Heyan Zhao

Nantong University, Tungchow, Jiangsu Sheng, China

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Publications (5)9.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hippocampus is one of the neurogenesis areas in adult mammals, but the function of astrocytes in this area is still less known. In our previous study, the fimbria-fornix (FF)-transected hippocampal extracts promoted the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of radial glial cells in vitro. To explore the effects of hippocampal extracts on gliogenesis, the hippocampal astrocytes were treated by normal or ff-transected hippocampal extracts in vitro. The cells were immunostained by brain lipid-binding protein (BLBP), nestin, and SOX2 to assess their state of activation. The effects of astrocyte-conditioned medium on the neuronal differentiation of hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) were also investigated. After treatment of FF-transected hippocampal extracts, the number of BLBP, nestin, and Sox-positive cells were obviously more than the cells which treated by normal hippocampal extracts, these cells maintained a state of activation and the activated astrocyte-conditioned medium also promoted the differentiation of NSCs into more neurons. These findings suggest that the astrocytes can be activated by FF-transected hippocampal extracts and these activated cells also can promote the neuronal differentiation of hippocampal NSCs in vitro.
    In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal 11/2013; · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neural stem cells (NSCs) tranplantation has great potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the usage of NSCs is limited because the differentiation of NSCs into specific dopaminergic neurons has proven difficult. We have recently demonstrated that transgenic expression of Nurr1 could induce the differentiation of NSCs into tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive dopaminergic neurons, and forced co-expression of Nurr1 with Brn4 caused a dramatic increase in morphological and phenotypical maturity of these neurons. In this study, we investigated the effect of transplanted NSCs in PD model rats. The results showed that overexpression of Nurr1 promoted NSCs to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons in vivo, increased the level of dopamine (DA) neurotransmitter in the striatum, resulting in behavioral improvement of PD rats. Importantly, co-expression of Nurr1 and Brn4 in NSCs significantly increased the maturity and viability of dopaminergic neurons, further raised the DA amount in the striatum and reversed the behavioral deficit of the PD rats. Our findings provide a new potential and strategy for the use of NSCs in cell replacement therapy for PD.
    International journal of developmental neuroscience: the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience 10/2012; · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We isolated and expanded fibroblast-like cells from the Wharton's jelly of human umbilical cord successfully. Immunocytochemistry showed that they were positive for several markers of mesenchymal stem cells (CD73, CD90, and CD105) and integrin markers (CD29 and CD44), but negative for a hematopoietic cell maker (CD45) and an endothelial cell marker (CD31). Their differentiation into osteocytes and adipocytes under specific conditions indicated that they had multi-lineage differentiation potential. Therefore these results proved that the cells we obtained from Wharton's jelly were human umbilical cord mensenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs). Using immunocytochemistry and Western blotting analysis, we found that after treatment with neuronal induction medium [NIM; consisting of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and low-serum media] for 14 days, hUCMSCs expressed a neuronal specific marker, microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2), and extended neurite-like processes. After treatment with NIM, supplemented with hippocampal cholinergic neurostimulating peptide (HCNP) or rat denervated hippocampal extract [rDHE; derived from rat fimbria fornix (FF) transected hippocampus], hUCMSCs expressed choline acetytransferase (ChAT) and this action could be enhanced when cells were cultured with NIM, supplemented with HCNP and rDHE in combination. ELISA showed that these ChAT-positive cells could secrete acetylcholine (ACh). These findings indicate that hUCMSCs possess the potential of differentiation into functional ChAT-positive cells in vitro and provide a new candidate of cells for the cell transplantation to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD).
    International journal of developmental neuroscience: the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience 06/2012; 30(6):471-7. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mash1, a member of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor family, has previously been considered essential for neuronal differentiation and specification in the nervous system. In this study, we investigated the expression of Mash1 in the hippocampus after fimbria-fornix (FF) transection. Western blot showed that protein of Mash1 increased significantly and peaked at day 7 after FF transection. Immunofluorescence indicated that after FF transection, more newborn cells differentiated into Mash1 positive cells in the deafferented side than that in the normal side, and we investigated that in the neurogenic area, subgranular zone (SGZ), a part of Mash1 positive cells were NeuN positive, and more Mash1/NeuN double positive neurons were identified in the deafferented side than that in the normal side. Additionally, the number of Mash1/NeuN double positive neurons in SGZ increased significantly and peaked at day 7 after FF transection. In vitro, immunofluorescence revealed that extracts of the deafferented hippocampus promoted neuronal differentiation to a greater extent than extracts from normal hippocampus. Deafferented extracts also enhanced Mash1 expression in MAP-2 positive neurons. This study concludes that after FF transection, Mash1 expression in the deafferented hippocampus increased and might play an important role in inducing local progenitors to differentiate into neurons.
    Neuroscience Letters 05/2012; 520(1):26-31. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the effects of deafferented hippocampal extracts on the differentiation of radial glial cells (RGCs), hippocampal RGCs of postnatal day 1 rats were isolated under adherent conditions in vitro. Protein extracts of deafferented hippocampus were prepared from adult rats following fimbria fornix lesion. RGCs were exposed to extracts of deafferented or normal hippocampus and the type and extent of proliferation and differentiation were evaluated. We report that extracts of deafferented hippocampus more effectively promoted RGC proliferation than extracts of normal hippocampus. Moreover, although RGC differentiation in vitro primarily generated cells of glial lineages, cells exposed to extracts of deafferented hippocampus, but not of normal hippocampus, showed a significantly increased trend towards the generation of cells of neuronal lineages. We conclude that extracts of deafferented hippocampus promote RGC proliferation and neurogenesis.
    Neuroscience Letters 07/2011; 498(1):93-8. · 2.03 Impact Factor