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author:("Hu, xiaoyan")
1.  Inhibiting CB1 receptors improves lipogenesis in an in vitro non-alcoholic fatty liver disease model 
Background
The endocannabinoids system (ECs) mediated mainly by CB1 and CB2 receptors plays an important role in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by regulating lipid metabolism. This study is to further investigate the expression of CB1 and CB2 in the fat accumulation liver cells and to identify possible underlying mechanism by detecting the key lipogenesis factors.
Methods
Sodium oleate and sodium palmitate were added into the HepG2 cell line for forming fat accumulation liver cell. MTT assay was used to test the cell’s cytotoxicity. The accumulation rate of fat in HepG2 cell was analyzed by the fluorescent staining. The mRNA and protein expression levels of CB1, CB2, SREBP-1c, ChREBP, L-PK, ACC1, FAS, LXRs and RXR were detected by RT-PCR and Western blot before and after the use of the antagonist.
Results
The receptors of CB1 were expressed in HepG2 cells with low levels while in HepG2 fatty liver cells with higher levels (p < 0.05). However, after the application of antagonist, the expressions were significantly decreased (p < 0.05). The expressions of SREBP-1c, ChREBP and LXRs were detectable in HepG2 cells and the expressions were increased in HepG2 fatty liver cells (p < 0.05). After using the antagonists, the expressions of SREBP-1c, ChREBP, LXRs, ACC1 and FAS were significantly decreased (p < 0.05). But L-PK and RXR changed little in two groups (p > 0.05).
Conclusion
Results of the present study demonstrated that CB1 receptors had important pathophysiological effects on the formation of fatty liver. CB1 receptors could be regulated by SREBP-1c, ChREBP and LXRs. Therefore, targeting CB1 receptors for the treatment of NAFLD might have a potential application value.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-173
PMCID: PMC4247673  PMID: 25406988
Endocannabinoids (ECs); Lipogenesis; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); Receptor cannabinoid (CB1,CB2)
2.  Aliskiren-attenuated myocardium apoptosis via regulation of autophagy and connexin-43 in aged spontaneously hypertensive rats 
There are controversies about the mechanism of myocardium apoptosis in hypertensive heart disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship among autophagy, Cx43 and apoptosis in aged spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and establish whether Aliskiren is effective or not for the treatment of myocardium apoptosis. Twenty-one SHRs aged 52 weeks were randomly divided into three groups, the first two receiving Aliskiren at a dose of 10 and 25 mg/kg/day respectively; the third, placebo for comparison with seven Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) as controls. After a 2-month treatment, systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart to bw ratios (HW/BW%) and angiotensin II (AngII) concentration were significantly enhanced in SHRs respectively. Apoptotic cardiomyocytes detected with TUNEL and immunofluorescent labelling for active caspase-3 increased nearly fourfolds in SHRs, with a decline in the expression of survivin and AKT activation, and an increase in caspase-3 activation and the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2. Myocardium autophagy, detected with immunofluorescent labelling for LC3-II, increased nearly threefolds in SHRs, with the up-regulation of Atg5, Atg16L1, Beclin-1 and LC3-II. The expression of Cx43 plaque was found to be down-regulated in SHRs. Aliskiren significantly reduced SBP, HW/BW%, AngII concentration and the expression of AT1R. Thus, Aliskiren protects myocardium against apoptosis by decreasing autophagy, up-regulating Cx43. These effects showed a dose-dependent tendency, but no significance. In conclusion, the myocardium apoptosis developed during the hypertensive end-stage of SHRs could be ameliorated by Aliskiren via the regulation of myocardium autophagy and maladaptive remodelling of Cx43.
doi:10.1111/jcmm.12273
PMCID: PMC4124010  PMID: 24702827
connexin-43; aged spontaneously hypertensive rats; apoptosis; autophagy; Aliskiren; Survivin; AKT; Caspase3
3.  Prevalence and factors associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in shanghai work-units 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:123.
Backgrounds
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common chronic liver disease in Asians. However, data on prevalence and factors associated with NAFLD in Asians are lacking. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of NAFLD in Shanghai employees to assess the relationship between NAFLD and age, gender, metabolic risk factors in this studied population.
Methods
We selected 7152 employees of Shanghai work-units. Each of them underwent detailed medical history-taking, physical examination, laboratory assessments and abdominal ultrasonography. The diagnosis of NAFLD was done according to established criteria. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were applied to detect areas under the ROC curves for each index. Nominal logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratio for risk factors of NAFLD.
Results
About 38.17% employees had NAFLD, more in men than in women. The prevalence of NAFLD increased with increasing age. In both genders, the prevalence of metabolic factors was higher in the NAFLD group. Body max index, waist circumference, weight-to-height ratio, blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein and uric acid were found to have a diagnostic value for NAFLD. Body max index is a better index for diagnosing NAFLD. Uric acid is a new diagnosing index not inferior to lipid metabolic factors. Metabolic factors can increase the risk of NAFLD up to 1.5 ~ 3.8 times.
Conclusions
Older age, male gender, metabolic factors such as obesity, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension or type 2 diabetes are risk factors for NAFLD. Prevalence of NAFLD in Shanghai employees is high. Prevention is extremely important. Those achieve the critical point should have early intervention.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-123
PMCID: PMC3499402  PMID: 22978800
Prevalence; Risk factors; Nonalcoholic fatty liver
4.  Transcriptional profiling of Medicago truncatula under salt stress identified a novel CBF transcription factor MtCBF4 that plays an important role in abiotic stress responses 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:109.
Background
Salt stress hinders the growth of plants and reduces crop production worldwide. However, different plant species might possess different adaptive mechanisms to mitigate salt stress. We conducted a detailed pathway analysis of transcriptional dynamics in the roots of Medicago truncatula seedlings under salt stress and selected a transcription factor gene, MtCBF4, for experimental validation.
Results
A microarray experiment was conducted using root samples collected 6, 24, and 48 h after application of 180 mM NaCl. Analysis of 11 statistically significant expression profiles revealed different behaviors between primary and secondary metabolism pathways in response to external stress. Secondary metabolism that helps to maintain osmotic balance was induced. One of the highly induced transcription factor genes was successfully cloned, and was named MtCBF4. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that MtCBF4, which belongs to the AP2-EREBP transcription factor family, is a novel member of the CBF transcription factor in M. truncatula. MtCBF4 is shown to be a nuclear-localized protein. Expression of MtCBF4 in M. truncatula was induced by most of the abiotic stresses, including salt, drought, cold, and abscisic acid, suggesting crosstalk between these abiotic stresses. Transgenic Arabidopsis over-expressing MtCBF4 enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stress, and activated expression of downstream genes that contain DRE elements. Over-expression of MtCBF4 in M. truncatula also enhanced salt tolerance and induced expression level of corresponding downstream genes.
Conclusion
Comprehensive transcriptomic analysis revealed complex mechanisms exist in plants in response to salt stress. The novel transcription factor gene MtCBF4 identified here played an important role in response to abiotic stresses, indicating that it might be a good candidate gene for genetic improvement to produce stress-tolerant plants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-11-109
PMCID: PMC3146422  PMID: 21718548

Results 1-4 (4)