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      Effects of vitamin C treatment on collar-induced intimal thickening

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          Abstract

          Vitamin C has efficient antioxidant properties and is involved in important physiological processes such as collagen synthesis. As such, vitamin C deficiency leads to serious complications, including vascular diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vitamin C treatment on collar-induced intimal thickening. Rabbits were fed a normocholesterolemic diet and a non-occlusive silicon collar was placed around the left carotid artery for 3, 7, and 14 days. The rabbits were treated with or without vitamin C (150 mg/kg/day). Collar-induced intimal thickening became apparent at day 7. The effect of the collar on intimal thickening was more prominent at day 14. Vitamin C treatment significantly inhibited collar-induced intimal thickening at day 14. The placement of the collar around the carotid artery decreased maximum contractile responses against contractile agents (KCl, phenylephrine, 5-hydroxytryptamine). The effect of the collar on contractile responses was enhanced as days elapsed. Decreased contractile responses of collared carotid arteries normalized at day 14 in the vitamin C treatment group. Vitamin C treatment also restored sensitivity to phenylephrine. The collar also significantly decreased acetylcholine-induced relaxations at day 3 and day 7. Acetylcholine-induced relaxations normalized in collared-arteries in the placebo group at day 14. Vitamin C treatment significantly increased acetylcholine-induced relaxations of both normal and collared carotid arteries at day 14. MMP-9 expression increased in collared arteries at day 3 and day 7 but did not change at day 14. MMP-2 expression increased in collared arteries at day 14. However, vitamin C treatment reduced collar-stimulated expression of MMP-2 at day 14. These findings indicate that vitamin C may have potentially beneficial effects on the early stages of atherosclerosis. Furthermore these results, for the first time, may indicate that vitamin C can also normalize decreased contractile response through perivascular collar placement.

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          Most cited references 52

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          Dual role of matrix metalloproteinases (matrixins) in intimal thickening and atherosclerotic plaque rupture.

          Intimal thickening, the accumulation of cells and extracellular matrix within the inner vessel wall, is a physiological response to mechanical injury, increased wall stress, or chemical insult (e.g., atherosclerosis). If excessive, it can lead to the obstruction of blood flow and tissue ischemia. Together with expansive or constrictive remodeling, the extent of intimal expansion determines final lumen size and vessel wall thickness. Plaque rupture represents a failure of intimal remodeling, where the fibrous cap overlying an atheromatous core of lipid undergoes catastrophic mechanical breakdown. Plaque rupture promotes coronary thrombosis and myocardial infarction, the most prevalent cause of premature death in advanced societies. The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) can act together to degrade the major components of the vascular extracellular matrix. All cells present in the normal and diseased blood vessel wall upregulate and activate MMPs in a multistep fashion driven in part by soluble cytokines and cell-cell interactions. Activation of MMP proforms requires other MMPs or other classes of protease. MMP activation contributes to intimal growth and vessel wall remodeling in response to injury, most notably by promoting migration of vascular smooth muscle cells. A broader spectrum and/or higher level of MMP activation, especially associated with inflammation, could contribute to pathological matrix destruction and plaque rupture. Inhibiting the activity of specific MMPs or preventing their upregulation could ameliorate intimal thickening and prevent myocardial infarction.
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            Vitamin C revisited

            This narrative review summarizes the role of vitamin C in mitigating oxidative injury-induced microcirculatory impairment and associated organ failure in ischemia/reperfusion or sepsis. Preclinical studies show that high-dose vitamin C can prevent or restore microcirculatory flow impairment by inhibiting activation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase and inducible nitric oxide synthase, augmenting tetrahydrobiopterin, preventing uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, and decreasing the formation of superoxide and peroxynitrite, and by directly scavenging superoxide. Vitamin C can additionally restore vascular responsiveness to vasoconstrictors, preserve endothelial barrier by maintaining cyclic guanylate phosphatase and occludin phosphorylation and preventing apoptosis. Finally, high-dose vitamin C can augment antibacterial defense. These protective effects against overwhelming oxidative stress due to ischemia/reperfusion, sepsis or burn seems to mitigate organ injury and dysfunction, and promote recovery after cardiac revascularization and in critically ill patients, in the latter partially in combination with other antioxidants. Of note, several questions remain to be solved, including optimal dose, timing and combination of vitamin C with other antioxidants. The combination obviously offers a synergistic effect and seems reasonable during sustained critical illness. High-dose vitamin C, however, provides a cheap, strong and multifaceted antioxidant, especially robust for resuscitation of the circulation. Vitamin C given as early as possible after the injurious event, or before if feasible, seems most effective. The latter could be considered at the start of cardiac surgery, organ transplant or major gastrointestinal surgery. Preoperative supplementation should consider the inhibiting effect of vitamin C on ischemic preconditioning. In critically ill patients, future research should focus on the use of short-term high-dose intravenous vitamin C as a resuscitation drug, to intervene as early as possible in the oxidant cascade in order to optimize macrocirculation and microcirculation and limit cellular injury.
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              L-ascorbic acid potentiates endothelial nitric oxide synthesis via a chemical stabilization of tetrahydrobiopterin.

              Ascorbic acid has been shown to stimulate endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in a time- and concentration-dependent fashion without affecting NO synthase (NOS) expression or l-arginine uptake. The present study investigates if the underlying mechanism is related to the NOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin. Pretreatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells with ascorbate (1 microm to 1 mm, 24 h) led to an up to 3-fold increase of intracellular tetrahydrobiopterin levels that was concentration-dependent and saturable at 100 microm. Accordingly, the effect of ascorbic acid on Ca(2+)-dependent formation of citrulline (co-product of NO) and cGMP (product of the NO-activated soluble guanylate cyclase) was abolished when intracellular tetrahydrobiopterin levels were increased by coincubation of endothelial cells with sepiapterin (0.001-100 microm, 24 h). In contrast, ascorbic acid did not modify the pterin affinity of endothelial NOS, which was measured in assays with purified tetrahydrobiopterin-free enzyme. The ascorbate-induced increase of endothelial tetrahydrobiopterin was not due to an enhanced synthesis of the compound. Neither the mRNA expression of the rate-limiting enzyme in tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis, GTP cyclohydrolase I, nor the activities of either GTP cyclohydrolase I or 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase, the second enzyme in the de novo synthesis pathway, were altered by ascorbate. Our data demonstrate that ascorbic acid leads to a chemical stabilization of tetrahydrobiopterin. This was evident as an increase in the half-life of tetrahydrobiopterin in aqueous solution. Furthermore, the increase of tetrahydrobiopterin levels in intact endothelial cells coincubated with cytokines and ascorbate was associated with a decrease of more oxidized biopterin derivatives (7,8-dihydrobiopterin and biopterin) in cells and cell supernatants. The present study suggests that saturated ascorbic acid levels in endothelial cells are necessary to protect tetrahydrobiopterin from oxidation and to provide optimal conditions for cellular NO synthesis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2015
                15 December 2015
                : 9
                : 6461-6473
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, Turkey
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Mehmet Zuhuri Arun, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology, Ege University, 35100, Bornova-Izmir, Turkey, Tel +90 232 311 3288, Fax +90 232 388 4687, Email mehmet.arun@ 123456ege.edu.tr
                Article
                dddt-9-6461
                10.2147/DDDT.S97020
                4687616
                © 2015 Arun et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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