Lei Wei

Sun Yat-Sen University, Shengcheng, Guangdong, China

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Publications (8)15.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Nurr1 plays an essential role in the development, survival, and function maintenance of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, and it is a potential target for Parkinson's disease (PD). Nurr1 mRNA can be detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), but whether there is any association of altered Nurr1 expression in PBMC with the disease and DA drug treatments remains elusive. This study aimed to measure the Nurr1 mRNA level in PBMC and evaluate the effect of Nurr1 expression by DA agents in vivo and in vitro. Methods: The mRNA levels of Nurr1 in PBMC of four subgroups of 362 PD patients and 193 healthy controls (HCs) using real-time polymerase chain reaction were measured. The nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis test were performed to evaluate the differences between PD and HC, as well as the subgroups of PD. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the independent association of Nurr1 expression with Hoehn and Yahr scale, age, and drug treatments. Besides, the Nurr1 expression in cultured PBMC was measured to determine whether DA agonist pramipexole affects its mRNA level. Results: The relative Nurr1 mRNA levels in DA agonists treated subgroup were significant higher than those in recent-onset cases without any anti-PD treatments (de novo) (P < 0.001) and HC groups (P < 0.010), respectively. Furthermore, the increase in Nurr1 mRNA expression was seen in DA agonist and L-dopa group. Multivariate linear regression showed DA agonists, L-dopa, and DA agonists were independent predictors correlated with Nurr1 mRNA expression level in PBMC. In vitro, in the cultured PBMC treated with 10 μmol/L pramipexole, the Nurr1 mRNA levels were significantly increased by 99.61%, 71.75%, 73.16% in 2, 4, and 8 h, respectively (P < 0.001). Conclusions: DA agonists can induce Nurr1 expression in PBMC, and such effect may contribute to DA agonists-mediated neuroprotection on DA neurons.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Chinese medical journal
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt/β-catenin signal has been reported to exert cytoprotective effects in cellular models of several diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). This study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effects of actived Wnt/β-catenin signal by Wnt3a on SH-SY5Y cells treated with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Wnt3a-conditioned medium (Wnt3a-CM) was used to intervene dopaminegic SH-SY5Y cells treated with 6-OHDA. Cell toxicity was determined by cell viability and lactate dehydrogenase leakage (LDH) assay. The mitochondria function was measured by the mitochondrial membrane potential, while oxidative stress was monitored with intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Western blot analysis was used to detect the expression of GSK3β, β-catenin as well as Akt. Our results showed that 100 μM 6-OHDA treated for 24 h significantly decreased cell viability and mitochondrial transmembrane potential, reduced the level of β-catenin and p-Akt, increased LDH leakage, ROS production and the ratio of p-GSK3β (Tyr216) to p-GSK3β (Ser9). However, Wnt3a-conditioned medium reversing SH-SY5Y cells against 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity by reversing these changes. Activating of Wnt/β-catenin pathway by Wnt3a-CM attenuated 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity significantly, which related to the inhibition of oxidative stress and maintenance of normal mitochondrial function.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Translational Neurodegeneration
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    ABSTRACT: In addition to their original applications for lowering cholesterol, statins display multiple neuroprotective effects. Inflammatory reactions and the PI3K/AKT/caspase 3 pathway are strongly implicated in dopaminergic neuronal death in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study aims to investigate how simvastatin affects 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned PC12 via regulating PI3K/AKT/caspase 3 and modulating inflammatory mediators. 6-hydroxydopamine-treated PC12 cells were used to investigate the neuroprotection of simvastatin, its association with the PI3K/AKT/caspase 3 pathway, and antiinflammatory responses. Dopamine transporters (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) were examined in 6-hydroxydopamine-treated PC12 after simvastatin treatment. Simvastatin-mediated neuroprotection was associated with a robust reduction in the upregulation induced by 6-OHDA of inflammatory mediators including IL-6, COX2, and TNF-α. The downregulated DAT and TH levels in 6-OHDA-lesioned PC12 were restored after simvastatin treatment. Simvastatin reversed 6-OHDA-induced downregulation of PI3K/Akt phosphorylation and attenuated 6-OHDA-induced upregulation of caspase 3 in PC12. Furthermore, the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 pronouncedly abolished the simvastatin-mediated attenuation in caspase 3. Our results demonstrate that simvastatin provides robust neuroprotection against dopaminergic neurodegeneration, partially via antiinflammatory mechanisms and the PI3K/Akt/caspase 3 pathway. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the critical roles of simvastatin in treating PD and might elucidate the molecular mechanisms of simvastatin effects in PD.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012 · CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Immune disorders may play an important role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Recently, polymorphisms in the HLA-DR region have been found to be associated with sporadic PD in European ancestry populations. However, polymorphisms in the HLA complex are highly variable with ethnic and geographic origin. To explore the relationships between polymorphisms of the HLA-DR region and sporadic PD in Chinese Han population, we genotyped 567 sporadic PD patients and 746 healthy controls in two independent series for the HLA-DRB1 locus with Polymerase chain reaction-sequence based typing(PCR-SBT). The χ(2) test was used to evaluate the distribution of allele frequencies between the patients and healthy controls. The impact of HLA-DRB1 alleles on PD risk was estimated by unconditional logistic regression. We found a significant higher frequency of HLA-DRB1*0301 in sporadic PD patients than in healthy controls and a positive association, which was independent of onset age, between HLA-DRB1*0301 and PD risk. Conversely, a lower frequency of HLA-DRB1*0406 was found in sporadic PD patients than in healthy controls, with a negative association between HLA-DRB1*0406 and PD risk. Furthermore, a meta-analysis involving 195205 individuals was conducted to summarize the frequencies of these two alleles in populations from various ethnic regions, we found a higher frequency of HLA-DRB1*0301, but a lower frequency of HLA-DRB1*0406 in European ancestry populations than that in Asians, this was consistent with the higher prevalence of sporadic PD in European ancestry populations. Based on these results, we speculate that HLA-DRB1 alleles are associated with the susceptibility to sporadic PD in Chinese Han population, among them HLA-DRB1*0301 is a risk allele while the effect of HLA-DRB1*0406 deserves debate.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt1, initially described as a modulator of embryonic development, has recently been discovered to exert cytoprotective effects in cellular models of several diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). We, therefore, examined the neuroprotective effects of exogenous Wnt1 on dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells treated with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Here, we show that 10-500 μM 6-OHDA treatment decreased cell viability and increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage. SH-SY5Y cells treated with 100 μM 6-OHDA for 24 h showed reduced Wnt/β-catenin activity, decreased mitochondrial transmembrane potential, elevated levels of reactive oxidative species (ROS) and phosphatidylserine (PS) extraversion, increased levels of Chop and Bip/GRP78 and reduced level of p-Akt (Ser473). In contrast, exogenous Wnt1 attenuated 6-OHDA-induced changes. These results suggest that activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by exogenous Wnt1 protects against 6-OHDA-induced changes by restoring mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Molecular Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Uric acid (UA) is suspected to play a neuro-protective role in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study aimed to evaluate whether the serum UA level was associated with the disease progression of PD in a relatively large population of Chinese patients. Serum UA levels were measured from 411 Chinese PD patients and 396 age-matched controls; following the uric acid colorimetric method, the serum creatinine (Scr) levels were also measured to reduce the bias caused by possible differences in renal excretion function. The disease progression was scored by Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) scales and disease durations; PD group was divided into 3 subgroups according to H&Y scales. Independent-samples t test was performed to analyze the differences between PD group and control group. Multiple analysis of covariance was performed to analyze the differences between PD subgroups. Spearman rank-correlation was performed to evaluate the associations between serum UA or Scr level and disease progression. PD patients were found to have significantly lower levels of serum UA than controls ((243.38 ± 78.91) vs. (282.97 ± 90.80) µmol/L, P < 0.01). As the disease progression, the serum UA levels were gradually reduced. There was a significantly inverse correlation of UA levels with H&Y scales (Rs = -0.429, P < 0.01) and disease duration (Rs = -0.284, P < 0.01) in PD patients of both females and males. No significant difference of the Scr level between PD patients and controls was found ((70.01 ± 14.70) vs. (69.84 ± 16.46) µmol/L), and the Scr level was not involved in disease progression. Lower serum UA levels may possess a higher risk of PD, which may be a potential useful biomarker to indicate the progression of PD.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Chinese medical journal
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been shown to be associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD). HtrA2/Omi, from its participation in protein quality control, is involved in ER stress. However, little is known about the relationship between HtrA2/Omi and ER stress in PD. Here, we explored the association of HtrA2/Omi and ER stress in a cell model of PD and found that the expression level of HtrA2/Omi decreased with ER stress induction in 6-OHDA-treated SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, silencing endogenous expression of HtrA2/Omi with siRNA resulted in aggregated ER stress and cell death. Taken together, our results show that HtrA2/Omi may exert a protective function in 6-OHDA-induced cell death by regulating ER stress-related proteins. This research offers some clues as why mutations in HtrA2/Omi lead to higher susceptibility in some PD patients.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of Molecular Neuroscience
  • Yi Li · Feifei Luo · Lei Wei · Zhuolin Liu · Pingyi Xu
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    ABSTRACT: Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) plays a critical role in signal transductions concerning neuronal death. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of GSK3β in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced toxicity in human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. We assessed the apoptotic proteins and the relative levels of pGSK3β (Ser9) and pGSK3β (Tyr216) to GSK3β in 6-OHDA-treated SH-SY5Y. Furthermore, we downregulated the expression of GSK3β by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference and compared the cell viability and expression of apoptotic proteins in knockdown group with those in control group under the treatment of 6-OHDA. We found that 6-OHDA increased the expression of caspase-3 and caspase-9 but not caspase-8. Additionally, 6-OHDA decreased the ratio of pGSK3β (Ser9)/GSK3β and increased the ratio of pGSK3β (Tyr216)/GSK3β. Moreover, 6-OHDA induced less cell viability loss and lower expression of caspase-9 and caspase-3 in GSK3β knockdown group compared with control. The present data indicate that 6-OHDA may induce apoptosis in SH-SY5Y via the intrinsic death pathway and GSK3β knockdown can partly attenuate 6-OHDA-induced neuronal death and apoptosis, suggesting that GSK3β may have the potential to serve as a therapeutic target for PD.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Neuroscience Letters

Publication Stats

70 Citations
15.99 Total Impact Points


  • 2010-2015
    • Sun Yat-Sen University
      Shengcheng, Guangdong, China
  • 2012
    • Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences
      • Department of Neurology
      Shengcheng, Guangdong, China