- Oxidative stress and epigenetic regulation in ageing and age-related diseases (2013)
- Recent statistics indicate that the human population is ageing rapidly. Healthy, but also diseased, elderly people are increasing. This trend is particularly evident in Western countries, where healthier living conditions and better cures are available. To understand the process leading to age-associated alterations is, therefore, of the highest relevance for the development of new treatments for age-associated diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer and cardiovascular accidents. Mechanistically, it is well accepted that the accumulation of intracellular damage determined by reactive oxygen species (ROS) might orchestrate the progressive loss of control over biological homeostasis and the functional impairment typical of aged tissues. Here, we review how epigenetics takes part in the control of stress stimuli and the mechanisms of ageing physiology and physiopathology. Alteration of epigenetic enzyme activity, histone modifications and DNA-methylation is, in fact, typically associated with the ageing process. Specifically, ageing presents peculiar epigenetic markers that, taken altogether, form the still ill-defined “ageing epigenome”. The comprehension of mechanisms and pathways leading to epigenetic modifications associated with ageing may help the development of anti-ageing therapies.
- Wnt5a increases cardiac gene expressions of cultured human circulating progenitor cells via a PKC delta activation (2009)
- Background: Wnt signaling controls the balance between stem cell proliferation and differentiation and body patterning throughout development. Previous data demonstrated that non-canonical Wnts (Wnt5a, Wnt11) increased cardiac gene expression of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and bone marrow-derived stem cells cultured in vitro. Since previous studies suggested a contribution of the protein kinase C (PKC) family to the Wnt5a-induced signalling, we investigated which PKC isoforms are activated by non-canonical Wnt5a in human EPC. Methodology/Principal Findings: Immunoblot experiments demonstrated that Wnt5a selectively activated the novel PKC isoform, PKC delta, as evidenced by phosphorylation and translocation. In contrast, the classical Ca2+-dependent PKC isoforms, PKC alpha and beta2, and one of the other novel PKC isoforms, PKC epsilon, were not activated by Wnt5a. The PKC delta inhibitor rottlerin significantly blocked co-culture-induced cardiac differentiation in vitro, whereas inhibitors directed against the classical Ca2+-dependent PKC isoforms or a PKC epsilon-inhibitory peptide did not block cardiac differentiation. In accordance, EPC derived from PKC delta heterozygous mice exhibited a significant reduction of Wnt5a-induced cardiac gene expression compared to wild type mice derived EPC. Conclusions/Significance: These data indicate that Wnt5a enhances cardiac gene expressions of EPC via an activation of PKC delta.
- Quantification of circulating endothelial progenitor cells using the modified ISHAGE protocol (2010)
- Aims: Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), involved in endothelial regeneration, neovascularisation, and determination of prognosis in cardiovascular disease can be characterised with functional assays or using immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Combinations of markers, including CD34+KDR+ or CD133+KDR+, are used. This approach, however may not consider all characteristics of EPC. The lack of a standardised protocol with regards to reagents and gating strategies may account for the widespread inter-laboratory variations in quantification of EPC. We, therefore developed a novel protocol adapted from the standardised so-called ISHAGE protocol for enumeration of haematopoietic stem cells to enable comparison of clinical and laboratory data. Methods and Results: In 25 control subjects, 65 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD; 40 stable CAD, 25 acute coronary syndrome/acute myocardial infarction (ACS)), EPC were quantified using the following approach: Whole blood was incubated with CD45, KDR, and CD34. The ISHAGE sequential strategy was used, and finally, CD45dimCD34+ cells were quantified for KDR. A minimum of 100 CD34+ events were collected. For comparison, CD45+CD34+ and CD45-CD34+ were analysed simultaneously. The number of CD45dimCD34+KDR+ cells only were significantly higher in healthy controls compared to patients with CAD or ACS (p = 0.005 each, p<0.001 for trend). An inverse correlation of CD45dimCD34+KDR+ with disease activity (r = -0.475, p<0.001) was confirmed. Only CD45dimCD34+KDR+ correlated inversely with the number of diseased coronaries (r = -0.344; p<0.005). In a second study, a 4-week de-novo treatment of atorvastatin in stable CAD evoked an increase only of CD45dimCD34+KDR+ EPC (p<0.05). CD45+CD34+KDR+ and CD45-CD34+KDR+ were indifferent between the three groups. Conclusion: Our newly established protocol adopted from the standardised ISHAGE protocol achieved higher accuracy in EPC enumeration confirming previous findings with respect to the correlation of EPC with disease activity and the increase of EPC during statin therapy. The data of this study show the CD45dim fraction to harbour EPC.
- Circulating progenitor cell count for cardiovascular risk stratification: a pooled analysis (2010)
- Background: Circulating progenitor cells (CPC) contribute to the homeostasis of the vessel wall, and a reduced CPC count predicts cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We tested the hypothesis that CPC count improves cardiovascular risk stratification and that this is modulated by low-grade inflammation. Methodology/Principal Findings: We pooled data from 4 longitudinal studies, including a total of 1,057 patients having CPC determined and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) collected. We recorded cardiovascular risk factors and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) level. Risk estimates were derived from Cox proportional hazard analyses. CPC count and/or hsCRP level were added to a reference model including age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors, prevalent CVD, chronic renal failure (CRF) and medications. The sample was composed of high-risk individuals, as 76.3% had prevalent CVD and 31.6% had CRF. There were 331 (31.3%) incident MACE during an average 1.7±1.1 year follow-up time. CPC count was independently associated with incident MACE even after correction for hsCRP. According to C-statistics, models including CPC yielded a non-significant improvement in accuracy of MACE prediction. However, the integrated discrimination improvement index (IDI) showed better performance of models including CPC compared to the reference model and models including hsCRP in identifying MACE. CPC count also yielded significant net reclassification improvements (NRI) for CV death, non-fatal AMI and other CV events. The effect of CPC was independent of hsCRP, but there was a significant more-than-additive interaction between low CPC count and raised hsCRP level in predicting incident MACE. Conclusions/Significance: In high risk individuals, a reduced CPC count helps identifying more patients at higher risk of MACE over the short term, especially in combination with a raised hsCRP level.