Browsing by Author "Genis, Amanda"
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- ItemExposure of cardiac microvascular endothelial cells to harmful stimuli : a study of the cellular responses and mechanisms(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Genis, Amanda; Strijdom, Hans; Huisamen, Barbara; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dept. of Biomedical Sciences. Division of Medical Physiology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Exposure to harmful stimuli can render vascular endothelial cells dysfunctional, characterised by reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailibility. Endothelial dysfunction (ED) is a reversible precursor of ischaemic heart disease (IHD), and understanding the mechanisms underlying the development of ED could lead to clinical strategies in preventing/treating IHD. Very little is known about the responses of cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) to pro-ED stimuli, as most studies are conducted on macrovascular endothelial cells. The current dissertation set out to comprehensively investigate the responses of cultured primary adult rat CMECs to known harmful stimuli, viz. hypoxia and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α; proinflammatory cytokine). We were interested to investigate whether this distinct endothelial cell type would develop classical features of ED, and if so, what the underlying mechanisms were. First we aimed to establish a baseline characterization of the CMECs under control conditions. Next, we developed a model of hypoxia-induced cell injury and measured apoptosis/necrosis, intracellular NO and reactive oxygen species (ROS), expression and activation of signalling proteins involved with NObiosynthesis, hypoxia and apoptosis, and differential regulation of proteins. Finally, we characterised CMEC responses to treatment with TNF-α. We assessed apoptosis/necrosis, intracellular NO and ROS levels, NO-biosynthesis pathway proteins and large-scale differential protein regulation. The above measurements were performed by morphological assessment (light and fluorescence microscopy), FACS analysis, western blotting and large-scale proteomic analyses. Data showed that CMECs shared many baseline features with other endothelial cell types, including morphological appearance, LDL-uptake, NO-production, and expression of eNOS protein. In a novel observation, proteomic analysis revealed the expression of 1387 proteins. Another novel finding was the high abundance of structural mitochondrial proteins, suggesting that CMECs require mitochondria for non-respiration purposes as well. High expression of vesicle, glycolytic and RAS signalling proteins were other features of the baseline CMECs. CMECs exposed to hypoxia responded by increased apoptosis/necrosis and expression of the hypoxia-marker, HIF-1α. Interestingly, hypoxic CMECs showed increased eNOS-NO biosynthesis, associated with increased mitochondrial ROS and reduced anti-oxidant systems, suggestive of oxidative stress. In accordance with the literature, several glycolytic proteins were up-regulated. A novel finding was the up-regulation of proteins involved with protein synthesis, not usually described in hypoxic cell studies. The CMECs responded to TNF-α-treatment by exhibiting hallmarks of ED, namely attenuated biosynthesis of PKB/Akt-eNOSderived NO and the development of outspoken response to oxidative stress as indicated by the up-regulation of several anti-oxidant systems. The data showed that TNF-α treatment elicited classical TNF-Receptor 1-mediated signalling characterized by the dual activation of pro-apoptotic pathways (BID and caspase-3) as well as the protective, pro-inflammatory IKB-alpha–NF-KB pathway. In conclusion, this is the first study of its kind to describe a comprehensive characterisation of CMECs under baseline and injury-inducing conditions. On the whole, although it appeared as if the CMECs shared many responses and mechanisms with more frequently researched endothelial cell types, the data also supplied several novel additions to the literature, particularly with the application of proteomics. We believe that this dissertation has provided more insights into endothelial heterogeneity in the vascular system and into the mechanisms adopted by CMECs when exposed to stimuli typically associated with cardiovascular risk.
- ItemFenofibrate protects endothelial cells against the harmful effects of TNF-alpha(South African Heart Association, 2017) Westcott, Corli; Genis, Amanda; Mthethwa, Mashudu; Graham, Roxanne; Van Vuuren, Derick; Huisamen, Barbara; Strijdom, HansIntroduction: Fenofibrate exerts pleiotropic effects on endothelial cells (ECs) by, amongst others, increasing nitric oxide (NO) production. We aimed to investigate fenofi brate’s putative beneficial actions in healthy or TNF-alpha-induced dysfunctional ECs. Methods: Fenofi brate-induced pro-vasodilatory responses were assessed in aortic rings (50 - 125μM; 30min) with and without L-NMMA (100μM). Rat cardiac microvascular ECs were treated with fenofibrate (30 and 50μM; 1h). In the pre-treatment experiments, fenofibrate (50μM) was administered one hour before TNFalpha treatment (20ng/ml; 24h). NO-production (DAF-2/DA or Griess assay), mitochondrial ROS-production (MitoSox™), cell viability (propidium iodide staining), and changes in the expression/phosphorylation of critical endothelial proteins were measured by Western blotting. Results: Fenofibrate increased NO-production ˜2-fold in healthy ECs (p<0.05 vs. vehicle). A ˜23% pro-vasodilatory response was induced in aortic rings, which was reversed by L-NMMA (p<0.05 vs. fenofibrate). Fenofibrate pretreatment ameliorated TNF-alpha-induced endothelial dysfunction by reversing the loss of NO, improving oxidative stress, restoring cell viability and preventing caspase-3 activation. Protective effects were underpinned by ˜47% and ˜49% up-regulation of activated eNOS and AMP-kinase, respectively (p<0.05 vs. TNFalpha). Conclusions: Fenofibrate protects TNF-alpha-induced dysfunctional ECs via up-regulated eNOS-NO, reduced oxidative stress and improved cell viability. These novel findings warrant further investigations to explore the potential use of fenofibrate as an anti-endothelial dysfunction therapeutic agent.
- ItemPossible mechanisms for levosimendaninduced cardioprotection(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2008-12) Genis, Amanda; Du Toit, E. F.; Lochner, Amanda; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Health Sciences. Dept. of Biomedical Sciences. Medical Physiology.Background and purpose. To limit ischaemic injury, rapid restoration of coronary blood flow is required, which will in turn reduce infarct size. However, reperfusion itself causes myocyte death – a phenomenon termed lethal reperfusion-induced injury, which limits protection of the ischaemic myocardium. Thus the reperfusion of irreversibly damaged myocytes may accelerate the process of cell necrosis. Additive protection of the ischaemic myocardium in the form of adjunct therapy remains a topic of intensive research. Levosimendan, a calcium sensitizing agent with positive inotropic effects has in several studies been found to alleviate the damaging effects of reperfusion injury. Levosimendan has been shown to be a KATP channel opener. These channels have been implicated to play an important role in ischaemic preconditioning (IPC). With this knowledge, the aim of this study was to determine whether levosimendan and IPC have certain cardioprotective mechanisms in common and whether protection with pharmacological preconditioning could be elicited with levosimendan. In this study, we investigated whether: 1) the isolated guinea pig heart could be protected by ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) and postconditioning (IPostC), 2) the heart could be pharmacologically pre- and postconditioned, using levosimendan (LPC & LPostC), 3) a combination of IPC & LPC had an additive protective effect on the heart, 4) the KATP (both mitochondrial and sarcolemmal) channels are involved in this protection and 5) the pro-survival kinases of the RISK (reperfusion injury salvage kinase) pathway are involved. Experimental approach. Isolated perfused guinea pig hearts were subjected to three different IPC protocols (1x5, 2x5 and 3x5 minutes of ischaemia) or levosimendan (0.1μM) preconditioning, before coronary artery occlusion (CAO – email@example.comºC), followed by 30 minutes of reperfusion. Hearts were also subjected to a combination of IPC & LPC, to establish whether they had additive protective effects. In addition, hearts were pre-treated with levosimendan directly before induction of sustained ischaemia (without washout of the drug – levosimendan pre-treatment (LPT)) for 10min. With the postconditioning protocol, iii the hearts were subjected to 3x30second cycles of ischaemia/reperfusion or levosimendan/vehicle. In a separate series of experiments, hearts were treated with KATP channel blockers (for both sarcolemmal & mitochondrial), before LPC, LPT and LPostC. The endpoints that were measured were: cardiac reperfusion function, myocardial infarct size and RISK pathway expression and phosphorylation (PKB/Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase – ERK42/44). Results. IPC, IPostC, LPC & LPostC decreased myocardial infarct size significantly compared with their controls (21.9±2.2%, 21.4±2.2%, 20.6±3.1% and 20.6±1.8% respectively vs. 46.4±1.8% for controls, p<0.05). The combination of IPC & LPC had no additive protective effect. Pre-treating the hearts with levosimendan (without washout), before index ischaemia, proved to be the most effective method of cardioprotection (infarct size: 5.8±0.9% vs. 46.4±1.8% for controls, p<0.001). With LPT a significant increase (p < 0.05 vs. control) in phosphorylation of ER42/44 was also observed. An increase in the activity of one of the RISK pathway kinases, ERK42/44 seems to be one of the reasons for LPT’s efficacy. Treating the hearts with KATP channel blockers before subjecting them to LPC, LPT & LPostC abolished the protective effects induced by levosimendan, suggesting a role for the sarcolemmal and mitochondrial KATP channels in levosimendan-induced cardioprotection. Conclusions and implications. 1) Isolated guinea pig hearts could be pre- and postconditioned within the setting of ischaemia, 2) Hearts could be pharmacologically pre- and postconditioned with levosimendan, 3) levosimendan pre-treatment is the most effective way to reduce infarct size, possibly acting by increasing the phosphorylation of ERK42/44, 4) Myocardial protection was not increased by combining IPC & LPC (suggesting similar mechanisms of protection), 5) LPC, LPT and LPostC were abolished by both sarcolemmal and mitochondrial KATP channel blockers. .LPC and especially LPT, could be useful before elective cardiac surgery while LPostC may be considered after acute coronary artery events.
- ItemTreatment with a fixed dose combination antiretroviral therapy drug containing tenofovir, emtricitabine and efavirenz is associated with cardioprotection in high calorie diet-induced obese rats(Public Library of Science, 2018-12-05) Everson, Frans; Genis, Amanda; Ogundipe, Temitope; De Boever, Patrick; Goswami, Nandu; Lochner, Amanda; Blackhurst, Dee; Strijdom, HansHIV-infection, certain antiretroviral drug classes, especially protease inhibitors (PI), and obesity are associated with increased ischaemic heart disease (IHD) risk. However, the effect of PI-free fixed dose combination (FDC) antiretroviral therapy (ART) on hearts exposed to ischaemia-reperfusion injury (I/R) is unknown, particularly in obesity. This is becoming relevant as World Health Organisation guidelines recommend a FDC ART containing (non-) nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (tenofovir (TDF), emtricitabine (FTC) and efavirenz (EFV)) as first-line HIV treatment. Additionally, obesity rates are rising in HIV-infected populations, not only in ART-experienced individuals, but also at the time of ART initiation, which may further increase the risk of IHD. Therefore, we investigated the effects of PI-free FDC ART in myocardial I/R-exposed hearts from obese rats. Obesity was induced in male wistar rats via a 16-week high calorie diet. At week 10, treatment with a FDC ART drug containing TDF/FTC/EFV was initiated. Biometric and metabolic parameters, as well as myocardial functional recovery and infract size (IS), and myocardial signalling proteins following I/R were assessed after 16 weeks. Obese rats presented with increased body and intraperitoneal fat mass, elevated triglyceride and TBARS levels, whilst the hearts responded to I/R with impaired functional performance and increased IS. The FDC ART treatment did not alter biometric and metabolic parameters in obese rats. In a novel finding, ART protected obese hearts against I/R as shown by improved functional performance and smaller IS vs. untreated obese hearts. Cardioprotection was underscored by increased myocardial phosphorylated endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and reduced AMP-kinase levels. In conclusion, these results demonstrate for the first time, that 6-weeks treatment of obese rats with a FDC ART drug specifically containing TDF/FTC/EFV conferred cardioprotection against I/R. The FDC ART-induced cardioprotection was seemingly unrelated to metabolic changes, but rather due to direct cardiac mechanisms including the up-regulation of myocardial eNOS.