Gang Zhao

Tongji Hospital, Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China

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Publications (10)32.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) induces endothelial dysfunction and is correlated with diabetes. This study was designed to investigate the effects of 20-HETE on endothelial insulin signaling.Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) or C57BL/6J mice were treated with 20-HETE in the presence or absence of insulin, and p-ERK1/2, p-JNK, IRS-1/PI3K/AKT/eNOS pathway, were examined in endothelial cells and aortas by immunoblotting. eNOS activity and nitric oxide production were measured. 20-HETE increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation and IRS-1 phosphorylation at Ser616; these effects were reversed by ERK1/2 inhibition. We further observed that 20-HETE treatment resulted in impaired insulin-stimulated IRS-1 phosphorylation at Tyr632 and subsequent PI3-kinase/Akt activation. Furthermore, 20-HETE treatment blocked insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of eNOS at the stimulatory Ser1177 site, eNOS activation and NO production; these effects were reversed by inhibiting ERK1/2. Treatment of C57BL/6J mice with 20-HETE resulted in ERK1/2 activation and impaired insulin-dependent activation of the IRS-1/PI3K/Akt/eNOS pathway in the aorta. Our data suggest that the 20-HETE activation of IRS-1 phosphorylation at Ser616 is dependent on ERK1/2 and leads to impaired insulin-stimulated vasodilator effects that are mediated by the IRS-1/PI3K/AKT/eNOS pathway.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e95841. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytochrome P450 epoxygenase-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) have multiple biological functions in cardiovascular homeostasis. The anti-inflammatory, anti-migratory and pro-proliferative effects of EETs suggest a possible beneficial role for EETs in the apoptosis, proliferation and migration of pulmonary vascular cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of exogenous EETs and cytochrome P450 2J2 (CYP2J2) overexpression on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced pulmonary artery endothelial cell (PAEC) apoptosis, and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-induced pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (PASMC) proliferation and migration. PAECs and PASMCs were cultured from porcine pulmonary arteries. Our findings indicated that EETs or CYP2J2 overexpression significantly protected the PAECs from TNF-α-induced apoptosis, as evaluated by cell viability and flow cytometry. Two mechanisms were found to be involved in these important protective effects: firstly, EETs and CYP2J2 overexpression inhibited the decrease in the expression of the antiapoptotic proteins, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, as well as the increase in the expression of the pro-apoptotic protein, Bax, mediated by TNF-α; secondly, they activated the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways. We also found that 11,12-EET and 14,15-EET significantly inhibited TGF-β1-stimulated PASMC migration. However, EETs did not suppress TGF-β1-induced PASMC proliferation in vitro. These data may represent a novel approach to mitigate pulmonary vascular remodeling in diseases, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension.
    International Journal of Molecular Medicine 07/2013; · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytochrome P450 epoxygenase 2J2 (CYP2J2) metabolizes arachidonic acid to form epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which possess various beneficial effects on cardiovascular system. However, whether increasing EETs production by CYP2J2 overexpression in vivo could prevent abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains unknown. Here we investigated the effects of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated CYP2J2 overexpression on angiotensin (Ang) II-induced AAA in ApoE-/- mice. rAAV-CYP2J2 delivery led to an abundant aortic CYP2J2 expression and increased EETs generation. It was shown that CYP2J2 overexpression attenuated matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression and activity, elastin degradation, and AAA formation, which was associated with reduced aortic inflammation and macrophage infiltration. In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), rAAV-mediated CYP2J2 overexpression and increased production of EETs markedly suppressed Ang II-induced inflammatory cytokines expression. Moreover, overexpressed CYP2J2 and EETs inhibited Ang II-induced macrophage migration in a VSMC-macrophage co-culture system. We further indicated that these protective effects were mediated by PPARγ activation. Taken together, these results provide evidence that rAAV-mediated CYP2J2 overexpression prevents AAA development which is likely via PPARγ activation and anti-inflammation action, suggesting that increasing EETs level could be considered as a potential strategy to prevent and treat AAA.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 02/2013; · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell senescence is central to a large body of age related pathology, and accordingly, cardiomyocytes senescence is involved in many age related cardiovascular diseases. In consideration of that, delaying cardiomyocytes senescence is of great importance to control clinical cardiovascular diseases. Previous study indicated that bradykinin (BK) protected endothelial cells from senescence induced by oxidative stress. However, the effects of bradykinin on cardiomyocytes senescence remain to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effect of bradykinin on H2O2-induced H9C2 cells senescence. Bradykinin pretreatment decreased the senescence induced by H2O2 in cultured H9C2 cells in a dose dependent manner. Interestingly, 1 nmol/L of BK almost completely inhibited the increase in senescent cell number and p21 expression induced by H2O2. Since H2O2 induces senescence through superoxide-induced DNA damage, we also observed the DNA damage by comet assay, and BK markedly reduced DNA damage induced by H2O2, and moreover, BK treatment significantly prevented reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in H9C2 cells treated with H2O2. Importantly, when co-incubated with bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist HOE-140 or eNOS inhibitor N-methyl-L-arginine acetate salt (L-NAME), the protective effects of bradykinin on H9C2 senescence were totally blocked. Furthermore, BK administration significantly prevented the increase in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity characterized by increased ROS generation and gp91 expression and increased translocation of p47 and p67 to the membrane and the decrease in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and expression induced by H2O2 in H9C2 cells, which was dependent on BK B2 receptor mediated nitric oxide (NO) release. Bradykinin, acting through BK B2 receptor induced NO release, upregulated antioxidant Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD activity and expression while downregulating NADPH oxidase activity and subsequently inhibited ROS production, and finally protected against cardiomyocytes senescence induced by oxidative stress.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77034. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytochrome P-450 (CYP) epoxygenases metabolize arachidonic acid into epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which play important roles in regulating cardiovascular functions. The anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, proangiogenic, and antihypertensive properties of EETs suggest a beneficial role for EETs in diabetic nephropathy. Endogenous EET levels are maintained by a balance between synthesis by CYP epoxygenases and hydrolysis by epoxide hydrolases into physiologically less active dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids. Genetic disruption of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH/EPHX2) results in increased EET levels through decreased hydrolysis. This study investigated the effects of sEH gene disruption on diabetic nephropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic manifestations were attenuated in sEH-deficient mice relative to wild-type controls, with significantly decreased levels of Hb A(1c), creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen and urinary microalbumin excretion. The sEH-deficient diabetic mice also had decreased renal tubular apoptosis that coincided with increased levels of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl, and decreased levels of the proapoptotic Bax. These effects were associated with activation of the PI3K-Akt-NOS3 and AMPK signaling cascades. sEH gene inhibition and exogenous EETs significantly protected HK-2 cells from TNFα-induced apoptosis in vitro. These findings highlight the beneficial role of the CYP epoxygenase-EETs-sEH system in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy and suggest that the sEH inhibitors available may be potential therapeutic agents for this condition.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 06/2012; 303(5):E563-75. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET), the primary arachidonic acid metabolites of cytochrome P450 2J (CYP2J) epoxygenases, possess potent vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, and mitogenic effects. To date, little is known about the role of CYP2J2 and EETs in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced cardiac injury. We utilized cell culture and in vivo models to examine the effects of exogenously applied EETs or CYP2J2 overexpression on TNF-α-induced cardiac apoptosis and cardiac dysfunction. In neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, TNF-α-induced apoptosis was markedly attenuated by EETs or CYP2J2 overexpression, leading to significantly improved cell survival. Further studies showed that TNF-α decreased expression of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, decreased IκBα and PPARγ, and also inhibited PI3K-dependent Akt and EGFR signaling. Both EETs and CYP2J2 overexpression reversed the effects of TNF-α on these pathways. Furthermore, overexpression of CYP2J2 in rats prevented the decline in cardiac function that is normally observed in TNF-α-challenged animals. These results demonstrate that EETs or CYP2J2 overexpression can prevent TNF-α-induced cardiac cell injury and cardiac dysfunction by inhibiting apoptosis, reducing inflammation, and enhancing PPARγ expression. Targeting the CYP2J2 epoxygenase pathway may represent a novel approach to mitigate cardiac injury in diseases such as heart failure, where increased TNF-α levels are known to occur.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 03/2012; 53(3):456-66. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cytochrome P450 epoxygenase, CYP2J2, converts arachidonic acid to four regioisomeric epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which are highly abundant in the kidney and considered renoprotective. Accumulating evidence suggests that EETs are important in regulating renal and cardiovascular function. Further, EETs have been confirmed to exert diverse biological activities including potent vasodilation; fibrinolytic properties; and antiinflammatory, antiapoptotic, and mitogenic effects. In the current study, we investigated the effects of overexpression of CYP2J2 via recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) in protection against renal damage in a rat 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6-Nx) model of chronic renal failure. The rAAV-CYP2J2 gene delivery in vivo increased EET generation; attenuated the rise in blood pressure; and reduced the levels of proteinuria, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen. Morphological analysis indicated that rAAV-CYP2J2 gene delivery reduced 5/6 nephrectomy-induced glomerular sclerosis, tubular dilatation, luminal protein cast formation, and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. rAAV-CYP2J2 gene delivery also significantly lowered collagen I and IV deposition, as well as renal cell apoptosis detected by TUNEL staining, caspase-3 activity, and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ(m)). Furthermore, rAAV-CYP2J2 gene delivery regulated the level of protein expression including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β(1)/SMADs; matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs); mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs); and apoptosis-related proteins Bax, Bcl-2, and Bcl-x(L). Together, these findings demonstrated that rAAV-CYP2J2 gene delivery can protect remnant kidney against renal injury in 5/6-Nx rats by inhibiting apoptosis and fibrosis via regulation of protein expression including TGF-β(1)/SMADs, MMPs, MAPKs, and apoptosis-related proteins.
    Human gene therapy 01/2012; 23(7):688-99. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytochrome P450 (CYP) epoxygenases metabolize arachidonic acid into epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which play important and diverse roles in the cardiovascular system. The anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, pro-angiogenic, and anti-hypertensive properties of EETs in the cardiovascular system suggest a beneficial role for EETs in diabetic nephropathy. This study investigated the effects of endothelial specific overexpression of CYP2J2 epoxygenase on diabetic nephropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Endothelial CYP2J2 overexpression attenuated renal damage as measured by urinary microalbumin and glomerulosclerosis. These effects were associated with inhibition of TGF-β/Smad signaling in the kidney. Indeed, overexpression of CYP2J2 prevented TGF-β1-induced renal tubular epithelial-mesenchymal transition in vitro. These findings highlight the beneficial roles of the CYP epoxygenase-EET system in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.
    Prostaglandins & other lipid mediators 06/2011; 96(1-4):63-71. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: C-reactive protein (CRP) has been shown to function as an inflammatory factor to induce endothelial dysfunction and hypertension in rats. The anti-inflammatory effects of statins suggest that they may attenuate CRP-induced endothelial dysfunction and hypertension in Sprague-Dawley rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with an adeno-associated virus (AAV) to induce overexpression of human CRP (AAV-hCRP) or green fluorescent protein (GFP) control (AAV-GFP). At 2 months after injection, rats were administered rosuvastatin by daily oral gavage (10 mg kg(-1)) for 2 additional months. Rosuvastatin administration attenuated the increased blood pressure and loss of vascular endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression in AAV-hCRP-treated rats, and N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester blocked its hypotensive effect. Rosuvastatin also activated phosphoinositide 3-kinases/Akt, and inhibited Rho kinase activity in aorta. Rosuvastatin reduced the production of reactive oxygen species through downregulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase subunits, p22 phox and gp91 phox, and upregulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression. Rosuvastatin attenuated the increase in blood pressure in AAV-hCRP-treated rats through endothelial protection and antioxidant effects. Our data reveals a novel mechanism through which statins may lower blood pressure.
    Hypertension Research 05/2011; 34(7):869-75. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tubulointerstitial fibrosis (TIF) is a common pathological feature of end-stage kidney disease. Previous studies showed that upregulation of TGFbeta1 notably contributed to the chronic renal injury and irbesartan halted the development of TIF in rats with 5/6 renal mass reduction. This study was to investigate the effects of irbesartan on chronic TIF and the mechanism involved TGFbeta1 in the rodent model of chronic renal failure involving 5/6 nephrectomy. The results showed that irbesartan significantly attenuated the rise in blood pressure and tubulointerstitial injury observed in this model. Masson staining of the renal tissue revealed that there appeared severe renal tubule atrophy and fibrosis in operation group, but the lesion was attenuated mostly in irbesartan-treated group. Immunohistochemistry showed that irbesartan treatment apparently decreased the protein expression of TGFbeta1 which was up-regulated in operation groups. Western blot showed that irbesartan treatment down-regulated the expression of TGFbeta1, phosphorylated smad2 (p-smad2), AT1R and phosphorylated p38 (p-p38) MAPK, but significantly up-regulated the protein expression of smad6 as compared with operation group. These findings suggest that irbesartan attenuates hypertension and reduces the development of TIF in rats with 5/6 renal mass reduction via changes in the expression of these proteins at least including smad6, TGF-beta1, p-smad2, AT1 and p-p38 MAPK.
    Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology 02/2010; 30(1):48-54. · 0.58 Impact Factor