Publications by authors named "Susan Wai Sum Leung"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The glycolytic process in endothelial cells and its implications.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Institute of Clinical Science, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.

Endothelial cells play an obligatory role in regulating local vascular tone and maintaining homeostasis in vascular biology. Cell metabolism, converting food to energy in organisms, is the primary self-sustaining mechanism for cell proliferation and reproduction, structure maintenance, and fight-or-flight responses to stimuli. Four major metabolic processes take place in the energy-producing process, including glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, glutamine metabolism, and fatty acid oxidation. Among them, glycolysis is the primary energy-producing mechanism in endothelial cells. The present review focused on glycolysis in endothelial cells under both physiological and pathological conditions. Since the switches among metabolic processes precede the functional changes and disease developments, some prophylactic and/or therapeutic strategies concerning the role of glycolysis in cardiovascular disease are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-021-00647-yDOI Listing
April 2021

Calcitriol Supplementation Ameliorates Microvascular Endothelial Dysfunction in Vitamin D-Deficient Diabetic Rats by Upregulating the Vascular eNOS Protein Expression and Reducing Oxidative Stress.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2021 2;2021:3109294. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Diabetes mellitus contributes to macro- and microvascular complications, leading to adverse cardiovascular events. This study examined the effects of vitamin D deficiency on the vascular function and tissue oxidative status in the microcirculation of diabetic rats and to determine whether these effects can be reversed with calcitriol (active vitamin D metabolite) supplementation. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were fed for 10 weeks with control diet (DC) or vitamin D-deficient diet without (DD) or with oral calcitriol supplementation (0.15 g/kg) in the last four weeks (DDS) (10 rats each group). A nondiabetic rat group that received control diet was also included (NR). After 10 weeks, rats were sacrificed; mesenteric arterial rings with and without endothelium were studied using wire myograph. Western blotting of the mesenteric arterial tissue was performed to determine the protein expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) enzyme. Antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and oxidative stress marker malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the mesenteric arterial tissue were also measured. The DC group had significantly lower acetylcholine-induced relaxation and augmented endothelium-dependent contraction, with reduced eNOS expression, compared to NR rats. In mesenteric arteries of DD, acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent and sodium nitroprusside-induced endothelium-independent relaxations were lower than those in DC. Calcitriol supplementation in DDS restored endothelium-dependent relaxation. Mesenteric artery endothelium-dependent contraction of DD was greater than DC; it was not affected by calcitriol supplementation. The eNOS protein expression and SOD activity were significantly lower while MDA levels were greater in DD compared to DC; these effects were not observed in DDS that received calcitriol supplementation. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency causes eNOS downregulation and oxidative stress, thereby impairing the vascular function and posing an additional risk for microvascular complications in diabetes. Calcitriol supplementation to diabetics with vitamin D deficiency could potentially be useful in the management of or as an adjunct to diabetes-related cardiovascular complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/3109294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875614PMC
February 2021

MicroRNA-17-3p suppresses NF-κB-mediated endothelial inflammation by targeting NIK and IKKβ binding protein.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2021 Feb 23. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation contributes to many vascular inflammatory diseases. The present study tested the hypothesis that microRNA-17-3p (miR-17-3p) suppresses the pro-inflammatory responses via NF-κB signaling in vascular endothelium. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), transfected with or without miR-17-3p agomir/antagomir, were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the inflammatory responses were determined. The cellular target of miR-17-3p was examined with dual-luciferase reporter assay. Mice were treated with miR-17-3p agomir and the degree of LPS-induced inflammation was determined. In HUVECs, LPS caused upregulation of miR-17-3p. Overexpression of miR-17-3p in HUVECs inhibited NIK and IKKβ binding protein (NIBP) protein expression and suppressed LPS-induced phosphorylation of inhibitor of kappa Bα (IκBα) and NF-κB-p65. The reduced NF-κB activity was paralleled by decreased protein levels of NF-κB-target gene products including pro-inflammatory cytokine [interleukin 6], chemokines [interleukin 8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1] and adhesion molecules [vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin]. Immunostaining revealed that overexpression of miR-17-3p reduced monocyte adhesion to LPS-stimulated endothelial cells. Inhibition of miR-17-3p with antagomir has the opposite effect on LPS-induced inflammatory responses in HUVECs. The anti-inflammatory effect of miR-17-3p was mimicked by NIBP knockdown. In mice treated with LPS, miR-17-3p expression was significantly increased. Systemic administration of miR-17-3p for 3 days suppressed LPS-induced NF-κB activation and monocyte adhesion to endothelium in lung tissues of the mice. In conclusion, miR-17-3p inhibits LPS-induced NF-κB activation in HUVECs by targeting NIBP. The findings therefore suggest that miR-17-3p is a potential therapeutic target/agent in the management of vascular inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-021-00611-wDOI Listing
February 2021

Long-term nitric oxide synthase inhibition prevents 17β-estradiol-induced suppression of cyclooxygenase-dependent contractions and enhancement of endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization-like relaxation in mesenteric arteries of ovariectomized rats.

Eur J Pharmacol 2020 Sep 12;882:173275. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, PR China. Electronic address:

Endothelial dysfunction is associated with a reduced bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO). In this study, the effects of 17β-estradiol supplement on endothelial function were examined in ovariectomized (OVX) rats following long-term inhibition of NO synthases with L-NAME. Female Sprague Dawley rats were ovariectomized at 12 weeks old. They were supplemented with 17β-estradiol (25 μg/kg/day, intramuscularly) or its vehicle (olive oil) until they were killed. At 18 weeks old, they were administered daily with NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME (60 mg/kg, by gavage) or its vehicle (distilled water) for 6 weeks. Rats were then anesthetized for blood pressure measurement and for isolation of mesenteric arteries and aortae for isometric tension measurement. Long-term L-NAME-treatment, without or with 17β-estradiol supplement, resulted in reduced plasma nitrite/nitrate level without causing an increase in blood pressure in OVX rats. Acute inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) with indomethacin improved relaxations of mesenteric arteries to the calcium ionophore A23187 in OVX rats, and in those with long-term L-NAME-treatment without or with 17β-estradiol supplement, but not in those with female hormone supplement only. 17β-estradiol supplement or long-term L-NAME-treatment resulted in a greater endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization-like relaxation in mesenteric arteries. In the quiescent aorta, 17β-estradiol supplement or long-term L-NAME-treatment unmasked the COX-dependent components of A23187-induced contractions, but prevented that of the smooth muscle contractions to U46619 in OVX rats. In summary, long-term 17β-estradiol-supplement results in differential effects in different blood vessel types, and its beneficial vascular effects are masked under the conditions with NO synthase inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173275DOI Listing
September 2020

Vascular adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase: Enhancer, brake or both?

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2020 Aug 24;127(2):81-91. Epub 2019 Nov 24.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), expressed/present ubiquitously in the body, contributes to metabolic regulation. In the vasculature, activation of AMPK is associated with several beneficial biological effects including enhancement of vasodilatation, reduction of oxidative stress and inhibition of inflammatory reactions. The vascular protective effects of certain anti-diabetic (metformin and sitagliptin) or lipid-lowering (simvastatin and fenofibrate) therapeutic agents, of active components of Chinese medicinal herbs (resveratrol and berberine) and of pharmacological agents (AICAR, A769662 and PT1) have been attributed to the activation of AMPK (in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells and/or perivascular adipocytes), independently of changes in the metabolic profile (eg glucose tolerance and/or plasma lipoprotein levels), leading to improved endothelium-derived nitric oxide-mediated vasodilatation and attenuated endothelium-derived cyclooxygenase-dependent vasoconstriction. By contrast, endothelial AMPK activation with pharmacological agents or by genetic modification is associated with reduced endothelium-dependent relaxations in small blood vessels and elevated systolic blood pressure. Indeed, AMPK activators inhibit endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization (EDH)-type relaxations in superior mesenteric arteries, partly by inhibiting endothelial calcium-activated potassium channel signalling. Therefore, AMPK activation is not necessarily beneficial in terms of endothelial function. The contribution of endothelial AMPK in the regulation of vascular tone, in particular in the microvasculature where EDH plays a more important role, remains to be characterized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcpt.13357DOI Listing
August 2020

Hypoxic augmentation: The tale of a strange contraction.

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2020 Aug 29;127(2):59-66. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Almost fifty years ago, experiments on isolated veins showed that acute hypoxia augments venoconstrictor responses in vitro and that such facilitation relied on anaerobic glycolysis. Over the years, this phenomenon was extended to a number of arterial preparations of different species and revisited, from a mechanistic point of view, with the successive demonstration that it depends on calcium handling in the vascular smooth muscle cells, is endothelium-dependent and requires the production of nitric oxide (NO) by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and the activation of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC). However, rather than the vasodilator cyclic nucleotide 3',5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), its canonical product, the latter enzyme produces 3',5'-cyclic inosine monophosphate (cIMP) instead during acute hypoxia; this non-canonical cyclic nucleotide facilitates the contractile process in the vascular smooth muscle cells. This 'biased' activity of soluble guanylyl cyclase appears to involve stimulation of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO-1). The exact interactions between hypoxia, anaerobic metabolism and NQO-1 leading to biased activity of soluble guanylyl cyclase remain to be established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcpt.13295DOI Listing
August 2020

Reduced nitric oxide-mediated relaxation and endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression in the tail arteries of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

Eur J Pharmacol 2016 Feb 26;773:78-84. Epub 2016 Jan 26.

Pharmacology Vascular Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kota Bharu, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Diabetes is associated with endothelial dysfunction, which is characterized by impaired endothelium-dependent relaxations. The present study aimed to examine the role of nitric oxide (NO), prostacyclin and endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization (EDH), in the relaxation of ventral tail arteries of rats under diabetic conditions. Relaxations of tail arteries of control and diabetic rats were studied in wire myograph. Western blotting and immunostaining were used to determine the presence of proteins. Acetylcholine-induced relaxations were significantly smaller in arteries of diabetic compared to control rats (Rmax; 70.81 ± 2.48% versus 85.05 ± 3.15%). Incubation with the combination of non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, indomethacin and potassium channel blockers, TRAM 34 and UCL 1684, demonstrated that NO-mediated relaxation was attenuated significantly in diabetic compared to control rats (Rmax; 48.47 ± 5.84% versus 68.39 ± 6.34%). EDH-type (in the presence of indomethacin and NO synthase inhibitor, LNAME) and prostacyclin-mediated (in the presence of LNAME plus TRAM 34 and UCL 1684) relaxations were not significantly reduced in arteries of diabetic compared to control rats [Rmax: (EDH; 17.81 ± 6.74% versus 34.16 ± 4.59%) (prostacyclin; 15.85 ± 3.27% versus 17.23 ± 3.75%)]. Endothelium-independent relaxations to sodium nitroprusside, salbutamol and prostacyclin were comparable in the two types of preparations. Western blotting and immunostaining indicated that diabetes diminished the expression of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), while increasing those of COX-1 and COX-2. Thus, since acetylcholine-induced NO-mediated relaxation was impaired in diabetes because of reduced eNOS protein expression, pharmacological intervention improving NO bioavailability could be useful in the management of diabetic endothelial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2016.01.013DOI Listing
February 2016

Endothelium dependent hyperpolarization-type relaxation compensates for attenuated nitric oxide-mediated responses in subcutaneous arteries of diabetic patients.

Nitric Oxide 2016 Feb 6;53:35-44. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

Pharmacology Vascular Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kota Bharu, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Diabetes impairs endothelium-dependent relaxations. The present study evaluated the contribution of different endothelium-dependent relaxing mechanisms to the regulation of vascular tone in subcutaneous blood vessels of humans with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Subcutaneous arteries were isolated from tissues of healthy controls and diabetics. Vascular function was determined using wire myography. Expressions of proteins were measured by Western blotting and immunostaining. Endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine were impaired in arteries from diabetics compared to controls (P = 0.009). Acetylcholine-induced nitric oxide (NO)-mediated relaxations [in the presence of an inhibitor of cyclooxygenases (COX; indomethacin) and small and intermediate conductance calcium-activated potassium channel blockers (UCL1684 and TRAM 34, respectively)] were attenuated in arteries from diabetics compared to controls (P < 0.001). However, endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization (EDH)-type relaxations [in the presence of indomethacin and the NO synthase blocker, l-NAME] were augmented in arteries from diabetics compared to controls (P = 0.003). Endothelium-independent relaxations to sodium nitroprusside (NO donor) and salbutamol (β-adrenoceptor agonist) were preserved, but those to prostacyclin were attenuated in diabetics compared to controls (P = 0.017). In arteries of diabetics, protein expressions of endothelial NO synthase, prostacyclin synthase and prostacyclin receptors were decreased, but those of COX-2 were increased. These findings suggest that in human diabetes, the impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations is caused by a diminished NO bioavailability; however, EDH appears to compensate, at least in part, for this dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2015.12.007DOI Listing
February 2016

The effectiveness of low-dose desmopressin in improving hypothermia-induced impairment of primary haemostasis under influence of aspirin - a randomized controlled trial.

BMC Anesthesiol 2015 May 28;15:80. Epub 2015 May 28.

Department of Anaesthesiology, The University of Hong Kong, Room K424, 4th Floor, K Block, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, SAR, China.

Background: Mild hypothermia (34-35 °C) increases perioperative blood loss. Our previous studies showed that desmopressin could have in vitro beneficial effects on hypothermia-induced primary haemostasis impairment. In this study, we investigate the in vitro effects of desmopressin on hypothermia-induced primary haemostasis impairment under the influence of aspirin in healthy volunteers.

Methods: Sixty healthy volunteers were randomly allocated to taking aspirin 100 mg or placebo for three days. On the sixth day blood samples were taken before and after the injection of desmopressin (1.5 microgram or 5 microgram) or normal saline subcutaneously. Measurements including Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100®) closure times, plasma von Willebrand Factor antigen, haemoglobin and platelet levels were made at 32 °C and 37 °C respectively.

Results: Collagen/epinephrine closure time (EPICT) was significantly prolonged by 21.13 % (95 %CI 2.34-39.74 %, p = 0.021) in aspirin group at 37 °C. While hypothermia alone prolonged both collagen/adenosine diphosphate (ADPCT) and EPICT by 17.63 % (95 %CI 13.5-20.85 %, p < 0.001) and 8.0 % (95 %CI 6.38-10.04 %, p = 0.024) respectively, addition of aspirin only further prolonged EPICT by 19.9 % (95 %CI 3.32-36.49 %, p = 0.013). In aspirin group, desmopressin 1.5 microgram and 5 microgram significantly reduced ADPCT to below baseline levels at 37 °C (p = 0.025 and <0.001 respectively), whereas reduction in EPICT was seen with desmopressin 5 microgram (p =0.008). The effect was less pronounced at 32 °C, with a significant reduction in EPICT obtained with a dosage of 5 microgram only (p = 0.011).

Conclusion: It was shown that aspirin could further potentiate the hypothermia-induced closure time prolongations. Low dose desmopressin (1.5 microgram) reduced PFA-100® closure times towards baseline. A higher dosage (5 microgram) further reduced the closure times below baseline. Therefore low dose desmopressin (1.5 microgram) might have the potential to correct hypothermia-induced primary haemostasis impairment under the influence of aspirin during the perioperative period.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01382134.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12871-015-0061-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469427PMC
May 2015

cIMP synthesized by sGC as a mediator of hypoxic contraction of coronary arteries.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2014 Aug 6;307(3):H328-36. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China; Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China;

cGMP is considered the only mediator synthesized by soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) in response to nitric oxide (NO). However, purified sGC can synthesize several other cyclic nucleotides, including inosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cIMP). The present study was designed to determine the role of cIMP in hypoxic contractions of isolated porcine coronary arteries. Vascular responses were examined by measuring isometric tension. Cyclic nucleotides were assayed by HPLC tandem mass spectroscopy. Rho kinase (ROCK) activity was determined by measuring the phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 using Western blot analysis and an ELISA kit. The level of cIMP, but not that of cGMP, was elevated by hypoxia in arteries with, but not in those without, endothelium [except if treated with diethylenetriamine (DETA) NONOate]; the increases in cIMP were inhibited by the sGC inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3,-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ). Hypoxia (Po2: 25-30 mmHg) augmented contractions of arteries with and without endothelium if treated with DETA NONOate; these hypoxic contractions were blocked by ODQ. In arteries without endothelium, hypoxic augmentation of contraction was also obtained with exogenous cIMP. In arteries with endothelium, hypoxic augmentation of contraction was further enhanced by inosine 5'-triphosphate, the precursor for cIMP. The augmentation of contraction caused by hypoxia or cIMP was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 at Thr(853), which was prevented by the ROCK inhibitor Y-27632. ROCK activity in the supernatant of isolated arteries was stimulated by cIMP in a concentration-dependent fashion. These results demonstrate that cIMP synthesized by sGC is the likely mediator of hypoxic augmentation of coronary vasoconstriction, in part by activating ROCK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00132.2014DOI Listing
August 2014

A synthetic chloride channel relaxes airway smooth muscle of the rat.

PLoS One 2012 26;7(9):e45340. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Morningside Laboratory for Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Synthetic ion channels may have potential therapeutic applications, provided they possess appropriate biological activities. The present study was designed to examine the ability of small molecule-based synthetic Cl(-) channels to modulate airway smooth muscle responsiveness. Changes in isometric tension were measured in rat tracheal rings. Relaxations to the synthetic chloride channel SCC-1 were obtained during sustained contractions to KCl. The anion dependency of the effect of SCC-1 was evaluated by ion substitution experiments. The sensitivity to conventional Cl(-) transport inhibitors was also tested. SCC-1 caused concentration-dependent relaxations during sustained contractions to potassium chloride. This relaxing effect was dependent on the presence of extracellular Cl(-) and HCO(3) (-). It was insensitive to conventional Cl(-) channels/transport inhibitors that blocked the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator and calcium-activated Cl(-) channels. SCC-1 did not inhibit contractions induced by carbachol, endothelin-1, 5-hydroxytryptamine or the calcium ionophore A23187. SCC-1 relaxes airway smooth muscle during contractions evoked by depolarizing solutions. The Cl(-) conductance conferred by this synthetic compound is distinct from the endogenous transport systems for chloride anions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0045340PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3458840PMC
April 2013

Role of sulfhydryl-dependent dimerization of soluble guanylyl cyclase in relaxation of porcine coronary artery to nitric oxide.

Cardiovasc Res 2011 Jun 19;90(3):565-72. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Beijing 100191, China.

Aims: Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) is a heterodimer. The dimerization of the enzyme is obligatory for its function in mediating actions caused by agents that elevate cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The present study aimed to determine whether sGC dimerization is modulated by thiol-reducing agents and whether its dimerization influences relaxations in response to nitric oxide (NO).

Methods And Results: The dimers and monomers of sGC and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) were analysed by western blotting. The intracellular cGMP content was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Changes in isometric tension were determined in organ chambers. In isolated porcine coronary arteries, the protein levels of sGC dimer were decreased by the thiol reductants dithiothreitol, l-cysteine, reduced l-glutathione and tris(2-carboxyethyl) phosphine. The effect was associated with reduced cGMP elevation and attenuated relaxations in response to nitric oxide donors. The dimerization of sGC and activation of the enzyme were also decreased by dihydrolipoic acid, an endogenous thiol antioxidant. Dithiothreitol at concentrations markedly affecting the dimerization of sGC had no significant effect on the dimerization of PKG or relaxation in response to 8-Br-cGMP. Relaxation of the coronary artery in response to a NO donor was potentiated by hypoxia when sGC was partly inhibited, coincident with an increase in sGC dimer and enhanced cGMP production. These effects were prevented by dithiothreitol and tris(2-carboxyethyl) phosphine.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that the dimerization of sGC is exquisitely sensitive to thiol reductants compared with that of PKG, which may provide a novel mechanism for thiol-dependent modulation of NO-mediated vasodilatation in conditions such as hypoxia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvr016DOI Listing
June 2011

Endothelium-derived nitric oxide inhibits the relaxation of the porcine coronary artery to natriuretic peptides by desensitizing big conductance calcium-activated potassium channels of vascular smooth muscle.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2010 Jul 23;334(1):223-31. Epub 2010 Mar 23.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

The present experiments investigated whether endothelium-derived mediators modulate the effect of natriuretic peptides in porcine coronary arteries. Rings with and without endothelium were suspended in organ chambers for isometric tension recording. Concentration-relaxation curves to C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) were obtained during contractions to endothelin-1. Removal of the endothelium potentiated relaxations to both CNP and ANP. N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester potentiated relaxations to natriuretic peptides only in arteries with endothelium. Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) inhibited the response to the natriuretic peptides only in the absence of the endothelium. In rings with endothelium, 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo [4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) and 4H-8-bromo-1,2,4-oxadiazolo[3,4-d]benz[b][1,4]oxazin-1-one (NS2028) potentiated CNP-mediated relaxations. Iberiotoxin (IBTX) reduced the response only in rings without endothelium. Glybenclamide inhibited the relaxations in both the presence and absence of endothelium. CNP-induced relaxations were reduced by 8-bromoguanosine 3',5'-cGMP (8-bromo-cGMP) to the same extent in rings with and without endothelium. There was no significant difference between the increased cGMP content caused by CNP in porcine coronary arteries with or without endothelium. In patch-clamp studies in porcine coronary arterial smooth muscle cells, the natriuretic peptide-mediated enhancement of the IBTX-sensitive big conductance calcium-activated potassium channel (BK(Ca)) amplitude was reversed by SNP and 8-bromo-cGMP. These findings demonstrate that, in the porcine coronary artery, the opening of BK(Ca) and ATP-dependent potassium channels of the vascular smooth muscle contributes to CNP-mediated relaxations. Endothelium-derived and exogenous NO inhibit the direct relaxing effect of natriuretic peptides by desensitizing the response of the BK(Ca)s of the vascular smooth muscle to the generation of cGMP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.110.166652DOI Listing
July 2010

Endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor mediated relaxations in pig coronary arteries do not involve Gi/o proteins.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2008 Dec;29(12):1419-24

Department of Anaesthesiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Aim: Endothelium-dependent relaxations to certain neurohumoral substances are mediated by pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi/o protein. Our experiments were designed to determine the role, if any, of pertussis toxin-sensitive G-proteins in relaxations attributed to endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF).

Methods: Pig coronary arterial rings with endothelia were suspended in organ chambers filled with Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate solution maintained at 37 degrees and continuously aerated with 95%O2 and 5% CO2. Isometric tension was measured during contractions to prostaglandin F2alpha in the presence of indomethacin and N(omega)- nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).

Results: Thrombin, the thrombin receptor- activating peptide SFLLRN, bradykinin, substance P, and calcimycin produced dose-dependent relaxations. These relaxations were not inhibited by prior incubation with pertussis toxin, but were abolished upon the addition of charybdotoxin plus apamin. Relaxations to the alpha2-adrenergic agonist UK14304 and those to serotonin were abolished in the presence of indomethacin and L-NAME.

Conclusion: Unlike nitric oxide-mediated relaxations, EDHF-mediated relaxations of pig coronary arteries do not involve pertussis toxin-sensitive pathways and are Gi/o protein independent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7254.2008.00905.xDOI Listing
December 2008

Contents of four active components in different commercial crude drugs and preparations of danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza).

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2002 Dec;23(12):1163-8

Shanghai Xu Hui District Central Hospital, 966 Huai Hai Zhong Road, Shanghai 200031.

Aim: To detect the contents of four active components of Salvia miltiorrhiza in various commercially available danshen crude drugs and preparations.

Methods: Commercially available danshen crude drugs from different sources, as well as danshen pills and intravenous injection preparations containing danshen alone or in combination with other herbs were collected. The composition of these danshen samples was analyzed using HPLC. Specifically, the amounts of magnesium tanshinoate B (MTB), danshensu, isotanshinone HA, and cryptotanshinone were determined. In some of these samples, the content of MTB was further confirmed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS)/MS method.

Results: There were great variations in the amount of the four active ingredients in the commercially available danshen crude drugs and drug preparations in this study. The amount of MTB was the highest among the four components measured in the crude drugs. However, the amounts of MTB in all danshen preparations were much lower than those in crude drugs. The 2 lipophilic components, isotanshinone HA and cryptotanshinone, were very low or not detectable in both injection and oral preparations.

Conclusion: MTB can be used to standardize the various forms of danshen crude drugs and drug preparations from different sources. In view of the variation in the amounts of MTB and other components, improvement in the production methods of danshen preparations is essential to ensure consistent amount of its active ingredients and reproducible pharmacological actions.
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December 2002

Use of A-192621 and IRL-2500 to unmask the mesenteric and renal vasodilator role of endothelin ET(B) receptors.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2002 Apr;39(4):533-43

Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, 2176 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3.

Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is known to cause a transient (<1 min) depressor followed by a sustained (>1 h) pressor response. The former through the activation of ET(B) receptors, and the latter through the activation of ET(A) and ET(B) receptors. This study examines if ET(B) receptors mediate sustained mesenteric and renal dilation in anesthetized rats. Intravenous bolus ET-1 (0.8, 1.4, and 2 nmol/kg) and IRL-1620 (ET(B) agonist, 2, 5, and 10 nmol/kg) caused transient decrease followed by sustained increases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) that were accompanied by increases in total peripheral resistance (TPR), reductions in cardiac output (CO), and mesenteric and renal vasoconstriction. Pretreatment with FR-139317 (ET(A) antagonist, 1 mg/kg) attenuated the pressor and constrictor effects of ET-1 but did not alter responses to IRL-1620. IRL-2500 (ET(B) antagonist, 5 mg/kg) slightly inhibited the renal constrictor effect of IRL-1620, whereas A-192621 (ET(B) antagonist, 5 mg/kg) abolished all hemodynamic responses to IRL-1620. Both IRL-2500 and A-192621 markedly enhanced MAP, TPR, and mesenteric, and the renal constrictor effects of ET-1. Therefore, A-192621 was more effective than IRL-2500 in blocking IRL-1620-induced vasoconstriction, but both augmented constrictor responses to ET-1. The potentiation of ET-1-induced vasoconstriction by ET(B) receptor antagonists revealed a sustained vasodilator role of ET(B) receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005344-200204000-00009DOI Listing
April 2002
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