Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Residency Program Director, Department of Pathology (2010 - 2012)
  • Associate Director, Autopsy Service, Stanford University (2004 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching,, Stanford University School of Medicine (2006)
  • The Lawrence H. Mathers, Jr. Award for Exceptional Commitment to Teaching and M.D. Student Education, Stanford University School of Medicine (2009)
  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Innovation in Teaching, Stanford University School of Medicine (2010)
  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching, Stanford University School of Medicine (2013)
  • The Lawrence H. Mathers, Jr. Award for Exceptional Commitment to Teaching and M.D. Student Education, Stanford University School of Medicine (2015)

Professional Education

  • AB, Princeton University, Chemistry (1984)
  • MD, Harvard University, Medicine (1989)
  • PhD, UCSF, Biomedical Sciences (1997)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Cardiovascular pathology using patient material and animal models


  • Autopsy Pathology: A Manual and Atlas, 3rd Edition (2015)

    A textbook of autopsy pathology authored by Andrew Connolly, Walter Finkbeiner, Philip Ursell, and Richard Davis


    Stanford University


2016-17 Courses


All Publications

  • Eosinophil-Rich Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis in a Patient With Enteropathy-Associated T-cell Lymphoma, Type 1. American Journal of dermatopathology Soon, C. W., Kirsch, I. R., Connolly, A. J., Kwong, B. Y., Kim, J. 2016; 38 (9): 704-708


    The presence of eosinophils within the neutrophilic infiltrates of acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis (Sweet syndrome) is documented in the literature. Here, the authors describe a case of eosinophil-rich acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis in the setting of new onset enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL), type 1. Histopathologic evaluation of the skin biopsies demonstrated a mixed superficial perivascular and inflammatory infiltrate composed of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and abundant eosinophils. EATL, type 1 is an aggressive although rare primary intestinal lymphoma that may be associated with celiac disease. This lymphoma is associated with a poor prognosis due to treatment resistance or bowel perforation. To the authors' knowledge, Sweet syndrome has not been reported in a patient with EATL.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/DAD.0000000000000549

    View details for PubMedID 27097333

  • CD47-blocking antibodies restore phagocytosis and prevent atherosclerosis. Nature Kojima, Y., Volkmer, J., McKenna, K., Civelek, M., Lusis, A. J., Miller, C. L., DiRenzo, D., Nanda, V., Ye, J., Connolly, A. J., Schadt, E. E., Quertermous, T., Betancur, P., Maegdefessel, L., Matic, L. P., Hedin, U., Weissman, I. L., Leeper, N. J. 2016; 536 (7614): 86-90


    Atherosclerosis is the disease process that underlies heart attack and stroke. Advanced lesions at risk of rupture are characterized by the pathological accumulation of diseased vascular cells and apoptotic cellular debris. Why these cells are not cleared remains unknown. Here we show that atherogenesis is associated with upregulation of CD47, a key anti-phagocytic molecule that is known to render malignant cells resistant to programmed cell removal, or 'efferocytosis'. We find that administration of CD47-blocking antibodies reverses this defect in efferocytosis, normalizes the clearance of diseased vascular tissue, and ameliorates atherosclerosis in multiple mouse models. Mechanistic studies implicate the pro-atherosclerotic factor TNF-α as a fundamental driver of impaired programmed cell removal, explaining why this process is compromised in vascular disease. Similar to recent observations in cancer, impaired efferocytosis appears to play a pathogenic role in cardiovascular disease, but is not a fixed defect and may represent a novel therapeutic target.

    View details for PubMedID 27437576

  • Nfib Promotes Metastasis through a Widespread Increase in Chromatin Accessibility CELL Denny, S. K., Yang, D., Chuang, C., Brady, J. J., Lim, J. S., Gruner, B. M., Chiou, S., Schep, A. N., Baral, J., Hamard, C., Antoine, M., Wislez, M., Kong, C. S., Connolly, A. J., Park, K., Sage, J., Greenleaf, W. J., Winslow, M. M. 2016; 166 (2): 328-342


    Metastases are the main cause of cancer deaths, but the mechanisms underlying metastatic progression remain poorly understood. We isolated pure populations of cancer cells from primary tumors and metastases from a genetically engineered mouse model of human small cell lung cancer (SCLC) to investigate the mechanisms that drive the metastatic spread of this lethal cancer. Genome-wide characterization of chromatin accessibility revealed the opening of large numbers of distal regulatory elements across the genome during metastatic progression. These changes correlate with copy number amplification of the Nfib locus, and differentially accessible sites were highly enriched for Nfib transcription factor binding sites. Nfib is necessary and sufficient to increase chromatin accessibility at a large subset of the intergenic regions. Nfib promotes pro-metastatic neuronal gene expression programs and drives the metastatic ability of SCLC cells. The identification of widespread chromatin changes during SCLC progression reveals an unexpected global reprogramming during metastatic progression.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.052

    View details for Web of Science ID 000380255400012

    View details for PubMedID 27374332

  • An Arntl2-Driven Secretome Enables Lung Adenocarcinoma Metastatic Self-Sufficiency CANCER CELL Brady, J. J., Chuang, C., Greenside, P. G., Rogers, Z. N., Murray, C. W., Caswell, D. R., Hartmann, U., Connolly, A. J., Sweet-Cordero, E. A., Kundaje, A., Winslow, M. M. 2016; 29 (5): 697-710


    The ability of cancer cells to establish lethal metastatic lesions requires the survival and expansion of single cancer cells at distant sites. The factors controlling the clonal growth ability of individual cancer cells remain poorly understood. Here, we show that high expression of the transcription factor ARNTL2 predicts poor lung adenocarcinoma patient outcome. Arntl2 is required for metastatic ability in vivo and clonal growth in cell culture. Arntl2 drives metastatic self-sufficiency by orchestrating the expression of a complex pro-metastatic secretome. We identify Clock as an Arntl2 partner and functionally validate the matricellular protein Smoc2 as a pro-metastatic secreted factor. These findings shed light on the molecular mechanisms that enable single cancer cells to form allochthonous tumors in foreign tissue environments.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ccell.2016.03.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000375573900011

    View details for PubMedID 27150038

  • Comparison of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Serum Biomarkers for Detection of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Teratomas STEM CELL REPORTS Riegler, J., Ebert, A., Qin, X., Shen, Q., Wang, M., Ameen, M., Kodo, K., Ong, S., Lee, W. H., Lee, G., Neofytou, E., Gold, J. D., Connolly, A. J., Wu, J. C. 2016; 6 (2): 176-187


    The use of cells derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) for regenerative therapies confers a considerable risk for neoplastic growth and teratoma formation. Preclinical and clinical assessment of such therapies will require suitable monitoring strategies to understand and mitigate these risks. Here we generated human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), selected clones that continued to express reprogramming factors after differentiation into cardiomyocytes, and transplanted these cardiomyocytes into immunocompromised rat hearts post-myocardial infarction. We compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cardiac ultrasound, and serum biomarkers for their ability to delineate teratoma formation and growth. MRI enabled the detection of teratomas with a volume >8 mm(3). A combination of three plasma biomarkers (CEA, AFP, and HCG) was able to detect teratomas with a volume >17 mm(3) and with a sensitivity of more than 87%. Based on our findings, a combination of serum biomarkers with MRI screening may offer the highest sensitivity for teratoma detection and tracking.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.12.008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000369726500003

    View details for PubMedID 26777057

  • CDKN2B Regulates TGF beta Signaling and Smooth Muscle Cell Investment of Hypoxic Neovessels CIRCULATION RESEARCH Nanda, V., Downing, K. P., Ye, J., Xiao, S., Kojima, Y., Spin, J. M., DiRenzo, D., Nead, K. T., Connolly, A. J., Dandona, S., Perisic, L., Hedin, U., Maegdefessel, L., Dalman, J., Guo, L., Zhao, X., Kolodgie, F. D., Virmani, R., Davis, H. R., Leeper, N. J. 2016; 118 (2): 230-240


    Genetic variation at the chromosome 9p21 cardiovascular risk locus has been associated with peripheral artery disease, but its mechanism remains unknown.To determine whether this association is secondary to an increase in atherosclerosis, or it is the result of a separate angiogenesis-related mechanism.Quantitative evaluation of human vascular samples revealed that carriers of the 9p21 risk allele possess a significantly higher burden of immature intraplaque microvessels than carriers of the ancestral allele, irrespective of lesion size or patient comorbidity. To determine whether aberrant angiogenesis also occurs under nonatherosclerotic conditions, we performed femoral artery ligation surgery in mice lacking the 9p21 candidate gene, Cdkn2b. These animals developed advanced hindlimb ischemia and digital autoamputation, secondary to a defect in the capacity of the Cdkn2b-deficient smooth muscle cell to support the developing neovessel. Microarray studies identified impaired transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling in cultured cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B (CDKN2B)-deficient cells, as well as TGFβ1 upregulation in the vasculature of 9p21 risk allele carriers. Molecular signaling studies indicated that loss of CDKN2B impairs the expression of the inhibitory factor, SMAD-7, which promotes downstream TGFβ activation. Ultimately, this manifests in the upregulation of a poorly studied effector molecule, TGFβ1-induced-1, which is a TGFβ-rheostat known to have antagonistic effects on the endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell. Dual knockdown studies confirmed the reversibility of the proposed mechanism, in vitro.These results suggest that loss of CDKN2B may not only promote cardiovascular disease through the development of atherosclerosis but may also impair TGFβ signaling and hypoxic neovessel maturation.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.307906

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368729100010

    View details for PubMedID 26596284

  • Mitral Stenosis and Aortic Atresia-A Risk Factor for Mortality After the Modified Norwood Operation in Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome ANNALS OF THORACIC SURGERY Siehr, S. L., Maeda, K., Connolly, A. A., Tacy, T. A., Reddy, V. M., Hanley, F. L., Perry, S. B., Wright, G. E. 2016; 101 (1): 162-168
  • Human Engineered Heart Muscles Engraft and Survive Long Term in a Rodent Myocardial Infarction Model CIRCULATION RESEARCH Riegler, J., Tiburcy, M., Ebert, A., Tzatzalos, E., Raaz, U., Abilez, O. J., Shen, Q., Kooreman, N. G., Neofytou, E., Chen, V. C., Wang, M., Meyer, T., Tsao, P. S., Connolly, A. J., Couture, L. A., Gold, J. D., Zimmermann, W. H., Wu, J. C. 2015; 117 (8): 720-730


    Tissue engineering approaches may improve survival and functional benefits from human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte transplantation, thereby potentially preventing dilative remodeling and progression to heart failure.Assessment of transport stability, long-term survival, structural organization, functional benefits, and teratoma risk of engineered heart muscle (EHM) in a chronic myocardial infarction model.We constructed EHMs from human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and released them for transatlantic shipping following predefined quality control criteria. Two days of shipment did not lead to adverse effects on cell viability or contractile performance of EHMs (n=3, P=0.83, P=0.87). One month after ischemia/reperfusion injury, EHMs were implanted onto immunocompromised rat hearts to simulate chronic ischemia. Bioluminescence imaging showed stable engraftment with no significant cell loss between week 2 and 12 (n=6, P=0.67), preserving ≤25% of the transplanted cells. Despite high engraftment rates and attenuated disease progression (change in ejection fraction for EHMs, -6.7±1.4% versus control, -10.9±1.5%; n>12; P=0.05), we observed no difference between EHMs containing viable and nonviable human cardiomyocytes in this chronic xenotransplantation model (n>12; P=0.41). Grafted cardiomyocytes showed enhanced sarcomere alignment and increased connexin 43 expression at 220 days after transplantation. No teratomas or tumors were found in any of the animals (n=14) used for long-term monitoring.EHM transplantation led to high engraftment rates, long-term survival, and progressive maturation of human cardiomyocytes. However, cell engraftment was not correlated with functional improvements in this chronic myocardial infarction model. Most importantly, the safety of this approach was demonstrated by the lack of tumor or teratoma formation.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.306985

    View details for Web of Science ID 000361730700010

    View details for PubMedID 26291556

  • Optical Coherence Tomography of Pulmonary Arterial Walls in Humans and Pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) COMPARATIVE MEDICINE Brunner, N. W., Zamanian, R. T., Ikeno, F., Mitsutake, Y., Connolly, A. J., Shuffle, E., Yuan, K., Orcholski, M., Lyons, J., Perez, V. A. 2015; 65 (3): 217-224


    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disorder characterized by progressive elevation of the pulmonary pressures that, in the absence of therapy, results in chronic right-heart failure and premature death. The vascular pathology of PAH is characterized by progressive loss of small (diameter, less than 50 μm) peripheral pulmonary arteries along with abnormal medial thickening, neointimal formation, and intraluminal narrowing of the remaining pulmonary arteries. Vascular pathology correlates with disease severity, given that hemodynamic effects and disease outcomes are worse in patients with advanced compared with lower-grade lesions. Novel imaging tools are urgently needed that demonstrate the extent of vascular remodeling in PAH patients during diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a catheter-based intravascular imaging technique used to obtain high-resolution 2D and 3D cross-sectional images of coronary arteries, thus revealing the extent of vascular wall pathology due to diseases such as atherosclerosis and in-stent restenosis; its utility as a diagnostic tool in the assessment of the pulmonary circulation is unknown. Here we show that OCT provides high-definition images that capture the morphology of pulmonary arterial walls in explanted human lungs and during pulmonary arterial catheterization of an adult pig. We conclude that OCT may facilitate the evaluation of patients with PAH by disclosing the degree of wall remodeling present in pulmonary vessels. Future studies are warranted to determine whether this information complements the hemodynamic and functional assessments routinely performed in PAH patients, facilitates treatment selection, and improves estimates of prognosis and outcome.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000357147100007

  • Enhanced Caspase Activity Contributes to Aortic Wall Remodeling and Early Aneurysm Development in a Murine Model of Marfan Syndrome ARTERIOSCLEROSIS THROMBOSIS AND VASCULAR BIOLOGY Emrich, F. C., Okamura, H., Dalal, A. R., Penov, K., Merk, D. R., Raaz, U., Hennigs, J. K., Chin, J. T., Miller, M. O., Pedroza, A. J., Craig, J. K., Koyano, T. K., Blankenberg, F. G., Connolly, A. J., Mohr, F. W., Alvira, C. M., Rabinovitch, M., Fischbein, M. P. 2015; 35 (1): 146-154


    Rupture and dissection of aortic root aneurysms remain the leading causes of death in patients with the Marfan syndrome, a hereditary connective tissue disorder that affects 1 in 5000 individuals worldwide. In the present study, we use a Marfan mouse model (Fbn1(C1039G/+)) to investigate the biological importance of apoptosis during aneurysm development in Marfan syndrome.Using in vivo single-photon emission computed tomographic-imaging and ex vivo autoradiography for Tc99m-annexin, we discovered increased apoptosis in the Fbn1(C1039G/+) ascending aorta during early aneurysm development peaking at 4 weeks. Immunofluorescence colocalization studies identified smooth muscle cells (SMCs) as the apoptotic cell population. As biological proof of concept that early aortic wall apoptosis plays a role in aneurysm development in Marfan syndrome, Fbn1(C1039G/+) mice were treated daily from 2 to 6 weeks with either (1) a pan-caspase inhibitor, Q-VD-OPh (20 mg/kg), or (2) vehicle control intraperitoneally. Q-VD-OPh treatment led to a significant reduction in aneurysm size and decreased extracellular matrix degradation in the aortic wall compared with control mice. In vitro studies using Fbn1(C1039G/+) ascending SMCs showed that apoptotic SMCs have increased elastolytic potential compared with viable cells, mostly because of caspase activity. Moreover, in vitro (1) cell membrane isolation, (2) immunofluorescence staining, and (3) scanning electron microscopy studies illustrate that caspases are expressed on the exterior cell surface of apoptotic SMCs.Caspase inhibition attenuates aneurysm development in an Fbn1(C1039G/+) Marfan mouse model. Mechanistically, during apoptosis, caspases are expressed on the cell surface of SMCs and likely contribute to elastin degradation and aneurysm development in Marfan syndrome.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.114.304364

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346561100022

  • Clonal analysis reveals nerve-dependent and independent roles on mammalian hind limb tissue maintenance and regeneration PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Rinkevich, Y., Montoro, D. T., Muhonen, E., Walmsley, G. G., Lo, D., Hasegawa, M., Januszyk, M., Connolly, A. J., Weissman, I. L., Longaker, M. T. 2014; 111 (27): 9846-9851
  • Assessment of Elastin Deficit in a Marfan Mouse Aneurysm Model Using an Elastin-Specific Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING Okamura, H., Pisani, L. J., Dalal, A. R., Emrich, F., Dake, B. A., Arakawa, M., Onthank, D. C., Cesati, R. R., Robinson, S. P., Milanesi, M., Kotek, G., Smit, H., Connolly, A. J., Adachi, H., McConnell, M. V., Fischbein, M. P. 2014; 7 (4): 690-696


    -Ascending aortic dissection and rupture remain a life-threatening complication in patients with Marfan syndrome (MFS). The extracellular matrix provides strength and elastic recoil to the aortic wall, thereby preventing radial expansion. We have previously shown that ascending aortic aneurysm formation in Marfan mice (Fbn1(C1039G/+)) is associated with decreased aortic wall elastogenesis and increased elastin breakdown. In this study, we test the feasibility of quantifying aortic wall elastin content using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a gadolinium-based elastin-specific contrast agent (ESMA) in Fbn1(C1039G/+) mice.-Ascending aorta elastin content was measured in 32-week-old Fbn1(C1039G/+) mice and wild-type (WT) (n=9 and n=10, respectively) using 7T MRI with a T1-mapping sequence. Significantly lower enhancement (i.e., lower R1 values, where R1=1/T1) was detected post-ESMA in Fbn1(C1039G/+) compared to WT ascending aortas (1.15±0.07 vs. 1.36±0.05, p<0.05). Post-ESMA R1 values correlated with ascending aortic wall gadolinium content directly measured by inductively coupled mass spectroscopy (p=0.006).-Herein, we demonstrate that MRI with ESMA accurately measures elastin bound gadolinium within the aortic wall and detects a decrease in aortic wall elastin in Marfan mice compared to WT controls. This approach has translational potential for non-invasively assessing aneurysm tissue changes and risk, as well as monitoring elastin content in response to therapeutic interventions.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.114.001658

    View details for Web of Science ID 000339172100016

  • Obligate Progression Precedes Lung Adenocarcinoma Dissemination CANCER DISCOVERY Caswell, D. R., Chuang, C., Yang, D., Chiou, S., Cheemalavagu, S., Kim-Kiselak, C., Connolly, A., Winslow, M. M. 2014; 4 (7): 781-789


    Despite its clinical importance, very little is known about the natural history and molecular underpinnings of lung cancer dissemination and metastasis. Here we employed a genetically-engineered mouse model of metastatic lung adenocarcinoma in which cancer cells are fluorescently marked to determine whether dissemination is an inherent ability or a major acquired phenotype during lung adenocarcinoma metastasis. We find very little evidence for dissemination from oncogenic Kras-driven hyperplasias or most adenocarcinomas. p53 loss is insufficient to drive dissemination but rather enables rare cancer cells in a small fraction of primary adenocarcinomas to gain alterations that drive dissemination. Molecular characterization of disseminated tumors cells indicates that down-regulation of the transcription factor Nkx2-1 precedes dissemination. Finally, we show that metastatic primary tumors possess a highly proliferative sub-population of cells with characteristics matching those of disseminating cells. We propose that dissemination is a major hurdle during the natural course of lung adenocarcinoma metastasis.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-13-0862

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338708900024

  • Histological characteristics of myocardial bridge with an ultrasonic echolucent band. Comparison between intravascular ultrasound and histology. Circulation journal Yamada, R., Turcott, R. G., Connolly, A. J., Ikeno, F., McConnell, M. V., Schnittger, I., Fitzgerald, P. J., Honda, Y. 2014; 78 (2): 502-504

    View details for PubMedID 24172077

  • Atherosclerosis Causing Recurrent Catastrophic Aortopulmonary Shunt Dehiscence in a Patient with Alagille Syndrome PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGY May, L., Hanley, F. L., Connolly, A. J., Reddy, S. 2013; 34 (8): 1945-1948


    Alagille syndrome (ALGS) is an autosomal dominant disorder associated with cholestatic liver disease, pulmonary valvar stenosis or atresia, vasculopathy, and renal disease. Although the liver and cardiac manifestations contribute to overall morbidity and mortality during their life span, these patients also carry a burden of important but often underappreciated vascular abnormalities. This report describes a 3 year-old girl with Alagille syndrome, hepatic cholestasis, systemic hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia, and major aortopulmonary collaterals (TOF/PA/MAPCAs). She presented for bilateral pulmonary artery plasty and central shunt upsizing. She then experienced three shunt dehiscence episodes, necessitating emergent intervention. Autopsy showed diffuse atherosclerosis and significant atherosclerotic plaque at the site of shunt dehiscence. This is the first reported case of ALGS with TOF/PA/MAPCAs and catastrophic shunt dehiscence due to significant generalized vasculopathy caused by dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis. Dyslipidemia, a known comorbidity in ALGS, is one of few modifiable risk factors that should be screened for and treated, particularly before cardiac surgery.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00246-012-0484-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327065100039

  • In vivo directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells for skeletal regeneration PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Levi, B., Hyun, J. S., Montoro, D. T., Lo, D. D., Chan, C. K., Hu, S., Sun, N., Lee, M., Grova, M., Connolly, A. J., Wu, J. C., Gurtner, G. C., Weissman, I. L., Wan, D. C., Longaker, M. T. 2012; 109 (50): 20379-20384


    Pluripotent cells represent a powerful tool for tissue regeneration, but their clinical utility is limited by their propensity to form teratomas. Little is known about their interaction with the surrounding niche following implantation and how this may be applied to promote survival and functional engraftment. In this study, we evaluated the ability of an osteogenic microniche consisting of a hydroxyapatite-coated, bone morphogenetic protein-2-releasing poly-L-lactic acid scaffold placed within the context of a macroenvironmental skeletal defect to guide in vivo differentiation of both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. In this setting, we found de novo bone formation and participation by implanted cells in skeletal regeneration without the formation of a teratoma. This finding suggests that local cues from both the implanted scaffold/cell micro- and surrounding macroniche may act in concert to promote cellular survival and the in vivo acquisition of a terminal cell fate, thereby allowing for functional engraftment of pluripotent cells into regenerating tissue.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1218052109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312605600055

    View details for PubMedID 23169671

  • Femtosecond plasma mediated laser ablation has advantages over mechanical osteotomy of cranial bone LASERS IN SURGERY AND MEDICINE Lo, D. D., Mackanos, M. A., Chung, M. T., Hyun, J. S., Montoro, D. T., Grova, M., Liu, C., Wang, J., Palanker, D., Connolly, A. J., Longaker, M. T., Contag, C. H., Wan, D. C. 2012; 44 (10): 805-814


    Although mechanical osteotomies are frequently made on the craniofacial skeleton, collateral thermal, and mechanical trauma to adjacent bone tissue causes cell death and may delay healing. The present study evaluated the use of plasma-mediated laser ablation using a femtosecond laser to circumvent thermal damage and improve bone regeneration.Critical-size circular calvarial defects were created with a trephine drill bit or with a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond pulsed laser. Healing was followed using micro-CT scans for 8 weeks. Calvaria were also harvested at various time points for histological analysis. Finally, scanning electron microscopy was used to analyze the microstructure of bone tissue treated with the Ti:Sapphire laser, and compared to that treated with the trephine bur.Laser-created defects healed significantly faster than those created mechanically at 2, 4, and 6 weeks post-surgery. However, at 8 weeks post-surgery, there was no significant difference. In the drill osteotomy treatment group, empty osteocyte lacunae were seen to extend 699?±?27?µm away from the edge of the defect. In marked contrast, empty osteocyte lacunae were seen to extend only 182?±?22?µm away from the edge of the laser-created craters. Significantly less ossification and formation of irregular woven bone was noted on histological analysis for drill defects.We demonstrate accelerated bone healing after femtosecond laser ablation in a calvarial defect model compared to traditional mechanical drilling techniques. Improved rates of early regeneration make plasma-mediated ablation of the craniofacial skeleton advantageous for applications to osteotomy.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/lsm.22098

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312941600004

    View details for PubMedID 23184427

  • Microfluidic Single-Cell Analysis Shows That Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells Improve Myocardial Function by Paracrine Activation CIRCULATION RESEARCH Gu, M., Nguyen, P. K., Lee, A. S., Xu, D., Hu, S., Plews, J. R., Han, L., Huber, B. C., Lee, W. H., Gong, Y., de Almeida, P. E., Lyons, J., Ikeno, F., Pacharinsak, C., Connolly, A. J., Gambhir, S. S., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2012; 111 (7): 882-893


    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise for the development of patient-specific therapies for cardiovascular disease. However, clinical translation will require preclinical optimization and validation of large-animal iPSC models.To successfully derive endothelial cells from porcine iPSCs and demonstrate their potential utility for the treatment of myocardial ischemia.Porcine adipose stromal cells were reprogrammed to generate porcine iPSCs (piPSCs). Immunohistochemistry, quantitative PCR, microarray hybridization, and angiogenic assays confirmed that piPSC-derived endothelial cells (piPSC-ECs) shared similar morphological and functional properties as endothelial cells isolated from the autologous pig aorta. To demonstrate their therapeutic potential, piPSC-ECs were transplanted into mice with myocardial infarction. Compared with control, animals transplanted with piPSC-ECs showed significant functional improvement measured by echocardiography (fractional shortening at week 4: 27.2±1.3% versus 22.3±1.1%; P<0.001) and MRI (ejection fraction at week 4: 45.8±1.3% versus 42.3±0.9%; P<0.05). Quantitative protein assays and microfluidic single-cell PCR profiling showed that piPSC-ECs released proangiogenic and antiapoptotic factors in the ischemic microenvironment, which promoted neovascularization and cardiomyocyte survival, respectively. Release of paracrine factors varied significantly among subpopulations of transplanted cells, suggesting that transplantation of specific cell populations may result in greater functional recovery.In summary, this is the first study to successfully differentiate piPSCs-ECs from piPSCs and demonstrate that transplantation of piPSC-ECs improved cardiac function after myocardial infarction via paracrine activation. Further development of these large animal iPSC models will yield significant insights into their therapeutic potential and accelerate the clinical translation of autologous iPSC-based therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.269001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308868800015

    View details for PubMedID 22821929

  • A novel epidermal growth factor receptor variant lacking multiple domains directly activates transcription and is overexpressed in tumors ONCOGENE Piccione, E. C., LIEU, T. J., Gentile, C. F., Williams, T. R., Connolly, A. J., Godwin, A. K., Koong, A. C., Wong, A. J. 2012; 31 (24): 2953-2967


    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is essential to multiple physiological and neoplastic processes via signaling by its tyrosine kinase domain and subsequent activation of transcription factors. EGFR overexpression and alteration, including point mutations and structural variants, contribute to oncogenesis in many tumor types. In this study, we identified an in-frame splice variant of the EGFR called mini-LEEK (mLEEK) that is more broadly expressed than the EGFR and is overexpressed in several cancers. Unlike previously characterized EGFR variants, mLEEK lacks the extracytoplasmic, transmembrane and tyrosine kinase domains. mLEEK localizes in the nucleus and functions as a transcription factor to regulate target genes involved in the cellular response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, including the master regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways, molecular chaperone GRP78/Bip. We demonstrated that mLEEK regulates GRP78 transcription through direct interaction with a cis-regulatory element within the gene promoter. Several UPR pathways were interrogated and mLEEK expression was found to attenuate the induction of all pathways upon ER stress. Conversely, knockdown of mLEEK resulted in caspase-mediated cell death and sensitization to ER stress. These findings indicate that mLEEK levels determine cellular responses to unfavorable conditions that cause ER stress. This information, along with the overexpression of mLEEK in tumors, suggests unique strategies for therapeutic intervention. Furthermore, the identification of mLEEK expands the known mechanisms by which the EGFR gene contributes to oncogenesis and represents the first link between two previously disparate areas in cancer cell biology: EGFR signaling and the UPR.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/onc.2011.465

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305388400005

    View details for PubMedID 21986942

  • Cardiac pressure overload hypertrophy is differentially regulated by beta-adrenergic receptor subtypes AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Zhao, M., Fajardo, G., Urashima, T., Spin, J. M., Poorfarahani, S., Rajagopalan, V., Diem Huynh, D., Connolly, A., Quertermous, T., Bernstein, D. 2011; 301 (4): H1461-H1470


    In isolated myocytes, hypertrophy induced by norepinephrine is mediated via ?(1)-adrenergic receptors (ARs) and not ?-ARs. However, mice with deletions of both major cardiac ?(1)-ARs still develop hypertrophy in response to pressure overload. Our purpose was to better define the role of ?-AR subtypes in regulating cardiac hypertrophy in vivo, important given the widespread clinical use of ?-AR antagonists and the likelihood that patients treated with these agents could develop conditions of further afterload stress. Mice with deletions of ?(1), ?(2), or both ?(1)- and ?(2)-ARs were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC). After 3 wk, ?(1)(-/-) showed a 21% increase in heart to body weight vs. sham controls, similar to wild type, whereas ?(2)(-/-) developed exaggerated (49% increase) hypertrophy. Only when both ?-ARs were ablated (?(1)?(2)(-/-)) was hypertrophy totally abolished. Cardiac function was preserved in all genotypes. Several known inhibitors of cardiac hypertrophy (FK506 binding protein 5, thioredoxin interacting protein, and S100A9) were upregulated in ?(1)?(2)(-/-) compared with the other genotypes, whereas transforming growth factor-?(2), a positive mediator of hypertrophy was upregulated in all genotypes except the ?(1)?(2)(-/-). In contrast to recent reports suggesting that angiogenesis plays a critical role in regulating cardiac hypertrophy-induced heart failure, we found no evidence that angiogenesis or its regulators (VEGF, Hif1?, and p53) play a role in compensated cardiac hypertrophy. Pressure overload hypertrophy in vivo is dependent on a coordination of signaling through both ?(1)- and ?(2)-ARs, mediated through several key cardiac remodeling pathways. Angiogenesis is not a prerequisite for compensated cardiac hypertrophy.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart.00453.2010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295360100028

    View details for PubMedID 21705675

  • Pretreatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor improves doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy via preservation of mitochondrial function JOURNAL OF THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY Hiona, A., Lee, A. S., Nagendran, J., Xie, X., Connolly, A. J., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2011; 142 (2): 396-U529


    Doxorubicin is a widely used chemotherapy drug, but its application is associated with cardiotoxicity. Free radical generation and mitochondrial dysfunction are thought to contribute to doxorubicin-induced cardiac failure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are commonly used as cardioprotective agents and have recently been shown in clinical studies to be efficacious in the prevention of anthracycline-induced heart failure. This study evaluated a mechanism for these protective effects by testing the ability of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalapril to preserve mitochondrial function in a model of chronic doxorubicin treatment in rats.Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups and followed for a total of 10 weeks: (1) control-untreated, (2) doxorubicin treated, and (3) doxorubicin + enalapril treated. Doxorubicin was administered via intraperitoneal injection at weekly intervals from weeks 2 to 7. Enalapril was administered in the drinking water of the doxorubicin + enalapril group for the study duration.Doxorubicin treatment produced a significant loss in left ventricular contractility (P < .05), decrease in mitochondrial function via impairment of state-3 respiration, decrease in the cytosolic fraction of adenosine triphosphate, and up-regulation of free radical production. Enalapril significantly attenuated the decrease in percent fractional shortening (P < .05) and prevented the doxorubicin-associated reduction in respiratory efficiency and cytosolic adenosine triphosphate content (P < .05). Enalapril also abolished the robust doxorubicin-induced increase in free radical formation.Administration of enalapril attenuates doxorubicin-induced cardiac dysfunction via preservation of mitochondrial respiratory efficiency and reduction in doxorubicin-associated free radical generation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.07.097

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292775200035

    View details for PubMedID 21094500

  • Influences of Aortic Motion and Curvature on Vessel Expansion in Murine Experimental Aneurysms ARTERIOSCLEROSIS THROMBOSIS AND VASCULAR BIOLOGY Goergen, C. J., Azuma, J., Barr, K. N., Magdefessel, L., Kallop, D. Y., Gogineni, A., Grewall, A., Weimer, R. M., Connolly, A. J., Dalman, R. L., Taylor, C. A., Tsao, P. S., Greve, J. M. 2011; 31 (2): 270-U102


    To quantitatively compare aortic curvature and motion with resulting aneurysm location, direction of expansion, and pathophysiological features in experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).MRI was performed at 4.7 T with the following parameters: (1) 3D acquisition for vessel geometry and (2) 2D cardiac-gated acquisition to quantify luminal motion. Male 24-week-old mice were imaged before and after AAA formation induced by angiotensin II (AngII)-filled osmotic pump implantation or infusion of elastase. AngII-induced AAAs formed near the location of maximum abdominal aortic curvature, and the leftward direction of expansion was correlated with the direction of suprarenal aortic motion. Elastase-induced AAAs formed in a region of low vessel curvature and had no repeatable direction of expansion. AngII significantly increased mean blood pressure (22.7 mm Hg, P<0.05), whereas both models showed a significant 2-fold decrease in aortic cyclic strain (P<0.05). Differences in patterns of elastin degradation and localization of fluorescent signal from protease-activated probes were also observed.The direction of AngII aneurysm expansion correlated with the direction of motion, medial elastin dissection, and adventitial remodeling. Anterior infrarenal aortic motion correlated with medial elastin degradation in elastase-induced aneurysms. Results from both models suggest a relationship between aneurysm pathological features and aortic geometry and motion.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.216481

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286376800010

    View details for PubMedID 21071686

  • In Vivo Quantification of Murine Aortic Cyclic Strain, Motion, and Curvature: Implications for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Growth JOURNAL OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING Goergen, C. J., Barr, K. N., Huynh, D. T., Eastham-Anderson, J. R., Choi, G., Hedehus, M., Dalman, R. L., Connolly, A. J., Taylor, C. A., Tsao, P. S., Greve, J. M. 2010; 32 (4): 847-858


    To develop methods to quantify cyclic strain, motion, and curvature of the murine abdominal aorta in vivo.C57BL/6J and apoE(-/-) mice underwent three-dimensional (3D) time-of-flight MR angiography to position cardiac-gated 2D slices at four locations along the abdominal aorta where circumferential cyclic strain and lumen centroid motion were calculated. From the 3D data, a centerline through the aorta was created to quantify geometric curvature at 0.1-mm intervals. Medial elastin content was quantified with histology postmortem. The location and shape of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), created from angiotensin II infusion, were evaluated qualitatively.Strain waveforms were similar at all locations and between groups. Centroid motion was significantly larger and more leftward above the renal vessels than below (P < 0.05). Maximum geometric curvature occurred slightly proximal to the right renal artery. Elastin content was similar around the circumference of the vessel. AAAs developed in the same location as the maximum curvature and grew in the same direction as vessel curvature and motion.The methods presented provide temporally and spatially resolved data quantifying murine aortic motion and curvature in vivo. This noninvasive methodology will allow serial quantification of how these parameters influence the location and direction of AAA growth.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22331

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282764800010

    View details for PubMedID 20882615

  • The role of recipient mast cells in acute and chronic cardiac allograft rejection in C57BL/6-KitW-sh/W-sh mice JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION Itoh, S., Nakae, S., Velotta, J. B., Kosuge, H., Connolly, A., Tsai, M., Adachi, H., Galli, S. J., Robbins, R. C., Fischbein, M. P. 2010; 29 (4): 401-409


    Mast cells are hypothesized to promote rejection and adverse remodeling in cardiac allografts. In contrast, it has been reported that mast cells may enhance cardiac allograft survival in rats. We used C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mast cell-deficient and corresponding wild-type mice to investigate possible contributions of recipient mast cells to acute or chronic cardiac allograft rejection.FVB (H-2(q); acute rejection), or C-H-2(bm12)KhEg (H-2(bm12); chronic rejection) donor hearts were heterotopically transplanted into C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh) (H-2(b)) or C57BL/6-Kit(+/+) (H-2(b)) mice. The degree of acute rejection was assessed at 5 days and chronic rejection, at 52 days.In the acute rejection model, donor heart vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression was significantly lower in C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh) than in wild-type recipients; however, acute rejection scores, graft survival, inflammatory cells, or cytokine expression did not differ significantly. In the chronic rejection model, the number of mast cells/mm(2) of allograft tissue was significantly increased 52 days after transplantation in allografts transplanted into C57BL/6-Kit(+/+) but not C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice; however, no substantial differences were noted in graft coronary artery disease, graft inflammatory cells, or levels of graft tissue expression of cytokines or adhesion molecules.Cardiac allografts undergoing chronic rejection in wild-type C57BL/6-Kit(+/+) mice exhibit increased numbers of mast cells, but acute or chronic cardiac allograft rejection can develop in C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice even though these recipients virtually lack mast cells. These findings indicate that recipient mast cells are not required for acute or chronic cardiac allograft rejection in the models examined.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2009.08.019

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276915100003

    View details for PubMedID 19818646

  • Effects of cell number on teratoma formation by human embryonic stem cells CELL CYCLE Lee, A. S., Tang, C., Cao, F., Xie, X., van der Bogt, K., Hwang, A., Connolly, A. J., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2009; 8 (16): 2608-2612


    Teratoma formation is a critical obstacle to safe clinical translation of human embryonic stem (ES) cell-based therapies in the future. As current methods of isolation are unable to yield 100% pure population of differentiated cells from a pluripotent donor source, potential development of these tumors is a significant concern. Here we used non-invasive reporter gene imaging to investigate the relationship between human ES cell number and teratoma formation in a xenogenic model of ES cell transplantation. Human ES cells (H9 line) were stably transduced with a double fusion (DF) reporter construct containing firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein (Fluc-eGFP) driven by a human ubiquitin promoter. Immunodeficient mice received intramyocardial (n = 35) or skeletal muscle (n = 35) injection of 1 x 10(2), 1 x 10(3), 1 x 10(4), 1 x 10(5) or 1 x 10(6) DF positive ES cells suspended in saline for myocardium and Matrigel for skeletal muscle. Cell survival and proliferation were monitored via bioluminescence imaging (BLI) for an 8 week period following transplantation. Mice negative for Fluc signal after 8 weeks were followed out to day 365 to confirm tumor absence. Significantly, in this study, a minimum of 1 x 10(5) ES cells in the myocardium and 1 x 10(4) cells in the skeletal muscle was observed to be requisite for teratoma development, suggesting that human ES cell number may be a critical factor in teratoma formation. Engraftment and tumor occurrence were also observed to be highly dependent on ES cell number. We anticipate these results should yield useful insights to the safe and reliable application of human ES cell derivatives in the clinic.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268983900028

    View details for PubMedID 19597339

  • Imaging Gene Expression in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells: From Small to Large Animals RADIOLOGY Willmann, J. K., Paulmurugan, R., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Stein, W., Brinton, T. J., Connolly, A. J., Nielsen, C. H., Lutz, A. M., Lyons, J., Ikeno, F., Suzuki, Y., Rosenberg, J., Chen, I. Y., Wu, J. C., Yeung, A. C., Yock, P., Robbins, R. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 252 (1): 117-127


    To evaluate the feasibility of reporter gene imaging in implanted human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in porcine myocardium by using clinical positron emission tomography (PET)-computed tomography (CT) scanning.Animal protocols were approved by the Institutional Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. Transduction of human MSCs by using different doses of adenovirus that contained a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter driving the mutant herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase reporter gene (Ad-CMV-HSV1-sr39tk) was characterized in a cell culture. A total of 2.25 x 10(6) transduced (n = 5) and control nontransduced (n = 5) human MSCs were injected into the myocardium of 10 rats, and reporter gene expression in human MSCs was visualized with micro-PET by using the radiotracer 9-(4-[fluorine 18]-fluoro-3-hydroxymethylbutyl)-guanine (FHBG). Different numbers of transduced human MSCs suspended in either phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (n = 4) or matrigel (n = 5) were injected into the myocardium of nine swine, and gene expression was visualized with a clinical PET-CT. For analysis of cell culture experiments, linear regression analyses combined with a t test were performed. To test differences in radiotracer uptake between injected and remote myocardium in both rats and swine, one-sided paired Wilcoxon tests were performed. In swine experiments, a linear regression of radiotracer uptake ratio on the number of injected transduced human MSCs was performed.In cell culture, there was a viral dose-dependent increase of gene expression and FHBG accumulation in human MSCs. Human MSC viability was 96.7% (multiplicity of infection, 250). Cardiac FHBG uptake in rats was significantly elevated (P < .0001) after human MSC injection (0.0054% injected dose [ID]/g +/- 0.0007 [standard deviation]) compared with that in the remote myocardium (0.0003% ID/g +/- 0.0001). In swine, myocardial radiotracer uptake was not elevated after injection of up to 100 x 10(6) human MSCs (PBS group). In the matrigel group, signal-to-background ratio increased to 1.87 after injection of 100 x 10(6) human MSCs and positively correlated (R(2) = 0.97, P < .001) with the number of administered human MSCs.Reporter gene imaging in human MSCs can be translated to large animals. The study highlights the importance of co-administering a "scaffold" for increasing intramyocardial retention of human MSCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2513081616

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268362900015

    View details for PubMedID 19366903

  • Insulin resistance is associated with a modest increase in inflammation in subcutaneous adipose tissue of moderately obese women DIABETOLOGIA McLaughlin, T., Deng, A., Gonzales, O., AILLAUD, M., Yee, G., Lamendola, C., Abbasi, F., Connolly, A. J., Sherman, A., Cushman, S. W., Reaven, G., Tsao, P. S. 2008; 51 (12): 2303-2308


    We have previously described differences in adipose cell size distribution and expression of genes related to adipocyte differentiation in subcutaneous abdominal fat obtained from insulin-sensitive (IS) and -resistant (IR) persons, matched for degree of moderate obesity. To determine whether other biological properties also differ between IR and IS obese individuals, we quantified markers of inflammatory activity in adipose tissue from overweight IR and IS individuals.Subcutaneous abdominal tissue was obtained from moderately obese women, divided into IR (n = 14) and IS (n = 19) subgroups by determining their steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentrations during the insulin suppression test. Inflammatory activity was assessed by comparing expression of nine relevant genes and by immunohistochemical quantification of CD45- and CD68-containing cells.SSPG concentrations were approximately threefold higher in IR than in IS individuals. Expression levels of CD68, EMR1, IL8, IL6 and MCP/CCL2 mRNAs were modestly but significantly increased (p < 0.05) in IR compared with IS participants. Results of immunohistochemical staining were consistent with gene expression data, demonstrating modest differences between IR and IS individuals. Crown-like structures, in which macrophages surround single adipocytes, were rarely seen in tissue from either subgroup.A modest increase in inflammatory activity was seen in subcutaneous adipose tissue from IR compared with equally obese IS individuals. Together with previous evidence of impaired adipose cell differentiation in IR vs equally obese individuals, it appears that at least two biological processes in subcutaneous adipose tissue characterize the insulin-resistant state independent of obesity per se.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00125-008-1148-z

    View details for Web of Science ID 000260686000019

    View details for PubMedID 18825363

  • In Vivo Imaging of Embryonic Stem Cells Reveals Patterns of Survival and Immune Rejection Following Transplantation STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT Swijnenburg, R., Schrepfer, S., Cao, F., Pearl, J. I., Xie, X., Connolly, A. J., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2008; 17 (6): 1023-1029


    Embryonic stem cell (ESC)-based transplantation is considered a promising novel therapy for a variety of diseases. This is bolstered by the suggested immune-privileged properties of ESCs. In this study, we used in vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI) to non-invasively track the fate of transplanted murine ESCs (mESCs), which are stably transduced with a double fusion reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase (FLuc) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). Following syngeneic intramuscular transplantation of 1 x 10(6) mESCs, the cells survived and differentiated into teratomas. In contrast, allogeneic mESC transplants were infiltrated by a variety of inflammatory cells, leading to rejection within 28 days. Acceleration of rejection was observed when mESCs were allotransplanted following prior sensitization of the host. Finally, we demonstrate that the mESC derivatives were more rapidly rejected compared to undifferentiated mESCs. These data show that mESCs do not retain immune-privileged properties in vivo and are subject to immunological rejection as assessed by novel molecular imaging approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/scd.2008.0091

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261490700002

    View details for PubMedID 18491958

  • Integrin alpha(v)beta(3)-Targeted Radioimmunotherapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Veeravagu, A., Liu, Z., Niu, G., Chen, K., Jia, B., Cai, W., Jin, C., Hsu, A. R., Connolly, A. J., Tse, V., Wang, F., Chen, X. 2008; 14 (22): 7330-7339


    Abegrin is a monoclonal antibody to human integrin alphavbeta3, a cell adhesion molecule highly expressed on actively angiogenic endothelium and glioblastoma multiforme tumor cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a novel 90Y-Abegrin radioimmunotherapeutic agent in murine xenograft glioblastoma models with noninvasive in vivo molecular imaging modalities.A s.c. U87MG human glioblastoma xenograft model was used to determine maximum tolerated dose (MTD), biodistribution, dose response, and efficacy of 90Y-Abegrin. Antitumor efficacy was also characterized in an orthotopic U87MG and in a HT-29 colorectal cancer model, a low integrin-expressing carcinoma. Small-animal positron emission tomography imaging was used to correlate histologic findings of treatment efficacy.MTD and dose response analysis revealed 200 microCi per mouse as appropriate treatment dose with hepatic clearance and no organ toxicity. 90Y-Abegrin-treated U87MG tumor mice showed partial regression of tumor volume, with increased tumor volumes in 90Y-IgG, Abegrin, and saline groups. 18F-FDG imaging revealed a reduction of cell proliferation and metabolic activity whereas 18F-FLT reflected decreased DNA synthesis in the 90Y-Abegrin group. Ki67 analysis showed reduced proliferative index and quantitative terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling-positive analysis revealed increased DNA fragmentation and apoptosis in 90Y-Abegrin animals. CD31 and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining showed increased vascular fragmentation and dysmorphic vessel structure in 90Y-Abegrin animals only. Orthotopic U87MG tumors treated with 90Y-Abegrin displayed reduced tumor volume. HT-29 tumors showed no significant difference among the various groups.Radioimmunotherapy with 90Y-labeled Abegrin may prove promising in the treatment of highly vascular, invasive, and heterogeneous malignant brain tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-0797

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261014500021

    View details for PubMedID 19010848

  • Multimodal evaluation of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging of myocardial restoration by mouse embryonic stem cells JOURNAL OF THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY Hendry, S. L., van der Bogt, K. E., Sheikh, A. Y., Arai, T., Dylla, S. J., Drukker, M., McConnell, M. V., Kutschka, I., Hoyt, G., Cao, F., Weissman, I. L., Connolly, A. J., Pelletier, M. P., Wu, J. C., Robbins, R. C., Yang, P. C. 2008; 136 (4): 1028-U14


    Mouse embryonic stem cells have demonstrated potential to restore infarcted myocardium after acute myocardial infarction. Although the underlying mechanism remains controversial, magnetic resonance imaging has provided reliable in vivo assessment of functional recovery after cellular transplants. Multimodal comparison of the restorative effects of mouse embryonic stem cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts was performed to validate magnetic resonance imaging data and provide mechanistic insight.SCID-beige mice (n = 55) underwent coronary artery ligation followed by injection of 2.5 x 10(5) mouse embryonic stem cells, 2.5 x 10(5) mouse embryonic fibroblasts, or normal saline solution. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of myocardial restoration by mouse embryonic stem cells was evaluated by (1) in vivo pressure-volume loops, (2) in vivo bioluminescence imaging, and (3) ex vivo TaqMan (Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Pleasanton, Calif) polymerase chain reaction and immunohistologic examination.In vivo magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction at 1 week in the mouse embryonic stem cell group. This finding was validated with (1) pressure-volume loop analysis demonstrating significantly improved systolic and diastolic functions, (2) bioluminescence imaging and polymerase chain reaction showing superior posttransplant survival of mouse embryonic stem cells, (3) immunohistologic identification of cardiac phenotype within engrafted mouse embryonic stem cells, and (4) polymerase chain reaction measuring increased expressions of angiogenic and antiapoptotic genes and decreased expressions of antifibrotic genes.This study validates in vivo magnetic resonance imaging as an effective means of evaluating the restorative potential of mouse embryonic stem cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2007.12.053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000260314800033

    View details for PubMedID 18954646

  • Immunosuppressive therapy mitigates immunological rejection of human embryonic stem cell xenografts PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Swijnenburg, R., Schrepfer, S., Govaert, J. A., Cao, F., Ransohoff, K., Sheikh, A. Y., Haddad, M., Connolly, A. J., Davis, M. M., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2008; 105 (35): 12991-12996


    Given their self-renewing and pluripotent capabilities, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are well poised as a cellular source for tissue regeneration therapy. However, the host immune response against transplanted hESCs is not well characterized. In fact, controversy remains as to whether hESCs have immune-privileged properties. To address this issue, we used in vivo bioluminescent imaging to track the fate of transplanted hESCs stably transduced with a double-fusion reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase and enhanced GFP. We show that survival after transplant is significantly limited in immunocompetent as opposed to immunodeficient mice. Repeated transplantation of hESCs into immunocompetent hosts results in accelerated hESC death, suggesting an adaptive donor-specific immune response. Our data demonstrate that transplanted hESCs trigger robust cellular and humoral immune responses, resulting in intragraft infiltration of inflammatory cells and subsequent hESC rejection. Moreover, we have found CD4(+) T cells to be an important modulator of hESC immune-mediated rejection. Finally, we show that immunosuppressive drug regimens can mitigate the anti-hESC immune response and that a regimen of combined tacrolimus and sirolimus therapies significantly prolongs survival of hESCs for up to 28 days. Taken together, these data suggest that hESCs are immunogenic, trigger both cellular and humoral-mediated pathways, and, as a result, are rapidly rejected in xenogeneic hosts. This process can be mitigated by a combined immunosuppressive regimen as assessed by molecular imaging approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0805802105

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259343000067

    View details for PubMedID 18728188

  • Introducing the first polymer-free leflunomide eluting stent ATHEROSCLEROSIS Deuse, T., Erben, R. G., Ikeno, F., Behnisch, B., Boeger, R., Connolly, A. J., Reichenspurner, H., Bergow, C., Pelletier, M. P., Robbins, R. C., Schrepfer, S. 2008; 200 (1): 126-134


    We here describe the pharmacological characteristic, in vivo efficacy, and in vitro mechanisms of a polymer-free leflunomide eluting stent in comparison to its rapamycin-coated equivalent.Stents were coated with 40 mM solutions of leflunomide (L) or rapamycin (R) or were left uncoated (BM). Neointima formation was assessed 6 weeks after implantation into Sprague Dawley rats by optical coherence tomographies (OCT) and histopathology. In vitro proliferation assays were performed using isolated endothelial and smooth-muscle-cells from Sprague Dawley rats to investigate the cell-specific pharmacokinetic effect of leflunomide and rapamycin.HPLC-based drug release kinetics revealed a similar profile with 90% of the drug being released after 12.1+/-0.2 (L) and 13.0+/-0.2 days (R). After 6 weeks, OCTs showed that in-stent luminal obliteration was less for the coated stents (L:12.0+/-9.4%, R:13.3+/-13.1%) when compared to identical bare metal stents (BM:26.4+/-4.7%; p

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.12.055

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259549800017

    View details for PubMedID 18295768

  • Comparison of reporter gene and iron particle labeling for tracking fate of human embryonic stem cells and differentiated endothelial cells in living subjects STEM CELLS Li, Z., Suzuki, Y., Huang, M., Cao, F., Xie, X., Connolly, A. J., Yang, P. C., Wu, J. C. 2008; 26 (4): 864-873


    Human embryonic stem (hES) cells are pluripotent stem cells capable of self-renewal and differentiation into virtually all cell types. Thus, they hold tremendous potential as cell sources for regenerative therapies. The concurrent development of accurate, sensitive, and noninvasive technologies capable of monitoring hES cells engraftment in vivo can greatly expedite basic research prior to future clinical translation. In this study, hES cells were stably transduced with a lentiviral vector carrying a novel double-fusion reporter gene that consists of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescence protein. Reporter gene expression had no adverse effects on cell viability, proliferation, or differentiation to endothelial cells (human embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells [hESC-ECs]). To compare the two popular imaging modalities, hES cells and hESC-ECs were then colabeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles before transplantation into murine hind limbs. Longitudinal magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed persistent MR signals in both cell populations that lasted up to 4 weeks. By contrast, bioluminescence imaging indicated divergent signal patterns for hES cells and hESC-ECs. In particular, hESC-ECs showed significant bioluminescence signals at day 2, which decreased progressively over the following 4 weeks, whereas bioluminescence signals from undifferentiated hES cells increased dramatically during the same period. Post-mortem histology and immunohistochemistry confirmed teratoma formation after injection of undifferentiated hES cells but not hESC-ECs. From these data taken together, we concluded that reporter gene is a better marker for monitoring cell viability, whereas iron particle labeling is a better marker for high-resolution detection of cell location by MR. Furthermore, transplantation of predifferentiated rather than undifferentiated hES cells would be more suited for avoiding teratoma formation.

    View details for DOI 10.1634/stemcells.2007-0843

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255000000003

    View details for PubMedID 18218820

  • In vivo genetic profiling and cellular localization of apelin reveals a hypoxia-sensitive, endothelial-centered pathway activated in ischemic heart failure AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Sheikh, A. Y., Chun, H. J., Glassford, A. J., Kundu, R. K., Kutschka, I., Ardigo, D., Hendry, S. L., Wagner, R. A., Chen, M. M., Ali, Z. A., Yue, P., Huynh, D. T., Connolly, A. J., Pelletier, M. P., Tsao, P. S., Robbins, R. C., Quertermous, T. 2008; 294 (1): H88-H98


    Signaling by the peptide ligand apelin and its cognate G protein-coupled receptor APJ has a potent inotropic effect on cardiac contractility and modulates systemic vascular resistance through nitric oxide-dependent signaling. In addition, there is evidence for counterregulation of the angiotensin and vasopressin pathways. Regulatory stimuli of the apelin-APJ pathway are of obvious importance but remain to be elucidated. To better understand the physiological response of apelin-APJ to disease states such as heart failure and to elucidate the mechanism by which such a response might occur, we have used the murine model of left anterior descending coronary artery ligation-induced ischemic cardiac failure. To identify the key cells responsible for modulation and production of apelin in vivo, we have created a novel apelin-lacZ reporter mouse. Data from these studies demonstrate that apelin and APJ are upregulated in the heart and skeletal muscle following myocardial injury and suggest that apelin expression remains restricted to the endothelium. In cardiac failure, endothelial apelin expression correlates with other hypoxia-responsive genes, and in healthy animals both apelin and APJ are markedly upregulated in various tissues following systemic hypoxic exposure. Experiments with cultured endothelial cells in vitro show apelin mRNA and protein levels to be increased by hypoxia, through a hypoxia-inducible factor-mediated pathway. These studies suggest that apelin-expressing endothelial cells respond to conditions associated with heart failure, possibly including local tissue hypoxia, and modulate apelin-APJ expression to regulate cardiovascular homeostasis. The apelin-APJ pathway may thus provide a mechanism for systemic endothelial monitoring of tissue perfusion and adaptive regulation of cardiovascular function.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart.00935.2007

    View details for Web of Science ID 000252261200013

    View details for PubMedID 17906101

  • Spatial and temporal kinetics, of teratoma formation from murine embryonic stem cell transplantation STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT Cao, F., van der Bogt, K. E., Sadrzadeh, A., Xie, X., Sheikh, A. Y., Wang, H., Connolly, A. J., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C. 2007; 16 (6): 883-891


    Pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells have the potential to form teratomas composed of derivatives from all three germ layers in animal models. This tumorigenic potential prevents clinical translation of ES cell research. In order to understand the biology and physiology of teratoma formation, we investigated the influence of undifferentiated ES cell number, migration, and long-term follow up after transplantation. Murine ES cells were stably transduced with a self-inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vector with a constitutive ubiquitin promoter driving a double-fusion (DF) reporter gene that consists of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein (Fluc-eGFP). To assess effects of cell numbers, varying numbers of ES-DF cells (1, 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000) were injected subcutaneously into the dorsal regions of adult nude mice. To assess cell migration, 1 x 10(6) ES-DF cells were injected intramyocardially into adult Sv129 mice, and leakage to other extracardiac sites was monitored. To assess effects of long-term engraftment, 1 x 10(4) ES-DF cells were injected intramyocardially into adult nude rats, and cell survival response was monitored for 10 months. Our results show that ES-DF cells caused extracardiac teratoma in both immunocompetent and immunodeficient hosts; the lowest number of undifferentiated ES cells capable of causing teratoma was 500-1,000; and long-term engraftment could be shown for >300 days. Collectively, these results illustrate the potent tumorigenic potential of ES cells, which presents an enormous obstacle for future clinical studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/scd.2007.0160

    View details for Web of Science ID 000252031000002

    View details for PubMedID 17896868

  • Molecular imaging of embryonic stem cell misbehavior and suicide gene ablation CLONING AND STEM CELLS Cao, F., Drukker, M., Lin, S., Sheikh, A. Y., Xie, X., Li, Z., Connolly, A. J., Weissman, I. L., Wu, J. C. 2007; 9 (1): 107-117


    Numerous studies have demonstrated the potential use of stem cells for the repair and regeneration of injured tissues. However, tracking transplanted stem cell fate and function in vivo remains problematic. To address these issues, murine embryonic stem (ES) cells were stably transduced with self-inactivating lentiviral vectors carrying either a triple fusion (TF) or double fusion (DF) reporter gene construct. The TF consisted of monomeric red fluorescence protein (mrfp), firefly luciferase (Fluc), and herpes simplex virus truncated thymidine kinase (HSV-ttk) reporter genes. The DF consisted of enhanced green fluorescence protein (egfp) and Fluc reporter genes but lacked HSV-ttk. Stably transduced ES-TF or ES-DF cells were selected by fluorescence activated cell sorting based on either mrfp (TF) or egfp (DF) expression. Afterwards, cells were injected subcutaneously into the right (ES-TF cells) and left (ES-DF cells) shoulders of adult female nude mice. Cell survival was tracked noninvasively by bioluminescence and positron emission tomography imaging of Fluc and HSV-ttk reporter genes, respectively. Imaging signals progressively increased from day 2 to day 14, consistent with ES cell survival and proliferation in vivo. However, teratoma formation occurred in all nude mice after 5 weeks. Administration of ganciclovir (GCV), targeting the HSV-ttk gene, resulted in selective ablation of teratomas arising from the ES-TF cells but not ES-DF cells. These data demonstrate the novel use of multimodality imaging techniques to (1) monitor transplanted ES cell survival and proliferation in vivo and (2) assess the efficacy of suicide gene therapy as a backup safety measure against teratoma formation.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/clo.2006.0016

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245390300015

    View details for PubMedID 17386018

  • Genetic modification of embryonic stem cells with VEGF enhances cell survival and improves cardiac function CLONING AND STEM CELLS Xie, X., Cao, F., Sheikh, A. Y., Li, Z., Connolly, A. J., Pei, X., Li, R., Robbins, R. C., Wui, J. C. 2007; 9 (4): 549-563


    Cardiac stem cell therapy remains hampered by acute donor cell death posttransplantation and the lack of reliable methods for tracking cell survival in vivo. We hypothesize that cells transfected with inducible vascular endothelial growth factor 165 (VEGF(165)) can improve their survival as monitored by novel molecular imaging techniques. Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells were transfected with an inducible, bidirectional tetracycline (Bi-Tet) promoter driving VEGF(165) and renilla luciferase (Rluc). Addition of doxycycline induced Bi-Tet expression of VEGF(165) and Rluc significantly compared to baseline (p<0.05). Expression of VEGF(165) enhanced ES cell proliferation and inhibited apoptosis as determined by Annexin-V staining. For noninvasive imaging, ES cells were transduced with a double fusion (DF) reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescence protein (Fluc-eGFP). There was a robust correlation between cell number and Fluc activity (R(2)=0.99). Analysis by immunostaining, histology, and RT-PCR confirmed that expression of Bi-Tet and DF systems did not affect ES cell self-renewal or pluripotency. ES cells were differentiated into beating embryoid bodies expressing cardiac markers such as troponin, Nkx2.5, and beta-MHC. Afterward, 5 x 10(5) cells obtained from these beating embryoid bodies or saline were injected into the myocardium of SV129 mice (n=36) following ligation of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and echocardiography showed that VEGF(165) induction led to significant improvements in both transplanted cell survival and cardiac function (p<0.05). This is the first study to demonstrate imaging of embryonic stem cell-mediated gene therapy targeting cardiovascular disease. With further validation, this platform may have broad applications for current basic research and further clinical studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/clo.2007.0032

    View details for Web of Science ID 000252027800010

    View details for PubMedID 18154515

  • Network analysis of human in-stent restenosis CIRCULATION Ashley, E. A., Ferrara, R., King, J. Y., Vailaya, A., Kuchinsky, A., He, X., Byers, B., Gerckens, U., Oblin, S., Tsalenko, A., Soito, A., Spin, J. M., Tabibiazar, R., Connolly, A. J., Simpson, J. B., Grube, E., Quertermous, T. 2006; 114 (24): 2644-2654


    Recent successes in the treatment of in-stent restenosis (ISR) by drug-eluting stents belie the challenges still faced in certain lesions and patient groups. We analyzed human coronary atheroma in de novo and restenotic disease to identify targets of therapy that might avoid these limitations.We recruited 89 patients who underwent coronary atherectomy for de novo atherosclerosis (n=55) or in-stent restenosis (ISR) of a bare metal stent (n=34). Samples were fixed for histology, and gene expression was assessed with a dual-dye 22,000 oligonucleotide microarray. Histological analysis revealed significantly greater cellularity and significantly fewer inflammatory infiltrates and lipid pools in the ISR group. Gene ontology analysis demonstrated the prominence of cell proliferation programs in ISR and inflammation/immune programs in de novo restenosis. Network analysis, which combines semantic mining of the published literature with the expression signature of ISR, revealed gene expression modules suggested as candidates for selective inhibition of restenotic disease. Two modules are presented in more detail, the procollagen type 1 alpha2 gene and the ADAM17/tumor necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme gene. We tested our contention that this method is capable of identifying successful targets of therapy by comparing mean significance scores for networks generated from subsets of the published literature containing the terms "sirolimus" or "paclitaxel." In addition, we generated 2 large networks with sirolimus and paclitaxel at their centers. Both analyses revealed higher mean values for sirolimus, suggesting that this agent has a broader suppressive action against ISR than paclitaxel.Comprehensive histological and gene network analysis of human ISR reveals potential targets for directed abrogation of restenotic disease and recapitulates the results of clinical trials of existing agents.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.637025

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243477800015

    View details for PubMedID 17145989

  • Proteomic analysis of reporter genes for molecular imaging of transplanted embryonic stem cells PROTEOMICS Wu, J. C., Cao, F., Dutta, S., Xie, X., Kim, E., Chungfat, N., Gambhir, S., Mathewson, S., Connolly, A. J., Brown, M., Wang, E. W. 2006; 6 (23): 6234-6249


    Study of stem cells may reveal promising treatment for diseases. The fate and function of transplanted stem cells remain poorly defined. Recent studies demonstrate that reporter genes can monitor real-time survival of transplanted stem cells in living subjects. We examined the effects of a novel and versatile triple fusion (TF) reporter gene construction on embryonic stem (ES) cell function by proteomic analysis. Murine ES cells were stably transduced with a self-inactivating lentiviral vector containing fluorescence (firefly luciferase; Fluc), bioluminescence (monomeric red fluorescence protein; mRFP), and positron emission tomography (herpes simplex virus type 1 truncated thymidine kinase; tTK) reporter genes. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis isolated stably transduced populations. TF reporter gene effects on cellular function were evaluated by quantitative proteomic profiling of control ES cells versus ES cells stably expressing the TF construct (ES-TF). Overall, no significant changes in protein quantity were observed. TF reporter gene expression had no effect on ES cell viability, proliferation, and differentiation capability. Molecular imaging studies tracked ES-TF cell survival and proliferation in living animals. In summary, this is the first proteomic study, demonstrating the unique potential of reporter gene imaging for tracking ES cell transplantation non-invasively, repetitively, and quantitatively.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.200600150

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242879000011

    View details for PubMedID 17080479

  • Adenoviral human BCL-2 transgene expression attenuates early donor cell death after cardiomyoblast transplantation into ischemic rat hearts CIRCULATION Kutschka, I., Kofidis, T., Chen, I. Y., von Degenfeld, G., Zwierzchoniewska, M., Hoyt, G., Arai, T., Lebl, D. R., Hendry, S. L., Sheikh, A. Y., Cooke, D. T., Connolly, A., Blau, H. M., Gambhir, S. S., Robbins, R. C. 2006; 114: I174-I180


    Cell transplantation for myocardial repair is limited by early cell death. Gene therapy with human Bcl-2 (hBcl-2) has been shown to attenuate apoptosis in the experimental setting. Therefore, we studied the potential benefit of hBcl-2 transgene expression on the survival of cardiomyoblast grafts in ischemic rat hearts.H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts were genetically modified to express both firefly luciferase and green fluorescent protein (mH9c2). The cells were then transduced with adenovirus carrying hBcl-2 (AdCMVhBcl-2/mH9c2). Lewis rats underwent ligation of the left anterior descending artery (LAD) to induce a sizable left ventricular (LV) infarct. Hearts were explanted and the infarcted region was restored using collagen matrix (CM) seeded with 1x10(6) mH9c2 cells (n=9) or AdCMVhBcl-2/mH9c2 cells (n=9). Control animals received CM alone (n=6) or no infarct (n=6). Restored hearts were transplanted into the abdomen of syngeneic recipients in a "working heart" model. Cell survival was evaluated using optical bioluminescence imaging on days 1, 5, 8, 14, and 28 after surgery. The left heart function was assessed 4 weeks postoperatively using echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging. During 4 weeks after surgery, the optical imaging signal for the AdCMVhBCL2/mH9c2 group was significantly (P<0.05) higher than that of the mH9c2-control group. Both grafts led to better fractional shortening (AdCMVhBcl-2/mH9c2: 0.21+/-0.03; mH9c2: 0.21+/-0.04; control: 0.15+/-0.03; P=0.04) and ejection fraction (AdCMVhBcl-2/mH9c2: 47.0+/-6.2; mH9c2: 48.7+/-6.1; control: 34.3+/-6.0; P=0.02) compared with controls. Importantly, no malignant cells were found in postmortem histology.Transduction of mH9c2 cardiomyoblasts with AdCMVhBcl-2 increased graft survival in ischemic rat myocardium without causing malignancies. Both AdCMVhBcl-2/mH9c2 and mH9c2 grafts improved LV function.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.001370

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238688200029

    View details for PubMedID 16820569

  • In vivo visualization of embryonic stem cell survival, proliferation, and migration after cardiac delivery CIRCULATION Cao, F., Lin, S., Xie, X. Y., Ray, P., Patel, M., Zhang, X. Z., Drukker, M., Dylla, S. J., Connolly, A. J., Chen, X. Y., Weissman, I. L., Gambhir, S. S., Wu, J. C. 2006; 113 (7): 1005-1014


    Recent studies have shown that stem cell therapy can promote tissue regeneration; however, monitoring stem cells in vivo remains problematic owing to limitations of conventional histological assays and imaging modalities.Murine embryonic stem (ES) cells were stably transduced with a lentiviral vector carrying a novel triple-fusion (TF) reporter gene that consists of firefly luciferase, monomeric red fluorescence protein, and truncated thymidine kinase (fluc-mrfp-ttk). ES cell viability, proliferation, and differentiation ability were not adversely affected by either reporter genes or reporter probes compared with nontransduced control cells (P=NS). Afterward, 1x10(7) of ES cells carrying the TF reporter gene (ES-TF) were injected into the myocardium of adult nude rats (n=20). Control animals received nontransduced ES cells (n=6). At day 4, the bioluminescence and positron emission tomography signals in study animals were 3.7x10(7)+/-5.8x10(6) photons.s(-1).cm(-2) per steradian (sr) and 0.08+/-0.03% injected dose/g, respectively (P<0.05 versus control). Both signals increased progressively from week 1 to week 4, which indicated ES cell survival and proliferation in the host. Histological analysis demonstrated the formation of intracardiac and extracardiac teratomas. Finally, animals (n=4) that were treated with intraperitoneal injection of ganciclovir (50 mg/kg) did not develop teratomas when compared with control animals (n=4) treated with saline (1 mL/kg).This is the first study to characterize ES cells that stably express fluorescence, bioluminescence, and positron emission tomography reporter genes and monitor the kinetics of ES cell survival, proliferation, and migration. This versatile imaging platform should have broad applications for basic research and clinical studies on stem cell therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONHA.105.588954

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235403900015

    View details for PubMedID 16476845

  • Myocardial restoration with embryonic stem cell transplantation in a murine myocardial infarction model Hendry, S. L., Arai, T., Dylla, S. J., Drukker, M., Sheikh, A. Y., Kutschka, I., Hoyt, G., Connolly, A., Pelletier, M., Wu, J. C., Yang, P. C., Robbins, R. C. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2005: U432-U432
  • Myocardial restoration with embryonic stem cell transplantation in a murine myocardial infarction model Hendry, S. L., Arai, T., Dylla, S. J., Drukker, M., Sheikh, A. Y., Kutschka, I., Hoyt, G., Connolly, A., Pelletier, M., Wu, J. C., Yang, P. C., Robbins, R. C. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2005: U37-U38
  • Pathway analysis of coronary atherosclerosis PHYSIOLOGICAL GENOMICS King, J. Y., Ferrara, R., Tabibiazar, R., Spin, J. M., Chen, M. M., Kuchinsky, A., Vailaya, A., Kincaid, R., Tsalenko, A., Deng, D. X., Connolly, A., Zhang, P., Yang, E., Watt, C., Yakhini, Z., Ben-Dor, A., Adler, A., Bruhn, L., Tsao, P., Quertermous, T., Ashley, E. A. 2005; 23 (1): 103-118


    Large-scale gene expression studies provide significant insight into genes differentially regulated in disease processes such as cancer. However, these investigations offer limited understanding of multisystem, multicellular diseases such as atherosclerosis. A systems biology approach that accounts for gene interactions, incorporates nontranscriptionally regulated genes, and integrates prior knowledge offers many advantages. We performed a comprehensive gene level assessment of coronary atherosclerosis using 51 coronary artery segments isolated from the explanted hearts of 22 cardiac transplant patients. After histological grading of vascular segments according to American Heart Association guidelines, isolated RNA was hybridized onto a customized 22-K oligonucleotide microarray, and significance analysis of microarrays and gene ontology analyses were performed to identify significant gene expression profiles. Our studies revealed that loss of differentiated smooth muscle cell gene expression is the primary expression signature of disease progression in atherosclerosis. Furthermore, we provide insight into the severe form of coronary artery disease associated with diabetes, reporting an overabundance of immune and inflammatory signals in diabetics. We present a novel approach to pathway development based on connectivity, determined by language parsing of the published literature, and ranking, determined by the significance of differentially regulated genes in the network. In doing this, we identify highly connected "nexus" genes that are attractive candidates for therapeutic targeting and followup studies. Our use of pathway techniques to study atherosclerosis as an integrated network of gene interactions expands on traditional microarray analysis methods and emphasizes the significant advantages of a systems-based approach to analyzing complex disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00101.2005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232065200012

    View details for PubMedID 15942018

  • Heterogeneity of endothelial cells from different organ sites in T-cell subset recruitment AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY Lim, Y. C., Garcia-Cardena, G., Allport, J. R., Zervoglos, M., Connolly, A. J., Gimbrone, M. A., Luscinskas, F. W. 2003; 162 (5): 1591-1601


    Chemokines and adhesion molecules play a critical role in the recruitment of leukocytes into specific organ sites. Little is known, however, regarding the repertoire of chemokines and adhesion molecules expressed within different vascular beds. In this study, we compare adhesion molecule expression, chemokine induction, and T-cell subset-endothelial interactions under defined flow conditions on resting and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-activated murine lung endothelial cells (MLECs) and heart endothelial cells (MHECs). Our study revealed that only MHECs exhibited high constitutive VCAM-1 expression. Exposure to TNF-alpha up-regulated adhesion molecule expression and chemokine production in both MLECs and MHECs. However, high levels of Regulated on Activation Normal T cell Expressed And Secreted (RANTES) expression were detected only in TNF-alpha-activated MHECs. TNF-alpha-stimulated MLECs and MHECs both supported T-helper cell interactions under defined flow conditions. Most T cells instantaneously arrested on MHECs but exhibited a rolling phenotype on MLECs. Blocking studies revealed that T-cell arrest on MHECs was mediated by constitutive VCAM-1 and TNF-alpha-induced RANTES. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that functional heterogeneity of endothelial cells from different sites exists and some of it is retained in vitro. Furthermore, these results provide an insight into the molecular mechanisms that may mediate T-helper cell recruitment to these organs.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182434700023

    View details for PubMedID 12707043

  • Antibodies to protease-activated receptor 3 inhibit activation of mouse platelets by thrombin BLOOD Ishihara, H., Zeng, D. Z., Connolly, A. J., Tam, C., Coughlin, S. R. 1998; 91 (11): 4152-4157


    Recent studies of mice deficient in the thrombin receptor, protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1), provided definitive evidence for the existence of a second thrombin receptor in mouse platelets. We recently identified a new thrombin receptor designated protease-activated receptor 3 (PAR3). The mRNA encoding a mouse homologue of PAR3 was highly expressed in mouse splenic megakaryocytes, making it a good candidate for the missing mouse platelet thrombin receptor. We now report that PAR3 protein is expressed on the surface of mouse platelets and that PAR3 antibodies partially inhibit activation of mouse platelets by thrombin but not U46619, a thromboxane receptor agonist. These observations suggest that PAR3 contributes to mouse platelet activation by thrombin.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000073797000018

    View details for PubMedID 9596661

  • Mice lacking the thrombin receptor, PAR1, have normal skin wound healing AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY Connolly, A. J., Suh, D. Y., Hunt, T. K., Coughlin, S. R. 1997; 151 (5): 1199-1204


    Thrombin's actions on platelets, macrophages, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells have prompted the hypothesis that thrombin may be important for inflammatory and fibroproliferative processes in wound healing. Protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) is a G-protein-coupled receptor that mediates many of the cellular activities of thrombin. To test the role of this receptor in vivo, we generated PAR1-deficient mice. Despite the observation that fibroblasts cultured from these mice lacked responsiveness to thrombin in vitro, we now report that there was no difference detected between wild-type and PAR1-deficient mice in skin wound healing assays including time to closure of open wounds, tensile strength of healed incisional wounds, wound histology, and hydroxyproline/DNA content of wound implants. We conclude that PAR1 is not necessary for normal skin wound healing in mice.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997YD87800005

    View details for PubMedID 9358744

  • Protease-activated receptor 3 is a second thrombin receptor in humans NATURE Ishihara, H., Connolly, A. J., Zeng, D. W., Kahn, M. L., Zheng, Y. W., Timmons, C., Tram, T., Coughlin, S. R. 1997; 386 (6624): 502-506


    Thrombin is a coagulation protease that activates platelets, leukocytes, endothelial and mesenchymal cells at sites of vascular injury, acting partly through an unusual proteolytically activated G-protein-coupled receptor. Knockout of the gene encoding this receptor provided definitive evidence for a second thrombin receptor in mouse platelets and for tissue-specific roles for different thrombin receptors. We now report the cloning and characterization of a new human thrombin receptor, designated protease-activated receptor 3 (PAR3). PAR3 can mediate thrombin-triggered phosphoinositide hydrolysis and is expressed in a variety of tissues, including human bone marrow and mouse megakaryocytes, making it a candidate for the sought-after second platelet thrombin receptor. PAR3 provides a new tool for understanding thrombin signalling and a possible target for therapeutics designed selectively to block thrombotic, inflammatory and proliferative responses to thrombin.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WR25600054

    View details for PubMedID 9087410

  • The cloned thrombin receptor is necessary and sufficient for activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and mitogenesis in mouse lung fibroblasts - Loss of responses in fibroblasts from receptor knockout mice JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Trejo, J., Connolly, A. J., Coughlin, S. R. 1996; 271 (35): 21536-21541


    The mitogenic activity of thrombin on fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells may contribute to embryonic development and normal wound healing, and it may also play a role in pathological responses to vascular injury. To examine the importance of thrombin signaling in vivo and to define the cloned thrombin receptor's role, we disrupted the thrombin receptor gene (tr) in mice. Platelets from tr-/- mice responded normally to thrombin, but tr-/- fibroblasts showed no thrombin-induced calcium mobilization or phosphoinositide hydrolysis. Thus distinct thrombin receptors act in different tissues. This study focuses on the role of the thrombin receptor in thrombin-induced mitogenesis and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation in mesenchymal cells. Thrombin and thrombin receptor agonist peptide both stimulated DNA synthesis and MAP kinase activation in fibroblasts derived from wild-type mice. These responses were selectively lost in fibroblasts from tr-/- mice. Activation of the cloned thrombin receptor is therefore necessary and sufficient for thrombin-induced mitogenesis and MAP kinase activation in mouse lung fibroblasts. The tr-/- mouse thus provides a valuable model for defining the role of thrombin-induced proliferative events in vivo. Because thrombin-induced MAP kinase activation was attributable to a single receptor expressed at natural levels, mouse lung fibroblasts presented an opportunity to define the pathways that normally mediate activation of MAP kinase by the thrombin receptor. Elimination of phorbol-sensitive protein kinase C by prolonged exposure to phorbol ester only partially inhibited MAP kinase activation by thrombin but completely blocked c-Raf kinase activation. Pertussis toxin partially inhibited MAP kinase activation by thrombin but had no significant effect on c-Raf kinase activation. Thus in mouse lung fibroblasts, one thrombin receptor utilizes two pathways for MAP kinase activation: one is protein kinase C- and c-Raf dependent, and a second is Gi-dependent and c-Raf-independent.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996VE47700085

    View details for PubMedID 8702939

  • Role of the thrombin receptor In development and evidence for a second receptor NATURE Connolly, A. J., Ishihara, H., Kahn, M. L., Farese, R. V., Coughlin, S. R. 1996; 381 (6582): 516-519


    Thrombin, a coagulation protease generated at sites of vascular injury, activates platelets, endothelial cells, leukocytes and mesenchymal cells. A G-protein-coupled receptor that is proteolytically activated by thrombin is a target for drug development aimed at blocking thrombosis, inflammation and proliferation. Here we show that although disruption of the thrombin receptor (tr) gene in mice causes about half of the tr-/- embryos to die at embryonic day 9-10, half survive to become grossly normal adult mice with no bleeding diathesis. Strikingly, tr-/- platelets respond strongly to thrombin, whereas tr-/- fibroblasts lose their ability to respond to thrombin. We conclude that the thrombin receptor plays an unexpected role in embryonic development, suggesting a possible new function for the 'coagulation' proteases themselves. Moreover, a second platelet thrombin receptor exists, and different thrombin receptors have tissue-specific roles. This may allow development of therapeutics that will selectively block thrombin's different cellular actions.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UP43500058

    View details for PubMedID 8632823

  • Transgenic mice that overexpress mouse apolipoprotein B - Evidence that the DNA sequences controlling intestinal expression of the apolipoprotein B gene are distant from the structural gene JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY McCormick, S. P., Ng, J. K., Veniant, M., Boren, J., Pierotti, V., Flynn, L. M., Grass, D. S., Connolly, A., Young, S. G. 1996; 271 (20): 11963-11970


    An 87-kilobase (kb) P1 bacteriophage clone (p649) spanning the mouse apolipoprotein (apo) B gene was used to generate transgenic mice that express high levels of mouse apoB. Plasma levels of apoB, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low density lipoprotein triglycerides were increased, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were decreased in the transgenic mice, compared with nontransgenic littermate controls. Although p649 contained 33 kb of 5'-flanking sequences and 11 kb of 3'-flanking sequences, the tissue pattern of transgene expression was different from that of the endogenous apoB gene. RNA slot blots and RNase protection analysis indicated that the transgene was expressed in the liver but not in the intestine, whereas the endogenous apoB gene was expressed in both tissues. To confirm the absence of transgene expression in the intestine, the mouse apoB transgenic mice were mated with the apoB knockout mice, and transgenic mice that were homozygous for the apoB knockout mutation were obtained. Because of the absence of transgene expression in the intestine, those mice lacked all intestinal apoB synthesis, resulting in a marked accumulation of fats within the intestinal villus enterocytes. The current studies, along with prior studies of human apoB transgenic animals, strongly suggest that the DNA sequence element(s) controlling intestinal expression of the apoB gene is located many kilobases from the structural gene.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UL25000059

    View details for PubMedID 8662599

  • Conserved structure and adjacent location of the thrombin receptor and protease-activated receptor 2 genes define a protease-activated receptor gene cluster MOLECULAR MEDICINE Kahn, M., Ishii, K., Kuo, W. L., Riper, M., Connolly, A., Shi, Y. P., Wu, R., Lin, C. C., Coughlin, S. R. 1996; 2 (3): 349-357


    Thrombin is a serine protease that elicits a variety of cellular responses. Molecular cloning of a thrombin receptor revealed a G protein-coupled receptor that is activated by a novel proteolytic mechanism. Recently, a second protease-activated receptor was discovered and dubbed PAR2. PAR2 is highly related to the thrombin receptor by sequence and, like the thrombin receptor, is activated by cleavage of its amino terminal exodomain. Also like the thrombin receptor, PAR2 can be activated by the hexapeptide corresponding to its tethered ligand sequence independent of receptor cleavage. Thus, functionally, the thrombin receptor and PAR2 constitute a fledgling receptor family that shares a novel proteolytic activation mechanism. To further explore the relatedness of the two known protease-activated receptors and to examine the possibility that a protease-activated gene cluster might exist, we have compared the structure and chromosomal locations of the thrombin receptor and PAR2 genes.The genomic structures of the two protease-activated receptor genes were determined by analysis of lambda phage, P1 bacteriophage, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) genomic clones. Chromosomal location was determined with fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on metaphase chromosomes, and the relative distance separating the two genes was evaluated both by means of two-color FISH and analysis of YACs and BACs containing both genes.Analysis of genomic clones revealed that the two protease-activated receptor genes share a two-exon genomic structure in which the first exon encodes 5'-untranslated sequence and signal peptide, and the second exon encodes the mature receptor protein and 3'-untranslated sequence. The two receptor genes also share a common locus with the two human genes located at 5q13 and the two mouse genes at 13D2, a syntenic region of the mouse genome. These techniques also suggest that the physical distance separating these two genes is less than 100 kb.The fact that the thrombin receptor and PAR2 genes share an identical structure and are located within approximately 100 kb of each other in the genome demonstrates that these genes arose from a gene duplication event. These results define a new protease-activated receptor gene cluster in which new family members may be found.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UQ24300010

    View details for PubMedID 8784787

  • Molecular cloning, expression and potential functions of the human proteinase-activated receptor-2 BIOCHEMICAL JOURNAL Bohm, S. K., Kong, W. Y., Bromme, D., Smeekens, S. P., Anderson, D. C., Connolly, A., Kahn, M., Nelken, N. A., Coughlin, S. R., Payan, D. G., Bunnett, N. W. 1996; 314: 1009-1016


    We used PCR to amplify proteinase activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) from human kidney cDNA. The open reading frame comprised 1191 bp and encoded a protein of 397 residues with 83% identity with mouse PAR-2. In KNRK cells (a line of kirsten murine sarcoma virus-transformed rat kidney epithelial cells) transfected with this cDNA, trypsin and activating peptide (AP) corresponding to the tethered ligand exposed by trypsin cleavage (SLIGKV-NH2) induced a prompt increase in cytosolic calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i). Human PAR-2 (hPAR-2) resided both on the plasma membrane and in the Golgi apparatus. hPAR-2 mRNA was highly expressed in human pancreas, kidney, colon, liver and small intestine, and by A549 lung and SW480 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Hybridization in situ revealed high expression in intestinal epithelial cells throughout the gut. Trypsin and AP stimulated an increase in [Ca2+]i in a rat intestinal epithelial cell line (hBRIE 380) and stimulated amylase secretion in isolated pancreatic acini. In A549 cells, which also responded to trypsin and AP with mobilization of cytosolic Ca2+, AP inhibited colony formation. Thus PAR-2 may serve as a trypsin sensor in the gut. Its expression by cells and tissues not normally exposed to pancreatic trypsin suggests that other proteases could serve as physiological activators.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UC24500042

    View details for PubMedID 8615752

  • A genetic model for absent chylomicron formation: Mice producing apolipoprotein B in the liver, but not in the intestine JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Young, S. G., Cham, C. M., Pitas, R. E., Burri, B. J., Connolly, A., Flynn, L., Pappu, A. S., Wong, J. S., Hamilton, R. L., Farese, R. V. 1995; 96 (6): 2932-2946


    The formation of chylomicrons by the intestine is important for the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., retinol, alpha-tocopherol). Apo B plays an essential structural role in the formation of chylomicrons in the intestine as well as the VLDL in the liver. We have developed genetically modified mice that express apo B in the liver but not in the intestine. By electron microscopy, the enterocytes of these mice lacked nascent chylomicrons in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Because these mice could not form chylomicrons, the intestinal villus enterocytes were massively engorged with fat, which was contained in cytosolic lipid droplets. These mice absorbed D-xylose normally, but there was virtually no absorption of retinol palmitate or cholesterol. The levels of alpha-tocopherol in the plasma were extremely low. Of note, the absence of chylomicron synthesis in the intestine did not appear to have a significant effect on the plasma levels of the apo B-containing lipoproteins produced by the liver. The mice lacking intestinal apo B expression represent the first genetic model of defective absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins and provide a useful animal model for studying nutrition and lipoprotein metabolism.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TK25700050

    View details for PubMedID 8675665



    Directional atherectomy removes plaque in a targeted portion of a vessel wall. In practice, orienting the cutter toward maximal plaque accumulation and assessing the depth of vessel excision is difficult with angiographic guidance alone. Accordingly, we designed and tested a prototype catheter that combines ultrasound imaging capability with directional atherectomy in a single device. Twenty-seven in vitro vessels (32 lesions) were treated with atherectomy alone or with atherectomy combined with ultrasound. Lesion characteristics before and after the procedure were similar in each group. A significant decrease in the incidence of subintimal tissue excision was observed in the atherectomy-ultrasound group (21.1%) compared to the group that had debulking with atherectomy alone (54.5%). In addition, among specimens with media and/or adventitia the relative amount of subintimal tissue was significantly less (p < 0.001) with ultrasound guidance than with atherectomy alone (11.2% +/- 10.1% vs 34.2% +/- 8.5%). We conclude that ultrasound-guided directional atherectomy is technically feasible and may aid in achieving maximal plaque debulking and reduce the amount of subintimal injury.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QK46500028

    View details for PubMedID 7872191



    Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) is a member of the chemokine family of cytokines that mediate leukocyte chemotaxis. The potent and specific activation of monocytes by MCP-1 may mediate the monocytic infiltration of tissues in atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases. We have isolated cDNAs that encode two MCP-1-specific receptors with alternatively spliced carboxyl tails. Expression of the receptors in Xenopus oocytes conferred robust mobilization of intracellular calcium in response to nanomolar concentrations of MCP-1 but not to related chemokines. The MCP-1 receptors are most closely related to the receptor for the chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha and RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T expressed and secreted). The identification of the MCP-1 receptor and cloning of two distinct isoforms provide powerful tools for understanding the specificity and signaling mechanisms of this important chemokine.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994ND60200075

    View details for PubMedID 8146186



    It has recently been proposed that in rat models of genetic hypertension, supplemental dietary potassium preserves release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor independently of its capacity to either attenuate hypertension or increase plasma potassium. To test this hypothesis in Dahl salt-sensitive rats given sodium chloride (4%) for 3 weeks, we supplemented dietary potassium (2.1%) with either KCl (n = 16) or KHCO3 (n = 16). Compared with unsupplemented rats (n = 16), rats supplemented with either potassium salt had a lower mean arterial pressure and a greater release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor, as assessed from acetylcholine-induced relaxation of precontracted aortic rings. However, the maximum relaxation response to acetylcholine correlated inversely with blood pressure (r = -.82, P < .001), not only in the KCl (r = -.68, P < .002) and KHCO3 (r = -.77, P < .001) groups but also in unsupplemented rats (r = -.86, P < .001). With potassium supplementation, plasma potassium concentrations measured between 4 and 6 PM did not increase, but those measured between 4 and 6 AM did increase (P < .05). In isolated ring segments, aortic compliance was greater in both the KCl and KHCO3 groups than in unsupplemented rats (0.015 and 0.017 vs 0.009 mm2/mm Hg) (P < .01). This greater compliance could not be related to differences in blood pressure, plasma potassium, or collagen or elastin content of the aortic wall.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LW31300007

    View details for PubMedID 8349324

  • INTRAVASCULAR ULTRASOUND IMAGING OF CORONARY-ARTERIES - IS 3 LAYERS THE NORM CIRCULATION Fitzgerald, P. J., STGOAR, F. G., Connolly, A. J., Pinto, F. J., Billingham, M. E., Popp, R. L., Yock, P. G. 1992; 86 (1): 154-158


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significance of the three-layered appearance of coronary arteries in adolescence and adults from intravascular ultrasound scans and to correlate these observations with histopathology.Sixteen intact hearts were excised at autopsy from patients with no clinical history of coronary artery disease. The patients' ages ranged from 13 to 55 years. A 30-MHz ultrasound imaging catheter was used to obtain images throughout the epicardial coronary vasculature. A total of 72 image cross sections was marked by epivascular sutures, and the corresponding histological sections were examined. Ultrasound images were classified into two groups: images exhibiting three-layered appearance and images without distinct layering. Histological analysis revealed a significantly greater degree of intimal thickening in segments with three layers (243 +/- 105 microns) than in nonlayered segments (112 +/- 55 microns). Discriminant analysis of these data predicted the threshold between the two groups to be 178 microns. Measurements of medial thickness were not different between these two groups (235 +/- 61 versus 210 +/- 76 microns). In the nonlayered group, the average patient age was 27.1 +/- 8.5 years, whereas in the three-layered groups, the average age was 42.8 +/- 9.8 years.The intracoronary ultrasound image appearance of young, morphologically normal coronary artery walls is homogeneous without layering. A three-layered appearance suggests the presence of at least 178 microns of intimal thickening and is seen more frequently with advancing age.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JC45700018

    View details for PubMedID 1617768



    Cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) was monitored in single and groups of fura-2-loaded bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) during exposure to laminar fluid shear stress. Application of a step increase in shear stress from 0.08 to 8 dyn/cm2 to confluent BAEC monolayers resulted in a transient increase in [Ca2+]i, which attained a peak value in 15-40 s, followed by a decline to baseline within 40-80 s. The magnitude of the [Ca2+]i responses increased with applied shear stress over the range of 0.2-4 dyn/cm2 and reached a maximum at greater than 4 dyn/cm2. Transient oscillations in [Ca2+]i with gradually diminishing amplitude were observed in individual cells subjected to continuous high shear stress. Elimination of extracellular Ca2+ with ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, blockade of Ca2+ entry with lanthanum, depolarization of the cell membrane with high K+, and preconditioning of BAEC in steady laminar flow had little effect on the [Ca2+]i response. In the presence of ATP or ADP, application of shear stress caused repetitive oscillations in [Ca2+]i in single BAEC, whose frequency was dependent on both agonist concentration and the magnitude of applied shear stress. However, apyrase, an ATPase and ADPase, did not inhibit the shear-induced [Ca2+]i responses in standard medium (no added ATP or ADP), suggesting that the shear-induced [Ca2+]i response is not due to ATP released by endothelial cells.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992HF16100015

    View details for PubMedID 1539628

  • MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION - ASSESSMENT WITH AN INTRAVASCULAR MR CONTRAST-MEDIUM - WORK IN PROGRESS RADIOLOGY Saeed, M., Wendland, M. F., Masui, T., Connolly, A. J., Derugin, N., Brasch, R. C., Higgins, C. B. 1991; 180 (1): 153-160


    The effect of a new intravascular magnetic resonance (MR) contrast medium (gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid [DTPA] polylysine) was evaluated in acute, subacute, and chronic myocardial infarctions in rats. Signal intensity (SI) was measured before and after intravenous administration of Gd-DTPA polylysine. Before administration of contrast material, chronic infarctions had lower SI than normal myocardium. With Gd-DTPA polylysine, three zones were identified in acute and subacute stages of myocardial infarction, but in the chronic stage, images demonstrated two zones. In acute and subacute infarctions, Gd-DTPA polylysine produced greater enhancement (over 60 minutes) in the peri-infarction zone than in the normal or infarcted myocardium. In chronic infarctions, Gd-DTPA polylysine had no discernible effect on the SI of the central infarction zone. Overall, it caused no significant hemodynamic effects. MR imaging with Gd-DTPA polylysine produced differential tissue enhancement in myocardial infarctions, which varied according to the age of the infarction.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FR67900034

    View details for PubMedID 2052685



    Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 0.6 M alters the osmotic state of intracellular water in a line of rat megakaryocytopoietic cells. The response is a function of temperature. Maximal structuring of water occurs at 24.7 degrees C, while disorganization occurs at 30 and 37 degrees C. Little effect occurs at 3 and at 18 degrees C. Parallel measurements of membrane permeability to water indicate that DMSO inhibits the osmotic exit of water at all temperatures. Maximal inhibition occurs at 24.7 degrees C, the same temperature at which maximal organization of water occurs. These findings emphasize the possible role which water may play in explaining the diverse functions of DMSO as cryogenic substance, promoter of cell fusion, and stimulator of cell differentiation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1985AVL9000005

    View details for PubMedID 4028781