The neurovascular unit (NVU) is a relatively recent concept that clearly describes the relationship between brain cells and their blood vessels. The components of the NVU, comprising different types of cells, are so interrelated and associated with each other that they are considered as a single functioning unit. For this reason, even slight disturbances in the NVU could severely affect brain homeostasis and health. In this review, we aim to describe the current state of knowledge concerning the role of oxidative stress on the neurovascular unit and the role of a single cell type in the NVU crosstalk.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a very heterogeneous inherited ocular disorder group characterized by progressive retinal disruption. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) degeneration, due to oxidative stress which arrests the metabolic support to photoreceptors, represents one of the principal causes of RP. Here, the role of oxidative stress in RP onset and progression was analyzed by a comparative whole transcriptome analysis of human RPE cells, treated with 100 µg/ml of oxLDL and untreated, at different time points. Experiment was thrice repeated and performed on Ion Proton TM sequencing system. Data analysis, including low quality reads trimming and gene expression quantification, was realized by CLC Genomics Workbench software. The whole analysis highlighted 14 clustered "macro-pathways" and many sub-pathways, classified by selection of 5271 genes showing the highest alteration of expression. Among them, 23 genes were already known to be RP causative ones (15 over-expressed and 8 down-expressed), and their enrichment and intersection analyses highlighted new 77 candidate related genes (49 over-expressed and 28 down-expressed). A final filtering analysis then highlighted 29 proposed candidate genes. This data suggests that many new genes, not yet associated with RP, could influence its etiopathogenesis.
SUMMARY Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor-induced renal failure has been reported in bilateral renal artery stenosis and in stenosis in solitary kidneys, but not in unilateral renal artery stenosis. In these patients, however, a functional impairment of the kidney ipsilateral to the stenosis can often be detected after ACE inhibition by scintigraphic techniques employing glomerular radionuclide tracers like 99n> Tc-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA). Dynamic renal scintigraphy with "Tc-DTPA before and 1 hour after administration of captopril, 25 mg (renal scintigraphic captopril test; RSCT), was performed in a selected series of 39 hypertensive subjects with suspected renovascular hypertension. Changes in glomerular filtration rate induced by captopril on the individual kidney were estimated by assessing the early (120-180 seconds) DTPA uptake by the kidney. Values were expressed as the ratio between the kidney with the lower uptake and the contralateral one in 34 patients and as the ratio of the kidney counts to the injected dose in five patients with solitary kidneys, aortic coarctation, or both. Compared with precaptopril values, postcaptopril uptake decreased markedly in 14 subjects ( -62.42 ± 30.94 [SD]%; range, -25 to -100%) and decreased modestly or even increased in the other 25 ( + 0.57 ± 9.83%; range, + 28 to -13%). Of the 14 subjects considered to be RSCT-positive diagnostic workup revealed either established (10) or strongly suspected (2) renal artery stenosis in 12 and aortic coarctation in 2 subjects. In another patient with established renovascular hypertension, results of the RSCT were negative when performed in the supine position but became positive when repeated in the sitting position. Nine patients underwent repair of stenosis by either operation or angioplasty, and a striking correspondence was observed between response to RSCT and success of intervention. Taken together these findings strongly suggest that renal scintigraphy after ACE inhibition represents a promising tool for diagnosis of renovascular hypertension and its follow-up after operation or angioplasty. (Hypertension 10: 212-220, 1987) KEY WORDS • renovascular hypertension renal scintigraphy angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition
The discovery of thousands of non-coding RNAs has revolutionized molecular biology, being implicated in several biological processes and diseases. To clarify oxidative stress role on Retinitis pigmentosa, a very heterogeneous and inherited ocular disorder group characterized by progressive retinal degeneration, we realized a comparative transcriptome analysis of human retinal pigment epithelium cells, comparing two groups, one treated with oxLDL and one untreated, in four time points (1 h, 2 h, 4 h, 6 h). Data analysis foresaw a complex pipeline, starting from CLC Genomics Workbench, STAR and TopHat2/TopHat-Fusion alignment comparisons, followed by transcriptomes assembly and expression quantification. We then filtered out non-coding RNAs and continued the computational analysis roadmap with specific tools and databases for long non-coding RNAs (FEELnc), circular RNAs (CIRCexplorer, UROBORUS, CIRI, KNIFE, CircInteractome) and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNABank, piRNA Cluster, piRBase, PILFER). Finally, all detected non-coding RNAs underwent pathway analysis by Cytoscape software. Eight-hundred and fifty-four non-coding RNAs, between long non-coding RNAs and PIWI-interacting, were differentially expressed throughout all considered time points, in treated and untreated samples. These non-coding RNAs target host genes involved in several biochemical pathways are related to compromised response to oxidative stress, visual functions, synaptic impairment of retinal neurotransmission, impairment of the interphotoreceptor matrix and blood – retina barrier, all leading to retinal cell death. These data suggest that non-coding RNAs could play a relevant role in Retinitis pigmentosa etiopathogenesis.
Cone-rod dystrophies (CORDs) are a heterogeneous group of inherited retinopathies (IRDs) with more than 30 already known disease-causing genes. Uncertain phenotypes and extended range of intra- and interfamilial heterogenicity make still difficult to determine a precise genotype-phenotype correlation. Here, we used a next-generation sequencing approach to study a Sicilian family with a suspected form of CORD. Affected family members underwent ophthalmological examinations and a proband, blind from 50 years, underwent whole genome and exome sequencing. Variant analysis was enriched by pathway analysis and relevant variants were, then, investigated in other family members and in 100 healthy controls from Messina. CORD diagnosis with an intricate pattern of symptoms was confirmed by ophthalmological examinations. A total of about 50,000 variants were identified in both proband’s genome and exome. All affected family members presented specific genotypes mainly determined by mutated GUCY2D gene, and different phenotypical traits, mainly related to focus and color perception. Thus, we looked for possible modifier genes. According to relationship with GUCY2D, predicted functional effects, eye localization, and ocular disease affinity, only 9 variants, carried by 6 genes (CACNG8, PAX2, RXRG, CCDC175, PDE4DIP and LTF), survived the filtering. These genes encode key proteins involved in cone development and survival, and retina neurotransmission. Among analyzed variants, CACNG8c.*6819A>T and the new CCDC175 c.76C>T showed extremely low frequency in the control group, suggesting a key role on disease phenotypes. Such discovery could enforce the role of modifier genes into CORD onset/progression, contributing to improve diagnostic test towards a better personalized medicine.
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