Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universidad De Barcelona (2009)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Statins normalize vascular lysyl oxidase down-regulation induced by proatherogenic risk factors CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH Rodriguez, C., Alcudia, J. F., Martinez-Gonzalez, J., Guadall, A., Raposo, B., Sanchez-Gomez, S., Badimon, L. 2009; 83 (3): 595-603


    Statins are lipid-lowering drugs widely used in the management of vascular diseases. Clinical and experimental evidence suggest that statins improve endothelial function by both cholesterol-lowering-dependent and -independent mechanisms. We have previously shown that endothelial dysfunction induced by risk factors and proinflammatory cytokines is associated with down-regulation of lysyl oxidase (LOX), a key enzyme modulating extracellular matrix maturation and vascular integrity. Our aim was to analyse whether statins could normalize LOX expression impaired by proatherogenic risk factors.We observed that pharmacological concentrations of statins (atorvastatin and simvastatin) modulated LOX transcriptional activity, counteracting the down-regulation of LOX (at the mRNA, protein, and activity level) caused by tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) in porcine, bovine, and human aortic endothelial cells. Geranylgeraniol but not farnesol reversed this effect, suggesting the involvement of geranylgeranylated proteins. In accordance, inhibitors of RhoA/Rho kinase also counteracted LOX down-regulation caused by TNFalpha, and over-expression of a RhoA dominant-negative mutant mimicked statin effects. Statins were also able to counteract the decrease in LOX expression produced by atherogenic concentrations of LDL by a similar mechanism and to partially prevent the increase in endothelial permeability elicited by these lipoproteins. Finally, in the in vivo porcine model of hypercholesterolaemia, we observed that statins abrogated the reduction of vascular LOX expression triggered by high plasma levels of LDL.These data indicate that statins normalize vascular LOX expression altered by atherogenic risk factors through a RhoA/Rho kinase-dependent mechanism. Thus, modulation of LOX by statins could contribute to vascular protection and to the cardiovascular risk reduction achieved by this therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/cvr/cvp136

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268109200023

    View details for PubMedID 19406911

  • Regulation of lysyl oxidase in vascular cells: lysyl oxidase as a new player in cardiovascular diseases CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH Rodriguez, C., Martinez-Gonzalez, J., Raposo, B., Alcudia, J. F., Guadall, A., Badimon, L. 2008; 79 (1): 7-13


    Lysyl oxidase (LOX) plays a crucial role in the maintenance of extracellular matrix stability and could participate in vascular remodelling associated with cardiovascular diseases. Evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies shows that LOX downregulation is associated with the endothelial dysfunction characteristic of earlier stages of the atherosclerotic process. Conversely, upregulation of this enzyme in vascular cells could induce neointimal thickening in atherosclerosis and restenosis. In fact, LOX is chemotactic for vascular smooth muscle cells and monocytes, is modulated by proliferative stimulus in these cells, and could control other cellular processes such as gene expression and cell transformation. Furthermore, it is conceivable that LOX downregulation could underlie plaque instability and contribute to the destructive remodelling that takes place during aneurysm development. Overall, LOX could play a key role in vascular homeostasis and, hence, it emerges as a new player in cardiovascular diseases. This review addresses the experimental evidence related to the role of LOX in vascular disorders and the potential benefits of controlling its expression and function.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/cvr/cvn102

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257136500004

    View details for PubMedID 18469024

  • Lysyl oxidase (LOX) down-regulation by TNF alpha: A new mechanism underlying TNF alpha-induced endothelial dysfunction ATHEROSCLEROSIS Rodriguez, C., Alcudia, J. F., Martinez-Gonzalez, J., Raposo, B., Navarro, M. A., Badimon, L. 2008; 196 (2): 558-564


    TNFalpha is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that induces endothelial dysfunction and promotes atherosclerosis progression. Down-regulation of lysyl oxidase (LOX), a key enzyme in extracellular matrix maturation, by pro-atherogenic risk factors such as LDL and homocysteine, is associated with an impairment of endothelial barrier function. Our hypothesis is that the inflammatory cytokine TNFalpha could also modulate LOX expression/function in endothelial cells.The study was carried out in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) and bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC). LOX mRNA levels were analysed by real-time PCR and LOX activity was assessed by a high sensitive fluorescent assay. Promoter activity was determined by transient transfection using a luciferase reporter system.TNFalpha decreases LOX mRNA levels in endothelial cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The effect of TNFalpha was observed at low concentrations (0.1-1 ng/mL) and was maximal at 2.5 ng/mL (after 21 h). In transfection assays, TNFalpha reduced LOX transcriptional activity to a similar extent than LOX mRNA. Furthermore, TNFalpha decreases endothelial LOX enzymatic activity. By using both TNF receptor (TNFR) agonist and blocking antibodies we determined the involvement of TNFR2 on LOX down-regulation. Moreover, while TNFR-associated factor-2 (TRAF-2) did not mediate signalling events leading to LOX inhibition, PKC inhibitors counteracted the TNFalpha-induced decrease of LOX mRNA levels. Finally, TNFalpha administration significantly reduced vascular LOX expression in rat aorta.Endothelial dysfunction induced by TNFalpha is associated with a decrease of LOX expression/activity. Thus, LOX seems to be involved in the impairment of endothelial function triggered by different pathological conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.06.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253743800009

    View details for PubMedID 17673218

  • Lysyl oxidase and endothelial dysfunction: mechanisms of lysyl oxidase down-regulation by pro-inflammatory cytokines FRONTIERS IN BIOSCIENCE-LANDMARK Alcudia, J. F., Martinez-Gonzalez, J., Guadall, A., Gonzalez-Diez, M., Badimon, L., Rodriguez, C. 2008; 13: 2721-2727


    Lysyl oxidase (LOX) plays a pivotal role in extracellular matrix (ECM) maturation. Furthermore, novel biological functions has been ascribed to LOX, among them cell differentiation, migration, transformation and regulation of gene expression. In this context, it has been suggested that abnormalities of LOX expression could underlie the development of multiple pathological processes including cardiovascular diseases. LOX seems to be crucial in the preservation of endothelial barrier function. In fact, accumulating evidences suggest a role of this enzyme in atherogenesis and endothelial dysfunction triggered by atherosclerotic risk factors and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Indeed, cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) modulate vascular LOX expression. This cytokine decreases LOX expression and activity in endothelial cells through a transcriptional mechanism that involves TNF receptor-2 and protein kinase C activation. Interestingly, in vivo studies reveal that TNF-alpha causes a down-regulation of vascular LOX expression. Thus, LOX down-regulation seems to be associated to the endothelial dysfunction elicited by multiple pathological factors. LOX rises as a promising target gene for the development of therapeutic strategies in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.2741/2879

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255775700223

    View details for PubMedID 17981747

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