Recently, i was talking to my sister Beverly Giam and was happy and excited to know she has published three papers! I am publishing this post to support her papers! 🙂
By: Beverly Giam
Oxidative stress plays a central role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. We aimed to determine whether the antioxidantN-acetylcysteine can attenuate cardiac fibrosis and remodeling in a mouse model of heart failure. Minipumps were implanted subcutaneously in wild-type mice (n = 20) and mice with cardiomyopathy secondary to cardiac specific overexpression of mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (MST-1;n = 18) to administerN-acetylcysteine (40 mg/kg per day) or saline for a period of 8 weeks. At the end of this period, cardiac remodeling and function was assessed via echocardiography. Fibrosis, oxidative stress, and expression of collagen types I andIIIwere quantified in heart tissues. Cardiac perivascular and interstitial fibrosis were greater by 114% and 209%, respectively, inMST-1 compared to wild type (P ≤ 0.001). InMST-1 mice administeredN-acetylcysteine, perivascular and interstitial fibrosis were 40% and 57% less, respectively, compared to those treated with saline (P ≤ 0. 03). Cardiac oxidative stress was 119% greater inMST-1 than in wild type (P < 0.001) andN-acetylcysteine attenuated oxidative stress inMST-1 by 42% (P = 0.005). These data indicate thatN-acetylcysteine can blunt cardiac fibrosis and related remodeling in the setting of heart failure potentially by reducing oxidative stress. This study provides the basis to investigate the role ofN-acetylcysteine in chronic heart failure.
By: Beverly Giam
Renal dysfunction and heart failure commonly co-exist; it is termed the cardiorenal syndrome (CRS). This combination of renal and cardiac impairment presents a substantial clinical challenge and is associated with adverse prognosis. The pathogenesis of the CRS is complex, including chronic activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and the sympathetic nervous system, together with reduced renal perfusion. Chronic activation of the RAAS can impair mitochondrial function, and increase mitochondrial derived oxidative stress which in turn can lead to renal injury and sodium and water retention. For example, it has been shown that exogenous Ang II augments renal mitochondrial oxidative stress, reduces GFR and induces albuminuria in rats with heart failure. Administration of Ang II also augmented renal mitochondrial dysfunction in aged mice. Current treatments for CRS, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, exert limited renal protection if any at all. Therefore, novel treatments particularly those that can target renal mechanisms downstream to chronic activation of the renal renin-angiotensin system are likely to exert renoprotection in the setting of CRS.
By: Beverly Giam
Obesity related hypertension is a major risk factor for resistant hypertension. We do not completely understand the mechanism(s) underlying the development of obesity related hypertension which hinders the development of novel treatment strategies for this condition. Data from experimental studies and small clinical trials indicate that transport of l-arginine, the substrate for nitric oxide (NO), and subsequent NO production are reduced in obesity induced hypertension. Reduced NO bioavailability can induce hypertension via multiple mechanisms. Mirmiran et al. recently analyzed data from a large population study and found that the association between dietary l-arginine and serum nitrate and nitrite was weakened in obese hypertensive subjects compared to obese normotensives. These data suggest that l-arginine dependent NO production is impaired in the former group compared to the latter which may represent a novel mechanism contributing to hypertension in the setting of obesity.