The expression and function of KCNQ potassium channels in human chorionic plate arteries from women with normal pregnancies and pre-eclampsia.
ABSTRACT: Pre-eclampsia is associated with altered maternal and placental vascular reactivity. Kv7 channels (encoded by KCNQ 1-5 genes) are a potential contributor to the regulation of vascular tone in CPAs (chorionic plate arteries) during normal pregnancy. The aim of this study is to establish the expression profile of KCNQ subunits in CPAs taken from women with preeclampsia or normotensive women and to examine the functional relevance of the Kv7 channels on an altered expression profile of KCNQ subunits. The effects of Kv7 channel modulators on CPAs were investigated by tension measurement. Quantitative PCR experiments were used to analyze the expression of KCNQ genes. Western blotting and immunofluorescence were both used to analyze the protein expression of Kv7 channels. Finally, in CPAs from normotensive women, the Kv7 channel blocker XE991 increased arterial basal tone and U46619-induced contraction, and pre-contracted CPAs (10-7 M U46619) exhibited significant relaxation following treatment with Retigabine(Kv7.2-7.5 activator) and BMS-204352(Kv7.2-7.5 activator). However, ICA-27243(selective KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 activator) and ML277(selective KV7.1 activator) had no significant effect on tension in the pre-contracted CPAs. Conversely, compared with CPAs from normotensive women, the effects of XE991 on basal tone and agonist (U46619)-induced contractions in CPAs from women with preeclampsia were markedly attenuated. Moreover, the relaxation effects of Retigabine and BMS-204352 on pre-contracted CPA vessels from women with pre-eclampsia were also markedly down-regulated. Interestingly, the relaxation ability of ICA-27243 in pre-contracted CPA vessels in women with pre-eclampsia was enhanced. The mRNA of KCNQ3 was specifically up-regulated, whereas those for KCNQ4 and KCNQ5 were down-regulated in CPAs from women with pre-eclampsia compared with those in normotensive women. Similar observations were found in a subsequent analysis of protein expression of KCNQ genes 3-5. Thus, down-regulated Kv7 channel function in tension regulation of CPAs in women with pre-eclampsia could be associated with considerably altered expression profiles of Kv7 subunits.
Project description:Voltage-gated Kv7 channels are inhibited by agonists of Gq-protein-coupled receptors, such as histamine. Recent works have provided evidence that inhibition of vascular Kv7 channels may trigger vessel contractions. In this study, we investigated how Kv7 activity modulates the histamine-induced contractions in "healthy" and metabolic syndrome (MetS) pig right coronary arteries (CAs). We performed isometric tension and immunohistochemical studies with domestic, lean Ossabaw, and MetS Ossabaw pig CAs. We found that neither the Kv7.2/Kv7.4/Kv7.5 activator ML213 nor the general Kv7 inhibitor XE991 altered the tension of CA rings under preload, indicating that vascular Kv7 channels are likely inactive in the preloaded rings. Conversely, ML213 potently dilated histamine-pre-contracted CAs, suggesting that Kv7 channels are activated during histamine applications and yet partially inhibited by histamine. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed strong Kv7.4 immunostaining in the medial and intimal layers of the CA wall, whereas Kv7.5 immunostaining intensity was strong in the intimal but weak in the medial layers. The medial Kv7 immunostaining was significantly weaker in MetS Ossabaw CAs as compared to lean Ossabaw or domestic CAs. Consistently, histamine-pre-contracted MetS Ossabaw CAs exhibited attenuated ML213-dependent dilations. In domestic pig CAs, where medial Kv7 immunostaining intensity was stronger, histamine-induced contractions spontaneously decayed to ~31% of the peak amplitude within 4 minutes. Oppositely, in Ossabaw CAs, where Kv7 immunostaining intensity was weaker, the histamine-induced contractions were more sustained. XE991 pretreatment significantly slowed the decay rate of histamine-induced contractions in domestic CAs, supporting the hypothesis that increased Kv7 activity correlates with a faster rate of histamine-induced contraction decay. Alternatively, XE991 significantly decreased the amplitude of bradykinin-dependent dilations in pre-contracted CAs. We propose that in CAs, a decreased expression or a loss of function of Kv7 channels may lead to sustained histamine-induced contractions and reduced endothelium-dependent relaxation, both risk factors for coronary spasm.
Project description:Premature birth accounts for approximately 75% of neonatal mortality and morbidity in the developed world. Despite this, methods for identifying and treating women at risk of preterm labour are limited and many women still present in preterm labour requiring tocolytic therapy to suppress uterine contractility. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of Kv7 channel activators as potential uterine smooth muscle (myometrium) relaxants in tissues from pregnant mice and women. Myometrium was obtained from early and late pregnant mice and from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-injected mice (day 15 of gestation; model of infection in pregnancy). Human myometrium was obtained at the time of Caesarean section from women at term (38-41 weeks). RT-PCR/qRT-PCR detected KCNQ and KCNE expression in mouse and human myometrium. In mice, there was a global suppression of all KCNQ isoforms, except KCNQ3, in early pregnancy (n= 6, P < 0.001 versus late pregnant); expression subsequently increased in late pregnancy (n= 6). KCNE isoforms were also gestationally regulated (P < 0.05). KCNQ and KCNE isoform expression was slightly down-regulated in myometrium from LPS-treated-mice versus controls (P < 0.05, n= 3-4). XE991 (10 ?M, Kv7 inhibitor) significantly increased spontaneous myometrial contractions in vitro in both human and mouse myometrial tissues (P < 0.05) and retigabine/flupirtine (20 ?M, Kv7 channel activators) caused profound myometrial relaxation (P < 0.05). In summary, Kv7 activators suppressed myometrial contraction and KCNQ gene expression was sustained throughout gestation, particularly at term. Consequently, activation of the encoded channels represents a novel mechanism for treatment of preterm labour.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To undertake an observational study to see whether first trimester placental vascularity, measured with a standardized power Doppler index: 3D-FMBV, is different in pregnancies which either develop pre-eclampsia or lead to term, normotensive small for gestational age (SGA) babies. METHODS:Women were scanned between 11 and 13+6 weeks. The placental volume (sPlaV) was estimated using our previously validated semi-automated tool. Estimates of 3D-FMBV were generated from the raw power Doppler signal for the whole utero-placental interface, UPI (FMBV-UPI) and 5mm into the placenta (FMBV-IVS). Differences in the placental volume and FMBV for pregnancies developing pre-eclampsia and resulting in term, normotensive SGA babies were compared with term, normotensive, appropriate for gestational age (AGA), controls. RESULTS:Results were available for 143 women. The placental volume (sPlaV) was reduced in both pre-eclampsia (p = 0.007) and term, normotensive SGA (p = 0.001) when compared with term normotensive AGA controls. 3D-FMBV estimates were significantly lower for pregnancies developing pre-eclampsia (FMBV-UPI, p = 0.03, FMBV-IVS, p = 0.01) but not for the normotensive SGA pregnancies (FMBV-UPI, p = 0.16, FMBV-IVS, p = 0.27). CONCLUSION:Pregnancies destined to develop pre-eclampsia are more likely to have small placentas with significantly reduced vascularity at 11-13 weeks. Those pregnancies which were normotensive throughout but resulted in an SGA baby delivered at term, had significantly smaller placentas but with similar vascularity to normotensive AGA pregnancies.
Project description:This study investigated the functional and electrophysiological effects of the Kv7 channel activator, retigabine, on murine portal vein smooth muscle.KCNQ gene expression was determined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunocytochemical experiments. Whole cell voltage clamp and current clamp were performed on isolated myocytes from murine portal vein. Isometric tension recordings were performed on whole portal veins. K+ currents generated by KCNQ4 and KCNQ5 expression were recorded by two-electrode voltage clamp in Xenopus oocytes.KCNQ1, 4 and 5 were expressed in mRNA derived from murine portal vein, either as whole tissue or isolated myocytes. Kv7.1 and Kv7.4 proteins were identified in the cell membranes of myocytes by immunocytochemistry. Retigabine (2-20 microM) suppressed spontaneous contractions in whole portal veins, hyperpolarized the membrane potential and augmented potassium currents at -20 mV. At more depolarized potentials, retigabine and flupirtine, decreased potassium currents. Both effects of retigabine were prevented by prior application of the K(v)7 blocker XE991 (10 muM). Recombinant KCNQ 4 or 5 channels were only activated by retigabine or flupirtine.The Kv7 channel activators retigabine and flupirtine have bimodal effects on vascular potassium currents, which are not seen with recombinant KCNQ channels. These results provide support for KCNQ4- or KCNQ5-encoded channels having an important functional impact in the vasculature.
Project description:Of the five human KCNQ (Kv7) channels, KCNQ1 with auxiliary subunit KCNE1 mediates the native cardiac I(Ks) current with mutations causing short and long QT cardiac arrhythmias. KCNQ4 mutations cause deafness. KCNQ2/3 channels form the native M-current controlling excitability of most neurons, with mutations causing benign neonatal febrile convulsions. Drosophila contains a single KCNQ (dKCNQ) that appears to serve alone the functions of all the duplicated mammalian neuronal and cardiac KCNQ channels sharing roughly 50-60% amino acid identity therefore offering a route to investigate these channels. Current information about the functional properties of dKCNQ is lacking therefore we have investigated these properties here. Using whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology we compare the biophysical and pharmacological properties of dKCNQ with the mammalian neuronal and cardiac KCNQ channels expressed in HEK cells. We show that Drosophila KCNQ (dKCNQ) is a slowly activating and slowly-deactivating K(+) current open at sub-threshold potentials that has similar properties to neuronal KCNQ2/3 with some features of the cardiac KCNQ1/KCNE1 accompanied by conserved sensitivity to a number of clinically relevant KCNQ blockers (chromanol 293B, XE991, linopirdine) and opener (zinc pyrithione). We also investigate the molecular basis of the differential selectivity of KCNQ channels to the opener retigabine and show a single amino acid substitution (M217W) can confer sensitivity to dKCNQ. We show dKCNQ has similar electrophysiological and pharmacological properties as the mammalian KCNQ channels, allowing future study of physiological and pathological roles of KCNQ in Drosophila and whole organism screening for new modulators of KCNQ channelopathies.
Project description:Changes in the microvasculature associated with pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension have been proposed as a potential pathway in the development of cardiovascular disease. We examined whether gestational hypertensive disorders, such as pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension, are related to the maternal retinal microvasculature status after pregnancy.This study is part of an ongoing population-based prospective cohort study. During pregnancy and 6.2 years after the index pregnancy (90% range 5.7-7.4 years), we examined 3391 women with available information on pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension, and retinal vascular calibers. Retinal arteriolar and venular calibers were measured in the left eye from digitized retinal photographs.Women with pre-eclampsia had smaller retinal arteriolar calibers 6 years after pregnancy than women with a normotensive pregnancy (adjusted difference: -0.40 standard deviation score [SDS]; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.62, -0.19). For women with previous gestational hypertension, similar trends were observed (-0.20 SDS; 95% CI: -0.34, -0.05). With respect to retinal venular calibers, we did not observe consistent trends for women with previous pre-eclampsia. However, in women with previous gestational hypertension, we observed larger venular calibers (0.22 SDS; 95% CI: 0.07-0.36) than in women with a previous normotensive pregnancy. The association of gestational hypertensive disorders with retinal vessel calibers was mediated through mean arterial pressure at the time of retinal imaging.Compared to women with a previous normotensive pregnancy, women with pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension show an altered status of the microvasculature 6 years after the index pregnancy. This is reflected by smaller retinal arteriolar calibers and wider retinal venular calibers. These microvascular changes may possibly contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease in later life.
Project description:KCNQ (KV7) channels are voltage-gated potassium (KV) channels, and the function of KV7 channels in muscles, neurons, and sensory cells is well established. We confirmed that overall blockade of KV channels with tetraethylammonium augmented the mineralization of bone-marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells during osteogenic differentiation, and we determined that KV7.3 was expressed in MG-63 and Saos-2 cells at the mRNA and protein levels. In addition, functional KV7 currents were detected in MG-63 cells. Inhibition of KV7.3 by linopirdine or XE991 increased the matrix mineralization during osteoblast differentiation. This was confirmed by alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and osterix in MG-63 cells, whereas the expression of Runx2 showed no significant change. The extracellular glutamate secreted by osteoblasts was also measured to investigate its effect on MG-63 osteoblast differentiation. Blockade of KV7.3 promoted the release of glutamate via the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2-mediated upregulation of synapsin, and induced the deposition of type 1 collagen. However, activation of KV7.3 by flupirtine did not produce notable changes in matrix mineralization during osteoblast differentiation. These results suggest that KV7.3 could be a novel regulator in osteoblast differentiation.
Project description:This study represents a novel characterisation of KCNQ-encoded potassium channels in the vasculature using a variety of pharmacological and molecular tools to determine their role in contractility.Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) experiments were undertaken on RNA isolated from mouse aorta, carotid artery, femoral artery and mesenteric artery using primers specific for all known KCNQ genes. RNA isolated from mouse heart and brain were used as positive controls. Pharmacological experiments were undertaken on segments from the same blood vessels to determine channel functionality. Immunocytochemical experiments were performed on isolated myocytes from thoracic aorta.All blood vessels expressed KCNQ1, 4 and 5 with hitherto 'neuronal' KCNQ4 being, surprisingly, the most abundant. The correlated proteins K(v)7.1, K(v)7.4 and K(v)7.5 were identified in the cell membranes of aortic myocytes by immunocytochemistry. Application of three compounds known to activate K(v)7 channels, retigabine (2 -20 microM), flupirtine (20 microM) and meclofenamic acid (20 microM), relaxed vessels precontracted by phenylephrine or 1 mM 4-aminopyridine but had no effect on contractions produced by 60 mM KCl or the K(v)7 channel blocker XE991 (10 microM). All vessels tested contracted upon application of the K(v)7 channel blockers XE991 and linopirdine (0.1-10 microM).Murine blood vessels exhibit a distinctive KCNQ expression profile with 'neuronal' KCNQ4 dominating. The ion channels encoded by KCNQ genes have a crucial role in defining vascular reactivity as K(v)7 channel blockers produced marked contractions whereas K(v)7 channel activators were effective vasorelaxants.
Project description:The aim of the study was to investigate whether Kv7 channels and their ancillary ?-subunits, KCNE, are functionally expressed in the human urinary bladder. Kv7 channels were examined at the molecular level and by functional studies using RT-qPCR and myography, respectively. We found mRNA expression of KCNQ1, KCNQ3-KCNQ5 and KCNE1-5 in the human urinary bladder from patients with normal bladder function (n = 7) and in patients with bladder outflow obstruction (n = 3). Interestingly, a 3.4-fold up-regulation of KCNQ1 was observed in the latter. The Kv7 channel subtype selective modulators, ML277 (activator of Kv7.1 channels, 10 ?M) and ML213 (activator of Kv7.2, Kv7.4, Kv7.4/7.5 and Kv7.5 channels, 10 ?M), reduced the tone of 1 ?M carbachol pre-constricted bladder strips. XE991 (blocker of Kv7.1-7.5 channels, 10 ?M) had opposing effects as it increased contractions achieved with 20 mM KPSS. Furthermore, we investigated if there is interplay between Kv7 channels and ?-adrenoceptors. Using cumulative additions of isoprenaline (?-adrenoceptor agonist) and forskolin (adenylyl cyclase activator) in combination with the Kv7 channel activator and blocker, retigabine and XE991, we did not find interplay between Kv7 channels and ?-adrenoceptors in the human urinary bladder. The performed gene expression analysis combined with the organ bath studies imply that compounds that activate Kv7 channels could be useful for treatment of overactive bladder syndrome.
Project description:The oxidation status of angiotensinogen (AGT) may have a critical role in pre-eclampsia. We used a validated, quantitative, mass spectrometry-based method to measure the oxidized and total AGT levels in plasma of pre-eclamptic women (n?=?17), normotensive-matched controls (n?=?17), and healthy non-pregnant women (n?=?10). Measurements of plasma glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity and serum selenium concentrations were performed as markers of circulating antioxidant capacity. Higher proportions of oxidized AGT in plasma from pre-eclamptic women compared to matched normotensive pregnant controls (P?=?0.006), whilst maintaining a similar total plasma AGT concentration were found. In the pre-eclamptic group, blood pressure were correlated with the proportion of oxidized AGT; no such correlation was seen in the normotensive pregnant women. Plasma GPx was inversely correlated with oxidized AGT, and there was an inverse association between serum selenium concentration and the proportion of oxidized AGT. This is the first time that oxidized AGT in human plasma has been linked directly to antioxidant status, providing a mechanism for the enhanced oxidative stress in pre-eclampsia. We now provide pathophysiological evidence that the conversion of the reduced form of AGT to its more active oxidized form is associated with inadequate antioxidant status and could indeed contribute to the hypertension of pre-eclampsia.