Cardiac ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide) moderates arterial blood pressure. The mechanisms mediating its hypotensive effects are complex and involve inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, increased natriuresis, endothelial permeability, and vasodilatation. The contribution of the direct vasodilating effects of ANP to blood pressure homeostasis is controversial because variable levels of the ANP receptor, GC-A (guanylyl cyclase-A), are expressed among vascular beds. Here, we show that ANP stimulates GC-A/cyclic GMP signaling in cultured microvascular pericytes and thereby the phosphorylation of the regulatory subunit of myosin phosphatase 1 by cGMP-dependent protein kinase I. Moreover, ANP prevents the calcium and contractile responses of pericytes to endothelin-1 as well as microvascular constrictions. In mice with conditional inactivation (knock-out) of GC-A in microcirculatory pericytes, such vasodilating effects of ANP on precapillary arterioles and capillaries were fully abolished. Concordantly, these mice have increased blood pressure despite preserved renal excretory function. Furthermore, acute intravascular volume expansion, which caused release of cardiac ANP, did not affect blood pressure of control mice but provoked hypertensive reactions in pericyte GC-A knock-out littermates. We conclude that GC-A/cGMP-dependent modulation of pericytes and microcirculatory tone contributes to the acute and chronic moderation of arterial blood pressure by ANP. Graphic Abstract Ais available for this article.
Alteration in microbiota composition of respiratory tract has been reported in the progression of many chronic lung diseases, yet, the correlation and causal link between respiratory tract microbiota and the disease development of pulmonary hypertension (PH) remain largely unknown. This study aims to define and compare the respiratory microbiota composition in pharyngeal swab samples between patients with PH and reference subjects. A total of 118 patients with PH and 79 reference subjects were recruited, and the pharyngeal swab samples were collected to sequence the 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) V3-V4 region of respiratory microbiome. The relative abundances in patients with PH were profoundly different from reference subjects. The Ace and Sobs indexes indicated that the microbiota richness of pharynx value is significantly higher; while the community diversity value is markedly lower in patients with PH, comparing to those of the reference subjects. The microbiota on pharynx showed a different profile between the 2 groups by principal component analysis. The linear discriminant analysis effect size also revealed a significantly higher proportion ofStreptococcus,Lautropia, andRalstoniain patients with PH than reference subjects. The linear discriminant analysis effect size output, which represents the microbial gene functions, suggest genes related to bacterial invasion of epithelial cells, bacterial toxins were enhanced, while genes related to energy metabolism, protein digestion and absorption, and cell division pathways were attenuated in patients with PH versus reference subjects. In summary, our study reports the first systematic definition and divergent profile of the upper respiratory tract microbiota between patients with PH and reference subjects.
This study aimed to assess current level of sodium and potassium intake and their associations with blood pressure (BP) using the 24-hour urinary data in a large sample of China. Data from participants aged 18 to 75 years were collected as the baseline survey of Action on Salt China in 2018. Of 5454 adults, 5353 completed 24-hour urine collection. The average sodium, potassium excretion, and sodium-to-potassium molar ratio were 4318.1 +/- 1814.1 mg/d (equivalent to 11.0 +/- 4.6 g/d of salt), 1573.7 +/- 627.1 mg/d, and 5.0 +/- 2.1, respectively. After adjusting for potential confounding factors and correcting for regression dilution, each 1000-mg increase in sodium excretion was associated with increased systolic BP (1.32 mm Hg [95% CI, 0.92-1.81]) and diastolic BP (0.34 mm Hg [95% CI, 0.09-0.60]). Each 1000-mg increase in potassium excretion was inversely associated with systolic BP (-3.19 mm Hg [95% CI, -4.38 to -2.20]) and diastolic BP (-1.56 mm Hg [95% CI, -2.29 to -0.90]). Each unit increase in sodium-to-potassium molar ratio was associated with an increase of systolic BP by 1.21 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.91-1.60) and diastolic BP by 0.44 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.24-0.64). The relationships between sodium and BP mostly increase with the rise of BP quantiles. Potassium shows the opposite trend. The current sodium intake in Chinese adults remains high and potassium intake is low. Sodium and sodium-to-potassium ratio were positively associated with BP, whereas potassium was inversely associated with BP.
We investigated the mechanism by which ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) overexpression alters neurohumoral outflow and central oxidative stress. Nrf2 (nuclear factor [erythroid-derived 2]-like 2) is a master antioxidant transcription factor that regulates cytoprotective and antioxidant genes. We hypothesized that upregulation of central ACE2 inhibits the pressor response to Ang II (angiotensin II) by reducing reactive oxygen species through a Nrf2/antioxidant enzyme-mediated mechanism in the rostral ventrolateral medulla. Synapsin human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 positive (SynhACE2(+/+)) mice and their littermate controls synhACE2(-/-)were used to evaluate the consequence of intracerebroventricular infusion of Ang II. In control mice, Ang II infusion evoked a significant increase in blood pressure and norepinephrine excretion, along with polydipsia and polyuria. The pressor effect of central Ang II was completely blocked in synhACE2(+/+)mice. Polydipsia, norepinephrine excretion, and markers of oxidative stress in response to central Ang II were also reduced in synhACE2(+/+)mice. The MasR (Mas receptor) agonist Ang 1-7 and blocker A779 had no effects on blood pressure. synhACE2(+/+)mice showed enhanced expression of Nrf2 in the rostral ventrolateral medulla which was blunted following Ang II infusion. Ang II evoked nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in cultured Neuro 2A (N2A) cells. In synhACE2(-/-)mice, the central Ang II pressor response was attenuated by simultaneous intracerebroventricular infusion of the Nrf2 activator sulforaphane; blood pressure was enhanced by knockdown of Nrf2 in the rostral ventrolateral medulla in Nrf2 floxed (Nrf2(f/f)) mice. These data suggest that the hypertensive effects of intracerebroventricular Ang II are attenuated by selective overexpression of brain synhACE2 and may be mediated by Nrf2-upregulated antioxidant enzymes in the rostral ventrolateral medulla.
The pathogenesis of preeclampsia, a pregnancy-related disease, is not completely understood. The primary cilium transduces a diverse array of signaling pathways important for vital cellular activities. Primary cilia were reported to facilitate trophoblastic cell invasion. We hypothesized their further functions in trophoblasts and were interested in related molecular mechanisms. We systematically examined the presence, length and percentage of the primary cilium, its mediated signal transduction, and its connection to trophoblast function. Various cellular and molecular methods were used including immunofluorescence staining, spheroid formation, gene analysis, invasion and tube formation assays with trophoblastic cell lines, primary trophoblasts, and placental tissues. We show that primary cilia are present in various trophoblastic cell lines derived from first trimester placentas. Cilia are also observable in primary trophoblasts, though in a small quantity. Importantly, primary cilia are shortened in trophoblastic cells derived from preeclamptic placentas. Mechanistically, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha or sera from patients with preeclampsia are able to reduce the length of primary cilia and impair the important sonic hedgehog signaling pathway. Functionally, trophoblastic cells with defective cilia display severe failures in their key functions, like migration, invasion and tube formation, also observed in trophoblastic cells depleted of the intraflagellar transport protein 88. This is accompanied by reduced gene expression of matrix metallopeptidases, vascular endothelial growth factor, and placental growth factor. This work highlights the significance of primary cilia in the functions of trophoblastic cells. Dysfunctional cilia may lead to compromised migration, invasion, and endothelial remodeling of trophoblastic cells, contributing to the development of preeclampsia.
Blood pressure (BP) and obesity phenotypes may covary due to shared genetic or environmental factors or both. Furthermore, it is possible that the heritability of BP differs according to obesity status-a form of GxE interaction. This hypothesis has never been tested in White twins. The present study included 15 924 White male twin pairs aged between 15 and 33 years from the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council World War II Veteran Twin Registry. Systolic and diastolic BPs, as well as height and weight, were measured at the induction physical examination. Body mass index (BMI) was used as the index of general obesity. Quantitative genetic modeling was performed using Mx software. Univariate analysis showed that narrow sense heritabilities (95% CI) for systolic BP, diastolic BP, height, and BMI were 0.401 (0.381-0.420), 0.297 (0.280-0.320), 0.866 (0.836-0.897), and 0.639 (0.614-0.664), respectively. Positive phenotypic correlations of BMI with systolic BP (r=0.13) and diastolic BP (r=0.08) were largely due to genetic factors (70% and 86%, respectively). The gene-BMI interaction analysis did not show any support for a modifying effect of BMI on genetic and environmental influences of systolic BP and diastolic BP. Our results suggest that correlations between BP and BMI are mainly explained by common genes influencing both. Higher BMI levels have no influence on the penetrance of genetic vulnerability to elevated BP. These conclusions may prove valuable for gene-finding studies.
The A(2A)R (adenosine 2A receptor) plays a crucial role in the pathophysiological process of cardiovascular diseases, yet its effect on aortic remodeling remains unclear. We observed elevated adenosine and A(2A)R levels following infusion of mice with Ang II (angiotensin II), suggesting a potential role for the adenosine-A(2A)R system in macrophage accumulation and subsequent aortic remodeling. The effects and mechanisms of A(2A)R on macrophage dynamics during aortic remodeling were further investigated using mice with macrophage knockout of A(2A)R and by transplantation of A(2A)R(-/-) bone marrow. We demonstrated that macrophage knockout of A(2A)R inhibited macrophage accumulation and subsequent aortic remodeling by inhibiting macrophage retention. This was shown to occur via promotion of macrophage emigration to the draining lymph node. These effects correlated with restoration of the expression and surface content of CCR7 (CC chemokine receptor 7). Consistently, A(2A)R(-/-) bone marrow transplantation relieved Ang II-induced aortic remodeling, macrophage retention, and CCR7 downregulation and internalization, all of which were rescued by A(2A)R(+)/(+) bone marrow transplantation. In addition, CCR7 antibody treatment blocked all the protective effects observed in A(2A)R-cKO mice, including attenuation of aortic remodeling and decreased macrophage retention. In in vitro studies, A(2A)R activation induced by Ang II suppressed macrophage migration to CCL19 (CC-chemokine ligand) 19 through downregulation and internalization of CCR7. In summary, A(2A)R activation contributes to Ang II-induced macrophage retention and subsequent aortic remodeling by inhibiting migration of macrophages to the draining lymph node through regulating CCR7 expression and internalization.
Transcribed ultraconserved regions (T-UCRs) are a novel class of long noncoding RNAs transcribed from UCRs, which exhibit 100% DNA sequence conservation among humans, mice, and rats. However, whether T-UCRs regulate cardiac hypertrophy remains unclear. We aimed to explore the effects of T-UCRs on cardiac hypertrophy. First, we performed long noncoding RNA microarray analysis on hearts of mice subjected to sham surgery or aortic banding and found that the T-UCR uc.323 was decreased significantly in mice with aortic banding-induced cardiac hypertrophy. In vitro loss- and gain-of-function experiments demonstrated that uc.323 protected cardiomyocytes against hypertrophy induced by phenylephrine. Additionally, we discovered that mammalian target of rapamycin 1 contributed to phenylephrine-induced uc.323 downregulation and uc.323-mediated cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. We further mapped the possible target genes of uc.323 through global microarray mRNA expression analysis after uc.323 knockdown and found that uc.323 regulated the expression of cardiac hypertrophy-related genes such as CPT1b (Carnitine Palmitoyl transferase 1b). Then, chromatin immunoprecipitation proved that EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2) bound to the promoter of CPT1b via H3K27me3 (trimethylation of lysine 27 of histone H3) to induce CPT1b downregulation. And overexpression of CPT1b could block uc.323-mediated cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Finally, we found that uc.323 deficiency induced cardiac hypertrophy. Our results reveal that uc.323 is a conserved T-UCR that inhibits cardiac hypertrophy, potentially by regulating the transcription of CPT1b via interaction with EZH2.
Endothelial dysfunction is an early step to the progression of cardiovascular diseases in diabetes. Apart from their anti-diabetic action, DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4) inhibitors also reduce cardiovascular events in diabetic patients. However, the underlying mechanism of the beneficial effect of DPP-4 inhibitor on endothelial function is still obscure. In this study, we intervened type 1 or 2 diabetic model mice with vildagliptin for 4 weeks and measured the vascular reactivity. We found that vildagliptin improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation in diabetic mice independent of GLP-1 (glucagonlike peptide-1), but this effect was blocked by a SIRT1 (Sirtuin 1) inhibitor, Ex527. Mechanistically, vildagliptin-activated Transient Receptor Potential Channel Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) to promote extracellular calcium uptake in endothelial cells, which activated AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase)/SIRT1 pathway to counteract hyperglycemia-induced endothelial reactive oxygen species generation and senescence. Vildagliptin directly binds to TRPV4 by forming a hydrogen bond, which is critical to vildagliptin-evoked endothelial calcium intake. Knockout or inhibition of TRPV4 erased the beneficial role of vildagliptin. In addition, activation of SIRT1 by SRT1720 improved endothelial function independent of TRPV4 and reduced TRPV4 transcription to maintain an appropriate calcium level. In summary, our findings prove that vildagliptin protects against hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction by activating TRPV4-meditaed Ca2+ uptake, which helps to re-understand the mechanism of DPP-4 inhibitors and expand the therapeutic scope.
The objective of the current study is to use comparative and functional genomic analysis to help to understand the biological mechanism mediating the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on blood pressure. We mapped 26 585 SNPs that are in linkage disequilibrium with 1071 human blood pressure-associated sentinel SNPs to 9447 syntenic regions in the mouse genome. Approximately 21.8% of the 1071 linkage disequilibrium regions are located at least 10 kb from any protein-coding gene. Approximately 300 blood pressure-associated SNPs are expression quantitative trait loci for a few dozen known blood pressure physiology genes in tissues including specific kidney regions. Blood pressure-associated sentinel SNPs are significantly enriched for expression quantitative trait loci for blood pressure physiology genes compared with randomly selected SNPs (P<0.00023, Fisher exact test). Using a newly developed deep learning method and other methods, we identified SNPs that were predicted to influence the conservation of CTCF (CCCTC-binding factor) binding across cell types, transcription factor binding, mRNA splicing, or secondary structures of RNA including long noncoding RNA. The SNPs were more likely to be located in CTCF-binding regions than what would be expected from the whole genome (P=4.90x10(-7), Pearson chi(2) test). One example synonymous SNP rs9337951 was predicted to influence the secondary structure of its host mRNA JCAD (junctional cadherin 5 associated) and was experimentally validated to influence JCAD protein expression. These findings provide an extensive comparative and functional genomic resource for developing experiments to test the functional significance of human blood pressure-associated SNPs in human cells and animal models.
Blood pressure (BP) is a leading global risk factor. Increasing age is related to changes in cardiovascular physiology that could influence cuff BP measurement, but this has never been examined systematically and was the aim of this study. Cuff BP was compared with invasive aortic BP across decades of age (from 40 to 89 years) using individual-level data from 31 studies (1674 patients undergoing coronary angiography) and 22 different cuff BP devices (19 oscillometric, 1 automated auscultation, 2 mercury sphygmomanometry) from the Invasive Blood Pressure Consortium. Subjects were aged 64 +/- 11 years, and 32% female. Cuff systolic BP overestimated invasive aortic systolic BP in those aged 40 to 49 years, but with each older decade of age, there was a progressive shift toward increasing underestimation of aortic systolic BP (P<0.0001). Conversely, cuff diastolic BP overestimated invasive aortic diastolic BP, and this progressively increased with increasing age (P<0.0001). Thus, there was a progressive increase in cuff pulse pressure underestimation of invasive aortic PP with increasing decades of age (P<0.0001). These age-related trends were observed across all categories of BP control. We conclude that cuff BP as an estimate of aortic BP was substantially influenced by increasing age, thus potentially exposing older people to greater chance for misdiagnosis of the true risk related to BP.
The recommendations for the diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension were recently revised by the American Heart Association primarily based on its impact on cardiovascular disease risks. Whether the newly diagnosed stage 1 hypertension impacts pregnancy complications remain poorly defined. We designed a retrospective cohort study to investigate the associations of stage 1 hypertension detected in early gestation (<20 weeks) with risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes stratified by prepregnancy body mass index. A total of 47 874 women with singleton live births and blood pressure (BP) <140/90 mm Hg were included, with 5781 identified as stage 1a (systolic BP, 130-134 mm Hg; diastolic BP, 80-84 mm Hg; or both) and 3267 as stage 1b hypertension (systolic BP, 135-139 mm Hg; diastolic BP, 85-90 mm Hg; or both). Slightly higher, yet significant, rates and risks of gestational diabetes mellitus, preterm delivery, and low birth weight (<2500 g) were observed in both groups compared with normotensive controls. Importantly, women with stage 1a and stage 1b hypertension had significantly increased incidences of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy compared with normotensive women (adjusted odds ratio, 2.34 [95% CI, 2.16-2.53]; 3.05 [2.78-3.34], respectively). After stratifying by body mass index, stage 1a and 1b hypertension were associated with increased hypertensive disorders in pregnancy risks in both normal weight (body mass index, 18.5-24.9; adjusted odds ratio, 2.44 [2.23-2.67]; 3.26 [2.93-3.63]) and the overweight/obese (body mass index, >= 25; adjusted odds ratio, 1.90 [1.56-2.31]; 2.36 [1.92-2.90]). Current findings suggested significantly increased adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with stage 1 hypertension based on the revised American Heart Association guidelines, especially in women with prepregnancy normal weight.
Although preeclampsia is a common and serious complication of pregnancy, insight into its pathobiology and diagnosis is lacking. Circulating plasma exosomes, which contain RNA and other molecules and have recently become accessible for diagnostics, may be informative in this regard. We tested the hypothesis that preeclampsia may affect the miRNA cargo within circulating maternal blood exosomes. We collected plasma from 60 pregnant women at term, including 20 women with pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia, and 20 women with fetal growth restriction and 20 with healthy pregnancy, serving as controls. We isolated exosomes from the maternal plasma by continuous density gradient ultracentrifugation. Our main outcome variable was exosomal miRNA cargo, analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based TaqMan advanced miRNA assay in a card format and the expression of differentially expressed exosomal miRNA in whole plasma from the same participants. We found that 7 miRNA species were differentially expressed in exosomes from women with preeclampsia and those from controls. In contrast, there was no significant difference in exosomal miRNA expression between women with fetal growth restriction and controls. The results were not affected by fetal sex. Only one of the preeclampsia-related, differentially expressed exosomal miRNAs was significantly different in whole plasma miRNA analysis. We concluded that unlike whole plasma miRNA, exosomes extracted from the plasma of women with preeclampsia exhibit a unique miRNA profile, suggesting that plasma exosomal miRNA could provide insight into the pathophysiology of preeclampsia, and may play a role in disease diagnostics.
Plasma metabolic profiles were compared between patients with hypertension with and without left ventricular hypertrophy and significantly decreased oleic acid (OA) levels were observed in the peripheral blood of patients with hypertension with left ventricular hypertrophy. We sought to determine the effect and underlying mechanisms of OA on cardiac remodeling. In vitro studies with isolated neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts revealed that OA significantly attenuated Ang II (angiotensin II)-induced cardiomyocyte growth and cardiac fibroblast collagen expression. In vivo, cardiac function, hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes, and fibrosis were analyzed after an Ang II (1000 ng/kg/minute) pump was implanted for 14 days. We found that OA could significantly prevent Ang II-induced cardiac remodeling in mice. RNA sequencing served as a gene expression roadmap highlighting gene expression changes in the hearts of Ang II-induced mice and OA-treated mice. The results revealed that FGF23 (fibroblast growth factor 23) expression was significantly upregulated in mouse hearts in response to Ang II infusion, which was significantly suppressed in the hearts of OA-treated mice. Furthermore, overexpression of FGF23 in the heart by injection of an AAV-9 vector aggravated Ang II-induced cardiac remodeling and impaired the protective effect of OA on cardiac remodeling. Further study found that OA could suppress Ang II-induced FGF23 expression by inhibiting the translocation of Nurr1 (nuclear receptor-related 1 protein) from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Our findings suggest a novel role of OA in preventing Ang II-induced cardiac remodeling via suppression of FGF23 expression.
Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation is the pathological basis of pulmonary vascular remodeling in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. Recent studies suggest that circular RNA (circRNA) can regulate various biological processes, including cell proliferation. Therefore, it is possible that circRNA may have important roles in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension. In the present study, we aimed to identify functional circRNAs and clarify their roles and mechanisms in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation in pulmonary hypertension. RNA sequencing identified 67 circRNAs that were differentially expressed in hypoxic lung tissues of mice. Screening by bioinformatics and quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed significant elevation of a circRNA derived from alternative splicing of the calmodulin 4 gene (designated circ-calm4). Notably, this circRNA absorbed miR-337-3p. We further identified Myo10 (myosin 10) as a target protein of miR-337-3p. miR-337-3p bound to the 3 '-untranslated region of Myo10 mRNA, thereby attenuating the translation of Myo10. Using loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches, we found that circ-calm4 regulated cell proliferation by regulating the cell cycle. Additionally, we verified the functions of miR-337-3p and Myo10 in hypoxic pulmonary artery smooth muscle. Our results suggested that the circ-calm4/miR-337-3p/Myo10 signal transduction axis modulated the proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells at the molecular level, thus establishing potential targets for the early diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension.