Professional Education

  • Doctor, Universitat Leipzig (2010)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Universitat Leipzig (2006)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • miR-24 limits aortic vascular inflammation and murine abdominal aneurysm development NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Maegdefessel, L., Spin, J. M., Raaz, U., Eken, S. M., Toh, R., Azuma, J., Adam, M., Nagakami, F., Heymann, H. M., Chernugobova, E., Jin, H., Roy, J., Hultgren, R., Caidahl, K., Schrepfer, S., Hamsten, A., Eriksson, P., McConnell, M. V., Dalman, R. L., Tsao, P. S. 2014; 5

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms6214

    View details for Web of Science ID 000343982800003

  • Red blood cells serve as intravascular carriers of myeloperoxidase. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology Adam, M., Gajdova, S., Kolarova, H., Kubala, L., Lau, D., Geisler, A., Ravekes, T., Rudolph, V., Tsao, P. S., Blankenberg, S., Baldus, S., Klinke, A. 2014; 74: 353-363


    Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a heme enzyme abundantly expressed in polymorphonuclear neutrophils. MPO is enzymatically capable of catalyzing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the consumption of nitric oxide (NO). Thus MPO has both potent microbicidal and, upon binding to the vessel wall, pro-inflammatory properties. Interestingly, MPO - a highly cationic protein - has been shown to bind to both endothelial cells and leukocyte membranes. Given the anionic surface charge of red blood cells, we investigated binding of MPO to erythrocytes. Red blood cells (RBCs) derived from patients with elevated MPO plasma levels showed significantly higher amounts of MPO by flow cytometry and ELISA than healthy controls. Heparin-induced MPO-release from patient-derived RBCs was significantly increased compared to controls. Ex vivo experiments revealed dose and time dependency for MPO-RBC binding, and immunofluorescence staining as well as confocal microscopy localized MPO-RBC interaction to the erythrocyte plasma membrane. NO-consumption by RBC-membrane fragments (erythrocyte "ghosts") increased with incrementally greater concentrations of MPO during incubation, indicating preserved catalytic MPO activity. In vivo infusion of MPO-loaded RBCs into C57BL/6J mice increased local MPO tissue concentrations in liver, spleen, lung, and heart tissue as well as within the cardiac vasculature. Further, NO-dependent relaxation of aortic rings was altered by RBC bound-MPO and systemic vascular resistance significantly increased after infusion of MPO-loaded RBCs into mice. In summary, we find that MPO binds to RBC membranes in vitro and in vivo, is transported by RBCs to remote sites in mice, and affects endothelial function as well as systemic vascular resistance. RBCs may avidly bind circulating MPO, and act as carriers of this leukocyte-derived enzyme.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2014.06.009

    View details for PubMedID 24976018

  • Induction of Atrial Fibrillation by Neutrophils Critically Depends on CD11b/CD18 Integrins PLOS ONE Friedrichs, K., Adam, M., Remane, L., Mollenhauer, M., Rudolph, V., Rudolph, T. K., Andrie, R. P., Stoeckigt, F., Schrickel, J. W., Ravekes, T., Deuschl, F., Nickenig, G., Willems, S., Baldus, S., Klinke, A. 2014; 9 (2)


    Recent observational clinical and ex-vivo studies suggest that inflammation and in particular leukocyte activation predisposes to atrial fibrillation (AF). However, whether local binding and extravasation of leukocytes into atrial myocardium is an essential prerequisite for the initiation and propagation of AF remains elusive. Here we investigated the role of atrial CD11b/CD18 mediated infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) for the susceptibility to AF.C57bl/6J wildtype (WT) and CD11b/CD18 knock-out (CD11b(-/-)) mice were treated for 14 days with subcutaneous infusion of angiotensin II (Ang II), a known stimulus for PMN activation. Atria of Ang II-treated WT mice were characterized by increased PMN infiltration assessed in immunohistochemically stained sections. In contrast, atrial sections of CD11b(-/-) mice lacked a significant increase in PMN infiltration upon Ang II infusion. PMN infiltration was accompanied by profoundly enhanced atrial fibrosis in Ang II treated WT as compared to CD11b(-/-) mice. Upon in-vivo electrophysiological investigation, Ang II treatment significantly elevated the susceptibility for AF in WT mice if compared to vehicle treated animals given an increased number and increased duration of AF episodes. In contrast, animals deficient of CD11b/CD18 were entirely protected from AF induction. Likewise, epicardial activation mapping revealed decreased electrical conduction velocity in atria of Ang II treated WT mice, which was preserved in CD11b(-/-) mice. In addition, atrial PMN infiltration was enhanced in atrial appendage sections of patients with persistent AF as compared to patients without AF.The current data critically link CD11b-integrin mediated atrial PMN infiltration to the formation of fibrosis, which promotes the initiation and propagation of AF. These findings not only reveal a mechanistic role of leukocytes in AF but also point towards a potential novel avenue of treatment in AF.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0089307

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331706700139

    View details for PubMedID 24558493

  • MicroRNAs in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Current vascular pharmacology Adam, M., Raaz, U., Spin, J. M., Tsao, P. S. 2013


    Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are an important source of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. Treatment options are limited, with open surgery or endovascular repair remaining the only curative treatments. Classical cardiovascular medications have generally failed to prevent or significantly alter AAA formation or progression. Therefore, there is a tremendous need for better therapeutic approaches. With increasing knowledge of microRNA (miR) regulation in the context of cardiovascular disease, and with improving technical options permitting alteration of miR-expression levels in vitro and in vivo, we are offered a glimpse into the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities of using miRs to treat vascular pathobiology. This review focuses on the role of miRs in aneurysmal disease of the abdominal aorta, summarizing recent publications regarding this topic, and outlining known effects of relevant miRs in AAA formation, including miR-21 and miR-29b. Despite there being only limited studies available, several other miRs also display clear potential for alteration of the disease process including miR-26a, the miR-17-92-cluster, miRs-221/222, miR-133 and miR-146a. While studies have shown that miRs can regulate the activity and interplay of vascular inflammatory cells, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts, all key elements leading to AAA formation, much work remains to be done.

    View details for PubMedID 23713862

  • Loss of Somatostatin Receptor Subtype 2 in Prostate Cancer Is Linked to an Aggressive Cancer Phenotype, High Tumor Cell Proliferation and Predicts Early Metastatic and Biochemical Relapse PLOS ONE Hennigs, J. K., Mueller, J., Adam, M., Spin, J. M., Riedel, E., Graefen, M., Bokemeyer, C., Sauter, G., Huland, H., Schlomm, T., Minner, S. 2014; 9 (7)
  • Hemodynamic Regulation of Reactive Oxygen Species: Implications for Vascular Diseases ANTIOXIDANTS & REDOX SIGNALING Raaz, U., Toh, R., Maegdefessel, L., Adam, M., Nakagami, F., Emrich, F. C., Spin, J. M., Tsao, P. S. 2014; 20 (6): 914-928


    Significance: Arterial blood vessels functionally and structurally adapt to altering hemodynamic forces in order to accommodate changing needs and to provide stress homeostasis. This ability is achieved at the cellular level by converting mechanical stimulation into biochemical signals (i.e., mechanotransduction). Whereas physiological mechanical stress helps to maintain vascular structure and function, pathologic or aberrant stress may impair cellular mechano-signaling, and initiate or augment cellular processes which drive disease. Recent advances: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may represent an intriguing class of mechanically- regulated second messengers. Chronically enhanced ROS-generation may be induced by adverse mechanical stresses, and is associated with a multitude of vascular diseases. Although a causal relationship has clearly been demonstrated in large numbers of animal studies, an effective ROS-modulating therapy still remains to be established by clinical studies. Critical issues and Future directions: This review article focuses on the role of various mechanical forces (in the form of laminar shear stress, oscillatory shear stress or cyclic stretch) as modulators of ROS- driven signaling, and their subsequent effects on vascular biology and homeostasis, as well as on specific diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Specifically, it highlights the significance of the various NADPH oxidase (NOX) isoforms as critical ROS generators in the vasculature. Directed targeting of defined components in the complex network of ROS (mechano)signaling may represent a key for successful translation of experimental findings into clinical practice.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/ars.2013.5507

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331289900006

  • Loss of somatostatin receptor subtype 2 in prostate cancer is linked to an aggressive cancer phenotype, high tumor cell proliferation and predicts early metastatic and biochemical relapse. PloS one Hennigs, J. K., Müller, J., Adam, M., Spin, J. M., Riedel, E., Graefen, M., Bokemeyer, C., Sauter, G., Huland, H., Schlomm, T., Minner, S. 2014; 9 (7)


    Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) is the most frequently expressed SSTR subtype in normal human tissues. SSTR2 expression is differentially regulated in various tumor types and therapeutic somatostatin analogs binding to SSTR2 are in clinical use. In prostate cancers highly contradictory results in terms of SSTR2 expression and its consequences have been published over the past years. The aim of this study was to clarify prevalence and clinical significance of SSTR2 expression in prostate cancer. Therefore, quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC) using a tissue microarray containing samples from 3,261 prostate cancer patients with extensive clinical and molecular cancer characteristics and oncological follow-up data was performed. IHC data was compared to publicly available Gene Expression Omnibus datasets of human prostate cancer gene expression arrays. While membranous SSTR2 staining was always seen in normal prostate epithelium, SSTR2 staining was absent in more than half (56.1%) of 2,195 interpretable prostate cancer samples. About 13% of all analyzed prostate cancers showed moderate to strong cytoplasmic and membranous SSTR2 staining. Staining intensities were inversely correlated with high Gleason grade, advanced pT category, high tumor cell proliferation (p<0.0001 each), high pre-operative PSA levels, (p = 0.0011) and positive surgical margins (p = 0.006). In silico analysis confirmed lower SSTR2 gene expression in prostate cancers vs. normal adjacent tissue (p = 0.0424), prostate cancer metastases vs. primary cancers (p = 0.0011) and recurrent vs. non-recurrent prostate cancers (p = 0.0438). PSA-free survival gradually declined with SSTR2 staining intensity (p<0.0001). SSTR2-negative cancers were more likely to develop metastases over time (p<0.05). In conclusion, most prostate cancers are indeed SSTR2-negative and loss of SSTR2 strongly predicts an unfavorable tumor phenotype and poor prognosis. Therefore, SSTR2 expression seems an important factor in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer and re-introduction of the receptor in SSTR2-negative prostate cancers may feature a promising target for novel gene therapy approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0100469

    View details for PubMedID 25010045

  • Myeloperoxidase induces the priming of platelets FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE Kolarova, H., Klinke, A., Kremserova, S., Adam, M., Pekarova, M., Baldus, S., Eiserich, J. P., Kubala, L. 2013; 61: 357-369
  • Micromanaging Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES Maegdefessel, L., Spin, J. M., Adam, M., Raaz, U., Toh, R., Nakagami, F., Tsao, P. S. 2013; 14 (7): 14374-14394


    The contribution of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease to human morbidity and mortality has increased in the aging, industrialized world. In response, extraordinary efforts have been launched to determine the molecular and pathophysiological characteristics of the diseased aorta. This work aims to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to limit AAA expansion and, ultimately, rupture. Contributions from multiple research groups have uncovered a complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory milieu, which is believed to be essential for maintaining aortic vascular homeostasis. Recently, novel small noncoding RNAs, called microRNAs, have been identified as important transcriptional and post-transcriptional inhibitors of gene expression. MicroRNAs are thought to "fine tune" the translational output of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) by promoting mRNA degradation or inhibiting translation. With the discovery that microRNAs act as powerful regulators in the context of a wide variety of diseases, it is only logical that microRNAs be thoroughly explored as potential therapeutic entities. This current review summarizes interesting findings regarding the intriguing roles and benefits of microRNA expression modulation during AAA initiation and propagation. These studies utilize disease-relevant murine models, as well as human tissue from patients undergoing surgical aortic aneurysm repair. Furthermore, we critically examine future therapeutic strategies with regard to their clinical and translational feasibility.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/ijms140714374

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322171700085

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