Archive for April 2021

What is the effect of vascular function in the pathogenesis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? According to Centers for Disease Control data, there are approximately 3 million people with IBD in the U.S. population, with more than 7,000 new cases of IBD diagnosed every year. IBD patients are at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease compared to age-matched peers. Listen as Consulting Editor Camilla Wenceslau (University of Toledo) interviews senior author Erika Boerman (University of Missouri) and expert Pooneh Bagher (Texas A&M Health Science Center) about this novel study by Norton et al. Decreased blood flow to the gut is a diagnostic hallmark of IBD, and sensory neurotransmitters calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P are considered biomarkers of IBD. Using pressure myography to study mesenteric arteries in an interleukin-10 knockout mouse model, Boerman and collaborators investigated the activation of perivascular sensory nerves, which control gastrointestinal tract blood flow. When Boerman and co-authors first blocked substance P receptors and then stimulated sensory nerves, sensory vasodilation was rescued in the IBD vessels. A surprising finding was that the substance P pathway seemed to interfere with the CGRP pathway, preventing normal sensory vasodilation. Does Boerman estimate that an influx of immune cells into the gut, interacting with sensory neurotransmitters, is a factor in IBD pathogenesis? Listen as these experts discuss the mechanisms that impact reduced blood flow and tissue ischemia which leads to IBD, and the unanswered questions which may help to unravel the link between IBD and cardiovascular disease.


Charles E. Norton, Elizabeth A. Grunz-Borgmann, Marcia L. Hart, Benjamin W. Jones, Craig L. Franklin, Erika M. Boerman Role of perivascular nerve and sensory neurotransmitter dysfunction in inflammatory bowel disease   Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 22, 2021. DOI:

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Inorganic Arsenic Induces Cardiac Hypertrophy

Does inorganic arsenic in drinking water lead to cardiac hypertrophy? In this episode, host Dominic Del Re (Rutgers New Jersey Medical School) interviews lead author Mark Kohr (Johns Hopkins University) and expert Nicole Purcell (Huntington Medical Research Institutes) about the new study by Kohr and colleagues, which studied the effects of an environmentally-relevant level of inorganic arsenic in the drinking water of male and female mice. Kabir et al were inspired by the public health crisis in Bangladesh caused by arsenic contaminated drinking water. In their study the authors found increased systolic blood pressure, increased LV mass and wall thickness, and induction of the fetal gene program in male mice, but not in female mice. Kohr and co-authors found arsenic promoted calcineurin NFAT signaling but did not disrupt nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms of cardioprotection. The authors uncover sex differences in the cardiovascular response to arsenic, as well as a clear mechanistic link between this environmental risk factor – arsenic in drinking water – and cardiac pathology. Can this work be translated on a larger scale to inspire everyday interventions to mitigate adverse environmental effects on human heart health? To find out, listen now.


Raihan Kabir, Prithvi Sinha, Sumita Mishra, Obialunanma V. Ebenebe, Nicole Taube, Chistian U. Oeing, Gizem Keceli, Rui Chen, Nazareno Paolocci, Ana Rule, Mark J. Kohr Inorganic arsenic induces sex-dependent pathological hypertrophy in the heart Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published March 24, 2021. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00435.2020

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