Wei Liu

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (18)33.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) is a biologically active derivative of vitamin A that is indispensable for inner ear development. The normal function of RA is achieved only at optimal homeostatic concentrations, with an excess or deficiency in RA leading to inner ear dysmorphogenesis. We present an overview of the role of RA in the developing mammalian inner ear, discussing both how and when RA may act to critically control a program of inner ear development. Molecular mechanisms of otic teratogenicity involving two members of the fibroblast growth factor family, FGF3 and FGF10, and their downstream targets, Dlx5 and Dlx6, are examined under conditions of both RA excess and deficiency. We term the effect of too little or too much RA on FGF/Dlx signaling a Goldilocks phenomenon. We demonstrate that in each case (RA excess, RA deficiency), RA can directly affect FGF3/FGF10 signaling within the otic epithelium, leading to downregulated expression of these essential signaling molecules, which in turn, leads to diminution in Dlx5/Dlx6 expression. Non-cell autonomous affects of the otic epithelium subsequently occur, altering transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) expression in the neighboring periotic mesenchyme and serving as a putative explanation for RA-mediated otic capsule defects. We conclude that RA coordinates inner ear morphogenesis by controlling an FGF/Dlx signaling cascade, whose perturbation by deviations in local retinoid concentrations can lead to inner ear dysmorphogenesis.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 12/2010; 152A(12):2947-61. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are considered promising candidate cells for therapeutic cartilage and bone regeneration. Because tissue regeneration and embryonic development may involve similar pathways, understanding common pathways may lead to advances in regenerative medicine. In embryonic limb development, fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) play a role in chondrogenic differentiation. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare FGFR expression in in vivo embryonic limb development and in vitro chondrogenesis of MSCs. Our study showed that in in vitro chondrogenesis of MSCs three sequential stages can be found, as in embryonic limb development. A mesenchymal condensation (indicated by N-cadherin) is followed by chondrogenic differentiation (indicated by collagen II), and hypertrophy (indicated by collagen X). FGFR1-3 are expressed in a stage-dependent pattern during in vitro differentiation and in vivo embryonic limb development. In both models FGFR2 is clearly expressed by cells in the condensation phase. No FGFR expression was observed in differentiating and mature hyaline chondrocytes, whereas hypertrophic chondrocytes stained strongly for all FGFRs. To evaluate whether stage-specific modulation of chondrogenic differentiation in MSCs is possible with different subtypes of FGF, FGF2 and FGF9 were added to the chondrogenic medium during different stages in the culture process (early or late). FGF2 and FGF9 differentially affected the amount of cartilage formed by MSCs depending on the stage in which they were added. These results will help us understand the role of FGF signaling in chondrogenesis and find new tools to monitor and control chondrogenic differentiation.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 10/2009; 16(2):545-56. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new adaptive particle filter based camera pose estimation method is implemented. The noise variance between two adjacent frames to update the prediction model dynamically, and then interior points statistical method is used to calculate the weight. After normalizing the weight, the position and orientation of the camera are calculated. Experimental results show that this method improves the robustness and practicability of marker-based systems.
    Journal of Computer Applications 09/2009; 28(10):2679-2682.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an efficient, interactive foreground/background image segmentation method using mean shift (MS) and graph cuts, in order to improve the segmentation performance with little user interaction. Design/methodology/approach – By incorporating the advantages of the mean shift method and the graph cut algorithm, the proposed approach ensures the accuracy of segmentation results. First, the user marks certain pixels as foreground or background. Then the graph is constructed and the cost function composed of the boundary properties and the region properties is defined. To obtain the hidden information of user interaction, the foreground and background marks are clustered separately by the mean shift method. The region properties are determined by the minimum distances from the unmarked pixels to the foreground and background clusters. The boundary properties are determined by the relationship between the unmarked pixels and its neighbor pixels. Finally, using the graph cuts method solves the energy minimization problem to get the foreground which is of interest. Findings – The paper presents experimental results and compares the results to other methods. It can be seen from the comparison that this method can obtain a better segmentation performance in many cases. Originality/value – The paper incorporates the advantages of the mean shift method and the graph cut algorithm to obtain better segmentation results, even though the scene is complex.
    Sensor Review 03/2009; 29(2):157-162. · 0.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt proteins constitute one of the major families of secreted ligands that function in developmental signaling, however, little is known of the role of Wnt5a during inner ear development. It is hypothesized that Wnt5a acts as a mediator of chondrogenesis in the developing otic capsule, a cartilaginous structure that surrounds the developing inner ear and presages the formation of the endochondral bony labyrinth. We report the pattern of expression of Wnt5a protein and mRNA in the developing mouse inner ear using immunohistochemistry, whole-mount in situ hybridization and RT-PCR, and the ability of exogenous Wnt5a to stimulate otic capsule chondrogenesis when added to high-density cultures of periotic mesenchyme containing otic epithelium (periotic mesenchyme + otic epithelium), a well-established model of otic capsule formation. We show that in the presence of secreted frizzled related protein 3 (sfrp3), a Wnt antagonist expressed in the developing inner ear, or Wnt5a-specific antisense oligonucleotide, which diminishes endogenous Wnt5a, otic capsule chondrogenesis is suppressed in culture. We determined by histological analysis and aggrecan immunoreactivity that chondrogenic differentiation is disturbed in Wnt5a null embryos, and provide evidence that the periotic mesenchyme + otic epithelium harvested from Wnt5a null mice is compromised in its ability to differentiate into cartilage when interacted in culture. We propose a model whereby sfrp3 and Wnt5a act antagonistically to ensure appropriate patterns of chondrogenesis and provide coordinated control of otic capsule formation. Our findings support Wnt5a and sfrp3 as regulators of otic capsule formation in the developing mouse inner ear.
    Growth factors (Chur, Switzerland) 12/2008; 26(6):343-54. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a novel non-rigid registration method for augmented reality applications using AAM and factorization method. The method can be divided into two stages: offline construction of 3D shape basis and online estimation of the 3D pose parameters together with the 3D shape coefficients. In offline stage, we get the training data with the use of the AAM algorithm, then we use factorization method to obtain the object 3D shape basis set from image sequences. In online stage, given an initial 3D shape coefficients and the rotation matrix, we can get the non-rigid object coordinates under the world coordinate systems by projecting the 3D points which are the linear combination of the 3D shape basis to the 2D image. Then we use Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to optimize the 3D shape coefficients and the 3D pose parameters simultaneously. Some experimental results demonstrate this method is effective and useful for augmented reality applications.
    Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design, 2008. CSCWD 2008. 12th International Conference on; 05/2008
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) is essential for inner ear development. However, exposure to excess RA at a critical period leads to inner ear defects. These defects are associated with disruption in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. This study investigates the role of Dlx5 in the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions that guide otic capsule chondrogenesis, as well as the effect of excess in utero RA exposure on Dlx5 expression in the developing mouse inner ear. Control of Dlx5 by Fgf3 and Fgf10 under excess RA conditions is investigated by examining the developmental window during which Fgf3 and Fgf10 are altered by in utero RA exposure and by testing the ability of Fgf3 and Fgf10 to mitigate the reduction in chondrogenesis and Dlx5 expression mediated by RA in high-density cultures of periotic mesenchyme containing otic epithelium, a model of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in which chondrogenic differentiation of periotic mesenchyme ensues in response to induction by otic epithelium. Dlx5 deletion alters expression of TGFbeta(1), important for otic capsule chondrogenesis, in the developing inner ear and compromises the ability of cultured periotic mesenchyme containing otic epithelium, harvested from Dlx5 null embryos, to differentiate into cartilage when compared with control cultures. Downregulation in Dlx5 ensues as a consequence of in utero RA exposure in association with inner ear dysmorphogenesis. This change in Dlx5 is noted at embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5), but not at E9.5, suggesting that Dlx5 is not a direct RA target. Before Dlx5 downregulation, Fgf3 and Fgf10 expression is modified in the inner ear by excess RA, with the ability of exogenous Fgf3 and Fgf10 to rescue chondrogenesis and Dlx5 expression in RA-treated cultures of periotic mesenchyme containing otic epithelium supporting these fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) as intermediary genes by which RA mediates its effects. Disruption in an Fgf3, -10/Dlx5 signaling cascade is operant in molecular mechanisms of inner ear teratogenesis by excess RA.
    Birth Defects Research Part B Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology 05/2008; 83(2):134-44. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily, including TGF-beta1 and bone morphogenetic protein (BmP2, BmP4), participates in the regulation of the developing cartilaginous otic capsule, which prefigures the endochondral bony labyrinth of the inner ear. This study investigates Smad-6 and -7, downstream components of the TGF-beta/BMP signaling pathway, in otic capsule chondrogenic control, and supports a function for these inhibitory Smads as negative regulators of capsule chondrogenesis. The importance of otic capsule chondrogenic control and implications of Smad signaling for otosclerosis, a disease affecting the endochondral bony labyrinth, are indicated.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 12/2007; 1116:141-8. · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that bcl-2 prevents oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of auditory sensory cells in explants of the organ of Corti and dissociated cell cultures of the spiral ganglion. Organ of Corti explants and dissociated spiral ganglion cell cultures obtained from 3-day-old (P3) rats or adult spiral ganglion cell cultures from 28-day-old (P28) rats were transduced with vectors containing a human bcl-2 gene. Cultures were then exposed to neomycin, cisplatin or subjected to withdrawal of neurotrophin supplementation. Outcome measures included hair cell and neuron counts, mitochondrial membrane potential and a histological measure of apoptosis. Expression of bcl-2 in the organ of Corti explants and neuronal cell cultures provided a significant level of protection against cell death. Bcl-2 expression in the organ of Corti explants also protected mitochondria from loss of membrane potential and blocked an early step in the commitment of hair cells to apoptosis. Expression of bcl-2 in cochlear tissues protects sensory cells from a variety of insults that have been demonstrated to damage the inner ear.
    ORL 02/2007; 69(1):43-50. · 0.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent that causes toxic damage to the inner ear (ototoxicity). Although much attention has been directed at identifying ways to protect the inner ear against cisplatin ototoxicity, little is known about the mechanisms by which cisplatin causes damage to the inner ear. Binding of high-mobility group (HMG1) protein to cisplatin-modified DNA participates in mediating the antitumor effects of cisplatin. This study seeks to determine if HMG1 may also participate in the ototoxicity of cisplatin. To address this, patterns and levels of expression of HMG1 have been evaluated in the rat cochlea in response to cisplatin chemotherapy. Our findings demonstrate a marked upregulation of HMG1 protein in the spiral (auditory) ganglion cells of cisplatin-treated rats in comparison to levels of expression of HMG1 in the spiral ganglion cells of untreated control animals. Increased levels of HMG1 were observed in the cisplatin-treated kidney, a peripheral target tissue of cisplatin, but not in the heart, a tissue not typically affected by cisplatin chemotherapy, suggesting HMG1 specificity in cisplatin toxicity. Furthermore, levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), an HMG-regulated enzyme associated with cochlear pathology, are increased in the spiral ganglion cells of cisplatin-treated rats 1 day post the cisplatin-mediated upregulation in HMG1. This increase in HMG1 and iNOS can be prevented in the cochleae of cisplatin-treated rats by administration of l-methionine, an established method of protection against cisplatin ototoxicity. Our results support a role for HMG1 and iNOS in mechanisms of cisplatin ototoxicity in the rat inner ear.
    NeuroToxicology 02/2006; 27(1):22-30. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) is a vitamin A derivative that participates in patterning and regulation of inner ear development. Either excess RA or RA deficiency during a critical stage of inner ear development can produce teratogenic effects. Previous studies have shown that in utero exposure of the developing mouse inner ear to a high dose of all-trans RA (atRA) results in severe malformations of the inner ear that are associated with diminished levels of endogenous transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta(1)) protein. In this study, the effects of a teratogenic level of atRA on levels and patterns of expression of TGFbeta receptor II (TGFbetaRII) and Smad2, a downstream component of the TGFbeta signal transduction pathway, are investigated in the developing mouse inner ear. The expression pattern of endogenous RA receptor alpha (RARalpha) and the ability of an RARalpha(1)-specific antisense oligonucleotide (AS) to modulate otic capsule chondrogenesis are demonstrated in the inner ear and in culture. Endogenous TGFbetaRII and Smad2 are downregulated in the inner ear following in utero atRA treatment. In addition, a reduction in endogenous TGFbeta(1) and a marked suppression of chondrogenesis occur in RARalpha(1) AS-treated cultures in comparison to untreated or oligonucleotide-treated control cultures. This chondrogenic suppression can be partially overcome by supplementation of RARalpha(1) AS-treated cultures with exogenous TGFbeta(1) protein. Our findings support a role for TGFbeta in the physiological and pathological effects of RA on inner ear development.
    Birth Defects Research Part A Clinical and Molecular Teratology 05/2005; 73(4):218-28. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have established an in vitro model of long-time culture of 4-day-old rat utricular maculae to study aminoglycoside-induced vestibular hair-cell renewal in the mammalian inner ear. The explanted maculae were cultured for up to 28 days on the surface of a membrane insert system. In an initial series of experiments utricles were exposed to 1 mM of gentamicin for 48 h and then allowed to recover in unsupplemented medium or in medium supplemented with the anti-mitotic drug aphidicolin. In a parallel control series, explants were not exposed to gentamicin. Utricles were harvested at specified time points from the second through the 28th day in vitro. Whole-mount utricles were stained with phalloidin-fluorescein isothiocyanate and their stereociliary bundles visualized and counted. In a second experimental series 2'-bromo-5'deoxyuridine labeling was used to confirm the antimitotic efficacy of aphidicolin. Loss of hair-cell stereociliary bundles was nearly complete 3 days after exposure to gentamicin, with the density of stereociliary bundles only 3-4% of their original density. Renewal of hair-cell bundles was abundant (i.e. 15x increase) in cultures in unsupplemented medium, with a peak of stereociliary bundle renewal reached after 21 days in vitro. A limited amount of hair-cell renewal also occurred in the presence of the anti-mitotic drug, aphidicolin. These results suggest that spontaneous renewal of hair-cell stereociliary bundles following gentamicin damage in utricular explants predominantly follows a pathway that includes mitotic events, but that a small portion of the hair-cell stereociliary bundle renewal does not require mitotic activity.
    Hearing Research 07/2003; 180(1-2):114-25. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Formation of the cartilaginous otic capsule is directed by otic epithelial-periotic mesenchymal interactions. In response to induction by otic epithelium, condensations of mesenchyme appear in the periotic region and form a chondrified otic capsule that serves as the template for the subsequent formation of the endochondral bony labyrinth. Previous studies indicate that members of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily, including transforming growth factor beta(1), participate in guiding these tissue interactions. In this study, we report the localization of bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) to the mesenchymal and epithelial-derived tissues of the mouse inner ear between 10.5 and 14 days of embryonic development. We demonstrate modulation of chondrogenesis in cultured mouse periotic mesenchyme by exogenous BMP4 protein and investigate the function of endogenous BMP4 in otic capsule chondrogenesis. We show that in the presence of the BMP antagonist, Noggin, otic capsule chondrogenesis is suppressed in culture in a dose-dependent manner. Consistent with this finding, addition of BMP4-specific antisense oligonucleotide to cultures of mouse periotic mesenchyme containing otic epithelium decreases levels of endogenous BMP4 protein and suppresses the chondrogenic response of the cultured periotic mesenchyme, providing evidence of the necessity for BMP4 in mediating otic capsule chondrogenesis. Supplementation of either Noggin- or BMP4 antisense oligonucleotide-treated cultures with BMP4 protein can restore the extent of chondrogenesis to normal levels. Our findings support BMP4 as an essential mediator of chondrogenesis in the developing otic capsule in situ.
    Developmental Dynamics 04/2003; 226(3):427-38. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is an important process, both for normal development of the inner ear and for removal of oxidative-stress damaged sensory cells from the cochlea. Oxidative-stressors of auditory sensory cells include: loss of trophic factor support, ischemia-reperfusion, and ototoxins. Loss of trophic factor support and cisplatin ototoxicity, both initiate the intracellular production of reactive oxygen species and free radicals. The interaction of reactive oxygen species and free radicals with membrane phospholipids of auditory sensory cells creates aldehydic lipid peroxidation products. One of these aldehydes, 4-hydroxynonenal, functions as a mediator of apoptosis for both auditory neurons and hair cells. We present several approaches for the prevention of auditory sensory loss from reactive oxygen species-induced apoptosis: 1) preventing the formation of reactive oxygen species; (2) neutralizing the toxic products of membrane lipid peroxidation; and 3) blocking the damaged sensory cells' apoptotic pathway.
    International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 06/2000; 18(2-3):259-70. · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Dorothy A. Frenz, Wei Liu
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Previous studies have shown that in utero exposure of the mouse embryo to high doses of all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) produces defects of the developing inner ear and its surrounding cartilaginous capsule, while exposure of cultured periotic mesenchyme plus otic epithelium to high doses of exogenous atRA results in an inhibition of otic capsule chondrogenesis.Methods: In this study, we examine the effects of atRA exposure on the endogenous expression of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), a signaling molecule that mediates the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions that guide the development of the capsule of the inner ear.Results: Our results demonstrate a marked reduction in immunostaining for TGF-β1 in the periotic mesenchyme of atRA-exposed embryos of age E10.5 and E12 days in comparison with control specimens. Consistent with these in vivo findings, high-density cultures of E10.5 periotic mesenchyme plus otic epithelium, treated with doses of atRA that suppress chondrogenesis, showed significantly decreased levels of TGF-β1, as compared with TGF-β1 levels in untreated control cultures. Furthermore, we demonstrate a rescue of cultured periotic mesenchyme plus otic epithelium from atRA-induced chondrogenic suppression by supplementation of cultures with excess TGF-β1.Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that TGF-β1 plays a role in mechanisms of atRA teratogenicity during inner ear development.Teratology 61:297–304, 2000. © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Teratology 03/2000; 61(4):297 - 304.
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) is an active metabolite of vitamin A that is teratogenic when present in excess during mammalian embryogenesis. We have investigated the effect of embryonic exposure to nonphysiological levels of all-trans RA on the development of the mouse inner ear. Dysmorphogenesis of both vestibular and auditory portions of the inner ear, and abnormal formation of the surrounding capsule are produced by exposure to teratogenic levels of RA at an embryonic age of 9 days (E9). There was no observable teratogenic effect of RA when administered at earlier (i.e., E7 or E8) or later (i.e., E10) stages of otic morphogenesis. We hypothesize that exposure to high levels of RA during a critical period of early otic morphogenesis interferes with the inductive tissue interactions required for inner ear development.
    Teratology 06/1996; 53(5):292-303.
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    ABSTRACT: Auditory hair cells produce trophic factors that directly affect maturation and survival of auditory neurons. These factors include two members of the neurotrophin family: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin- 3 (NT-3). Loss of hair cells, as a result of either noise trauma or ototoxic damage, results in the degeneration of auditory neurons. An in vitro model of early postnatal rat organ of Corti/spiral ganglion explants was used to study the effects of deprivation and supplementation of nerve growth factor (NGF), BDNF, and NT-3 on neuronal survival. Immunolocalization of receptors for these neurotrophins correlated with their effectiveness as promoters of neuronal survival. BDNF affected early neuronal survival, whereas NT-3 was the most important survival factor for maturing auditory neurons. NGF was shown to maintain axonal morphology. Our results support the hypothesis that changes in the expression of these neurotrophins and their specific receptors in the maturing cochlea may control the postnatal processes of neuronal apoptosis and maturation of the innervation of both inner and outer hair cells. The results suggest that these growth factors have potential for preventing neuronal degeneration as well as enhancing the repair of damaged neuronal processes in the traumatized auditory system. (C) 1996, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.
    Ontology & Neurotology 04/1996; 17(3). · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Auditory neurons depend upon the integrity of both their peripheral (auditory hair cells) and central (cochlear nucleus) targets for survival. One proposed trophic mechanism is the production of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) by auditory hair cells. Modiolus-spiral ganglion explants from adult rats that closely mirror cell-cell interactions and in vivo tissue relationships within this ganglion provide a model for testing trophic factors. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), NT-3 and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) were tested for their ability, both individually and in combination, to support neuronal survival. NT-3 was the strongest individual promoter of survival, while CNTF (a cytokine) with NT-3 (a neurotrophin) was the most effective combination for promoting the survival of auditory neurons.
    Neuroreport 08/1995; 6(11):1533-7. · 1.64 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

342 Citations
33.92 Total Impact Points


  • 1995–2010
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
      • Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2009
    • Huazhong University of Science and Technology
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China
  • 2007
    • University of Kansas
      Lawrence, Kansas, United States