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A Microchip Model Used to Study Vascular Binding

The interactions that take place in the lining of blood vessels throughout the body play important roles in acute and chronic diseases. Leukocytes are recruited to sites of tissue injury or infection. They bind to the cell walls and respond to the local environment during the healing process as well as in chronic disease states. To study this interaction, investigators at Temple University used an idealized synthetic microvascular network to demonstrate the geometry of the blood vessels influence the flow rate within the vessels and the ability of functionalized particles to bind to the cells lining the vessel wall. The...

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Adrenal Cells exposed to VLDL Significantly Increase Aldosterone Production

The outer cells of the adrenal cortex help regulate blood pressure through the production of aldosterone. The renin/angiotensin II/ aldosterone system (RAAS) tightly regulates this production. Two regulatory steps are important in limiting the process; the expression and activity of the steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein, and the conversion of deoxycorticosterone to aldosterone in the mitochondria by aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2). Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are a class of large lipoprotein synthesized in the liver and are used by the adrenal gland as a source of cholesterol. Researchers at Georgia Health Sciences and the Charlie Norwood Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center used...

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Neurons exposed to LDL exhibit pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease

The brain processes cholesterol separately from the rest of the body. In healthy situations the cholesterol used in the brain is produced in the brain. The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) prevents cholesterol circulating in the blood from entering the brain.  In diseased states the barrier can become leaky and cholesterol carrying lipoproteins can enter the brain.  In Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), changes in the brain occur years before symptoms appear. Early changes are a result of breakdown in the BBB, allowing substances from the blood to enter the brain.  Early effects on the neurons include a disruption of the endosome –...

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Statins shown to reduce Oxidized LDL stimulated redox signaling in endothelial cell membrane

Statins shown to reduce Oxidized LDL stimulated redox signaling in endothelial cell membrane A novel effect of statins directly inhibiting the membrane raft redox signaling in cultured endothelial cells highlights another possible benefit of statin therapy. The research has recently been published on line in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Membranes of endothelial cells contain dynamic areas known as membrane rafts which are involved in mediating and amplifying cellular signals. Clusters of membrane rafts can form platforms for various signaling pathways. One such pathway (redox signaling) involves NADPH oxidase subunits and Rac GTPase that activate and enhance the production of...

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