Publications by authors named "Hui-Ling Zhang"

40 Publications

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition).

Autophagy 2021 Jan 8;17(1):1-382. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

University of Crete, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Foundation for Research and Technology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996087PMC
January 2021

The Key Regulator of Necroptosis, RIP1 Kinase, Contributes to the Formation of Astrogliosis and Glial Scar in Ischemic Stroke.

Transl Stroke Res 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, 199 Ren-Ai Road, Suzhou, 215123, Jiangsu, China.

Necroptosis initiation relies on the receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIP1K). We recently reported that genetic and pharmacological inhibition of RIP1K produces protection against ischemic stroke-induced astrocytic injury. However, the role of RIP1K in ischemic stroke-induced formation of astrogliosis and glial scar remains unknown. Here, in a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) rat model and an oxygen and glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGD/Re)-induced astrocytic injury model, we show that RIP1K was significantly elevated in the reactive astrocytes. Knockdown of RIP1K or delayed administration of RIP1K inhibitor Nec-1 down-regulated the glial scar markers, improved ischemic stroke-induced necrotic morphology and neurologic deficits, and reduced the volume of brain atrophy. Moreover, knockdown of RIP1K attenuated astrocytic cell death and proliferation and promoted neuronal axonal generation in a neuron and astrocyte co-culture system. Both vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGF-D) and its receptor VEGFR-3 were elevated in the reactive astrocytes; simultaneously, VEGF-D was increased in the medium of astrocytes exposed to OGD/Re. Knockdown of RIP1K down-regulated VEGF-D gene and protein levels in the reactive astrocytes. Treatment with 400 ng/ml recombinant VEGF-D induced the formation of glial scar; conversely, the inhibitor of VEGFR-3 suppressed OGD/Re-induced glial scar formation. RIP3K and MLKL may be involved in glial scar formation. Taken together, these results suggest that RIP1K participates in the formation of astrogliosis and glial scar via impairment of normal astrocyte responses and enhancing the astrocytic VEGF-D/VEGFR-3 signaling pathways. Inhibition of RIP1K promotes the brain functional recovery partially via suppressing the formation of astrogliosis and glial scar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12975-021-00888-3DOI Listing
February 2021

Necrostatin-1 Analog DIMO Exerts Cardioprotective Effect against Ischemia Reperfusion Injury by Suppressing Necroptosis via Autophagic Pathway in Rats.

Pharmacology 2021 23;106(3-4):189-201. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

Aim: It has been reported that necrostatin-1 (Nec-1) is a specific necroptosis inhibitor that could attenuate programmed cell death induced by myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. This study aimed to observe the effect and mechanism of novel Nec-1 analog (Z)-5-(3,5-dimethoxybenzyl)-2-imine-1-methylimidazolin-4-1 (DIMO) on myocardial I/R injury.

Methods: Male SD rats underwent I/R injury with or without different doses of DIMO (1, 2, or 4 mg/kg) treatment. Isolated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) treatment with or without DIMO (0.1, 1, 10, or 100 μM). Myocardial infarction was measured by TTC staining. Cardiomyocyte injury was assessed by lactate dehydrogenase assay (LDH) and flow cytometry. Receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIP1K) and autophagic markers were detected by co-immunoprecipitation and Western blotting analysis. Molecular docking of DIMO into the ATP binding site of RIP1K was performed using GLIDE.

Results: DIMO at doses of 1 or 2 mg/kg improved myocardial infarct size. However, the DIMO 4 mg/kg dose was ineffective. DIMO at the dose of 0.1 μM decreased LDH leakage and the ratio of PI-positive cells followed by OGD/R treatment. I/R or OGD/R increased RIP1K expression and in its interaction with RIP3K, as well as impaired myocardial autophagic flux evidenced by an increase in LC3-II/I ratio, upregulated P62 and Beclin-1, and activated cathepsin B and L. In contrast, DIMO treatment reduced myocardial cell death and reversed the above mentioned changes in RIP1K and autophagic flux caused by I/R and OGD/R. DIMO binds to RIP1K and inhibits RIP1K expression in a homology modeling and ligand docking.

Conclusion: DIMO exerts cardioprotection against I/R- or OGD/R-induced injury, and its mechanisms may be associated with the reduction in RIP1K activation and restoration impaired autophagic flux.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000510864DOI Listing
June 2021

Inhibition of GSK3β and RIP1K Attenuates Glial Scar Formation Induced by Ischemic Stroke Reduction of Inflammatory Cytokine Production.

Front Pharmacol 2020 12;11:812. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

In the chronic phase following ischemic stroke, glial scars can prevent axonal regeneration and the intensification of inflammation. The protective effect of inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) or receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIP1K) on ischemic stroke has been previously reported. The current study examined the effects of RIP1K and GSK3β on ischemic stroke-induced glial scar formation. To investigate this, we used an model of ischemic stroke based on middle cerebral artery occlusion for 90 min followed by reperfusion for 7 d, and an model in primary cultured astrocytes involving oxygen and glucose deprivation for 6 h followed by reoxygenation for 24 h. Both and , we found that SB216763, a GSK3β inhibitor, and necrostatin-1 (Nec-1), a RIP1K inhibitor, decreased levels of glial scar markers, including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), neurocan, and phosphacan. SB216763 and Nec-1 also decreased levels of inflammatory related cytokines, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). However, only Nec-1 increased the level of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Concurrent neutralization of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 with their antibodies provided better reduction in oxygen and glucose deprivation-induced increases in scar markers than obtained with separate use of each antibody. Further investigations showed that SB216763 reduced the levels of necroptosis-related proteins, including RIP1K, p-RIP1K, RIP3K, p-RIP3K, mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL), and p-MLKL, while Nec-1 decreased the expression of p-GSK3β. Compared with Nec-1 (10 μM) and SB216763 (1 μM) alone, Nec-1 and SB216763 in combination reduced levels of GFAP, neurocan, and inflammatory-related cytokines. In conclusion, inhibition of GSK3β or RIP1K reduced glial scar formation induced by ischemic stroke. The underlying mechanisms might be at least, partially related to reducing levels of inflammatory-related cytokines and to blocking an interaction between GSK3β- and RIP1K-mediated pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00812DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303311PMC
June 2020

Coordination of Autophagy and Other Cellular Activities.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2019 ;1206:697-727

Department of Pharmacology, Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, Soochow University, 199 Ren-Ai Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu, 215123, China.

Conventionally, autophagy (=self-eating) is thought to be a catabolic cellular process that is responsible for regulating cell homeostasis. However, the newly evidence have expanded the range of the impact of autophagy in biology. Autophagy interplays with endocytosis through shared factors such as phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase complex (PI(3)K complex), autophagy associated gene (Atg), and lysosome. Autophagy and phagocytosis orchestrate in maintaining homeostasis, in MHC class II antigen processing, in the removal of pathogens, in cell death, immunity, and inflammation. There are numerous cross talks of autophagy with biosynthetic processes such as conventional and unconventional secretion of biologically active cargo and trafficking of integral membrane proteins, as well as the exosome secretion. There are also links between autophagy and trafficking events from plasma membrane, including lateral plasma membrane proteins connexins, cell connections, and ciliogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-0602-4_30DOI Listing
December 2019

Acupuncture for poststroke spasticity: A protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2019 Sep;98(39):e17124

School of Health Preservation and Rehabilitation, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Introduction: Spasticity is the most common complication after stroke, which is the main obstacle in the recovery of motor function. Spasticity seriously affects the quality of life and brings a heavy burden to families and society. Acupuncture is an effective method for stroke. However, whether acupuncture is effective for poststroke spasticity is still unknown. The purpose of this systematic review (SR) is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for poststroke spasticity.

Methods And Analysis: We will search the following databases from inception to July 2019: China Biology Medicine (CBM), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wan Fang Data, the Chinese Science and Technology Periodical Database (VIP), PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. All relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) utilizing acupuncture for poststroke spasticity will be included. The primary outcome is the modified Ashworth scale. Secondary outcomes include composite spasticity scale, clinic spasticity index, electromyographic activity, Hoffmann reflex activity, or other spasticity-related outcomes. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment will be performed independently by 2 reviewers. Assessment of risk of bias and data synthesis will be conducted using Review Manager V5.3 software.

Ethics And Dissemination: The ethical approval is not required since SR is based on published studies. The results of this SR will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal according to the Preferred Reporting Item for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42019129779.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000017124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6775425PMC
September 2019

CID1067700, a late endosome GTPase Rab7 receptor antagonist, attenuates brain atrophy, improves neurologic deficits and inhibits reactive astrogliosis in rat ischemic stroke.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2019 Jun 12;40(6):724-736. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China.

Increasing evidence suggests that Ras-related in brain 7 (Rab7), an endosome-localized small GTPase contributes to cerebral ischemic brain injury. In the present study, we investigated the role of Rab7 in ischemic stroke-induced formation of astrogliosis and glial scar. Rats were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO); the rats were injected with the Rab7 receptor antagonist CID1067700 (CID). Primary astrocytes were subjected to an oxygen and glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGD/Re) procedure; CID was added to the cell culture media. We found that Rab7 was significantly elevated over time in both the in vivo and in vitro astrocytic injury models, and administration of CID significantly down-regulated the glial scar markers such as glial fibillary acidic protein (GFAP), neurocan and phosphacan. Moreover, administration of CID significantly attenuated the brain atrophy and improved neurologic deficits in tMCAO rats, and protected astrocytes against OGD/Re-induced injury. Further, CID downregulated the protein levels of Lamp1 and active cathepsin B in astrocytes after OGD/Re or tMCAO injury; CID inhibited the co-localization of cathepsin B and Rab7, Lamp1 and Rab7; CID decreased OGD/Re-induced increase in lysosomal membrane permeability and blocked OGD/Re-induced release of cathepsin B from the lysosome into the cytoplasm in astrocytes. Taken together, these results suggest that Rab7 is involved in ischemic stroke-induced formation of astrogliosis and glial scar. CID administration attenuates brain atrophy and improves neurologic deficits and inhibits astrogliosis and glial scar formation after ischemic stroke via reducing the activation and release of cathepsin B from the lysosome into the cytoplasm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-018-0166-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6786391PMC
June 2019

Neuroprotective Effects of DTIO, A Novel Analog of Nec-1, in Acute and Chronic Stages After Ischemic Stroke.

Neuroscience 2018 10 2;390:12-29. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China.

Receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIP1K) plays a key role in necroptosis. Necrostatin-1 (Nec-1), a specific inhibitor of RIP1K, provides neuroprotection against ischemic brain injury, associating with inhibition of inflammation. Recently, our group synthesized a novel analog of Nec-1, 5-(3',5'-dimethoxybenzal)-2-thio-imidazole-4-ketone (DTIO). The present study investigated the effect of DTIO on ischemic stroke-induced brain injury in both acute and chronic phase and its underlying mechanism. In vivo, DTIO treatment reduced infarct volume and improved neurological deficits in the acute phase after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) and it also attenuated brain atrophy and promoted brain functional recovery in the chronic phase post-cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). In vitro, DTIO treatment decreased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage and necrotic cell death in the oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) or oxygen and glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGD/R)-induced neuronal or astrocytic cell injury. Simultaneously, DTIO suppressed the production and release of inflammatory cytokines, and reduced the formation of glial scar. Homology modeling analysis illustrated that DTIO had an ability of binding to RIP1K. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation analysis showed that DTIO inhibited the phosphorylation of RIP1K and decreased the interaction between the RIP1K and RIP3K. In addition, knockdown of RIP1K had neuroprotective effects and inhibited the release of proinflammatory cytokines, but didn't have a significant effect on DTIO-mediated neuroprotection. In conclusion, DTIO has protective effects on acute ischemic stroke and promotes functional recovery during chronic phase, associating with protecting ischemic neurons and astrocytes, inhibiting inflammation, and lessening the glial scar formation via inhibiting of the RIP1K.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.07.044DOI Listing
October 2018

Sevoflurane postconditioning protects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury by restoring autophagic flux via an NO-dependent mechanism.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2019 Jan 12;40(1):35-45. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular and Cardiovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China.

Volatile anesthetics improve postischemic cardiac function and reduce infarction even when administered for only a brief time at the onset of reperfusion. A recent study showed that sevoflurane postconditioning (SPC) attenuated myocardial reperfusion injury, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of sevoflurane on nitric oxide (NO) release and autophagic flux during the myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in rats in vivo and ex vivo. Male rats were subjected to 30 min ischemia and 2 h reperfusion in the presence or absence of sevoflurane (1.0 minimum alveolar concentration) during the first 15 min of reperfusion. We found that SPC significantly improved hemodynamic performance after reperfusion, alleviated postischemic myocardial infarction, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide content loss, and cytochrome c release in heart tissues. Furthermore, SPC significantly increased the phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and elevated myocardial NOS activity and NO production. All these effects were abolished by treatment with an NOS inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10 mg/kg, i.v.). We also observed myocardial I/R-induced accumulation of autophagosomes in heart tissues, as evidenced by increased ratios of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 II/I, up-regulation of Beclin 1 and P62, and reduced lysosome-associated membrane protein-2 expression. SPC significantly attenuated I/R-impaired autophagic flux, which were blocked by L-NAME. Moreover, pretreatment with the autophagic flux blocker chloroquine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) increased autophagosome accumulation in SPC-treated heart following I/R and blocked SPC-induced cardioprotection. The same results were also observed in a rat model of myocardial I/R injury ex vivo, suggesting that SPC protects rat hearts against myocardial reperfusion injury by restoring I/R-impaired autophagic flux via an NO-dependent mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41401-018-0066-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6318323PMC
January 2019

[Responses of sap flow to natural rainfall and continuous drought of tree species growing on bedrock outcrops].

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2018 Apr;29(4):1117-1124

Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China.

This study focused on bedrock outcrops, a very common habitat in karst region of southwest China. To reveal the responses of plant transpiration to natural rainfall and continuous drought, two tree species typical to this habitat, Radermachera sinica and Triadica rotundifolia, were selected as test materials. A rainout shelter was used to simulate continuous drought. The sap flow dynamics were monitored using the method of Granier's thermal dissipation probe (TDP). Our results showed that sap flow density increased to different degrees after rain in different stages of the growing season. Sap flow density of the deciduous species T. rotundifolia was always higher than that of the semi-deciduous species R. sinica. After two months without rainfall input, both species exhibited no obvious decrease in sap flow density, indicating that rainfall was not the dominant source for their water uptake, at least in the short-term. Based on the regression relationships between sap flow density and meteorological factors before and after rainfall, as well as at different stages of continuous drought, we found that the dynamics of meteorological factors contributed little to plant transpiration. The basic transpiration characteristics of both species were not changed in the circumstance of natural rainfall and short-term continuous drought, which would be closely related to the special water storage environments of bedrock outcrops and the reliance on deep water sources by tree species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.201804.021DOI Listing
April 2018

RIP1K Contributes to Neuronal and Astrocytic Cell Death in Ischemic Stroke via Activating Autophagic-lysosomal Pathway.

Neuroscience 2018 02 8;371:60-74. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China. Electronic address:

Although the receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIP1K)-regulated necroptosis can be evoked by cerebral ischemia, the effects of RIP1K in mediating neuronal and astrocytic cell death and the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. This study evaluates the contribution of RIP1K to ischemic stroke-induced neuronal and astrocytic cell death, and the activation of autophagic-lysosomal pathway. Using an in vitro oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in primary cultured neurons or astrocytes and a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) model in rats or mice, we observed the role of RIP1K in the ischemic neuronal and astrocytic cell death and the underlying mechanisms by pharmacological or genetic inhibition of RIP1K. pMCAO or OGD condition led to an increase in RIP1K, RIP3K and RIP1K-RIP3K complex. RIP1K knockdown or necrostatin-1 (Nec-1, a specific inhibitor of RIP1K) treatment reduced infarct volume, improved neurological deficits, increased microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels, and attenuated neuronal or astrocytic necrotic cell death in the ischemic cortex. RIP1K knockdown decreased RIP1K-RIP3K complex formation, light chain 3 II (LC3II) and active cathepsin B levels and lysosomal membrane permeability (LMP). Furthermore, a combination of Nec-1 and an inhibitor of autophagy or cathepsin B produced an enhancement of protective effect on neuronal or astrocytic cell death. RIP1K-mediated necroptosis may play important roles in ischemia-induced neuronal and astrocytic cell death through the activation of autophagic-lysosomal pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.10.038DOI Listing
February 2018

Sevoflurane postconditioning attenuates reactive astrogliosis and glial scar formation after ischemia-reperfusion brain injury.

Neuroscience 2017 07 10;356:125-141. Epub 2017 May 10.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Translational Research and Therapy for Neuro-Psycho-Diseases, and Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China; and Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China. Electronic address:

Cerebral ischemia leads to astrocyte's activation and glial scar formation. Glial scar can inhibit axonal regeneration during the recovery phase. It has demonstrated that sevoflurane has neuroprotective effects against ischemic stroke, but its effects on ischemia-induced formation of astrogliosis and glial scar are unknown. This study was designed to investigate the effect of sevoflurane postconditioning on astrogliosis and glial scar formation in ischemic stroke model both in vivo and in vitro. The results showed that 2.5% of sevoflurane postconditioning could significantly reduce infarction volume and improve neurologic deficits. And it could also decrease the expression of the glial scar marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), neurocan and phosphacan in the peri-infarct region and markedly reduce the thickness of glial scar after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Consistent with the in vivo data, in the oxygen and glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/Re) model, sevoflurane postconditioning could protect astrocyte against OGD/Re-induced injury, decrease the expression of GFAP, neurocan and phosphacan. Further studies demonstrated that sevoflurane postconditioning could down-regulate the expression of Lamp1 and active cathepsin B, and block I/R or OGD/Re-induced release of cathepsin B from the lysosomes into cytoplasm. In order to confirm whether inhibition of cathepsin B could attenuate the formation of glial scar, we used cathepsin B inhibitor CA-074Me as a positive control. The results showed that inhibition of cathepsin B could decrease the expression of GFAP, neurocan and phosphacan. Taken together, sevoflurane postconditioning can attenuate astrogliosis and glial scar formation after ischemic stroke, associating with inhibition of the activation and release of lysosomal cathepsin B.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.05.004DOI Listing
July 2017

Inhibition of autophagy blocks cathepsins-tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway via stabilization of lysosomal membrane in ischemic astrocytes.

Cell Death Dis 2017 02 16;8(2):e2618. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Translational Research and Therapy for Neuro-Psycho-Diseases, College of Pharmaceutical Science; Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Preventive and Translational Medicine for Geriatric Diseases, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

Our previous study and others have demonstrated that autophagy is activated in ischemic astrocytes and contributes to astrocytic cell death. However, the mechanisms of ischemia-induced autophagy remain largely unknown. In this study, we established a rat's model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) and an in vitro oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) model. Autophagy was inhibited by either pharmacological treatment with 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and wortmannin (Wort) or genetic treatment with knockdown of Atg5 in primary cultured astrocytes and knockout of Atg5 in mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells, respectively. We found that pharmacological or genetic inhibition of autophagy reversed pMCAO or OGD-induced increase in LC3-II, active cathepsin B and L, tBid, active caspase-3 and cytoplastic cytochrome c (Cyt-c), and suppressed the injury-induced reduction in mitochondrial Cyt-c in ischemic cortex, in injured astrocytes and MEF cells. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that 3-MA or Wort treatment reversed OGD-induced release of cathepsin B and L from the lysosome to the cytoplasm and activation of caspase-3 in the astrocytes. Furthermore, treatment of 3-MA or Wort decreased OGD-induced increase in lysosomal membrane permeability and enhanced OGD-induced upregulation of lysosomal heat shock protein 70.1B (Hsp70.1B) in astrocytes. Inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA or Wort reduced infarction volume in rats and protected OGD-induced astrocytic cell injury. A non-selective caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk or a specific caspase-3 inhibitor Q-DEVD-OPh also rescued OGD-induced astrocytic cell injury. In conclusion, our presenting data suggest that inhibition of autophagy blocks cathepsins-tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway via stabilization of lysosomal membranes, possibly due to upregulation of the lysosomal Hsp70.1B in ischemic astrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2017.34DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5386481PMC
February 2017

SAMHD1 Polymorphisms were Significantly Correlated with HIV/SIV Virus Load in PBMC from Chinese Rhesus Macaques and Cynomolgus Macaques.

Curr HIV Res 2017 ;15(1):15-22

School of Bioscience and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangdong Province, China

Background: Sterile alpha motif and histidine aspartate domain containing deoxynucleoside triphosphate triphosphohydrolase 1 (SAMHD1) is one of the novel restriction factors that potently supresses HIV-1 infection in myeloid cells at an early stage in the viral replication cycle. SAMHD1 activity is blocked by the action of viral accessory protein x (Vpx), which targets and recruits SAMHD1 for proteasomal degradation, in the SIVsm/HIV-2 lineage.

Methods: The impact of SAMHD1 polymorphisms on viral replication in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques (CR) and cynomolgus macaques of Vietnamese origin (CM) have not been reported until now. Therefore, we aimed to explore the polymorphisms, as well as the impact of polymorphisms, on HIV- 2 and SIV infections among CR and CM.

Results: We found two variants, T168C and T320C, located in the SAM domain of CR SAMHD1, which were significantly correlated with the HIV-2ROD/SIVmac239 virus load, suggesting that T168C and T320C probably affected HIV-2ROD and anti-SIVmac239 replication in CR, respectively. Conversely, T320C possibly affected CM SAMHD1-mediated HIV-2ROD restriction. However, none of the variants were correlated with CM SAMHD1-mediated SIVmac239 restriction.

Conclusion: Based on these results, we concluded that SAMHD1 polymorphisms did not affect SIVmac239 replication in CM, but perhaps altered HIV-2ROD infection; however, different sites of the SAM domain of SAMHD1 were responsible for restricting the replication of different viruses in CR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570162X14666161018144926DOI Listing
February 2018

[Water use strategy of Eucalyptus urophylla ×E. grandis on karst hillslope based on isotope analysis.]

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2016 Sep;27(9):2729-2736

Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China.

Using stable isotope techniques, water sources and water use efficiencies of Eucalyptus urophylla ×E. grandis (exotic tree species) and Liquidambar formosana (native tree species, as a reference) were studied in a typical karst artificial forest, and the risk of drought stress of the plantation was discussed. The results showed that the isotope value of shallow soil water (0-50 cm) had obvious gradient features and was similar to the recent rain, while that of deep water was more stable and different from the shallow soil water. The soil water content in wet season (May and September) was higher than in dry season (October), and was higher in upslope than in downslope segment. The main water source of L. formosana was shallow soil water, which corresponded to high water use efficiency in different seasons. The main water sources for E. urophylla ×E. grandis on the upper slope and downslope segments were both shallow soil water in wet season, however, the sum of average water using the proportion of deep soil water increased for the downslope segment in the end of wet season. In dry season, E. urophylla ×E. grandis on the downslope segment mainly used shallow soil water, while it used deeper soil water on the upslope segment when soil water was relatively low. Meanwhile, the water use efficiency of E. urophylla ×E. grandis was lower compared with L. formosana, which revealed E. urophylla ×E. grandis did not get enough water supply under drought stress. The above results indicated that E. urophylla ×E. grandis would encounter high risk of water stress if extreme drought events happened in karst regions in the coming future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.201609.029DOI Listing
September 2016

The effects of TRIM5α polymorphism on HIV-2ROD and SIVmac239 replication in PBMCs from Chinese rhesus macaques and Vietnamese-origin cynomolgus macaques.

Virology 2016 Jan 6;487:222-9. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

School of Bioscience and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Because of the difficulty of obtaining Indian-origin rhesus macaques, Chinese-origin rhesus macaques (CR) and Vietnamese-origin cynomolgus macaques (CM) are now used frequently in HIV/AIDS research. Nonetheless, the effects of TRIM5α polymorphism on viral replication in both CR and CM are unclear. To address these questions, we recruited 70 unrelated CR and 40 unrelated CM and studied the effect of TRIM5α polymorphism on HIV-2ROD and SIVmac239 replication in PBMCs. We found that 3 polymorphisms, located in the B30.2 domain of CR TRIM5α formed a haplotype and affected HIV-2ROD replication. In addition, we found that the variant Y178H, located in the Coiled-coil domain of CM TRIM5α, affected TRIM5α-mediated HIV-2ROD restriction. Finally, two polymorphisms, located in the Coiled-coil domain, altered anti-SIVmac239 activity in CR. We concluded that, CM TRIM5α polymorphism could alter HIV-2ROD infection; however, a different domain of CR TRIM5α was responsible for restricting different virus replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2015.10.018DOI Listing
January 2016

Inhibition of cysteine cathepsin B and L activation in astrocytes contributes to neuroprotection against cerebral ischemia via blocking the tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway.

Glia 2014 Jun 24;62(6):855-80. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China.

The roles of cathepsins in the ischemic astrocytic injury remain unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that activation of cathepsin B and L contributes to the ischemic astrocyte injury via the tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathways. In the rat models of pMCAO, CA-074Me or Clik148, a selective inhibitor of cathepsin B or cathepsin L, reduced the infarct volume, improved the neurological deficits and increased the MAP2 and GFAP levels. In OGD-induced astrocyte injury, CA-074Me or Clik148 decreased the LDH leakage and increased the GFAP levels. In the ischemic cortex or OGD-induced astrocytes injury, Clik148 or CA-074Me reversed pMCAO or OGD-induced increase in active cathepsin L or cathepsin B at 3 h or 6 h, increase in tBid, reduction in mitochondrial cytochrome-c (Cyt-c) and increase in cytoplastic Cyt-c and active caspase-3 at 12-24 h of the late stage of pMCAO or OGD. CA-074Me or Clik148 also reduced cytosolic and mitochondrial tBid, increased mitochondrial Cyt-c and decreased cytoplastic Cyt-c and active caspase-3 at 6 h of the early stage of Bid activation. CA-074Me or Clik148 blocked the pMCAO-induced release of cathepsin B or L from the lysosomes into the cytoplasm and activation of caspase-3 in ischemic astrocytes at 12 h after ischemia. Concurrent inhibition of cathepsin B and cathepsin L provided better protection on the OGD-induced astrocytic apoptosis than obtained with separate use of each inhibitor. These results suggest that inhibition of the cysteine cathepsin B and cathepsin L activation in ischemic astrocytes contributes to neuroprotection via blocking the tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/glia.22645DOI Listing
June 2014

[Effect of ginsenoside Rb1 on cerebral infarction volume and IL-1 beta in the brain tissue and sera of focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury model rats].

Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 2013 Dec;33(12):1696-700

Department of Anesthesiology, First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical College, Zhejiang 325000, China.

Objective: To investigate the effect of ginsenoside Rb1 on cerebral infarction volume as well as IL-1 beta in the brain tissue and sera of focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury model rats.

Methods: The I/R rat model was established by using thread according to Zea-Longa. SD rats were randomly divided into five groups, i.e., the sham-operation group, the model group, the low dose ginsenoside Rb1 (20 mg/kg) group, the medium dose ginsenoside Rb1 group (40 mg/kg), and the high dose ginsenoside Rb1 group (80 mg/kg), 12 in each group. Rats in the sham-operation group only received middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) but without thread insertion. The MCAO model was prepared in the rest 4 groups, followed by MCAO2 h later. Ginsenoside Rb1 at each dose was peritoneally administrated to rats in corresponding groups immediately after cerebral ischemia. Equal volume of normal saline was administered to rats in the sham-operation group. Rats' cerebral infarction volume, integrals of neurologic defect degree, expression of IL-1 beta content in the brain tissue and sera were observed 24 h after 2-h cerebral I/R.

Results: In the model group, integrals of neurologic defect degree were improved (P < 0.01), IL-1 beta positive cells in the brain tissue increased and serum IL-1 beta content elevated (P < 0.05), when compared with the sham-operation group. In comparison of the model group, integrals of neurologic defect degree were lowered in the medium dose and high dose ginsenoside Rb1 groups (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). The cerebral infarction volume was all shrunken in each ginsenoside Rb1 group, IL-1 beta positive cells in the brain tissue decreased, and IL-1 beta content in serum reduced (P < 0.01, P < 0.05). Compared with the low dose ginsenoside Rb1 group, integrals of neurologic defect degree decreased, the cerebral infarction volume shrunken, and IL-1 beta content in serum reduced in the high dose ginsenoside Rb1 group (P < 0.01, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Ginsenoside Rb1 (20, 40, 80 mg/kg) might effectively release local cerebral ischemia by down-regulating the IL-1 beta expression.
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December 2013

Postischemic Long-Term Treatment with Qiangli Tianma Duzhong Capsule Improves Brain Functional Recovery via the Improvement of Hemorrheology and the Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation in a Rat Model of Focal Cerebral Ischemia.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013 29;2013:795365. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.

Qiangli Tianma Duzhong capsule (TMDZ), a Chinese herbal drug, is clinically used to improve functional outcome in patients with ischemic stroke in China. This study was conducted to establish whether postischemic long-term treatment with TMDZ could reduce the loss of injured hemisphere and confer the improvements of neurological outcome in chronic survival of rats with 2 h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)/reperfusion brain injury and its primary mechanisms. We found that TMDZ (44.5, 89, or 178 mg/kg), administered per os 6 h after the onset of ischemia and for 28 consecutive days, significantly improved the behavior deficits, beginning on day 7, and further improved later. TMDZ treatment also markedly reduced the tissue loss of the injured hemisphere and improved histopathology. In the meantime, TMDZ treatment could improve hemorrheology and inhibit platelet aggregation. These results provide the first evidence that post-ischemic long-term treatment with TMDZ confers the improvements of neurological outcome and the loss of injured hemisphere in an animal ischemic stroke model, and its mechanisms might be associated with the improvements of hemorrheology and the inhibition of platelet aggregation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/795365DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830819PMC
December 2013

Autophagy and cathepsin L are involved in the antinociceptive effect of DMBC in a mouse acetic acid-writhing model.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2013 Aug;34(8):1007-12

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.

Aim: 2-(3',5'-Dimethoxybenzylidene) cyclopentanone (DMBC) is a novel synthetic compound with antinociceptive activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of the autophagic-lysosomal pathway in the antinociceptive effect of DMBC in a mouse acetic acid-writhing model.

Methods: Mouse acetic acid-writhing test and hotplate test were used to assess the antinociceptive effects of DMBC, 3-MA (autophagy inhibitor) and Clik148 (cathepsin L inhibitor). The drugs were administered peripherally (ip) or centrally (icv).

Results: Peripheral administration of 3-MA (7.5-30 mg/kg) or Clik148 (10-80 mg/kg) produced potent antinociceptive effect in acetic acid-writhing test. Central administration of 3-MA or Clik148 (12.5-50 nmol/L) produced comparable antinociceptive effect in acetic acid-writhing test. Peripheral administration of DMBC (25-50 mg/kg) produced potent antinociceptive effects in both acetic acid-writhing and hotplate tests. Furthermore, the antinociceptive effect produced by peripheral administration of DMBC (50 mg/kg) in acetic acid-writhing test was antagonized by low doses of 3-MA (3.75 mg/kg) or Clik148 (20 mg/kg) peripherally administered, but was not affected by 3-MA or Clik148 (25 nmol/L) centrally administered.

Conclusion: Activation of central autophagy and cathepsin L is involved in nociception in mice, whereas peripheral autophagy and cathepsin L contributes, at least in part, to the antinociceptive effect of DMBC in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/aps.2013.30DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003021PMC
August 2013

Effects of Branched-chain Amino Acids on In vitro Ruminal Fermentation of Wheat Straw.

Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2013 Apr;26(4):523-8

The Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Meat and Milk-Production Herbivore Nutrition, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi 830052, China.

This study investigates the effects of three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; valine, leucine, and isoleucine) on the in vitro ruminal fermentation of wheat straw using batch cultures of mixed ruminal microorganisms. BCAA were added to the buffered ruminal fluid at a concentration of 0, 2, 4, 7, or 10 mmol/L. After 72 h of anaerobic incubation, pH, volatile fatty acids (VFA), and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) in the ruminal fluid were determined. Dry matter (DM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) degradability were calculated after determining the DM and NDF in the original material and in the residue after incubation. The addition of valine, leucine, or isoleucine increased the total VFA yields (p≤0.001). However, the total VFA yields did not increase with the increase of BCAA supplement level. Total branched-chain VFA yields linearly increased as the supplemental amount of BCAA increased (p<0.001). The molar proportions of acetate and propionate decreased, whereas that of butyrate increased with the addition of valine and isoleucine (p<0.05). Moreover, the proportions of propionate and butyrate decreased (p<0.01) with the addition of leucine. Meanwhile, the molar proportions of isobutyrate were increased and linearly decreased (p<0.001) by valine and leucine, respectively. The addition of leucine or isoleucine resulted in a linear (p<0.001) increase in the molar proportions of isovalerate. The degradability of NDF achieved the maximum when valine or isoleucine was added at 2 mmol/L. The results suggest that low concentrations of BCAA (2 mmol/L) allow more efficient regulation of ruminal fermentation in vitro, as indicated by higher VFA yield and NDF degradability. Therefore, the optimum initial dose of BCAA for in vitro ruminal fermentation is 2 mmol/L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2012.12539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4093378PMC
April 2013

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy.

Autophagy 2012 Apr;8(4):445-544

Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404883PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/auto.19496DOI Listing
April 2012

[Effect of UV-B radiation on release of nitrogen and phosphorus from leaf litter in subtropical region in China].

Huan Jing Ke Xue 2012 Feb;33(2):545-50

The Nurturing Station for the State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture & Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Carbon Cycling in Forest Ecosystems and Carbon Sequestration, Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University, Lin'an 311300, China.

The release of nitrogen and phosphorus from leaf litter of six representative species, Cunninghamia lanceolata, Pinus massoniana, Schima superba, Cinnamanun camphora, Cyclobalanopsis glauca and Castanopsis eyeri, was investigated with litterbag method under ambient and reduced UV-B radiation (22.1% below ambient) treatments in subtropical region. The results showed that, the N dynamics exhibited three patterns: immobilization, mineralization-immobilization and mineralization-immobilization-mineralization. P dynamics also exhibited three different patterns: mineralization, immobilization-mineralization-immobilization and no large change. Compared with ambient treatment, the reduced treatment significantly delayed the N release from C. eyeri and P release from both C. glanca and C. eyeri (P<0.05), but significantly stimulated P release from C. camphora (P<0.05). The initial N contents and C: N ratios can not account for the N dynamics during leaf litter decomposition. The C: P ratios can partly explain the P dynamics during decomposition. The more works need to be done to better understand the role of UV-B radiation in the forest ecosystem in humid subtropical China under global environment change.
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February 2012

Direct protection of neurons and astrocytes by matrine via inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway contributes to neuroprotection against focal cerebral ischemia.

Brain Res 2012 May 15;1454:48-64. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.

Matrine (Mat) and oxymatrine are two major alkaloids of the Chinese herb Sophora flavescens Ait. (Leguminosae). Previous study has demonstrated that Mat reduces brain edema induced by focal cerebral ischemia. More recently, oxymatrine has been reported to produce neuroprotective effects against focal cerebral ischemia via inhibiting the activation of NF-κB in the ischemic brain tissue. In the current study, we investigated whether direct protection on neurons and astrocytes via inhibition of NF-κB signaling pathway is associated with Mat's neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemia. In a model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO), Mat (12.5, 25 and 50 mg/kg) reduced the infarction volume and improved the neurological deficits in a dose-dependent manner, administered 10 min, 3h and even 6h following pMCAO. Mat 50 mg/kg also decreased the hemispheric water content. The number of GFAP-positive cells was markedly decreased in the ischemic cortex at 12h after ischemia. In contrast, Mat increased the number of GFAP-positive cells. Mat 50mg/kg has no effect on the cerebral blood flow (CBF). Primary neuron or astrocyte cultures were exposed to a paradigm of ischemic insult by using an oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), Mat (50-200 μM) reduced LDH leakage and the number of neuronal and astrocytic apoptosis, and increased the number of MAP2-positive and GFAP-positive cells. Further observations revealed that Mat increased the protein levels of IκBα, and blocked the translocation of NF-κB p65 from the cytosol to the nucleus in the ischemic cortex and injured neurons and astrocytes induced by in vitro OGD. Moreover, Mat could down-regulate NF-κB p65 downstream pro-apoptotic gene p53 and/or c-Myc in the injured neurons and astrocytes induced by OGD. The present findings suggest that Mat, even when administrated 6h after ischemia, has neuroprotective effects against focal cerebral ischemia and directly protects neurons and astrocytes via inhibition of NF-κB signaling pathway, contributing to matrine's neuroprotection against focal cerebral ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2012.03.020DOI Listing
May 2012

Black disease (Terpios hoshinota): a probable cause for the rapid coral mortality at the northern reef of Yongxing Island in the South China Sea.

Ambio 2012 Jul 24;41(5):446-55. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.

The northern reef of Yongxing Island, the largest reef island of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, was in good condition with significant cover of scleractinian corals until 2002. Surveys in 2008 and 2010, however, found that coral coverage had declined rapidly and severely, implying that catastrophic coral mortality occurred during the past 8 years. A blackish mat was observed covering live and dead corals in both 2008 and 2010 that was identified as an encrusting sponge, Terpios hoshinota, by special surface morphology and spicule structure. In addition, spicule residues were found on the surface of long-dead corals, indicating a previous invasion of T. hosinota. T. hoshinota is referred to as the "black disease" because it rapidly overgrows and kills corals. Our evidence indicates that outbreaks of black disease are at least partially responsible for the massive coral mortality at the northern reef of Yongxing Island over the past 8 years, although human activities and heat-related coral bleaching cannot be discounted as minor causes for this coral decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-011-0245-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390578PMC
July 2012

Death and survival of neuronal and astrocytic cells in ischemic brain injury: a role of autophagy.

Acta Pharmacol Sin 2011 Sep 1;32(9):1089-99. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China.

Autophagy is a highly regulated cellular mechanism that leads to degradation of long-lived proteins and dysfunctional organelles. The process has been implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions relevant to neurological diseases. Recent studies show the existence of autophagy in cerebral ischemia, but no consensus has yet been reached regarding the functions of autophagy in this condition. This article highlights the activation of autophagy during cerebral ischemia and/or reperfusion, especially in neurons and astrocytes, as well as the role of autophagy in neuronal or astrocytic cell death and survival. We propose that physiological levels of autophagy, presumably caused by mild to modest hypoxia or ischemia, appear to be protective. However, high levels of autophagy caused by severe hypoxia or ischemia and/or reperfusion may cause self-digestion and eventual neuronal and astrocytic cell death. We also discuss that oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses in cerebral hypoxia or ischemia and/or reperfusion are potent stimuli of autophagy in neurons and astrocytes. In addition, we review the evidence suggesting a considerable overlap between autophagy on one hand, and apoptosis, necrosis and necroptosis on the other hand, in determining the outcomes and final morphology of damaged neurons and astrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/aps.2011.50DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003297PMC
September 2011

[Effects of UV-B radiation on the decomposition of Cunninghamia lanceolata leaf litter].

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2011 Apr;22(4):845-50

Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Carbon Cycling in Forest Ecosystems and Carbon Sequestration, Zhejiang A & F University, Lin'an 311300, Zhejiang, China.

A litterbag experiment was conducted to study the decomposition of Cunninghamia lanceolata leaf litter under ambient and reduced UV-B radiation (22.1% below ambient). Comparing with ambient treatment, the reduced treatment decreased the decomposition rate of C. lanceolata leaf litter by 69.6% (P<0.001), making the relative contents of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and lignin in the litter increased by 150%, 83.3%, and 13.8%, respectively, and the release of potassium (K) and carbon (C) slowed down. In the process of litter decomposition, photo-degradation of lignin didn't play crucial role. The results suggested that UV-B radiation could accelerate the decomposition rate of C. lanceolata leaf litter, promote the release of N, P, K, and C from it, and increase the nutrients turnover rate in litter layer as well as the carbon flux on the ground, giving potential effects on the function of C. lanceolata forest as a carbon source or sink in humid subtropical China.
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April 2011

Autophagy was activated in injured astrocytes and mildly decreased cell survival following glucose and oxygen deprivation and focal cerebral ischemia.

Autophagy 2010 Aug 3;6(6):738-53. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Department of Pharmacology, Laboratory of Aging and Nervous Diseases, Soochow University School of Medicine, Suzhou, China.

The present study evaluated autophagy activation in astrocytes and its contribution to astrocyte injury induced by cerebral ischemia and hypoxia. Focal cerebral ischemia was induced by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) in rats. In vitro hypoxia in cultured primary astrocytes was induced by the oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Alterations of astrocytes were evaluated with astroglia markers glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The formation of autophagosomes in astrocytes was examined with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The expression of autophagy-related proteins were examined with immunoblotting. The role of autophagy in OGD or focal cerebral ischemia-induced death of astrocytes was assessed by pharmacological inhibition of autophagy with 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or bafilomycin A(1) (Baf). The results showed that GFAP staining was reduced in the infarct brain areas 3-12 h following pMCAO. Cerebral ischemia or OGD induced activation of autophagy in astrocytes as evidenced by the increased formation of autophagosomes and autolysosomes and monodansylcadaverine (MDC)-labeled vesicles; the increased production of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3-II ); the upregulation of Beclin 1, lysosome-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2) and lysosomal cathepsin B expression; and the decreased levels of cytoprotective Bcl-2 protein in primary astrocytes. 3-MA inhibited OGD-induced the increase in LC3-II and the decline in Bcl-2. Furthermore, 3-MA and Baf slightly but significantly attenuated OGD-induced death of astrocytes. 3-MA also significantly increased the number of GFAP-positive cells and the protein levels of GFAP in the ischemic cortex core 12 h following pMCAO. These results suggest that ischemia or hypoxia-induced autophagic/lysosomal pathway activation may at least partly contribute to ischemic injury of astrocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/auto.6.6.12573DOI Listing
August 2010

p53-mediated neuronal cell death in ischemic brain injury.

Neurosci Bull 2010 Jun;26(3):232-40

Department of Pharmacology, Laboratory of Aging and Nervous Diseases, Soochow University School of Medicine, Suzhou 215123, China.

p53 is a key modulator of cellular stress responses. It is activated in the ischemic areas of brain, and contributes to neuronal apoptosis. In various stroke models, p53 deficiency or applications of p53 inhibitors can significantly attenuate brain damage. p53-mediated neuronal apoptosis occurs through various molecular mechanisms. The transcriptional pathway is an important mechanism through which p53 induces neuronal apoptosis by up-regulating the expression of its target gene p21(WAF), Peg3/Pw1 or p53-up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA). In addition, p53 disrupts NF-kappaB binding to p300 and blocks NF-kappaB-mediated survival signaling. On the other hand, the transcription-independent pathway mechanism is also of great importance. In this pathway, p53 is translocated to mitochondrial and mediates the release of cytochrome c. In both pathways, p53 seems to play a key role in post-ischemic brain damage and has become a therapeutic target against stroke pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12264-010-1111-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5560294PMC
June 2010

Protective effect of Ginkgolids (A+B) is associated with inhibition of NIK/IKK/IkappaB/NF-kappaB signaling pathway in a rat model of permanent focal cerebral ischemia.

Brain Res 2008 Oct 5;1234:8-15. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Aging and Nervous Diseases, Soochow University School of Medicine, Suzhou, China.

Background And Purpose: We have previously reported that Ginkgolids which contain Ginkgolids A and B (Ginkgolids (A+B), GKAB) reduce infarct size in a rat model of focal ischemia. NF-kappaB-inducing kinase (NIK)-IkappaBalpha kinase (IKK) pathway plays an important role in activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). A previous study demonstrated that Ginkgolid B inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and platelet activating factor (PAF)-induced NF-kappaB activation in rat pleural polymorphonuclear granulocytes. However, little is known about the inhibitory mechanisms of Ginkgolids on the activation of NF-kappaB. The present study evaluated the effects of GKAB on NIK/IKK/IkappaB/NF-kappaB signaling pathway in a rat model of permanent focal cerebral ischemia.

Methods: Rats were subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) by intraluminal suture blockade. GKAB was injected intravenously (iv) immediately after ischemic onset. Western blot analysis was employed to determine alterations in IkappaBalpha, phosphorylated NIK (p-NIK) and phosphorylated IKKalpha (p-IKKalpha). Immunohistochemistry was used to confirm the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB p65. RT-PCR was used to detect induction of NF-kappaB target gene c-Myc mRNA.

Results: The results showed a brief increase in p-NIK levels after ischemia. GKAB blocked ischemia-induced increases in p-NIK and p-IKKalpha levels, and reversed the decline in IkappaBalpha levels. Ischemia-induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB p65 was attenuated by GKAB(.) GKAB also repressed the ischemia-induced increase in expression of NF-kappaB target gene c-Myc mRNA.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that GKAB-mediated neuroprotective effect against ischemia appears to be associated with blocking NF-kappaB activation by suppressing the NIK-IKK pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2008.07.102DOI Listing
October 2008
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