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Rao J.,Nanjing Medical University | Rao J.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | Rao J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Qian X.,Nanjing Medical University | And 16 more authors.
American Journal of Transplantation | Year: 2015

Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is a stress-induced transcription factor that has been shown to repress inflammatory gene expression in multiple cell types and diseases. However, little is known about the roles and mechanisms of ATF3 in liver ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). In warm and cold liver IRI models, we showed that ATF3 deficiency significantly increased ischemia/reperfusion (IR)-stressed liver injury, as evidenced by increased serum alanine aminotransferase levels, histological liver damage, and hepatocellular apoptosis. These may correlate with inhibition of the intrahepatic nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase-1 (NRF2/HO-1) signaling pathway leading to enhancing Toll-like receptor 4/nuclear factor kappa beta (TLR4/NF-κB) activation, pro-inflammatory programs and macrophage/neutrophil trafficking, while simultaneously repressing anti-apoptotic molecules in ischemic liver. Interestingly, activation of NRF2/HO-1 signaling using an NRF2 activator, oltipraz (M2), during hepatic IRI-rescued ATF3 anti-inflammatory functions in ATF3-deficient mice. For in vitro studies, ATF3 ablation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) depressed levels of NRF2/HO-1 and PI3K/AKT, resulting in enhanced TLR4/NF-κB activation. Pretreatment of LPS-stimulated BMMs with M2 increased NRF2/HO-1 expression, promoted PI3K/AKT, which in turn suppressed TLR4/NF-κB-mediated proinflammatory mediators. Thus, our results first demonstrate ATF3-mediated NRF2/HO-1 signaling in the regulation of TLR4-driven inflammatory responses in IR-stressed livers. Our findings provide a rationale for a novel therapeutic strategy for managing IR-induced liver injury. This study demonstrates that activating transcription factor 3 regulates toll-like receptor 4-driven inflammatory responses by nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase-1, and attenuates liver ischemia reperfusion injury. © Copyright 2014 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.


Dong T.,Peoples Hospital of Jiangsu Province | Yan Y.,Nanjing Medical University | Chai H.,Nanjing Medical University | Chen S.,Nanjing Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2015

Cancer cells consume large amounts of glucose to produce lactate, even in the presence of ample oxygen. This phenomenon is known as the Warburg effect. The pyruvate kinase promotes aerobic glycolysis, and the pyruvate kinase M2 isoform (PKM2) is highly expressed in many cancer cells. Although the Warburg effect is a hallmark of cancer, the mechanism by which PKM2 contributes to the Warburg effect, and its role in tumor growth remain to be defined. We proposed that PKM2 activates transcription of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) by phosphorylating STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) at Y705 (tyrosine 705) as a plausible mechanism for liver cancer cell proliferation. In the current study, we observed that PKM2 was over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues compared to adjacent normal tissues. The experiments further indicate that nuclear PKM2 is an active protein kinase in cultured cells. Knockdown of PKM2 affected the levels of HIF-1α and Bcl-xL (B-cell lymphoma-extra large), suggesting that PKM2 plays an important role in promoting cell proliferation. In conclusion, the current findings demonstrate that PKM2 is an active protein kinase, and promotes liver cancer cell proliferation by up-regulating HIF-1α and Bcl-xL expression. © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS.


PubMed | Peoples Hospital of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Medical University and Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation
Type: | Journal: Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie | Year: 2015

Cancer cells consume large amounts of glucose to produce lactate, even in the presence of ample oxygen. This phenomenon is known as the Warburg effect. The pyruvate kinase promotes aerobic glycolysis, and the pyruvate kinase M2 isoform (PKM2) is highly expressed in many cancer cells. Although the Warburg effect is a hallmark of cancer, the mechanism by which PKM2 contributes to the Warburg effect, and its role in tumor growth remain to be defined. We proposed that PKM2 activates transcription of hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) by phosphorylating STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) at Y705 (tyrosine 705) as a plausible mechanism for liver cancer cell proliferation. In the current study, we observed that PKM2 was over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues compared to adjacent normal tissues. The experiments further indicate that nuclear PKM2 is an active protein kinase in cultured cells. Knockdown of PKM2 affected the levels of HIF-1 and Bcl-xL (B-cell lymphoma-extra large), suggesting that PKM2 plays an important role in promoting cell proliferation. In conclusion, the current findings demonstrate that PKM2 is an active protein kinase, and promotes liver cancer cell proliferation by up-regulating HIF-1 and Bcl-xL expression.


Wu Z.,Nanjing Medical University | Wu Z.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | Qin J.,Nanjing Medical University | Qin J.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biomedical Research | Year: 2012

Omega-3 fatty acid supplemented total parenteral nutrition improves the clinical outcome of patients undergoing certain operations; however, its benefits for patients with hepatitis type B virus (HBV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have undergone hepatectomy are still not clear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplemented total parenteral nutrition on the clinical outcome of patients with HBV-associated HCC who underwent hepatectomy at our institution. A total of 63 patients with HBV-associated HCC who underwent hepatectomy were included in this study. These patients were randomly assigned to receive standard total parenteral nutrition (the control group, n = 31) or omega-3 fatty acid supplemented total parenteral nutrition (the omega-3 fatty acid group, n = 32) for at least 5 d. The study endpoints were the occurrence of infection-related complications, recovery of liver function and length of hospital stay. The results showed that the omega-3 fatty acid group had a lower infection rate (omega-3 fatty acid, 19.4% vs control, 43.8%, P < 0.05), a better liver function after hepatectomy: alanine transaminase (omega-3 fatty acid, 48.23±18.48 U/L vs control, 73.34±40.60 U/L, P < 0.01), aspartate transaminase (omega-3 fatty acid, 35.77±14.56 U/L vs control, 50.53±24.62 U/L, P < 0.01), total bilirubin (omega-3 fatty acid, 24.29±7.40 mmol/L vs control, 28. 37±8.06 mmol/L, P < 0.05) and a shorter length of hospital stay (omega-3 fatty acid, 12.71±2.58 d vs control, 15.91±3.23 d, P < 0.01). The serum contents of IL-6 (omega-3 fatty acid, 23.98±5.63 pg/mL vs control, 35.55±7.5 pg/mL, P < 0.01) and TNF-α (omega-3 fatty acid, 4.43±1.22 pg/mL vs control, 5.96±1.58 pg/mL, P < 0.01) after hepatectomy were significantly lower in the omega-3 fatty acid group than those of the control group. In conclusion, administration of omega-3 fatty acid may reduce infection rate and improve liver function recovery in HBV-associated HCC patients after hepatectomy. This improvement is associated with suppressed production of proinflammatory cytokines in these patients. © 2012 The Editorial Board of Journal of Biomedical Research.


Shao C.-H.,Nanjing Medical University | Shao C.-H.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | Chen S.-L.,Nanjing Medical University | Chen S.-L.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Surgical Research | Year: 2014

Background Recent studies have demonstrated that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) can potentially revert liver fibrosis, but it is not known if preparative hepatic irradiation (HIR) contributes to the therapeutic effect of transplanted BM-MSCs. In this study, we investigate the effects of HIR on transplanted BM-MSCs in cirrhotic rats and the underlying mechanism by which mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) relieve liver fibrosis. Materials and methods The BM-MSCs from male rats were labeled with CM-Dil and injected via portal vein into two groups of thioacetamide-induced cirrhotic rats, and the controls were injected with the same volume of saline. The right hemiliver of one cirrhotic rat group was irradiated (15 Gy) 4 d before transplantation. Liver function tests and histologic experiments were performed, and the liver population of BM-MSCs was estimated. Results The transplantation of MSCs alleviated liver fibrosis and reduced expression of transforming growth factor-β1, Smad2, collagen type â, and α-SMA. HIR preconditioning promoted homing and repopulation of MSCs and resulted in better treatment outcomes. Conclusions HIR preconditioning enhances the effect of BM-MSCs in improving thioacetamide-induced liver fibrosis in rats by promoting their homing and repopulation. BM-MSCs may function by inhibiting transforming growth factor-β1-Smad signaling pathway in the liver. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Xu D.,Nanjing Medical University | Wang X.,Nanjing Medical University | Yan S.,Nanjing Medical University | Yin Y.,Nanjing Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Tumor Biology | Year: 2014

Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (PTPRO) has been identified as a tumor suppressor in a number of cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays diverse roles in HCC tumorigenesis and progression. The association between PTPRO and TLR4 signaling in HCC remains largely unknown. We aimed to clarify the interaction between PTPRO and TLR4 in HCC. Surprisingly, we found reduced and positive-related expression of TLR4 and PTPRO in 84 human HCC specimens. Increased TLR4 expression and activity was found in PTPRO-overexpressed HCC cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The feedback regulation of PTPRO and TLR4 was dependent on nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation, as suggested by NF-κB inhibition and luciferase reporter assay. Our study suggests that the effect of PTPRO on TLR4 signaling is dependent on NF-κB pathway, suggesting an interesting PTPRO/TLR4/NF-κB signaling feedback loop in HCC carcinogenesis and progression. © International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014.


Feng M.,Nanjing Medical University | Wang Q.,Nanjing Medical University | Wang Q.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | Wang H.,Nanjing Medical University | And 3 more authors.
International Immunopharmacology | Year: 2014

Our previous study indicated that adoptive transferred regulatory T cells (Tregs) attenuated liver ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI). Recent studies demonstrated that hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were producers of induced Tregs (iTregs) via retinoic acid. This study aimed to investigate the role of adoptive transferred HSCs in liver IRI. Mice were treated with gradient doses of HSCs before surgery at 24 h or 72 h. The levels of serum aminotransferases and hepatic cytokines were evaluated after reperfusion. Meanwhile, hepatic Tregs and their subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry. We found that adoptive transferred HSCs attenuated liver IRI. Administration of HSCs expanded the number of hepatic iTregs and natural Tregs (nTregs) after reperfusion. In addition, we found that the increased Tregs were almost Helios-Tregs before surgery. These Helios-Tregs were considered as iTregs and protected liver from IRI partially. Furthermore, adoptive transferred HSCs stabilized nTregs and prevented nTregs from reducing after reperfusion. These nTregs also attenuated liver IRI partially. Depletion of Tregs abolished the protective effect of HSCs. Thus, we conclude that adoptive transferred HSCs ameliorate liver IRI in Tregs-dependent manner. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Li X.,Nanjing Medical University | Xu H.,Nanjing Medical University | Dai X.,Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation | Dai X.,Nanjing Medical University | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2012

Paclitaxel (Ptx), one of the most widely used anticancer agents, has demonstrated extraordinary activities against a variety of solid tumors. However, the therapeutic response of Ptx is often associated with severe side effects caused by its nonspecific cytotoxic effects and special solvents (Cremophor EL®). The current study reports the stable controlled release of Ptx/tetrandrine (Tet)-coloaded nanoparticles by amphilic methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(caprolactone) block copolymers. There were three significant findings. Firstly, Tet could effectively stabilize Ptx-loaded nanoparticles with the coencapsulation of Tet and Ptx. The influence of different Ptx/Tet feeding ratios on the size and loading efficiency of the nanoparticles was also explored. Secondly, the encapsulation of Tet and Ptx into nanoparticles retains the synergistic anticancer efficiency of Tet and Ptx against mice hepatoma H22 cells. Thirdly, in the in vivo evaluation, intratumoral administration was adopted to increase the site-specific delivery. Ptx/Tet nanoparticles, when delivered intratumorally, exhibited significantly improved antitumor efficacy; moreover, they substantially increased the overall survival in an established H22-transplanted mice model. Further investigation into the anticancer mechanisms of this nanodelivery system is under active consideration as a part of this ongoing research. The results suggest that Ptx/Tet-coloaded nanoparticles could be a potential useful chemotherapeutic formulation for liver cancer therapy. © 2012 Cárdenas et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


PubMed | Nanjing Medical University and Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications | Year: 2015

The dysregulation of micro (mi)RNAs is associated with cancer development. The miRNA miR-145 is downregulated in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC); however, its precise role in tumor progression has not yet been elucidated. Novel (nua) kinase family (NUAK)1 functions as an oncogene in various cancers and is a putative target of miR-145 regulation. In this study, we investigated the regulation of NUAK1 by miR-145 in ICC. We found that miR-145 level was significantly decreased in ICC tissue and cell lines, which corresponded with an increase in NUAK1 expression. NUAK1 was found to be a direct target of miR-145 regulation. The overexpression of miR-145 in ICC cell lines inhibited proliferation, growth, and invasion by suppressing NUAK1 expression, which was associated with a decrease in Akt signaling and matrix metalloproteinase protein expression. Similar results were observed by inhibiting NUAK1 expression. These results demonstrate that miR-145 can prevent ICC progression by targeting NUAK1 and its downstream effectors, and can therefore be useful for clinical diagnosis and targeted therapy of ICC.


PubMed | Key Laboratory of Living Donor Liver Transplantation and Rochester College
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical medicine | Year: 2015

Tens of millions of patients are affected by liver disease worldwide. Many of these patients can benefit from cell therapy involving living metabolically active cells, either by treatment of their liver disease, or by prevention of their disease phenotype. Cell therapies, including hepatocyte transplantation and bioartificial liver (BAL) devices, have been proposed as therapeutic alternatives to the shortage of transplantable livers. Both BAL and hepatocyte transplantation are cellular therapies that avoid use of a whole liver. Hepatocytes are also widely used in drug screening and liver disease modelling. However, the demand for human hepatocytes, heavily outweighs their availability by conventional means. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) technology brings together the potential benefits of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) (i.e., self-renewal, pluripotency) and addresses the major ethical and scientific concerns of ESCs: embryo destruction and immune-incompatibility. It has been shown that hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) can be generated from iPSCs. Furthermore, human iPSCs (hiPSCs) can provide an unlimited source of human hepatocytes and hold great promise for applications in regenerative medicine, drug screening and liver diseases modelling. Despite steady progress, there are still several major obstacles that need to be overcome before iPSCs will reach the bedside. This review will focus on the current state of efforts to derive hiPSCs for potential use in modelling and treatment of liver disease.

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