Brenda R Kwak

Learn More
Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, or statins, are effective lipid-lowering agents, extensively used in medical practice. Statins have never been shown to be involved in the immune response, although a report has indicated a better outcome of cardiac transplantation in patients under Pravastatin therapy. Major(More)
Considerable interest for cell-derived microparticles has emerged, pointing out their essential role in haemostatic response and their potential as disease markers, but also their implication in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. They derive from different cell types including platelets - the main source of microparticles - but also(More)
Cellular interaction in blood vessels is maintained by multiple communication pathways, including gap junctions. They consist of intercellular channels ensuring direct interaction between endothelial and smooth muscle cells and the synchronization of their behavior along the vascular wall. Gap-junction channels arise from the docking of two hemichannels or(More)
BACKGROUND Connexins are a family of transmembrane proteins that are widely expressed in the human body. Connexins play an important role in cell-cell communication and homeostasis in various tissues by forming gap junction channels, which enable a direct passage of ions or metabolites from one cell to another. Twenty-one different connexins are expressed(More)
Lymphatic valves are essential for efficient lymphatic transport, but the mechanisms of early lymphatic-valve morphogenesis and the role of biomechanical forces are not well understood. We found that the transcription factors PROX1 and FOXC2, highly expressed from the onset of valve formation, mediate segregation of lymphatic-valve-forming cells and cell(More)
Short term (15 min) effects of activators of protein kinase A (PKA), PKC and PKG on cardiac macroscopic (gj) and single channel (γj) gap junctional conductances were studied in pairs of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Under dual whole-cell voltage-clamp, PKC activation by 100 nM TPA increased gj by 16 ± 2% (mean ± S.E.M, n=9), 1.5 mM of the PKG activator(More)
Increasing evidence supports the involvement of inflammation in the early phases of atherogenesis. Recruitment of leukocytes within the vascular wall, controlled by chemokines, is an essential process in the development of this common disease. In this study, we report that blocking a chemokine pathway in vivo with the CC chemokine antagonist Met-RANTES(More)
Paracrine cell-to-cell interactions are crucial events during atherogenesis. However, little is known about the role of direct intercellular communication via gap junctions during this process. We have investigated the expression pattern of 3 vascular gap junction proteins (connexins) in mouse and human atherosclerotic plaques. Low density lipoprotein(More)
Local injury induces a complex orchestrated response to stimulate healing of injured tissues, cellular regeneration and phagocytosis. Practically, inflammation is defined as a defense process whereby fluid and white blood cells accumulate at a site of injury. The balance of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors is likely to play a key role in regulating(More)
BACKGROUND Recruitment of mononuclear leukocytes within atherosclerotic lesions is a critical step in atherogenesis. Mice lacking the chemokine receptor CCR2, highly expressed on macrophages but also on T lymphocytes, show a striking reduction of atherosclerotic lesion formation. The chemokine receptor CXCR3 is a marker of activated T helper type 1(More)