Chun-Cheng Hou

National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan

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Publications (12)47.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: L-carnitine is synthesized mainly in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine from dietary sources. Many reports have shown that L-carnitine can protect certain cells against the toxicity of several anticancer and toxic agents, although the detailed mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of L-carnitine and its molecular mechanism in renal tubular cells undergoing gentamicin-induced apoptosis. Rat tubular cell line (NRK-52E) and mice were used as the model system. Gentamicin-induced apoptosis in renal tubular cells was examined using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labelling. We introduced short interfering RNA transfection and gene-deficient mice to investigate the protective mechanism of L-carnitine. We found that L-carnitine inhibited gentamicin-induced reactive oxygen species generation and correlative apoptotic pathways, resulting in the protection of NRK-52E cells from gentamicin-induced apoptosis. The treatment of L-carnitine also lessened gentamicin-induced renal tubular cell apoptosis in mice. L-carnitine was found to increase the prostacyclin (PGI(2)) generation in NRK-52E cells. The siRNA transfection for PGI(2) synthase significantly reduced L-carnitine-induced PGI(2) and L-carnitine's protective effect. We found that the activity of the potential PGI(2) nuclear receptor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha), was elevated by L-carnitine treatment. The siRNA-mediated blockage of PPARalpha considerably reduced the anti-apoptotic effect of L-carnitine. In PPARalpha-deficient mice, L-carnitine treatment also lost the inhibitory effect on gentamicin-induced apoptosis in kidneys. Based on these findings, we suggest that L-carnitine protects renal tubular cells from gentamicin-induced apoptosis through PGI(2)-mediated PPARalpha activation.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 07/2009; 24(10):3042-9. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Urotensin-II (UII) is a potent vasoactive peptide that has been implicated in cardiac fibrosis and renal diseases. However, the role played by UII in renal tissues is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of human UII (hUII) on rat renal proximal tubular cells of the NRK-52E line and the role of Src homology 2-containing phosphotyrosine phosphatase (SHP-2) in the hUII-induced transactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Exposure to hUII at low concentrations significantly induced proliferation in NRK-52E cells; this effect was inhibited by treatment with an ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059). UII treatment increased the phosphorylation of EGFR and induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Treatment of the ROS scavenger N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) inhibited EGFR transactivation and ERK phosphorylation induced by hUII. SHP-2 was found to interact with EGFR and be transiently oxidized following the hUII treatment. In SHP-2 knockdown cells, UII-induced phosphorylation of EGFR was less influenced by NAC, and significantly suppressed by heparin binding (HB)-EGF neutralizing antibody. Our data suggest that the ROS-mediated oxidation of SHP-2 is essential for the hUII-induced mitogenic pathway in NRK-52E cells.
    Growth factors (Chur, Switzerland) 04/2009; 27(3):155-62. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha) is a transcription factor and has been reported to inhibit cisplatin-mediated proximal tubule cell death. In addition, doxorubicin (Adriamycin)-induced nephrosis in rats is a commonly used experimental model for pharmacological studies of human chronic renal diseases. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of PPAR-alpha on doxorubicin-induced apoptosis and its detailed mechanism in NRK-52E cells and animal models. The mRNA level of PPAR-alpha was found to be reduced by doxorubicin treatment in NRK-52E cells. PPAR-alpha overexpression in NRK-52E cells significantly inhibited doxorubicin-induced apoptosis and the quantity of cleaved caspase-3. Endogenous prostacyclin (PGI(2)) augmentation, which has been reported to protect NRK-52E cells from doxorubicin-induced apoptosis, induced the translocation and activation of PPAR-alpha. The transformation of PPAR-alpha short interfering RNA was applied to silence the PPAR-alpha gene, which abolished the protective effect of PGI(2) augmentation in doxorubicin-treated cells. To confirm the protective role of PPAR-alpha in vivo, PPAR-alpha activator docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was administered to doxorubicin-treated mice, and it has been shown to significantly reduce the doxorubicin-induced apoptotic cells in renal cortex. However, this protective effect of DHA did not exist in PPAR-alpha-deficient mice. In NRK-52E cells, the overexpression of PPAR-alpha elevated the activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase and inhibited doxorubicin-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). PPAR-alpha overexpression also inhibited the doxorubicin-induced activity of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), which was associated with the interaction between PPAR-alpha and NF-kappaB p65 subunit as revealed in immunoprecipitation assays. Therefore, PPAR-alpha is capable of inhibiting doxorubicin-induced ROS and NF-kappaB activity and protecting NRK-52E cells from doxorubicin-induced apoptosis.
    Molecular Pharmacology 12/2007; 72(5):1238-45. · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gentamicin, a widely used antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial infection, can cause nephrotoxicity. Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is a compound purified from the rhizome of Ligusticum wallichi (Chuanxiong) and has been found to protect against ischaemia-reperfusion injury, nephritis and alcohol-induced toxicity in rat kidneys. We used rat renal tubular cells (RTCs), NRK-52E, in this study. The cytotoxicity of gentamicin was checked with transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining, and the generation of reactive oxygen species was measured using the fluorescent probe 2,7-dichlorofluorescein. We evaluated several apoptotic parameters: cleaved caspase levels, tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) excretion and nuclear factor Kappa B (NF-kappaB) activity. We also examined the TMP protective effect on gentamicin-induced apoptosis in rat kidneys. The results of this study showed that gentamicin was found to markedly induce apoptosis in NRK-52E cells in a dose-dependent manner; that TMP expressed a dose-dependent protective effect against gentamicin-induced apoptosis; that pre-treatment of the cells with 50 or 100 microM of TMP effectively decreased the reactive oxygen species formation induced by gentamicin; that TMP was found to inactivate the gentamicin-stimulated activities of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9, to inhibit gentamicin-induced release of cytochrome c, as well as to raise the expression of Bcl-x(L); that TMP inhibited the gentamicin-induced TNF-alpha excretion, and inactivated the transcription factor NF-kappaB; and that the TMP treatment significantly reduced apoptotic injury in rat RTCs. Based on the results of this study, we suggest that TMP can attenuate gentamicin-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic injury in rat RTCs, and that its character may have therapeutic potential for patients with renal diseases.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 04/2007; 22(3):732-9. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP), a compound purified from Rhizoma Ligustici, is a widely used active ingredient in Chinese herbal medicine to treat cardiovascular diseases on account of its vasodilatory actions and antiplatelet activity. Studies have shown that TMP can remove oxygen free radicals and protect rat kidney from ischemia-reperfusion injury. In addition, adriamycin-induced nephrosis in rats is commonly used in pharmacological studies of human chronic renal diseases. Apoptosis of renal tubular cells has been reported in adriamycin-treated rats. To examine the therapeutic potential of TMP on chronic progressive renal diseases, adriamycin-induced injury in rat renal tubular cells NRK-52E has been used to monitor its protective effect. In TUNEL staining, TMP showed a dose-dependent protective effect against adriamycin-induced apoptosis in NRK-52E cells. Pretreatment of the cells with 10 or 100 microM of TMP effectively decreased the reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation induced by adriamycin, as measured in fluorescent assays. TMP was found to reduce the adriamycin-stimulated activities of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9, inhibit adriamycin-induced release of cytochrome C, and elevate the expression of Bcl-x (L). TMP was also able to inhibit the death receptor signaling pathway and suppress the activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB in adriamycin-treated NRK-52E cells. Based on the results of this study, we suggest that TMP can attenuate adriamycin-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic injury in NRK-52E cells, and that it may have therapeutic potential for patients with renal diseases. TMP: tetramethylpyrazine LDH: lactate dehydrogenase ROS: reactive oxygen species DCF: 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein TNF-alpha: tumor necrosis factor-alpha TUNEL: terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end-labeling.
    Planta Medica 09/2006; 72(10):888-93. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used as analgesics. They inhibit cyclooxygenases (COX), preventing the formation of prostaglandins, including prostacyclin and thromboxane. A serious side effect of COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors is renal damage. To investigate the molecular basis of the renal injury, we evaluated the expression of the stress marker, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), in celecoxib-stimulated mesangial cells. We report here that a COX-2 selective NSAID, celecoxib, induced a concentration- and time-dependent increase of HO-1 expression in glomerular mesangial cells. Celecoxib-induced HO-1 protein expression was inhibited by actinomycin D and cycloheximide, suggesting that de novo transcription and translation are required in this process. N-acetylcysteine, a free radical scavenger, strongly decreased HO-1 expression, suggesting the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Celecoxib-induced HO-1 expression was attenuated by pretreatment of the cells with SP 600125 (a specific JNK inhibitor), but not SB 203580 (a specific p38 MAPK inhibitor), or PD 98059 (a specific MEK inhibitor). Consistently, celecoxib activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) as demonstrated by kinase assays and by increasing phosphorylation of this kinase. N-acetylcysteine reduced the stimulatory effect of celecoxib on stress kinase activities, suggesting an involvement of JNK in HO-1 expression. On the other hand, LY 294002, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K)-specific inhibitor, prevented the enhancement of HO-1 expression. This effect was correlated with inhibition of the phosphorylation of the PDK-1 downstream substrate Akt/protein kinase B (PKB). In conclusion, our data suggest that celecoxib-induced HO-1 expression in glomerular mesangial cells may be mediated by ROS via the JNK-PI-3K cascade.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 06/2005; 1042:235-45. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) in renal fibrosis has been well studied, but little attention has been paid to the potential role of TGF-beta in the resolution of renal inflammation. We hypothesize that TGF-beta exerts its anti-inflammation properties by stimulating its negative signaling pathway involving Smad7. A rat remnant kidney model was treated with a doxycycline-regulated Smad7 gene or control empty vector using an ultrasound-microbubble (Optison)-mediated system. Smad7 transgene expression within the kidney was tightly controlled by the addition of doxycycline in the daily drinking water. All animals were euthanized at week 4 for examination of inflammatory responses. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry revealed that gene transfer of Smad7 resulted in a substantial inhibition of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) expression (all P < 0.01 vs. control). This was associated with the attenuation of histology damage, proteinuria, serum creatinine, and an increase in creatinine clearance (all P < 0.05). In addition, overexpression of Smad7 significantly inhibited renal inflammation, including ICAM-1, iNOS, and accumulation of macrophages and T cells in both glomeruli and tubulointerstitium. Furthermore, gene transfer of Smad7 also substantially blocked nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB) activation in the rat remnant kidney (P < 0.01). TGF-beta/Smad7 signaling plays a critical role in the resolution of renal inflammation in rat remnant kidney model. Inhibition of NFkappaB activation is a key mechanism by which Smad7 suppresses renal inflammation, which suggests a crosstalk pathway between NFkappaB and Smad7. The ability of Smad7 to inhibit renal inflammation indicates that ultrasound-microbubble-mediated Smad7 gene therapy may represents a new therapeutic strategy for glomerulonephritis.
    Kidney international. Supplement 05/2005;
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 has been shown to play a critical role in hypertensive nephropathy. We hypothesized that blocking TGF-beta1 signaling could attenuate renal fibrosis in a rat model of remnant kidney disease. Groups of six rats were subjected to 5/6 nephrectomy and received renal arterial injection of a doxycycline-regulated Smad7 gene or control empty vector using an ultrasound-microbubble-mediated system. Smad7 transgene expression within the kidney was tightly controlled by the addition of doxycycline in the daily drinking water. All animals were euthanized at week 4 for renal functional and histological examination. Hypertension of equivalent magnitude (190 to 200 mmHg) developed in both Smad7- and empty vector-treated rats. However, treatment with Smad7 substantially inhibited Smad2/3 activation and prevented progressive renal injury by inhibiting the rise of 24-hour proteinuria (P < 0.001) and serum creatinine (P < 0.001), preserving creatinine clearance (P < 0.05), and attenuating renal fibrosis and vascular sclerosis such as collagen I and III expression (P < 0.01) and myofibroblast accumulation (P < 0.001). In conclusion, TGF-beta/Smad signaling plays a critical role in renal fibrosis in a rat remnant kidney model. The ability of Smad7 to block Smad2/3 activation and attenuate renal and vascular sclerosis demonstrates that ultrasound-mediated Smad7 gene therapy may be a useful therapeutic strategy for the prevention of renal fibrosis in association with hypertension.
    American Journal Of Pathology 03/2005; 166(3):761-71. · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Pathology - AMER J PATHOL. 01/2005; 166(3):761-771.
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs) accumulation in tissue has been implicated in diabetic related complications, including diabetic nephropathy. Activation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) ameliorates diabetic nephropathy. In the present study, we investigated the effects of AGEs on inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and nitric oxide production, and the effects of rosiglitazone, an activator of PPAR-gamma, on AGE-induced iNOS expression and nitrite release in glomerular mesangial cells. AGEs caused a dose- and time-dependent increase of iNOS induction and nitrite accumulation in mesangial cells. A protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor (genistein), or a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor (SB203580) suppressed AGE-induced iNOS expression and nitrite release from mesangial cells. Addition of bovine serum albumin (BSA)-AGEs to mesangial cells increased p38 MAPK activities. Activation of PPAR-gamma by rosiglitazone inhibited AGE-induced iNOS expression, nitrite release, and p38 MAPK activation in mesangial cells. AGE-stimulated nitrite release was attenuated by pretreatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and anti-transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) antibodies. AGE-induced iNOS expression was inhibited by treatment with a nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) inhibitor, pyrrolidone dithiocarbamate. Addition of BSA-AGEs to mesangial cells stimulated p65 NF-kappaB translocation from the cytosol to the nucleus. These data suggest that cytokine release, NF-kappaB and p38 MAPK-dependent pathways may play a role in AGE-induced iNOS expression and subsequent nitric oxide production in mesangial cells. Rosiglitazone may prevent AGE-induced iNOS expression by interfering with p38 MAPK activity.
    Kidney International 06/2004; 65(5):1664-75. · 7.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stevioside is a sweet-tasting glycoside isolated from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana. It has been used as a noncaloric sugar substitute in Japan and Brazil for decades. Previous studies have shown that it lowered blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats by intravenous injection. This study was designed to evaluate the hypotensive effect of stevioside in dogs and to define the underlying mechanism. After nasogastric administration of stevioside powder (200 mg/kg), the blood pressure of healthy mongrel dogs began to significantly decrease at 60 min and returned to baseline level at 180 min. The reduction of blood pressure was more rapid (at 5-10 min) and effective after intravenous injection. However, no significant change of blood pressure was noted after injection through left vertebral artery, implicating that the hypotensive effect is not related to the central nervous system. Stevioside also showed significant hypotensive effects in renal hypertensive dogs, in a dose-dependent manner. In cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells (A7r5 cell line), stevioside can dose-dependently inhibit the stimulatory effects of vasopressin and phenylephrine on intracellular Ca(2+) in a calcium-containing medium. However, no intracellular Ca(2+) inhibitory effect was observed in calcium-free medium, implicating that stevioside may inhibit the Ca(2+) influx from extracellular fluid. Our present data show that stevioside did not influence the calcium ionophore (A23187) induced Ca(2+) influx, indicating that the antagonistic effect was through Ca(2+) channels. This study confirmed that stevioside is an effective antihypertensive natural product, and its hypotensive mechanism may be probably due to inhibition of the Ca(2+) influx.
    Pharmacology 02/2003; 67(1):14-20. · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Nephron 01/2003; 92(4):952-4. · 13.26 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

206 Citations
47.65 Total Impact Points


  • 2005
    • National Yang Ming University
      • Institute of Clinical Medicine
      Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Wan Fang Hospital
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Taipei Medical University
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan