Publications

2020
Qiqi Zhu, Haobo Li, Xiang Xie, Xiaozhen Chen, Ramoji Kosuru, Sisi Li, Qingquan Lian, Chi Wai Cheung, Michael G Irwin, Ren-Shan Ge, and Zhengyuan Xia. 2020. “Adiponectin Facilitates Postconditioning Cardioprotection through Both AMPK-Dependent Nuclear and AMPK-Independent Mitochondrial STAT3 Activation.” Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2020, Pp. 4253457.Abstract
Myocardial ischemic postconditioning- (IPo-) mediated cardioprotection against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury needs the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which involves adiponectin (APN). APN confers its biological effects through AMP-activated protein kinase- (AMPK-) dependent and AMPK-independent pathways. However, the role of AMPK in APN-mediated STAT3 activation in IPo cardioprotection is unknown. We hypothesized that APN-mediated STAT3 activation in IPo is AMPK-independent and that APN through AMPK-dependent STAT3 activation facilitates IPo cardioprotection. Here, Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to myocardial IR without or with IPo and/or APN. APN or IPo significantly improved postischemic cardiac function and reduced myocardial injury and oxidative stress, and their combination further attenuated postischemic myocardial injuries. APN or its combination with IPo but not IPo alone significantly increased AMPK activation and both nuclear and mitochondrial STAT3 activation, while IPo significantly enhanced mitochondrial but not nuclear STAT3 activation. In primarily isolated cardiomyocytes, recombined globular APN (gAd), hypoxic postconditioning (HPo), or their combination significantly attenuated hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced cell injury and increased nuclear and/or mitochondrial STAT3 activation. STAT3 inhibition had no impact on gAd or gAd in combination with HPo-induced AMPK activation but abolished their cellular protective effects. AMPK inhibition did not affect HPo cardioprotection but abolished gAd cardioprotection and disabled gAd to facilitate/enhance HPo cardioprotection and STAT3 activation. These results suggest that APN confers cardioprotection through AMPK-dependent and AMPK-independent STAT3 activation, while IPo confers cardioprotection through AMPK-independent mitochondrial STAT3 activation. Joint use of APN and IPo synergistically attenuated myocardial IR injury by activating STAT3 via distinct signaling pathways.
Haobo Li, Margaret H Hastings, James Rhee, Lena E Trager, Jason D Roh, and Anthony Rosenzweig. 2020. “Targeting Age-Related Pathways in Heart Failure.” Circ Res, 126, 4, Pp. 533-551.Abstract
During aging, deterioration in cardiac structure and function leads to increased susceptibility to heart failure. The need for interventions to combat this age-related cardiac decline is becoming increasingly urgent as the elderly population continues to grow. Our understanding of cardiac aging, and aging in general, is limited. However, recent studies of age-related decline and its prevention through interventions like exercise have revealed novel pathological and cardioprotective pathways. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the molecular mechanisms of age-related heart failure and highlight exercise as a valuable experimental platform for the discovery of much-needed novel therapeutic targets in this chronic disease.
2019
Weifeng Yao, Anshun Guo, Xue Han, Shan Wu, Chaojin Chen, Chenfang Luo, Haobo Li, Shangrong Li, and Ziqing Hei. 2019. “Aerosol inhalation of a hydrogen-rich solution restored septic renal function.” Aging (Albany NY), 11, 24, Pp. 12097-12113.Abstract
Sepsis-related acute kidney injury (AKI) is known to be caused by inflammation. We explored the renal protective effects of aerosol inhalation of a hydrogen-rich solution (HRS; hydrogen gas dissolved to saturation in saline) in a mouse model of septic AKI. Septic AKI was induced through 18 hours of cecal ligation and puncture. AKI occurred during the early stage of sepsis, as evidenced by increased blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine levels, pathological changes, renal fibrosis and renal tubular epithelial cell apoptosis, accompanied by macrophage infiltration and M1 macrophage-associated pro-inflammatory cytokine ( and ) generation in renal tissues. Aerosol inhalation of the HRS increased anti-inflammatory cytokine ( and ) mRNA levels in renal tissues and promoted macrophage polarization to the M2 type, which generated additional anti-inflammatory cytokines ( and ). Ultimately, aerosol inhalation of HRS protected the kidneys and increased survival among septic mice. HRS was confirmed to promote M2 macrophage polarization in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. The TGF-β1 receptor inhibitor SB-431542 partly reversed the effects of HRS on renal function, fibrosis, tubular epithelial cell apoptosis and senescence in mice. Thus, HRS aerosol inhalation appears highly useful for renal protection and inflammation reduction in septic AKI.
Weifeng Yao, Xue Han, Yu Guan, Jianqiang Guan, Shan Wu, Chaojin Chen, Haobo Li, and Ziqing Hei. 2019. “Neutrophil Elastase Inhibitors Suppress Oxidative Stress in Lung during Liver Transplantation.” Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2019, Pp. 7323986.Abstract
Background: Neutrophil infiltration plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury following liver transplantation (LT). Neutrophil elastase is released from neutrophils during pulmonary polymorphonuclear neutrophil activation and sequestration. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the inhibition of neutrophil elastase could lead to the restoration of pulmonary function following LT. Methods: In experiments, lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were collected at 2, 4, 8, and 24 h after rats were subjected to orthotopic autologous LT (OALT), and neutrophil infiltration was detected. Next, neutrophil elastase inhibitors, sivelestat sodium hydrate (exogenous) and serpin family B member 1 (SERPINB1) (endogenous), were administered to rats before OALT, and neutrophil infiltration, pulmonary oxidative stress, and barrier function were measured at 8 h after OALT. Results: Obvious neutrophil infiltration occurred from 2 h and peaked at 8 h in the lungs of rats after they were subjected to OALT, as evidenced by an increase in naphthol-positive cells, BALF neutrophil elastase activity, and lung myeloperoxidase activity. Treatment with neutrophil elastase inhibitors, either sivelestat sodium hydrate or SERPINB1, effectively reduced lung naphthol-positive cells and BALF inflammatory cell content, increased expression of lung HO-1 and tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin, and increased the activity of superoxide dismutase. Conclusion: Neutrophil elastase inhibitors, sivelestat sodium hydrate and SERPINB1, both reduced lung neutrophil infiltration and pulmonary oxidative stress and finally restored pulmonary barrier function.
Tian-Tian Wang, Mao-Mao Shi, Xiao-Long Liao, Yu-Quan Li, Hao-Xiang Yuan, Yan Li, Xiang Liu, Da-Sheng Ning, Yue-Ming Peng, Fan Yang, Zhi-Wei Mo, Yu-Mei Jiang, Ying-Qi Xu, Haobo Li, Min Wang, Zhi-Jun Ou, Zhengyuan Xia, and Jing-Song Ou. 2019. “Overexpression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in the diabetic heart compromises ischemic postconditioning.” J Mol Cell Cardiol, 129, Pp. 144-153.Abstract
Ischemia postconditioning (PTC) can reduce myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the effectiveness of PTC cardioprotection is reduced or lost in diabetes and the mechanisms are largely unclear. Hyperglycemia can induce overexpression of inducible nitric oxide synthesis (iNOS) in the myocardium of diabetic subjects. However, it is unknown whether or not iNOS especially its overexpression plays an important role in the loss of cardioprotection of PTC in diabetes. C57BL6 and iNOS mice were treated with streptozotocin to induce diabetes. Part of diabetic C57BL6 mice were also treated with an iNOS specific inhibitor, 1400 W. Mice were subjected to myocardial ischemia/ reperfusion with/without PTC. The hemodynamic parameters, plasma levels of cardiac troponin T (cTnT), TNF-α, IL-6 and nitric oxide (NO) were monitored. The myocardial infarct size, superoxide anion (O) generation, nitrotyrosine production and apoptosis were measured. The expression of phosphorylated Akt, endothelial NOS (eNOS), iNOS and Erk1/2 in ischemic heart were detected by immunoblot analysis. In diabetic C57BL6 and iNOS mice, the post-ischemic hemodynamics were impaired, the cTnT, TNF-α, IL-6 level, myocardial infarct size, apoptotic index, O and nitrotyrosine generation were increased and the Akt/eNOS signal pathways were inhibited. PTC improved hemodynamic parameters, reduced cTnT level, myocardial infarct size, apoptotic index, O and nitrotyrosine generation and activated Akt/eNOS and Erk1/2 signal pathways in both non-diabetic C57BL6 and iNOS mice as well as diabetic iNOS mice, but not in diabetic C57BL6 mice. PTC also increased NO production in both non-diabetic and diabetic C57BL6 and iNOS mice, and enhanced iNOS expression in non-diabetic C57BL6 mice. 1400 W restored the cardioprotection of PTC in diabetic C57BL6 mice. Our data demonstrated that PTC reduced myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in non-diabetic mice but not C57BL6 diabetic mice. Deletion of iNOS restored the cardioprotection of PTC in diabetic mice. Our findings suggest that iNOS plays a key role in the reduction of cardioprotection of PTC in diabetes and may provide a therapeutic target for diabetic patients.
Weifeng Yao, Lydia Wai Tai, Yiwei Liu, Ziqing Hei, and Haobo Li. 2019. “Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Interaction in Ischemia Reperfusion Injury: Role of Programmed Cell Death.” Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2019, Pp. 6780816.
2018
Xiang Xie, Dan Yan, Haobo Li, Qiqi Zhu, Jun Li, Yong-Ping Fang, Chi Wai Cheung, Michael G Irwin, Zhengyuan Xia, and Qingquan Lian. 2018. “Enhancement of Adiponectin Ameliorates Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease via Inhibition of FoxO1 in Type I Diabetic Rats.” J Diabetes Res, 2018, Pp. 6254340.Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common liver disease which has been previously shown to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recent research has indicated that type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is also involved in the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, whereas the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1) and adiponectin (APN) have been proposed to play an important role in the processes in NAFLD in T1DM. We herein investigated the effects of FoxO1 and APN on the development of NAFLD and the underlying mechanism in streptozotocin-induced T1DM. Serum liver enzymes AST, ALT, and triglyceride (TG) were determined by commercially available kits. Blood glucose levels were measured by the OneTouch Ultra glucose meter. Relevant protein expression was tested by Western blot analysis. Results showed that serum AST, ALT, and TG were all significantly increased in T1DM rats, which was ameliorated by application of APN or selective inhibition of FoxO1 with AS1842856. Moreover, APN and AS1842856 both decreased the expression of liver nuclear FoxO1 which was significantly increased in diabetic rats. However, the inhibition of FoxO1 did not alter the expression of APN and its receptors. We also found that Akt1 expression was significantly declined in diabetic rat which was restored by APN and moderately and significantly increased by FoxO1 inhibition. It is concluded that APN ameliorates NAFLD via inhibition of FoxO1 through Akt1/FoxO1 signaling pathway.
Haobo Li, Zhengyuan Xia, Yanfang Chen, Dake Qi, and Hong Zheng. 2018. “Mechanism and Therapies of Oxidative Stress-Mediated Cell Death in Ischemia Reperfusion Injury.” Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2018, Pp. 2910643.
Chunyan Wang, Haobo Li, Sheng Wang, Xiaowen Mao, Dan Yan, Stanley S Wong, Zhengyuan Xia, and Michael G Irwin. 2018. “Repeated Non-Invasive Limb Ischemic Preconditioning Confers Cardioprotection Through PKC-Ԑ/STAT3 Signaling in Diabetic Rats.” Cell Physiol Biochem, 45, 5, Pp. 2107-2121.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Protein kinase C(PKC)-ε activation is a mechanism of preconditioning cardioprotection but its role in repeated non-invasive limb ischemic preconditioning (rNLIP) mediated cardioprotection against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in diabetes is unknown. METHODS: Eight-week streptozotocin-induced diabetic and non-diabetic Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to I/R without or with rNLIP. In vitro, H9C2 cells were cultured with high glucose (HG) and subjected to hypoxia/re-oxygenation (H/R) without or with PKC-ε or STAT3 gene knock-down in the absence or presence of remote time hypoxia preconditioning (HPC). RESULTS: Diabetic rats displayed larger post-ischemic myocardial infarct size and higher troponin-I release with concomitant cardiac PKC-ԑ overexpression and activation manifested as increased membrane translocation, while phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) and Akt (p-Akt) were lower compared to non-diabetic rats (all P<0.05). rNLIP reduced infarct size in both non-diabetic and diabetic rats. rNLIP reduced post-ischemic cardiac PKC-ԑ activation in diabetic while increased PKC-ԑ activation in non-diabetic rats, resulting in increased cardiac p-STAT3 and p-Akt. In H9C2 cells, HG increased PKC-ԑ expression and exacerbated post-H/R injury, accompanied with reduced p-STAT3 and p-Akt, which were all reverted by HPC. These HPC protective effects were abolished by either PKC-ԑ or STAT3 gene knock-down, except that PKC-ԑ gene knock-down reverted HG and H/R-induced reduction of p-STAT3. CONCLUSION: rNLIP attenuates diabetic heart I/R injury by mitigating HG-induced PKC-ԑ overexpression and, subsequently, activating STAT3.
Lydia Wai Tai, Zhiqiang Pan, Liting Sun, Haobo Li, Pan Gu, Stanley Sau Ching Wong, Sookja K Chung, and Chi Wai Cheung. 2018. “Suppression of Pax2 Attenuates Allodynia and Hyperalgesia through ET-1-ETAR-NFAT5 Signaling in a Rat Model of Neuropathic Pain.” Neuroscience, 384, Pp. 139-151.Abstract
Endothelin-1 (ET-1) and its receptors (ETAR/ETBR) emerge to be a key signaling axis in neuropathic pain processing and are recognized as new therapeutic targets. Yet, little is known on the functional regulation of ET-1 axis during neuropathic pain. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that paired box gene 2 (Pax2) or nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 (NFAT5), two transcription factors involved in the modulation of neurotransmission, may regulate ET-1. Therefore, we hypothesized that ET-1 axis may be regulated by Pax2 or NFAT5 in the development of neuropathic pain. After partial sciatic nerve ligation (pSNL), rats displayed allodynia and hyperalgesia, which was associated with increased mRNA and protein expressions of spinal Pax2, NFAT5, and mRNA levels of ET-1 and ETAR, but not ETBR. Knockdown of Pax2 or NFAT5 with siRNA, or inhibition of ETAR with BQ-123 attenuated pSNL-induced pain-like behaviors. At molecular level, Pax2 siRNA, but not NFAT5 siRNA, downregulated ET-1 and ETAR, while ETAR inhibitor reduced NFAT5, indicating Pax2 in the upstream of ET-1 axis with NFAT5 in the downstream. Further, suppression of Pax2 (inhibiting ET-1) or impairment of ET-1 signaling (inhibition of ETAR and/or decrease of NFAT5) deactivated mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathways, supporting the significance of functional regulation of ET-1 axis in neuropathic pain signaling. These findings demonstrate that Pax2 targeting ET-1-ETAR-NFAT5 is a novel regulatory mechanism underlying neuropathic pain.
2017
Q. Wu, T. Wang, S. Chen, Q. Zhou, H. Li, N. Hu, Y. Feng, N. Dong, S. Yao, and Z. Xia. 2017. “Cardiac protective effects of remote ischaemic preconditioning in children undergoing tetralogy of fallot repair surgery: a randomized controlled trial.” Eur Heart JEur Heart JEur Heart J.Abstract
Aims: Remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) by inducing brief ischaemia in distant tissues protects the heart against myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in children undergoing open-heart surgery, although its effectiveness in adults with comorbidities is controversial. The effectiveness and mechanism of RIPC with respect to myocardial IRI in children with tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), a severe cyanotic congenital cardiac disease, undergoing open heart surgery are unclear. We hypothesized that RIPC can confer cardioprotection in children undergoing ToF repair surgery. Methods and results: Overall, 112 ToF children undergoing radical open cardiac surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) were randomized to either a RIPC group (n = 55) or a control group (n = 57). The RIPC protocol consisted of three cycles of 5-min lower limb occlusion and 5-min reperfusion using a cuff-inflator. Serum inflammatory cytokines and cardiac injury markers were measured before surgery and after CPB. Right ventricle outflow tract (RVOT) tissues were collected during the surgery to assess hypoxia-inducible factor (Hif)-1alpha and other signalling proteins. Cardiac mitochondrial injury was assessed by electron microscopy. The primary results showed that the length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) was longer in the control group than in the RIPC group (52.30 +/- 13.43 h vs. 47.55 +/- 10.34 h, respectively, P = 0.039). Patients in the control group needed longer post-operative ventilation time compared to the RIPC group (35.02 +/- 6.56 h vs. 31.96 +/- 6.60 h, respectively, P = 0.016). The levels of post-operative serum troponin-T at 12 and 18 h, CK-MB at 24 h, as well as the serum h-FABP levels at 6 h, after CPB were significantly lower, which was coincident with significantly higher protein expression of cardiac Hif-1alpha, p-Akt, p-STAT3, p-STAT5, and p-eNOS and less vacuolization of mitochondria in the RIPC group compared to the control group. Conclusion: In ToF children undergoing open heart surgery, RIPC attenuates myocardial IRI and improves the short-term prognosis.
W. Yao, H. Li, X. Han, C. Chen, Y. Zhang, W. L. Tai, Z. Xia, and Z. Hei. 2017. “MG53 anchored by dysferlin to cell membrane reduces hepatocyte apoptosis which induced by ischaemia/reperfusion injury in vivo and in vitro.” J Cell Mol MedJ Cell Mol MedJ Cell Mol Med.Abstract
Hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion (HIR) induces severe damage on hepatocyte cell membrane, which leads to hepatocyte death and the subsequent HIR injury. In this study, we investigated the role and the mechanism of mitsugumin-53 (MG53), a novel cell membrane repair protein, in protecting the liver against HIR injury. Rats were subjected to sham operation or 70% warm HIR with or without recombined MG53 (rhMG53), caudal vein-injected 2 hrs before inducing HIR. In vitro, cultured hepatocyte AML12 cells were subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) in the presence of rhMG53 and/or dysferlin gene shRNAs or adenovirus transfection. HIR resulted in severe liver injury manifested as severe liver histological changes and increased AST and ALT release. Post-ischaemic hepatic oxidative stress was significantly enhanced demonstrated by elevated dihydroethidium level, increased 4-hydroxynonenal, enhanced 15-F2t-isoprostane and decreased SOD activity. rhMG53 administration attenuated post-HIR liver injury, decreased liver oxidative stress and further enhanced dysferlin protein expression and its colocalization with MG53. Similarly, H/R induced AML12 cell injury and oxidative stress, which were abolished by either rhMG53 or dysferlin overexpression but were exacerbated by dysferlin gene knockdown. Dysferlin overexpression further increased H/R-induced increased colocalization of MG53 and dysferlin. In conclusion, MG53 was anchored by dysferlin to reduce oxidative stress and cell death and attenuate HIR injury.
S. Wang, C. Wang, F. Yan, T. Wang, Y. He, H. Li, Z. Xia, and Z. Zhang. 2017. “N-Acetylcysteine Attenuates Diabetic Myocardial Ischemia Reperfusion Injury through Inhibiting Excessive Autophagy.” Mediators InflammMediators InflammMediators Inflamm, 2017, Pp. 9257291.Abstract
Background. Excessive autophagy is a major mechanism of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury (I/RI) in diabetes with enhanced oxidative stress. Antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduces myocardial I/RI. It is unknown if inhibition of autophagy may represent a mechanism whereby NAC confers cardioprotection in diabetes. Methods and Results. Diabetes was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats with streptozotocin and they were treated without or with NAC (1.5 g/kg/day) for four weeks before being subjected to 30-minute coronary occlusion and 2-hour reperfusion. The results showed that cardiac levels of 15-F2t-Isoprostane were increased and that autophagy was evidenced as increases in ratio of LC3 II/I and protein P62 and AMPK and mTOR expressions were significantly increased in diabetic compared to nondiabetic rats, concomitant with increased postischemic myocardial infarct size and CK-MB release but decreased Akt and eNOS activation. Diabetes was also associated with increased postischemic apoptotic cell death manifested as increases in TUNEL positive cells, cleaved-caspase-3, and ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 protein expression. NAC significantly attenuated I/RI-induced increases in oxidative stress and cardiac apoptosis, prevented postischemic autophagy formation in diabetes, and reduced postischemic myocardial infarction (all p < 0.05). Conclusions. NAC confers cardioprotection against diabetic heart I/RI primarily through inhibiting excessive autophagy which might be a major mechanism why diabetic hearts are less tolerant to I/RI.
W. Yao, H. Li, G. Luo, X. Li, C. Chen, D. Yuan, X. Chi, Z. Xia, and Z. Hei. 2017. “SERPINB1 ameliorates acute lung injury in liver transplantation through ERK1/2-mediated STAT3-dependent HO-1 induction.” Free Radic Biol MedFree Radic Biol MedFree Radic Biol Med, 108, Pp. 542-553.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Postoperative acute lung injury (ALI) is a severe complication after liver transplantation, which severely affects postoperative patients' survival. The underlying mechanism is largely unknown and effective treatment limited. We explored the role of serpin protease inhibitor B1 (SERPINB1), a potent inhibitor of neutrophil serine proteases, in ALI in liver transplantation and its interplay with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats underwent orthotopic autologous liver transplantation (OALT) were treated with recombinant SB1 (rSB1) in the absence or presence of STAT3 specific inhibitor, WP1066. Then SB1-siRNA was used to knockdown endogenous SERPINB1. Also, alveolar epithelial cells RLE-6TN and BEAS-2B were exposed to TNF-alpha without or with SERPINB1 and the roles of STAT3 and HO-1 were examined by respective gene knockdown. Finally, rats were treated with ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126, p38 MAPK inhibitor SB20358, or JNK inhibitor SP600125 after rSB1 pretreatment and then subjected to OALT. RESULTS: OALT resulted in increased pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress, accompanied by severe lung injury that was coincident with increased pulmonary SERPINB1, HO-1, and STAT3. SERPINB1 gene knockdown increased post-OALT lung injury and pulmonary inflammation. rSB1 administration dose-dependently reduced post-OALT lung injury and decreased pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress with concomitant enhanced HO-1 and STAT3 protein expression. These protective effects of SERPINB1 were abolished by STAT3 inhibition. Similarly, in RLE-6TN cells and BEAS-2B cells, TNF-alpha induced cell injury and increased HO-1 and STAT3. SERPINB1 further increased HO-1 and STAT3 protein expression and attenuated TNF-alpha-induced cellular oxidative stress, apoptotic cells, and mitochondria damage, which were cancelled by STAT3 or HO-1 gene knockdown. Furthermore, these SERPINB1-mediated STAT3/HO-1 activation and pulmonary protective effects were abolished by inhibition of ERK1/2 but not p38 MAPK or JNK. CONCLUSIONS: SERPINB1 decreased inflammation, ameliorated oxidative stress in the lung, and attenuated ALI in rats with OALT by activating HO-1 and it does so through STAT3 and it does so by activating ERK1/2.
2016
Y. Wang, H. Li, H. Huang, S. Liu, X. Mao, S. Wang, S. S. Wong, Z. Xia, and M. G. Irwin. 2016. “Cardioprotection from emulsified isoflurane postconditioning is lost in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes due to the impairment of Brg1/Nrf2/STAT3 signalling.” Clin Sci (Lond)Clin Sci (Lond)Clin Sci (Lond), 130, Pp. 801-12.Abstract
Isoflurane postconditioning (IsoPostC) attenuates myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). Signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) is critical in ischaemic postconditioning cardioprotection, which can be regulated by the Brahma-related gene (Brg1) and nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), although they are both reduced in diabetic hearts. We hypothesized that reduced Brg1/Nrf2 and STAT3 activation may jeopardize IsoPostC-mediated cardioprotection in diabetic hearts. In the present study, Langendorff-perfused, non-diabetic (control) and 8-week-old streptozotocin-induced Type 1 diabetic rat hearts were subjected to 30 min of global ischaemia and 120 min of reperfusion without or with IsoPostC, which was achieved by administering emulsified isoflurane (2.0%, v/v) in Krebs-Henseleit (KH) solution immediately at the onset of reperfusion for 10 min and switching to KH solution perfusion alone thereafter. Cultured H9C2 cells were exposed to normal glucose (NG, 5.5 mM) or high glucose (HG, 30 mM) and subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation (HR) in the presence or absence of IsoPostC. Diabetic rats displayed larger post-ischaemic myocardial infarction and more severe haemodynamic dysfunction, associated with increased myocardial oxidative stress and reduced cardiac Brg1, Nrf2 and STAT3 phosphorylation/activation (p-STAT3), compared with controls. These changes were reversed/prevented by IsoPostC in control but not in diabetic rats. In H9C2 cells exposed to NG but not HG, IsoPostC significantly attenuated HR-induced cellular injury and superoxide anion production with increased Brg1, Nrf2 and p-STAT3. These beneficial effects of IsoPostC were abolished by Brg1, Nrf2 or STAT3 gene knockdown. Brg1 or Nrf2 gene knockdown abolished IsoPostC-induced STAT3 activation. N-acetylcysteine restored Brg1, Nrf2 and p-STAT3, and IsoPostC-induced protection in H9C2 cells exposed to HG and HR. In conclusion, IsoPostC confers cardioprotection through Brg1/Nrf2/STAT3 signalling, and impairment of this pathway may be responsible for the loss of IsoPostC cardioprotection in diabetes.
L. Pang, Y. Cai, E. H. Tang, D. Yan, R. Kosuru, H. Li, M. G. Irwin, H. Ma, and Z. Xia. 2016. “Cox-2 Inhibition Protects against Hypoxia/Reoxygenation-Induced Cardiomyocyte Apoptosis via Akt-Dependent Enhancement of iNOS Expression.” Oxid Med Cell LongevOxid Med Cell LongevOxid Med Cell Longev, 2016, Pp. 3453059.Abstract
The present study explored the potential causal link between ischemia-driven cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and enhanced apoptosis during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) by using H9C2 cardiomyocytes and primary rat cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). The results showed that H/R resulted in higher COX-2 expression than that of controls, which was prevented by pretreatment with Helenalin (NFkappaB specific inhibitor). Furthermore, pretreatment with NS398 (COX-2 specific inhibitor) significantly attenuated H/R-induced cell injury [lower lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage and enhanced cell viability] and apoptosis (higher Bcl2 expression and lower level of cleaved caspases-3 and TUNEL-positive cells) in cardiomyocytes. The amelioration of posthypoxic apoptotic cell death was paralleled by significant attenuation of H/R-induced increases in proinflammatory cytokines [interleukin 6 (IL6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha)] and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and by higher protein expression of phosphorylated Akt and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and enhanced nitric oxide production. Moreover, the application of LY294002 (Akt-specific inhibitor) or 1400W (iNOS-selective inhibitor) cancelled the cellular protective effects of NS398. Findings from the current study suggest that activation of NFkappaB during cardiomyocyte H/R induces the expression of COX-2 and that higher COX-2 expression during H/R exacerbates cardiomyocyte H/R injury via mechanisms that involve cross talks among inflammation, ROS, and Akt/iNOS/NO signaling.
S. Gao, Z. Yang, R. Shi, D. Xu, H. Li, Z. Xia, Q. P. Wu, S. Yao, T. Wang, and S. Yuan. 2016. “Diabetes blocks the cardioprotective effects of sevoflurane postconditioning by impairing Nrf2/Brg1/HO-1 signaling.” Eur J PharmacolEur J PharmacolEur J Pharmacol, 779, Pp. 111-21.Abstract
Sevofluane postconditioning (SPostC) protects heart against ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, SPostC cardioprotection is lost in diabetes whose cardiac heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is reduced. Brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1) facilitates nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) to activate HO-1 to increase myocardial antioxidant capacity in response to oxidative stress. However, cardiac Brg1 is reduced in diabetes. We hypothesized that SPostC confers cardioprotection by activating HO-1 through Nrf2/Brg1 and that impaired Nrf2/Brg1/HO-1 in diabetes is responsible for the loss of SPostC. Control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice were subjected to 45min coronary artery occlusion followed by 2h reperfusion with or without SPostC achieved by exposing the mice to 2% sevoflurane for 15min at the onset of reperfusion. In invitro study, H9c2 cells were exposed to normal or high glucose and subjected to 3h hypoxia followed by 6h reoxygenation. Diabetic mice displayed larger post-ischemic infarct size, severer cardiomyocytes apoptosis, and increased oxidative stress concomitant with reduced HO-1, nuclear Nrf2 and Brg1 protein expression. These changes were prevented/reversed by SPostC in control but not in diabetic mice, and these beneficial effects of SPostC were abolished by HO-1 inhibition. In H9c2 cells exposed to normal glucose but not high glucose, SPostC significantly attenuated hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced cellular injury and oxidative stress with increased HO-1 and nuclear Nrf2. These SPostC beneficial effects were canceled by HO-1 inhibition. In conclusion, SPostC protects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury through activation of Nrf2/Brg1/HO-1 signaling and impairment of this signaling may be responsible for the loss of SPostC cardioprotection in diabetes.
V. Kandula, R. Kosuru, H. Li, D. Yan, Q. Zhu, Q. Lian, R. S. Ge, Z. Xia, and M. G. Irwin. 2016. “Forkhead box transcription factor 1: role in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy.” Cardiovasc DiabetolCardiovasc DiabetolCardiovasc Diabetol, 15, Pp. 44.Abstract
Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disorder of the heart muscle in people with diabetes that can occur independent of hypertension or vascular disease. The underlying mechanism of DCM is incompletely understood. Some transcription factors have been suggested to regulate the gene program intricate in the pathogenesis of diabetes prompted cardiac injury. Forkhead box transcription factor 1 is a pleiotropic transcription factor that plays a pivotal role in a variety of physiological processes. Altered FOXO1 expression and function have been associated with cardiovascular diseases, and the important role of FOXO1 in DCM has begun to attract attention. In this review, we focus on the FOXO1 pathway and its role in various processes that have been related to DCM, such as metabolism, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation and apoptosis.
H. Li, W. Yao, Z. Liu, A. Xu, Y. Huang, X. L. Ma, M. G. Irwin, and Z. Xia. 2016. “Hyperglycemia Abrogates Ischemic Postconditioning Cardioprotection by Impairing AdipoR1/Caveolin-3/STAT3 Signaling in Diabetic Rats.” DiabetesDiabetesDiabetes, 65, Pp. 942-55.Abstract
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation is key for ischemic postconditioning (IPo) to attenuate myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MIRI), but IPo loses cardioprotection in diabetes in which cardiac STAT3 activation is impaired and adiponectin (APN) reduced. We found that IPo increased postischemic cardiomyocyte-derived APN, activated mitochondrial STAT3 (mitoSTAT3), improved mitochondrial function, and attenuated MIRI in wild-type but not in APN knockout (Adipo(-/-)) mice subjected to 30 min coronary occlusion, followed by 2 or 24 h of reperfusion. Hypoxic postconditioning-induced protection against hypoxia/reoxygenation injury was lost in Adipo(-/-) cardiomyocytes but restored by recombinant APN, but this APN beneficial effect was abolished by specific STAT3 or APN receptor 1 (AdipoR1) gene knockdown, or caveolin-3 (Cav3) disruption. APN activated cardiac STAT3 and restored IPo cardioprotection in 4-week diabetic rats where AdipoR1 and Cav3 were functionally interactive but not in 8-week diabetic rats whose cardiac Cav3 was severely reduced and AdipoR1/Cav3 signaling impaired. We concluded that IPo activates mitoSTAT3 through APN/AdipoR1/Cav3 pathway to confer cardioprotection, whereas in diabetes, IPo loses cardioprotection due to impaired APN/AdipoR1/Cav3 signaling. Therefore, effective means that may concomitantly activate APN and repair APN signaling (i.e., AdipoR1/Cav3) in diabetes may represent promising avenues in the treatment of MIRI in diabetes.
W. Zhao, Z. Liu, X. Yu, L. Lai, H. Li, Z. Liu, L. Li, S. Jiang, Z. Xia, and S. Y. Xu. 2016. “iTRAQ proteomics analysis reveals that PI3K is highly associated with bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity pathways.” ProteomicsProteomicsProteomics, 16, Pp. 564-75.Abstract
Bupivacaine, a commonly used local anesthetic, has potential neurotoxicity through diverse signaling pathways. However, the key mechanism of bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity remains unclear. Cultured human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were treated (bupivacaine) or untreated (control) with bupivacaine for 24 h. Compared to the control group, bupivacaine significantly increased cyto-inhibition, cellular reactive oxygen species, DNA damage, mitochondrial injury, apoptosis (increased TUNEL-positive cells, cleaved caspase 3, and Bcl-2/Bax), and activated autophagy (enhanced LC3II/LC3I ratio). To explore changes in protein expression and intercommunication among the pathways involved in bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity, an 8-plex iTRAQ proteomic technique and bioinformatics analysis were performed. Compared to the control group, 241 differentially expressed proteins were identified, of which, 145 were up-regulated and 96 were down-regulated. Bioinformatics analysis of the cross-talk between the significant proteins with altered expression in bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity indicated that phosphatidyl-3-kinase (PI3K) was the most frequently targeted protein in each of the interactions. We further confirmed these results by determining the downstream targets of the identified signaling pathways (PI3K, Akt, FoxO1, Erk, and JNK). In conclusion, our study demonstrated that PI3K may play a central role in contacting and regulating the signaling pathways that contribute to bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity.

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