosterone antagonists may exert direct antifibrogenic effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible direct antifibrogenic effects of canrenone, the active metabolite of spironolactone, in activated human hepatic stellate cells.

Methods: The effects of canrenone were assessed on platelet-derived growth factor-induced mitogenic and chemotactic effects and the increased de novo synthesis of different extracellular matrix components induced by transforming growth factor-beta1.

Results: Canrenone dose-dependently reduced platelet-derived growth factor-induced cell proliferation and motility. This effect was not associated with either changes in the phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor and phospholipase C gamma or in the activation of the Ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, whereas it was accompanied by a dose-dependent inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. In addition, canrenone inhibited the activity of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 1 induced by platelet-derived growth factor. The effect of canrenone on Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 1 activity was reproduced by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitors, thus supporting an inhibitory action of canrenone on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. To further address this possibility, the action of canrenone was compared with that of 2 established Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 1 inhibitors: ethylisopropylamiloride and cariporide. Whereas ethylisopropylamiloride was able to inhibit platelet-derived growth factor-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity, cariporide was without any effect. Both compounds reproduced the effects of canrenone on platelet-derived growth factor-induced mitogenesis and chemotaxis. Finally, canrenone was able to reduce transforming growth factor-beta1-induced de novo synthesis of procollagen type I/IV and fibronectin and thrombin-induced hepatic stellate cell contraction.

Conclusions: These results indicate that canrenone may be active as an antifibrogenic drug.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/gast.2003.50058DOI Listing
February 2003

Relaxin up-regulates inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide generation in rat coronary endothelial cells.

FASEB J 2002 Feb 14;16(2):252-4. Epub 2001 Dec 14.

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Relaxin (RLX) is a reproductive hormone with vasodilatatory properties on several organs, including the heart. RLX-induced vasodilatation appears to depend on the stimulation of endogenous NO production. Here, we investigate whether RLX acts on rat coronary endothelial (RCE) cells in vitro by inducing changes of NO generation and, if so, to clarify the possible mechanism of action. RCE cells were treated for 24 h with vehicle (controls) or RLX, alone or in association with inhibitors of NO synthesis or dexamethasone, which inhibits transcription of NO synthase gene. In some experiments, inactivated RLX was given in the place of authentic RLX. Expression of NO synthase isozymes II and III was analyzed by immunocytochemistry, Western blot, and RT-PCR. NO production was evaluated by the Griess reaction for nitrite and the NO-sensitive fluorophore DAF-2/DA. Agonist-induced changes of intracellular Ca2+ transient were studied with the Ca2+-sensitive fluorophore Fura 2-AM. RLX was found to up regulate NOS II mRNA and protein and to stimulate intrinsic NO generation, likely through the activation of a dexamethasone-sensitive transcription factor, and to decrease agonist-induced intracellular Ca2+ transient. Conversely, RLX had negligible effects on NOS III expression. By these biological effects, RLX may afford significant protection against cardiovascular disease.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.01-0569fjeDOI Listing
February 2002