Vennece Fowlkes

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AIMS Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for individuals diagnosed with type II diabetes mellitus (DM). Changes in cardiac function, left ventricular wall thickness and fibrosis have all been described in patients and animal models of diabetes; however, the factors mediating increased matrix deposition remain unclear. The goal of this study(More)
The ability of the heart to adapt to increased stress is dependent on the modification of its extracellular matrix (ECM) architecture that is established during postnatal development as cardiomyocytes differentiate, a process that is poorly understood. We hypothesized that the small leucine-rich proteoglycan (SLRP) lumican (LUM), which binds collagen and(More)
Little is known about how age influences the ways in which cardiac fibroblasts interact with the extracellular matrix. We investigated the deformation of collagen substrates by neonatal and adult rat cardiac fibroblasts in monolayer and three-dimensional (3D) cultures, and quantified the expression of three collagen receptors [discoidin domain receptor(More)
Mast cells are known to respond to a number of stimuli, such as IgE antibody-antigen complexes, pathogens, chemical compounds, and physical stimulation, resulting in the activation of these cells and subsequent release of cytokines, inflammatory mediators and granules which can influence the pathophysiology of neighboring cells. Although different forms of(More)
PKR is an interferon (IFN)-induced protein kinase, which is involved in regulation of antiviral innate immunity, stress signaling, cell proliferation and programmed cell death. Although a low amount of PKR is expressed ubiquitously in all cell types in the absence of IFNs, PKR expression is induced at transcriptional level by IFN. PKR's enzymatic activity(More)
Diabetes is an increasing public health problem that is expected to escalate in the future due to the growing incidence of obesity in the western world. While this disease is well known for its devastating effects on the kidneys and vascular system, diabetic individuals can develop cardiac dysfunction, termed diabetic cardiomyopathy, in the absence of other(More)
Cellular stresses such as disruption of calcium homeostasis, inhibition of protein glycosylation, and reduction of disulfide bonds result in accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lead to cell death by apoptosis. Tunicamycin, which is an inhibitor of protein glycosylation, induces ER stress and apoptosis. In this study, we(More)
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