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    1. Ethanol exposure alters early cardiac function in the looping heart: a mechanism for congenital heart defects?

      Ethanol exposure alters early cardiac function in the looping heart: a mechanism for congenital heart defects?

      Alcohol-induced congenital heart defects (CHDs) are frequently among the most life-threatening and require surgical correction in newborns. The etiology of these defects, collectively known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), has been the focus of much study, particularly involving cellular and molecular mechanisms. Few studies have addressed the influential role of altered cardiac function in early embryogenesis, due to a lack of tools with the capability to assay tiny beating hearts. To overcome this gap in our understanding, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT), a non-destructive imaging modality capable of micrometer-scale resolution imaging, to rapidly and accurately map cardiovascular structure and ...

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    2. Quantitative Optical Imaging of Vascular Response in vivo in a Model of Peripheral Arterial Disease

      Quantitative Optical Imaging of Vascular Response in vivo in a Model of Peripheral Arterial Disease

      The mouse hind limb ischemia (HLI) model is well established for studying collateral vessel formation and testing therapies for peripheral arterial disease, but there is a lack of quantitative techniques for intravitally analyzing blood vessel structure and function. To address this need, non-invasive, quantitative optical imaging techniques were developed to assess the time-course of recovery in the mouse HLI model. Hyperspectral imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were used to non-invasively image hemoglobin oxygen saturation and microvessel morphology plus blood flow, respectively, in the anesthetized mouse after induction of HLI. Hyperspectral imaging detected significant increases in hemoglobin saturation in the ...

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    3. Alterations in Pulse Wave Propagation Reflect the Degree of Outflow Tract Banding in HH18 Chicken Embryos

      Alterations in Pulse Wave Propagation Reflect the Degree of Outflow Tract Banding in HH18 Chicken Embryos

      Hemodynamic conditions play a critical role in embryonic cardiovascular development, and altered blood flow leads to congenital heart defects. Chicken embryos are frequently used as models of cardiac development, with abnormal blood flow achieved through surgical interventions such as outflow tract (OFT) banding, in which a suture is tightened around the heart OFT to restrict blood flow. Banding in embryos increases blood pressure and alters blood flow dynamics, leading to cardiac malformations similar to those seen in human congenital heart disease. In studying these hemodynamic changes, synchronization of data to the cardiac cycle is challenging, and alterations in the timing ...

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    4. A mechanistic analysis of the role of microcalcifications in atherosclerotic plaque stability: potential implications for plaque rupture

      A mechanistic analysis of the role of microcalcifications in atherosclerotic plaque stability: potential implications for plaque rupture

      The role of microcalcifications (μCalcs) in the biomechanics of vulnerable plaque rupture is examined. Our laboratory previously proposed (Ref. 44), using a very limited tissue sample, that μCalcs embedded in the fibrous cap proper could significantly increase cap instability. This study has been greatly expanded. Ninety-two human coronary arteries containing 62 fibroatheroma were examined using high-resolution microcomputed tomography at 6.7-μm resolution and undecalcified histology with special emphasis on calcified particles <50 μm in diameter. Our results reveal the presence of thousands of μCalcs, the vast majority in lipid pools where they are not dangerous. However, 81 μCalcs were ...

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    5. Catechin prevents severe dyslipidemia-associated changes in wall biomechanics of cerebral arteries in LDLr-/-:hApoB+/+ mice and improves cerebral blood flow

      Catechin prevents severe dyslipidemia-associated changes in wall biomechanics of cerebral arteries in LDLr-/-:hApoB+/+ mice and improves cerebral blood flow

      Endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress contribute to the atherosclerotic process that includes stiffening of large peripheral arteries. In contrast, we previously reported a paradoxical increase in cerebrovascular compliance in LDLr-/-: hApoB+/+ atherosclerotic (ATX) mice. We hypothesized that prevention of cerebral artery endothelial function with a chronic dietary antioxidant intake would normalize the changes in cerebral artery wall structure and biomechanics and prevent the decline in basal cerebral blood flow (CBF) associated with atherosclerosis. Three-month old ATX mice were treated, or not, for 3 months with the polyphenol (+)-catechin (CAT, 30 mg/kg/day) and compared to wild-type (WT) controls. In ...

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    6. Blood Flow Dynamics of One Cardiac Cycle and Relationship to Mechanotransduction and Trabeculation during Heart Looping

      Blood Flow Dynamics of One Cardiac Cycle and Relationship to Mechanotransduction and Trabeculation during Heart Looping
      Analyses of form-function relationships during heart looping are directly related to technological advances. Recent advances in 4-D optical coherence tomography (OCT) permit observations of cardiac dynamics at high speed acquisition rates and high resolution. Real-time observation of the avian stage 13 looping heart reveals that interactions between the endocardial and myocardial compartments are more complex than previously depicted. Here we applied 4-D OCT to elucidate the relationships of the endocardium, myocardium, and cardiac jelly compartments in a single cardiac cycle during looping. Six cardiac levels along the longitudinal heart tube were each analyzed at 15 time points from diastole to ...
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    7. Catechin treatment improves cerebrovascular flow-mediated dilation and learning abilities in atherosclerotic mice

      Catechin treatment improves cerebrovascular flow-mediated dilation and learning abilities in atherosclerotic mice

      Severe dyslipidemia and the associated oxidative stress, could accelerate the age-related decline in cerebrovascular endothelial function and cerebral blood flow (CBF), leading to neuronal loss and impaired learning abilities. We hypothesized that a chronic treatment with the polyphenol catechin would prevent endothelial dysfunction, maintain CBF responses and protect learning abilities in atherosclerotic (ATX) mice. We treated ATX (C57Bl/6-LDLR-/-hApoB+/+; 3 month-old, m/o) mice with catechin (30 mg/kg/day) for 3 months, and C57Bl/6 (WT, 3 and 6-m/o) mice were used as controls. ACh- and flow-mediated dilations (FMD) were recorded in pressurized cerebral arteries. Basal CBF ...

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    1-7 of 7
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