The phytoalexin resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) may attenuate cardiovascular disease in man. This study has determined whether treatment with resveratrol (1 mg/kg/day orally) prevented cardiac fibrosis and the decreased cardiovascular function in the DOCA-salt hypertensive rat as a model of human hypertension. Uninephrectomised rats (UNX) administered DOCA (25mg every 4th day sc) and 1% NaCl in drinking water for 28 days developed cardiac and vascular remodelling. In these DOCA-salt rats, resveratrol decreased inflammatory cell infiltration, decreased cardiac fibrosis (left ventricular interstitial and perivascular collagen content) and improved cardiac and vascular function. Resveratrol attenuated other features of cardiovascular remodelling such as increases in systolic blood pressure, left ventricular wet weight, left ventricular wall thickness, diastolic stiffness constant, as well as decreased cardiac contractility and prolonged action potential duration characteristic of DOCA-salt rats. In summary, resveratrol, at a nutritionally relevant dose, prevents or attenuates the adverse changes in the cardiovascular system. We propose that the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of resveratrol are responsible, at least in part, for its amelioration in cardiovascular remodelling in DOCA-salt rats. These actions of resveratrol could play an important role in the protective effects on the human cardiovascular system reported for this constituent of red wine.
Oxidative stress and inflammation are two sides of the same coin that are intricately combined to elicit a chronic pathophysiological stress state, especially as seen in cardiovascular remodelling. In this review, we argue that administration of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) and sodium chloride to uninephrectomised rats, defined as DOCA-salt hypertensive rats, provides a reliable animal model of oxidative and inflammatory stress in the cardiovascular system. The supporting evidence includes pathophysiological and biochemical changes together with pharmacological responses to synthetic and natural compounds that lower the concentrations of reactive free radical species and that curtail inflammatory responses in the cardiovascular system.
Red wine contains many compounds that may have therapeutic use, including resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxytrans-stilbene). Since resveratrol could be administered both in the diet and as a therapeutic agent, defining appropriate concentrations requires understanding of the pharmacokinetics. Resveratrol absorption is rapid but plasma concentrations are low as it is rapidly and efficiently converted into relatively hydrophilic phase-2 conjugates, and metabolites, which are then rapidly excreted via the urine and bile. Resveratrol is an effective antioxidant in vivo by increasing NO synthesis and also maintaining the reduced intracellular redox state via the thioredoxin system. Further, activation of sirtuins (one class of lysine deacetylases) may mediate the cardiovascular responses shown by resveratrol. Studies on animal models of human disease suggest that resveratrol has the potential to decrease cardiovascular symptoms in patients with myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, hypertension, cardiomyopathies, fibrosis, atherosclerosis, thrombosis and diabetes, but, as yet, human clinical trials are rare. Cardioprotection by resveratrol in rodent models may rely on mechanisms producing pharmacological preconditioning in the heart including reducing reactive oxygen species, improving vasorelaxation and angiogenesis, preventing inflammation and apoptosis, delaying atherosclerosis as well as decreasing cardiovascular remodelling. Interventional studies in humans need to be completed before resveratrol can be considered as a standard therapeutic agent. Therefore, future studies should focus on obtaining the level of evidence required to determine whether resveratrol can be added to the list of evidence-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases that includes renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, beta-adrenoceptor antagonists and calcium entry blockers.
Although excessive consumption of ethanol in alcoholic beverages causes multi-organ damage, moderate consumption, particularly of red wine, is protective against all-cause mortality. These protective effects could be due to one or many components of the complex mixture of bioactive compounds present in red wine including flavonols, monomeric and polymeric flavan-3-ols, highly coloured anthocyanins as well as phenolic acids and the stilbene polyphenol, resveratrol. The therapeutic potential of resveratrol, firstly in cancer chemoprevention and then later for cardioprotection, has stimulated many studies on the possible mechanisms of action. Further indications for resveratrol have been developed, including the prevention of age-related disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These improvements are remarkably similar yet there is an important dichotomy: low doses improve cell survival as in cardio-and neuro-protection yet high doses increase cell death as in cancer treatment. Fewer studies have examined the responses to other components of red wine, but the results have, in general, been similar to resveratrol. If the non-alcoholic constitutents of red wine are to become therapeutic agents, their ability to get to the sites of action needs to be understood. This mini-review summarizes recent studies on the possible mechanisms of action, potential therapeutic uses and bioavailability of the non-alcoholic constitutents of alcoholic beverages, in particular resveratrol and other polyphenols.
Friction (and lubrication) between soft contacts is prevalent in many natural and engineered systems and plays a crucial role in determining their functionality. The contribution of viscoelastic hysteresis losses to friction in these systems has been well-established and defined for dry contacts; however, the influence of fluid viscosity and wetting on these components of friction has largely been overlooked. We provide systematic experimental evidence of the influence of lubricant viscosity and wetting on lubrication across multiple regimes within a viscoelastic contact. These effects are investigated for comparatively smooth and rough elastomeric contacts (PTFE-PDMS and PDMS-PDMS) lubricated by a series of Newtonian fluids with systematically controlled viscosity and static wetting properties, using a ball-on-disc tribometer. The distinct tribological behaviour, characterised generally by a decrease in the friction coefficient with increasing fluid viscosity and wettability, is explained in terms of lubricant dewetting and squeeze-out dynamics and their impact on multi-scale viscoelastic dissipation mechanisms at the bulk-, asperity-, sub-asperity- and molecular-scale. It is proposed that lubrication within the (non-molecularly) smooth contact is governed by localised fluid entrapment and molecular-scale (interfacial) viscoelastic effects, while additional rubber hysteresis stimulated by fluid-asperity interactions, combined with rapid fluid drainage at low speeds within the rough contact, alter the general shape of the Stribeck curve. This fluid viscosity effect is in some agreement with theoretical predictions. Conventional methods for analysing and interpreting tribological data, which typically involve scaling sliding velocity with lubricant viscosity, need to be revised for viscoelastic contacts with consideration of these indirect viscosity effects.
G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the major classes of cell surface receptors and are associated with a group of G proteins consisting of three subunits termed alpha, beta, and gamma. G proteins are classified into four families according to their α subunit; Gαi, Gαs, Gα12/13, and Gαq. There are several downstream pathways of Gαq of which the best known is upon activation via guanosine triphosphate (GTP), Gαq activates phospholipase Cβ, hydrolyzing phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate into diacylglycerol and inositol triphosphate and activating protein kinase C and increasing calcium efflux from the endoplasmic reticulum. Although G proteins, in particular, the Gαq/11 are central elements in GPCR signaling, their actual roles have not yet been thoroughly investigated. The lack of research of the role on Gαq/11 in cell biology is partially due to the obscure nature of the available pharmacological agents. YM-254890 is the most useful Gαq-selective inhibitor with antiplatelet, antithrombotic, and thrombolytic effects. YM-254890 inhibits Gαq signaling pathways by preventing the exchange of guanosine diphosphate for GTP. UBO-QIC is a structurally similar compound to YM-254890, which can inhibit platelet aggregation and cause vasorelaxation in rats. Many agents are available for the study of signaling downstream of Gαq/11. The role of G proteins could potentially represent a novel therapeutic target. This review will explore the range of pharmacological and molecular tools available for the study of the role of Gαq/11 in GPCR signaling.
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