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author:("Cai, yanqing")
1.  Repurposed biological scaffolds: kidney to pancreas  
Organogenesis  2015;11(2):47-57.
ABSTRACT. Advances in organ regeneration have been facilitated by gentle decellularization protocols that maintain distinct tissue compartments, and thereby allow seeding of blood vessels with endothelial lineages separate from populations of the parenchyma with tissue-specific cells. We hypothesized that a reconstituted vasculature could serve as a novel platform for perfusing cells derived from a different organ: thus discordance of origin between the vascular and functional cells, leading to a hybrid repurposed organ. The need for a highly vascular bed is highlighted by tissue engineering approaches that involve transplantation of just cells, as attempted for insulin production to treat human diabetes. Those pancreatic islet cells present unique challenges since large numbers are needed to allow the cell-to-cell signaling required for viability and proper function; however, increasing their number is limited by inadequate perfusion and hypoxia. As proof of principle of the repurposed organ methodology we harnessed the vasculature of a kidney scaffold while seeding the collecting system with insulin-producing cells. Pig kidneys were decellularized by sequential detergent, enzymatic and rinsing steps. Maintenance of distinct vascular and collecting system compartments was demonstrated by both fluorescent 10 micron polystyrene microspheres and cell distributions in tissue sections. Sterilized acellular scaffolds underwent seeding separately via the artery (fibroblasts or endothelioma cells) and retrograde (murine βTC-tet cells) up the ureter. After three-day bioreactor incubation, histology confirmed separation of cells in the vasculature from those in the collecting system. βTC-tet clusters survived in tubules, glomerular Bowman's space, demonstrated insulin immunolabeling, and thereby supported the feasibility of kidney-to-pancreas repurposing.
PMCID: PMC4594556  PMID: 26252820
decellularization; diabetes; organogenesis; stem cells; tissue engineering
2.  Multi-Organ toxicity demonstration in a functional human in vitro system composed of four organs 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:20030.
We report on a functional human model to evaluate multi-organ toxicity in a 4-organ system under continuous flow conditions in a serum-free defined medium utilizing a pumpless platform for 14 days. Computer simulations of the platform established flow rates and resultant shear stress within accepted ranges. Viability of the system was demonstrated for 14 days as well as functional activity of cardiac, muscle, neuronal and liver modules. The pharmacological relevance of the integrated modules were evaluated for their response at 7 days to 5 drugs with known side effects after a 48 hour drug treatment regime. The results of all drug treatments were in general agreement with published toxicity results from human and animal data. The presented phenotypic culture model exhibits a multi-organ toxicity response, representing the next generation of in vitro systems, and constitutes a step towards an in vitro “human-on-a-chip” assay for systemic toxicity screening.
PMCID: PMC4738272  PMID: 26837601
3.  Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism is associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate in hypertensive Chinese males 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:74.
Plasma level of total homocysteine (tHcy) is negatively correlated with kidney function in general population. However, the causal mechanism of this correlation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism, which is a major genetic determinant of the plasma tHcy level, with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in Chinese.
A total of 18 814 hypertensive patients (6 914 males, 11 900 females) were included in the study.
Association between the eGFR and MTHFR C677T genotype was examined by sex-specific regression analyses. In males, TT genotype was associated with 1.37 ml/min/1.73 m2 decrease in eGFR (p = 0.004) and with an increased risk (OR = 1.32, p = 0.008) for the lowest quintile of eGFR after adjusting for age, BMI, and blood pressures. However, such association was not observed in females (p > 0.05). This association suggests MTHFR C677T polymorphism may play a role in the regulation of eGFR in males.
MTHFR 677 T is a risk allele for decreased kidney function in Chinese males, implicating this gene in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
PMCID: PMC3458982  PMID: 22897803
MTHFR C677T polymorphism; eGFR; CKD

Results 1-3 (3)