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Enkephalins are opioid peptides that are found at high levels in the brain and endocrine tissues. Studies have shown that enkephalins play an important role in behavior, pain, cardiac function, cellular growth, immunity, and ischemic tolerance. Our global hypothesis is that enkephalins are released from non-neuronal tissues in response to brief ischemia or(More)
Adipose tissue depots originate from distinct precursor cells, are functionally diverse, and modulate disease processes in a depot-specific manner. However, the functional properties of perivascular adipocytes, and their influence on disease of the blood vessel wall, remain to be determined. We show that human coronary perivascular adipocytes exhibit a(More)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen, causes acute pneumonia in patients with hospital-acquired infections and is commonly associated with chronic lung disease in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF). Evidence suggests that the pathophysiological effects of P. aeruginosa are mediated in part by virulence factors secreted by the(More)
BACKGROUND Low-level endotoxemia (ie, >or=50 pg/mL) in apparently healthy subjects was recently identified as a powerful, independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS We treated human saphenous veins (HSVs) with low levels of endotoxin. Release of the proinflammatory chemokines interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant(More)
Low-level endotoxemia has been identified as a powerful risk factor for atherosclerosis. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate endotoxin responsiveness in vascular cells. We conducted experiments to compare the relative responses of human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) and smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) to very low levels of(More)
Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are cytochrome P450-derived metabolites of arachidonic acid. They are potent endogenous vasodilator compounds produced by vascular cells, and EET-induced vasodilation has been attributed to activation of vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) K(+) channels. However, in some cells, EETs activate Ca(2+) channels, resulting in(More)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretes numerous factors that alter host cell function and may contribute to disease pathogenesis. Among recognized virulence factors is the redox-active phenazine pyocyanin. We have recently demonstrated that the precursor for pyocyanin, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA), increases oxidant formation and alters gene expression in(More)
Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a constituent of the innate immune system that plays a role in the host defense against lung pathogens and in modulating inflammatory responses. While SP-D has been detected in extrapulmonary tissues, little is known about its expression and function in the vasculature. Immunostaining of human coronary artery tissue sections(More)
BACKGROUND Recruitment of macrophage precursors to the adventitia plays a key role in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), but molecular mechanisms remain undefined. The innate immune signaling molecule CD14 was reported to be upregulated in adventitial macrophages in a murine model of AAA and in monocytes cocultured with aortic(More)
BACKGROUND Bacterial endotoxin, long recognized as a potent pro-inflammatory mediator in acute infectious processes, has more recently been identified as a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. When endotoxin enters the bloodstream, one of the first cells activated is the circulating monocyte, which exhibits a wide range of(More)