Sunitinib malate is a multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor used in the treatment of human malignancies. A substantial number of sunitinib-treated patients develop cardiac dysfunction, but the mechanism of sunitinib-induced cardiotoxicity is poorly understood. We show that mice treated with sunitinib develop cardiac and coronary microvascular dysfunction and exhibit an impaired cardiac response to stress. The physiological changes caused by treatment with sunitinib are accompanied by a substantial depletion of coronary microvascular pericytes. Pericytes are a cell type that is dependent on intact PDGFR signaling but whose role in the heart is poorly defined. Sunitinib-induced pericyte depletion and coronary microvascular dysfunction are recapitulated by CP-673451, a structurally distinct PDGFR inhibitor, confirming the role of PDGFR in pericyte survival. Thalidomide, an anti-cancer agent that is known to exert beneficial effects on pericyte survival and function, prevents sunitinib-induced pericyte cell death in vitro and prevents sunitinib-induced cardiotoxicity in vivo in a mouse model. Our findings suggest that pericytes are the primary cellular target of sunitinib-induced cardiotoxicity and reveal the pericyte as a cell type of concern in the regulation of coronary microvascular function. Furthermore, our data provide preliminary evidence that thalidomide may prevent cardiotoxicity in sunitinib-treated cancer patients.
PDGFR is an important target for novel anticancer therapeutics because it is overexpressed in a wide variety of malignancies. Recently, however, several anticancer drugs that inhibit PDGFR signaling have been associated with clinical heart failure. Understanding this effect of PDGFR inhibitors has been difficult because the role of PDGFR signaling in the heart remains largely unexplored. As described herein, we have found that PDGFR-β expression and activation increase dramatically in the hearts of mice exposed to load-induced cardiac stress. In mice in which Pdgfrb was knocked out in the heart in development or in adulthood, exposure to loadinduced stress resulted in cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. Mechanistically, we showed that cardiomyocyte PDGFR-β signaling plays a vital role in stress-induced cardiac angiogenesis. Specifically, we demonstrated that cardiomyocyte PDGFR-β was an essential upstream regulator of the stress-induced paracrine angiogenic capacity (the angiogenic potential) of cardiomyocytes. These results demonstrate that cardiomyocyte PDGFR-β is a regulator of the compensatory cardiac response to pressure overload-induced stress. Furthermore, our findings may provide insights into the mechanism of cardiotoxicity due to anticancer PDGFR inhibitors.
Recent observations demonstrated that translation of mRNAs may occur in axonal processes at sites that are long distances away from the neuronal perikaria. While axonal protein synthesis has been documented in several studies, the mechanism of its regulation remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate whether RNA interference (RNAi) may be one of the pathways that control local protein synthesis in axons. Here we show that sciatic nerve contains Argonaute2 nuclease, fragile X mental retardation protein, p100 nuclease, and Gemin3 helicase-components of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). Application of short-interfering RNAs against neuronal beta-tubulin to the sciatic nerve initiated RISC formation, causing a decrease in levels of neuronal beta-tubulin III mRNA and corresponding protein, as well as a significant reduction in retrograde labeling of lumbar motor neurons. Our observations indicate that RNAi is functional in peripheral mammalian axons and is independent from the neuronal cell body or Schwann cells. We introduce a concept of local regulation of axonal translation via RNAi.
This study demonstrates the induction of the VEGF accompanied by a reduction of NF-kappaB activity (inflammatory signaling) by PPAR-gamma agonists in cardiac myoFb. These results may further the understanding of the beneficial effects of PPAR-gamma agonists on infarcted tissue repair and angiogenesis.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) causes Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. KSHV infection of cells produces both latent and lytic cycles of infection. In vivo, the virus is found predominantly in the latent state. In vitro, a lytic infection can be induced in KSHV-infected cells by treating with phorbol ester (TPA). However, the exact signalling events that lead to the reactivation of KSHV lytic infection are still elusive. Here, a role is demonstrated for B-Raf/MEK/ERK signalling in TPA-induced reactivation of KSHV latent infection. Inhibiting MEK/ERK signalling by using MEK-specific inhibitors decreased expression of the TPA-induced KSHV lytic-cycle gene ORF8. Transfection of BCBL-1 cells with B-Raf small interfering RNA inhibited TPA-induced KSHV lytic infection significantly. Additionally, overexpression of MEK1 induced a lytic cycle of KSHV infection in BCBL-1 cells. The significance of these findings in understanding the biology of KSHV-associated pathogenesis is discussed.
Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors Flt-1 and Flk-1 was studied in lumbar spinal cord after sciatic nerve crush injury. Immunohistochemical staining revealed strikingly different distribution of VEGF, Flt-1, and Flk-1 in lumbar motor neurons. VEGF was observed both in the nuclei and perikarya, while Flk-1 had cytoplasmic and Flt-1 perinuclear localization. Real-time RT-PCR showed a significant increase in the expression of VEGF and Flt-1 on the injured side of the lumbar spinal cord. The increased level of VEGF was also detected by immunoblot. Here we show that lumbar motor neurons increase the expression of VEGF and Flt-1 in response to injury. We propose that VEGF/Flt-1 signaling may be involved in regeneration of the spinal motor neurons.
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