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Atherosclerosis Independence: Genetic Polymorphisms of Ion Channels Role in the Pathogenesis of Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction and Myocardial Ischemia (Coronary Artery Disease (CAD))

Reviewer and Co-Curator: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

and

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

The role of ion channels in Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase: regulation of ion
transport across the plasma membrane has been studied by our Team in 2012 and 2013. This is article TWELVE in a 13 article series listed at the end of this article.

Chiefly, our sources of inspiration were the following:

1.            2013 Nobel work on vesicles and calcium flux at the neuromuscular junction

Machinery Regulating Vesicle Traffic, A Major Transport System in our Cells 

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Dr. James E. Rothman, Dr. Randy W. Schekman and Dr. Thomas C. Südhof for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells. This represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of how the eukaryotic cell, with its complex internal compartmentalization, organizes the routing of molecules packaged in vesicles to various intracellular destinations, as well as to the outside of the cell. Specificity in the delivery of molecular cargo is essential for cell function and survival. 

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2013/advanced-medicineprize2013.pdf

Synaptotagmin functions as a Calcium Sensor: How Calcium Ions Regulate the fusion of vesicles with cell membranes during Neurotransmission

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/09/10/synaptotagmin-functions-as-a-calcium-sensor-how-calcium-ions-regulate-the-fusion-of-vesicles-with-cell-membranes-during-neurotransmission/

2. Perspectives on Nitric Oxide in Disease Mechanisms

available on Kindle Store @ Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DINFFYC

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/biomed-e-books/series-a-e-books-on-cardiovascular-diseases/perspectives-on-nitric-oxide-in-disease-mechanisms-v2/

3.            Professor David Lichtstein, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dean, School of Medicine

Lichtstein’s main research focus is the regulation of ion transport across the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. His work led to the discovery that specific steroids that have crucial roles, as the regulation of cell viability, heart contractility, blood pressure and brain function. His research has implications for the fundamental understanding of body functions, as well as for several pathological states such as heart failure, hypertension and neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Physiologist, Professor Lichtstein, Chair in Heart Studies at The Hebrew University elected Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/12/18/physiologist-professor-lichtstein-chair-in-heart-studies-at-the-hebrew-university-elected-dean-of-the-faculty-of-medicine-at-the-hebrew-university-of-jerusalem/

4.            Professor Roger J. Hajjar, MD at Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Calcium Cycling (ATPase Pump) in Cardiac Gene Therapy: Inhalable Gene Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Percutaneous Intra-coronary Artery Infusion for Heart Failure: Contributions by Roger J. Hajjar, MD

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/08/01/calcium-molecule-in-cardiac-gene-therapy-inhalable-gene-therapy-for-pulmonary-arterial-hypertension-and-percutaneous-intra-coronary-artery-infusion-for-heart-failure-contributions-by-roger-j-hajjar/

5.            Seminal Curations by Dr. Aviva Lev-Ari on Genetics and Genomics of Cardiovascular Diseases with a focus on Conduction and Cardiac Contractility

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN and Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC, Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Other related research by the Team of Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence published on the Open Access Online Scientific Journal

http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

See References to articles at the end of this article on

  • ION CHANNEL and Cardiovascular Diseases

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/?s=Ion+Channel

  • Calcium Role in Cardiovascular Diseases – The Role of Calcium Calmodulin Kinase  (CKCaII) and Ca(2) flux
  • Mitochondria and Oxidative Stress Role in Cardiovascular Diseases

Thus, the following article follows a series of articles on ion-channels and cardiac contractility mentioned, above. The following article is closely related to the work of Prof. Lichtstein.

These investigators studied the possible correlation between

  • Myocardial Ischemia (Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)) aka Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) and
  • single-nucleotide polymorphisms  (SNPs) genes encoding several regulators involved in Coronary Blood Flow Regulation (CBFR), including
  • ion channels acting in vascular smooth muscle and/or
  • endothelial cells of coronary arteries.

They completely analyzed exon 3 of both KCNJ8 and KCNJ11 genes (Kir6.1 and Kir6.2 subunit, respectively) as well as

  • the whole coding region of KCN5A gene (Kv1.5 channel).
The work suggests certain genetic polymorphisms may represent a non-modifiable protective factor that could be used
  • to identify individuals at relatively low-risk for cardiovascular disease
  • an independent protective role of the
    • rs5215_GG against developing CAD and
    • a trend for rs5219_AA to be associated with protection against coronary microvascular dysfunction

Their findings are a lead into further investigations on ion channels and IHD affecting the microvasculature.

Role of genetic polymorphisms of ion channels in the pathophysiology of coronary microvascular dysfunction and ischemic heart disease

BasicResCardiol(2013)108:387   http//dx.dio.org/10.1007/s00395-013-0387-4

F Fedele1•M Mancone1•WM Chilian2•P Severino2•E Canali•S Logan•ML DeMarchis3•M Volterrani4•R Palmirotta3•F Guadagni3

1Department of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrology, Anesthesiology and Geriatric Sciences,Sapienza University of Rome, UmbertoI Policlinic, Rome, Italy  e-mail:francesco.fedele@uniroma1.it
2Department of Integrative Medical Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown,OH
3Department of Advanced Biotechnologies and Bioimaging, IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana,Rome,It
4Cardiovascular Research Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, Centre for Clinical and Basic Research, Raffaele Pisana, Rome, Italy (CBFR)

BasicResCardiol(2013)108:387   http//dx.dio.org/10.1007/s00395-013-0387-4
This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com

Abstract

Conventionally,ischemic heart disease (IHD) study is equated with large vessel coronary disease (CAD). However, recent evidence has suggested

  • a role of compromised microvascular regulation in the etiology of IHD.

Because regulation of coronary blood flow likely involves

  • activity of specific ion-channels, and
  • key factors involved in endothelium-dependent dilation,

genetic anomalies of ion-channels or specific endothelial-regulators may underlie coronary microvascular disease.

We aimed to evaluate the clinical impact of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in genes encoding for

  • ion-channels expressed in the coronary vasculature and the possible
  • correlation with IHD resulting from microvascular dysfunction.

242 consecutive patients who were candidates for coronary angiography were enrolled. A prospective, observational, single-center study was conducted, 

  • analyzing genetic polymorphisms relative to

(1) NOS3 encoding for endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS);
(2) ATP2A2 encoding for the Ca/H-ATP-ase pump (SERCA);
(3) SCN5A encoding for the voltage-dependent Na channel (Nav1.5);
(4) KCNJ8 and in KCNJ11 encoding for the Kir6.1and Kir6.2 subunits
of genetic K-ATP channels, respectively;and
(5) KCN5A encoding for the voltage-gated K channel (Kv1.5).

No significant associations between clinical IHD manifestations and

  • polymorphisms for SERCA, Kir6.1, and Kv1.5. were observed (p[0.05),

whereas specific polymorphisms detected in eNOS, as well as in Kir6.2 and Nav1.5 were found to be correlated with

  • IHD and microvascular dysfunction.

 Interestingly, genetic polymorphisms of ion-channels  seem to have an important clinical impact

  • influencing the susceptibility for microvascular dysfunction and (IHD,
  • independent of the presence of classic cardiovascular risk factors: atherosclerosis   

http//dx.dio.org/10.1007/s00395-013-0387-4

Keywords: Ion-channels, Genetic polymorphisms, Coronary microcirculation, Endothelium, Atherosclerosis Ischemic heart disease

 Introduction

Historically, in the interrogation of altered vascular function in patientswith ischemic heart disease (IHD), scientists have focused their attention on the correlation between

  • endothelial dysfunction and
  • atherosclerosis [11, 53, 6567].

The endothelium-independent dysfunction in coronary microcirculation and its possible correlations with  

  • atherosclerotic disease and
  • myocardial ischemia has not been extensively investigated.

In normal conditions, coronary blood flow regulation (CBFR) is mediated by several different systems, including

  • endothelial,
  • nervous,
  • neurohumoral,
  • myogenic, and
  • metabolic mechanisms [2, 10, 14, 15, 63, 64, 69].

Physiologic CBFR depends also on several ion channels, such as

  • ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels,
  • voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels,
  • voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels, and others.

Ion channels regulate the concentration of calcium in both

  • coronary smooth muscle and endothelial cells, which
  • modulates the degree of contractile tone in vascular muscle and
  • the amount of nitric oxide that is produced by the endothelium

Ion channels play a primary role in the rapid response of both

  • the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle cells of coronary arterioles
  • to the perpetually fluctuating demands of the myocardium for blood flow
    [5, 6, 13, 18, 33, 45, 46, 51, 52, 61, 73, 75].

Despite this knowledge, there still exists an important gap about 

  • the clinical relevance and 
  • causes of microvascular dysfunction in IHD

By altering the overall

  • regulation of blood flow in the coronary system,
  • microvascular dysfunction could alter the normal distribution of shear forces in large coronary arteries

Proximal coronary artery stenosis could

  • contribute to microvascular dysfunction [29, 60]. But
  • ion channels play a critical role in microvascular endothelial
  • and smooth muscle function.

Therefore, we hypothesized  that alterations of coronary ion  channels could be the primary cause in a chain of events leading to

  • microvascular dysfunction and 
  • myocardial ischemia

independent of the presence of atherosclerosis.

Therefore, the objective of our study was to evaluate the possible correlation between

  • IHD and single-nucleotide polymorphisms  (SNPs) for genes encoding several regulators involved in CBFR, including
  • ion channels acting in vascular smooth muscle and/or
  • endothelial cells of coronary arteries.

Discussion

Implications of the present work. This study describes the possible correlation of polymorphisms in genes encoding for CBFR effectors (i.e., ion channels, nitric oxide synthase, and SERCA) with the susceptibility for microcirculation dysfunction and IHD.

Our main findings are as follows: (Group 3 – Normal Patients – anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries).

  • In Group 3, the genotype distribution of SNP rs5215 (Kir6.2/KCNJ11) moderately deviates from the HW equilibrium (p = 0.05).
  • In Group 1 (CAD), the polymorphism rs6599230 of Nav1.5/SCN5A showed deviation from HW equilibrium (p = 0.017).
  • The genotypic distribution of rs1799983 polymorphism for eNOS/NOS3 is inconsistent with the HW equilibrium in groups 1, 2, and 3 (p = 0.0001, p = 0.0012 and p = 0.0001, respectively).

Haplotype analyses revealed that there is no linkage disequilibrium between polymorphisms of the analyzed genes. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of T2DM (p = 0.185) or dyslipidemia (p = 0.271) between groups, as shown in Table2. In regards to genetic characteristics, no significant differences between the three.

1. A marked HW disequilibrium in the genotypic distribution of rs1799983 polymorphism for eNOS/NOS3 was observed in all three populations. Moreover, this SNP seems to be an independent risk factor for microvascular dysfunction, as evidenced by multivariate analysis;
2. The SNPs rs5215_GG, rs5218_CT, and rs5219_AA for Kir6.2/KCJ11 could reduce susceptibility to IHD, since they were present more frequently in patients with anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries;
3. In particular, with regard to rs5215 for Kir6.2/KCJ11, we observed a moderate deviation from the HW equilibrium in the genotypic
distribution in the control group. In addition, this genotype appears to be an independent protective factor in the development of IHD, as evidenced by multivariate analysis;
4. Furthermore, the trend observed for the SNP  rs5219_AA of Kir6.2/KCNJ11 may suggest an independent protective factor  in the development of coronary microvascular dysfunction
5. The rs1805124_GG genotype of Nav1.5/SCN5A seems to play a role against CAD;
6. No association seems to exist between the polymorphisms of SERCA/ATP2A2, Kir6.1/KCNJ8, and Kv1.5/KCNA5 and the presence of IHD;
7. All groups are comparable regarding the cardiovascular risk factors of T2DM and dyslipidemia, illustrating a potentially important implication of genetic polymorphisms in the susceptibility to IHD.

It is important to underline that the control group (Group 3) is a high-risk population, because of their cardiovascular risk factors

  • hypertension = 17 %,
  • T2DM = 34.1 %,
  • dyslipidemia = 41.4 %,

with an appropriate indication for coronary angiography, in accordance with current guidelines. Nevertheless, these patients were demonstrated to have both anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries. Moreover, as shown in Tables 2 and 3, we observed that

  • rs5215_GG, rs5218_CT and rs5219_AA for Kir6.2/KCNJ11 had a higher prevalence in this group,compared to patients with CAD
  • and patients with microvascular dysfunction.

Moreover, as shown in Table 4, the presence of the rs5215_GG polymorphism for the Kir6.2 subunit was

  • inversely correlated with the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and CAD,whereas
  • rs5219_AA of the Kir6.2 subunit trended towards an inverse correlation with coronary microvascular dysfunction.

On the other hand, the SNP rs1799983_GT of eNOS was

  • confirmed to be an independent risk factor for microvascular dysfunction.

Our data suggest that the presence of certain genetic polymorphisms may represent a non-modifiable protective factor that could be used

  • to identify individuals at relatively low-risk for cardiovascular disease,
  • regardless of the presence of T2DM and dyslipidemia.

Current Clinical and Research Context

In normal coronary arteries, particularly the coronary microcirculation, there are several different mechanisms of CBFR, including

  • endothelial, neural, myogenic, and metabolic mediators [2, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 37, 55, 63, 64, 69].

In particular, endothelium-dependent vasodilation acts mainly via eNOS-derived nitric oxide (NO) in response to acetylcholine and shear stress.

  • NO increases intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate. It also causes vasodilation via
  • activation of both K-Ca channels and K-ATP channels.

Recent data suggested a pathophysiologically relevant role for the polymorphisms of eNOS/NOS3 in human coronary vasomotion [40–43]. Our data suggest that rs1799983_GT at exon 7 (Glu298Asp, GAG-GAT) of eNOS/NOS3 represents

  • an independent risk factor for coronary micro-vascular dysfunction, which agrees with a recent meta-analysis reporting an
  • association of this SNP with CAD in Asian populations [74]. In addition,
  • this SNP has been associated with endothelial dysfunction, although the mechanisms are not well defined [30].

Consistently, a recent study performed on 60 Indian patients with documented history of CAD reported a significantly higher frequency of rs1799983 (p.05) compared to control subjects, indicating that

  • variations in NOS3 gene may be useful clinical markers of endothelial dysfunction in CAD [54].
Interestingly, another association between rs1799983_GT and impaired collateral development has been observed in patientswith a

  • high-grade coronary stenosis or occlusion [19].
As is well known, the significance of the mechanisms of CBFR is partly determined by the location within the coronary vasculature. For instance, for vessels with a diameter of < 200 µm—which comprise the coronary microcirculation—metabolic regulation of coronary blood flow is considered the most important mechanism [24, 63]. Importantly, many of these mediators of metabolic regulation act through specific ion channels. In particular, in both coronary artery smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells
  • potassium channels determine the resting membrane potential (Em) and serve as targets of endogenous and therapeutic vasodilators [9, 27].
Several types of K+ channels are expressed in the coronary tree.
  • The K-ATP channels couple cell metabolic demand to conductance, via pore-forming (Kir6.1 and/or Kir6.2) subunits and regulatory
    [sulphonylurea-binding (SUR 1, 2A, or 2B)] subunits.
  • Kir6.x allows for channel inhibition by ATP, while SURx is responsible for channel activation by ADP and Mg2+.
K-ATP channel activation results in an outward flux of potassium and

  • consequent hyperpolarization, resulting in
  • voltage-gated calcium channel closure,
  • decreased Ca2+ influx, and ultimately
  • vasodilation [1, 5, 18, 20, 21, 33, 61, 62, 73, 75].

Our data do not support any significant difference regarding the Kir6.1 subunit of the K-ATP channel. On the other hand, this study suggests

  • an important role of specific SNPs for the Kir6.2 subunit (Tables 2, 3)—i.e., rs5215, rs5219, and rs5218—

in the susceptibility to IHD and microvascular dysfunction. These SNPs are among the most studied K-ATP channel polymorphisms, especially in the context of diabetes mellitus. In fact, in both Caucasian and Asian populations, these three SNPs as well as other genetic polymorphisms for the KCNJ11 gene have been associated with diabetes mellitus [34, 35, 44, 50, 57, 58, 70].

Nevertheless, the precise

  • structure–function impacts of the various amino acid substitutions remain unclear.

The rs5215 and rs5219 polymorphisms, also known as I337V and E23K, respectively, are highly linked with reported

  • concordance rates between 72 and 100 % [22, 23, 56].

The high concordance between rs5219 and rs5215 suggests that these polymorphisms

  • may have originated in a common ancestor, further indicating a
  • possible evolutionary advantage to their maintenance in the general population [49].

In our study, multivariate analysis suggests both an independent protective role of the

  • rs5215_GG against developing CAD and
  • a trend for rs5219_AA to be associated with protection against coronary microvascular dysfunction (Table 4a, b).
  • The variant rs5215_GG is a missense SNP located in the gene KCNJ11 at exon 1009 (ATC-GTC) and results in
    the substitution of isoleucine (I) residue with valine (V) [23].

Future studies are necessary to better understand the influence of this single amino acid variant on the function of the channel.

In humans, vasodilation of the coronary microvasculature in response to hypoxia and K-ATP channel opening
  • are both impaired in diabetes mellitus [39].
It is also described that gain-of-function mutations of the KCNJ11 gene cause neonatal diabetes mellitus, and loss-of-function mutations lead to congenital hyperinsulinism [43]. Our study is not discordant with previous studies about the correlation of SNPs of the Kir6.2 subunit and diabetes mellitus. Rather, our findings show that these SNPs are correlated with anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries,
  • independent of the presence of either diabetes mellitus or dyslipidemia.
These data suggest the possibility that these particular SNPs may identify individuals with decreased risk for coronary microcirculatory dysfunction and IHD,
  • regardless of the presence of T2DM and/or dyslipidemia.

However, further studies are necessary to confirm these findings. In this context, to better investigate the implications of genetic variation in the K-ATP channel,

  • future studies should include ion channel’s functional modification due to the SNPs and analysis of SUR subunits.

More than 40-kV channel subunits have been identified in the heart, and sections of human coronary smooth muscle cells demonstrate Kv1.5 immunoreactivity [16, 17, 27, 38]. Through constant regulation of smooth muscle tone, Kv channels contribute to the control of coronary microvascular resistance [4, 7]. Pharmacologic molecules that inhibit Kv1.5 channels such as

  • pergolide [25],
  • 4-amino-pyridine [32], and
  • correolide [17]

lead to coronary smooth muscle cell contraction and block the coupling between

  • cardiac metabolic demand and
  • coronary blood flow.

However, no significant differences were identified between the study groups in terms of the particular polymorphisms for Kv1.5 that were analyzed in this study. Expression of

  • the voltage-dependent Na+ channel (Nav) has been demonstrated in coronary microvascular endothelia cells [3, 66].

Our analysis reveals a possible implication of the polymorphism rs1805124_GG for Nav1.5 channel with the presence of anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries. This SNP leads to a homozygous 1673A-G transition, resulting in a His558-to-Arg (H558R) substitution. It is important to underline that

  • our data are the first to correlate the polymorphism rs1805124_GG with IHD.

Further research is necessary to confirm the observed implication.

Finally, we have analyzed the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium transporting Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA), which is fundamental in the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration [6].

SERCA is an intracellular pump that

  • catalyzes the hydrolysis of ATP coupled with the
  • translocation of calcium from the cytosol into the lumen of the sarcoplasmic reticulum.

Although this pump plays a critical role in regulation of the contraction/relaxation cycle, our analysis did not reveal any apparent association between

  • genetic variants of SERCA and the
  • prevalence of microvascular dysfunction or IHD.

Conclusions

This pilot study is the first to compare the prevalence of SNPs in genes encoding coronary ion channels between patients
  • with CAD or microvascular dysfunction and those with both anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries.
Taken together, these results suggest the possibility of associations between SNPs and IHD and microvascular dysfunction, although

  • the precise manners by which specific genetic polymorphisms affect ion channel function and expression
have to be clarified by further research involving larger cohorts.

Limitations and future perspectives

Notable limitations of this pilot study are as follows:

1. Due to the lack of pre-existing data, the power calculation was performed in advance on the basis of assumptions of allele frequencies and the population at risk.
2. The sample size for each group is small, mainly due to both the difficulty in enrolling patients with normal coronary arteries and normal microvascular function (group 3) and the elevated costs of the supplies such as Doppler flow wires.
3. There is a lack of ethnic diversity of our cohort.
4. Currently, there is an absence of supportive findings in another independent cohort or population. However, our pilot study included patients within a well-defined, specific population and was aimed to identify the presence of statistical associations between selected genetic polymorphisms and the prevalence of a specific disease.
5. There is a lack of functional characterization of the described genetic polymorphisms.
6. We have not identified any correlation between novel SNPs and IHD. Nevertheless, we completely analyzed exon 3 of both KCNJ8 and KCNJ11 genes (Kir6.1 and Kir6.2 subunit, respectively) as well as the whole coding region of KCN5A gene (Kv1.5 channel).  Moreover, we examined previously described SNPs since there are no data in the literature regarding the possible association of the prevalences of those polymorphisms in the examined population.More extensive studies are necessary to confirm our  findings, possibly with a larger number of patients. Future investigations are also required to confirm the roles of ion  channels in the pathogenesis of coronary microvascular dysfunction and IHD. These studies should involve analysis of both other subunits of the K-ATP channels

  • sulfonylurea receptor, SURx and further coronary ion channels (e.g., calcium-dependent K channels), as well as
  • in vitro evaluation of ion channel activity by patch clamp and analysis of channel expression in the human cardiac tissue.

Moreover, to better address the significance of microvascular dysfunction in IHD, it could be interesting to analyze

  • typical atherosclerosis susceptibility genes (e.g., PPAP2B, ICAM1, et al.).

Methods

In this prospective, observational, single-center study – 242 consecutive patients admitted to our department were enrolled with

  • the indication to undergo coronary angiography .

All patients matched inclusion criteria

  1. age [18];
  2. suspected or documented diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome or stable angina
  3. with indication(s) for coronary angiography, in accordance with current guidelines [36, 68], and
  4. the same ethno-geographic Caucasian origin) and

Exclusion Criteria

  1. previous allergic reaction to iodine contrast,
  2. renal failure,
  3. simultaneous genetic disease,
  4. cardiogenic shock,
  5. non- ischemic cardiomyopathy

All patients signed an informed consent document  –

prior to participation in the study, which included

  • acknowledgement of the testing procedures to be performed
    (i.e., coronary angiography; intracoronary tests; genetic analysis, and processing of personal data).

The study was approved by the Institution’s Ethics Committee.
All clinical and instrumental characteristics were collected in a dedicated  database.

 Study Design

(a)  Standard therapies were administered, according to current guidelines [36, 68].
(b) An echocardiography was performed before and after coronary angiography
(c)  Coronary angiography was performed using radial artery or femoral artery
Judkins approach via sheath insertion.
(d) In patients showing normal epicardial arteries, intracoronary functional tests
were performed through Doppler flow wire to evaluate

  1. both endothelium-dependent microvascular function
    [via intracoronary (IC) infusion of acetylcholine (2.5–10 lg)] and
  2. nonendothelium-dependent microvascular function
    [via IC infusion of adenosine (5 lg)] [31]. 

(e) In all enrolled patients, a peripheral blood sample for genetic analysis was taken. 

On the basis  of the  coronary angiography and the intracoronary functional tests, 

  • the 242 patients were divided into three groups (see also Fig. 1).
  1. Group 1: 155 patients with anatomic coronary alteration
    (comprising patients with acute coronary syndrome and chronic stable angina).

    • microvascular dysfunction defined as coronary flow reserve (CFR) \ 2.5
    • after IC infusion of acetylcholine and adenosine].
  2. Group 2: 46 patients with functional coronary alteration
    [normal coronary arteries as assessed by angiography, and

    • as assessed by angiography and with normal functional tests
      (CFR C 2.5 after intracoronary infusion of acetylcholine and adenosine) (Fig. 1).
  3. Group 3: 41 patients with anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries


BRC 2013 fedele genetic polymorphisms of ion channels.pdf_page_2

Fig. 1 Study design: 242 consecutive not randomized patients matching inclusion and exclusion criteria were enrolled.
In all patients, coronary angiography was performed, according to current ESC/ACC/AHA guidelines. In patients with
angiographically normal coronary artery, intracoronary functional tests were performed. In 242 patients
(155 with coronary artery disease, 46 patients with micro-vascular dysfunction, endothelium and/or non-endothelium
dependent, and 41 patients with anatomically and functionally normal coronary arteries) genetic analysis was performed.

Genetic Analysis

In conformity with the study protocol, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) whole blood samples were collected according
to the international guidelines reported in the literature [48]. Samples were transferred to the Interinstitutional Multidisciplinary
BioBank (BioBIM) of IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana (Rome) and stored at -80 C until DNA extraction. Bibliographic research by
PubMed and web tools OMIM (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim), Entrez SNP (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/snp), and
Ensembl (http://www.ensembl.org/index.html) were used to select variants of genes involved in signaling pathways

  • related to ion channels and/or reported to be associated with
  • microvascular dysfunction and/or myocardial ischemia and/or
  • diseases correlated to IHD, such as diabetes mellitus.
Polymorphisms for the following genes were analyzed:
  1. NOS3 (endothelial nitric oxide synthase, eNOS),
  2. ATP2A2 (Ca2+/H+-ATPase pump, SERCA2),
  3. SCN5A (voltage-dependent Na+ channel,
  4. Nav1.5),
  5. KCNJ11 (ATP-sensitive K+ channel, Kir6.2 subunit),
  6. KCNJ8 (ATP-sensitive K+ channel, Kir6.1 subunit) and
  7. KCNA5 (voltage-gated K+ channel, Kv1.5).

In particular, we completely analyzed by direct sequencing

  • exon 3 of KCNJ8 (Kir6.1 subunit), which includes eight SNPs, as well as
  • the whole coding region of KCNA5 (Kv1.5 channel), which includes 32 SNPs and
  • four previously described variants [26, 47, 71, 72].
We also examined
  • the whole coding region of KCNJ11 (Kir6.2 subunit), for which sequence variants are described [26, 28].

All SNPs and sequence variants analyzed—a total of 62 variants of 6 genes—are listed in Table 1.

BRC 2013 fedele genetic polymorphisms of ion channels_page_004
BRC 2013 fedele genetic polymorphisms of ion channels_page_005

DNA was isolated from EDTA anticoagulated whole blood using the MagNA Pure LC instrument and theMagNA Pure LC
total DNA isolation kit I (Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Standard
PCR was performed in a GeneAmp PCR System 9700 (Applied Biosystems, CA) using HotStarTaq Master Mix
(HotStarTaq Master Mix Kit, QIAGEN Inc, CA). PCR conditions and primer sequences are listed in Table 1.

In order to exclude preanalytical and analytical errors, all direct sequencing analyses were carried out on both
strands using Big Dye Terminator v3.1 Cycle Sequencing kit
(Applied Biosystems), run on an ABI 3130
Genetic Analyzer (Applied Biosystems), and repeated on PCR products obtained from new nucleic acid extractions.
All data analyses were performed in a blind fashion.

Statistical Analysis

This report, intended as pilot study, is the first to compare

  • the prevalence of SNPs in genes encoding  several effectors (including ion channels)
  • involved in CBFR between these groups of patients.

No definite sample size could be calculated to establish a power analysis. groups of patients. However, assuming

  • a 15 % prevalence of normal  macrovascular and microvascular coronary findings in unselected patients
    undergoing coronary angiography,

we estimated that

  • a sample size of at least 150 patients could enable the computation of two-sided 95 % confidence intervals for
    • such prevalence estimates ranging between -5.0 and + 5.0 %.

The significance of the differences of observed alleles and genotypes between groups, as well as

  • analysis of multiple inheritance models for SNPs were also tested
    (co-dominant, dominant, recessive, over-dominant and log-additive)
  • using a free web-based application (http://213. 151.99.166/index.php?module=Snpstats)
  • designed from a genetic epidemiology  point of view to analyze association studies.

Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) was used to determine the best-fitting inheritance model for analyzed SNPs,

  • with the model with the lowest AIC reflecting the best balance of  goodness-of-fit and parsimony.

Moreover,  the allelic frequencies were estimated by gene counting, and the genotypes were scored. For each gene,

  • the observed numbers of each genotype were compared with those expected for a population in Hardy–Weinberg (HW) equilibrium
  • using a free web-based application  (http://213.151.99.166/index.php?module=Snpstats) [59].

Linkage disequilibrium coefficient (D0) and  haplotype analyses were assessed using  the  Haploview 4.1 program.
Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software package for Windows v.16.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL).

All categorical variables are expressed as percentages, and all continuous variables as mean ± standard deviation.
Differences between categorical variables

  • were analyzed by Pearson’s Chi-SQ test.

Given the presence of three groups, differences  between continuous variables, were calculated using
(including the number of SNPs tested),

  • one-way ANOVA; a post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni correction was made for multiple comparisons.

Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses

  • the independent impact of genetic polymorphisms on
    • coronary artery disease and microvascular dysfunction,

were performed to assess the independent impact of

  • genetic polymorphisms on coronary artery disease
    and microvascular dysfunction
    ,

while adjusting for other confounding variables.  The following parameters were entered into the model:

  • age,
  • male gender,
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM),
  • systemic arterial hypertension,
  • dyslipidemia,
  • smoking status, and
  • family history of myocardial infarction (MI).

Only variables with a p value < 0.10 after univariate analysis were entered

  • into the multivariable model as covariates.

A two-tailed p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Definition of Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Patients were classified as having T2DM if they had

  • fasting levels of glucose of >126 mg/dL in two separate measurements or
  • if they were taking hypoglycemic drugs.

Systemic arterial hypertension was defined as

  • systolic blood pressure  > 140 mmHg / diastolic blood pressure > 90 mmHg
  • in two separate measurements or
  • if the patient was currently taking antihypertensive drugs.

Dyslipidemia was considered to be present if

  • serum cholesterol levels were>220 mg/dL or
  • if the patient was being treated with cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Family history of MI was defined as a first-degree relative with MI before the age of 60 years.

Results

Sixty-two polymorphisms distributed among six genes coding for
  • nitric oxide synthase,
  • the SERCA pump, and
  • ion channels
    • were screened for sequence variations using PCR amplification and
    • direct DNA sequencing analysis

in the population of

  • 155 patients with CAD (group 1),
  • 46 patients with microvascular dysfunction (group 2), and
  • 41 patients with normal coronary arteries and
    • normal endothelium dependent and endothelium-independent vasodilation (group 3).
In Group 3, the genotype distribution of

  • SNP rs5215 (Kir6.2/KCNJ11) moderately deviates from the HW equilibrium (p = 0.05).
In Group 1 (CAD), the polymorphism

  • rs6599230 of Nav1.5/SCN5A showed deviation from HW equilibrium (p = 0.017).
The genotypic distribution of groups in terms of polymorphisms for
  • eNOS/NOS3, SERCA/ATP2A2, Nav1.5/SCN5A, Kir6.1/KCNJ8, or Kv1.5/KCNA5
were noticed. However, significant differences (p.05) for the SNPs
  • rs5215_GG, and
  • rs5219_AA of Kir6.2/KCNJ11 were observed,
as shown in Table 2. 

Table 3 displays 
significant differences between normal subjects (group 3) and
  • patients with either CAD (group 1) or microvascular dysfunction (group 2).

BRC 2013 fedele genetic polymorphisms of ion channels_page_006

When correcting for other covariates as risk factors, the rs5215_GG genotype of Kir6.2/KCNJ11 was found to be 

  • significantly associated with CAD after multivariate analysis (OR = 0.319, p = 0.047, 95 % CI = 0.100–0.991), evidencing
  • a ‘‘protective’’ role of this genotype, as shown in Table 4a.

Similarly, a trend that supports this role of Kir6.2/KCNJ11 was also observed

  • in microvascular dysfunction for rs5219 AA. In contrast,
  • rs1799983_GT for eNOS/NOS3 was identified as an independent risk factor

following multivariate analysis (Table 4b), which agrees with literature findings as described below. 

BRC 2013 fedele genetic polymorphisms of ion channels_page_007

SOURCE for TABLES

BasicResCardiol(2013)108:387   http//dx.dio.org/10.1007/s00395-013-0387-4

Conflict of interest On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

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Basic Res Cardiol (2013) 108:387   http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00395-013-0387-4

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Read Full Post »


G Protein–Coupled Receptor and S-Nitrosylation in Cardiac Ischemia

Curators: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

This recently published article delineates a role of G-protein-coupled receptor with S-nitrosylation in outcomes for acute coronary syndrome.

Convergence of G Protein–Coupled Receptor and S-Nitrosylation Signaling Determines the Outcome to Cardiac Ischemic Injury

Z. Maggie Huang1, Erhe Gao1, Fabio Vasconcelos Fonseca2,3, Hiroki Hayashi2,3, Xiying Shang1, Nicholas E. Hoffman1, J. Kurt Chuprun1, Xufan Tian4, Doug G. Tilley1, Muniswamy Madesh1, David J. Lefer5, Jonathan S. Stamler2,3,6, and Walter J. Koch1*
1 Center for Translational Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
2 Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine, Case Western Reserve Univ SOM, Cleveland, OH
3 Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
4 Department of Biochemistry, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
5 Department  Surgery, Div of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
6 University Hospitals Harrington Discovery Institute, Cleveland, OH

Sci. Signal., 29 Oct 2013; 6(299), p. ra95         http:dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.2004225

Abstract

Heart failure caused by ischemic heart disease is a leading cause of death in the developed world. Treatment is currently centered on regimens involving

  • G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) or nitric oxide (NO).

These regimens are thought to target distinct molecular pathways. We showed that

  • these pathways are interdependent and converge on the effector GRK2 (GPCR kinase 2) to regulate myocyte survival and function.

Ischemic injury coupled to

  • GPCR activation, including GPCR desensitization and myocyte loss,
  • required GRK2 activation,

and we found that cardioprotection mediated by inhibition of GRK2 depended on

  • endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and
  • was associated with S-nitrosylation of GRK2.

Conversely, the cardioprotective effects of NO bioactivity were absent in a knock-in mouse with a form of GRK2 that cannot be S-nitrosylated. Because GRK2 and eNOS inhibit each other,

the balance of the activities of these enzymes in the myocardium determined the outcome to ischemic injury. Our findings suggest new insights into

  • the mechanism of action of classic drugs used to treat heart failure and
  • new therapeutic approaches to ischemic heart disease.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: walter.koch@temple.edu
Citation: Z. M. Huang, E. Gao, F. V. Fonseca, H. Hayashi, X. Shang, N. E. Hoffman, J. K. Chuprun, X. Tian, D. G. Tilley, M. Madesh, D. J. Lefer, J. S. Stamler, W. J. Koch, Convergence of G Protein–Coupled Receptor and S-Nitrosylation Signaling Determines the Outcome t

 Editor’s Summary

Sci. Signal., 29 Oct 2013; 6(299), p. ra95 [DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004225]

NO More Heart Damage

Damage caused by the lack of oxygen and nutrients that occurs during myocardial ischemia can result in heart failure. A therapeutic strategy that helps to limit the effects of heart failure is to

  • increase signaling through G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs)
  • by inhibiting GRK2 (GPCR kinase 2), a kinase that
    • desensitizes GPCRs.

Another therapeutic strategy provides S-nitrosothiols, such as nitric oxide, which can be

  • added to proteins in a posttranslational modification called S-nitrosylation.

Huang et al. found that the ability of S-nitrosothiols to enhance cardiomyocyte survival after ischemic injury required the S-nitrosylation of GRK2, a modification that inhibits this kinase. Mice bearing a form of GRK2 that could not be S-nitrosylated 

  • were more susceptible to cardiac damage after ischemia.

These results suggest that therapeutic strategies that promote the S-nitrosylation of GRK2 could be used to treat heart failure after myocardial ischemia.

Read Full Post »


Endothelial Function and Cardiovascular Disease

Pathologist and AuthorLarry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP 

 

This discussion is a continuation of a series on Nitric Oxide, vascular relaxation, vascular integrity, and systemic organ dysfunctions related to inflammatory and circulatory disorders. In some of these, the relationships are more clear than others, and in other cases the vascular disorders are aligned with serious metabolic disturbances. This article, in particular centers on the regulation of NO production, NO synthase, and elaborates more on the assymetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA) inhibition brought up in a previous comment, and cardiovascular disease, including:

Recall, though, that in SIRS leading to septic shock, that there is a difference between the pulmonary circulation, the systemic circulation and the portal circulation in these events. The comment calls attention to:
Böger RH. Asymmetric dimethylarginine, an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, explains the ‘L-arginine paradox’ and acts as a novel cardiovascular risk factor. J Nutr 2004; 134: 2842S–7S.

This observer points out that ADMA inhibits vascular NO production at concentrations found in pathophysiological conditions (i.e., 3–15 μmol/l); ADMA also causes local vasoconstriction when it is infused intra-arterially. ADMA is increased in the plasma of humans with hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, chronic renal failure, and chronic heart failure.

Increased ADMA levels are associated with reduced NO synthesis as assessed by impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation. We’ll go into that more with respect to therapeutic targets – including exercise, sauna, and possibly diet, as well as medical drugs.

It is remarkable how far we have come since the epic discovery of 17th century physician, William Harvey, by observing the action of the heart in small animals and fishes, proved that heart receives and expels blood during each cycle, and argued for the circulation in man. This was a huge lead into renaissance medicine. What would he think now?

Key Words: eNOS, NO, endothelin, ROS, oxidative stress, blood flow, vascular resistance, cardiovascular disease, chronic renal disease, hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, MI, exercise, nutrition, traditional chinese medicine, statistical modeling for targeted therapy.

Endothelial Function
The endothelium plays a crucial role in the maintenance of vascular tone and structure by means of eNOS, producing the endothelium-derived vasoactive mediator nitric oxide (NO), an endogenous messenger molecule formed in healthy vascular endothelium from the amino acid precursor L-arginine. Nitric oxide synthases (NOS) are the enzymes responsible for nitric oxide (NO) generation. The generation and actions of NO under physiological and pathophysiological conditions are exquisitely regulated and extend to almost every cell type and function within the circulation. While the molecule mediates many physiological functions, an excessive presence of NO is toxic to cells.

The enzyme NOS, constitutively or inductively, catalyses the production of NO in several biological systems. NO is derived not only from NOS isoforms but also from NOS-independent sources. In mammals, to date, three distinct NOS isoforms have been identified:

  1. neuronal NOS (nNOS),
  2. inducible NOS (iNOS), and
  3. endothelial NOS (eNOS).

The molecular structure, enzymology and pharmacology of these enzymes have been well defined, and reveal critical roles for the NOS system in a variety of important physiological processes. The role of NO and NOS in regulating vascular physiology, through neuro-hormonal, renal and other non-vascular pathways, as well as direct effects on arterial smooth muscle, appear to be more intricate than was originally thought.

Vallance et al. described the presence of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) as an endogenous inhibitor of eNOS in 1992. Since then, the role of this molecule in the regulation of eNOS has attracted increasing attention.
Endothelins are 21-amino acid peptides, which are active in almost all tissues in the body. They are potent vasoconstrictors, mediators of cardiac, renal, endocrine and immune functions and play a role in bronchoconstriction, neurotransmitter regulation, activation of inflammatory cells, cell proliferation and differentiation.

Endothelins were first characterised by Yanagisawa et al. (1988). The three known endothelins ET-1, -2 and -3 are structurally similar to sarafotoxins from snake venoms. ET-1 is the major isoform generated in blood vessels and appears to be the isoform of most importance in the cardiovascular system with a major role in the maintenance of vascular tone.

The systemic vascular response to hypoxia is vasodilation. However, reports suggest that the potent vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 (ET-1) is released from the vasculature during hypoxia. ET-1 is reported to augment superoxide anion generation and may counteract nitric oxide (NO) vasodilation. Moreover, ET-1 was proposed to contribute to increased vascular resistance in heart failure by increasing the production of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA).

A study investigated the role of ET-1, the NO pathway, the potassium channels and radical oxygen species in hypoxia-induced vasodilation of large coronary arteries and found NO contributes to hypoxic vasodilation, probably through K channel opening, which is reversed by addition of ET-1 and enhanced by endothelin receptor antagonism. These latter findings suggest that endothelin receptor activation counteracts hypoxic vasodilation.

Endothelial dysfunction
Patients with Raynaud’s Phemonenon had abnormal vasoconstrictor responses to cold pressor tests (CPT) that were similar in primary and secondary RP. There were no differences in median flow-mediated and nitroglycerin mediated dilation or CPT of the brachial artery in the 2 populations. Patients with secondary RP were characterized by abnormalities in microvascular responses to reactive hyperemia, with a reduction in area under the curve adjusted for baseline perfusion, but not in time to peak response or peak perfusion ratio.

Plasma ET-1, ADMA, VCAM-1, and MCP-1 levels were significantly elevated in secondary RP compared with primary RP. There was a significant negative correlation between ET-1 and ADMA values and measures of microvascular perfusion but not macrovascular endothelial function. Secondary RP is characterized by elevations in plasma ET-1 and ADMA levels that may contribute to alterations in cutaneous microvascular function.

ADMA inhibits vascular NO production within the concentration range found in patients with vascular disease. ADMA also causes local vasoconstriction when infused intra-arterially, and increases systemic vascular resistance and impairs renal function when infused systemically. Several recent studies have supplied evidence to support a pathophysiological role of ADMA in the pathogenesis of vascular dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. High ADMA levels were found to be associated with carotid artery intima-media-thickness in a study with 116 clinically healthy human subjects. Taking this observation further, another study performed with hemodialysis patients reported that ADMA prospectively predicted the progression of intimal thickening during one year of follow-up.

In a nested, case-control study involving 150 middle-aged, non-smoking men, high ADMA levels were associated with a 3.9-fold elevated risk for acute coronary events. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests elevation of ADMA can cause a relative L-arginine deficiency, even in the presence of “normal” L-arginine levels. As ADMA is a competitive inhibitor of eNOS, its inhibitory action can be overcome by increasing the concentration of the substrate, L-arginine. Elevated ADMA concentration is one possible explanation for endothelial dysfunction and decreased NO production in these diseases.
Metabolic Regulation of L-arginine and NO Synthesis 
Methylation of arginine residues within proteins or polypeptides occurs through N-methyltransferases, which utilize S-adenosylmethionine as a methyl donor. After proteolysis of these proteins or polypeptides, free ADMA is present in the cytoplasm. ADMA can also be detected in circulating blood plasma. ADMA acts as an inhibitor of eNOS by competing with the substrate of this enzyme, L-arginine. The ensuing reduction in nitric oxide synthesis causes vascular endothelial dysfunction and, subsequently, atherosclerosis. ADMA is eliminated from the body via urinary excretion and via metabolism by the enzyme DDAH to citrulline and dimethylamine.
Supplementation with L-arginine in animals with experimentally-induced vascular dysfunction atherosclerosis improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Moreover, L-arginine supplementation results in enhanced endothelium-dependent inhibition of platelet aggregation, inhibition of monocyte adhesion, and reduced vascular smooth muscle proliferation. One mechanism that explains the occurrence of endothelial dysfunction is the presence of elevated blood levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) – an L-arginine analogue that inhibits NO formation and thereby can impair vascular function. Supplementation with L-arginine has been shown to restore vascular function and to improve the clinical symptoms of various diseases associated with vascular dysfunction.

Beneficial Effects of L-Arginine

  • Angina
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Hypertension
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sickle Cell Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension

The ratio of L-arginine to ADMA is considered to be the most accurate measure of eNOS substrate availability. This ratio will increase during L-arginine supplementation, regardless of initial ADMA concentration. Due to the pharmacokinetics of oral L-arginine and the positive results from preliminary studies, it appears supplementation with a sustained-release L-arginine preparation will achieve positive therapeutic results at lower dosing levels.

Many prospective clinical trials have shown that the association between elevated ADMA levels and major cardiovascular events and total mortality is robust and extends to diverse patient populations. However, we need to define more clearly in the future who will profit from ADMA determination, in order to use this novel risk marker as a more specific diagnostic tool.
Elimination of ADMA by way of DDAH
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and monomethyl arginine (L-NMMA) are endogenously produced amino acids that inhibit all three isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). ADMA accumulates in various disease states, including renal failure, diabetes and pulmonary hypertension, and its concentration in plasma is strongly predictive of premature cardiovascular disease and death. Both LNMMA and ADMA are eliminated largely through active metabolism by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) and thus DDAH dysfunction may be a crucial unifying feature of increased cardiovascular risk. These investigators ask whether ADMA is the underlying issue related to the pathogenesis of the vascular disorder.
They identified the structure of human DDAH-1 and probed the function of DDAH-1 both by deleting the Ddah1 gene in mice and by using DDAH-specific inhibitors that is shown by crystallography, bind to the active site of human DDAH-1. The loss of DDAH-1 activity leads to accumulation of ADMA and reduction in NO signaling. This in turn causes vascular pathophysiology, including endothelial dysfunction, increased systemic vascular resistance and elevated systemic and pulmonary blood pressure. The results suggest that DDAH inhibition could be harnessed therapeutically to reduce the vascular collapse associated with sepsis.
Methylarginines are formed when arginine residues in proteins are methylated by the action of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs), and free methylarginines are liberated following proteolysis. Clear demonstration of an effect of endogenous ADMA and L-NMMA on cardiovascular physiology would be of importance, not only because of the implications for disease, but also because it would expose a link between post-translational modification of proteins and signaling through a proteolytic product of these modified proteins.
Which is it? ADMA or DDHA: Intrusion of a Genetic alteration.
The study showed that loss of DDAH expression or activity causes endothelial dysfunction, we believe that DDAH inhibition could potentially be used therapeutically to limit excessive NO production, which can have pathological effects. They then showed treated cultured isolated blood vessels with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced expression of the inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) and generated high levels of NO, which were blocked by the iNOS-selective inhibitor 1400W and by DDAH inhibitors. Treatment of isolated blood vessels with DDAH inhibitors significantly increased ADMA accumulation in the culture medium. Treatment of isolated blood vessels with bacterial LPS led to the expected hyporeactivity to the contractile effects of phenylephrine, which was reversed by treatment with a DDAH inhibitor. The effect of the DDAH inhibitor was large and stereospecific, and was reversed by the addition of L-arginine.
In conclusion, genetic and chemical-biology approaches provide compelling evidence that loss of DDAH-1 function results in increased ADMA concentrations and thereby disrupts vascular NO signaling. A broader implication of this study is that post-translational methylation of arginine residues in proteins may have downstream effects by affecting NO signaling upon hydrolysis and release of the free methylated amino acid. This signaling pathway seems to have been highly conserved through evolution.

The crucial role of nitric oxide (NO) for normal endothelial function is well known. In many conditions associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, abdominal obesity, diabetes and smoking, NO biosynthesis is dysregulated, leading to endothelial dysfunction. The growing evidence from animal and human studies indicates that endogenous inhibitors of endothelial NO synthase such as asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) are associated with the endothelial dysfunction and potentially regulate NO synthase.

Nitric Oxide Synthase

Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is one of three known endogenously produced circulating methylarginines (i.e. ADMA, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) and symmetrically methylated NG, NG-dimethyl-L-arginine). ADMA is formed by the action of protein arginine methyltransferases that methylate arginine residues in proteins and after which free ADMA is released. ADMA and L-NMMA can competitively inhibit NO elaboration by displacing L-arginine from NO synthase (NOS). The amount of methylarginines is related to overall metabolic activity and the protein turnover rate of cells. Although methylarginines are excreted partly by the kidneys, the major route of elimination of ADMA in humans is metabolism by the dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase enzymes[ dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 and -2 (DDAH)] enzymes. Inhibition of DDAH leads to the accumulation of ADMA and consequently to inhibition of NO-mediated endothelium dependent relaxation of blood vessels.
The potential role of ADMA in angina pectoris has been evaluated by Piatti and co-workers, who reported ADMA levels to be higher in patients with cardiac syndrome X (angina pectoris with normal coronary arteriograms) than in controls. According to preliminary results from the CARDIAC (Coronary Artery Risk Determination investigating the influence of ADMA Concentration) study, patients with coronary heart disease (n 816) had a higher median ADMA plasma concentration than age and sex matched controls (median 0.91 vs. 0.70 mol/l; p 0.0001). Further, in a prospective Chinese study, a high plasma ADMA level independently predicted subsequent cardiovascular adverse events (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and repeated revascularization of a target vessel).

Protein detoxification pathway.

Protein detoxification pathway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are only few published findings concerning variations in human DDAH. However, polymorphisms in other genes potentially related to risk factors for endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular events have been studied. Reduced NO synthesis has been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. For example, there are some functionally important variants of the NOS that could affect individual vulnerability to atherosclerosis by changing the amount of NO generated by the endothelium.
There are probably several functional variations in genes coding DDAH enzymes in different populations. Some of them could confer protection against the harmful effects of elevated ADMA and others impair enzyme function causing accumulation of ADMA in cytosol and/or blood.
In a study of 16 men with either low or high plasma ADMA concentrations were screened to identify DDAH polymorphisms that could potentially be associated with increased susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases. In that study a novel functional mutation of DDAH-1 was identified; the mutation carriers had a significantly elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and a tendency to develop hypertension. These results confirmed the clinical role of DDAH enzymes in ADMA metabolism. Furthermore, it is possible that more common variants of DDAH genes contribute more widely to increased cardiovascular risk.
We found a rare variation in the DDAH-1 gene, which is associated with elevated plasma concentrations of ADMA in heterozygous mutation carriers. There was also an increased prevalence of CHD and a tendency to hypertension among individuals with this DDAH-1 mutation. These observations highlight the importance of ADMA as a possible risk factor and emphasize the essential role of DDAH in regulating ADMA levels.

ADMA Elevation and Coronary Artery Disease
Endothelial dysfunction may be considered as a systemic disorder and involves different vascular beds. Coronary endothelial dysfunction (CED) precedes the development of coronary. Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by a reduction in endogenous nitric oxide (NO) activity, which may be accompanied by elevated plasma asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) levels. ADMA is a novel endogenous competitive inhibitor of NO synthase (NOS), an independent marker for cardiovascular risk.

English: Structure of asymmetric dimethylargin...

English: Structure of asymmetric dimethylarginine; ADMA; N,N-Dimethylarginine Deutsch: Asymmetrisches Dimethylarginin; N,N-Dimethyl-L-arginin; Guanidin-N,N-dimethylarginin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a small study fifty-six men without obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) who underwent coronary endothelial function testing were studied. Men with CED had significant impairment of erectile function (P ¼ 0.008) and significantly higher ADMA levels (0.50+0.06 vs. 0.45+0.07 ng/mL, P ¼ 0.017) compared with men with normal endothelial function. Erectile function positively correlated with coronary endothelial function. This correlation was independent of age, body mass index, high-density lipoprotein, C-reactive protein, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index, and smoking status, suggesting that CED is independently associated with ED and plasma ADMA concentration in men with early coronary atherosclerosis.

ADMA and Chronic Renal Failure in Hepatorenal Syndrome
The concentration of SDMA was significantly higher in the patients with HRS compared to the patients without HRS and it was also higher than the values obtained from the healthy participants (1.76 ± 0.3 μmol/L; 1.01 ± 0.32 and 0.520 ± 0.18 μmol/L, respectively; p < 0.01). The concentrations of ADMA were higher in the cirrhotic patients with HRS than in those without this serious complication of cirrhosis. The concentration of ADMA in all the examined cirrhotic patients was higher than those obtained from healthy volunteers (1.35 ± 0.27 μmol/L, 1.05 ± 0.35 μmol/L and 0.76 ± 0.21 μmol/L, respectively). In the patients with terminal alcoholic liver cirrhosis, the concentrations
of ADMA and SDMA correlated with the progress of cirrhosis as well as with the development of cirrhosis complications. In the patients with HRS there was a positive correlation between creatinine and SDMA in plasma (r2 = 0.0756, p < 0.001) which was not found between creatinine and ADMA. The results demonstrate that the increase in SDMA concentration is proportionate to the progression of chronic damage of the liver and kidneys. Increased ADMA concentration can be a causative agent of renal insufficiency in patients with cirrhosis.

In patients with cirrhosis, ADMA, as well as SDMA could be markers for kidney insufficiency development. Accumulation of ADMA in plasma causes kidney
vasoconstriction and thereby retention of SDMA. Considering that ADMA has several damaging effects, it can be concluded that modulation of the activity of enzyme which participates in ADMA catabolism may represent a new therapeutic goal which is intended to reduce the progress of liver and kidney damage and thus the development of HRS.

ADMA Therapeutic Targets
Elevated plasma concentrations of the endogenous nitric oxide synthase
inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) are found in various clinical settings, including

  • renal failure,
  • coronary heart disease,
  • hypertension,
  • diabetes and
  • preeclampsia.

In healthy people acute infusion of ADMA promotes vascular dysfunction,
and in mice chronic infusion of ADMA promotes progression of atherosclerosis.
Thus, ADMA may not only be a marker but also an active player in cardiovascular disease, which makes it a potential target for therapeutic interventions.

This review provides a summary and critical discussion of the presently available data concerning the effects on plasma ADMA levels of cardiovascular drugs, hypoglycemic agents, hormone replacement therapy, antioxidants, and vitamin supplementation.
We assess the evidence that the beneficial effects of drug therapies on vascular function can be attributed to modification of ADMA levels. To develop more specific ADMA-lowering therapies, mechanisms leading to elevation of plasma ADMA concentrations in cardiovascular disease need to be better understood.

ADMA is formed endogenously by degradation of proteins containing arginine residues that have been methylated by S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases (PRMTs). There are two major routes of elimination: renal excretion and enzymatic degradation by the dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolases (DDAH-1 and -2).

Oxidative stress causing upregulation of PRMT expression and/or attenuation of DDAH activity has been suggested as a mechanism and possible drug target in clinical conditions associated with elevation of ADMA. As impairment of DDAH activity or capacity is associated with substantial increases in plasma ADMA concentrations, DDAH is likely to emerge as a prime target for specific therapeutic interventions.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in diabetic patients have endothelial dysfunction as a key pathogenetic event. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), plays a pivotal role in endothelial dysfunction. Different natural polyphenols have been shown to preserve endothelial function and prevent CVD. Another study assessed the effect of silibinin, a widely used flavonolignan from milk thistle, on ADMA levels and endothelial dysfunction in db/db mice.

Plasma and aorta ADMA levels were higher in db/db than in control lean mice. Silibinin administration markedly decreased plasma ADMA; consistently, aorta ADMA was reduced in silibinin-treated animals. Plasma and aorta ADMA levels exhibited a positive correlation, whereas liver ADMA was inversely correlated with both plasma and aorta ADMA concentrations. Endothelium-(NO)-dependent vasodilatation to ACh was impaired in db/db mice and was restored in the silibinin group, in accordance with the observed reduction of plasma and vascular levels of ADMA. Endothelium-independent vasodilatation to SNP was not modified by silibinin administration.

Endothelin Inhibitors
Endothelins are potent vasoconstrictors and pressor peptides and are important mediators of cardiac, renal andendocrine functions. Increased ET-1 levels in disease states such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, and renal failure suggest the endothelin system as an attractive target for pharmacotherapy. A non-peptidic, selective, competitive endothelin receptor antagonist with an affinity for the ETA receptor in the subnanomolar range was administered by continuous intravenous infusion to beagle dogs, rats, and Goettingen minipigs. It caused mild arteriopathy characterised by segmental degeneration in the media of mid- to large-size coronary arteries in the heart of dog, but not rat or minipig.

The lesions only occurred in the atrium and ventricle. Frequency and severity of the vascular lesions was not sex or dose related. No effects were noted in blood vessels in other organs or tissue. Plasma concentrations at steady state, and overall exposure in terms of AUC(0–24h) were higher in minipig and rat than the dog but did not cause cardiac arteriopathy. These findings concur with those caused by other endothelin anatagonists, vasodilators and positive inotropic: vasodilating drugs such as potassium channel openers, phosphodiesterase inhibitors and peripheral vasodilators.

Results by echocardiography indicate treatment-related local vasodilatation in the coronary arteries. These data suggest that the coronary arteriopathy may be the result of exaggerated pharmacology. Sustained vasodilatation in the coronary vascular bed may alter flow dynamics and lead to increased shear stress and tension on the coronary wall with subsequent microscopic trauma. In our experience with a number of endothelin receptor antagonists, the cardiac arteriopathy was only noted in studies with multiple daily or continuous intravenous infusion inviting speculation that sustained high plasma levels are needed for development of the lesions.

Up-regulation of vascular endothelin type B (ETB) receptors is implicated in the
pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Culture of intact arteries has been shown to induce similar receptor alterations and has therefore been suggested as a suitable method for, ex vivo, in detail delineation of the regulation of endothelin receptors. We hypothesize that mitogen-activated kinases (MAPK) and protein kinase C (PKC) are involved in the regulation of endothelin ETB receptors in human internal mammary arteries.

The endothelin-1-induced contraction (after endothelin ETB receptor desensitization) and the endothelin ETA receptor mRNA expression levels were not altered by culture. The sarafotoxin 6c contraction, endothelin ETB receptor protein and mRNA expression levels were increased. This increase was antagonized by;

PKC inhibitors (10 μM bisindolylmaleimide I and 10 μM Ro-32-0432), and
inhibitors of the p38, extracellular signal related kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and C-jun terminal kinase (JNK) MAPK pathways
Endothelin Receptor Antagonist Tezosentan
The effects of changes in the mean (Sm) and pulsatile (Sp) components of arterial wall shear stress on arterial dilatation of the iliac artery of the anaesthetized dog were examined in the absence and presence of the endothelin receptor antagonist tezosentan (10 mg kg_1 I.V.; Ro 61-0612; [5-isopropylpyridine-2-sulphonic acid 6-(2-hydroxy-ethoxy)-5-(2-methoxy-phenoxy)-2-(2-1H-tetrazol-5-ylpyridin-4-yl)-pyrimidin-4-ylamide]).

Changes in shear stress were brought about by varying local peripheral resistance and stroke volume using a distal infusion of acetylcholine and stimulation of the left ansa subclavia. An increase in Sm from 1.81 ± 0.3 to 7.29 ± 0.7 N m_2 (means ± S.E.M.) before tezosentan caused an endothelium-dependent arterial dilatation which was unaffected by administration of tezosentan for a similar increase in Sm from 1.34 ± 0.6 to 5.76 ± 1.4 N m_2 (means ± S.E.M.).

In contrast, increasing the Sp from 7.1 ± 0.8 to a maximum of 11.5 ± 1.1 N m_2 (means ± S.E.M.) before tezosentan reduced arterial diameter significantly. Importantly, after administration of tezosentan subsequent increases in Sp caused arterial dilatation for the same increase in Sp achieved prior to tezosentan, increasing from a baseline of 4.23 ± 0.4 to a maximum of 9.03 ± 0.9 N m_2 (means ± S.E.M.; P < 0.001). The results of this study provide the first in vivo evidence that pulsatile shear stress is a stimulus for the release of endothelin from the vascular endothelium.

Exercise and Diet
Vascular endotheliumis affected by plasma asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), and it is induced by inflammatory cytokines of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-a in vitro. Would a tight glycemic control restore endothelial function in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus (DM) with modulation of TNF-a and/or reduction of ADMA level? In 24 patients with type-2 DM, the flow-mediated, endothelium-dependent dilation (FMD: %) of brachial arteries during reactive hyperaemia was determined by a high-resolution ultrasound method. Blood samples for glucose, cholesterol, TNF-a, and ADMA analyses were also collected from these patients after fasting. No significant glycemic or FMD changes were observed in 10 patients receiving the conventional therapy.

In 14 patients who were hospitalized and intensively treated, there was a significant decrease in glucose level after the treatment [from 190+55 to 117+21 (mean+SD) mg/dL, P , 0.01]. After the intensive control of glucose level, FMD increased significantly (from 2.5+0.9 to 7.2+3.0%), accompanied by a significant (P , 0.01) decrease in TNF-a (from 29+16 to 11+9 pg/dL) and ADMA (from 4.8+1.5 to 3.5+1.1 mM/L) levels. The changes in FMD after treatment correlated inversely with those in TNF-a (R ¼ 20.711, P , 0.01) and ADMA (R ¼ 20.717, P , 0.01) levels.
The exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise (EBPR) is an independent predictor of hypertension. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous nitric oxide inhibitor and higher plasma levels of ADMA are related to increased cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study is to identify the relationship between ADMA and EBPR.

A total of 66 patients (36 with EBPR and 30 as controls) were enrolled in the study. EBPR is defined as blood pressure (BP) measurements ≥200/100 mmHg during the treadmill test. All the subjects underwent 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring. L-arginine and ADMA levels were measured using a high performance lipid chromatography technique.

The serum ADMA levels were increased in the EBPR group compared to the healthy controls (4.0±1.4 vs 2.6±1.1 μmol/L respectively, P=0.001), but L-arginine levels were similar in the 2 groups (P=0.19). The serum ADMA levels were detected as an independent predictor of EBPR (odds ratio 2.28; 95% confidence interval 1.22–4.24; P=0.002). Serum ADMA levels might play a role in EBPR to exercise.

Endothelial dysfunction occurs early in atherosclerosis in response to cardiovascular risk factors. The occurrence of endothelial dysfunction is primarily the result of reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailabilty. It represents an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and predicts the prognosis of the patient. Therefore, endothelial function has been identified as a target for therapeutic intervention. Regular exercise training is a nonpharmacological option to improve endothelial dysfunction in patients with cardiovascular disease by increasing NO bioavailability.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the Western world. risk factor modification and endovascular and surgical revascularisation are the main treatment options at present. However, a significant number of patients still require major amputation. There is evidence that nitric oxide (NO) and its endogenous inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) play significant roles in the pathophysiology of PAD.

This paper reviews experimental work implicating the ADMA-DDAH-NO pathway in PAD, focusing on both the vascular dysfunction and both the vascular dysfunction and effects within the ischaemic muscle, and examines the potential of manipulating this pathway as a novel adjunct therapy in PAD.

In patients with CHF, the peripheral vascular resistance is increased via activation of the neurohormonal system, namely by autonomous sympathetic nervous system, rennin -angiotensin- aldosterone system (RAAS), and endothelin system. The vascular endothelial function in patients with CHF, mainly represented by the endothelium-dependent vasodilation, is altered.

Such alteration leads to increased vascular tone and remodeling of the blood vessels, reducing the peripheral blood flow. Hence, the amount of oxygen for the skeletal muscles is compromised, with progressive exercise intolerance. The vascular endothelial dysfunction in the CHF is mainly due to the decrease of the nitric oxide production induced by the reduced gene expression of eNOS and increased oxidative stress.

The endothelium-dependent vasodilation alteration has been virtually reported in all cardiovascular diseases. Using sauna bath as therapeutic option for CHF is not very recent, since in the 1950’s the first studies with CHF patients were conducted and the potential beneficial effect of sauna was suggested. However, some time later the studies emphasized especially its risks and recommended caution in its use for cardiac patients.

Frequently, sports medicine physicians are invited to evaluate the impact of the sauna on diseases and on health in general. Sauna can be beneficial or dangerous depending on its use. In the past few years the sauna is considered beneficial for the cardiovascular diseases’ patients, as the heart failure and lifestyle-related diseases, mainly by improving the peripheral endothelial function through the increase in cardiac output and peripheral vasodilation.

It is widely known that the vasodilators, such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, improve the CHF and increase the peripheral perfusion. Since the endothelial function is altered in CHF, the endothelium is considered as a new therapeutic target in heart failure. Hence, the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and physical training improve the endothelial function in CHF patients. One of the proposed mechanisms for the alteration of the endothelium-dependent vasodilation would be through the decrease of the NO production in the peripheral vessels in CHF patients. The decrease of peripheral perfusion would decrease the shear stress. The shear stress is an important stimulus for NO production and eNOS expression. On the other hand, the heat increases the cardiac output and improves the peripheral perfusion in CHF patients. Consequently, with the cardiac output improvement in CHF patients, an increase of the shear stress, NO production and eNOS expression are expected.

Sauna bath
The sauna bath represents a heat load of 300-600 W/m2 of body surface area. The skin temperature rapidly increases to ± 40o-41oC and the thermoregulatory mechanisms are triggered. Evaporative heat transfer by sweating is the only effective body heat loss channel in dry sauna. The sweating begins rapidly and reaches its maximum level in ± 15 min. The total sweat secretion represents a heat loss of about 200 W/m2 of the body surface area. The body cannot compensate for the heat load and causing elevation of internal temperature. The skin circulation increases substantially. The skin blood flow, in the thermo-neutral condition (± 20oC) and in rest corresponding to ± 5-10% of the cardiac output, can reach ± 50-70% of the cardiac output.

Thermal therapy in 60oC produced systemic arterial, pulmonary arterial and venous vasodilation, reduced the preload and afterload and improved the cardiac output and the peripheral perfusion, clinical symptoms, life quality, and cardiac arrhythmias in CHF patients. In infants with severe CHF secondary to ventricular septal defect, the sauna therapy decreased the systemic vascular resistance and increased the cardiac output. The sauna benefits in CHF patients are possibly caused by the improvement of the vascular endothelial function and normalization of the neurohormonal system .

Ikeda et al. discovered that the observed improvements in the sauna therapy are due to the eNOS expression increase in the arterial endothelium. They later showed that the thermal therapy with sauna improves the survival of the TO-2 cardiomyopathic hamsters with CHF and, more recently, showed that the repetitive therapy with sauna increases the eNOS expression and the nitric oxide production in artery endothelium of TO-2 cardiomyopathic hamsters with CHF.
Whether n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation and/or diet intervention might have beneficial influence on endothelial function was assessed using plasma levels of ADMA and L-arginine. A male population (n = 563, age 70 ± 6 yrs) with long-standing hyperlipidemia, characterized as high risk individuals in 1970–72, was included, randomly allocated to receive placebo n-3 PUFA capsules (corn oil) and no dietary advice (control group), dietary advice (Mediterranean type), n-3 PUFA capsules, or dietary advice and n-3 PUFA combined and followed for 3 years. Fasting blood samples were drawn at baseline and the end of the study.

Compliance with both intervention regimens were demonstrated by changes in serum fatty acids and by recordings from a food frequency questionnaire. No influence of either regimens on ADMA levels were obtained. However, n-3 PUFA supplementation was accompanied by a significant increase in L-arginine levels, different from the decrease observed in the placebo group (p < 0.05). In individuals with low body mass index (<26 kg/m2), the decrease in L-arginine on placebo was strengthened (p = 0.01), and the L-arginine/ADMA ratio was also significantly reduced (p = 0.04). In this rather large randomized intervention study, ADMA levels were not influenced by n-3 PUFA supplementation or dietary counselling. n-3 PUFA did, however, counteract the age related reduction in L-arginine seen on placebo, especially in lean individuals, which might be considered as an improvement of endothelial function.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves a broad range of empirical testing and refinement and plays an important role in the health maintenance for people all over the world. However, due to the complexity of Chinese herbs, a full understanding of TCM’s action mechanisms is still unavailable despite plenty of successful applications of TCM in the treatment of various diseases, including especially cardiovascular diseases (CVD), one of the leading causes of death.

An integrated system of TCM has been constructed to uncover the underlying action mechanisms of TCM by incorporating the chemical predictors, target predictors and network construction approaches from three representative Chinese herbs, i.e., Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort., Dalbergia odorifera T. Chen and Corydalis yanhusuo WT Wang widely used in CVD treatment, by combined use of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) screening and network pharmacology techniques. These studies have generated 64 bioactive ingredients and identified 54 protein targets closely associated with CVD, to clarify some of the common conceptions in TCM, and provide clues to modernize such specific herbal medicines.

Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort., Dalbergia odorifera T. Chen and Corydalis yanhusuo WT Wang
Twenty-two of 194 ingredients in Ligusticum chuanxiong demonstrate good bioavailability (60%) after oral administration. Interestingly, as the most abundant bioactive compound of Chuanxiong, Ligustilide (M120) only has an adequate OB of 50.10%, although it significantly inhibits the vasoconstrictions induced by norepinephrine bitartrate (NE) and calcium chloride (CaCl2). Indeed, this compound can be metabolized to butylidenephthalide, senkyunolide I (M156), and senkyunolide H (M155) in vivo.

The three natural ingredients produce various pharmacological activities in cerebral blood vessels, the general circulatory system and immune system including spasmolysis contraction effects, inhibitory effects of platelet aggregation and anti-proliferative activity, and thus improve the therapeutic effect on patients. Cnidilide (M93, OB = 77.55%) and spathulenol (M169, OB = 82.37%) also closely correlate with the smooth muscle relaxant action, and thereby have the strongest spasmolytic activity. Carotol (M8) and Ferulic acid (M105) with an OB of 149.03% and 86.56%, respectively, demonstrate better bioavailability compared with cnidilide and spathulenol, which show strong antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

The pharmacological activity of ferulic acid results in the improvement of blood fluidity and the inhibition of platelet aggregation, which may offer beneficial effects against cancer, CVD, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. As for 3-n-butylphthalide (M85, OB = 71.28%), this compound is not only able to inhibit platelet aggregation, but also decreases the brain infarct volume and enhances microcirculation, thus benefiting patients with ischemic stroke. Platelet aggregation represents a multistep adhesion process involving distinct receptors and adhesive ligands, with the contribution of individual receptor-ligand interactions to the aggregation process depending on the prevailing blood flow conditions, implying that the rheological (blood flow) conditions are an important impact factor for platelet aggregation. Moreover, thrombosis, the pathological formation of platelet aggregates and one of the biggest risk factors for CVD, occludes blood flow causing stroke and heart attack. This explains why the traditional Chinese herb Ligusticum chuanxiong that inhibits platelet aggregates forming and promotes blood circulation can be used in treatment of CVD.

Twenty-six percent (24 of 93) of the ingredients in Dalbergia odorifera meet the OB > 60% criterion irrespective of the pharmacological activity. Relatively high bioavailability values were predicted for the mainly basic compounds odoriflavene (M275, OB = 84.49%), dalbergin (M247, OB = 78.57%), sativanone (M281, OB = 73.01%), liquiritigenin (M262, OB = 67.19%), isoliquiritigenin (M259, OB = 61.38%) and butein (M241, OB = 78.38%). Interestingly, all of the six ingredients show obvious anti-inflammatory property. Butein, liquiritigenin and isoliquiritigenin inhibit cell inflammatory responses by suppressing the NF-κB activation induced by various inflammatory agents and carcinogens, and by decreasing the NF-κB reporter activity. Inflammation occurs with CVD, and Dalbergia odorifera, one of the most potent anti-cardiovascular and anti-cerebrovascular agents, exerts great anti-inflammatory activity.

Corydalis yanhusuo has gained ever-increasing popularity in today’s world because of its therapeutic effects for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia disease, gastric and duodenal ulcer and menorrhalgia. In our work, 21% (15 of 73) of chemicals in this Chinese herb display good OB (60% or even high), and the four main effective ingredients are natural alkaloid agents.

Dehydrocorydaline blocks the release of noradrenaline from the adrenergic nerve terminals in both the Taenia caecum and pulmonary artery, and thereby inhibits the relaxation or contraction of adrenergic neurons. As for dehydrocavidine with an OB of 47.59%, this alkaloid exhibits a significant spasmolytic effect, which acts via relaxing smooth muscle.

In recent years, CVD has been at the top list of the most serious health problems. Many different types of therapeutic targets have already been identified for the management and prevention of CVD, such as endothelin and others. The key question asked is

  • what the interactions of the active ingredients of the Chinese herbs are with their protein targets in a systematic manner and
  • how do the corresponding targets change under differential perturbation of the chemicals?

The study used an unbiased approach to probe the proteins that bind to the small molecules of interest in CVD on the basis of the Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) methods combining the chemical, genomic and pharmacological information for drug targeting and discovery on a large scale. Applied to 64 ingredients derived from the three traditional Chinese medicines Dalbergia odorifera, Ligusticum chuanxiong and Corydalis yanhusuo, which show good OB, 261 ligand-target interactions have been constructed, 221 of which are enzymes, receptors, and ion channels. This indicates that chemicals with multiple relative targets are responsible for the high interconnectedness of the ligand-target interactions. The promiscuity of drugs has restrained the advance in recent TCM, because they were thought to be undesirable in favor of more target-specific drugs.

Target Identification and Validation
To validate the reliability of these target proteins, the researchers performed a docking analysis to select the ligand-protein interactions with a binding free energies of ≤−5.0 kcal/mol, which leads to the sharp reduction of the interaction number from 5982 to 760. These drug target candidates were subsequently subject to PharmGkb (available online: http://www.pharmgkb.org; accessed on 1 December 2011), a comprehensive disease-target database, to investigate whether they were related to CVD or not, and finally, 54 proteins were collected and retained.

Fourty-two proteins (76%) were identified as the targets of Ligusticum chuanxiong, such as dihydrofolate reductase (P150), an androgen receptor (P210) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (P209) that were involved in the development of CVD. Of the proteins, seven and two were recognized as those of Dalbergia odorifera and Corydalis yanhusuo, respectively. For Dalbergia odorifera, this Chinese herb has 48 potential protein targets, 13 of which have at least one link to other drugs.

The three herbs share 29 common targets, accounting for 52.7% of the total number. Indeed, as one of the most important doctrines of TCM
abstracted from direct experience and perception, “multiple herbal drugs for one disease” has played an undeniable role. These studies explored the targets of the three Chinese herbs, indicating that these drugs target the same targets simultaneously and exhibit similar pharmacological effects on CVD. This is consistent with the theory of “multiple herbal drugs for one disease”.

The three Chinese herbs possess specific targets. The therapeutic efficacy of a TCM depends on multiple components, targets and pathways. The complexity becomes a huge obstacle for the development and innovation of TCM. For example, the Chinese herb Ligusticum chuanxiong identifies the protein caspase-3 (P184), a cysteinyl aspartate-specific protease, as one of its specific targets, and exhibits inhibitory effects on the activity of this protease. In fact, connective tissue growth factor enables the activation of caspase-3 to induce apoptosis in human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells.

Thus, modulation of the activity of caspase-3 with Ligusticum chuanxiong suggests an efficient therapeutic approach to CVD. The Chinese herb Dalbergia odorifera has the α-2A adrenergic receptor (P216) as its specific target and probably blocks the release of this receptor, and thus influences its action. As for Corydalisyanhusuo, the protein tyrosine-protein kinase JAK2 (P9) is the only specific target of this Chinese herb. The results indicate different specific targets possessed by the three Chinese herbs.

Ligand-Candidate Target and Ligand-Potential Target Networks
Previous studies have already reported the relationships of the small molecules with CVD, which indicates the reliability of our results [45,46]. Regarding the candidate targets, we have found that prostaglandin G/H synthase 2 (P46) and prostaglandin G/H synthase 1 (P47) possess the largest number of connected ingredients. Following are nitric-oxide synthase, endothelial (P66) and tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type 1 (P8), which have 62 and 61 linked chemicals, respectively.
The 29 targets shared by the three traditional Chinese herbs exhibit a high degree of correlations with CVD, which further verifies their effectiveness for the treatment of CVD. These results provide a clear view of the relationships of the target proteins with CVD and other related diseases, which actually link the Chinese herbs and the diseases via the protein targets. This result further explains the theory of “multiple herbal drugs for one disease” based on molecular pharmacology.

Target-Pathway Network
Cells communicate with each other using a “language” of chemical signals. The cell grows, divides,or dies according to the signals it receives. Signals are generally transferred from the outside of the cell. Specialized proteins are used to pass the signal—a process known as signal transduction. Cells have a number of overlapping pathways to transmit signals to multiple targets. Ligand binding in many of the signaling proteins in the pathway can change the cellular communication and finally affect cell growth and proliferation. The authors extracted nine signal pathways closely associated with CVD in PharmGkb (available online: http://www.pharmgkb.org; accessed on 1 December 2011).

As the main components in the VEGF system, proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src, eNOS, and hsp90-α is also recognized as common targets of Dalbergia odorifera, Ligusticum chuanxiong and Corydalis yanhusuo, which are efficient for the treatment of CVD. This implies that the candidate drugs can target different target proteins involved in the same or different signal pathways, and thereby have potential effects on the whole signal system.

Target Prediction
In search of the candidate targets, the model that efficiently integrates the chemical, genomic and pharmacological information for drug targeting and discovery on a large scale is based on the two powerful methods Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machine (SVM). The model is supported by a large pharmacological database of 6511 drugs and 3999 targets extracted from the DrugBank database (available online: http://drugbank.ca/; accessed on 1 June 2011), and shows an impressive performance of prediction for drug-target interaction, with a concordance of 85.83%, a sensitivity of 79.62% and a specificity of 92.76%. the candidate targets were selected according to the criteria that the possibility of interacting with potential candidate targets was higher than 0.6 for the RF model and 0.7 for the SVM model. The obtained candidate targets were finally reserved and were further predicted for their targets.

Target Validation
Molecular docking analysis was carried out using the AutoDock software (available online: http://autodock.scripps.edu/; accessed on 1 February 2012). This approach performs the docking of the small, flexible ligand to a set of grids describing the target protein. During the docking process, the protein was considered as rigid and the molecules as flexible. The crystal structures of the candidate targets were downloaded from the RCSB Protein Data Bank (available online: http://www.pdb.org/; accessed on 1 December 2011), and the proteins without crystal structures were performed based on homology modeling using the Swiss-Model Automated Protein Modelling Server (available online: http://swissmodel.expasy.org/; accessed on 1 February 2012).

TCM is a heritage that is thousands of years old and is still used by millions of people all over the world—even after the development of modern scientific medicine. Chinese herbal combinations generally include one or more plants and even animal products.

The study identified 54 protein targets, which are closely associated with CVD for the three Chinese herbs, of which 29 are common targets (52.7%), which clarifies the mechanism of efficiency of the herbs for the treatment of CVD.

Activation of NFkB

Extracellular stimuli for NFkB activation and NFkB regulated genes
Extracellular stimuli                       Regulated genes
TNFa                                         Growth factors (G/M-CSF)
Interleukin 1                            G/M CSF, M CSF, G CSF
ROS                                              Cell adhesion molecules
UV light                            ICAM-1, VCAM, E-Selectin, P-selectin
Ischaemia                                   Cytokines
Lipopolysaccharide               TNFa, IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, interferon
Bacteria                                        Transcription regulators
Viruses                                         P53, IkB, c-rel, c-myc
Amyloid                                      Antiapoptotic proteins
Glutamate                              TRAF-1, TRAF-2, c-IAP1, c-IAP2
Pathophysiology
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are toxic and in conditions of a dysbalance between their overproduction and the diminished activity of various antioxidant enzymes and other molecules induce cellular injury termed oxidative stress. ROS are often related to a number of diseases like atherosclerosis. However, the mechanism is not clear at all. Latest years of research have brought the idea of connection between ROS and NFkB. And indeed, in vitro studies showed a rapid activation of NFkB after exposure of certain cell types to ROS. Today, no specific receptor for ROS has been found, thus, the details of the ROS induced activation of NFkB are missing.

Natural occurring agents which actions are still a matter of debate in the theory and nouvelle small molecular derivates activate or inhibit the transcriptional factor. Synthetic oligo and polypeptide inhibitors of NFkB can penetrate the cell membrane and directly act on the Rel proteins. The most sophisticated approaches towards inhibiting the activation and translocation of NFkB into the nucleus represent gene deliveries, using plasmids or adenoviruses containing genes for various super repressors—modified IkB proteins, or so called NFkB decoys, which interact with activated NFkB and thus, inhibit the interaction between the transcription factor and nuclear DNA enhancers.

A simplified scheme of the activation of NFkB by the degradation of IkB. IkB is phosphorylated by IKK and ubiquinatated by the ubiquitine ligase system (ULS). IkB is further degradated by the 26S proteasome (26S).Activated NFkB can pass the nuclear membrane and interact with kB binding sequences in enhancers of NFkB regulated genes. LPS, lipopolysaccharide; ROS, reactive oxygen species; FasL, Fas ligand; TRAF, TNFa receptor associated factor; NIK, NFkB inducing kinase; MEKK, mitogen activated protein kinase/extracellular signal regulated kinases kinases.

The medicine of this century is a medicine of molecules, the diagnostic procedure and the therapy moves further from the “clinical picture” to the use of achievements in molecular biology and genetics. However, sober scepticism and awareness are indicated. Especially the role of NFkB in multiple signal transducing pathways and the tissue dependent variability of responses to alternations in NFkB pathway may be the reasons for unwanted side effects of the therapy that are after in vitro or in vivo experiments hardly to expect in the clinical use.

Therapeutic Targets
Modern drug discovery is primarily based on the search and subsequent testing of drug candidates acting on a preselected therapeutic target. Progress in genomics, protein structure, proteomics, and disease mechanisms has led to a growing interest in an effort for finding new targets and more effective exploration of existing targets. The number of reported targets of marketed and investigational drugs has significantly increased in the past 8 years. There are 1535 targets collected in the therapeutic target database.
Knowledge of these targets is helpful for molecular dissection of the mechanism of action of drugs and for predicting features that guide new drug design and the
search for new targets. This article summarizes the progress of target exploration and investigates the characteristics of the currently explored targets to analyze their sequence, structure, family representation, pathway association, tissue distribution, and genome location features for finding clues useful for searching for new targets. Possible “rules” to guide the search for druggable proteins and the feasibility of using a statistical learning method for predicting druggable proteins directly from their sequences are discussed.

Current Trends in Exploration of Therapeutic Targets
There are 395 identifiable targets described in 1606 patents. Of these targets, 264 have been found in more than one patent and 50 appear in more than 10 patents. The number of patents associated with a target can be considered to partly correlate with the level of effort and intensity of interest currently being directed to it. Approximately one third of the patents with an identifiable target were approved in the past year. This suggests that the effort for the exploration of these targets is ongoing, and there has been steady progress in the discovery of new investigational agents directed to these targets.

Various degrees of progress have been made toward discovery and testing of agents directed at these targets. However, for some of these targets, many difficulties remain to be resolved before viable drugs can be derived. The appearance of a high number of patents associated with these targets partly reflects the intensity of efforts for finding effective drug candidates against these targets.

There are 62 targets being explored for the design of subtype-specific drugs, which represents 15.7% of the 395 identifiable targets in U.S. patents approved in 2000 through 2004. Compared with the 11 targets of FDA approved subtype-specific drugs during the same period, a significantly larger number of targets are being explored for the design of subtype-specific drugs.

What Constitutes a Therapeutic Target?
The majority of clinical drugs achieve their effect by binding to a cavity and regulating the activity, of its protein target. Specific structural and physicochemical properties, such as the “rule of five” (Lipinski et al., 2001), are required for these drugs to have sufficient levels of efficacy, bioavailability, and safety, which define target sites to which drug-like molecules can bind. In most cases, these sites exist out of functional necessity, and their structural architectures accommodate target-specific drugs that minimally interact with other functionally important but structurally similar sites.
These constraints limit the types of proteins that can be bound by drug-like molecules, leading to the introduction of the concept of druggable proteins (Hopkins and Groom, 2002; Hardy and Peet, 2004). Druggable proteins do not necessarily become therapeutic targets (Hopkins and Groom, 2002); only those that play key roles in diseases can be explored as potential targets.

 Prediction of Druggable Proteins by a Statistical Learning Method

Currently, the support vector machine (SVM) method seems to be the most accurate statistical learning method for protein predictions. SVM is based on the structural risk minimization principle from statistical learning theory. Known proteins are divided into druggable and nondruggable classes; each of these proteins is represented by their sequence-derived physicochemical features.

These features are then used by the SVM to construct a hyperplane in a higher dimensional hyperspace that maximally separates druggable proteins and nondruggable ones. By projecting the sequence of a new protein onto this hyperspace, it can be determined whether this protein is druggable from its location with respect to the hyperplane. It is a druggable protein if it is located on the side of druggable class.
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Reveals from ENCODE project will invite high synergistic collaborations to discover specific targets

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Author and Curator: Ritu Saxena, Ph.D.

 

Introduction

Nitric oxide (NO) is a lipophilic, highly diffusible and short-lived molecule that acts as a physiological messenger and has been known to regulate a variety of important physiological responses including vasodilation, respiration, cell migration, immune response and apoptosis. Jordi Muntané et al

NO is synthesized by the Nitric Oxide synthase (NOS) enzyme and the enzyme is encoded in three different forms in mammals: neuronal NOS (nNOS or NOS-1), inducible NOS (iNOS or NOS-2), and endothelial NOS (eNOS or NOS-3). The three isoforms, although similar in structure and catalytic function, differ in the way their activity and synthesis in controlled inside a cell. NOS-2, for example is induced in response to inflammatory stimuli, while NOS-1 and NOS-3 are constitutively expressed.

Regulation by Nitric oxide

NO is a versatile signaling molecule and the net effect of NO on gene regulation is variable and ranges from activation to inhibition of transcription.

The intracellular localization is relevant for the activity of NOS. Infact, NOSs are subject to specific targeting to subcellular compartments (plasma membrane, Golgi, cytosol, nucleus and mitochondria) and that this trafficking is crucial for NO production and specific post-translational modifications of target proteins.

Role of Nitric oxide in Cancer

One in four cases of cancer worldwide are a result of chronic inflammation. An inflammatory response causes high levels of activated macrophages. Macrophage activation, in turn, leads to the induction of iNOS gene that results in the generation of large amount of NO. The expression of iNOS induced by inflammatory stimuli coupled with the constitutive expression of nNOS and eNOS may contribute to increased cancer risk. NO can have varied roles in the tumor environment influencing DNA repair, cell cycle, and apoptosis. It can result in antagonistic actions including DNA damage and protection from cytotoxicity, inhibiting and stimulation cell proliferation, and being both anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic. Genotoxicity due to high levels of NO could be through direct modification of DNA (nitrosative deamination of nucleic acid bases, transition and/or transversion of nucleic acids, alkylation and DNA strand breakage) and inhibition of DNA repair enzymes (such as alkyltransferase and DNA ligase) through direct or indirect mechanisms. The Multiple actions of NO are probably the result of its chemical (post-translational modifications) and biological heterogeneity (cellular production, consumption and responses). Post-translational modifications of proteins by nitration, nitrosation, phosphorylation, acetylation or polyADP-ribosylation could lead to an increase in the cancer risk. This process can drive carcinogenesis by altering targets and pathways that are crucial for cancer progression much faster than would otherwise occur in healthy tissue.

NO can have several effects even within the tumor microenvironment where it could originate from several cell types including cancer cells, host cells, tumor endothelial cells. Tumor-derived NO could have several functional roles. It can affect cancer progression by augmenting cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness. Infact, it has been proposed that NO promotes tumor growth by regulating blood flow and maintaining the vasodilated tumor microenvironment. NO can stimulate angiogenesis and can also promote metastasis by increasing vascular permeability and upregulating matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs have been associated with several functions including cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, differentiation, angiogenesis and so on. Recently, it was reported that metastatic tumor-released NO might impair the immune system, which enables them to escape the immunosurveillance mechanism of cells. Molecular regulation of tumour angiogenesis by nitric oxide.

S-nitrosylation and Cancer

The most prominent and recognized NO reaction with thiols groups of cysteine residues is called S-nitrosylation or S-nitrosation, which leads to the formation of more stable nitrosothiols. High concentrations of intracellular NO can result in high concentrations of S-nitrosylated proteins and dysregulated S-nitrosylation has been implicated in cancer. Oxidative and nitrosative stress is sensed and closely associated with transcriptional regulation of multiple target genes.

Following are a few proteins that are modified via NO and modification of these proteins, in turn, has been known to play direct or indirect roles in cancer.

NO mediated aberrant proteins in Cancer

Bcl2

Bcl-2 is an important anti-apoptotic protein. It works by inhibiting mitochondrial Cytochrome C that is released in response to apoptotic stimuli. In a variety of tumors, Bcl-2 has been shown to be upregulated, and it has additionally been implicated with cancer chemo-resistance through dysregulation of apoptosis. NO exposure causes S-nitrosylation at the two cysteine residues – Cys158 and Cys229 that prevents ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway mediated degradation of the protein. Once prevented from degradation, the protein attenuates its anti-apoptotic effects in cancer progression. The S-nitrosylation based modification of Bcl-2 has been observed to be relevant in drug treatment studies (for eg. Cisplatin). Thus, the impairment of S-nitrosylated Bcl-2 proteins might serve as an effective therapeutic target to decrease cancer-drug resistance.

p53

p53 has been well documented as a tumor suppressor protein and acts as a major player in response to DNA damage and other genomic alterations within the cell. The activation of p53 can lead to cell cycle arrest and DNA repair, however, in case of irrepairable DNA damage, p53 can lead to apoptosis. Nuclear p53 accumulation has been related to NO-mediated anti-tumoral properties. High concentration of NO has been found to cause conformational changes in p53 resulting in biological dysfunction.. In RAW264.7, a murine macrophage cell line, NO donors induce p53 accumulation and apoptosis through JNK-1/2.

HIF-1a

Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1) is a heterodimeric transcription factor that is predominantly active under hypoxic conditions because the HIF-1a subunit is rapidly degraded in normoxic conditions by proteasomal degradation. It regulates the transciption of several genes including those involved in angiogenesis, cell cycle, cell metabolism, and apoptosis. Hypoxic conditions within the tumor can lead to overexpression of HIF-1a. Similar to hypoxia-mediated stress, nitrosative stress can stabilize HIF-1a. NO derivatives have also been shown to participate in hypoxia signaling. Resistance to radiotherapy has been traced back to NO-mediated HIF-1a in solid tumors in some cases.

PTEN

Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN), is again a tumor suppressor protein. It is a phosphatase and has been implicated in many human cancers. PTEN is a crucial negative regulator of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Over-activation of PI3K/Akt mediated signaling pathway is known to play a major role in tumorigenesis and angiogenesis. S-nitrosylation of PTEN, that could be a result of NO stress, inhibits PTEN. Inhibition of PTEN phosphatase activity, in turn, leads to promotion of angiogenesis.

C-Src

C-src belongs to the Src family of protein tyrosine kinases and has been implicated in the promotion of cancer cell invasion and metastasis. It was demonstrated that S-nitrosylation of c-Src at cysteine 498 enhanced its kinase activity, thus, resulting in the enhancement of cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

Reference:

Muntané J and la Mata MD. Nitric oxide and cancer. World J Hepatol. 2010 Sep 27;2(9):337-44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21161018

Wang Z. Protein S-nitrosylation and cancer. Cancer Lett. 2012 Jul 28;320(2):123-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22425962

Ziche M and Morbidelli L. Molecular regulation of tumour angiogenesis by nitric oxide. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2009 Dec;20(4):164-70.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20167555

Jaiswal M, et al. Nitric oxide in gastrointestinal epithelial cell carcinogenesis: linking inflammation to oncogenesis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2001 Sep;281(3):G626-34. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11518674

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Statins’ Nonlipid Effects on Vascular Endothelium through eNOS Activation

 

Curator, Author,Writer, Reporter: Larry Bernstein, MD, FACP

 
Categories of Research:

Disease biology, Cell Biology and Cell Signaling, Biological Networks and Gene Regulation, Pharmacotherapy of Cardiovascular Disease, Nitric Oxide, HMG Co A inhibitors, Endothelial Receptor, Hypertension, Therapeutic Targets

Introduction

Statins have an effect on the vascular endothelium, which plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis and angiogenesis, a role independent of the lipid lowering effect. The vascular endothelium plays an important role regulating vascular wall contraction and as a mediator for the vascular wall. Endothelial dysfunction, the hallmark of which is reduced activity of endothelial cell derived nitric oxide (NO), is a key factor in developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Vascular endothelial cells play a pivotal role in modulation of leukocyte and platelet adherence, thrombogenicity, anticoagulation, and vessel wall contraction and relaxation, so that endothelial dysfunction has become almost a synonym for vascular disease. A single layer of endothelial cells is the only constituent of capillaries, which differ from other vessels, which contain smooth muscle cells and adventitia. Capillaries directly mediate nutritional supply as well as gas exchange within all organs. The failure of the microcirculation leads to tissue apoptosis/necrosis. expanded cultured EPC transplantation and cytokine-induced EPC mobilization from bone marrow have been shown to enhance angiogenesis with significant improvement of microcirculation in ischemic tissue.

It has been generally assumed that cholesterol reduction by statins mechanism underlying their beneficial effects in cardiovascular disease. The statins — potent inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, an enzyme that plays a critical role in cholesterol metabolism — block substrate accessibility to HMG-CoA reductase , effectively subverting cholesterol metabolism. Sufficient evidence now supports a hypothesis that cholesterol-independent or “pleiotropic” effects of statins improve endothelial dysfunction, effects on angiogenesis, and reduce vascular inflammation. The statins’ cholesterol-independent vascular effects appear to directly restore or improve endothelial function by increasing NO production, promote endothelial repair after arterial injury, and decrease vascular inflammation. Statins improve endothelial function by:

  • increasing production of nitric oxide,
  • promoting blood flow,
  • dampening inflammation,
  • antagonizing thrombogenicity, and
  • reducing endothelial vasoresponses.
The HMG-CoA reductase pathway, which is blocke...

The HMG-CoA reductase pathway, which is blocked by statins via inhibiting the rate limiting enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We review effects of statins on endothelial cells and endothelial progenitor cells that identifies a novel therapeutic potential of statin drugs.

  • Evidence in support of the new “pleiotrophic” non-lipid effects of Statins
  • Endothelial cell progenitors leave the bone marrow in response to cytokines or ischemic Injury.
  • They proliferate, migrate, and acquire resistance to apoptotic cell death.

Transplanting mice with the bone marrow of a transgenic animal carrying the LacZ reporter gene under control of the Tie2 promoter, which is active in endothelial cells…showed that statin-treated animals accumulate marrow-derived endothelial cells at the site of corneal neovascularization, administering statins is probably safer than giving VEGF to promote angiogenesis or vasculogenesis.

  1. Akt activation has emerged as an indispensable signaling gateway at the crossroads between angiogenesis and endothelial stem cell recruitment and differentiation
  2. Placental growth factor, which seems preferentially involved in facilitating postnatal blood vessel formation, is another “vasculogenic factor” that acts very much like the statins
  3. Increase in endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression and activity is clearly stimulated by statins, which results in Akt activation a multifaceted developmental pathway of stem cell mobilization and differentiation is exploited by statins

Altieri DC. Statins’ benefits begin to sprout. J. Clin. Invest. 108:365–366 (2001). DOI:10.1172/JCI200113556

“Pleiotropic” Effect of statins

Recent studies have shown the restoration of endothelial function before significant reduction of serum cholesterol levels effect of statins on the endothelium were first defined by their ability to enhance endothelial NO production, upregulating endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) PI3 kinase/Akt signaling, which is a crucial regulator of cell metabolism and apoptosis, appears to mediate statin-induced eNOS upregulation.
The mechanism of eNOS activation by phosphorylation by statins
Statins can also inhibit Rho isoprenylation/activation resulting in enhanced eNOS mRNA stability and increased eNOS expression statins inhibit ox-LDL-induced endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression and the biological function of angiotensin II, and its receptor subtype 1 (AT1), which are both potent vasoconstrictors/mitogens thought to contribute to the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

Vascular inflammation

Statins have been shown to reduce the number of inflammatory cells in atherosclerotic lesions.  Inhibitory effects of statins on adhesion molecules such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) and E-selectin, which are involved in the adhesion/rolling/extravasation of inflammatory cells.

Statin therapy in humans has also been shown to lower high-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP), which reflects low-grade systemic/vascular inflammation, in hypercholesterolemic patients. This has been shown to correlate with reductions in the rates of acute major or recurrent coronary events.

Re-endothelialization

Accelerated re-endothelialization after angioplasty/de-endothelialization is known to inhibit neointimal hyperplasia, which leads to luminal narrowing or restenosis at the injured site. Re-endothelialization has been shown to be promoted by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), estrogen, prostacyclin, blockade of TNFα, and now Statins.
Ii M, Losordo DW. Statins and the endothelium. Vascular Pharmacology 2007; 46: 1–9.
Altieri DC. Statins’ benefits begin to sprout. J. Clin. Invest. 108:365–366 (2001). DOI:10.1172/JCI200113556

Further observations

  • Statins exert cholesterol-independent effects on the endothelium, which lead to the improvement of endothelial function.
  • Statins exert biphasic, dose dependent effects on angiogenesis. At low doses, statins induce angiogenesis, whereas angiogenesis is inhibited at higher doses. These biphasic activities of statins on endothelial cell biology can be explained by the properties of the biosynthetic pathways that originate from mevalonic acid.
  1. It appears that low concentrations of statins (such as those achieved in vivo) induce pro-angiogenic effects through activating PI3 kinase/Akt signaling leading to eNOS phosphorylation and NO production.
  2. High (supra-physiologic) concentrations of statins will inhibit the synthesis of the non-sterol products mevalonate, leading to decreases in protein prenylation, inhibition of cell growth, or apoptosis.

The sum-up of two factors: the loss of the vascular relaxation directly dependent of the endothelium (flow – dependent) and the NO dependent are the main reason for endothelial dysfunction and play a very important role in the pathogenesis of heart failure.

  1. Endothelial dysfunction on vascular peripheral levels contributes to the increased peripheral resistance in patients with heart failure. Endothelial dysfunction, as a pathophysiology disorder, is present early.
  2. Statins’ benefits begin to sprout in the initiation of the atherosclerotic process.
  3. The injury of eNOS activity seems to occur with impaired coronary vasodilatation in response to acetylcholine in patients with hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, smokers.

Summary of Key Points

Mechanisms which are essential for the impairment of eNOS activity for the appearance of endothelial dysfunction are:

• dysfunctional signal transduction receptor – endothelial cell;
• decreased bioavailability of the substrate L- arginine;
• altered expression of gene NOS3 and stability of mARN; polymorphism NOS3;
• altered eNOS activity;
• increased destruction of NO;
• changes in the balance between NO derived endothelium and the hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF);
• decreased sensitivity of atherosclerotic smooth muscle to NO.

Effects other than those due to lowering LDL levels and independent of the LDL level

• improved endothelial function
• diminish vascular inflammation
• improve ventricular function of heart failure
• antithrombotic effect
• reduce the rate of vascular events
• antioxidant effect

Statins improve endothelial function through the following mechanisms:

• enhanced endothelial NO production by decrease of cholesterol, by up regulating posttranscriptional mRNA of eNOS and by antioxidative effects (reduction of reactive oxygen species, increase of super oxide elimination and decrease of oxidized LDL);
• reduced production of endothelin-1, endothelial vasoconstrictor factor;
• diminish the affinity for AT1 receptors ;
• stimulation of angiogenesis through proliferation, migration and survival of the circulating endothelial progenitor cells

Statins decrease the swell of the vascular wall  by:

• decreasing the level of C – Reactive Protein
• decreasing the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, TNF α)
• diminishing the leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells inhibiting macrophage growth and smooth muscle cell migration and proliferation

Suciu M. The Role Of Nitric Oxide (No) And Statins In Endothelial Dysfunction And Atherosclerosis. Farmacia 2009; 57 (2): 131-139

Relevant observations

ECs treated with rosuvastatin increase eNOS activation. The increased NO production is involved in modulating S-nitrosylation and translation of proteins.
Bin Huang, Fu An Li, Chien Hsing Wu, Danny Ling Wang. The role of nitric oxide on rosuvastatin-mediated S-nitrosylation and translational proteomes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Proteome Science 2012, 10:43. doi:10.1186/1477-5956-10-43

Emerging evidence from both clinical trials and basic science studies suggest that statins have anti-inflammatory properties, which may additionally lead to clinical efficacy. Measurement of markers of inflammation such as high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein in addition to lipid parameters may help identify those patients who will benefit most from statin therapy.
Blake GJ and Ridker PM. Are statins anti-inflammatory? Curr Control Trials Cardiovasc Med 2000, 1:161–165.

Most favorable and unexpected findings were:

  •  new indications for TDZs as stimulators of eNOS, in addition to the new indication for atherosclerosis besides the classic indication in pharmacology books, being in the reduction of insulin resistance.
  •  new indications for beta blockers as NO stimulant, nebivolol, a case in point, thus, fulfilling two indications in one drug along the direction of the study to identify eNOS agonists. Nebivolol is a vasodilator, thus functions as an antihypertensive.

Aviva Lev-Ari. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of agent alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production. July 19, 2012 pharmaceuticalintelligence.com 

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/19/cardiovascular-disease-cvd-and-the-role-of-agent-alternatives-in-endothelial-nitric-oxide-synthase-enos-activation-and-nitric-oxide-production/

References

Heeba G, Hassan MK, Khalifa, M; Malinski T. Adverse Balance of Nitric Oxide/ Peroxynitrite in the Dysfunctional Endothelium Can be Reversed by Statins. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 2007; 50(4):391-398.
Tandon VR, Gupta BM, Tandon R. Non-lipid Actions of Statins. JK Science 2004; 6(3): 124-126.
Sacks FM. Do statins play a role in the early management of the acute coronary syndrome? European Heart Journal Supplements (2004) 6 (Supplement A), A32–A36.
Alonso D, Radomski MW. Nitric oxide, platelet function, myocardial infarction and reperfusion therapies. Heart Fail Rev 2003; 8:47–54.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of agent alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production. PharmaceuticalIntelligence.WordPress.com
Nitric oxide and signalling pathways. PharmaceuticalIntelligence.WordPress.com
Rationale of NO use in hypertension and heart failure. PharmaceuticalIntelligence.WordPress.com
LH Bernstein. Mitochondria: Origin from oxygen free environment, role in aerobic glycolysis, metabolic adaptation in cancer (Warburg effect). PharmaIntell.Wordpress.com
R Saxena. Mitochondria: More than just the powerhouse of the cell. PharmaIntell.WordPress.com
Bernstein LH. Expanding the Genetic Alphabet and linking the genome to the metabolome. PharmaIntell.wordpress.com. luly 24, 2012.
R saxena. β Integrin emerges as an important player in mitochondrial dysfunction associated Gastric Cancer. PharmaIntell.wordpress.com 2012

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Endothelin Receptors in Cardiovascular Diseases: The Role of eNOS Stimulation 

Author and Curator of an Investigator Initiated Study: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

A Three Component Method for Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs

Macrovascular Disease: The  Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs

Observations on Intellectual Property Development For an Unrecognized Future Fast Acting Therapy for Patients at High Risk for Macrovascular events

ElectEagle represents a discovery of a novel “multimarker biomarker” for cardiovascular disease that innovates on four counts.

First, it proposes new therapeutic indications for acceptable drugs.

Second, it defines a specific combination of therapeutic agents, thus, it put forth a proprietary drug combination.

Third, it targets receptor systems that have not been addressed in the context of cEPCs augmentation methods. Chiefly, modulation of the following three-targeted receptor systems: (a) inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB receptors by antagonists (b) induction of eNOS, by agonists and NO stimulation and (c) upregulation of PPAReceptor-gamma by agonists (TZD). While (b) and (c) are implicated as having favorable effects of cEPCs count, each exerting its effect by a different pathway, it is suggested in this project that (a) might be identify to be the more powerful of the three markers. Our method, ElectEagle is the FIRST to postulate the following: (1) time concentration dependence on eNOS reuptake (2) dose concentration dependence on NO production (3) time and dose concentration dependence for ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB inhibition, and (4) dose concentration dependence on PPAReceptor-gamma. Points First, Second and Third are covered in Part II where a special focus is placed on ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB receptors.

Fourth, ElectEagle proposes a platform with triple modes of delivery and use of the test, as described in Part III. The triple modes are as follows: (A) an automated platform from a centralized lab with integration to Lab’s information management system. (B) a point-of-care testing device with appropriate display of test results (small benchtop analyzers in PCP office). (C) a device used for home monitoring of analytes (the hand-held device facilitates rapid read of scores and their translation to drug concentration of each of the three therapeutic agents, with computation of the three drug concentrations done by the device. Thus, it offers quicker optimization of treatment.  ElectEagle is the FIRST to propose a CVD patient kit, hand-held device, which calculates on demand an adjustable therapeutic regimen as a function of cEPCs count biomarker. In this regard, a similarity to the pump, in management of blood sugar in DM patients, exists. Since there is a high co-morbidity between DM and CVD, our methods, ElectEagle may eventually become a targeted therapy for the DM Type 2 population.

Postulates of Multiple Indications for the Method Presented: Positioning of a Therapeutic Concept for Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs

Potential Therapeutic Indications for ElectEagle

ElectEagle can become the drug therapy of choice for the following indications:

  •       CAD patients
  •       Endothelial Dysfunction in DM patients with or without Erectile   Dysfunction
  •       Atherosclerosis patients: Arteries and or veins
  •       pre-stenting treatment phase
  •       post-stenting treatment phase
  •       if stent is a Bare Metal stent (BMS)
  •       if stent is Drug Eluting stent (DES)
  •       if stent is EPC antibody coated (the ElectEagle method increase cEPCs generation in vitro) so availability of cEPCs is increased
  •       post CABG patients (the ElectEagle enhances healing by endogenous augmentation of cEPCs)
  •       target sub segments of CVD patients on blood thinner drugs (the ElectEagle does not require treatment with antiplatelet agents, it is suitable for all patients on Coumadin. This population have a counter indication for antiplatelet agents which is a follow up treatment after stent implantation for 30 days, with stent-eluting long term regimen of antiplatelet agents, 6 months and in some cases indefinitely (Tung, 2006).
  •       ElectEagle is based on systemic therapeutics (versus the localized stent solution requiring multiple and even overlapping stents)
  •       ElectEagle will be having potential in two contexts

1.  Coronary disease

2.  Periphery vascular disease

Comparative analysis of endogenous and exogenous cEPCs augmentation methods:

A. endogenous augmentation method properties:

  •    temporal – while drug therapy in use – drug action is interruptible
  •    time concentration on eNOS reuptake
  •    dose concentration on NO production
  •    time and dose concentration manner for ETB inhibition
  •    dose concentration on PPAR-gamma

B.  cell-based and other exogenous methods

  • permanent colonization till apoptosis if no repeated attempts of re-transfer, re-implantation as the protocol usually has several stages

ElectEagle will be resulting in potential delay of stenting implantation. Patients that are target for stenting may benefit form ElectEagle that will facilitate and accelerate healing after the stent is in place. EPC antibody coated stents will work if and only if the patient has more that just low cEPCs, most patient undergoing stenting tend to have low level of cEPC. The ElectEagle method can be coupled with that type of new stents, called Genous, now in clinical trials (HEALING II, III). These stents enhance the body ability in mobilization of cEPCs, only. However, if the initial population of cEPCs is low, an endogenous fast acting cell augmentation method is needed for pretreatment before the PCI procedure with Genous is scheduled.

Mechanism of action (MOA) for ElectEagle‘s component 1

Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB

Source for vasodilators substances in the endothelium are PGI2 and NO. A potent vasoconstrictor peptide is the endothelin family, first isolated in the aortic endothelial cells.

Endothelins: Biosynthesis, Structure & Clearance

Three isoforms of endothelin (ET) have been identified. ET-1, ET-2 and ET-3. Each isoform is the product of a different gene and is synthesized as a prepro form that is processed to a propeptide and then to the mature peptide. Endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE) converts a prepro into a mature peptide. Each ET is a 21-amino-acid peptide containing two disulfide bridges. ETs are widely distributed in the body. ET-1 is the predominant ET secreted by the vascular endothelium. It is also produced by neurons and astrocytes in CNS and in endometrial, renal mesangial, sertoli, breast epithelial and other cells. ETs are present in the blood in low concentrations, they act locally in a paracrine or autocrine fashion rather than as circulating hormones.

Expression of ET-1 gene is increased by Growth Factors and cytokines, transforming factor-beta (TGF-beta) and interleukin 1 (IL-1), vasoactive substances including angiotensin II and vasopressing and mechanical stress. Expression is inhibited by NO, prostacyclin and ANP (source for vasodilators substances in the endothelium are PGI2 and NO.) Clearance of ETs from the circulation is rapid and involves enzymatic degradation by NEP 24.11 and clearance by the ETB receptor.

Endothelins: Action

ET exerts many actions on the body. In particular dose-dependent vasoconstriction in most vascular beds. Intravenous administration of ET-1 causes a rapid decease in BP followed by a prolonged increase. The depressor response results PGI2 and NO release from the vascular endothelium. The pressor response is due to direct constriction of vascular smooth muscle. ETs exert direct positive inotropic and chronotropic actions on the heart and are potent coronary vasoconstrictors. ETs actions on other organ is described in (Reid, 2004). ETs interact with several endocrine systems, increase secretion of renin, aldosterone, vasopressin and Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP.) Action exerted on CNS and PNS, GI system, liver, GU, reproductive system, eye, skeletal and skin. ET-1 is a potent mitogen for vascular smooth muscle cells, cardiac myocytes and glomerular mesangial cells.

ET receptors are present in many tissues and organs, blood vessel wall, cardiac muscle, CNS, lung, kidney, adrenal, spleen, and GI. The signal transduction mechanism triggered by binding of ET-1 to its receptors, ETA & ETB includes effects of stimulation of phospholipase C, formation of inositol triphosphate and release of calcium from the ER which results in vasoconstriction. Stimulation of PGI2 and NO synthesis result in decreased intracellular calcium concentration and vasodilation.

Two receptor subtypes, ETA & ETB have been cloned and sequenced. ETA receptors have a high affinity for ET-1 and a low affinity for ET-3 and are located on smooth muscle cells, where they mediate vasoconstriction. ETB receptors have an equal affinity for ET-1 and ET-3 and are located on vascular ECs, where they mediate release of PGI2 and NO. Both receptor types belong to the G protein-coupled seven-transmembrane domain family of receptors.

Inhibitors of Endothelin Synthesis & Action

ETs can be blocked with receptor antagonists and with drugs that block the Endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE), Endothelin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ECEI). Two receptor subtypes, ETA & ETB can be blocked selectively, or both can be blocked with nonselective ETA – ETB antagonists. Bosentan is a nonselective antagonist, available both intravenously and orally. It blocks the initial transient depressor (ETB ) and the prolonged pressor (ETA) responses to intravenous ET. Oral ET antagonists are available for research purposes. The formation of Endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE) can be blocked with Phosphoramidon. The therapeutic potential of ECEI is similar to that of the ET receptor antagonist, Bosentan, an active competitive inhibitor of ET [it has teratogenic and hepatotexic effects].

Physiologic & Pathologic Roles of Endothelin Antagonists

Systemic administration of ET receptor antagonists or ECEI causes vasodilation and decreases arterial pressure in human and in experimental animals. Intra-arterial administration of the drugs also causes slow-onset forearm vasodilation in humans. This is an evidence that the endothelin system participates in the regulation of vascular tone, even under resting conditions (Reid, 2004).

There is evidence that ETs participate in CVD, including hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, CHF, atherosclerosis, CAD, MI. ETs have been implicated in pulmonary diseases, PA HTN, asthma, renal diseases. Increased ET levels was found in the blood, increased expression of ET mRNA in endothelial or vascular smooth muscle cells and the responses to administration of ET antagonists. ET antagonists have potential for treatment of these diseases. In clinical trials, Bosentanand other nonselective antagonists as well as ETA selective antagonists produce beneficial effects on hemodynamics and symptoms of CHF, PA HTN and essential HTN (Sütsch et al., 1998), (Haynes, 1996), (Lahav et al., 1999). Currently, it is approved for use in pulmonary hypertension (Benowitz, 2004).

ElectEagle Project Drug combination Therapy has selected Bosentan or other nonselective ET antagonists as well as ETA selective antagonists to enhance the effects an eNOS agonist and a PPAR-gamma agonist will have on CVD patient’s propensity to achieve beneficial effects for endogenous augmentation of cEPCs. The impact the ETs have on the body is of a very wide range and of a most important from a physiological point of view, respectively, we did not leave Big ET-1 out of the therapeutic treatment design.

Proposed integration plan for ElectEagle’s Version I with CVD patients current medication regimen for selective medical diagnoses

Blood Pressure Medicine:

Beta blockers, Verapamil (Calan), Reserpine (Hydropes), Clonidine (Catapres), Methyldopa (Aldomet)

Diuretics:

Thiazides, Spironolactone (Aldactone), Hydralazine

Antidepressants:

Prozac, Lithium, MOA’s, Tricyclics

Stomach Medicine:

Tagamet and Zantac, plus other compounds containing Cimetidine and Ranitidine or associated compounds in Anticholesterol Drugs

Antipsychotics:

Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Pimozide (Orap), Thiothixine (Navane), Thiordazine (Mellaril), Sulpiride, Haloperidol (haldol), Fluphenazine (Modecate, Prolixin)

Heart Medicine:

Clofibrate (Atromid), Gemfibrozil, Diagoxin

Hormones:

Estrogen, Progesterone, Proscar, Casodex, Eulexin, Corticosteroids Gonadotropin releasing antagonists: Zoladex and Lupron

Cytotoxic agents:

Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate, Roferon Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

Others

Alprazolam, Amoxapine, Chlordiazepoxide, Sertraline, Paroxetine, Clomipramine, Fluvoxamine, Fluoxetine, Imipramine, Doxepine, Desipramine, Clorprothixine, Bethanidine, Naproxen, Nortriptyline, Thioridazine, Tranylcypromine, Venlafaxine, Citalopram.

INTERACTIONS for Nebivolol

Calcium Antagonists:

Caution should be exercised when administering beta-blockers with calcium antagonists of the verapamil or diltiazem type because of their negative effect on contractility and atrio-ventricular conduction. Exaggeration of these effects can occur particularly in patients with impaired ventricular function and/or SA or AV conduction abnormalities. Neither medicine should therefore be administered intravenously within 48 hours of discontinuing the other.

Anti-arrhythmics:

Caution should be exercised when administering beta-blockers with Class I anti-arrhythmic drugs and amiodarone as their effect on atrial conduction time and their negative inotropic effect may be potentiated. Such interactions can have life threatening consequences.

Clonidine:

Beta-blockers increase the risk of rebound hypertension after sudden withdrawal of chronic clonidine treatment.

Digitalis:

Digitalis glycosides associated with beta-blockers may increase atrio-ventricular conduction times. Nebivolol does not influence the kinetics of digoxin & clinical trials have not shown any evidence of an interaction.

Special note: Digitalisation of patients receiving long term beta-blocker therapy may be necessary if congestive cardiac failure is likely to develop. The combination can be considered despite the potentiation of the negative chronotropic effect of the two medicines. Careful control of dosages and of individual patient’s response (notably pulse rate) is essential in this situation.

Insulin & Oral Antidiabetic drugs:

Glucose levels are unaffected, however symptoms of hypoglycemia may be masked.

Anaesthetics:

Concomitant use of beta-blockers & anaesthetics e.g. ether, cyclopropane & trichloroethylene may attenuate reflex tachycardia & increase the risk of hypotension

Testing ElectEagle’s a-priori postulates presented in Part I

a-priori postulates presented in Part I for Component 1:ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB inhibition

  • time and dose concentration dependence for ETA and ETA-ETB inhibition

 In the literature we found evidence for dose concentration dependence manner (Reid, 2004).

 

ETA and ETA-ETB inhibitor time concentration dependence manner dose concentration dependencemanner time and dose dose  
Bosentan   (Reid, 2004)   62.5, 125 mg tablets

a-priori postulates presented in Part I for Component 2: NO, eNOS induction and stimulation

  • time concentration dependence on eNOS reuptake
  • dose concentration dependence on NO production

In the literature we found evidence for dose concentration dependence manner

Ach, Histamine, Genistein, ACEI, Fenofibrates, NEBIVOLOL, Calcium channel blocker, Enzyme S-nitrosylation

In the literature we found evidence for time concentration dependence manner:

Ach, BRL37344, a 3-adrenoceptor agonist

In the literature we found evidence for time and dose concentration dependence manner:

Histamine

NO, eNOS AgonistsStimulate phosphorylation of eNOS at serine 1177, 1179, 116 Conversion of L-arginine toL-citrulline time concentration dependence manner dose concentration dependencemanner time and dose dose (nmol·mg

of protein-1)

Grovers et al., (2002)

A23187       (5µM)
Acetylcholine Xu et al., (2002) Sanchez et al., (2006)   (1µM)
5-Hydroxytryptamine       (1µM)
VEGF (       (20ng/ml)
Bradykinin       (1µM)
Histamine   McDuffie et al., (1999) McDuffie et al., (2000) (10µM)
genistein   Liu et al., (2004)   (1µM)
ACEI   Skidgel et al., (2006)    
Fenofibrates   Asai et al., (2006)    
BRL37344, a 3-adrenoceptor agonist Pott et al., (2005)      
NEBIVOLOLß1-selective adrenergic receptor antagonist with nitric oxide (NO)–mediation for vasodilation

 

  Ritter et al., (2006)    
Calcium channel blocker   Church and Fulton, (2006),    
Enzyme S-nitrosylation   Erwin et al., (2006)    

 

a-priori postulates presented in Part I for Component 3: PPAR-gamma

  • dose concentration dependence on PPAReceptor-gamma – confirmed by a study for Rosiglitazone and a study for Ciglitazone
PPAReceptor-gamma agonists time concentration dependence manner dose concentration dependencemanner time and dose dose  
Rosiglitazone   Polikandriotis et al., (2005)   maximum recommended daily dose of 8 mg to 2,000 mg.
Ciglitazone Polikandriotis et al., (2005)    


Development of an Experimental Treatment Protocol for

ElectEagle Version I

Therapeutic Strategy for cEPCs Endogenous Augmentation for measuring the number of circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells (cEPCs) before and after a newly design treatment with Pharmacological agents

Component 1: Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB

Bosentan (Tracleer) Oral: 62.5, 125 mg tablets

 

Component 2: Induction of NO production and stimulation of eNOS

Nebivolol – ß1-selective adrenergic receptor antagonist with nitric oxide (NO)– mediation for vasodilation

A single daily dose of 5 mg was appropriate, with no evident advantage at 10 mg (Van Nueten et al.,1997)

Component 3: Treatment Regime with PPAR-gamma agonists (TZD)

A Substitute for Rosiglitazone, 2-8 mg once daily

The combination drug therapy for endogenous augmentation of cEPCs in CVD patients for achievement of reduction in risk for macrovascular events is recommended to be applied for Clinical Trial Phase One in the following regimen:

Use the following combination of drugs for the following Stages

Bosentan (Tracleer), Oral: 62.5 mg tablets

Nebivolol, Oral: 5mg once daily

A substitute for Rosiglitazone, 8 mg once daily

 

Stage 1: ET-1 Antagonist Effect on eEPC

1.0 Measurement of the Baseline of number of cEPC

1.1 Administer ET-1 antagonist for 10 days

1.2 Measurement of number of cEPC after 10 days of treatment with ET-1 antagonist

Stage 2: Nitric Oxide Effect on cEPC

2.0 Measurement of number of cEPC obtained in 1.2

2.1 Administer Nitric Oxide Agonist for 10 days

2.2 Measurement of number of cEPC after 10 days of

treatment with Nitric Oxide Agonist

Stage 3: Comparison of ET-1 and NO Effects on cEPC Proliferation

3.0 Comparison of number of cEPC in 1.2 to 2.2

¨     IF number of cEPC in 1.2 > number of cEPC in 2.2

-> continue 1.1 only

[ET-1 antagonist more effective for proliferation of cEPC than NO Agonist]

3.1.1      Measurement of number of cEPC every 10 days

¨     IF number of cEPC in 1.2 < number of cEPC in 2.2

-> continue 2.1 only

[ET-1 antagonist less effective for proliferation of cEPC than NO Agonist]

3.2.1      Measurement of number of cEPC every 10 days

¨     IF number of cEPC in 1.2 = number of cEPC in 2.2

-> continue 1.1 AND 2.1

[ET-1 antagonist equal NO Agonist in effectiveness for proliferation of cEPC]

-> Administer a Combination therapy of ET-1 antagonist and NO Agonist for 10 days

3.3.1      Measurement of number of cEPC every 10 days

Stage 4: ET-1 and/or NO Effect on Cardiovascular (CV) Events

q      After 12 months Comparison of CV events in patient population in

Stage 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

  • Cardiovascular events in patients in 3.1
  • Cardiovascular events in patients in 3.2
  • Cardiovascular events in patients in 3.3

Conclusions

  •       Most favorable and unexpected to us was finding in the literature new indications for TDZs as stimulators of eNOS, in addition to the new indication for atherosclerosis besides the classic indication in pharmacology books, being in the reduction of insulin resistance. Reassuring our selection of a substitute for Rosiglitazone.
  •       Most favorable and unexpected to us was finding in the literature new indications for beta blockers as NO stimulant, nebivolol, a case in point, thus, fulfilling two indications in one drug along the direction of the study to identify eNOS agonists.
  •       The following combination of drugs was selected for ElectEagle Version I

Bosentan (Tracleer), Oral: 62.5 mg tablets

Nebivolol, Oral: 5mg once daily

A Substitute for Rosiglitazone, 8 mg once daily

  •       We confirmed time and dose concentrations postulating apriori in most cases. Additional literature searches will benefit the project for the three drugs selected
  •       We have identified Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB as one of the agent in the drug combination. The entire literature on cEPCs does not implicate Endothelin with impact on eEPCs while it is known that mechanical stress increase its secretion, this type of stress is implicated with hypertension. To leave out ET-1 from the cEPCs function in CVD risk equates to leaving out Thrombin from the coagulation cascade. ElectEagle Version I corrects that ommission. 

REFERENCES

Benowitz, NL., (2004). Antihypertensive Agents. Chapter 11 in Katzung, BG., Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. McGraw-Hill, 9th Edition, pp. 160-183.

Haynes WG, Ferro CJ, O’Kane KP, Somerville D, Lomax CC, Webb DJ, (1996). Systemic endothelin receptor blockade decreases peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure in humans. Circulation, 15;93(10):1860-70. 

N S Kirkby, P W F Hadoke, A J Bagnall, and D J Webb (2008)

The endothelin system as a therapeutic target in cardiovascular disease: great expectations or bleak house? Br J Pharmacol. 2008 March; 153(6): 1105–1119.

Ohkita Mamoru, Masashi Tawa, Kento Kitada and Yasuo Matsumura (2012). Pathophysiological Roles of Endothelin Receptors in Cardiovascular Diseases,  J Pharmacol Sci 119, 302 – 313 (2012)

Reid, Ian A., (2004). Vasoactive Peptides. Chapter 17 in Katzung, BG., Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. McGraw-Hill, 9th Edition, pp. 281 – 297, in particular, Endothelins, pp. 290-293.

  For a comprehensive Bibliography on the Three Therapeutic Componenets and the pathophysiology of Cardiovascular Disease, follow this link:

Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB, Induction of NO production, stimulation of eNOS and Treatment Regime with PPAR-gamma agonists (TZD): cEPCs Endogenous Augmentation for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction – A Bibliography

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/04/inhibition-of-et-1-eta-and-eta-etb-induction-of-no-production-and-stimulation-of-enos-and-treatment-regime-with-ppar-gamma-agonists-tzd-cepcs-endogenous-augmentation-for-cardiovascular-risk-reduc/

 Other aspects of Nitric Oxide involvement in biological systems in humans are covered in the following posts on this site:

Nitric Oxide in bone metabolism July 16, 2012

Author: Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/16/nitric-oxide-in-bone-metabolism/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_134751669

 

Nitric Oxide production in Systemic sclerosis July 25, 2012

Curator: Aviral Vatsa, PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/25/nitric-oxide-production-in-systemic-sclerosis/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_138370383

 

Nitric Oxide Signalling Pathways August 22, 2012 by

Curator/ Author: Aviral Vatsa, PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/22/nitric-oxide-signalling-pathways/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_151245569

 

Nitric Oxide: a short historic perspective August 5, 2012

Author/Curator: Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/05/nitric-oxide-a-short-historic-perspective-7/

 

Nitric Oxide: Chemistry and function August 10, 2012

Curator/Author: Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/10/nitric-oxide-chemistry-and-function/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_145137865

 

Nitric Oxide and Platelet Aggregation August 16, 2012 by

Author: Dr. Venkat S. Karra, Ph.D.

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/16/no-and-platelet-aggregation/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_147475405

 

The rationale and use of inhaled NO in Pulmonary Artery Hypertension and Right Sided Heart Failure August 20, 2012

Author: Larry Bernstein, MD

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/20/the-rationale-and-use-of-inhaled-no-in-pulmonary-artery-hypertension-and-right-sided-heart-failure/

Nitric Oxide: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1998 Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro, Ferid Murad August 16, 2012

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/16/nitric-oxide-the-nobel-prize-in-physiology-or-medicine-1998-robert-f-furchgott-louis-j-ignarro-ferid-murad/

 

Coronary Artery Disease – Medical Devices Solutions: From First-In-Man Stent Implantation, via Medical Ethical Dilemmas to Drug Eluting Stents August 13, 2012

Author: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/13/coronary-artery-disease-medical-devices-solutions-from-first-in-man-stent-implantation-via-medical-ethical-dilemmas-to-drug-eluting-stents/

 

Nano-particles as Synthetic Platelets to Stop Internal Bleeding Resulting from Trauma

August 22, 2012

Reported by: Dr. V. S. Karra, Ph.D.

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/22/nano-particles-as-synthetic-platelets-to-stop-internal-bleeding-resulting-from-trauma/

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of agent alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production July 19, 2012

Curator and Research Study Originator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/19/cardiovascular-disease-cvd-and-the-role-of-agent-alternatives-in-endothelial-nitric-oxide-synthase-enos-activation-and-nitric-oxide-production/

Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs: Reduction Methods for CV Risk

July 2, 2012

An Investigation of the Potential of circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells (cEPCs) as a Therapeutic Target for Pharmacological Therapy Design for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A New Multimarker Biomarker Discovery

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/02/macrovascular-disease-therapeutic-potential-of-cepcs-reduction-methods-for-cv-risk/

 

Bone remodelling in a nutshell June 22, 2012

Author: Aviral Vatsa, Ph.D., MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/22/bone-remodelling-in-a-nutshell/

Targeted delivery of therapeutics to bone and connective tissues: current status and challenges- Part, September  

AuthorL Aviral Vatsa, PhD, September 23, 2012

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/09/23/targeted-delivery-of-therapeutics-to-bone-and-connective-tissues-current-status-and-challenges-part-i/

Calcium dependent NOS induction by sex hormones: Estrogen

Curator: S. Saha, PhD, October 3, 2012

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/03/calcium-dependent-nos-induction-by-sex-hormones/

 

Nitric Oxide and Platelet Aggregation,

Author V. Karra, PhD, August 16, 2012

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/16/no-and-platelet-aggregation/

Bystolic’s generic Nebivolol – positive effect on circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells endogenous augmentation

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, July 16, 2012

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/?s=Nebivolol

 

Endothelin Receptors in Cardiovascular Diseases: The Role of eNOS Stimulation

Author: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, 10/4/2012

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/04/endothelin-receptors-in-cardiovascular-diseases-the-role-of-enos-stimulation/

 

Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB, Induction of NO production, stimulation of eNOS and Treatment Regime with PPAR-gamma agonists (TZD): cEPCs Endogenous Augmentation for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction – A Bibliography

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, 10/4/2012.

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/04/inhibition-of-et-1-eta-and-eta-etb-induction-of-no-production-and-stimulation-of-enos-and-treatment-regime-with-ppar-gamma-agonists-tzd-cepcs-endogenous-augmentation-for-cardiovascular-risk-reduc/

 

Nitric Oxide Nutritional remedies for hypertension and atherosclerosis. It’s 12 am: do you know where your electrons are?

Author and Reporter: Meg Baker, 10/7/2012.

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/07/no-nutritional-remedies-for-hypertension-and-atherosclerosis-its-12-am-do-you-know-where-your-electrons-are/

Drug Information

Component 1: Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB

Bosentan (Tracleer)

BACKGROUND: Although local inhibition of the generation or actions of endothelin-1 has been shown to cause forearm vasodilatation, the systemic effects of endothelin receptor blockade in healthy humans are unknown. We therefore investigated the cardiovascular effects of a potent peptide endothelin ETA/B receptor antagonist, TAK-044, in healthy men. METHODS AND RESULTS: Two randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover studies were performed. In nine subjects, TAK-044 (10 to 1000 mg IV over a 15-minute period) caused sustained dose-dependent peripheral vasodilatation and hypotension. Four hours after infusion of the highest dose (1000 mg), there were decreases in mean arterial pressure of 18 mm Hg and total peripheral resistance of 665 AU and increases in heart rate of 8 bpm and cardiac index of 0.9 L x min(-1) x m(-2) compared with placebo. TAK-044 caused a rapid, dose-dependent increase in plasma immunoreactive endothelin (from 3.3 to 35.7 pg/mL within 30 minutes after 1000 mg). In a second study in eight subjects, intravenous administration of TAK-044 at doses of 30, 250, and 750 mg also caused peripheral vasodilatation, and all three doses abolished local forearm vasoconstriction to brachial artery infusion of endothelin-1. Brachial artery infusion of TAK-044 caused local forearm vasodilation. CONCLUSIONS: The endothelin ETA/B receptor antagonist TAK-044 decreases peripheral vascular resistance and, to a lesser extent, blood pressure; increases circulating endothelin concentrations; and blocks forearm vasoconstriction to exogenous endothelin-1. These results suggest that endogenous generation of endothelin-1 plays a fundamental physiological role in maintenance of peripheral vascular tone and blood pressure. The vasodilator properties of endothelin receptor antagonists may prove valuable therapeutically (Haynes et al., 1996).

http://www.tracleer-pph.com/

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=44221&pf=3&page=1

GENERIC NAME: BOSENTAN – ORAL (boh-SEN-tan)

BRAND NAME(S): Tracleer

WARNING: This medication may cause serious liver problems. Your doctor should monitor your liver function closely to decrease your risk of liver-related side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms of liver problems: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, and yellowing eyes or skin. These effects, if they occur, may go away over time (are reversible). This medication must not be used during pregnancy because it can cause fetal harm (e.g., birth defects). See the pregnancy warning information below (in Precautions section).

USES: Bosentan is used to treat a condition of high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary arterial hypertension). It works by causing the blood vessels (arteries) in the lungs to relax and expand, thus decreasing the pressure.

HOW TO USE: Before using, review the bosentan Medication Guide for information on the safe use of this medicine. Take this medication by mouth usually twice daily in the morning and evening with or without food; or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your doctor may recommend to gradually increase your dose over time so your body may better adjust to the effects of this drug. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, nose/throat irritation, itching, flushing, or stomach upset may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: irregular heartbeat, unusual tiredness and weakness, swelling of the feet or ankles, trouble breathing, dizziness or lightheadedness. If you notice any of the following very serious side effects of liver problems, stop taking bosentan and consult your doctor immediately: vomiting, stomach pain, yellowing eyes or skin. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, severe trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver problems, blood disorders (e.g., anemia), any allergies. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. This medication must not be used during pregnancy because it may cause fetal harm. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, do not take this medication and consult your doctor immediately. It is recommended that you use two reliable forms of birth control while taking this medicine. It is also recommended to have a pregnancy test done before treatment and every month during treatment with this drug. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: This drug is not recommended for use with: cyclosporine, glyburide. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole), statins for high cholesterol (e.g., lovastatin, simvastatin), HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, ritonavir), tacrolimus. This medication may decrease the effectiveness of combination-type birth control pills. This can result in pregnancy. You may need to use an additional form of reliable birth control while using this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests- LFT’s, blood tests) will be performed to monitor your progress and for side effects.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507

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Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of Agent Alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production

 

Curator and Investigator Initiated Study: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Agent Alternative #1: Niacin (Vitamin B3), Fibrates and Genistein

Low HDL levels predict an increased risk of coronary artery disease independently of LDL levels, and 60–70% of major cardiovascular events cannot be prevented with current approaches focused on LDL, such as statin therapy (Werner et al., 2003), (Vasa et al., 2001a), (Walter et al., 2002), (Dimmeler et al., 2001), (Llevadot et al., 2001), (Spyridopoulos et al., 2004). In addition, low HDL levels are particularly common in males with early-onset atherosclerosis (Wilson et al., 1988). Based on these observations, prevention trials have been performed with agents such as niacin and fibrates, which raise HDL, and they indicate that modest increases in HDL independently yield a significant reduction in cardiovascular events (Rubins et al., 1999), (Brown et al., 2001), (Boden, 2000). Thus, there is compelling evidence that HDL is not solely a marker of lower risk of cardiovascular disease but instead is a mediator of vascular health.

Genistein – Phytoestrogens have received widespread attention over the past few years because of their potential for preventing some highly prevalent chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and hormone-related cancers. Genistein, the primary soy-derived phytoestrogen, has various biological actions (Liu et al., 2004), including a weak estrogenic effect and inhibition of tyrosine kinases. Genistein acutely stimulates Nitric Oxide synthesis in vascular Eendothelial cells by a cyclic adenosine 5′-monophosphate-dependent mechanism (Liu et al., 2004). The intracellular signaling pathways for activation of eNOS by genistein were independent of PI3K/Akt or ERK/MAPK but depended on the cAMP/PKA cascade. In addition, the genistein action on eNOS was not inhibited by an ER antagonist and was unrelated to tyrosine kinase inhibition.

Studies demonstrate that genistein has antiatherogenic effects and inhibits proliferation of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Data from animal and in vitro studies suggest a protective role of genistein in the vasculature. Studies investigating its effect on plasma lipid profiles show either a moderate positive effect or a neutral effect. Some human intervention studies suggest a beneficial effect on atherosclerosis (Anthony et al., 1998), markers of cardiovascular risk (van der Schouw et al., 2000), vasomotor tone (Walker et al., 2001), vascular endothelial function (Squadrito et al., 2003), and systemic arterial compliance (Nestel et al., 1997). Genistein also inhibits human platelet aggregation in vitro (Dobrydneva et al., 2002), (Gottstein et al., 2003) and decreases TNF-induced monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 secretion in human vascular endothelial cells (Gottstein et al., 2003). Other studies suggest that genistein may induce vascular relaxation by cAMP-dependent mechanisms (Satake and Shibata, 1999) or inhibition of tyrosine kinases (Duarte et al., 1997). In vitro studies elucidating the cellular or molecular mechanisms of the genistein action on vascular cells are lacking.

NO produced is a potent vasodilator and also has anti-inflammatory (Yu et al., 2002), antiatherogenic (Shin et al., 1996), antithrombotic (Alonso and Radomski, 2003), and antiapoptotic properties (Kotamraju, 2001). Liu et al., (2004), hypothesized that genistein directly regulates vascular function through stimulation of eNOS and NO synthesis from vascular endothelial cells. To test this hypothesis, they focused on the acute effects of genistein on eNOS and the cellular signaling related to this effect. They specifically tested the protein kinase A and tyrosine kinase pathways because these have been proposed in previous vascular studies (Satake and Shibata, 1999), (Duarte et al., 1997).

In Liu et al., (2004) study, genistein acted directly on BAECs and HUVECs to activate eNOS and NO production through nongenomic mechanisms in whole vascular endothelial cells. The intracellular signaling pathways for activation of eNOS by genistein were independent of PI3K/Akt or ERK/MAPK but depended on the cAMP/PKA cascade. In addition, the genistein action on eNOS was not inhibited by an ER antagonist and was unrelated to tyrosine kinase inhibition. The findings suggest a molecular mechanism that may underlie some of the beneficial cardiovascular effects that have been proposed for genistein.

Agent Alternative #2: Serotonin, 5-HT

5-hydroxytryptamine evokes endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation

eNOS activation in microvascular endothelial bEnd.3 cell. NO plays an important role in the dynamic regulation of the intercellular junctions of the endothelium. They have shown that eNOS is enriched at these junctions, which is a prerequisite for its activation by agonists. At the junctions, eNOS co-localizes with PECAM-1, but not with VE-cadherin and plakoglobin. The nature of the molecular mechanisms that lead to the enrichment of eNOS at intercellular junctions, and which allow these junctions to be regulated by NO, remains to be determined. Data from three experiments are presented as means±S.D. ‘D’ represents l-NAME-dependent (i.e. NOS-mediated) nitrite formation (Grovers et al., 2002).

Comparative analysis of eNOS efficacy on NO production. 5-HT is second in effectiveness.

Agonist Nitrite (nmol·mg of protein-1) -l-NAME +l-NAME D None 0.31±0.05 0.08±0.05 0.23±0.07

A23187 (5µM) 1.44±0.06 0.35±0.06* 1.09±0.08†

Acetylcholine (1µM) 0.83±0.12 0.06±0.09 0.77±0.15†

5-Hydroxytryptamine (1µM) 0.94±0.07 0.05±0.05 0.88±0.08†

VEGF (20ng/ml) 0.60±0.03 0.10±0.03 0.50±0.05†

Bradykinin (1µM) 0.28±0.06 0.04±0.05 0.24±0.07

Histamine (10µM) 0.36±0.04 0.08±0.05 0.28±0.06

Activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) resulted in the production of nitric oxide (NO) that mediates the vasorelaxing properties of endothelial cells. The goal of this project was to address the possibility that 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) stimulates eNOS activity in bovine aortic endothelial cell (BAEC) cultures. McDuffie et al., (1999, 2000) tested the hypothesis that 5-HT receptors mediate eNOS activation by measuring agonist-stimulated [3H]L-citrulline ([3H]L-Cit) formation in BAEC cultures. They found that 5-HT stimulated the conversion of [3H]L- arginine ([3H]L-Arg) to [3H]L-Cit, indicating eNOS activation. The high affinity 5-HT1B receptor agonist, 5-nonyloxytryptamine (5-NOT)- stimulated [3H]L-Cit turnover responses were concentration-(0.01 nM to 100 microM) and time-dependent. Maximal responses were observed within 10 min following agonist exposures. These responses were effectively blocked by the 5-HT1B receptor antagonist, isamoltane, the 5-HT1B/5-HT2 receptor antagonist, methiothepin, and the eNOS selective antagonists (0.01-10 microM): L-Nomega -monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) and L-N omega-iminoethyl-L-ornithine (L-NIO). Their findings lend evidence of a 5-HT1B receptor/eNOS pathway, accounting in part for the activation of eNOS by 5-HT.

3 orpholinosyndnonimine inhibits 5-hydroxytryptamine induced phosphorylation of nitric oxide synthase in endothelial cells.

5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a vasoactive substance that is taken up by endothelial cells to activate endothelial nitrite oxide synthase (eNOS). The activation of eNOS results in the production of nitric oxide (NO), which is responsible for vasodilation of blood vessels. NO also interacts with superoxide anion (O2*-) to form peroxynitrite (ONOO-), a potent oxidant that has been shown to induce vascular endothelial dysfunction (Richardson et al., 2003). They examined the ability of 3-morpholinosyndnonimine (SIN-1), an ONOO- generator, to inhibit 5-HT-induced phosphorylation of eNOS in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs). They observed that 5-HT phosphorylates Ser1179 eNOS in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Maximum phosphorylation occurred at 30 sec using a concentration of 1.0 microM 5-HT. BAECs treated with SIN-1 (1-1000 microM) for 30 min showed no significant increase in eNOS phosphorylation. However, 5-HT-induced eNOS phosphorylation was inhibited in cells treated with various concentrations of SIN-1 for 30 min and stimulated with 5-HT. These data suggest that an increase in ONOO- as a result of an increase in the production of O2*-, may feedback to inhibit 5-HT-induced eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1179 and therefore, contribute to endothelial dysfunction associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Agent Alternative #3: Nebivolol

A Third-Generation ß-Blocker that Augments Vascular Nitric Oxide Release. (Broeders et al., 2000), (Brugada et al., 2001), (Dessy et al., 2005), (Iaccarino et al., 2002), (Jordan et al., 2001), (Kalinowski et al., 2003), (Mason et al., 2005), (McEniery et al., 2004), (Mollnau et al., 2003), (Mukherjee et al., 2004), (Ritter et al., 2006).

In vivo metabolized nebivolol increases vascular NO production. This phenomenon involves endothelial ß2-adrenergic receptor ligation, with a subsequent rise in endothelial free [Ca2+]i and endothelial NO synthase–dependent NO production. This may be an important mechanism underlying the nebivolol-induced, NO-mediated arterial dilation in humans. Nebivolol is a ß1-selective adrenergic receptor antagonist with proposed nitric oxide (NO)–mediated vasodilating properties in humans. In this study, they explored whether nebivolol indeed induces NO production and, if so, by what mechanism. they hypothesized that not nebivolol itself but rather its metabolites augment NO production (Broeders et al., 2000).

Dose and Time Concentration for Agents affecting endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production 

  • time concentration dependence on eNOS reuptake
  • dose concentration dependence on NO production

In the literature we found evidence for dose concentration dependence manner

Ach, Histamine, Genistein, ACEI, Fenofibrates, NEBIVOLOL, Calcium channel blocker, Enzyme S-nitrosylation

In the literature we found evidence for time concentration dependence manner:

Ach, BRL37344, a 3-adrenoceptor agonist

In the literature we found evidence for time and dose concentration dependence manner:

Histamine

NO, eNOS AgonistsStimulate phosphorylation of eNOS at serine 1177, 1179, 116 Conversion of L-arginine toL-citrulline time concentration dependence manner dose concentration dependencemanner time and dose dose (nmol·mg of protein-1)Grovers et al., (2002)
A23187 (5µM)
Acetylcholine Xu et al., (2002) Sanchez et al., (2006) (1µM)
5-Hydroxytryptamine (1µM)
VEGF ( (20ng/ml)
Bradykinin (1µM)
Histamine McDuffie et al., (1999) McDuffie et al., (2000) (10µM)
genistein Liu et al., (2004) (1µM)
ACEI Skidgel et al., (2006)
Fenofibrates Asai et al., (2006)
BRL37344, a 3-adrenoceptor agonist Pott et al., (2005)
NEBIVOLOLß1-selective adrenergic receptor antagonist with nitric oxide (NO)–mediation for vasodilation Ritter et al., (2006)
Calcium channel blocker Church and Fulton, (2006),
Enzyme S-nitrosylation Erwin et al., (2006)

Proposed integration plan of Nebivolol with CVD patients’ current medication regimen for selective medical diagnoses

Blood Pressure Medicine:

Beta blockers, Verapamil (Calan), Reserpine (Hydropes), Clonidine (Catapres), Methyldopa (Aldomet)

Diuretics:

Thiazides, Spironolactone (Aldactone), Hydralazine

Antidepressants:

Prozac, Lithium, MOA’s, Tricyclics

Stomach Medicine:

Tagamet and Zantac, plus other compounds containing Cimetidine and Ranitidine or associated compounds in Anticholesterol Drugs

Antipsychotics:

Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Pimozide (Orap), Thiothixine (Navane), Thiordazine (Mellaril), Sulpiride, Haloperidol (haldol), Fluphenazine (Modecate, Prolixin)

Heart Medicine:

Clofibrate (Atromid), Gemfibrozil, Diagoxin

Hormones:

Estrogen, Progesterone, Proscar, Casodex, Eulexin, Corticosteroids Gonadotropin releasing antagonists: Zoladex and Lupron

Cytotoxic agents:

Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate, Roferon Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

Others-

Alprazolam, Amoxapine, Chlordiazepoxide, Sertraline, Paroxetine, Clomipramine, Fluvoxamine, Fluoxetine, Imipramine, Doxepine, Desipramine, Clorprothixine, Bethanidine, Naproxen, Nortriptyline, Thioridazine, Tranylcypromine, Venlafaxine, Citalopram.

INTERACTIONS for Nebivolol

Calcium Antagonists:

Caution should be exercised when administering beta-blockers with calcium antagonists of the verapamil or diltiazem type because of their negative effect on contractility and atrio-ventricular conduction. Exaggeration of these effects can occur particularly in patients with impaired ventricular function and/or SA or AV conduction abnormalities. Neither medicine should therefore be administered intravenously within 48 hours of discontinuing the other.

Anti-arrhythmics:

Caution should be exercised when administering beta-blockers with Class I anti-arrhythmic drugs and amiodarone as their effect on atrial conduction time and their negative inotropic effect may be potentiated. Such interactions can have life threatening consequences.

Clonidine:

Beta-blockers increase the risk of rebound hypertension after sudden withdrawal of chronic clonidine treatment.

Digitalis:

Digitalis glycosides associated with beta-blockers may increase atrio-ventricular conduction times. Nebivolol does not influence the kinetics of digoxin & clinical trials have not shown any evidence of an interaction.

Special note: Digitalisation of patients receiving long term beta-blocker therapy may be necessary if congestive cardiac failure is likely to develop. The combination can be considered despite the potentiation of the negative chronotropic effect of the two medicines. Careful control of dosages and of individual patient’s response (notably pulse rate) is essential in this situation.

Insulin & Oral Antidiabetic drugs:

Glucose levels are unaffected, however symptoms of hypoglycemia may be masked.

Anaesthetics:

Concomitant use of beta-blockers & anaesthetics e.g. ether, cyclopropane & trichloroethylene may attenuate reflex tachycardia & increase the risk of hypotension

CVD patients’ current medication regimen for selective medical diagnoses

Medical Diagnoses Current medication regiment eNOS agonists &production stimulation of NO PPAR-gamma agonist (TZD) as eNOS stimulant
CAD patients Beta blockers, ACEI, ARB, CCB, Diagoxin, Coumadin yes
Endothelial Dysfunction in DM patients with or without Erectile Dysfunction Insulin yes yes
Atherosclerosis patients: Arteries and or veins AntihypertensiveCoumadin yes yes
pre-stenting treatment phase Beta blockers, Verapamil (Calan), Reserpine (Hydropes), Clonidine (Catapres), Methyldopa (Aldomet) yes
post-stenting treatment phase Antiplatelets yes
if stent is a Bare Mesh stent (BMS) CoumadinBeta blockers yes
if stent is Drug Eluting stent (DES) antibiotics
if stent is EPC antibody coated yes
post CABG patients CoumadinBeta blockers, Verapamil (Calan), Reserpine (Hydropes), Clonidine (Catapres), Methyldopa (Aldomet) yes
CVD patients on blood thinner drugs Coumadin yes

Conclusions

  •  Most favorable and unexpected to us was finding in the literature new indications for TDZs as stimulators of eNOS, in addition to the new indication for atherosclerosis besides the classic indication in pharmacology books, being in the reduction of insulin resistance.
  •  Most favorable and unexpected to us was finding in the literature new indications for beta blockers as NO stimulant, nebivolol, a case in point, thus, fulfilling two indications in one drug along the direction of the study to identify eNOS agonists. Nebivolol is a vasodilator, thus functions as an antihypertensive.

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Nebivolol is a long-acting, cardioselective beta-blocker currently licensed for the treatment of hypertension.

http://www.saha.org.ar/noticias/nebivolol2.htm  – retrieved on 6/20/2006

Nebivolol

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Other aspects of Nitric Oxide involvement in biological systems in humans are covered in the following posts on this site:

 

Nitric Oxide in bone metabolism July 16, 2012 

Author: Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/16/nitric-oxide-in-bone-metabolism/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_134751669 

Nitric Oxide production in Systemic sclerosis July 25, 2012 

Curator: Aviral Vatsa, PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/25/nitric-oxide-production-in-systemic-sclerosis/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_138370383 

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Curator/ Author: Aviral Vatsa, PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/22/nitric-oxide-signalling-pathways/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_151245569

Nitric Oxide: a short historic perspective August 5, 2012 

Author/Curator: Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/05/nitric-oxide-a-short-historic-perspective-7/

Nitric Oxide: Chemistry and function August 10, 2012 

Curator/Author: Aviral Vatsa PhD, MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/10/nitric-oxide-chemistry-and-function/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_145137865 

 

Nitric Oxide and Platelet Aggregation August 16, 2012 

Author: Dr. Venkat S. Karra, Ph.D.

http://www.tginnovations.wordpress.com/ 

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/16/no-and-platelet-aggregation/?goback=%2Egde_4346921_member_147475405 

 

The rationale and use of inhaled NO in Pulmonary Artery Hypertension and Right Sided Heart Failure August 20, 2012 

Author: Larry Bernstein, MD

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/20/the-rationale-and-use-of-inhaled-no-in-pulmonary-artery-hypertension-and-right-sided-heart-failure/  

Nitric Oxide: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1998 Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro, Ferid Murad August 16, 2012 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/16/nitric-oxide-the-nobel-prize-in-physiology-or-medicine-1998-robert-f-furchgott-louis-j-ignarro-ferid-murad/ 

 

Coronary Artery Disease – Medical Devices Solutions: From First-In-Man Stent Implantation, via Medical Ethical Dilemmas to Drug Eluting Stents August 13, 2012 

Author: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/13/coronary-artery-disease-medical-devices-solutions-from-first-in-man-stent-implantation-via-medical-ethical-dilemmas-to-drug-eluting-stents/

Nano-particles as Synthetic Platelets to Stop Internal Bleeding Resulting from Trauma

August 22, 2012 

Reporter: Dr. V. S. Karra, Ph.D.

http://www.tginnovations.wordpress.com/ 

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/22/nano-particles-as-synthetic-platelets-to-stop-internal-bleeding-resulting-from-trauma/ 

 

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Curator and Investigator Initiated Study: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/19/cardiovascular-disease-cvd-and-the-role-of-agent-alternatives-in-endothelial-nitric-oxide-synthase-enos-activation-and-nitric-oxide-production/ 

Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs: Reduction Methods for CV Risk

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Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/02/macrovascular-disease-therapeutic-potential-of-cepcs-reduction-methods-for-cv-risk/  

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Author: Aviral Vatsa, Ph.D., MBBS

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/22/bone-remodelling-in-a-nutshell/ 

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