Publications by authors named "Oliver Baum"

50 Publications

Promyelocytic leukemia protein promotes the phenotypic switch of smooth muscle cells in atherosclerotic plaques of human coronary arteries.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2021 Apr;135(7):887-905

Institute of Physiology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.

Promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) is a constitutive component of PML nuclear bodies (PML-NBs), which function as stress-regulated SUMOylation factories. Since PML can also act as a regulator of the inflammatory and fibroproliferative responses characteristic of atherosclerosis, we investigated whether PML is implicated in this disease. Immunoblotting, ELISA and immunohistochemistry showed a stronger expression of PML in segments of human atherosclerotic coronary arteries and sections compared with non-atherosclerotic ones. In particular, PML was concentrated in PML-NBs from α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-immunoreactive cells in plaque areas. To identify possible functional consequences of PML-accumulation in this cell type, differentiated human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (dHCASMCs) were transfected with a vector containing the intact PML-gene. These PML-transfected dHCASMCs showed higher levels of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-1-dependent SUMOylated proteins, but lower levels of markers for smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation and revealed more proliferation and migration activities than dHCASMCs transfected with the vector lacking a specific gene insert or with the vector containing a mutated PML-gene coding for a PML-form without SUMOylation activity. When dHCASMCs were incubated with different cytokines, higher PML-levels were observed only after interferon γ (IFN-γ) stimulation, while the expression of differentiation markers was lower. However, these phenotypic changes were not observed in dHCASMCs treated with small interfering RNA (siRNA) suppressing PML-expression prior to IFN-γ stimulation. Taken together, our results imply that PML is a previously unknown functional factor in the molecular cascades associated with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and is positioned in vascular SMCs (VSMCs) between upstream IFN-γ activation and downstream SUMOylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20201399DOI Listing
April 2021

Basement Membrane Remodeling Controls Endothelial Function in Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2020 07;63(1):104-117

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Lung Vascular Research, Graz, Austria.

The extracellular matrix (ECM) increasingly emerges as an active driver in several diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). The basement membrane (BM) is a specialized class of ECM proteins. In pulmonary arteries, the BM is in close contact and direct proximity to vascular cells, including endothelial cells. So far, the role of the BM has remained underinvestigated in IPAH. Here, we aimed to shed light on the involvement of the BM in IPAH, by addressing its structure, composition, and function. On an ultrastructural level, we observed a marked increase in BM thickness in IPAH pulmonary vessels. BM composition was distinct in small and large vessels and altered in IPAH. Proteoglycans were mostly responsible for distinction between smaller and larger vessels, whereas BM collagens and laminins were more abundantly expressed in IPAH. Type IV collagen and laminin both strengthened endothelial barrier integrity. However, only type IV collagen concentration dependently increased cell adhesion of both donor and IPAH-derived pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (PAECs) and induced nuclear translocation of mechanosensitive transcriptional coactivator of the hippo pathway YAP (Yes-activated protein). On the other hand, laminin caused cytoplasmic retention of YAP in IPAH PAECs. Accordingly, silencing of COL4A5 and LAMC1, respectively, differentially affected tight junction formation and barrier integrity in both donor and IPAH PAECs. Collectively, our results highlight the importance of a well-maintained BM homeostasis. By linking changes in BM structure and composition to altered endothelial cell function, we here suggest an active involvement of the BM in IPAH pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.2019-0303OCDOI Listing
July 2020

Structural Microangiopathies in Skeletal Muscle Related to Systemic Vascular Pathologies in Humans.

Front Physiol 2020 5;11:28. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Institut für Physiologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

It is unclear how microangiopathic changes in skeletal muscle vary among systemic vascular pathologies. We therefore analyzed the capillary fine structure in skeletal muscle from patients with arterial hypertension (HYPT), diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) or intermittent claudication - peripheral arterial disease (IC/PAD). Tablet-based image analysis (TBIA) was carried out to largely re-evaluate 5,000 transmission electron micrographs of capillaries from 126 vastus lateralis biopsies of 75 individuals (HYPT, T2DM or IC/PAD patients as well as healthy individuals before and after endurance exercise training) used in previous morphometric studies, but assessed using stereological counting grids of different sizes. Serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM) of mouse skeletal muscle was used for validation of the particular fine structural events observed in human biopsies. The peri-capillary basement membrane (BM) was 38.5 and 45.5% thicker ( < 0.05) in T2DM and IC/PAD patients than in the other groups. A 17.7-39.6% lower ( < 0.05) index for intraluminal endothelial cell (EC) surface enlargement by projections was exclusively found in T2DM patients by TBIA morphometry. The proportion of capillaries with disrupted BM between pericytes (PC) and EC was higher ( < 0.05) in HYPT (33.2%) and T2DM (38.7%) patients than in the control group. Empty EC-sockets were more frequent ( < 0.05) in the three patient groups (20.6% in HYPT, 27.1% in T2DM, 30.0% in IC/PAD) than in the healthy individuals. SBFSEM confirmed that EC-sockets may exhibit close proximity to the capillary lumen. Our comparative morphometric analysis demonstrated that structural arrangement of skeletal muscle capillaries is more affected in T2DM than in HYPT or IC/PAD, although some similar elements of remodeling were found. The increased frequency of empty EC-sockets in the three patient groups indicates that the PC-EC interaction is commonly disturbed in these systemic vascular pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013089PMC
February 2020

Capillary facilitation of skeletal muscle function in health and disease.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2020 May 12;45(5):453-462. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Brock University, Department of Kinesiology, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada.

Skeletal muscle is highly vascularized, with perfusion being tightly regulated to meet wide-ranging metabolic demands. For decades, the capillary supply has been explored mainly in terms of evaluating the capillary numbers and their function in the supply of oxygen and substrates and the removal of metabolic byproducts. This review will focus on recent discoveries concerning the role played by capillaries in facilitating other aspects of cell regulation and maintenance, in health and disease, as well as alterations during the aging process. Capillaries play a central role in the coordination of the vascular response that controls blood flow during contraction and the cellular responses to which they feed into. Nitric oxide is an important regulatory compound within the cardiovascular system, and a significant contributor to skeletal muscle capillary angiogenesis and vasodilatory response to agonists. The microvascular network between muscle fibres may play a critical role in the distribution of signalling factors necessary for optimal muscle satellite cell function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2019-0416DOI Listing
May 2020

The effect of two exercise modalities on skeletal muscle capillary ultrastructure in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Scand J Med Sci Sports 2019 Mar 4;29(3):360-368. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Institute of Physiology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with microvascular dysfunction, but little is known about how capillary ultrastructure is affected by exercise training. To investigate the effect of two types of exercise training on skeletal muscle capillary ultrastructure and capillarization in individuals with type 2 diabetes, 21 individuals with type 2 diabetes were allocated (randomized controlled trial) to 11 weeks of aerobic exercise training consisting of either moderate-intensity endurance training (END; n = 10) or low-volume high-intensity interval training (HIIT; n = 11). Skeletal muscle biopsies (m vastus lateralis) were obtained before and after the training intervention. At baseline, there was no difference in capillarization, capillary structure, and exercise hyperemia between the two groups. After the training intervention, capillary-to-fiber ratio increased by 8% ± 3% in the END group (P < 0.05) and was unchanged in the HIIT group with no difference between groups. Endothelium thickness increased (P < 0.05), basement membrane thickness decreased (P < 0.05), and the capillary lumen tended (P = 0.07) to increase in the END group, whereas these structural indicators were unchanged after HIIT. In contrast, skeletal muscle endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) increased after HIIT (P < 0.05), but not END, whereas there was no change in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), superoxide dismutase (SOD)-2, or NADPH oxidase after both training protocols. In contrast to END training, HIIT did not alter capillarization or capillary structure in individuals with type 2 diabetes. In conclusion, HIIT appears to be a less effective strategy to treat capillary rarefaction and reduce basement thickening in type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sms.13348DOI Listing
March 2019

Relation of nNOS isoforms to mitochondrial density and PGC-1alpha expression in striated muscles of mice.

Nitric Oxide 2018 07 17;77:35-43. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Institute of Physiology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, D-10117 Berlin, Germany.

The expression of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) alpha- and beta-isoforms in skeletal muscle is well documented but only little information is available about their regulation/functions. Using different mouse models, we now assessed whether the expression of nNOS-isoforms in muscle fibers is related to mitochondria content/activity and regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha). Catalytic histochemistry revealed highest nNOS-concentrations to be present in type-2 oxidative muscle fibers. Differences in mitochondrial density between nNOS-KO-mice and WT-littermates established by morphometry after transmission electron microscopy were significant in the oxidative portion of the tibialis anterior muscle (TA) but not in rectus femoris muscle (RF) indicating an nNOS-dependent mitochondrial pool in TA. Quantitative immunoblotting displayed the nNOS alpha-isoform to preponderate in those striated muscles of C57BL/6-mice that comprise of many type-2 oxidative fibers, e.g. TA, while roughly even levels of the two nNOS-isoforms were expressed in those muscles that mainly consist of type-2 glycolytic fibers, e.g. RF. Differences in citrate synthase-activity in muscle homogenates between nNOS-KO-mice and WT-littermates were positively related to nNOS alpha-isoform levels. In transgenic-mice over-expressing muscular PGC-1alpha compared to WT-littermates, immunoblotting revealed a significant shift in nNOS-expression in favor of the alpha-isoform in six out of eight striated muscles (exceptions: soleus muscle and tongue) without consistent relationship to changes in the expression of mitochondrial markers. In summary, our study demonstrated the nNOS alpha-isoform expression to be related to mitochondrial content/activity and to be up-regulated by up-stream PGC-1alpha in striated muscles, particularly in those enriched with type-2 oxidative fibers implying a functional convergence of the two signaling systems in these fibers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2018.04.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6697538PMC
July 2018

Increased capillary tortuosity and pericapillary basement membrane thinning in skeletal muscle of mice undergoing running wheel training.

J Exp Biol 2018 02 19;221(Pt 4). Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.

To work out which microvascular remodeling processes occur in murine skeletal muscle during endurance exercise, we subjected C57BL/6 mice to voluntary running wheel training for 1 week (1 wk-t) or 6 weeks (6 wks-t). By means of morphometry, the capillarity as well as the compartmental and sub-compartmental structure of the capillaries were quantitatively described at the light microscopy level and at the electron microscopy level, respectively, in the plantaris (PLNT) muscle of the exercising mice in comparison to untrained littermates. In the early phase of the training (1 wk-t), angiogenesis [32% higher capillary/fiber (C/F) ratio; <0.05] in PLNT muscle was accompanied by a tendency for capillary lumen enlargement (30%; 0.06) and a reduction of the pericapillary basement membrane thickness [(CBMT) 12.7%; 0.09] as well as a 21% shortening of intraluminal protrusion length (<0.05), all compared with controls. After long-term training (6 wks-t), when the mice reached a steady state in running activity, additional angiogenesis (C/F ratio: 76%; <0.05) and a 16.3% increase in capillary tortuosity (<0.05) were established, accompanied by reversal of the lumen expansion (23%; >0.05), further reduction of the CBMT (16.5%; <0.05) and additional shortening of the intraluminal protrusion length (23%; <0.05), all compared with controls. Other structural indicators, such as capillary profile sizes, profile area densities, perimeters of the capillary compartments and concentrations of endothelium-pericyte peg-socket junctions, were not significantly different between the mouse groups. Besides angiogenesis, increase of capillary tortuosity and reduction of CBMT represent the most striking microvascular remodeling processes in skeletal muscle of mice that undergo running wheel training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.171819DOI Listing
February 2018

Ultrastructure of Skeletal Muscles in Mice Lacking Muscle-Specific VEGF Expression.

Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2017 Dec 22;300(12):2239-2249. Epub 2017 Jul 22.

West Virginia Clinical and Translational Institute, Department of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) influences several physiological processes including endothelial cell function, angiogenesis and maintenance of organ/tissue capillarity. While the functional aspects of VEGF were vigorously investigated, only little detail is known on structural integrity of skeletal muscle fibers and capillaries in mice lacking VEGF expression in their muscles. Therefore, we assessed systematically the architecture of the glycolytic plantaris and the oxidative soleus muscles obtained from muscle-specific VEGF knockout (mVEGF-KO, n = 7) mice and their wild-type (WT, n = 7) littermates by morphometry after transmission electron microscopy. The capillary/fiber ratio was lower (plantaris: -63.5%; soleus: -54.8%; P ≤ 0.05) in mVEGF-KO mice than in WT mice. In plantaris, quantification of volume density (Vv) of compartments revealed higher Vv of total mitochondria (+56.5%, P ≤ 0.05) as well as higher Vv-values for both intrafibrillar (+39%; P ≤ 0.05) and subsarcolemmal (+220%; P ≤ 0.05) mitochondrial pools in mVEGF-KO mice than WT mice. The capillary phenotype also differed (P ≤ 0.05) between the two mouse-strains: Vv (-17.4%), absolute area size (-19.1%) and thickness (-19.6%) of the endothelium layer were lower and Vv of capillary lumen (+15.1%) was higher in mVEGF-KO mice than in WT littermates. In soleus, mitochondrial Vv in fibers and the structural indicators specific to the capillary phenotype exhibited the same tendency in differences between the mouse strains without reaching statistical significance. Our morphometric analysis demonstrates that the lower capillary supply in plantaris of mVEGF-KO mice is accompanied by higher mitochondrial Vv in muscle fibers as well as lumen dilation and endothelium thinning of capillaries. These structural alterations were more pronounced in a glycolytic than an oxidative muscle. Anat Rec, 300:2239-2249, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ar.23644DOI Listing
December 2017

Pericapillary basement membrane thickening in human skeletal muscles.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2016 09 1;311(3):H654-66. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Institute of Physiology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

The basement membrane (BM) surrounding capillaries in skeletal muscles varies physiologically in thickness according to age, physical fitness, and anatomical site in humans. Furthermore, the pericapillary BM thickness (CBMT) increases pathophysiologically during several common disease states, including peripheral arterial disease and diabetes mellitus. This review on CBM thickening in human skeletal muscles is two pronged. First, it addresses the advantages/disadvantages of grid- and tablet-based measuring and morphometric techniques that are implemented to assess the CBMT on transmission electron micrographs. Second, it deals with the biology of CBM thickening in skeletal muscles, particularly its possible causes, molecular mechanisms, and functional impact. CBM thickening is triggered by several physical factors, including diabetes-associated glycation, hydrostatic pressure, and inflammation. Increased biosynthesis of type IV collagen expression or repetitive cycles in pericyte or endothelial cell degeneration/proliferation appear to be most critical for CBM accumulation. A thickened CBM obviously poses a greater barrier for diffusion, lowers the microvascular elasticity, and impedes transcytosis of inflammatory cells. Our own morphometric data reveal the CBM enlargement to be not accompanied by the pericyte coverage. Owing to an overlap or redundancy in the capillary supply, CBM thickening in skeletal muscles might not be such a devastating occurrence as in organs with endarterial circulation (e.g., kidney and retina). CBM growth in skeletal muscles can be reversed by training or administration of antidiabetic drugs. In conclusion, CBM thickening in skeletal muscles is a microvascular remodeling process by which metabolic, hemodynamic, and inflammatory forces are integrated together and which could play a hitherto underestimated role in etiology/progression of human diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00048.2016DOI Listing
September 2016

Capillary ultrastructure and mitochondrial volume density in skeletal muscle in relation to reduced exercise capacity of patients with intermittent claudication.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2016 05 23;310(10):R943-51. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark;

Intermittent claudication (IC) is the most commonly reported symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Impaired limb blood flow is a major casual factor of lower exercise tolerance in PAD but cannot entirely explain it. We hypothesized that IC is associated with structural changes of the capillary-mitochondria interface that could contribute to the reduction of exercise tolerance in IC patients. Capillary and mitochondrial morphometry were performed after light and transmission electron microscopy using vastus lateralis muscle biopsies of 14 IC patients and 10 age-matched controls, and peak power output (PPO) was determined for all participants using an incremental single-leg knee-extension protocol. Capillary density was lower (411 ± 90 mm(-2) vs. 506 ± 95 mm(-2); P ≤ 0.05) in the biopsies of the IC patients than in those of the controls. The basement membrane (BM) around capillaries was thicker (543 ± 82 nm vs. 423 ± 97 nm; P ≤ 0.01) and the volume density of mitochondria was lower (3.51 ± 0.56% vs. 4.60 ± 0.74%; P ≤ 0.01) in the IC patients than the controls. In the IC patients, a higher proportion of capillaries appeared with collapsed slit-like lumen and/or swollen endothelium. PPO was lower (18.5 ± 9.9 W vs. 33.5 ± 9.4 W; P ≤ 0.01) in the IC patients than the controls. We suggest that several structural alterations in skeletal muscle, either collectively or separately, contribute to the reduction of exercise tolerance in IC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00480.2015DOI Listing
May 2016

Advances and challenges in skeletal muscle angiogenesis.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2016 Feb 25;310(3):H326-36. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.

The role of capillaries is to serve as the interface for delivery of oxygen and removal of metabolites to/from tissues. During the past decade there has been a proliferation of studies that have advanced our understanding of angiogenesis, demonstrating that tissue capillary supply is under strict control during health but poorly controlled in disease, resulting in either excessive capillary growth (pathological angiogenesis) or losses in capillarity (rarefaction). Given that skeletal muscle comprises nearly 40% of body mass in humans, skeletal muscle capillary density has a significant impact on metabolism, endocrine function, and locomotion and is tightly regulated at many different levels. Skeletal muscle is also high adaptable and thus one of the few organ systems that can be experimentally manipulated (e.g., by exercise) to study physiological regulation of angiogenesis. This review will focus on the methodological concerns that have arisen in determining skeletal muscle capillarity and highlight the concepts that are reshaping our understanding of the angio-adaptation process. We also summarize selected new findings (physical influences, molecular changes, and ultrastructural rearrangement of capillaries) that identify areas of future research with the greatest potential to expand our understanding of how angiogenesis is normally regulated, and that may also help to better understand conditions of uncontrolled (pathological) angiogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00635.2015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4796623PMC
February 2016

Angiogenesis-related ultrastructural changes to capillaries in human skeletal muscle in response to endurance exercise.

J Appl Physiol (1985) 2015 Nov 17;119(10):1118-26. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; and.

The ultrastructure of capillaries in skeletal muscle was morphometrically assessed in vastus lateralis muscle (VL) biopsies taken before and after exercise from 22 participants of two training studies. In study 1 (8 wk of ergometer training), light microscopy revealed capillary-fiber (C/F) ratio (+27%) and capillary density (+16%) to be higher (P ≤ 0.05) in postexercise biopsies than in preexercise biopsies from all 10 participants. In study 2 (6 mo of moderate running), C/F ratio and capillary density were increased (+23% and +20%; respectively, P ≤ 0.05) in VL biopsies from 6 angiogenesis responders (AR) after training, whereas 6 nonangiogenesis responders (NR) showed nonsignificant changes in these structural indicators (-4%/-4%, respectively). Forty capillary profiles per participant were evaluated by point and intersection counting on cross sections after transmission electron microscopy. In study 1, volume density (Vv) and mean arithmetic thickness (T) of endothelial cells (ECs; +19%/+17%, respectively) and pericytes (PCs; +20%/+21%, respectively) were higher (P ≤ 0.05), whereas Vv and T of the pericapillary basement membrane (BM) were -23%/-22% lower (P ≤ 0.05), respectively, in posttraining biopsies. In study 2, exercise-related differences between AR and NR-groups were found for Vv and T of PCs (AR, +26%/+22%, respectively, both P ≤ 0.05; NR, +1%/-3%, respectively, both P > 0.05) and BM (AR, -14%/-13%, respectively, both P ≤ 0.05; NR, -9%/-11%, respectively, P = 0.07/0.10). Vv and T of ECs were higher (AR, +16%/+18%, respectively; NR, +6%/+6%, respectively; all P ≤ 0.05) in both groups. The PC coverage was higher (+13%, P ≤ 0.05) in VL biopsies of individuals in the AR group but nonsignificantly altered (+3%, P > 0.05) in those of the NR group after training. Our study suggests that intensified PC mobilization and BM thinning are related to exercise-induced angiogenesis in human skeletal muscle, whereas training per se induces EC-thickening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00594.2015DOI Listing
November 2015

Phenotype of capillaries in skeletal muscle of nNOS-knockout mice.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2013 Jun 10;304(12):R1175-82. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Because neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has a well-known impact on arteriolar blood flow in skeletal muscle, we compared the ultrastructure and the hemodynamics of/in the ensuing capillaries in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of male nNOS-knockout (KO) mice and wild-type (WT) littermates. The capillary-to-fiber (C/F) ratio (-9.1%) was lower (P ≤ 0.05) in the nNOS-KO mice than in the WT mice, whereas the mean cross-sectional fiber area (-7.8%) and the capillary density (-3.1%) varied only nonsignificantly (P > 0.05). Morphometrical estimation of the area occupied by the capillaries as well as the volume and surface densities of the subcellular compartments differed nonsignificantly (P > 0.05) between the two strains. Intravital microscopy revealed neither the capillary diameter (+3% in nNOS-KO mice vs. WT mice) nor the mean velocity of red blood cells in EDL muscle (+25% in nNOS-KO mice vs. WT mice) to significantly vary (P > 0.05) between the two strains. The calculated shear stress in the capillaries was likewise nonsignificantly different (3.8 ± 2.2 dyn/cm² in nNOS-KO mice and 2.1 ± 2.2 dyn/cm² in WT mice; P > 0.05). The mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A were lower in the EDL muscle of nNOS-KO mice than in the WT littermates (-37%; P ≤ 0.05), whereas mRNA levels of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) (-11%), hypoxia inducible factor-1α (+9%), fibroblast growth factor-2 (-14%), and thrombospondin-1 (-10%) differed nonsignificantly (P > 0.05). Our findings support the contention that VEGF-A mRNA expression and C/F-ratio but not the ultrastructure or the hemodynamics of/in capillaries in skeletal muscle at basal conditions depend on the expression of nNOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00434.2012DOI Listing
June 2013

The impact of antioxidant supplements and endurance exercise on genes of the carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle of mice.

Cell Biochem Funct 2013 Jan 3;31(1):51-9. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

To ascertain whether reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to training-induced adaptation of skeletal muscle, we administered ROS-scavenging antioxidants (AOX; 140 mg/l of ascorbic acid, 12 mg/l of coenzyme Q10 and 1% N-acetyl-cysteine) via drinking water to 16 C57BL/6 mice. Sixteen other mice received unadulterated tap water (CON). One cohort of both groups (CON(EXE) and AOX(EXE) ) was subjected to treadmill exercise for 4 weeks (16-26 m/min, incline of 5°-10°). The other two cohorts (CON(SED) and AOX(SED) ) remained sedentary. In skeletal muscles of the AOX(EXE) mice, GSSG and the expression levels of SOD-1 and PRDX-6 were significantly lower than those in the CON(EXE) mice after training, suggesting disturbance of ROS levels. The peak power related to the body weight and citrate synthase activity was not significantly influenced in mice receiving AOX. Supplementation with AOX significantly altered the mRNA levels of the exercise-sensitive genes HK-II, GLUT-4 and SREBF-1c and the regulator gene PGC-1alpha but not G6PDH, glycogenin, FABP-3, MCAD and CD36 in skeletal muscle. Although the administration of AOX during endurance exercise alters the expression of particular genes of the ROS metabolism, it does not influence peak power or generally shift the metabolism, but it modulates the expression of specific genes of the carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and PGC-1alpha within murine skeletal muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbf.2859DOI Listing
January 2013

The vascular-disrupting agent combretastatin impairs splitting and sprouting forms of physiological angiogenesis.

Microcirculation 2012 May;19(4):296-305

Department of Physiology, University of Birmingham Medical School, Birmingham, UK.

Objective: Vascular-disrupting agents like combretastatin (CA-4-P), used to attenuate tumor blood flow in vivo, exert anti-mitotic and anti-migratory effects on endothelial cells in vitro. We tested whether anti-vascular or anti-angiogenic effects of CA-4-P are evident with physiological angiogenesis in skeletal muscle (EDL) due to sustained hyperemia (intraluminal splitting) and chronic muscle overload (abluminal sprouting).

Methods: CA-4-P was given i.v. (25 mg/kg on alternate days for 14 days) to mice subjected to angiogenic stimuli (prazosin or synergist extirpation). The responses of femoral artery blood flow as well as capillarity, capillary ultrastructure, and levels of Rho GTPase were measured.

Results: Blood flow was unaffected in the sprouting angiotype, but decreased in the splitting angiotype, by CA-4-P. In contrast, CA-4-P attenuated the capillarity increase in both models, associated with reduced lamellipodia and filopodia formation. Muscle overload, but not hyperemia, was accompanied by an increase in Rho GTPase with CA-4-P.

Conclusions: CA-4-P impaired the angiogenic response in both experimental models. This inhibitory effect was associated with a lower increase in femoral blood flow in splitting, whereas sprouting angiogenesis was accompanied by higher Rho activity consistent with the interruption of actin polymerization. Thus, CA-4-P may exert context-dependent anti-vascular and anti-angiogenic effects in vivo under physiological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1549-8719.2012.00160.xDOI Listing
May 2012

The beta-isoform of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) lacking the PDZ domain is localized at the sarcolemma.

FEBS Lett 2011 Oct 19;585(20):3219-23. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Department of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

In skeletal muscles, the expression of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) isoforms is uncharacterized at the protein level. We therefore conducted epitope mapping with anti-peptide-antibodies. Antibodies specific for the nNOS N-terminus recognized the 160-kDa alpha-isoform. In contrast, antibodies against the middle portion or the C-terminus of nNOS bound additionally to the truncated 140-kDa beta-isoform which lacks the PDZ-domain present in the alpha-isoform. All nNOS immunohistochemical reactivity was confined to the sarcolemma. Consistently, immunoblotting disclosed both nNOS-isoforms to be co-enriched in the membrane-associated fractions. The beta-isoform was co-immunoprecipitated with alpha-isoform antibodies in muscle extracts indicating an association of both nNOS-isoforms to direct the beta-variant to the sarcolemma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2011.09.016DOI Listing
October 2011

Decrease in VEGF expression induces intussusceptive vascular pruning.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2011 Dec 15;31(12):2836-44. Epub 2011 Sep 15.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.

Objective: The concept of vascular pruning, the "cuting-off" of vessels, is gaining importance due to expansion of angio-modulating therapies. The proangiogenic effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are broadly described, but the mechanisms of structural alterations by its downregulation are not known.

Methods And Results: VEGF(165)-releasing hydrogels were applied onto the chick chorioallantoic membrane on embryonic day 10. The hydrogels, designed to completely degrade within 2 days, caused high-level VEGF presentation followed by abrupt VEGF withdrawal. Application of VEGF resulted in a pronounced angiogenic response within 24 hours. The drastic decrease in level of exogenous VEGF-A within 48 hours was corroborated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Following this VEGF withdrawal we observed vasculature adaptation by means of intussusception, including intussusceptive vascular pruning. As revealed on vascular casts and serial semithin sections, intussusceptive vascular pruning occurred by emergence of multiple eccentric pillars at bifurcations. Time-lapse in vivo microscopy has confirmed the de novo occurrence of transluminal pillars and their capability to induce pruning. Quantitative evaluation corroborated an extensive activation of intussusception associated with VEGF withdrawal.

Conclusions: Diminution of VEGF level induces vascular tree regression by intussusceptive vascular pruning. This observation may allude to the mechanism underlying the "normalization" of tumor vasculature if treated with antiangiogenic drugs. The mechanism described here gives new insights into the understanding of the processes of vasculature regression and hence provides new and potentially viable targets for antiangiogenic and/or angio-modulating therapies during various pathological processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.231811DOI Listing
December 2011

Remodeling of calcium handling in skeletal muscle through PGC-1α: impact on force, fatigability, and fiber type.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2012 Jan 14;302(1):C88-99. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Biozentrum, Department of Pharmacology/Neurobiology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Regular endurance exercise remodels skeletal muscle, largely through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). PGC-1α promotes fiber type switching and resistance to fatigue. Intracellular calcium levels might play a role in both adaptive phenomena, yet a role for PGC-1α in the adaptation of calcium handling in skeletal muscle remains unknown. Using mice with transgenic overexpression of PGC-1α, we now investigated the effect of PGC-1α on calcium handling in skeletal muscle. We demonstrate that PGC-1α induces a quantitative reduction in calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum by diminishing the expression of calcium-releasing molecules. Concomitantly, maximal muscle force is reduced in vivo and ex vivo. In addition, PGC-1α overexpression delays calcium clearance from the myoplasm by interfering with multiple mechanisms involved in calcium removal, leading to higher myoplasmic calcium levels following contraction. During prolonged muscle activity, the delayed calcium clearance might facilitate force production in mice overexpressing PGC-1α. Our results reveal a novel role of PGC-1α in altering the contractile properties of skeletal muscle by modulating calcium handling. Importantly, our findings indicate PGC-1α to be both down- as well as upstream of calcium signaling in this tissue. Overall, our findings suggest that in the adaptation to chronic exercise, PGC-1α reduces maximal force, increases resistance to fatigue, and drives fiber type switching partly through remodeling of calcium transients, in addition to promoting slow-type myofibrillar protein expression and adequate energy supply.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00190.2011DOI Listing
January 2012

Excessive erythrocytosis compromises the blood-endothelium interface in erythropoietin-overexpressing mice.

J Physiol 2011 Nov 22;589(Pt 21):5181-92. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Department of Physiology and CCR, Charité, Berlin, Germany.

Elevated systemic haematocrit (Hct) increases risk of cardiovascular disorders, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. One possible pathophysiological mechanism could be a disturbance of the blood-endothelium interface. It has been shown that blood interacts with the endothelial surface via a thick hydrated macromolecular layer (the 'glycocalyx', or 'endothelial surface layer'--ESL), modulating various biological processes, including inflammation, permeability and atherosclerosis. However, the consequences of elevated Hct on the functional properties of this interface are incompletely understood. Thus, we combined intravital microscopy of an erythropoietin overexpressing transgenic mouse line (tg6) with excessive erythrocytosis (Hct 0.85), microviscometric analysis of haemodynamics, and a flow simulation model to assess the effects of elevated Hct on glycocalyx/ESL thickness and flow resistance. We show that the glycocalyx/ESL is nearly abolished in tg6 mice (thickness: wild-type control: 0.52 μm; tg6: 0.13 μm; P < 0.001). However, the corresponding reduction in network flow resistance contributes <20% to the maintenance of total peripheral resistance observed in tg6 mice. This suggests that the pathological effects of elevated Hct in these mice, and possibly also in polycythaemic humans, may relate to biological corollaries of a reduced ESL thickness and the consequent alteration in the blood-endothelium interface, rather than to an increase of flow resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.209262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3225673PMC
November 2011

Molecular mechanisms of muscle plasticity with exercise.

Compr Physiol 2011 Jul;1(3):1383-412

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

The skeletal muscle phenotype is subject to considerable malleability depending on use. Low-intensity endurance type exercise leads to qualitative changes of muscle tissue characterized mainly by an increase in structures supporting oxygen delivery and consumption. High-load strength-type exercise leads to growth of muscle fibers dominated by an increase in contractile proteins. In low-intensity exercise, stress-induced signaling leads to transcriptional upregulation of a multitude of genes with Ca(2+) signaling and the energy status of the muscle cells sensed through AMPK being major input determinants. Several parallel signaling pathways converge on the transcriptional co-activator PGC-1α, perceived as being the coordinator of much of the transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. High-load training is dominated by a translational upregulation controlled by mTOR mainly influenced by an insulin/growth factor-dependent signaling cascade as well as mechanical and nutritional cues. Exercise-induced muscle growth is further supported by DNA recruitment through activation and incorporation of satellite cells. Crucial nodes of strength and endurance exercise signaling networks are shared making these training modes interdependent. Robustness of exercise-related signaling is the consequence of signaling being multiple parallel with feed-back and feed-forward control over single and multiple signaling levels. We currently have a good descriptive understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling muscle phenotypic plasticity. We lack understanding of the precise interactions among partners of signaling networks and accordingly models to predict signaling outcome of entire networks. A major current challenge is to verify and apply available knowledge gained in model systems to predict human phenotypic plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c100042DOI Listing
July 2011

Exercise-induced angiogenesis correlates with the up-regulated expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in human skeletal muscle.

Eur J Appl Physiol 2012 Jan 20;112(1):155-62. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

The contribution of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) to angiogenesis in human skeletal muscle after endurance exercise is controversially discussed. We therefore ascertained whether the expression of nNOS is associated with the capillary density in biopsies of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle that had been derived from 10 sedentary male subjects before and after moderate training (four 30-min weekly jogging sessions for 6 months, with a heart-rate corresponding to 75% VO(2)max). In these biopsies, nNOS was predominantly expressed as alpha-isoform with exon-mu and to a lesser extent without exon-mu, as determined by RT-PCR. The mRNA levels of nNOS were quantified by real-time PCR and related to the capillary-to-fibre ratio and the numerical density of capillaries specified by light microscopy. If the VL biopsies of all subjects were co-analysed, mRNA levels of nNOS were non-significantly elevated after training (+34%; P > 0.05). However, only five of the ten subjects exhibited significant (P ≤ 0.05) elevations in the capillary-to-fibre ratio (+25%) and the numerical density of capillaries (+21%) and were thus undergoing angiogenesis. If the VL biopsies of these five subjects alone were evaluated, the mRNA levels of nNOS were significantly up-regulated (+128%; P ≤ 0.05) and correlated positively (r = 0.8; P ≤ 0.01) to angiogenesis. Accordingly, nNOS protein expression in VL biopsies quantified by immunoblotting was significantly increased (+82%; P ≤ 0.05) only in those subjects that underwent angiogenesis. In conclusion, the expression of nNOS at mRNA and protein levels was statistically linked to capillarity after exercise suggesting that nNOS is involved in the angiogenic response to training in human skeletal muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-011-1960-xDOI Listing
January 2012

Ultrastructural changes in diaphragm neuromuscular junctions in a severe mouse model for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and their prevention by bifunctional U7 snRNA correcting SMN2 splicing.

Neuromuscul Disord 2010 Nov 15;20(11):744-52. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

In Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the SMN1 gene is deleted or inactivated. Because of a splicing problem, the second copy gene, SMN2, generates insufficient amounts of functional SMN protein, leading to the death of spinal cord motoneurons. For a "severe" mouse SMA model (Smn -/-, hSMN2 +/+; with affected pups dying at 5-7 days), which most closely mimicks the genetic set-up in human SMA patients, we characterise SMA-related ultrastructural changes in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of two striated muscles with discrete functions. In the diaphragm, but not the soleus muscle of 4-days old SMA mice, mitochondria on both sides of the NMJs degenerate, and perisynaptic Schwann cells as well as endoneurial fibroblasts show striking changes in morphology. Importantly, NMJs of SMA mice in which a modified U7 snRNA corrects SMN2 splicing and delays or prevents SMA symptoms are normal. This ultrastructural study reveals novel features of NMJ alterations - in particular the involvement of perisynaptic Schwann cells - that may be relevant for human SMA pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2010.06.010DOI Listing
November 2010

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor {gamma} coactivator 1{alpha} (PGC-1{alpha}) promotes skeletal muscle lipid refueling in vivo by activating de novo lipogenesis and the pentose phosphate pathway.

J Biol Chem 2010 Oct 17;285(43):32793-32800. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

From the Division of Pharmacology/Neurobiology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50/70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland; Institute of Physiology and Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Exercise induces a pleiotropic adaptive response in skeletal muscle, largely through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α). PGC-1α enhances lipid oxidation and thereby provides energy for sustained muscle contraction. Its potential implication in promoting muscle refueling remains unresolved, however. Here, we investigated a possible role of elevated PGC-1α levels in skeletal muscle lipogenesis in vivo and the molecular mechanisms that underlie PGC-1α-mediated de novo lipogenesis. To this end, we studied transgenic mice with physiological overexpression of PGC-1α and human muscle biopsies pre- and post-exercise. We demonstrate that PGC-1α enhances lipogenesis in skeletal muscle through liver X receptor α-dependent activation of the fatty acid synthase (FAS) promoter and by increasing FAS activity. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we establish a direct interaction between PGC-1α and the liver X receptor-responsive element in the FAS promoter. Moreover, we show for the first time that increased glucose uptake and activation of the pentose phosphate pathway provide substrates for RNA synthesis and cofactors for de novo lipogenesis. Similarly, we observed increased lipogenesis and lipid levels in human muscle biopsies that were obtained post-exercise. Our findings suggest that PGC-1α coordinates lipogenesis, intramyocellular lipid accumulation, and substrate oxidation in exercised skeletal muscle in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.145995DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963391PMC
October 2010

VEGF-A promotes intussusceptive angiogenesis in the developing chicken chorioallantoic membrane.

Microcirculation 2010 Aug;17(6):447-57

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern 12, Switzerland.

Objective: To assess the impact of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on intussusceptive angiogenesis.

Methods And Results: Polyurethane casts of the microvasculature of chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) were prepared on embryonic days (E) 8, 10, 12, and 14. At light microscopy level, minute holes (<2 microm in diameter) and hollows (>2 microm) were observed in the casts. Transmission electron microscopy disclosed the minute holes to mainly represent transluminal pillars characteristic for intussusceptive angiogenesis. The numerical density of the holes/pillars was highest at an early (E8) and a late (E12-E14) stage. Only mRNA of VEGF-A-122 and VEGF-A-166 isoforms was detected in the CAM. The transcription rate of VEGF-A mRNA peaked on E8/9 and E12, while VEGF-A protein expression increased on E8/9 and E11/12 to rapidly decrease thereafter as determined by immunoblotting. At all time points investigated, VEGF-A immunohistochemical reactivity was restricted to cells of the chorionic epithelium in direct contact to the capillary plexus. When the VEGF-R-inhibitor PTK787/ZK222584 (0.1 mg/mL) was applied on E9 CAM, the microvasculature topology on E12 was similar to that on E10.

Conclusions: The temporal course of intussusception corresponded to the expression of VEGF-A in CAM microvasculature. Inhibition of VEGF-signaling retarded intussusceptive-dependent capillary maturation. These data suggest that VEGF promotes intussusception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1549-8719.2010.00043.xDOI Listing
August 2010

Theoretical rotation-torsion spectra of HSOH.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2010 Aug 5;12(29):8387-97. Epub 2010 Jun 5.

Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Platz 1, D-45470 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.

Rotation-torsion spectra of HSOH, involving the vibrational ground state and the fundamental torsional state, have been simulated at T = 300 K. The simulations are carried out with the variational computer program TROVE in conjunction with recently reported ab initio potential energy and electric dipole moment surfaces. HSOH is a near-prolate-symmetric top at equilibrium and the simulated spectra are of perpendicular-band-type with strong R-branch and Q-branch transitions. Recently, an anomalous (b-type-transition)/(c-type-transition) intensity ratio in the vibrational-ground-state (r)Q(K(a))-branches of HSOH has been experimentally observed. Our calculations reproduce correctly the anomaly and show that it originates in the large-amplitude torsional motion of HSOH. We analyze our theoretical results in order to explain the effect and to provide unambiguous (b/c)-type-transition assignments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c002803gDOI Listing
August 2010

Macrophages and dendritic cells express tight junction proteins and exchange particles in an in vitro model of the human airway wall.

Immunobiology 2011 Jan-Feb;216(1-2):86-95. Epub 2010 Mar 4.

Department for Clinical Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

The human airway epithelium serves as structural and functional barrier against inhaled particulate antigen. Previously, we demonstrated in an in vitro epithelial barrier model that monocyte derived dendritic cells (MDDC) and monocyte derived macrophages (MDM) take up particulate antigen by building a trans-epithelial interacting network. Although the epithelial tight junction (TJ) belt was penetrated by processes of MDDC and MDM, the integrity of the epithelium was not affected. These results brought up two main questions: (1) Do MDM and MDDC exchange particles? (2) Are those cells expressing TJ proteins, which are believed to interact with the TJ belt of the epithelium to preserve the epithelial integrity? The expression of TJ and adherens junction (AJ) mRNA and proteins in MDM and MDDC monocultures was determined by RT-PCR, and immunofluorescence, respectively. Particle uptake and exchange was quantified by flow cytometry and laser scanning microscopy in co-cultures of MDM and MDDC exposed to polystyrene particles (1 μm in diameter). MDM and MDDC constantly expressed TJ and AJ mRNA and proteins. Flow cytometry analysis of MDM and MDDC co-cultures showed increased particle uptake in MDDC while MDM lost particles over time. Quantitative analysis revealed significantly higher particle uptake by MDDC in co-cultures of epithelial cells with MDM and MDDC present, compared to co-cultures containing only epithelial cells and MDDC. We conclude from these findings that MDM and MDDC express TJ and AJ proteins which could help to preserve the epithelial integrity during particle uptake and exchange across the lung epithelium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imbio.2010.02.006DOI Listing
July 2011

Lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii is associated with fatal equine atypical myopathy.

Vet Microbiol 2010 Aug 1;144(3-4):487-92. Epub 2010 Feb 1.

Equine Clinic, Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

The lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii (TcsL) evokes severe, mostly fatal disease patterns like toxic shock syndrome in humans and animals. Since this large clostridial toxin-induced severe muscle damaging when injected intramuscularly into mice, we hypothesized that TcsL is also associated with equine atypical myopathy (EAM), a fatal myodystrophy of hitherto unknown etiology. Transmission electron microscopy revealed skeletal and heart muscles of EAM-affected horses to undergo degeneration ultrastructurally similar to the damage found in TcsL-treated mice. Performing immunohistochemistry, myofibers of EAM-affected horses specifically reacted with sera derived from horses with EAM as well as an antibody specific for the N-terminal part of TcsL, while both antibodies failed to bind to the myofibers of either healthy horses or those with other myopathies. The presence of TcsL in myofibers of horses with EAM suggests that it plays a role as trigger or even as lethal factor in this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2010.01.024DOI Listing
August 2010

Diesel exhaust particles modulate the tight junction protein occludin in lung cells in vitro.

Part Fibre Toxicol 2009 Oct 8;6:26. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Background: Using an in vitro triple cell co-culture model consisting of human epithelial cells (16HBE14o-), monocyte-derived macrophages and dendritic cells, it was recently demonstrated that macrophages and dendritic cells create a transepithelial network between the epithelial cells to capture antigens without disrupting the epithelial tightness. The expression of the different tight junction proteins in macrophages and dendritic cells, and the formation of tight junction-like structures with epithelial cells has been demonstrated. Immunofluorescent methods combined with laser scanning microscopy and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to investigate if exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) (0.5, 5, 50, 125 mug/ml), for 24 h, can modulate the expression of the tight junction mRNA/protein of occludin, in all three cell types.

Results: Only the highest dose of DEP (125 mug/ml) seemed to reduce the occludin mRNA in the cells of the defence system however not in epithelial cells, although the occludin arrangement in the latter cell type was disrupted. The transepithelial electrical resistance was reduced in epithelial cell mono-cultures but not in the triple cell co-cultures, following exposure to high DEP concentration. Cytotoxicity was not found, in either epithelial mono-cultures nor in triple cell co-cultures, after exposure to the different DEP concentrations.

Conclusion: We concluded that high concentrations of DEP (125 mug/ml) can modulate the tight junction occludin mRNA in the cells of the defence system and that those cells play an important role maintaining the epithelial integrity following exposure to particulate antigens in lung cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-8977-6-26DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2770470PMC
October 2009

Characterization of cis- and trans-HSSOH via rotational spectroscopy and quantum-chemical calculations.

Inorg Chem 2009 Mar;48(5):2269-72

I. Physikalisches Institut, Universitat zu Koln, Zulpicher Str. 77, D-50937 Koln, Germany.

Assisted by high-level quantum-chemical calculations, the cis and trans conformers of HSSOH have been unambiguously identified among the products of the flash-vacuum pyrolysis of tert-butylthiosulfinic acid S-tert-butylester by using rotational spectroscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ic802076fDOI Listing
March 2009