Fengqi Hu

State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States

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Publications (6)14.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sepsis is a major cause of acute kidney injury (AKI) with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A, SP-D) play a critical role in host defense and regulate inflammation during infection. Recent studies indicate SP-A and SP-D are expressed in the kidney. The current study examines the role of SP-A and SP-D in the pathogenesis of sepsis-induced AKI. Wild-type (WT) and SP-A/SP-D double knockout (KO) C57BL/6 mice were treated by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) or sham surgery. Histological, cellular and molecular indices of kidney injury were investigated in septic mice 6 and 24 h after CLP. 24 h post-CLP, kidney injury was more severe, renal function was decreased, blood creatinine and BUN were higher in septic SP-A/SP-D KO mice (p<0.05, vs septic WT mice). Kidney edema and vascular permeability were increased in septic SP-A/SP-D KO mice (p<0.01, vs septic WT mice). Apoptotic cells increased significantly (p<0.01) in the kidney of septic SP-A/SP-D KO mice compared to septic WT mice. Molecular analysis revealed levels of Bcl-2 (an inhibitor of apoptosis) were lower and levels of caspase-3 (a biomarker of apoptosis) were higher in the kidney of septic SP-A/SP-D KO mice (p<0.01, vs septic WT mice). Furthermore, levels of NF-κB and phosphorylated IκB-α increased significantly in the kidney of septic SP-A/SP-D KO mice than septic WT mice, suggesting SP-A/SP-D KO mice have a more pronounced inflammatory response to sepsis. We conclude SP-A and SP-D attenuate kidney injury by modulating inflammation and apoptosis in sepsis-induced AKI.
    Shock (Augusta, Ga.) 09/2014; · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Surfactant protein A (SP-A), encoded by two functional genes, SP-A1 and SP-A2, is essential for the inflammatory process and host defence in the lungs. Recent studies have demonstrated the extrapulmonary expression of SP-A. Similar to the lungs, the kidneys are organs exposed to external pathogens. The present study evaluated the expression and location of SP-A in the kidneys. The effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on the expression of SP-A subtypes was also studied in renal tubular epithelial (HK-2) cells. METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining was performed using polyclonal antibody against SP-A. RT-PCR was also performed using mRNA from normal human renal tissues and HK-2 cells. The expressions of the SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes were determined by PCR-based RFLP analysis, gene-specific amplification, and direct sequencing of RT-PCR products. Western blot was conducted to analyse the SP-A protein. HK-2 cells were treated with LPS at various concentrations (0, 0.1, 1, 2, 5, and 10 mug/mL) for 8 h and at 5 mug/mL at various time points (0, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 24 h). The LPS-induced expressions of SP-A1 and SP-A2 mRNA and protein were analysed by RT-PCR and Western blot. RESULTS: SP-A was localised in the renal tubular epithelial cells in the proximal and distal convoluted tubules. SP-A1 and SP-A2 mRNA and protein were expressed in HK-2 cells and human renal tissues, which were significantly increased in time- and dose-dependent manners after LPS treatment (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Human renal tubular epithelial cells can express both SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes, which may play important roles in the inflammatory modulation of the kidney.
    Journal of Inflammation 01/2013; 10(1):2. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a protective cellular mechanism in response to various stresses, including sepsis. Sepsis is defined as systemic inflammation by infection. Surfactant protein A and D (SP-A and SP-D) are involved in host defense, regulation of inflammation, and homeostasis, but their roles in the autophagic activity and relevant gene expression in sepsis are unclear. In this study, mice lacking SP-A and SP-D (SP-A/D KO mice) and background-matched wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice underwent either cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) or sham surgery. The results showed that SP-A/D KO mice had lower mortality than WT mice in CLP sepsis. Liver tissues showed marked pathological changes in both septic SP-A/D KO and WT mice 24 hrs after CLP treatment; and quantitative analysis of liver histopathology revealed significant difference between septic SP-A/D and septic WT mice. SP-A/D KO mice had higher basal and sepsis-induced level of autophagy than WT mice (p < 0.05), as judged by Western blot and electron microscopic analyses. The expression of 84 autophagy-related genes revealed differential basal and sepsis-induced gene expression between SP-A/D KO and WT mice. The expression increased in three genes and decreased in four genes in septic WT mice, as compared to septic SP-A/D KO mice (p < 0.05). Furthermore, differential responses to sepsis between SP-A/D KO and WT mice were found in six signaling pathways related to autophagy and apoptosis. Therefore, enhanced autophagic activity improves the survival of septic SP-A/D KO mice through the regulation of liver autophagy/apoptosis-related gene expression and signaling pathway activation.
    The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2013; 231(2):127-138. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surfactant protein D (SP-D), a member of the C-type lectin (collectin) protein family, plays a critical role in innate host defence against various microbial pathogens and in the modulation of inflammatory responses in the lung. However, little is known about its expression and biological function in the kidney. In this work, we studied SP-D expression in human kidney and cultured human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2), and examined the effect of SP-D on proinflammatory cytokine production after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulus. We observed the expression of both SP-D mRNA and protein in human kidney and in-vitro HK-2 cells by immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR. To explore the potential role of SP-D in the pathogenesis of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in kidney infection, we examined the production of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in HK-2 cells after LPS treatment. Results showed that the level of MCP-1 in the conditioned medium increased significantly when HK-2 cells were cultured with LPS (>0·1 µg/ml) for 8 h. Of interest, LPS treatment inhibited SP-D expression in HK-2 cells. Furthermore, over-expression of SP-D reduced significantly the LPS-induced expression of MCP-1 in transfected cells. These findings suggest that SP-D in the kidney functions as an anti-inflammatory factor in renal tubular epithelial cells and may modulate tubulointerstitial fibrosis in kidney.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 03/2012; 167(3):514-22. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) have suggested that aldosterone (ALD) is directly contributing to albuminuria. However, there are limited data pertaining to the direct role of ALD in in vivo models in regard to the induction of renal injury and the involved mechanisms. In the present study, we established a high-dose ALD-infused rat model to evaluate urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) and podocyte damage. Moreover, we studied the effect of eplerenone (EPL), telmisartan (TEL) and amlodipine (AML) on ALD-induced renal structural and functional changes. Immunohistochemical and real-time PCR analyses, and TUNEL assays were performed to evaluate nephrin expression and podocyte injury. ALD-receiving rats (ARR) showed a progressive increase in BP, UAER and proteinuria when compared with control rats (CR). Conversely, BP was significantly reduced in ALD + EPL (A/ERR)-, ALD + AML (A/ARR)- and ALD + TEL (A/TRR)-treated rats. However, UAER and proteinuria were decreased only in A/ERR and A/TRR, but not in A/ARR. Only EPL administration provided protection against ALD-induced podocyte apoptosis. Renal tissue of ARR revealed enhanced expression of nephrin protein and mRNA. This effect of ALD was inhibited by EPL, but not by TEL or AML. Conclusions. ALD induces direct glomerular injury independent of its haemodynamic effects; this effect of ALD is, at least in part, mediated through activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 03/2011; 26(3):789-99. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Some risk factors for susceptibility to recurrent urinary tract infection (r-UTI) are well known, but the genetic role in acquiring the disease is poorly understood. Surfactant protein A and D (SP-A and SP-D) play an important role in modulation of lung inflammatory processes. The SP-A1 and SP-A2 genes encoding SP-A and the SP-D gene are highly polymorphic, and some of polymorphisms are associated with several infective diseases, including pyelonephritis. In the present study, we investigated whether some of these polymorphisms are associated with the risk of r-UTI in Chinese population. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples of 32 female patients with r-UTI and 30 age-matched, unrelated healthy female subjects. Genotyping of gene polymorphisms was analyzed by PCR. Among 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (five of SP-A1, four of SP-A2 and two of SP-D) observed in the enrolled subjects, Ala19Val of SP-A1 and Lys223Gln of SP-A2 were associated with susceptibility to r-UTI. The frequencies of 19Ala allele of SP-A1 gene (p = 0.038) and 223Gln allele of SP-A2 gene (p = 0.012) in the patients were significantly higher than those in healthy subjects. The serum SP-A and SP-D levels were increased and the urine SP-A and SP-D levels were decreased in r-UTI patients compared with control subjects (p < 0.05). r-UTI patients with 19Ala/Ala or 223Gln/Gln genotype were associated with high serum and low urine SP-A levels (p < 0.01). Therefore, the 19Ala allele of SP-A1 gene and the 223Gln allele of SP-A2 gene are risk factors for r-UTI.
    The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2010; 221(1):35-42. · 1.37 Impact Factor