Arteriogenesis versus angiogenesis: similarities and differences
- Cardiovascular diseases account for more than half of total mortality before the age of 75 in industrialized countries. To develop therapies promoting the compensatory growth of blood vessels could be superior to palliative surgical surgical interventions. Therefore, much effort has been put into investigating underlying mechanisms. Depending on the initial trigger, growth of blood vessels in adult organisms proceeds via two major processes, angiogenesis and arteriogenesis. While angiogenesis is induced by hypoxia and results in new capillaries, arteriogenesis is induced by physical forces, most importantly fluid shear stress. Consequently, chronically elevated fluid shear stress was found to be the strongest trigger under experimental conditions. Arteriogenesis describes the remodelling of pre-existing arterio-arteriolar anastomoses to completely developed and functional arteries. In both growth processes, enlargement of vascular wall structures was proposed to be covered by proliferation of existing wall cells. Recently, increasing evidence emerges, implicating a pivotal role for circulating cells, above all blood monocytes, in vascular growth processes. Since it has been shown that monocytes/macrophage release a cocktail of chemokines, growth factors and proteases involved in vascular growth, their contribution seems to be of a paracrine fashion. A similar role is currently discussed for various populations of bone-marrow derived stem cells and endothelial progenitors. In contrast, the initial hypothesis that these cells -after undergoing a (trans-)differentiation- contribute by a structural integration into the growing vessel wall, is increasingly challenged.
Antinociceptive activity of the S1P-receptor agonist FTY720
Carlo Federico Angioni
- FTY720 is a novel immunosuppressive drug that inhibits the egress of lymphocytes from secondary lymphoid tissues and thymus. In its phosphorylated form FTY720 is a potent S1P receptor agonist. Recently it was also shown that FTY720 can reduce prostaglandin synthesis through the direct inhibition of the cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). Since prostaglandins are important mediators of nociception, we studied the effects of FTY720 in different models of nociception. We found that intraperitoneal administration of FTY720 reduced dose-dependently the nociceptive behaviour of rats in the formalin assay. Although the antinociceptive doses of FTY720 were too low to alter the lymphocyte count, prostanoid concentrations in the plasma were dramatically reduced. Surprisingly, intrathecally administered FTY720 reduced the nociceptive behaviour in the formalin assay without altering spinal prostaglandin synthesis, indicating that additional antinociceptive mechanisms beside the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis are involved. Accordingly, FTY720 reduced also the nociceptive behaviour in the spared nerve injury model for neuropathic pain which does not depend on prostaglandin synthesis. In this model the antinociceptive effect of FTY720 was similar to gabapentin, a commonly used drug to treat neuropathic pain. Taken together we show for the first time that FTY720 possesses antinociceptive properties and that FTY720 reduces nociceptive behaviour during neuropathic pain.
Trichostatin A induces 5-lipoxygenase promoter activity and mRNA expression via inhibition of histone deacetylase 2 and 3
Bernd Lothar Sorg
- The 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) is the key enzyme in the formation of leukotrienes. We have previously shown that the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) activates 5-LO transcription via recruitment of Sp1, Sp3 and RNA polymerase II to the proximal promoter. To identify the HDACs involved in the regulation of 5-LO promoter activity isoform-specific HDAC inhibitors were applied. 5-LO promoter activity and mRNA expression were up-regulated by the class I HDAC inhibitors apicidin and MS-275 but not by class II inhibitors. Knockdown of HDAC 1, 2 and 3 revealed that HDAC2 and HDAC3 but not HDAC1 is involved in the up-regulation of 5-LO mRNA expression. To analyse the chromatin modifications at the 5-LO promoter associated with HDAC inhibition, the time course of 5-LO mRNA induction by trichostatin A was investigated and the concomitant changes in histone modifications at the 5-LO promoter in HL-60, U937 and Mono Mac6 cells were determined. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that trichostatin A increases acetylation of histones H3 and H4 at the 5-LO core promoter in HL-60 and U937 cells whereas no significant changes were observed in Mono Mac6 cells. The appearance of H3 and H4 acetylation preceded the 5-LO mRNA induction whereas in all three cell lines, induction of 5-LO mRNA expression correlated with histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3), a marker for transcriptional activity of gene promoters.
An interview with Stefanie Dimmeler, Chief Editor
Primary skin fibroblasts as a model of Parkinson's disease
Wolfram S. Kunz
- Parkinson's disease is the second most frequent neurodegenerative disorder. While most cases occur sporadic mutations in a growing number of genes including Parkin (PARK2) and PINK1 (PARK6) have been associated with the disease. Different animal models and cell models like patient skin fibroblasts and recombinant cell lines can be used as model systems for Parkinson's disease. Skin fibroblasts present a system with defined mutations and the cumulative cellular damage of the patients. PINK1 and Parkin genes show relevant expression levels in human fibroblasts and since both genes participate in stress response pathways, we believe fibroblasts advantageous in order to assess, e.g. the effect of stressors. Furthermore, since a bioenergetic deficit underlies early stage Parkinson's disease, while atrophy underlies later stages, the use of primary cells seems preferable over the use of tumor cell lines. The new option to use fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells redifferentiated into dopaminergic neurons is an additional benefit. However, the use of fibroblast has also some drawbacks. We have investigated PARK6 fibroblasts and they mirror closely the respiratory alterations, the expression profiles, the mitochondrial dynamics pathology and the vulnerability to proteasomal stress that has been documented in other model systems. Fibroblasts from patients with PARK2, PARK6, idiopathic Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 demonstrated a distinct and unique mRNA expression pattern of key genes in neurodegeneration. Thus, primary skin fibroblasts are a useful Parkinson's disease model, able to serve as a complement to animal mutants, transformed cell lines and patient tissues.
Überlegungen zur Erweiterung lexikalisch-semantischer Ressourcen durch die Graduonymie
- Diese Arbeit untersucht das Phänomen der Graduierung im Bereich der lexikalischen Semantik. Im lexikalischen System einer Sprache existieren Wörter, die durch verschiedene Grade eines Merkmals kontrastieren und eine besondere lexikalisch-semantische Gruppe konstituieren. Die Relation zwischen den Elementen derartiger Gruppen wird als Graduonymie bezeichnet. Diese Studie stellt Überlegungen zur Erweiterung lexikalisch-semantischer Ressourcen durch die Graduonymie dar. Insbesondere wird untersucht, wie graduonymisch aufeinander bezogene Wörter in lexikalischen Online-Ressourcen repräsentiert sind und welchen Stellenwert diese Relation in solchen Systemen aufweisen könnte. Durch einen Wörterbuchabgleich wird die Repräsentation der graduonymischen Paradigmatik von KIND im Online-Wörterbuch elexiko überprüft und mittels Korpusanalysen näher bestimmt. Es handelt sich dabei um eine korpusbasierte Untersuchung mit sowohl quantitativem als auch qualitativem Ansatz.
Die Äquivalenzfrage in Hinblick auf quantitative und qualitative Gesichtspunkte am Beispiel der kontrastiven spanisch-deutschen Valenzlexikographie: Fragestellungen und Vorschläge
María José Domínguez Vázquez
SchussenAktivplus: reduction of micropollutants and of potentially pathogenic bacteria for further water quality improvement of the river Schussen, a tributary of Lake Constance, Germany
- The project focuses on the efficiency of combined technologies to reduce the release of micropollutants and bacteria into surface waters via sewage treatment plants of different size and via stormwater overflow basins of different types. As a model river in a highly populated catchment area, the river Schussen and, as a control, the river Argen, two tributaries of Lake Constance, Southern Germany, are under investigation in this project. The efficiency of the different cleaning technologies is monitored by a wide range of exposure and effect analyses including chemical and microbiological techniques as well as effect studies ranging from molecules to communities.
The group-based social skills training SOSTA-FRA in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder - study protocol of the randomised, multi-centre controlled SOSTA - net trial
Christine M. Freitag
Anne K. Kroeger
Cornelia Ursula Kunz
- Background: Group-based social skills training (SST) has repeatedly been recommended as treatment of choice in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). To date, no sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial has been performed to establish efficacy and safety of SST in children and adolescents with HFASD. In this randomised, multi-centre, controlled trial with 220 children and adolescents with HFASD it is hypothesized, that add-on group-based SST using the 12 weeks manualised SOSTA–FRA program will result in improved social responsiveness (measured by the parent rated social responsiveness scale, SRS) compared to treatment as usual (TAU). It is further expected, that parent and self reported anxiety and depressive symptoms will decline and pro-social behaviour will increase in the treatment group. A neurophysiological study in the Frankfurt HFASD subgroup will be performed pre- and post treatment to assess changes in neural function induced by SST versus TAU.
Methods/design: The SOSTA – net trial is designed as a prospective, randomised, multi-centre, controlled trial with two parallel groups. The primary outcome is change in SRS score directly after the intervention and at 3 months follow-up. Several secondary outcome measures are also obtained. The target sample consists of 220 individuals with ASD, included at the six study centres.
Discussion: This study is currently one of the largest trials on SST in children and adolescents with HFASD worldwide. Compared to recent randomised controlled studies, our study shows several advantages with regard to in- and exclusion criteria, study methods, and the therapeutic approach chosen, which can be easily implemented in non-university-based clinical settings.
Trial registration: ISRCTN94863788 – SOSTA – net: Group-based social skills training in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder.
Translation and adaptation of an international questionnaire to measure usage of complementary and alternative medicine (I-CAM-G)
Meike Lo Re
- BACKGROUND: The growing body of data on prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) usage means there is a need to standardize measurement on an international level. An international team has published a questionnaire0020 (I-CAM-Q), but no validation has yet been provided. The aim of the present study was to provide a German measurement instrument for CAM usage (I-CAM-G) which closely resembles the original English version, and to assess it's performance in two potential samples for measuring CAM usage.
METHODS: The English I-CAM-Q questionnaire was translated into German, and adapted slightly. The resulting I-CAM-G questionnaire was then pre-tested on N=16 healthy volunteers, and 12 cognitive interviews were carried out. The questionnaire was employed in a sample of breast cancer patients (N=92, paper and pencil), and a sample from the general population (N=210, internet survey). Descriptive analyses of items and missing data, as well as results from the cognitive interviews, are presented in this paper.
RESULTS: The translated questionnaire had to be adapted to be consistent with the German health care system. All items were comprehensible, whereby some items were unambiguous (e.g. CAM use yes/no, helpfulness), while others gave rise to ambiguous answers (e.g. reasons for CAM use), or high rates of missing data (e.g. number of times the CAM modality had been used during the last 3 months). 78% of the breast cancer patients and up to 85% of a sample of the general population had used some form of CAM.
CONCLUSIONS: Following methodologically sound and comprehensive translation, adaptation and assessment processes using recognized translation procedures, cognitive interviews, and studying the performance of the questionnaire in two samples, we arrived at a German questionnaire for measuring CAM use which is comparable with the international (English) version. The questionnaire appropriately measures CAM use, with some items being more appropriate than others. We recommend the development of a short version.