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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been recognized as an angiogenic factor that induces endothelial proliferation and vascular permeability. Recent studies have also suggested that VEGF can promote macrophage migration, which is critical for atherosclerosis. We have reported that VEGF is remarkably expressed in activated macrophages, endothelial(More)
In order to elucidate energy balance in the skeletal muscle, we cloned cDNA of a homologue of uncoupling protein (UCP) from rat skeletal muscle. We also cloned rat UCP-2 cDNA from rat brown adipose tissue (BAT). The UCP cloned from rat skeletal muscle showed 57% and 72% identity with rat UCP-1 and UCP-2. The mRNA was expressed abundantly in the skeletal(More)
BACKGROUND Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), an effector of small GTPase Rho, regulates vascular tone via a calcium sensitization mechanism and plays a key role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. However, its role in vascular growth remains unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS Y-27632, a specific ROCK inhibitor, and the overexpression of dominant-negative ROCK(More)
Natriuretic peptides (NPs), which consist of atrial, brain, and C-type natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP, and CNP, respectively), are characterized as cardiac or vascular hormones that elicit their biological effects by activation of the cGMPcGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGK) pathway. We recently reported that adenoviral gene transfer of CNP into rabbit blood(More)
OBJECTIVE We demonstrated previously that mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGF-R2)-positive cells can differentiate into both vascular endothelial cells and mural cells. This time, we investigated kinetics of differentiation of human ES cells to vascular cells and examined their potential as a source for(More)
Insulin resistance has been highlighted as a common causal factor for glucose intolerance, hypertension and dyslipidemia, all of which are cardiovascular risk factors. A new class of antidiabetic agents, thiazolidinediones (TZDs), has been developed and demonstrated to improve insulin sensitivity. TZDs are high affinity ligands for peroxisome(More)
We previously demonstrated that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 2 (VEGF-R2)-positive cells induced from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells can differentiate into both endothelial cells (ECs) and mural cells (MCs) and these vascular cells construct blood vessel structures in vitro. Recently, we have also established a method for the large-scale(More)
BACKGROUND Vein graft disease limits the late results of coronary revascularization. C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) inhibits the growth of vascular smooth muscle cells. Given the effects of CNP on cGMP cascade, we hypothesized that transfected CNP genes modulate endothelial repair and thrombogenicity in the vein graft. METHODS AND RESULTS Autologous(More)
Thiazolidinediones, a new class of antidiabetic drugs that increase insulin sensitivity, have been shown to be ligands for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma). Recent studies demonstrating that PPARgamma occurs in macrophages have focused attention on its role in macrophage functions. In this study, we investigated the effect of(More)