Helen A. Christou

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Extracellular acidosis (EA) has profound effects on vascular homeostasis, including vascular bed-specific alterations in vascular tone. Regulation of gene expression by EA has been observed in a variety of cells including vascular endothelial cells. Whether EA regulates gene expression in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is not known. Heme oxygenase(More)
We investigated the role of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 in the development of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. HO catalyzes the breakdown of heme to the antioxidant bilirubin and the vasodilator carbon monoxide. Hypoxia is a potent but transient inducer of HO-1 in vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro and in the lung in vivo. By using agonists of HO-1, we(More)
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a life-threatening disease with unclear vascular mechanisms. We tested whether PH involves abnormal pulmonary vasoconstriction and impaired vasodilation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to hypoxia (9% O(2)) for 2 weeks or injected with single dose of monocrotaline (MCT, 60 mg/kg s.c.). Control rats were normoxic or(More)
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent mitogenic and permeability factor targeting predominantly endothelial cells. At least two tyrosine kinase receptors, Flk-1 and Flt-1, mediate its action and are mostly expressed by endothelial cells. VEGF and VEGF receptor expression are upregulated by hypoxia in vivo and the role of VEGF in(More)
BACKGROUND Hypoxia and pressure-overload induce heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in cardiomyocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). HO-1(-/-) mice exposed to chronic hypoxia develop pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with exaggerated right ventricular (RV) injury consisting of dilation, fibrosis, and mural thrombi. Our objective was to identify the HO-1(More)
INTRODUCTION Cell-free plasma hemoglobin is associated with poor outcome in patients with sepsis. Extracellular hemoglobin and secondarily released heme amplify inflammation in the presence of microbial TLR ligands and/or endogenous mediators. Hemopexin, a plasma protein that binds heme with extraordinary affinity, blocks these effects and has been proposed(More)
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is characterized by pulmonary arteriolar remodeling with excessive pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation. This results in decreased responsiveness of pulmonary circulation to vasodilator therapies. We have shown that extracellular acidosis inhibits VSMC proliferation and migration in vitro. Here we tested(More)
OBJECTIVE Vitamin D deficiency is associated with asthma and reactive airway disease in childhood but its potential contribution to bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants is unknown. Preterm infants have lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) at birth and are at risk for nutritional deficiencies after birth. The objective of the study(More)
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a major complication of preterm birth and has serious adverse long-term health consequences. The etiology of BPD is complex, multifactorial, and incompletely understood. Contributing factors include ventilator-induced lung injury, exposure to toxic oxygen levels, and infection. Several preventive and therapeutic(More)
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