Hong Wei

National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (2)8.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pleiotrophin is a development-regulated cytokine and growth factor that can promote angiogenesis, cell proliferation, or differentiation, and it has been reported to have neovasculogenic effects in damaged heart. Developmentally, it is prominently expressed in fetal and neonatal hearts, but it is minimally expressed in normal adult heart. Conversely, we show in a rat model of myocardial infarction and in human dilated cardiomyopathy that pleiotrophin is markedly up-regulated. To elucidate the effects of pleiotrophin on cardiac contractile cells, we employed primary cultures of rat neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes. We show that pleiotrophin is released from cardiomyocytes in vitro in response to hypoxia and that the addition of recombinant pleiotrophin promotes caspase-mediated genomic DNA fragmentation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Functionally, it potentiates the apoptotic response of neonatal cardiomyocytes to hypoxic stress and to ultraviolet irradiation and of adult cardiomyocytes to hypoxia-reoxygenation. Moreover, UV-induced apoptosis in neonatal cardiomyocytes can be partially inhibited by small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous pleiotrophin. Mechanistically, pleiotrophin antagonizes IGF-1 associated Ser-473 phosphorylation of AKT/PKB, and it concomitantly decreases both BAD and GSK3beta phosphorylation. Adenoviral expression of constitutively active AKT and lithium chloride-mediated inhibition of GSK3beta reduce the potentiated programmed cell death elicited by pleiotrophin. These latter data indicate that pleiotrophin potentiates cardiomyocyte cell death, at least partially, through inhibition of AKT signaling. In conclusion, we have uncovered a novel function for pleiotrophin on heart cells following injury. It fosters cardiomyocyte programmed cell death in response to pro-apoptotic stress, which may be critical to myocardial injury repair.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2007; 282(48):34984-93. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M703513200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem (ES) cell lines, derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) of blastocyst-stage embryos, are pluripotent and have a virtually unlimited capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into all cell types of an embryoproper. Both human and mouse ES cell lines are the subject of intensive investigation for potential applications in developmental biology and medicine. ES cells from both sources differentiate in vitro into cells of ecto-, endoand meso-dermal lineages, and robust cardiomyogenic differentiation is readily observed in spontaneously differentiating ES cells when cultured under appropriate conditions. Molecular, cellular and physiologic analyses demonstrate that ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes are functionally viable and that these cell derivatives exhibit characteristics typical of heart cells in early stages of cardiac development. Because terminal heart failure is characterized by a significant loss of cardiomyocytes, the use of human ES cell-derived progeny represents one possible source for cell transplantation therapies. With these issues in mind, this review will focus on the differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes as a developmental model, and the possible use of ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes as source of donor cells.
    Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 10/2005; 9(4):804-17. DOI:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2005.tb00381.x · 3.70 Impact Factor