Publications by authors named "Luisa-María Botella"

21 Publications

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eHealth for patients with rare diseases: the eHealth Working Group of the European Reference Network on Rare Multisystemic Vascular Diseases (VASCERN).

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021 Apr 8;16(1):164. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Cardiovascular-Genetic Center, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Via Morandi 30, 20097, San Donato Milanese, MI, Italy.

Background: The European Reference Network on Rare Multisystemic Vascular Diseases (VASCERN) was launched in 2017 and involves, to date, 35 highly specialised multidisciplinary expert centres (from the 30 full Healthcare Provider members) coming from 11 countries and more than 70 patient organizations from 16 countries. The eHealth Working Group (WG) of VASCERN was set up to develop practical, patient-centred solutions and strategies for effective use of eHealth tools to answer the needs of patients with multisystemic vascular rare diseases.

The Ehealth Wg: Following the identified patients' needs and following the guiding principles of collaboration and patient-centredness, the eHealth WG was created with the following aims: to develop a mobile app to help patients find expert centres and patient organizations, and to develop resources (Pills of Knowledge, PoK) for training and education via digital platforms (eLearning). The mobile app includes, to date, functionalities that allow users to find expert centres and patient organizations across Europe in the area of rare multisystemic vascular diseases. Discussed app developments include personalized digital patient passports, educational material, emergency management guidelines and remote consultations. Regarding training and education, a variety of PoK have been developed. The PoK cover several topics, target several user groups, and are delivered in various formats so that they are easy-to-use, easy-to-understand, informative, and viable for delivery and sharing through digital platforms (eLearning) including, e.g., the VASCERN YouTube™ channel.

Conclusion: Overall, the work carried out by the eHealth WG of VASCERN can be seen as a pilot experience that may serve as a basis to for collaborative development of patient-centred eHealth tools that answer the needs of patients with various rare diseases, not limited to rare multisystemic vascular diseases. By expanding the multidisciplinary approach here described, clinical and research networks can take advantage of eHealth services and use them as strategic assets in achieving the ultimate goal of ensuring equity of access to prevention programs, timely and accurate diagnosis and specialized care for patients with rare diseases throughout Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01604-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034087PMC
April 2021

Raloxifene and n-Acetylcysteine Ameliorate TGF-Signalling in Fibroblasts from Patients with Recessive Dominant Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Cells 2020 09 16;9(9). Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, U-707 CIBERER, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is a severe skin disease caused by mutation of the gene. RDEB is associated with high levels of TGF-β1, which is likely to be involved in the fibrosis that develops in this disease. Endoglin (CD105) is a type III coreceptor for TGF-β1 and its overexpression in fibroblasts deregulates physiological Smad/Alk1/Alk5 signalling, repressing the synthesis of TGF-β1 and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Raloxifene is a specific estrogen receptor modulator designated as an orphan drug for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, a rare vascular disease. Raloxifene stimulates endoglin synthesis, which could attenuate fibrosis. By contrast, the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine may have therapeutic value to rectify inflammation, fibrosis and endothelial dysfunction. Thus, we present here a repurposing strategy based on the molecular and functional screening of fibroblasts from RDEB patients with these drugs, leading us to propose the repositioning of these two well-known drugs currently in clinical use, raloxifene and N-acetylcysteine, to counteract fibrosis and inflammation in RDEB. Both compounds modulate the profibrotic events that may ultimately be responsible for the clinical manifestations in RDEB, suggesting that these findings may also be relevant for other diseases in which fibrosis is an important pathophysiological event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9092108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565802PMC
September 2020

Targeting β2-Adrenergic Receptors Shows Therapeutical Benefits in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma from Von Hippel-Lindau Disease.

J Clin Med 2020 Aug 25;9(9). Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 9 Ramiro de Maeztu Street, 28050 Madrid, Spain.

Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), is a rare autosomal dominant inherited cancer in which the lack of VHL protein triggers the development of multisystemic tumors such us retinal hemangioblastomas (HB), CNS-HB, and clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). ccRCC ranks third in terms of incidence and first in cause of death. Standard systemic therapies for VHL-ccRCC have shown limited response, with recurrent surgeries being the only effective treatment. Targeting of β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB) has shown therapeutic antitumor benefits on VHL-retinal HB (clinical trial) and VHL-CNS HB (in vitro). Therefore, the in vitro and in vivo antitumor benefits of propranolol (ADRB-1,2 antagonist) and ICI-118,551 (ADRB-2 antagonist) on VHL ccRCC primary cultures and 786-O tumor cell lines have been addressed. Propranolol and ICI-118,551 activated apoptosis inhibited gene and protein expression of HIF-2α, CAIX, and VEGF, and impaired partially the nuclear internalization of HIF-2α and NFĸB/p65. Moreover, propranolol and ICI-118,551 reduced tumor growth on two in vivo xenografts. Finally, ccRCC patients receiving propranolol as off-label treatment have shown a positive therapeutic response for two years on average. In summary, propranolol and ICI-118,551 have shown antitumor benefits in VHL-derived ccRCC, and since ccRCCs comprise 63% of the total RCCs, targeting ADRB2 becomes a promising drug for VHL and other non-VHL tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092740DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563408PMC
August 2020

Review of Pharmacological Strategies with Repurposed Drugs for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Related Bleeding.

J Clin Med 2020 Jun 6;9(6). Epub 2020 Jun 6.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 9 Ramiro de Maeztu Street, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

The diagnosis of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is based on the Curaçao criteria: epistaxis, telangiectases, arteriovenous malformations in internal organs, and family history. Genetically speaking, more than 90% of HHT patients show mutations in or genes, both belonging to the TGF-β/BMP9 signaling pathway. Despite clear knowledge of the symptoms and genes of the disease, we still lack a definite cure for HHT, having just palliative measures and pharmacological trials. Among the former, two strategies are: intervention at "ground zero" to minimize by iron and blood transfusions in order to counteract anemia. Among the later, along the last 15 years, three different strategies have been tested: (1) To favor coagulation with antifibrinolytic agents (tranexamic acid); (2) to increase transcription of and with specific estrogen-receptor modulators (bazedoxifene or raloxifene), antioxidants (N-acetylcysteine, resveratrol), or immunosuppressants (tacrolimus); and (3) to impair the abnormal angiogenic process with antibodies (bevacizumab) or blocking drugs like etamsylate, and propranolol. This manuscript reviews the main strategies and sums up the clinical trials developed with drugs alleviating HHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9061766DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7356836PMC
June 2020

CLN5 in heterozygosis may protect against the development of tumors in a VHL patient.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2020 06 2;15(1):132. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL) is a rare disease of dominant inheritance that increases susceptibility to tumor development, with a complete penetrance at the age of 60. In this report, we present the unprecedented case of a VHL carrier who remains healthy at 72. Under the course of this study, it was discovered that this patient carries a mutation for a second rare disease, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL or CNL). We hypothesize that the CLN mutation she carries offers a protective effect, preventing tumor development in the cells potentially suffering a VHL second hit mutation. To test this hypothesis, we ran a series of molecular experiments and confirmed that cell viability of primary endothelial cells decreases upon CLN5 silencing. Our results further elucidate the cell biology implications of two rare diseases interacting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01410-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268215PMC
June 2020

11PS04 is a new chemical entity identified by microRNA-based biosensing with promising therapeutic potential against cancer stem cells.

Sci Rep 2019 08 15;9(1):11916. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Departamento de Biomedicina Molecular, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, c/Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040, Madrid, Spain.

Phenotypic drug discovery must take advantage of the large amount of clinical data currently available. In this sense, the impact of microRNAs (miRs) on human disease and clinical therapeutic responses is becoming increasingly well documented. Accordingly, it might be possible to use miR-based signatures as phenotypic read-outs of pathological status, for example in cancer. Here, we propose to use the information accumulating regarding the biology of miRs from clinical research in the preclinical arena, adapting it to the use of miR biosensors in the earliest steps of drug screening. Thus, we have used an amperometric dual magnetosensor capable of monitoring a miR-21/miR-205 signature to screen for new drugs that restore these miRs to non-tumorigenic levels in cell models of breast cancer and glioblastoma. In this way we have been able to identify a new chemical entity, 11PS04 ((3aR,7aS)-2-(3-propoxyphenyl)-7,7a-dihydro-3aH-pyrano[3,4-d]oxazol-6(4H)-one), the therapeutic potential of which was suggested in mechanistic assays of disease models, including 3D cell culture (oncospheres) and xenografts. These assays highlighted the potential of this compound to attack cancer stem cells, reducing the growth of breast and glioblastoma tumors in vivo. These data demonstrate the enhanced chain of translatability of this strategy, opening up new perspectives for drug-discovery pipelines and highlighting the potential of miR-based electro-analytical sensors as efficient tools in modern drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48359-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695485PMC
August 2019

Topically Applied Etamsylate: A New Orphan Drug for HHT-Derived Epistaxis (Antiangiogenesis through FGF Pathway Inhibition).

TH Open 2019 Jul 26;3(3):e230-e243. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Molecular Biomedicine Department, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a vascular dysplasia characterized by recurrent and spontaneous epistaxis (nose bleeds), telangiectases on skin and mucosa, internal organ arteriovenous malformations, and dominant autosomal inheritance. Mutations in and / , genes mainly expressed in endothelium, are responsible in 90% of the cases for the pathology. These genes are involved in the transforming growth factor-β(TGF-β) signaling pathway. Epistaxis remains as one of the most common symptoms impairing the quality of life of patients, becoming life-threatening in some cases. Different strategies have been used to decrease nose bleeds, among them is antiangiogenesis. The two main angiogenic pathways in endothelial cells depend on vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). The present work has used etamsylate, the diethylamine salt of the 2,5-dihydroxybenzene sulfonate anion, also known as dobesilate, as a FGF signaling inhibitor. In endothelial cells, in vitro experiments show that etamsylate acts as an antiangiogenic factor, inhibiting wound healing and matrigel tubulogenesis. Moreover, etamsylate decreases phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. A pilot clinical trial (EudraCT: 2016-003982-24) was performed with 12 HHT patients using a topical spray of etamsylate twice a day for 4 weeks. The epistaxis severity score (HHT-ESS) and other pertinent parameters were registered in the clinical trial. The significant reduction in the ESS scale, together with the lack of significant side effects, allowed the designation of topical etamsylate as a new orphan drug for epistaxis in HHT (EMA/OD/135/18).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1693710DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660472PMC
July 2019

Safety of thalidomide and bevacizumab in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2019 02 4;14(1):28. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

VASCERN HHT Reference Center, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, and Vascular Sciences, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a multisystemic inherited vascular dysplasia that leads to nosebleeds and visceral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Anti-angiogenic drugs thalidomide and bevacizumab have been increasingly used off-label with variable results. The HHT working group within the ERN for Rare Multisystemic Vascular Diseases (VASCERN), developed a questionnaire-based retrospective capture of adverse events (AEs) classified using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events.

Results: Sixty-nine HHT patients received bevacizumab, 37 (50.6%) for high output cardiac failure/hepatic AVMs, and 32 (49.4%) for bleeding; the 69 patients received bevacizumab for a mean of 11 months for a total of 63.8 person/years treatment. 67 received thalidomide, all for epistaxis and/or gastrointestinal bleeding; they received thalidomide for a mean of 13.4 months/patient for a total of 75 person/years treatment. AEs were reported in 58 patients, 33 with bevacizumab, 37 with thalidomide. 32 grade 1-3 AEs related to bevacizumab were reported with an average incidence rate of 50 per 100 person-years. 34 grade 1-3 AEs related to thalidomide were reported with an average incidence rate of 45.3 per 100 person-years. Bevacizumab AEs were more common in females (27 AEs in 46 women) than males (6 in 23, p < 0.001). Thalidomide AEs occurred at more similar rates in males (25 AEs in 41 men, 60.9%) and females (12 in 26 (46.2%), but were more common in ENG patients (17 in 17) than in ACVRL1 (14 in 34, p < 0.0001). For bevacizumab, the most common reports were of joint pains (7/69, 10%), headache (3/69, 4.4%) and proteinuria (2/69, 3%), and for thalidomide, peripheral neuropathy (12/67, 18%); drowsiness (8/67, 12%); and dizziness (6/67, 9%). Fatal adverse events were more common in males (p = 0.009), and in patients with ENG pathogenic variants (p = 0.012). One fatal AE was possibly related to bevacizumab (average incidence rate: 1.5 per 100 person-years); 3 fatal AEs were possibly related to thalidomide (average incidence rate: 4 per 100 person-years).

Conclusions: With potential increase in use of Bevacizumab and Thalidomide in HHT patients, data presented support appropriate weighing of the toxicities which can arise in HHT settings and the practice recommendations for their prevention and management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-018-0982-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6360670PMC
February 2019

Case Report: Propranolol increases the therapeutic response to temozolomide in a patient with metastatic paraganglioma.

F1000Res 2017 4;6:2087. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, U-707 CIBERER, Madrid, Spain.

This case report presents the clinical evolution and management of a patient with a hereditary paraganglioma syndrome. This disease is characterized by rare tumors of neural crest origin that are symmetrically distributed along the paravertebral axis from the base of the skull and neck to the pelvis. In addition, these patients may develop renal cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, pituitary adenomas, and bone metastasis in some cases. To date no successful therapeutic treatment has been reported. Total resection with postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been advocated, especially for the multiple metastasis. Here we show how the combination of high doses of the beta blocker propranolol (3 mg/Kg/day) and the DNA intercalating agent, temozolomide, has been successful in the treatment of a SDHA metastatic paraganglioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.13185.1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5824325PMC
December 2017

Repurposing propranolol as a drug for the treatment of retinal haemangioblastomas in von Hippel-Lindau disease.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2017 06 29;12(1):122. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a rare oncological disease with an incidence of 1:36,000, and is characterized by the growth of different types of tumours. Haemangioblastomas in the central nervous system (CNS) and retina, renal carcinoma and pheochromocytomas are the most common tumours. The absence of treatment for VHL leads to the need of repeated surgeries as the only option for these patients. Targeting VHL-derived tumours with drugs with reduced side effects is urgent to avoid repeated CNS surgeries. Recent reports have demonstrated that propranolol, a β-blocker used for the treatment of hypertension and other cardiac and neurological diseases, is the best option for infantile hemangioma (IH). Propranolol could be an efficient treatment to control haemangioblastoma growth in VHL disease given its antiangiogenic effects that were recently demonstrated by us. The main objective of the present study was the assessment of the efficacy and safety of propranolol on retinal haemangioblastoma in von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL).

Methods: 7 VHL patients, from different regions of Spain, affected from juxtapapillary or peripheral haemangioblastomas were administered 120 mg propranolol daily. Patients were evaluated every 3 months for 12 months, at Virgen de la Salud Hospital (Toledo). The patients had juxtapapillary or peripheral haemangioblastomas but had refused standard treatments.

Results: Propranolol was initiated with a progressive increase up to a final dose of 120 mg daily. All tumours remained stable, and no new tumours appeared. The reabsorption of retinal exudation was noted in the two patients having exudates. No adverse effects were recorded. VEGF and miRNA 210 levels were monitored in the plasma of patients as possible biomarkers of VHL. These levels decreased in all cases from the first month of treatment.

Conclusions: Although more studies are necessary, the results of this work suggest that propranolol is a drug to be considered in the treatment of VHL patients with retinal haemangioblastomas. VEGF and miRNA 210 could be used as biomarkers of the VHL disease activity.

Trial Registration: The study has a clinical trial design and was registered at EU Clinical Trials Register and Spanish Clinical Studies Registry, EudraCT Number: 2014-003671-30 . Registered 2 September 2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-017-0664-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492903PMC
June 2017

Quality of life in patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2017 Jan 23;15(1):19. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Department of Radiology, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla and Instituto de Investigación Valdecilla (IDIVAL), Santander, Spain.

Background: There are very few studies about general quality of life parameters, standards for the description of health status and comparison with general population data on patients with Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), a rare disease in which epistaxis is a cardinal symptom.

Purpose: To assess the quality of life in a population of Spanish patients with HHT and compare it with the general population.

Design And Methods: Between January 1 2005 and December 31 2013, 187 adult patients diagnosed with HHT who were admitted to the HHT Unit of the Hospital Sierrallana, completed on their first visit, the EuroQol 5D-3L (five dimensions and three levels) quality of life descriptive test and the visual analog scale (VAS). The numerical social index value was also determined and the subjective effect of the nasal epistaxis on their quality of life was estimated classified as mild, moderate or severe.

Results: Patients with HHT had greater problems than the general population in the five dimensions of the EuroQol 5D-3L, particularly considering pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. In the VAS and the social index value, patients with HHT also scored lower than the general population, particularly older patients, males, and patients with HHT2. They also had values similar to those of populations with chronic illnesses. The subjective perception of the severity of epistaxis correlated strongly with the VAS and social index values.

Conclusions: The quality of life of patients with HHT, estimated using the EuroQol 5D-3L scale, is affected across all dimensions. The scores are similar to those seen in cases of other chronic diseases. Older patients, males and the carriers of the ACVRL1 mutation generally have worse scores on these scales. The VAS and the social index value are index that correlate well with the severity of the clinical symptoms associated mainly with epistaxis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-017-0586-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5259834PMC
January 2017

Propranolol reduces viability and induces apoptosis in hemangioblastoma cells from von Hippel-Lindau patients.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2015 Sep 22;10:118. Epub 2015 Sep 22.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a rare oncological disease with an incidence of 1:36,000, and is characterized by the growth of different types of tumors: hemangioblastomas in the central nervous system (CNS) and retina, renal carcinoma, pheochromocytomas, pancreatic serous cystadenoma, and endolymphatic sac tumors. These tumors do not express VHL protein (pVHL). pVHL ubiquitinates hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) protein for degradation by the proteasome; in the absence of VHL, HIF translocates to the nucleus to activate the expression of its target genes. Targeting VHL-derived tumors with drugs that have reduced side effects is urgent to avoid repeat CNS surgeries. Recent reports have shown that propranolol, a β-blocker used for the treatment of hypertension and other cardiac and neurological diseases, is the best option for infantile hemangioma (IH). Propranolol could be an efficient treatment to control hemangioblastoma growth in VHL disease because of its antiangiogenic effects demonstrated in IH and the hypothetical impact on HIF levels.

Methods: HeLa 9X (HRE) hypoxia responsive element cell line and primary hemangioblastoma-derived cells were subjected to propranolol treatment and cell viability and apoptosis were evaluated. HIF1-α and Hif-2α expression after propranolol treatment was analyzed by western blotting. Quantitative PCR was performed to study the mRNA expression of HIF target genes. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was measured in culture supernatants by immunoassay.

Results: Propranolol downregulated HIF-dependent transcription in HeLa 9XHRE cells. Under hypoxic conditions, propranolol decreased the expression of HIF target genes in hemangioblastoma cells, which stopped proliferating and died following long-term treatment. These results suggests that propranolol treatment promoted reduced HIF protein expression and corresponding downregulation of HIF target genes, and inhibited cell proliferation in parallel with induction of cell death by apoptosis.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that propranolol could reduce the growth of HIF-dependent tumors and may thus be a promising treatment to delay surgery in VHL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-015-0343-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579575PMC
September 2015

Research on potential biomarkers in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Front Genet 2015 31;6:115. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas , Madrid, Spain ; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras , Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder, involving mutations in two predominant genes known as Endoglin (ENG; HHT1) and activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ACVRL1/ALK1; HHT2), as well as in some less frequent genes, such as MADH4/SMAD4 (JP-HHT) or BMP9/GDF2 (HHT5). The diagnosis of HHT patients currently remains at the clinical level, according to the "Curaçao criteria," whereas the molecular diagnosis is used to confirm or rule out suspected HHT cases, especially when a well characterized index case is present in the family or in an isolated population. Unfortunately, many suspected patients do not present a clear HHT diagnosis or do not show pathogenic mutations in HHT genes, prompting the need to investigate additional biomarkers of the disease. Here, several HHT biomarkers and novel methodological approaches developed during the last years will be reviewed. On one hand, products detected in plasma or serum samples: soluble proteins (vascular endothelial growth factor, transforming growth factor β1, soluble endoglin, angiopoietin-2) and microRNA variants (miR-27a, miR-205, miR-210). On the other hand, differential HHT gene expression fingerprinting, next generation sequencing of a panel of genes involved in HHT, and infrared spectroscopy combined with artificial neural network patterns will also be reviewed. All these biomarkers might help to improve and refine HHT diagnosis by distinguishing from the non-HHT population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2015.00115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4379940PMC
April 2015

MiR-205 is downregulated in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and impairs TGF-beta signaling pathways in endothelial cells.

Angiogenesis 2013 Oct 26;16(4):877-87. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Unit of Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, GIGA, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, 4000, Liège, Belgium.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by arteriovenous malformations and hemorrhages. This vascular disease results mainly from mutations in 2 genes involved in the TGF-β pathway (ENG and ALK1) that are exclusively expressed by endothelial cells. The present study identified miR-27a and miR-205 as two circulating miRNAs differentially expressed in HHT patients. The plasma levels of miR-27a are elevated while those of miR-205 are reduced in both HHT1 and HHT2 patients compared to healthy controls. The role of miR-205 in endothelial cells was further investigated. Our data indicates that miR-205 expression displaces the TGF-β balance towards the anti-angiogenic side by targeting Smad1 and Smad4. In line, overexpression of miR-205 in endothelial cells reduces proliferation, migration and tube formation while its inhibition shows opposite effects. This study not only suggests that detection of circulating miRNA (miR-27a and miR-205) could help for the screening of HHT patients but also provides a functional link between the deregulated expression of miR-205 and the HHT phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10456-013-9362-9DOI Listing
October 2013

Propranolol as antiangiogenic candidate for the therapy of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Thromb Haemost 2012 Jul 3;108(1):41-53. Epub 2012 May 3.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras, Madrid, Spain.

The β-blocker propranolol, originally designed for cardiological indications (angina, cardiac arrhythmias and high blood pressure), is nowadays, considered the most efficient drug for the treatment in infantile haemangiomas (IH), a vascular tumour that affects 5-10% of all infants. However, its potential therapeutic benefits in other vascular anomalies remain to be explored. In the present work we have assessed the impact of propranolol in endothelial cell cultures to test if this drug could be used in the vascular disease hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). This rare disease is the result of abnormal angiogenesis with epistaxis, mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal telangiectases, as well as arteriovenous malformations in several organs, as clinical manifestations. Mutations in Endoglin (ENG) and ACVLR1 (ALK1) genes, lead to HHT1 and HHT2, respectively. Endoglin and ALK1 are involved in the TGF-β1 signalling pathway and play a critical role for the proper development of the blood vessels. As HHT is due to a deregulation of key angiogenic factors, inhibitors of angiogenesis have been used to normalise the nasal vasculature eliminating epistaxis derived from telangiectases. Thus, the antiangiogenic properties of propranolol were tested in endothelial cells. The drug was able to decrease cellular migration and tube formation, concomitantly with reduced RNA and protein levels of ENG and ALK1. Moreover, the drug showed apoptotic effects which could explain cell death in IH. Interestingly, propranolol showed some profibrinolytic activity, decreasing PAI-1 levels. These results suggest that local administration of propranolol in the nose mucosa to control epistaxis might be a potential therapeutic approach in HHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH11-11-0809DOI Listing
July 2012

A review on clinical management and pharmacological therapy on hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Curr Vasc Pharmacol 2010 Jul;8(4):473-81

Hospital de Sierrallana, Reference Hospital for HHT in Spain, Torrelavega, Santander, Spain.

Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome, is an autosomal dominant rare disease characterized by localized angiodysplasia. This is manifested as epistaxis, mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal telangiectases, and arteriovenous malformations in the pulmonary, cerebral or hepatic circulation. The prevalence is between 1 in 5,000 to 8,000, although it is higher in some regions. The most frequent clinical manifestation of HHT is epistaxis, normally from light to moderate from the 4(th) decade of life. However, many patients show severe epistaxis which may interfere with their quality of life. The epistaxis is due to telangiectasia on the nasal mucosa. These are focally dilated postcapilar venules, which in advanced phases show many layers of smooth muscle cells without elastic fibers, and very frequently directly connect with dilated arterioles. As a consequence of these vascular alterations, telangiectases are very sensitive to slight trauma and even to the friction with the air when breathing, which gives rise to nose bleeds. Unfortunately, there is no optimal pharmacological treatment for the epistaxis in HHT. The use of antifibrinolytic agents for the treatment of HHT has been studied recently by our group as an effective relief for nasal and gastric haemorrhages. This work represents a systematic review and the beginning of a systematic laboratory work we are now conducting in our lab to screen for "orphan drugs" as therapeutic agents in HHT. In this context, the use of hormones, immunosuppresants and anti-angiogenic agents are under preclinical study in our laboratory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/157016110791330771DOI Listing
July 2010

[Treatment of epistaxes in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (Rendu-Osler-Weber disease) with tranexamic acid].

Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp 2007 Apr;58(4):129-32

Unidad de THH, Hospital Sierrallana, Torrelavega, Cantabria, España.

Objective: Recurrent epistaxis is the most frequent clinical manifestation of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Its treatment occasionally presents difficulties as there is no consensus on the appropriate therapeutic protocol. Our objective was to explore the utility of oral tranexamic acid for the treatment of epistaxes in HHT patients.

Patients And Method: A 3-year prospective study was carried on HHT patients with epistaxis treated with oral tranexamic acid in the HHT unit at our hospital.

Results: Ten patients with HHT were treated with oral tranexamic acid during the study. Most of them improved both the frequency and severity of their epistaxis and were satisfied with the treatment. No treatment-related complications were recorded. Two patients needed more aggressive treatments to control epistaxis.

Conclusions: Oral tranexamic acid is useful for achieving significant reductions in epistaxis frequency and intensity in selected patients with HHT. In those presenting severe epistaxis, however, it may need to be combined with more aggressive therapies.
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April 2007

Therapeutic action of tranexamic acid in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT): regulation of ALK-1/endoglin pathway in endothelial cells.

Thromb Haemost 2007 Feb;97(2):254-62

Centro de nvestigaciones Biologicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maetzu, Madrid, Spain.

Recurrent epistaxis is the most frequent clinical manifestation of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Its treatment is difficult. Our objective was to assess the use of tranexamic acid (TA), an antifibrinolytic drug, for the treatment of epistaxis in HHT patients and to investigate in vitro the effects of TA over endoglin and ALK-1 expression and activity in endothelial cells. A prospective study was carried out on patients with epistaxis treated with oral TA in the HHT Unit of Sierrallana Hospital (Cantabria, Spain). Primary cultures of endothelial cells were treated with TA to measure the levels of endoglin and ALK-1 at the cell surface by flow cytometry. RNA levels were also measured by real-time PCR, and the transcriptional effects of TA on reporters for endoglin, ALK-1 and the endoglin/ALK-1 TGF-beta pathway were assessed. The results showed that the fourteen HHT patients treated orally with TA improved, and the frequency and severity of their epistaxis were decreased. No complications derived from the treatment were observed. Cultured endothelial cells incubated with TA exhibited increased levels of endoglin and ALK-1 at the protein and mRNA levels, enhanced TGF-beta signaling, and improved endothelial cell functions like tubulogenesis and migration. In summary, oral administration of TA proved beneficial for epistaxis treatment in selected patients with HHT. In addition to its already reported antifibrinolytic effects, TA stimulates the expression ofALK-1 and endoglin, as well as the activity of the ALK-1/endoglin pathway.
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February 2007

Blood outgrowth endothelial cells from Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia patients reveal abnormalities compatible with vascular lesions.

Cardiovasc Res 2005 Nov 5;68(2):235-48. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu, 9. Madrid, Spain.

Objective: Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is originated by mutations in endoglin (HHT1) and ALK1 (HHT2) genes. The purpose of this work was to isolate and characterize circulating endothelial cells from HHT patients.

Methods: Pure primary cultures of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs) were obtained from 50 ml of peripheral blood by selection on collagen plates with endothelial medium.

Results: The amount of endoglin in HHT1-BOECs is half the controls, but HHT2-BOECs are also endoglin-deficient. Since the TGF-beta/ALK1 pathway activates the endoglin promoter activity, these results suggest the involvement of ALK1 in endoglin gene expression. Endothelial TGF-beta pathways, mediated by ALK1 and ALK5, are impaired in HHT cells. HHT-BOECs show disorganized and depolymerized actin fibers, as compared to the organized stress fibers of healthy-BOECs. Functionally, HHT-BOECs have impaired tube formation, in contrast with the cord-like structures derived from normal donors.

Conclusions: Decreased endoglin expression, impaired TGF-beta signalling, disorganized cytoskeleton, and failure to form cord-like structures are common characteristics of endothelial cells from HHT patients. These features may lead to fragility of small vessels and bleeding characteristic of the HHT vascular dysplasia and to a disrupted and abnormal angiogenesis, which may explain the clinical symptoms associated with this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardiores.2005.06.009DOI Listing
November 2005

Endoglin regulates cytoskeletal organization through binding to ZRP-1, a member of the Lim family of proteins.

J Biol Chem 2004 Jul 17;279(31):32858-68. Epub 2004 May 17.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maetzu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Endoglin is a component of the transforming growth factor-beta receptor complex abundantly expressed at the surface of endothelial cells and plays an important role in cardiovascular development and vascular remodeling. By using the cytoplasmic domain of endoglin as a bait for screening protein interactors, we have identified ZRP-1 (zyxin-related protein 1), a 476-amino acid member that belongs to a family of LIM containing proteins that includes zyxin and lipoma-preferred partner. The endoglin interacting region was mapped within the three double zinc finger LIM domains of the ZRP-1 C terminus. Analysis of the subcellular distribution of ZRP-1 demonstrated that in the absence of endoglin, ZRP-1 mainly localizes to focal adhesion sites, whereas in the presence of endoglin ZRP-1 is found along actin stress fibers. Because the LIM family of proteins has been shown to associate with the actin cytoskeleton, we investigated the possibility of a regulatory role for endoglin with regard to this structure. Expression of endoglin resulted in a dramatic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. In the absence of endoglin, F-actin was localized to dense aggregates of bundles, whereas in the presence of endoglin, expressed in endothelial cells, F-actin was in stress fibers and colocalized with ZRP-1. Furthermore, small interfering RNA-mediated suppression of endoglin or ZRP-1, or clustering of endoglin in endothelial cells, led to mislocalization of F-actin fibers. These results suggest a regulatory role for endoglin, via its interaction with ZRP-1, in the actin cytoskeletal organization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M400843200DOI Listing
July 2004