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author:("Zhou, guangxi")
1.  Efficacy of aliskiren, compared with angiotensin II blockade, in slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice: should the combination therapy be a focus? 
Although the intensive use of angiotensin II blockade (ACEI or ARB), progression of diabetic nephropathy is common. A feedback increase in renin production often accompanies angiotensin II blockade. We therefore examined whether aliskiren, a direct renin inhibitor, confers better renoprotection than angiotensin II blockade and whether the addition of aliskiren to an ACEI or ARB would enhance the efficacy in slowing the progression of glomerulosclerosis in diabetes. Untreated db/db mice developed progressive mesangial matrix expansion and albuminuria between weeks 18 and 22, associated with reduction of WT-1 immunopositive podocytes and nephrin and podocin production and induction of desmin and B7-1 generation and renal expression of TGFß1, PAI-1, fibronectin and type IV collagen. Treatment with aliskiren at 30 mg/kg/d inhibited the increases in albuminuria and markers of renal fibrosis and the changes that are indicative of podocyte injury seen in the db/db mice. Notably, the therapeutic effect of aliskiren was similar to that of either enalapril or valsartan given alone at maximally effective doses. Combined therapy caused the loss of 10% ~ 16.6% of db/db mice, yielded no further reduction in renal fibrosis and podocyte injury but further reduced albuminuria and renal production of TNFα, Nox2 and p47phox and urine MCP-1 and malondialdehyde levels, the markers of renal inflammation and oxidative stress. These results suggest that aliskiren, enalapril and valsartan are equally effective in slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The use of combination therapy with aliskiren and ACEI/ARB may not be strongly supported.
PMCID: PMC4494135  PMID: 26175845
Direct renin inhibitor (DRI); angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI); angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB); albuminuria; podocyte; renal fibrosis
2.  Adiponectin retards the progression of diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice by counteracting angiotensin II 
Physiological Reports  2014;2(2):e00230.
Adiponectin is a multifunctional adipokine with insulin‐sensitizing, anti‐inflammatory, and vasoprotective properties. Epidemiology studies have, however, shown that high levels of serum adiponectin are associated with kidney disease progression. We, therefore, examined the effect of adiponectin administration on the progression of glomerulosclerosis in the obese diabetic (db/db) mouse, a model of type II diabetes. Recombinant human adiponectin was administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 30 or 150 μg per day from weeks 18 to 20. Rosiglitazone administered by gavage at 20 mg/kg body weight (BW) daily served as a therapeutic control. Untreated uninephrectomized db/db mice developed progressive albuminuria and glomerular matrix expansion, associated with increased expression of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1), plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI‐1), collagen I (Col I), and fibronectin (FN). Treatment with adiponectin at either dose reduced the increases in albuminuria and markers of renal fibrosis seen in db/db mice, without affecting BW and blood glucose. Renal expressions of tumor necrosis factor‐α (TNF‐α) and monocyte‐chemoattractant protein‐1 (MCP‐1) and urinary TNF‐α levels, the markers of renal inflammation, were increased in diabetic mice, whereas adiponectin treatment significantly reduced the levels of these markers. Furthermore, adiponectin obliterated the stimulatory effects of angiotensin II (Ang II), but not the total effect of TGFβ1, on the mRNA expression of PAI‐1, Col I, and FN by cultured glomerular mesangial cells. These observations suggest that adiponectin treatment reduces glomerulosclerosis resulting from type II diabetes probably through its anti‐inflammatory and angiotensin–antagonistic effects. Thus, adiponectin has therapeutic implications in the prevention of progression of diabetic nephropathy.
Adiponectin treatment reduces diabetic glomerulosclerosis probably through its anti‐inflammatory and renin–angiotensin‐system suppression properties. Importantly, unlike the proliferator‐activated receptor gamma‐(PPAR‐γ) ligands, the administration of adiponectin does not result in volume overload.
PMCID: PMC3966238  PMID: 24744899
Adiponectin; diabetes; renal fibrosis; renin–angiotensin system
3.  Sequencing of Fifty Human Exomes Reveals Adaptation to High Altitude 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2010;329(5987):75-78.
Residents of the Tibetan Plateau show heritable adaptations to extreme altitude. We sequenced 50 exomes of ethnic Tibetans, encompassing coding sequences of 92% of human genes, with an average coverage of 18X per individual. Genes showing population-specific allele frequency changes, which represent strong candidates for altitude adaptation, were identified. The strongest signal of natural selection came from EPAS1, a transcription factor involved in response to hypoxia. One SNP at EPAS1 shows a 78% frequency difference between Tibetan and Han samples, representing the fastest allele frequency change observed at any human gene to date. This SNP’s association with erythrocyte abundance supports the role of EPAS1 in adaptation to hypoxia. Thus, a population genomic survey has revealed a functionally important locus in genetic adaptation to high altitude.
PMCID: PMC3711608  PMID: 20595611
4.  Identifying Neural Patterns of Functional Dyspepsia Using Multivariate Pattern Analysis: A Resting-State fMRI Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68205.
Previous imaging studies on functional dyspepsia (FD) have focused on abnormal brain functions during special tasks, while few studies concentrated on the resting-state abnormalities of FD patients, which might be potentially valuable to provide us with direct information about the neural basis of FD. The main purpose of the current study was thereby to characterize the distinct patterns of resting-state function between FD patients and healthy controls (HCs).
Methodology/Principal Findings
Thirty FD patients and thirty HCs were enrolled and experienced 5-mintue resting-state scanning. Based on the support vector machine (SVM), we applied multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to investigate the differences of resting-state function mapped by regional homogeneity (ReHo). A classifier was designed by using the principal component analysis and the linear SVM. Permutation test was then employed to identify the significant contribution to the final discrimination. The results displayed that the mean classifier accuracy was 86.67%, and highly discriminative brain regions mainly included the prefrontal cortex (PFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), supplementary motor area (SMA), temporal pole (TP), insula, anterior/middle cingulate cortex (ACC/MCC), thalamus, hippocampus (HIPP)/parahippocamus (ParaHIPP) and cerebellum. Correlation analysis revealed significant correlations between ReHo values in certain regions of interest (ROI) and the FD symptom severity and/or duration, including the positive correlations between the dmPFC, pACC and the symptom severity; whereas, the positive correlations between the MCC, OFC, insula, TP and FD duration.
These findings indicated that significantly distinct patterns existed between FD patients and HCs during the resting-state, which could expand our understanding of the neural basis of FD. Meanwhile, our results possibly showed potential feasibility of functional magnetic resonance imaging diagnostic assay for FD.
PMCID: PMC3709912  PMID: 23874543
5.  Regional Brain Structural Abnormality in Meal-Related Functional Dyspepsia Patients: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68383.
Background and Aims
Brain dysfunction in functional dyspepsia (FD) has been identified by multiple neuroimaging studies. This study aims to investigate the regional gray matter density (GMD) changes in meal-related FD patients and their correlations with clinical variables, and to explore the possible influence of the emotional state on FD patients’s brain structures.
Fifty meal-related FD patients and forty healthy subjects (HS) were included and underwent a structural magnetic resonance imaging scan. Voxel-based morphometry analysis was employed to identify the cerebral structure alterations in meal-related FD patients. Regional GMD changes' correlations with the symptoms and their durations, respectively, have been analyzed.
Compared to the HS, the meal-related FD patients showed a decreased GMD in the bilateral precentral gyrus, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and midcingulate cortex (MCC), left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and right insula (p<0.05, FWE Corrected, Cluster size>50). After controlling for anxiety and depression, the meal-related FD patients showed a decreased GMD in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus, left MCC, right precentral gyrus and insula (p<0.05, FWE Corrected, Cluster size>50). Before controlling psychological factors, the GMD decreases in the ACC were negatively associated with the symptom scores of the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI) (r = −0.354, p = 0.048, Bonferroni correction) and the duration of FD (r = −0.398, p = 0.02, Bonferroni correction) respectively.
The regional GMD of meal-related FD patients, especially in the regions of the homeostatic afferent processing network significantly differed from that of the HS, and the psychological factors might be one of the essential factors significantly affecting the regional brain structure of meal-related FD patients.
PMCID: PMC3699561  PMID: 23844192
6.  Low incidence of DNA sequence variation in human induced pluripotent stem cells generated by non-integrating plasmid expression 
Cell Stem Cell  2012;10(3):337-344.
The utility of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as models to study diseases and as sources for cell therapy depends on the integrity of their genomes. Despite recent publications of DNA sequence variations in the iPSCs, the true scope of such changes for the entire genome is not clear. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing of three human iPSC lines derived from two cell types of an adult donor by episomal vectors. The vector sequence was undetectable in the deeply sequenced iPSC lines. We identified 1058–1808 heterozygous single nucleotide variants (SNVs), but no copy number variants, in each iPSC line. Six to twelve of these SNVs were within coding regions in each iPSC line, but ~50% of them are synonymous changes and the remaining are not selectively enriched for known genes associated with cancers. Our data thus suggest that episome-mediated reprogramming is not inherently mutagenic during integration-free iPSC induction.
PMCID: PMC3298448  PMID: 22385660
Human iPS cells; Reprogramming; Episomal vectors; Integration-free; Genetic mutations; Whole Genome Sequencing
7.  The DNA Methylome of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells 
PLoS Biology  2010;8(11):e1000533.
Analysis across the genome of patterns of DNA methylation reveals a rich landscape of allele-specific epigenetic modification and consequent effects on allele-specific gene expression.
DNA methylation plays an important role in biological processes in human health and disease. Recent technological advances allow unbiased whole-genome DNA methylation (methylome) analysis to be carried out on human cells. Using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing at 24.7-fold coverage (12.3-fold per strand), we report a comprehensive (92.62%) methylome and analysis of the unique sequences in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from the same Asian individual whose genome was deciphered in the YH project. PBMC constitute an important source for clinical blood tests world-wide. We found that 68.4% of CpG sites and <0.2% of non-CpG sites were methylated, demonstrating that non-CpG cytosine methylation is minor in human PBMC. Analysis of the PBMC methylome revealed a rich epigenomic landscape for 20 distinct genomic features, including regulatory, protein-coding, non-coding, RNA-coding, and repeat sequences. Integration of our methylome data with the YH genome sequence enabled a first comprehensive assessment of allele-specific methylation (ASM) between the two haploid methylomes of any individual and allowed the identification of 599 haploid differentially methylated regions (hDMRs) covering 287 genes. Of these, 76 genes had hDMRs within 2 kb of their transcriptional start sites of which >80% displayed allele-specific expression (ASE). These data demonstrate that ASM is a recurrent phenomenon and is highly correlated with ASE in human PBMCs. Together with recently reported similar studies, our study provides a comprehensive resource for future epigenomic research and confirms new sequencing technology as a paradigm for large-scale epigenomics studies.
Author Summary
Epigenetic modifications such as addition of methyl groups to cytosine in DNA play a role in regulating gene expression. To better understand these processes, knowledge of the methylation status of all cytosine bases in the genome (the methylome) is required. DNA methylation can differ between the two gene copies (alleles) in each cell. Such allele-specific methylation (ASM) can be due to parental origin of the alleles (imprinting), X chromosome inactivation in females, and other as yet unknown mechanisms. This may significantly alter the expression profile arising from different allele combinations in different individuals. Using advanced sequencing technology, we have determined the methylome of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Importantly, the PBMC were obtained from the same male Han Chinese individual whose complete genome had previously been determined. This allowed us, for the first time, to study genome-wide differences in ASM. Our analysis shows that ASM in PBMC is higher than can be accounted for by regions known to undergo parent-of-origin imprinting and frequently (>80%) correlates with allele-specific expression (ASE) of the corresponding gene. In addition, our data reveal a rich landscape of epigenomic variation for 20 genomic features, including regulatory, coding, and non-coding sequences, and provide a valuable resource for future studies. Our work further establishes whole-genome sequencing as an efficient method for methylome analysis.
PMCID: PMC2976721  PMID: 21085693

Results 1-7 (7)