Chun-Fa Huang

China Medical University Hospital, 臺中市, Taiwan, Taiwan

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Publications (22)81.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The in vivo antioxidant and antifibrotic properties of green tea (Camellia sinensis, Theaceae) were investigated with a study of carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced oxidative stress and hepatic fibrosis in male ICR mice. Oral administration of green tea extract at doses of 125, 625 and 1250mg/kg for 8weeks significantly reduced (p<0.05) the levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and protein carbonyls in the liver by at least 28% compared with that was induced by CCl(4) (1mL/kg) in mice. Moreover, green tea extract administration significantly increased (p<0.05) the activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and glutathione reductase (GSH-Rd) in the liver. Our study found that oral administration of green tea extract prevented CCl(4)-induced hepatic fibrosis, as evidenced by a decreased hydroxyproline level in the liver and a reduced incidence of hepatic fibrosis by histological observations. These results indicate that green tea exhibits potent protective effects against CCl(4)-induced oxidative stress and hepatic fibrosis in mice by inhibiting oxidative damage and increasing antioxidant enzyme activities.
    Food Chemistry 02/2013; 136(3-4):1337-44. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cadmium (Cd), one of well-known highly toxic environmental and industrial pollutants, causes a number of adverse health effects and diseases in humans. The growing epidemiological studies have suggested a possible link between Cd exposure and diabetes mellitus (DM). However, the toxicological effects and underlying mechanisms of Cd-induced pancreatic β-cell injury are still unknown. In this study, we found that Cd significantly decreased cell viability, and increased sub-G1 hypodiploid cells and annexin V-Cy3 binding in pancreatic β-cell-derived RIN-m5F cells. Cd also increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and malondialdehyde (MDA) production and induced mitochondrial dysfunction (the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and the increase of cytosolic cytochrome c release), the decreased Bcl-2 expression, increased p53 expression, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, and caspase cascades, which accompanied with intracellular Cd accumulation. Pretreatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) effectively reversed these Cd-induced events. Furthermore, exposure to Cd induced the phosphorylations of c-jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2, and p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), which was prevented by NAC. Additionally, the specific JNK inhibitor SP600125 or JNK-specific small interference RNA (si-RNA) transfection suppressed Cd-induced β-cell apoptosis and related signals, but not ERK1/2 and p38-MAPK inhibitors (PD98059 and SB203580) did not. However, the JNK inhibitor or JNK-specific si-RNA did not suppress ROS generation in Cd-treated cells. These results indicate that Cd induces pancreatic β-cell death via an oxidative stress downstream-mediated JNK activation-triggered mitochondria-regulated apoptotic pathway.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e54374. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chloroacetic acid (CA), a toxic chlorinated analog of acetic acid, is widely used in chemical industries as an herbicide, detergent, and disinfectant, and chemical intermediates that are formed during the synthesis of various products. In addition, CA has been found as a by-product of chlorination disinfection of drinking water. However, there is little known about neurotoxic injuries of CA on the mammalian, the toxic effects and molecular mechanisms of CA-induced in neuronal cells are mostly unknown. In this study, we examined the cytotoxicity of CA on cultured Neuro-2a cells and investigated the possible mechanisms of CA-induced neurotoxicity. Treatment of Neuro-2a cells with CA significantly reduced the number of viable cells (in a dose-dependent manner with a range from 0.1 to 3mM), increased the generation of ROS, and reduced the intracellular levels of glutathione depletion. CA also increased the number of sub-G1 hypodiploid cells; increased mitochondrial dysfunction (loss of MMP, cytochrome c release, and accompanied by Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 down-regulation and Bax up-regulation), and activated the caspase cascades activations, which displayed features of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway. These CA-induced apoptosis-related signals were markedly prevented by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Moreover, CA activated the JNK and p38-MAPK pathways, but did not that ERK1/2 pathway, in treated Neuro-2a cells. Pretreatment with NAC and specific p38-MAPK inhibitor (SB203580), but not JNK inhibitor (SP600125) effectively abrogated the phosphorylation of p38-MAPK and attenuated the apoptotic signals (including: decrease in cytotoxicity, caspase-3/-7 activation, the cytosolic cytochrome c release, and the reversed alteration of Bcl-2 and Bax mRNA) in CA-treated Neuro-2a cells. Taken together, these data suggest that oxidative stress-induced p38-MAPK activated pathway-regulated mitochondria-dependent apoptosis plays an important role in CA-caused neuronal cell death.
    Toxicology 10/2012; · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The therapeutic effect of pterosin A, a small-molecular-weight natural product, on diabetes was investigated. Pterosin A, administered orally for 4 weeks, effectively improved hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance in streptozotocin, high-fat diet-fed, and db/db diabetic mice. There were no adverse effects in normal or diabetic mice treated with pterosin A for 4 weeks. Pterosin A significantly reversed the increased serum insulin and insulin resistance (IR) in dexamethasone-IR mice and in db/db mice. Pterosin A significantly reversed the reduced muscle GLUT-4 translocation and the increased liver phosphoenolpyruvate carboxyl kinase (PEPCK) expression in diabetic mice. Pterosin A also significantly reversed the decreased phosphorylations of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and Akt in muscles of diabetic mice. The decreased AMPK phosphorylation and increased p38 phosphorylation in livers of db/db mice were effectively reversed by pterosin A. Pterosin A enhanced glucose uptake and AMPK phosphorylation in cultured human muscle cells. In cultured liver cells, pterosin A inhibited inducer-enhanced PEPCK expression, triggered the phosphorylations of AMPK, acetyl CoA carboxylase, and glycogen synthase kinase-3, decreased glycogen synthase phosphorylation, and increased the intracellular glycogen level. These findings indicate that pterosin A may be a potential therapeutic option for diabetes.
    Diabetes 10/2012; · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to mercury can lead to several injuries in mammals, including immune system dysfunction, and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), as a metal chelator and antioxidant, has been indicated to increase the cytotoxic effects of toxic metals. However, the toxicological effects and possible mechanisms of mercury in combination with PDTC are mostly unclear. In this study, we showed that PDTC dramatically increase the cytotoxic effect of HgCl(2) on cultured murine macrophages (RAW 264.7 cells). PDTC augmented HgCl(2)-induced cytotoxic effects by facilitating the entry of mercury into the cells. The Hg(2+)/PDTC complex significantly and rapidly increased the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels in these cells. Flow cytometry analysis showed that the numbers of sub-G1 hypodiploid cells and annexin V-FITC binding cells increased after Hg(2+)/PDTC complex exposure, and several features of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis were also induced, including mitochondrial membrane depolarization, cytosolic cytochrome c release, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and caspase 3/7 activation, and DNA fragmentation. Moreover, both apoptotic and necrotic cells were detected using acridine orange/ethidium bromide dual staining. Meanwhile, depleted intracellular ATP levels and increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release were observed, suggesting the induction of necrotic cell death processes. These Hg(2+)/PDTC complex-induced cytotoxicity-related signals could be reversed by pretreatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. In conclusion, these results suggest that Hg(2+)/PDTC complex-induced oxidative stress causes macrophage cell death via both apoptosis and necrosis. These findings imply for the first time that PDTC dramatically increases the uptake and toxicological effects of Hg(2+) instead of detoxification.
    Toxicology Letters 08/2012; 214(1):33-45. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A pool of myoblasts available for myogenesis is important for skeletal muscle size. The decreased number of skeletal muscle fibers could be due to the decreased myoblast proliferation or cytotoxicity. Identification of toxicants that regulate myoblast apoptosis is important in skeletal muscle development or regeneration. Here, we investigate the cytotoxic effect and its possible mechanisms of arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)) on myoblasts. C2C12 myoblasts underwent apoptosis in response to As(2)O(3) (1-10 μM), accompanied by increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, decreased mitochondria membrane potential, increased cytochrome c release, increased caspase-3/-9 activity, and increased poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Moreover, As(2)O(3) triggered the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress indentified through several key molecules of the unfolded protein response, including glucose-regulated protein (GRP)-78, GRP-94, PERK, eIF2α, ATF6, and caspase-12. Pretreatment with antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC, 0.5 mM) dramatically suppressed the increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation, ER stress, caspase cascade activity, and apoptosis in As(2)O(3) (10 μM)-treated myoblasts. Furthermore, As(2)O(3) (10 μM) effectively decreased the phosphorylation of Akt, which could be reversed by NAC. Over-expression of constitutive activation of Akt (c.a. Akt) also significantly attenuated As(2)O(3)-induced myoblast apoptosis. Taken together, these results suggest that As(2)O(3) may exert its cytotoxicity on myoblasts by inducing apoptosis through a ROS-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, ER stress, and Akt inactivation signaling pathway.
    Archives of Toxicology 05/2012; 86(6):923-33. · 5.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cinnabar, a naturally occurring mercuric sulfide (HgS), has long been used in Chinese mineral medicine for more than 2000 years. Although mercury is well-known for its toxicity, whether cinnabar induces neurotoxicity, especially in infants and children, is unknown. The purpose of this study was to explore the neurotoxic effects of low-dose of cinnabar (10 mg/kg/day) on developing mice. The results revealed neurobehavioral defects in F1-C-Cin group, which were associated with Hg accumulation, increased NO(x) levels in whole blood, and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities in brain tissues. F1- and F2-Cin-V groups were found to increase brain Hg contents and prominent neurobehavioral defects compared with F1-C-V group, suggesting that the fetal brain was more susceptible to irreversible effects for cinnabar-induced damage. Moreover, F1- and F2-Cin-Cin groups had severely neurobehavioral dysfunctions, closely correlated with the further alteration of NO(x) levels and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities than F1- and F2-C-Cin groups. Effects in F2-Cin-Cin group were more significant than those in F1-Cin-Cin group. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that exposure to low-dose of cinnabar during the perinatal and developmental stages results in irreversible and severe injuries of the neurotoxicity in offspring, and NO(x) and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities may exist potential and useful biomarkers for neurotoxicity-induced by low-doses of mercuric compounds.
    BioMed Research International 01/2012; 2012:254582. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that is an environmental and industrial pollutant throughout the world. Mercury exposure leads to many physiopathological injuries in mammals. However, the precise toxicological effects of mercury on pancreatic islets in vivo are still unclear. Here, we investigated whether mercuric compounds can induce dysfunction and damage in the pancreatic islets of mice, as well as the possible mechanisms involved in this process. Mice were treated with methyl mercuric chloride (MeHgCl, 2 mg/kg) and mercuric chloride (HgCl(2), 5 mg/kg) for more than 2 consecutive weeks. Our results showed that the blood glucose levels increased and plasma insulin secretions decreased in the mice as a consequence of their exposure. A significant number of TUNEL-positive cells were revealed in the islets of mice that were treated with mercury for 2 consecutive weeks, which was accompanied by changes in the expression of the mRNA of anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2, Mcl-1, and Mdm-2) and apoptotic (p53, caspase-3, and caspase-7) genes. Moreover, plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels increased significantly in the mice after treatment with mercuric compounds for 2 consecutive weeks, and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the pancreatic islets also markedly increased. In addition, the mRNA expression of genes related to antioxidation, including Nrf2, GPx, and NQO1, were also significantly reduced in these islets. These results indicate that oxidative stress injuries that are induced by mercuric compounds can cause pancreatic islets dysfunction and apoptosis in vivo.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2012; 13(10):12349-66. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The maturation of mastoparan B, the major toxin peptide in the venom of Vespa basalis, requires enzymatic cleavage of its prosequence presumably via sequential liberation of dipeptides. The putative processing enzyme, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, was expressed as a glycosylated His-tag fusion protein (rDPP-IV) via the baculovirus expression system. rDPP-IV purified by one-step nickel-affinity chromatography was verified by Western blot and LC-MS/MS analysis. The k(cat)/K(m) of rDPP-IV was determined to be in the range of 10-500 mM(-1)·S(-1) for five synthetic substrates. The optimal temperature and pH for rDPP-IV were determined to be 50 °C and pH 9. Enzymatic activity of rDPP-IV was significantly reduced by 80 and 60% in the presence of sitagliptin and phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride respectively.
    Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry 12/2011; 75(12):2371-5. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nickel (Ni), a well-known toxic metal, is widely used in electroplating and alloy production. It is also significantly implicated in industrial and environmental pollution caused by uncontrolled industrial and municipal discharges. In this study, we characterized and investigated the cytotoxic effects of Ni exposure and their probable toxicological mechanisms in the pancreatic β-cells. The results showed that it was significantly decreased cell viability after exposing pancreatic β-cell-derived RIN-m5F cells to NiCl(2) for 24h in a dose-dependent manner. NiCl(2) also increased sub-G1 hypodiploid cells and Annexin V-Cy3 binding population in RIN-m5F cells, indicating that it has apoptosis-inducing ability. Moreover, the exposure of RIN-m5F cells to NiCl(2) induced distinct signals of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, including mitochondrial dysfunction (the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and increase in mitochondrial cytochrome c release into the cytosol), Bak and Bid mRNA up-regulation, and activation of caspase-3, caspase-7, and caspase-9, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) degradation. In addition, NiCl(2) also markedly induced the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), but not of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and p38. These NiCl(2)-induced apoptosis-related signaling responses could be effectively reversed by specific JNK inhibitor SP600125. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to show that Ni causes pancreatic β-cell death through a JNK activation-regulated mitochondria-dependent apoptosis-signaling pathway.
    Toxicology 08/2011; 289(2-3):103-11. · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Green tea is believed to be beneficial to health because it possesses antioxidant, antiviral and anticancer properties. The potential toxicity of green tea when administered at high doses via concentrated extracts, however, has not been completely investigated. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the safety of green tea extract in ICR mice using a subacute exposure paradigm. In this study, mice were orally administered (gavage) green tea extract at doses of 0 (as normal group), 625, 1250 and 2500mg/kgbody weight/day for 28days. The results showed that oral administration of green tea extract did not cause adverse effects on body weight, organ weights, hematology, serum biochemistry, urinalysis or histopathology. Additionally, administering green tea extract via gavage significantly reduced triglyceride and cholesterol levels. These observed effects could be attributed to the high levels of catechins present in green tea as these compounds have been reported to have beneficial health effects. The no-observed-adverse-effect level for green tea extract derived from the results of the present study was 2500mg/kgbody weight/day.
    Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 07/2011; 49(10):2624-30. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmercury (MeHg) is well-known for causing irreversible damage in the central nervous system as well as a risk factor for inducing neuronal degeneration. However, the molecular mechanisms of MeHg-induced neurotoxicity remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effects and possible mechanisms of MeHg in the mouse cerebrum (in vivo) and in cultured Neuro-2a cells (in vitro). In vivo study showed that the levels of LPO in the plasma and cerebral cortex significantly increased after administration of MeHg (50μg/kg/day) for 7 consecutive weeks. MeHg could also decrease glutathione level and increase the expressions of caspase-3, -7, and -9, accompanied by Bcl-2 down-regulation and up-regulation of Bax, Bak, and p53. Moreover, treatment of Neuro-2a cells with MeHg significantly reduced cell viability, increased oxidative stress damage, and induced several features of mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signals, including increased sub-G1 hypodiploids, mitochondrial dysfunctions, and the activation of PARP, and caspase cascades. These MeHg-induced apoptotic-related signals could be remarkably reversed by antioxidant NAC. MeHg also increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38, but not JNK. Pharmacological inhibitors NAC, PD98059, and SB203580 attenuated MeHg-induced cytotoxicity, ERK1/2 and p38 activation, MMP loss, and caspase-3 activation in Neuro-2a cells. Taken together, these results suggest that the signals of ROS-mediated ERK1/2 and p38 activation regulated mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways that are involved in MeHg-induced neurotoxicity.
    Toxicology Letters 07/2011; 204(1):71-80. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As), a ubiquitous toxic metal, is an important environmental and industrial pollutant throughout the world. Inorganic As (iAs) is usually more harmful than organic ones and with a high risk of diabetes incidence by exposure. However, the toxicological effects of iAs on growth and function of pancreatic β-cells still remain unclear. Here, we found that iAs significantly decreased insulin secretion and cell viability, and increased ROS and MDA formation in pancreatic β-cell-derived RIN-m5F cells. iAs also induced the increases in sub-G1 hypodiploids, annexin V-Cy3 binding, and caspase-3 activity in RIN-m5F cells, indicating that iAs could induce β-cell apoptosis. Moreover, iAs induced MAPKs activation, mitochondria dysfunction, p53 up-regulation, Bcl-2 and Mdm-2 down-regulation, PARP, and caspase cascades, which displayed features of mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signals. In addition, exposure of RIN-m5F cells to iAs, could trigger ER stress as indicated by the enhancement in ER stress-related molecules induction (such as GRP78, GRP94, CHOP, and XBP1), procaspase-12 cleavage, and calpain activation. The iAs-induced apoptosis and its-related signalings could be effectively reversed by antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. We next observed that exposure of mice to iAs in drinking water for 6 consecutive weeks significantly decreased decreased the plasma insulin, elevated glucose intolerance and plasma lipid peroxidation, and induced islet cells apoptosis, which accompanied with arsenic accumulation in the whole blood and pancreas. N-acetylcysteine effectively antagonized the iAs-induced responses in mice. Taken together, these results suggest that iAs-induced oxidative stress causes pancreatic β-cells apoptosis via the mitochondria-dependent and ER stress-triggered signaling pathways.
    Toxicology Letters 02/2011; 201(1):15-26. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhizoma Arisaematis (RA, the rhizome of Pinellia pedatisecta Schott) is a traditional Chinese medicine commonly used in the treatment of convulsions, inflammation, and cancer. Despite the fact that it has been used for more than 2000 years, the pharmacological and toxic effects of traditionally processed products of RA are still unclear. In this study, we attempted to investigate the effects exerted by untreated crude RA and different preparations of RA treated with alumen in combination with ginger juice (Zhinanxing) or bile juice (Dannanxing) in ICR mice. The results showed that both the Zhinanxing and Dannanxing water extracts exerted significantly increased sedative effects, as indicated by the inhibitory effects on ambulatory distances, jumps, vertical-plane entries, and prolonged pentobarbital-induced sleeping time. The extracts also exerted significantly increased analgesic effects (increase of tail flick latency in nociceptive testing) in mice than did the unprocessed crude RA after oral administration for one to three days, and effects persisted 18 days after the cessation of treatment. By contrast, the toxic effects, such as an increase in stereotype-1 episodes of locomotor activities and reduction of the retention time on a rotating rod (motor equilibrium dysfunction), were observed only in mice treated with the unprocessed crude RA for three consecutive days, and effects persisted for 18 days after the cessation of treatment. These neurotoxic effects were accompanied by an increase in plasma lipid peroxidation (LPO), decrease in whole blood nitric oxide (NO(x)) levels, and inhibition of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities in membrane fractions of erythrocytes and in the cerebral cortex. In conclusion, these findings provide scientific evidence that the processed RA indeed possesses not only enhanced neuropharmacological efficacy but also reduced neurotoxic effects as compared to the unprocessed crude RA. The signaling of NO(x)/oxidative stress/Na(+)-K(+)- ATPase activities played a role, at least in part, in the underlying mechanisms of neurotoxic effects induced by the crude RA.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 01/2011; 39(5):981-98. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mercury is a well-known toxic metal and potently induces severe neurotoxicological effects, especially in infants and children. The purpose of this study was to explore the underlying mechanisms of neurotoxic effects of mercurial compounds on the different stages of developing mice. Low-doses (the probability of human exposure in mercury-contaminated areas) of methylmercury (MeHg) (M, 0.02mg/kg/day) and mercury chloride (HgCl(2)) (H, 0.5mg/kg/day) were administered to mice of the following groups: (1) treatment with distilled water for 7 consecutive weeks after weaning (control-vehicle (CV)); exposure to mercurial compounds at different stages; (2) for 7 consecutive weeks after weaning (control-MeHg (CM) and control-HgCl(2) (CH)); (3) only during perinatal and weaning stages (MeHg-vehicle (MV) and HgCl-vehicle (HV)); and (4) in all experimental stages (MeHg-MeHg (MM) and HgCl(2)-HgCl(2) (HH)). Results revealed the neurobehavioral defects (increased locomotor activities, motor equilibrium impairment, and auditory dysfunction) that correlated with increasing Hg accumulation in CM and CH groups. However, it revealed a decrease and an increase in locomotor activities in MV and HV groups, respectively; these became more severe in MM and HH groups than in MV and HV groups. Motor equilibrium performance in MV and HV groups remained normal, while that in MM and HH groups was decreased. The most severe auditory defects (altered auditory brainstem response, ABR test) found in MM and HH groups than those in the respective CM and CH, MV and HV, including absolute wave III delays and interwave I-III latencies, which suggested that the irreversible auditory dysfunction caused by mercurial compounds. Furthermore, the alteration of lipid peroxidation (LPO), Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities, and nitric oxide (NO(x)) in the brain tissues contributed to the observed neurobehavioral dysfunction and hearing impairment. These findings provide evidence that fetuses were much more susceptible to the effects of mercurial compounds with regard to inducing severely neurotoxicological injuries as that found in human beings. The signaling of ROS/Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase/NO(x) plays a crucial role in the underlying mechanism for mercurial compound-induced toxic effects in offspring.
    Toxicology Letters 12/2010; 201(3):196-204. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of low birth weights is increased in offspring of women who are exposed to high concentrations of arsenic in drinking water compared with other women. We hypothesized that effects of arsenic on birth weight may be related to effects on myogenic differentiation. We investigated the effects of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) on the myogenic differentiation of myoblasts in vitro and muscle regeneration in vivo. C2C12 myoblasts and primary mouse and human myoblasts were cultured in differentiation media with or without As2O3 (0.1-0.5 microM) for 4 days. Myogenic differentiation was assessed by myogenin and myosin heavy chain expression and multinucleated myotube formation in vitro; skeletal muscle regeneration was tested using an in vivo mouse model with experimental glycerol myopathy. A submicromolar concentration of As2O3 dose-dependently inhibited myogenic differentiation without apparent effects on cell viability. As2O3 significantly and dose-dependently decreased phosphorylation of Akt and p70s6k proteins during myogenic differentiation. As2O3-induced inhibition in myotube formation and muscle-specific protein expression was reversed by transfection with the constitutively active form of Akt. Sections of soleus muscles stained with hematoxylin and eosin showed typical changes of injury and regeneration after local glycerol injection in mice. Regeneration of glycerol-injured soleus muscles, myogenin expression, and Akt phosphorylation were suppressed in muscles isolated from As2O3-treated mice compared with untreated mice. Our results suggest that As2O3 inhibits myogenic differentiation by inhibiting Akt-regulated signaling.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2010; 118(7):949-56. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass resulting from an imbalance between bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts. Therefore, decreased bone formation by osteoblasts may lead to the development of osteoporosis, and rate of apoptosis is responsible for the regulation of bone formation. Arsenic (As) exists ubiquitously in our environment and increases the risk of neurotoxicity, liver injury, peripheral vascular disease and cancer. However, the effect of As on apoptosis of osteoblasts is mostly unknown. Here, we found that As induced cell apoptosis in osteoblastic cell lines (including hFOB, MC3T3-E1 and MG-63) and mouse bone marrow stromal cells (M2-10B4). As also induced upregulation of Bax and Bak, downregulation of Bcl-2 and dysfunction of mitochondria in osteoblasts. As also triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as indicated by changes in cytosolic-calcium levels. We found that As increased the expression and activities of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and calpain. Transfection of cells with GRP78 or calpain siRNA reduced As-mediated cell apoptosis in osteoblasts. Therefore, our results suggest that As increased cell apoptosis in cultured osteoblasts and increased the risk of osteoporosis.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 09/2009; 241(2):173-81. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The application of titanium (Ti) alloy in joint prostheses is a good choice in orthopedic reconstruction. An elevated serum concentration of Ti has been shown in the patients with loosened knee prostheses. The precise actions of elevated Ti on the circulation remain unclear. In this study the maximal contractile responses elicited by phenylephrine in the aortas of rats 4 weeks after Ti alloy implantation and in cultured rat aortas treated with a soluble form of Ti for a period of 18h were significantly decreased as compared with controls. Aortas isolated from rats with Ti alloy implants or aortas treated with a soluble form of Ti had enhanced protein expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha and enhanced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. Treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with a soluble form of Ti for 24h dose-dependently increased eNOS protein expression. Short-term treatment of HUVECs with Ti for 1h effectively enhanced the phosphorylation of eNOS, PKC (pan) and ERK1/2. PKC inhibitors RO320432 and chelerythrine effectively inhibited Ti-enhanced phosphorylation of eNOS and PKC (pan). These results indicate that Ti in the circulation may alter endothelial function and reduce vasoconstriction.
    Acta biomaterialia 06/2009; 5(8):3258-64. · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cinnabar, a naturally occurring mercuric sulfide (HgS), has long been used in Chinese mineral medicine for more than 2000 years; currently it is still used as a sedative for infants in Asian countries. Since methylmercury is potently ototoxic, whether cinnabar also induces hearing impairment is awaited for delineation. In this study, we attempted to explore the toxic effects of cinnabar on the auditory brainstem response (ABR) system during 2-10 weeks administration at a clinical oral dosage of 10mg/kg/day in mice. The results showed that Hg contents of the brainstem were significantly increased accompanied with gradually progressive abnormality of ABR during 4-10 weeks of cinnabar administration. The progressive increase in hearing thresholds, prolonged absolute and interwave latencies of ABR apparently exhibited a gender difference. Male mice were more sensitive to cinnabar in producing hearing impairment correlated with the biochemical alterations in plasma and brainstem, e.g. an increase of lipid peroxidation (LPO), altered Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities and decrease of nitric oxide (NO(x)) levels. Moreover, accumulation of Hg contents in brainstem with a greater extent was found in male mice. These findings provide important information that the clinical dosage of cinnabar (10mg/kg/day) still exhibited ototoxicity after continuously long-term exposure. The signaling pathway of oxidative stress/Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase activities/NO of brainstem (a central auditory regulatory system) probably plays an important role in the toxic mechanisms of cinnabar-induced ototoxicity. The gender difference in cinnabar-induced neurotoxic effects merits further investigation.
    NeuroToxicology 06/2008; 29(3):386-96. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmercury (MeHg), a potent neurotoxicant, easily passes through the blood-brain barrier (BBB), accumulates in the brain regions and causes severe irreversible damage. However, the neurotoxic effects and action mechanisms of MeHg are still unclear, especially in low-dose and long-term exposure. In this study, we attempted to explore the toxic effects of low-dose MeHg (0.05 mg/kg/day), which was the possible exposed dose by ingestion in MeHg-contaminated areas, on the time course of changes in locomotor activities and auditory brainstem response (ABR) system after administration for 7 consecutive weeks in mice. The results showed that the retention time on the rotating rod (60 rpm) was preferentially decreased after 1-week oral administration with MeHg. The locomotor activities parameters of ambulatory distances and stereotype-1 episodes were significantly increased and vertical-plane entries were progressively decreased after MeHg exposure in 3 consecutive weeks. Gradually progressive abnormality of ABR (increase in hearing thresholds, prolonged absolute and interwave latencies) was found during 4-6 weeks administration of MeHg. These impairments correlated with significant Hg accumulation and biochemical alterations in brain regions and/or other tissues, including the increase of lipid peroxidation (LPO) production, influence of Na+/K(+)-ATPase activities and nitric oxide (NO) levels were found. These findings provide evidence that the signaling of oxidative stress/Na+/K(+)-ATPase/NO plays a role in the underlying mechanisms of the neurotoxic effects induced by low-dose and long-term exposure of MeHg.
    Toxicology Letters 03/2008; 176(3):188-97. · 3.15 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

227 Citations
81.55 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2013
    • China Medical University Hospital
      • Department of Radiology
      臺中市, Taiwan, Taiwan
  • 2012
    • Taipei Medical University
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2007–2012
    • National Taiwan University
      • • College of Medicine
      • • Graduate Institute of Toxicology
      Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Chung Shan Medical University
      • Institute of Medicine
      Taichung, Taiwan, Taiwan