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Shan F.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Shan F.,Chongqing Medical University | Li J.,Chongqing Medical University | Huang Q.-Y.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Huang Q.-Y.,Chongqing Medical University
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2014

Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) are associated with the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH). Recent studies have implicated a critical role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in HPH; however, their expression and regulation in hypoxia-mediated phenotypic modulation of PASMCs remains largely unclear. Here, we report that miR-9 was induced in hypoxia and involved in a hypoxia-induced phenotypic switch in rat primary PASMCs. Knockdown of miR-9 followed by hypoxia exposure attenuated PASMCs proliferation and enhanced the expression of contractile genes in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), while overexpression of miR-9 in normoxia promoted a proliferative phenotype in PASMCs. The primary transcripts of miR-9-1 and miR-9-3, but not miR-9-2, increased dramatically after hypoxia, whereas silencing of the hypoxia-associated transcription factor HIF-1α following hypoxia exposure abolished the enhancement of both primary transcripts in PASMCs. Using in silico analysis, we found three putative HIF-1α binding motifs on miR-9-1 and one motif on miR-9-3 located within the 5-kb region upstream of the transcriptional start sites. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that hypoxia enhanced the direct interaction between HIF-1α and the regulatory elements of miR-9-1 and miR-9-3. Reporter assays showed that the regulatory regions of miR-9-1 and miR-9-3 behaved as enhancers in a HIF-1α-dependent manner during hypoxia. Taken together, our data uncover a regulatory mechanism involving HIF-1α-mediated up-regulation of miR-9, which plays a role in the hypoxia-induced phenotypic switch of PASMCs. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Chen D.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Chen D.,Chongqing Medical University | Fang F.,Nanjing Medical University | Yang Y.,Nanjing Medical University | And 7 more authors.
Cardiovascular Research | Year: 2013

Aims: Establishment of an inflammatory milieu following elevated leukocyte adhesion to the vascular endothelium, which is mediated by transcriptional activation of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), contributes to the pathogenesis of chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (HPH). The epigenetic switch that dictates CAM transactivation in response to hypoxia in endothelial cells leading up to HPH is not fully appreciated. Methods and results: We report here that brahma-related gene1(Brg1) and brahma(Brm), two catalytic components of the mammalian chro-matin remodelling complex, were induced in cultured endothelial cells challenged with hypoxia in vitro as well as in pulmonary arteries in an animal model of HPH. Over-expression of Brg1/Brm enhanced, while the depletion of Brg1/Brm attenuated, CAM transactivation and adhesion of leukocytes. Endothelial-specific deletion of Brg1/Brm ameliorated vascular inflammation and HPH in mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (Ch IP) and re-Ch IP assays revealed that hypoxia up-regulated the occupancies of Brg1 and Brm on CAM promoters in a nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) -dependent manner. Finally, Brg1 and Brm activated CAM transcription by altering the chromatin structure surrounding the CAM promoters. Conclusion: Our data suggest that Brg1 provides the crucial epigenetic link to hypoxia-induced CAM induction and leukocyte adhesion that engenders endothelial malfunction and pathogenesis of HPH. As such, targeting Brg1 in endothelial cells may yield promising strategies in the intervention and/or prevention of HPH. © The Author 2013.


PubMed | the 18th Hospital of PLA, Chongqing Medical University and Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

Hypobaric hypoxia is the primary cause of high altitude polycythemia (HAPC). Mitochondria are critical organelles that consume high levels of oxygen and generate ATP. We hypothesize that the mitochondrion may be at the center of HAPC, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) SNPs may be involved in its development. First, we conducted a case-control study to investigate the association of mtDNA variants with HAPC in Han Chinese migrating to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Pearsons chi-square tests revealed that mtDNA 8414T (MU) frequency (19.5%) in the HAPC group was significantly higher than that of the control (13.0%, P=0.04, OR=1.615, 95%CI: 1.020-2.555). The multivariate logistic regression analysis, after adjustment for environmental factors, revealed that mtDNA 10609T (WT) was significantly associated with an increased risk of HAPC (P<0.01, OR=2.558, 95%CI: 1.250-5.236). Second, to verify the association, in vitro experiments of transmitochondrial cybrids was performed and revealed that the mtDNA 10609 variant promoted hypoxia-induced increase of intracellular ROS, but the mtDNA 8414 variant did not. Our findings provide evidence that, in Han Chinese, mtDNA 10609T promotes hypoxia-induced increase of intracellular ROS and is a HAPC risk factor.


Yang F.,Chongqing Medical University | Yang F.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine Third Military Medical University | Yang F.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Zhou L.,Chongqing Medical University | And 7 more authors.
Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Background: Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline alleviates neuro-inflammation and protects the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in ischemia stroke. However, the effect of minocycline in hypoxia-induced BBB damage is unclear. Here, we have investigated the effect of minocycline under hypoxia and explored its possible underlying mechanisms. Methods: The effect of minocycline was examined in vitro in Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HBMECs) using Trans Epithelial Electric Resistance (TEER). Protein and mRNA expression of Hypoxia-Inducible Factors-1α (HIF-1α), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and tight junction proteins (TJs) were detected by using Western blot and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The translocation and transcription of HIF-1α were detected by using immunocytochemistry and luciferase reporter assay. In vivo, to adult male Sprague Dawley (SD) rats under hypobaric hypoxia were administered minocycline for 1. h and BBB permeability was tested by using Evans Blue and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Also, reduction of NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-3 (SIRT-3)/proline hydroxylase-2 (PHD-2) signaling pathway was evaluated. Results: Minocycline increased TEER in HBMECs after hypoxia (P < 0.05), and reduced the extravasation of Evans Blue (P < 0.05) and colloidal gold nanoparticles in rats. Minocycline administration significantly reduced HIF-1α expression, protein and mRNA expression of MMP-2, MMP-9 and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) (P < 0.05), and increased TJs (ZO-1, claudin-5 and occluding) (P < 0.05) in HBMECs after hypoxia. Furthermore, minocycline reversed the hypoxia-induced reduction of PHD-2 (P < 0.05) and SIRT-3 (P < 0.05). Effects of minocycline were abolished by siRNA-mediated knockdown of SIRT-3 in the brain. Conclusions: Minocycline inhibits HIF-1α-mediated cellular responses and protects BBB integrity through SIRT-3/PHD-2 pathway, proving to be a potential drug for the prevention and treatment of hypoxic brain injuries. © 2015 IBRO.


Zheng S.-J.,Chongqing Medical University | Zheng S.-J.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Zheng S.-J.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Physiology and High Altitude Disease | Tian H.-J.,Chongqing Medical University | And 6 more authors.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology | Year: 2010

Di(n-butyl)phthalate (DBP) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) are environmental endocrine disruptors that are potentially hazardous to humans. These chemicals affect testicular macrophage immuno-endocrine function and testosterone production. However, the underlying mechanisms for these effects are not fully understood. It is well known that interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), which is secreted by testicular macrophages, plays a trigger role in regulating Leydig cell steroidogenesis. The purpose of this study was to reveal the effects of co-exposure to DBP and BaP on testicular macrophage subset expression, IL-1β secretion and testosterone production. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into seven groups; two groups received DBP plus BaP (DBP+BaP: 50+1 or 250+5mg/kg/day) four groups received DBP or BaP alone (DBP: 50 or 250mg/kg/day; BaP: 1 or 5mg/kg/day), and one group received vehicle alone (control). After co-exposure for 90days, the relative expression of macrophage subsets and their functions changed. ED2+ testicular macrophages (reactive with a differentiation-related antigen present on the resident macrophages) were activated and IL-1β secretion was enhanced. DBP and BaP acted additively, as demonstrated by greater IL-1β secretion relative to each compound alone. These observations suggest that exposure to DBP plus BaP exerted greater suppression on testosterone production compared with each compound alone. The altered balance in the subsets of testicular macrophages and the enhanced ability of resident testicular macrophages to secrete IL-1β, resulted in enhanced production of IL-1β as a potent steroidogenesis repressor. This may represent an important mechanism by which DBP and BaP repress steroidogenesis. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Luo H.,Chongqing Medical University | Luo H.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Huang J.,Chongqing Medical University | Huang J.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2011

Hypoxia frequently occurs under several different cellular circumstances. Excess reactive oxygen species that are induced by hypoxia may result in cell injury and dysfunction. Recently, garlic has been found to possess some biological and pharmacological activities. The present study examined the effects of garlic saponins (GSP) on the survival of differentiated PC12 (dPC12) cells and the oxidative-antioxidant system. dPC12 cells were exposed to 2% O2 in order to establish a neuronal insult model. Cell viability was determined by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide reduction assay and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay. The expression of selected genes (catalase (CAT), p65 and neuron-specific class III α-tubulin) was evaluated by real-time PCR and immunoblot assays. CAT activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) concentrations were also determined. The data showed that hypoxia dramatically damaged dPC12 cells, while treatment with approximately 5×10 2-10ng/ml GSP improved cell viability, decreased LDH leakage and caused the cells to maintain neuronal-like characteristics in hypoxia. The production of MDA and 8-OH-dG was attenuated by GSP. CAT activity in dPC12 cells pretreated with GSP was higher than that of the hypoxic control. Moreover, GSP up-regulated CAT expression and decreased the total protein expression as well as the nuclear expression of p65 in hypoxic cells. These data indicate that GSP has antioxidant properties that can protect dPC12 cells from hypoxia-induced damage, which may be related to the up-regulation of CAT expression and activity as well as a decrease in the expression and nucleus distribution of p65 through effects on redox-sensitive signalling pathways. © 2010 The Authors.


Yang Y.,Nanjing Medical University | Chen D.,Chongqing Medical University | Chen D.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Yuan Z.,Chongqing Medical University | And 8 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

Increased synthesis of endothelin-1 (ET-1) by human vascular endothelial cells (HVECs) in response to hypoxia underscores persistent vasoconstriction observed in patients with pulmonary hypertension. The molecular mechanism whereby hypoxia stimulates ET-1 gene transcription is not well understood. Here we report that megakaryocytic leukemia 1 (MKL1) potentiated hypoxia-induced ET-1 transactivation in HVECs. Disruption of MKL1 activity by either a dominant negative mutant or small interfering RNA mediated knockdown dampened ET-1 synthesis. MKL1 was recruited to the proximal ET-1 promoter region (-81/+150) in HVECs challenged with hypoxic stress by the sequence-specific transcription factor serum response factor (SRF). Depletion of SRF blocked MKL1 recruitment and blunted ET-1 transactivation by hypoxia. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the ET-1 promoter revealed that MKL1 loss-of-function erased histone modifications consistent with transcriptional activation. In addition, MKL1 was indispensable for the occupancy of Brg1 and Brm, key components of the chromatin remodeling complex, on the ET-1 promoter. Brg1 and Brm modulated ET-1 transactivation by impacting histone modifications. In conclusion, our data have delineated a MKL1-centered complex that links epigenetic maneuverings to ET-1 transactivation in HVECs under hypoxic conditions. © 2013 The Author(s) 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.


Gao Y.-X.,Chongqing Medical University | Li P.,Chongqing Medical University | Li P.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Jiang C.-H.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | And 10 more authors.
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2015

Background and purpose: The present study aimed to examine how long-term migration to high-altitude regions affects mentality and cognition, and the correlation with various physiological and biochemical changes. Methods: The WHO Neurobehavioral Core Test Battery, Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaire were used to assess 141 young male subjects who lived in plain regions and 217 young male subjects who had migrated to a 4500 m high-altitude region and lived there for 1-5 years. Arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation, cerebral tissue oxygenation indices (TOIs), serum S100B and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were also measured. Results: Long-term migrators to a high-altitude region exhibited exacerbated mood disorders, retarded color discrimination ability, decreased visual memory capacity, and impaired perceptual motor skill and motion stability. In addition, the migrators exhibited lower RSPM scores and lower sleep quality. Further analyses revealed significant correlations between sleep quality and cerebral TOIs, mood and sleep quality, mood and certain cognitive functions, mood and serum BDNF levels, and RSPM scores and serum S100B levels. Conclusions: Long-term living at high altitudes causes significant impairment of psychological and cognitive function. Cerebral hypoxic extent, sleep quality and biochemical dysfunction are major influencing factors. © 2015 European Federation of Neurological Societies.


Chen J.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Chen J.,Chongqing Medical University | Gao Y.,Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine | Gao Y.,Chongqing Medical University | And 6 more authors.
OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology | Year: 2012

Hypoxia affects mammalian mitochondrial function, as well as mitochondria-based energy metabolism. The detail mechanism has not been fully understood. In this study, we detected protein expression levels in mitochondrial fractions of Wistar rats exposed to hypobaric hypoxia by use of proteomic methods. Adult male Wistar rats were randomized into an hypoxic (4,500 m, 30 days) group and a normoxic control group (sea level). Gastrocnemius muscles mitochondria were extracted and purified. Mitochondrial oxygen consumption was measured with a Clark oxygen electrode; mitochondrial transmembrane potential was detected with Rhodamine 123 as a fluoresce probe. Using 2-DE and MALDI-TOF MS analysis, we identified eight mitochondrial protein spots that were differentially expressed in the hypoxic group compared with the normoxic control. These proteins included Chain A of F1-ATPase, voltage dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC), hydroxyacyl Coenzyme A dehydrogenase α-subunit, mitochondrial F1 complex γ-subunit, androgen-regulated protein and tripartite motif protein 50. Two of the spots, VDAC and ATP synthase α-subunit, were confirmed by Western blotting analysis. Oxygen consumption during State 3 respiration, as well as the respiratory control ratio (RCR) was significantly higher in the control than that in the hypoxic group; mitochondrial transmembrane potential was significantly higher in hypoxic group than that in the control. With successful use of multiple proteomic analysis techniques, we demonstrates that 30 days hypoxia exposure has effects on the expression of mitochondrial proteins involved in ATP production and lipid metabolism, decrease the stability of mitochondrial membrane, and affect the mitochondrial electron transport chain. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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