Publications by authors named "Hongli Zhang"

143 Publications

Polyhalogenated carbazoles in freshwater and estuarine sediment from China and the United States: A multi-regional study.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Sep 21;788:147908. Epub 2021 May 21.

School of Environment and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Health, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.

The present study represents a multi-regional investigation of polyhalogenated carbazoles (PHCZs) contamination in estuarine and freshwater systems from the United States and China. Although recent studies have suggested that PHCZs are persistent and bioaccumulative, available data are not sufficient to understand their large-scale spatial and temporal distributions in the environment. The present study investigated spatial distributions of PHCZs in surface sediment from multiple freshwater and estuarine systems located in China and the United States (U.S.) during the period of 2012-2017, as well as temporal distributions from vertical trends in selected sediment cores. The results demonstrated large variations of PHCZ contamination across regions, with median concentrations of ΣPHCZs in surface sediment ranging from 3.1 to 134 ng/g. Profiles of PHCZ congener composition also exhibited regional variations and estuarine-freshwater differences. These differences likely reflect the relative contributions of different natural and industrial sources among the locations. Vertical profiles of concentrations and compositions in one Chinese estuarine sediment core and two freshwater sediment cores from the U.S. all demonstrated clear anthropogenic influences to varying degrees. Toxic equivalents (TEQ) of PHCZs were estimated based on their dioxin-like activities, which ranged from <0.001 to 4.94 pg TEQ/g in all sites. The results suggest that PHCZs could add additional ecological risks to the benthos and other aquatic organisms. Our findings constitute an essential contribution to the knowledge body of PHCZ contamination in global aquatic systems and congener-specific contamination characterizations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147908DOI Listing
September 2021

Efficacy and feasibility of deep brain stimulation for patients with depression: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 May;100(20):e26044

Institute of Psychology.

Background: Previous meta-analyses have examined the clinical efficacy and acceptability of deep brain stimulation (DBS) compared with sham therapy or paired active therapy. However, the absence of head-to-head clinical trials with some treatment comparisons creates uncertainty for decision makers. Thus, to provide new evidence-based medical evidence for clinical treatment, we undertook a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and safety of DBS in patients with depression based on high-quality randomized controlled studies.

Methods: The protocol was written following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) statement guidelines. PubMed/Medline and EMBASE will be searched before May 2021 for all studies, using various combinations of the following free text and key terms: deep brain stimulation; depression; random. No language restrictions will be applied. The method of data extraction will follow the approach outlined by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Review Manager software 5.3 is used for the meta-analysis. The quality of randomized trials will be assessed by Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomized controlled trials.

Results: The results of our review will be reported strictly following the PRISMA criteria and the review will add to the existing literature by showing compelling evidence and improved guidance in clinic settings.

Osf Registration Number: 10.17605/OSF.IO/Q5B3S.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000026044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137027PMC
May 2021

Bisphenol A exposure induces apoptosis and impairs early embryonic development in Xenopus laevis.

Environ Pollut 2021 Jul 10;280:116901. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, Henan, 453003, China. Electronic address:

Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is largely produced and used in the plastics industry, causes environmental pollution and is absorbed by humans through consumption of food and liquids in polycarbonate containers. BPA exerts developmental and genetic toxicities to embryos and offsprings, but the embryotoxicity mechanism of this chemical is unclear. This study aimed to explore the toxic effect of BPA on embryonic development and elucidate its toxicity mechanism. Embryos of Xenopus laevis as a model were treated with different concentrations (0.1, 1, 10, and 20 μM) of BPA at the two-cell stage to investigate the developmental toxicity of BPA. Embryonic development and behaviors were monitored 24 h-96 h of BPA exposure. BPA concentrations greater than 1 μM exerted significant teratogenic effects on the Xenopus embryos, which showed short tail axis, miscoiled guts, and bent notochord as the main malformations. The 20 μM BPA-treated embryos were seriously damaged in all aspects and exhibited deformity, impaired behavioral ability, and tissue damage. The DNA integrity and apoptosis of the Xenopus embryos were also investigated. Exposure to BPA concentrations higher than 0.1 μM significantly induced DNA damage (p < 0.05). The 10 and 20 μM BPA-treated embryos exhibited higher levels of cleaved caspase-3 protein than the control. The ratios of bax/bcl-2 mRNA were significantly higher in the 10 μM and 20 μM-treated embryos than the ratio in the control group. Overall, data indicated that BPA can delay the early development, induce DNA damage and apoptosis, and eventually cause multiple malformations in Xenopus embryos.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116901DOI Listing
July 2021

Exploring the global metagenome for plastic-degrading enzymes.

Methods Enzymol 2021 20;648:137-157. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Plastics are extensively used in our daily life, but they are also a major pollutant of our biosphere accumulating in both the ocean and the land. In the recent years, few enzymes and microorganisms have been discovered with the ability to degrade even fewer synthetic polymers. Nevertheless, more active species and enzymes need to be discovered and described in order to gain more knowledge about protein adaptation to the degradation of not-naturally-occurring polymers. Within this chapter, we focus on efficient methods to identify novel polyethylene terephthalate-degrading enzymes (PETases) from culturable and non-culturable microorganisms by a combination of sequence- and function-based screening. This protocol can be adapted to discover other plastic hydrolases and in general for other enzymes, for which not many characterized specimens are yet available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.mie.2020.12.022DOI Listing
June 2021

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy confers metabolic improvements by reducing intestinal bile acids and lipid absorption in mice.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 02;118(6)

Department of Diabetes Complications and Metabolism, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010;

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is one of the most effective and durable therapies for morbid obesity and its related complications. Although bile acids (BAs) have been implicated as downstream mediators of VSG, the specific mechanisms through which BA changes contribute to the metabolic effects of VSG remain poorly understood. Here, we confirm that high fat diet-fed global farnesoid X receptor () knockout mice are resistant to the beneficial metabolic effects of VSG. However, the beneficial effects of VSG were retained in high fat diet-fed intestine- or liver-specific knockouts, and VSG did not result in Fxr activation in the liver or intestine of control mice. Instead, VSG decreased expression of positive hepatic Fxr target genes, including the bile salt export pump () that delivers BAs to the biliary pathway. This reduced small intestine BA levels in mice, leading to lower intestinal fat absorption. These findings were verified in sterol 27-hydroxylase () knockout mice, which exhibited low intestinal BAs and fat absorption and did not show metabolic improvements following VSG. In addition, restoring small intestinal BA levels by dietary supplementation with taurocholic acid (TCA) partially blocked the beneficial effects of VSG. Altogether, these findings suggest that reductions in intestinal BAs and lipid absorption contribute to the metabolic benefits of VSG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2019388118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017941PMC
February 2021

Joint effect of alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking on all-cause mortality and premature death in China: A cohort study.

PLoS One 2021 28;16(1):e0245670. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Pharmacy, Xi'an No.3 Hospital, the Affiliated Hospital of Northwest University, Xi'an, China.

Background: Tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking are associated with several diseases, and studies on the joint effects of smoking and drinking are rare.

Objective: This study investigates the joint effects of tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking on all-cause and premature mortality in a contemporary cohort.

Methods: The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) is an ongoing nationally representative survey of subjects aged over 45 years in China that was performed every two years for a total of three waves from 2011 to 2015 in China. We used weighted logistic regression models to estimate the joint effects of tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking on all-cause and premature mortality.

Results: After adjusting for prespecified confounders, the odds ratios (ORs) of all-cause mortality were 1.51 (95% CI: 1.09-2.10) and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.03-2.08) in smokers and smokers/drinkers, respectively. Compared with nonsmokers/nondrinkers, the OR of smokers/drinkers for premature death was 3.14 (95% CI: 1.56-6.34). In the female subgroup, there was an approximately 5-fold (OR = 4.95; 95% CI: 2.00-12.27) odds of premature mortality for smokers/drinkers compared to nonsmokers/nondrinkers.

Conclusion: This study found a joint effect of tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking on all-cause and premature mortality among a contemporary and nationally representative cohort in China. Our results suggested that the joint effects were more pronounced in women, but further research is needed.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245670PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7842879PMC
June 2021

Green Fabrication of Chitin/Chitosan Composite Hydrogels and Their Potential Applications.

Macromol Biosci 2021 03 18;21(3):e2000389. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Key Laboratory of Coal Conversion and New Carbon Materials of Hubei ProvinceSchool of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430081, China.

Chitin is the second most abundant natural polysaccharide with biocompatibility and bioactivity. Aqueous KOH/urea solution is reported for rapid dissolution of chitin, therefore providing a greener and more efficient avenue to fabricate chitin-based functional materials. Chitosan is the most important derivative of chitin with the acetylation degree lower than 60%. Herein, novel chitin/chitosan composite hydrogels are fabricated from the green and highly efficient KOH/urea aqueous system for the first time. Both chitin and chitosan are dissolved in aqueous KOH/urea solutions, then cross-linked by epichlorohydrin to form bulk chitin/chitosan composite hydrogels (CCGEL). The structural, thermal, mechanical, and swelling properties of CCGEL are thoroughly studied. The cell studies show that NIH-3T3 cells self-assemble to form regular 3D multicellular spheroids on the CCGEL samples with high viability. L929 cells proliferate and intend to form cell aggregates, and the size of the cell aggregates becomes greater with the increase of chitosan loading. Additionally, the CCGEL samples exhibit antibacterial activities. Thus, this pioneering work has provided crucial information for novel chitin/chitosan composite materials constructed via the direct dissolution of chitin and chitosan in aqueous KOH/urea solutions, and presented their potential applications in the cell culture and antibacterial fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.202000389DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of edpetiline from Fritillaria on inflammation and oxidative stress induced by LPS stimulation in RAW264.7 macrophages.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2021 Feb;53(2):229-237

National R & D Center for Edible Fungus Processing Technology, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China.

The dry bulbs of Fritillaria cirrhosa species can help resolve phlegm, soothe cough, clear heat, and moisten the lung, and the main active components responsible for these effect are its alkaloids. However, it is unclear whether or how edpetiline in Fritillaria can inhibit the excessive inflammatory response and oxidative stress. In this research, we aimed to examine this aspect using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages as an inflammatory model. The quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis results showed that edpetiline significantly inhibited the content and mRNA expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells, significantly increased the mRNA expression of IL-4 (anti-inflammatory cytokine), and markedly downregulated the inflammatory mediators inductible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA and protein expression levels. The oxidative stress induced by LPS was also inhibited by edpetiline, as the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species decreased notably. Edpetiline may exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects through inhibiting the phosphorylation of IκB and the nuclear transcription of nuclear transcription factor-κB p65 and decreasing the phosphorylation of p38 and ERK in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway, without activating the JNK/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. These findings suggest that edpetiline may be a potential therapeutic agent for the prevention or treatment of inflammation- and oxidative stress-related pathophysiological processes and diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmaa160DOI Listing
February 2021

Asymmetric Synthesis of -Fissistigmatin C.

Org Lett 2021 01 18;23(1):93-96. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Natural Products & Chemical Biology, College of Chemistry & Pharmacy, Northwest A&F University, 22 Xinong Road, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China.

The asymmetric synthesis of -fissistigmatin C is successively accomplished in 12 steps (longest linear sequence (LLS)). Relying on the enantioselective coupling of aliphatic aldehyde with 2-hydroxychalcone promoted by cooperative organocatalysts, the pivotal linkage of -fissistigmatin C between the flavonoid and the sesquiterpenoid fragment was stereoselectively established. An unprecedented final-stage radical cascade was also featured in this synthesis, which enabled the simultaneous establishment of the -decalin framework via forging two consecutive C-C bonds in one step.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.0c03766DOI Listing
January 2021

How to Solve the Social Norm Conflict Dilemma of Green Consumption: The Moderating Effect of Self-Affirmation.

Front Psychol 2020 24;11:566571. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

School of Business, Jilin University, Changchun, China.

Social norms are important social factors that affect individual behavioral change. Using social norms to promote green consumption is receiving increasing attention. However, due to the different formation processes and mechanisms of the behavioral influence of the different types of social norms, using social norms to promote green consumption often has social norm conflict situations (injunctive norms + negative descriptive norms). Thus, it is difficult to attain the maximum utility of social norms. The present research found that social norm conflict weakens the role of injunctive norms in promoting green consumption. Specifically, negative descriptive norms weaken the role of injunctive norms in promoting green consumption. Alienation, which manifests through powerlessness and meaninglessness, plays a mediating role in the relationship between social norm conflict and green consumption. Self-affirmation moderates the mediating role of alienation between social norm conflicts and green consumption. Self-affirmation reduces the alienation caused by social norm conflict, thereby alleviating the weakening effect of social norm conflict on green consumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.566571DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732647PMC
November 2020

Antimicrobial activity and biosynthetic potential of cultivable actinomycetes associated with Lichen symbiosis from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Microbiol Res 2021 Mar 1;244:126652. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Natural Products & Chemical Biology, College of Chemistry & Pharmacy, Northwest A&F University, 3 Taicheng Road, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, China.

Actinobacteria that inhabit lichen symbionts are considered a promising yet previously underexplored source of novel compounds. Here, for the first time, we conducted a comprehensive investigation with regard to strain isolation and identification of lichen-associated actinobacteria from Tibet Plateau, antimicrobial activity screening, biosynthetic genes detection, bioactive metabolites identification and activity prediction. A large number of culturable actinomycetes were isolated from lichens around Qinghai Lake, in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Twenty-seven strains with distinct morphological characteristics were preliminarily studied. 16S rRNA gene identification showed that 13 strains were new species. The PCR-screening of specific biosynthetic genes indicated that these 27 isolates had abundant intrinsic biosynthetic potential. The antimicrobial activity experiment screened out some potential biological control antagonistic bacteria. The metabolites of 13 strains of Streptomyces with antibacterial activity were analyzed by LC-HRMS, and further 18 compounds were identified by NMR and / or LC-HRMS. The identified compounds were mainly pyrrolidine and indole derivatives, as well as anthracyclines. Seven compounds were identified with less biological activity, then predicted and evaluated their biological activity. The predicted results showed that compound 2 had excellent inhibitory activity on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Overall, the results indicate actinobacteria isolated from unexploited plateau lichen are promising sources of biological active metabolite, which could provide important bioactive compounds as potential antibiotic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micres.2020.126652DOI Listing
March 2021

Asymmetric synthesis of 9-alkyl tetrahydroxanthenones tandem asymmetric Michael/cyclization promoted by chiral phosphoric acid.

Org Biomol Chem 2021 01;19(2):348-354

Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Natural Products & Chemical Biology, College of Chemistry & Pharmacy, Northwest A&F University, 22 Xinong Road, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China. and Key Laboratory of Botanical Pesticide R&D in Shaanxi Province, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China.

A tandem asymmetric Michael-addition/cyclization of cyclic 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds to β,γ-unsaturated α-ketoesters catalyzed by chiral phosphoric acid is presented. This protocol provides a facile approach for the construction of enantioenriched 9-alkyl tetrahydroxanthenones, an ubiquitous framework found in a number of natural products and pharmaceutical molecules, in high yields with good to high enantioselectivities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ob02140gDOI Listing
January 2021

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of Chaetoglobosin V in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells: Achieved via the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways.

Food Chem Toxicol 2021 Jan 5;147:111915. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

National R & D Center for Edible Fungus Processing Technology, Henan University, Kaifeng, 475004, China; Joint International Research Laboratory of Food & Medicine Resource Function, Kaifeng, Henan Province, 475004, China. Electronic address:

There are few reports on the biological activities of chaetoglobosin V (Cha V) (a cytochalasin alkaloid). In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of Cha V in the RAW264.7 cells stimulated lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS stimulation-induced oxidative stress (i.e. increase production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased expression of antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD)) was suppressed after a Cha V treatment. Cha V could significantly inhibit the upregulated expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) gene and protein induced by LPS whilst attenuating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β. Such antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects were achieved through the TLR4-mediated MyD88-dependent signaling pathways (via suppressing the phosphorylation of p38, ERK, JNK MAPK and translocation of the NF-κB p65 subunit into nucleus), and the TRIF-dependent signaling pathways (via reducing IFN-β release without inhibiting interferon-regulated factor 3 (IRF3) and IRF7). At 25-100 μM (a concentration range with no cytotoxicity), Cha V dose-dependently influenced SOD enzyme activity and phosphorylation of p38, ERK1/2 and JNK, and at 100 μM, likely exerted the greatest inhibition towards LPS-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory response via the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111915DOI Listing
January 2021

Impact of the zero-mark-up drug policy on drug-related expenditures and use in public hospitals, 2016-2018: an interrupted time series study in Shaanxi.

BMJ Open 2020 11 26;10(11):e037034. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China

Objective: The aim of this study was to measure the impact of zero-mark-up drug policy (ZMDP) on drug-related expenditures and use in urban hospitals.

Design: This was a retrospective observational study of trends in drug expenses and use in the context of the ZMDP using an interrupted time series analysis.

Setting: Twelve hospitals (three tertiary hospitals and nine secondary hospitals) in Xi'an, which is the capital of Shaanxi Province in Western China.

Data And Participants: The prescription information for all outpatients and inpatients in the study hospitals from January 2016 to April 2018 was used in this study.

Interventions: The Chinese government announced the policy intervention measure of the ZMDP, which was implemented in all public hospitals as of 1 April 2017.

Primary Measures: Monthly drug expenditures, monthly medical expenditures, the percentage of drug expenditures among total medical expenditures, the average outpatient drug expenditure per visit, the percentage of prescriptions that include an injection and the percentage of prescriptions that include an antibiotic.

Results: Monthly total medical expenses increased in both tertiary and secondary hospitals after the ZMDP was implemented. In tertiary hospitals, the average outpatient drug expenditures per visit showed a slow decreasing trend before the intervention and an increasing trend after the intervention, with statistically significant changes in both the level (p<0.001) and the trend (p=0.02). Secondary hospitals showed a slow increasing trend both before and after the policy implementation, with no significant change in the trend (p=0.205). The proportion of prescriptions, including injections, was over 20% in secondary hospitals and less than 20% in tertiary hospitals, with no significant changes to this indicator observed after implementation of ZMDP.

Conclusions: The effect of the ZMDP on drug-related expenditures and use in Chinese public hospitals was not substantially evident. Future pharmaceutical reform measures should give more consideration to physician prescription behaviours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692976PMC
November 2020

The Mechanism of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Treatment of Obesity.

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2020 25;13:3371-3381. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Endocrinology, Seventh People's Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of TCM, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

Obesity is the lipid deposition caused by the imbalance between energy intake and consumption caused by a variety of factors. Obesity can lead to multiple systemic complications. At present, the treatment of obesity is mainly lifestyle intervention, drug weight loss, and weight loss surgery, but the curative effect is limited or the side effects are serious. Traditional Chinese medicine plays a unique role in the treatment of obesity. Existing studies have found that traditional Chinese medicine can treat obesity in a variety of ways, such as regulating intestinal microflora, enhancing hormone level, regulating fat metabolism, and so on. In this review, we will introduce and summarize the mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S274534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524185PMC
September 2020

Genome-wide survey, characterization, and expression analysis of bZIP transcription factors in Chenopodium quinoa.

BMC Plant Biol 2020 Sep 1;20(1):405. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Maize Research Institute, Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Xinzhou, 034000, People's Republic of China.

Background: Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (quinoa) is a pseudocereal crop of the Amaranthaceae family and represents a promising species with the nutritional content and high tolerance to stressful environments, such as soils affected by high salinity. The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor represents exclusively in eukaryotes and can be related to many biological processes. So far, the genomes of quinoa and 3 other Amaranthaceae crops (Spinacia oleracea, Beta vulgaris, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus) have been fully sequenced. However, information about the bZIPs in these Amaranthaceae species is limited, and genome-wide analysis of the bZIP family is lacking in quinoa.

Results: We identified 94 bZIPs in quinoa (named as CqbZIP1-CqbZIP94). All the CqbZIPs were phylogenetically splitted into 12 distinct subfamilies. The proportion of CqbZIPs was different in each subfamily, and members within the same subgroup shared conserved exon-intron structures and protein motifs. Besides, 32 duplicated CqbZIP gene pairs were investigated, and the duplicated CqbZIPs had mainly undergone purifying selection pressure, which suggested that the functions of the duplicated CqbZIPs might not diverge much. Moreover, we identified the bZIP members in 3 other Amaranthaceae species, and 41, 32, and 16 orthologous gene pairs were identified between quinoa and S. oleracea, B. vulgaris, and A. hypochondriacus, respectively. Among them, most were a single copy being present in S. oleracea, B. vulgaris, and A. hypochondriacus, and two copies being present in allotetraploid quinoa. The function divergence within the bZIP orthologous genes might be limited. Additionally, 11 selected CqbZIPs had specific spatial expression patterns, and 6 of 11 CqbZIPs were up-regulated in response to salt stress. Among the selected CqbZIPs, 3 of 4 duplicated gene pairs shared similar expression patterns, suggesting that these duplicated genes might retain some essential functions during subsequent evolution.

Conclusions: The present study provided the first systematic analysis for the phylogenetic classification, motif and gene structure, expansion pattern, and expression profile of the bZIP family in quinoa. Our results would lay an important foundation for functional and evolutionary analysis of CqbZIPs, and provide promising candidate genes for further investigation in tissue specificity and their functional involvement in quinoa's resistance to salt stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02620-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7466520PMC
September 2020

Hydrogen Sulfide Ameliorates Lung Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Through SIRT1 Signaling Pathway in Type 2 Diabetic Rats.

Front Physiol 2020 30;11:596. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Anesthesiology (Hei Long Jiang Province Key Lab of Research on Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine), The Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

Lung ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury remains a significant factor for the early mortality of lung transplantations. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an independent risk factor for 5-year mortality following lung transplantation. Our previous study showed that DM aggravated lung IR injury and that oxidative stress played a key role in this process. Previously, we demonstrated that hydrogen sulfide (HS) protected against diabetic lung IR injury by suppressing oxidative damage. This study aimed to examine the mechanism by which HS affects diabetic lung IR injury. High-fat-diet-fed streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats were exposed to GYY4137, a slow-releasing HS donor with or without administration of EX527 (a SIRT1 inhibitor), and then subjected to a surgical model of IR injury of the lung. Lung function, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, and inflammation were assessed. We found that impairment of lung SIRT1 signaling under type 2 diabetic conditions was further exacerbated by IR injury. GYY4137 treatment markedly activated SIRT1 signaling and ameliorated lung IR injury in type 2 DM animals by improving lung functional recovery, diminishing oxidative damage, reducing inflammation, and suppressing cell apoptosis. However, these effects were largely compromised by EX527. Additionally, treatment with GYY4137 significantly activated the Nrf2/HO-1 antioxidant signaling pathway and increased eNOS phosphorylation. However, these effects were largely abolished by EX527. Together, our results indicate that GYY4137 treatment effectively attenuated lung IR injury under type 2 diabetic conditions via activation of lung SIRT1 signaling. SIRT1 activation upregulated Nrf2/HO-1 and activated the eNOS-mediated antioxidant signaling pathway, thus reducing cell apoptosis and inflammation and eventually preserving lung function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00596DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338566PMC
June 2020

Double attention recurrent convolution neural network for answer selection.

R Soc Open Sci 2020 May 20;7(5):191517. Epub 2020 May 20.

School of Mechatronic Engineering and Automation, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, People's Republic of China.

Answer selection is one of the key steps in many question answering (QA) applications. In this paper, a new deep model with two kinds of attention is proposed for answer selection: the double attention recurrent convolution neural network (DARCNN). Double attention means self-attention and cross-attention. The design inspiration of this model came from the transformer in the domain of machine translation. Self-attention can directly calculate dependencies between words regardless of the distance. However, self-attention ignores the distinction between its surrounding words and other words. Thus, we design a decay self-attention that prioritizes local words in a sentence. In addition, cross-attention is established to achieve interaction between question and candidate answer. With the outputs of self-attention and decay self-attention, we can get two kinds of interactive information via cross-attention. Finally, using the feature vectors of the question and answer, elementwise multiplication is used to combine with them and multilayer perceptron is used to predict the matching score. Experimental results on four QA datasets containing Chinese and English show that DARCNN performs better than other answer selection models, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of self-attention, decay self-attention and cross-attention in answer selection tasks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277251PMC
May 2020

Raptor determines β-cell identity and plasticity independent of hyperglycemia in mice.

Nat Commun 2020 05 21;11(1):2538. Epub 2020 May 21.

Shanghai National Clinical Research Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Key Laboratory for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases of the National Health Commission of the PR China, Shanghai Institute of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 200025, Shanghai, China.

Compromised β-cell identity is emerging as an important contributor to β-cell failure in diabetes; however, the precise mechanism independent of hyperglycemia is under investigation. We have previously reported that mTORC1/Raptor regulates functional maturation in β-cells. In the present study, we find that diabetic β-cell specific Raptor-deficient mice (βRapKO) show reduced β-cell mass, loss of β-cell identity and acquisition of α-cell features; which are not reversible upon glucose normalization. Deletion of Raptor directly impairs β-cell identity, mitochondrial metabolic coupling and protein synthetic activity, leading to β-cell failure. Moreover, loss of Raptor activates α-cell transcription factor MafB (via modulating C/EBPβ isoform ratio) and several α-cell enriched genes i.e. Etv1 and Tspan12, thus initiates β- to α-cell reprograming. The present findings highlight mTORC1 as a metabolic rheostat for stabilizing β-cell identity and repressing α-cell program at normoglycemic level, which might present therapeutic opportunities for treatment of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15935-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7242325PMC
May 2020

Impact of a chiral supramolecular nanostructure on the mechanical and electrical performances of triphenylene-based discotic physical gels.

Soft Matter 2020 Jun;16(22):5203-5209

CAS Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Chemistry, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, iChEM, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, P. R. China.

Discotic π-conjugated supramolecular assemblies, especially with chiral supramolecular nanostructures, have been attracting growing research interest due to their significant optoelectronic properties and the possibilities of their applications in the new generation of organic semiconductors. However, the impact of supramolecular chirality on their mechanical and electrical performances remains poorly understood. Herein, a series of optically active supramolecular gels were formed from achiral triphenylene derivatives by introducing limonene as the chiral source. Owing to the well-ordered supramolecular packing, the homochiral supramolecular gels exhibited greater mechanical strength and higher conductivity, compared to heterochiral architectures. The impact of supramolecular packing in homochiral or heterochiral assemblies on their resulting mechanical and electrical performances was investigated in detail, which might be of great fundamental value for the rational design of chiral π-conjugated supramolecular nanostructures for applications in chiral optoelectronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0sm00152jDOI Listing
June 2020

Improved viability of Akkermansia muciniphila by encapsulation in spray dried succinate-grafted alginate doped with epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Sep 15;159:373-382. Epub 2020 May 15.

Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Natural Products & Chemical Biology, College of Chemistry & Pharmacy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China.. Electronic address:

We explored the possibility of improving the viability of Akkermansia muciniphila by encapsulating it in succinate-grafted alginate doped with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). In this study, the determined surface properties of microcapsules and modified materials and the measured viability of probiotics after spray drying showed that the modified sodium alginate made the surfaces of microcapsules smoother and denser during the spray drying, thus preventing damages. EGCG enhanced the antioxidant capacity of probiotics by filling the pores inside microgels. Moreover, we analyzed the long-term storage vitality changes, oxidation resistance, uniformity, particle size and Zeta potential of microcapsules and found that spray-dried modified sodium alginate microcapsules with EGCG showed the better storability and stability. In addition, we experimentally analyzed the resistances of different microcapsules to the gastrointestinal fluid and found that EGCG-modified sodium alginate microcapsules better protected the probiotic activity from gastrointestinal fluid. This study provides a slimming product with industrial application potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.05.055DOI Listing
September 2020

Knockdown of Nav1.5 inhibits cell proliferation, migration and invasion via Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2020 May;52(5):527-535

College and Hospital of Stomatology, Anhui Medical University, Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases Research of Anhui Province, Hefei 230032, China.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a common type of malignant oral cancer that has a high recurrence rate. Voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.5 was reported to be highly up-regulated in various types of cancers. However, the regulatory mechanism of Nav1.5 in cancers including OSCC still remains elusive. In this study, Nav1.5 was found to be highly expressed in OSCC tissues and cells. Through the analysis of clinical characteristics of patients, we found that the expression level of Nav1.5 was closely related to neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, tumor-node-metastasis stage, and lymph node metastasis. Moreover, we found that Nav1.5 mainly located on the cell membrane as well as cytoplasm and knockdown of Nav1.5 promoted cell apoptosis and decreased proliferation in OSCC. Transwell assay results showed that knockdown of Nav1.5 effectively suppressed the migration and invasion in OSCC. In addition, knockdown of Nav1.5 was found to inhibit the protein and mRNA expression levels of β-catenin, cyclin D1, and c-Myc in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In summary, these results indicated that Nav1.5 may be involved in the progression of OSCC through the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmaa021DOI Listing
May 2020

A survey of knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning antibiotic prescription for upper respiratory tract infections among pediatricians in 2018 in Shaanxi Province, China.

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 2020 09 12;18(9):927-936. Epub 2020 May 12.

Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an, China.

: The objective of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning antibiotic prescriptions to children with URTIs among pediatricians and to identify barriers to appropriate antibiotic prescription among pediatricians. : An online-based survey was conducted among pediatricians in Shaanxi province, western China, with a population of 38.35 million and an area of 205,600 square kilometers. : A total of 472 pediatricians completed this survey, with the response rate of 26.0%. The theoretical knowledge about antibiotics was excellent, with a median score of 8(0-8). However, 30.1% of the respondents still believed that antibiotics are anti-inflammatory drugs. The pediatricians' age, education level, and monthly income and whether had ever received training had significant associations with their knowledge level. The attitude scores were 41.1 ± 3.6, with a ranged of 29-52 points (total score of 55), indicating that most respondents had positive attitudes toward antibiotics. However, 22.7% of the respondents still preferred to use antibiotics for URTIs. It was found that uncertain diagnosis, parent requirements and insufficient time were barriers to appropriate antibiotic prescription. The indiscriminate prescription of antibiotics to children with URTIs was prevalent among pediatricians. : Effective integrated interventions should be developed to promote the prudent use of antibiotics among pediatricians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14787210.2020.1761789DOI Listing
September 2020

L1CAM Beneficially Inhibits Histone Deacetylase 2 Expression under Conditions of Alzheimer's Disease.

Curr Alzheimer Res 2020 ;17(4):382-392

Center for Neuroscience, Shantou University Medical College, 22 Xin Ling Road, Shantou, Guangdong 515041, China.

Background: Cognitive capacities in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) are impaired by an epigenetic blockade mediated by histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), which prevents the transcription of genes that are important for synaptic plasticity.

Objective: Investigation of the functional relationship between cell adhesion molecule L1 and HDAC2 in AD.

Methods: Cultures of dissociated cortical and hippocampal neurons from wild-type or L1-deficient mice were treated with Aβ1-42 for 24 h. After removal of Aβ1-42 cells were treated with the recombinant L1 extracellular domain (rL1) for 24 h followed by immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and reverse transcription PCR to evaluate the interaction between L1 and HDAC2.

Results: Aβ and HDAC2 protein levels were increased in APPSWE/L1+/- mutant brains compared to APPSWE mutant brains. Administration of the recombinant extracellular domain of L1 to cultured cortical and hippocampal neurons reduced HDAC2 mRNA and protein levels. In parallel, reduced phosphorylation levels of glucocorticoid receptor 1 (GR1), which is implicated in regulating HDAC2 levels, was observed in response to L1 administration. Application of a glucocorticoid receptor inhibitor reduced Aβ-induced GR1 phosphorylation and prevented the increase in HDAC2 levels. HDAC2 protein levels were increased in cultured cortical neurons from L1-deficient mice. This change could be reversed by the administration of the recombinant extracellular domain of L1.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that some functionally interdependent activities of L1 and HDAC2 contribute to ameliorating the phenotype of AD by GR1 dephosphorylation, which leads to reduced HDAC2 expression. The combined findings encourage further investigations on the beneficial effects of L1 in the treatment of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1567205017666200422155323DOI Listing
January 2020

CpG-methylation-based risk score predicts progression in colorectal cancer.

Epigenomics 2020 04 17;12(7):605-615. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics & Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment & Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, PR China.

To identify patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) who are at a truly higher risk of progression, which is key for individualized approaches to precision therapy. We developed a predictor associated with progression-free interval (PFI) using The Cancer Genome Atlas CRC methylation data. The risk score was associated with PFI in the whole cohort (p < 0.001). A nomogram consisting of the risk score and other significant clinical features was generated to predict the 3- and 5-year PFI in the whole set (area under the curve: 0.79 and 0.71, respectively). The risk score based on 23 DNA-methylation sites may serve as the basis for improved prediction of progression in patients with CRC in future clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/epi-2019-0300DOI Listing
April 2020

Response of partial nitrification sludge to the single and combined stress of CuO nanoparticles and sulfamethoxazole antibiotic on microbial activity, community and resistance genes.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Apr 26;712:135759. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Henan Collaborative Innovation Center of Environmental Pollution Control and Ecological Restoration, Henan Engineering Research Center of Chemical Engineering Separation Process Intensification, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry, Zhengzhou 450001, China.

Considering the inevitable release of antibiotics and nanoparticles (NPs) into the nitrogen containing wastewater, the combined impact of CuO NPs and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) antibiotic on partial nitrification (PN) process was investigated in four identical reactors. Results showed that the bioactivity of the aerobic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) decreased by half after they were exposed to the combination of CuO NPs and SMX for short-term; however, there was no obvious variation in the bioactivity of AOB when they were exposed to either CuO NPs or SMX. During long-term exposure, the ammonia removal efficiency (ARE) of CuO NPs improved whereas that of SMX decreased, while the combination of CuO NPs and SMX significantly decreased ARE from 62.9% (in control) to 38.2% and had an unsatisfactory self-recovery performance. The combination of CuO NPs and SMX significantly changed the composition of microbial community, decreased the abundance of AOB, and significantly suppressed PN process. Reegarding the resistance genes, the CuO NPs-SMX combination did not improve the expression of copA, cusA, sul1 and sul2; however, it significantly induced the expression of sul3 and sulA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135759DOI Listing
April 2020

Emerging Role of Non-Coding RNAs in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Dec 30;21(1). Epub 2019 Dec 30.

State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a highly prevalent tumor and is associated with ethnicity, genetics, and dietary intake. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), specifically microRNAs (miRNAs), long ncRNAs (lncRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been reported as functional regulatory molecules involved in the development of many human cancers, including ESCC. Recently, several ncRNAs have been detected as oncogenes or tumor suppressors in ESCC progression. These ncRNAs influence the expression of specific genes or their associated signaling pathways. Moreover, interactions of ncRNAs are evident in ESCC, as miRNAs regulate the expression of lncRNAs, and further, lncRNAs and circRNAs function as miRNA sponges to compete with the endogenous RNAs. Here, we discuss and summarize the findings of recent investigations into the role of ncRNAs (miRNAs, lncRNAs, and circRNAs) in the development and progression of ESCC and how their interactions regulate ESCC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982002PMC
December 2019

MiR-122-5p suppresses the proliferation, migration, and invasion of gastric cancer cells by targeting LYN.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2020 Jan;52(1):49-57

Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China.

Gastric cancer (GC) is one of malignant tumors with high mortality and morbidity in the world. MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) acts as a tumor suppressor in a variety of cancers and has been found to be dominant in gastric adenocarcinoma. However, the specific biological function of miR-122-5p in GC is not completely clear. In this study, we found that miR-122-5p was low-expressed in GC tissues and cell lines by using qRT-PCR. Overexpression of miR-122-5p inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasion of GC cells by using CCK-8 and transwell assays. On the contrary, downregulation of miR-122-5p promoted the proliferation, migration, and invasion of GC cells. In addition, we found that the expression of LYN, an Src family tyrosine kinase, was inversely correlated with miR-122-5p expression in GC tissues by using western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, and qRT-PCR assays. Meanwhile, luciferase assay results indicated that LYN is a direct target of miR-122-5p in GC cells. Moreover, silencing LYN expression by its siRNA inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasion of GC cells. Importantly, overexpression of LYN restored miR-122-5p-mediated inhibition of the proliferation, migration, and invasion of GC cells. Taken together, our results indicated miR-122-5p inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasion by targeting LYN in GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmz141DOI Listing
January 2020

miR-149* Suppresses Liver Cancer Progression by Down-Regulating Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor 1-Associated Death Domain Protein Expression.

Am J Pathol 2020 02 26;190(2):469-483. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, PR China. Electronic address:

Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Herein, we show that miR-149* serves as a novel tumor suppressor for liver tumorigenesis. Mice with genetic deletion of miR-149* (miR-149* mice), which caused loss of both miR-149 and miR-149*, were considerably more susceptible to acute liver injury and hepatic carcinogenesis induced by diethylnitrosamine than wild-type mice, accompanied by increased compensatory proliferation and up-regulated gene expression of certain inflammatory cytokines. miR-149* mimics dramatically impaired liver cancer cell proliferation and migration in vitro and blocked liver cancer progression in a xenograft model. Furthermore, miR-149* strongly suppressed NF-κB signaling and repressed tumor necrosis factor receptor type 1-associated death domain protein expression in the NF-κB signaling pathway. These results reveal that miR-149*, as a novel liver tumor suppressor, may serve as a potential therapeutic target for liver cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.10.010DOI Listing
February 2020

Suppression of miR-143-3p contributes to the anti-fibrosis effect of atorvastatin on myocardial tissues via the modulation of Smad2 activity.

Exp Mol Pathol 2020 02 21;112:104346. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Department of Cardiology, Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory for Genetic Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130033, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Atorvastatin is a commonly prescribed statin drug for the control of lipid synthesis and recent studies have shown the cardiac protection potential of atorvastatin. Cardiac fibrosis is a critical process that impairs heart function. In the current study, the anti-fibrosis potential of atorvastatin was assessed and the mechanism associated with the treatment was explored. Fibrotic symptoms were induced using transverse aortic constriction (TAC) method in vivo and using TGF-β1 in vitro. The effect of atorvastatin on the development of cardiac fibrosis was firstly measured. Moreover, the influence of miR-143-3p induction on the anti-fibrosis function of atorvastatin was determined. TAC administration induced cardiac fibrosis and heart weight increase, which was associated with the induced expressions of TGF-β1, miR-143-3p, p-Smad2, and collagens. Atorvastatin restored the levels of TGF-β1, miR-143-3p, p-Smad2, and collagens. The administration of TGF-β1 induced the expressions of miR-143-3p, p-Smad2, and collagens in cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) and the effect was inhibited by atorvastatin. However, the function of atorvastatin was blocked by miR-143-3p mimics. The current study demonstrated that the suppression of miR-143-3p contributed to the anti-fibrosis effect of atorvastatin on myocardial tissues, which subsequently inhibited Smad2-mediated production of collagens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexmp.2019.104346DOI Listing
February 2020