Xiaolin Niu

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States

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Publications (6)31.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: RATIONALE: Stimulation of β3-adrenoreceptors (β3-AR) blunts contractility and improves chronic left ventricular function in hypertrophied and failing hearts in a neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) dependent manner. nNOS can be regulated by post-translational modification of stimulatory phosphorylation residue Ser1412 and inhibitory residue Ser847. However, the role for phosphorylation of these residues in cardiomyocytes and β3-AR protective signaling has yet to be explored. OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that β3-AR regulation of myocyte stress requires changes in nNOS activation mediated by differential nNOS phosphorylation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Endothelin (ET-1) or norepinephrine induced hypertrophy in rat neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes (NRVMs) was accompanied by increased β3-AR gene expression. Co-administration of the β3-AR agonist BRL-37433 (BRL) reduced cell size and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, while augmenting NOS activity. BRL-dependent augmentation of NOS activity and ROS suppression due to NE were blocked by inhibiting nNOS (L-VNIO). BRL augmented nNOS phosphorylation at Ser1412 and dephosphorylation at Ser847. Cells expressing constitutively dephosphorylated Ser1412A or phosphorylated Ser847D nNOS mutants displayed reduced nNOS activity and a lack of BRL modulation. BRL also failed to depress ROS from NE in cells with nNOS-Ser847D. Inhibiting Akt decreased BRL-induced nNOS-Ser1412 phosphorylation and NOS activation, whereas Gi/o blockade blocked BRL-regulation of both post-translational modifications, preventing enhancement of NOS activity and ROS reduction. BRL resulted in near complete dephosphorylation of Ser847 and a moderate rise in Ser1412 phosphorylation in mouse myocardium exposed to chronic pressure-overload. CONCLUSION: β3-AR regulates myocardial NOS activity and ROS via activation of nNOS involving reciprocal changes in phosphorylation at two regulatory sites. These data identify a novel and potent anti-oxidant and anti-hypertrophic pathway due to nNOS post-translational modification that is coupled to β3-AR receptor stimulation.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 05/2013; · 5.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is associated with increased diastolic stiffness and myocardial steatosis and dysfunction. The impact of aging on the protective effects of caloric restriction (CR) is not clear. We studied 2-month (younger) and 6-7-month (older)-old ob/ob mice and age-matched C57BL/6J controls (WT). Ob/ob mice were assigned to diet ad libitum or CR for 4 weeks. We performed echocardiograms, myocardial triglyceride assays, Oil Red O staining, and measured free fatty acids, superoxide, NOS activity, ceramide levels, and Western blots. In younger mice, CR restored diastolic function, reversed myocardial steatosis, and upregulated Akt phosphorylation. None of these changes was observed in the older mice; however, CR decreased oxidative stress and normalized NOS activity in these animals. Interestingly, myocardial steatosis was not associated with increased ceramide, but CR altered the composition of ceramides. In this model of obesity, aging attenuates the benefits of CR on myocardial structure and function.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research 03/2013; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether activation of β3-adrenergic receptor (AR) and downstream signaling of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms protects the heart from failure and hypertrophy induced by pressure overload. β3-AR and its downstream signaling pathways are recognized as novel modulators of heart function. Unlike β1- and β2-ARs, β3-ARs are stimulated at high catecholamine concentrations and induce negative inotropic effects, serving as a "brake" to protect the heart from catecholamine overstimulation. C57BL/6J and neuronal NOS (nNOS) knockout mice were assigned to receive transverse aortic constriction (TAC), BRL37344 (β3 agonist, BRL 0.1 mg/kg/h), or both. Three weeks of BRL treatment in wild-type mice attenuated left ventricular dilation and systolic dysfunction, and partially reduced cardiac hypertrophy induced by TAC. This effect was associated with increased nitric oxide production and superoxide suppression. TAC decreased endothelial NOS (eNOS) dimerization, indicating eNOS uncoupling, which was not reversed by BRL treatment. However, nNOS protein expression was up-regulated 2-fold by BRL, and the suppressive effect of BRL on superoxide generation was abrogated by acute nNOS inhibition. Furthermore, BRL cardioprotective effects were actually detrimental in nNOS(-/-) mice. These results are the first to show in vivo cardioprotective effects of β3-AR-specific agonism in pressure overload hypertrophy and heart failure, and support nNOS as the primary downstream NOS isoform in maintaining NO and reactive oxygen species balance in the failing heart.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 05/2012; 59(22):1979-87. · 14.09 Impact Factor
  • Nitric Oxide-biology and Chemistry - NITRIC OXIDE-BIOL CHEM. 01/2011; 24.
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic intermittent hypoxia (IH) during sleep can result from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder that is particularly prevalent in obesity. OSA is associated with high levels of circulating leptin, cardiovascular dysfunction, and dyslipidemia. Relationships between leptin and cardiovascular function in OSA and chronic IH are poorly understood. We exposed lean wild-type (WT) and obese leptin-deficient ob/ob mice to IH for 4 wk, with and without leptin infusion, and measured cardiovascular indices including aortic vascular stiffness, endothelial function, cardiac myocyte morphology, and contractile properties. At baseline, ob/ob mice had decreased vascular compliance and endothelial function vs. WT mice. We found that 4 wk of IH decreased vascular compliance and endothelial relaxation responses to acetylcholine in both WT and leptin-deficient ob/ob animals. Recombinant leptin infusion in both strains restored IH-induced vascular abnormalities toward normoxic WT levels. Cardiac myocyte morphology and function were unaltered by IH. Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly decreased by leptin treatment in IH mice, as was hepatic stearoyl-Coenzyme A desaturase 1 expression. Taken together, these data suggest that restoring normal leptin signaling can reduce vascular stiffness, increase endothelial relaxation, and correct dyslipidemia associated with IH.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 01/2011; 300(4):H1467-76. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stimulation of the beta-adrenergic system is important in the pathological response to sustained cardiac stress, forming the rationale for the use of beta-blockers in heart failure. The beta3-adrenoreceptor (AR) is thought to couple to the inhibitory G-protein, G(i), with downstream signaling through nitric oxide, although its role in the heart remains controversial. In this study, we tested whether lack of beta3-AR influences the myocardial response to pressure-overload. Baseline echocardiography in mice lacking beta3-AR (beta3(-/-)) compared to wild type (WT) showed mild LV hypertrophy at 8 weeks that worsened as they aged. beta3(-/-) mice had much greater mortality after transverse aortic constriction (TAC) than WT controls. By 3 weeks of TAC, systolic function was worse. After 9 weeks of TAC, beta3(-/-) mice also had greater LV dilation, myocyte hypertrophy and enhanced fibrosis. NOS activity declined in beta3(-/-)TAC hearts after 9 weeks, and total and NOS-dependent superoxide rose, indicating heightened oxidative stress and NOS uncoupling. The level of eNOS phosphorylation in beta3(-/-)TAC hearts was diminished, and nNOS and iNOS expression levels were increased. GTP cyclohydrolase-1 expression was reduced, although total BH4 levels were not depleted. 3 weeks of BH4 treatment rescued beta3(-/-) mice from worsened remodeling after TAC, and lowered NOS-dependent superoxide. Thus, lack of beta3-AR signaling exacerbates cardiac pressure-overload induced remodeling and enhances NOS uncoupling and consequent oxidant stress, all of which can be rescued with exogenous BH4. These data suggest a cardioprotective role for the beta3-AR in modulating oxidative stress and adverse remodeling in the failing heart.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 07/2009; 47(5):576-85. · 5.15 Impact Factor