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In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (10)

Articles by Zhongyang Lu in JoVE

 JoVE Neuroscience

Targeted Labeling of Neurons in a Specific Functional Micro-domain of the Neocortex by Combining Intrinsic Signal and Two-photon Imaging

1Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina


JoVE 50025

A method is described for labeling neurons with fluorescent dyes in predetermined functional micro-domains of the neocortex. First, intrinsic signal optical imaging is used to obtain a functional map. Then two-photon microscopy is used to label and image neurons within a micro-domain of the map.

Other articles by Zhongyang Lu on PubMed

Light and Electron Microscopic Findings in a Patient with Orbital Myolipoma

This report describes the pathology of myolipoma, which is a benign soft tissue tumor and is a very rare tumor of the orbit.

Erythropoietin-induced Neurovascular Protection, Angiogenesis, and Cerebral Blood Flow Restoration After Focal Ischemia in Mice

Restoration of local blood supply in the post-ischemic brain plays a critical role in tissue repair and functional recovery. The present investigation explored beneficial effects of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) on vascular endothelial cell survival, angiogenesis, and restoration of local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) after permanent focal cerebral ischemia in adult mice. Saline or rhEPO (5,000 U/kg, intraperitoneal) was administered 30 mins before ischemia and once daily after ischemic stroke. Immunohistochemistry showed an enhancing effect of rhEPO on expression of EPO receptor (EPOR) of endothelial cells in the penumbra region 3 to 21 days after the ischemic insult. The treatment with rhEPO decreased ischemia-induced cell death and infarct volume 3 days after stroke. Specifically, rhEPO reduced the number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUPT nick end labeling- and caspase-3-positive endothelial cells in the penumbra region. Colocalization of the vessel marker glucose transporter-1 (Glut-1) and cell proliferation marker 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine indicated enhanced angiogenic activity in rhEPO-treated mice 7 to 21 days after stroke. Western blot showed upregulation of the expression of angiogenic factors Tie-2, Angiopoietin-2, and vascular endothelial growth factor in rhEPO-treated animals. Local cerebral blood flow was measured by laser scanning imaging 3 to 21 days after stroke. At 14 days, LCBF in the penumbra was recovered to preischemia levels in rhEPO-treated mice but not in control mice. Our data suggest that rhEPO treatment upregulates the EPOR level in vascular endothelial cells, confers neurovascular protection, and enhances angiogenesis. We further show a promoting effect of rhEPO on LCBF recovery in the ischemic brain. These rhEPO-induced effects may contribute to therapeutic benefits in the treatment of ischemic stroke.

Transplantation of Hypoxia-preconditioned Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves Infarcted Heart Function Via Enhanced Survival of Implanted Cells and Angiogenesis

This study explored the novel strategy of hypoxic preconditioning of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells before transplantation into the infarcted heart to promote their survival and therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation after myocardial ischemia.

Cell Death and Proliferation in NF-kappaB P50 Knockout Mouse After Cerebral Ischemia

The transcription factor NF-kappaB is a key regulator of inflammation and cell survival. NF-kappaB activation increases following cerebral ischemia. We previously showed accelerated aging process in NF-kappaB p50 subunit knockout (p50 -/-) mice under physiological condition. The present investigation concerned the role of NF-kappaB p50 gene in ischemia-induced neuronal cell death. In an animal model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), infarct formation, apoptotic cell death and cell proliferation were examined in adult wild type (WT) and p50-/- mice. The ischemic infarct volume was significantly larger in p50-/- mice than that in WT mice. Consistently, the numbers of cells in the penumbra region positive to terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) and caspase-3 staining were significantly more in p50-/- mice than that in WT mice. To identify proliferation after cerebral ischemia, bromodeoxyurindine (BrdU) was intraperitoneal injected daily after MCAO. Ischemia increased BrdU positive cells in the penumbra, subventricular zone, corpus callosum, and cerebral cortex, while cell proliferation was hampered in p50-/- mice. These results suggest that NF-kappaB signaling is a neuroprotective mechanism and may play a role in cell proliferation in the stroke model of permanent MCAO.

Coactivation of TLR4 and TLR2/6 Coordinates an Additive Augmentation on IL-6 Gene Transcription Via P38MAPK Pathway in U937 Mononuclear Cells

Studies have demonstrated that TLR4 and TLR2 expression by monocytes and the blood levels of TLR4 and TLR2 ligand in diabetic patients are significantly incased compared to nondiabetic patients, indicating that more monocytes in diabetic patients may have coactivation of TLR4 and TLR2. Although it has been shown that either TLR4 or TLR2 activation leads to increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines, the effect of coactivation of TLR2 and TLR4 in mononuclear cells on proinflammatory cytokine expression and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study, we found that while TLR1, TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 were expressed by U937 mononuclear cells, TLR4 was expressed at the highest level. Interestingly, results showed that while activation of either TLR4 or TLR2/6 (TLR2dimerized with TLR6), but not TLR2/1 (TLR2dimerized with TLR1), significantly increased IL-6 expression by U937 mononuclear cells, coactivation of TLR4 and TLR2/6, but not TLR4 and TLR2/1, led to a further augmentation on IL-6 expression by increasing IL-6 transcriptional activity, but not mRNA stability. To explore the signaling mechanisms involved in the augmentation, we found that p38MAPK and NFκB pathways, but not ERK and JNK pathways, were required for the augmentation of IL-6 expression by coactivation of TLR4 and TLR2/6. Furthermore, we found that coactivation of TLR4 and TLR2/6 increased p38 phosphorylation, but not NFkB activity, as compared to activation of TLR4or TLR2/6 alone. Taken together, this study showed that coactivation of TLR4 and TLR2/6 coordinates an additive augmentation of IL-6 gene transcription via p38MAPK pathway in U937 mononuclear cells.

Expression of Heparanase in Vascular Cells and Astrocytes of the Mouse Brain After Focal Cerebral Ischemia

Heparanase is a heparan sulfate degrading endoglycosidase. Previous work has demonstrated that heparanase plays important roles in various biological processes including angiogenesis, wound healing and metastasis. However, the role of heparanase in the post-ischemic brain is not well defined. Transient focal cerebral ischemia in adult mice was induced by ligations of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA) and both common carotid arteries (CCAs). All mice were subjected to bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injection and sacrificed at different time points after stroke for immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses. Heparanase expression increased after ischemia in both cell-specific and time-dependent manners. Three to 7 days after stroke, levels of the 50-kD heparanase, basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) increased in the peri-infarct region. At early time points, heparanase expression was largely confined to proliferating vascular endothelial cells. At 14 days after ischemia, this expression had shifted to astrocytes in the same region. These data show that cerebral ischemia markedly increases heparanase levels in endothelial cells and then in astrocytes. The unique features of the heparanase upregulation imply that heparanase may play specific roles in the pathological and regenerative processes during the acute and sub-acute/chronic phases in the post-stroke brain.

An Artery-specific Fluorescent Dye for Studying Neurovascular Coupling

We demonstrate that Alexa Fluor 633 hydrazide (Alexa Fluor 633) selectively labels neocortical arteries and arterioles by binding to elastin fibers. We measured sensory stimulus-evoked arteriole dilation dynamics in mouse, rat and cat visual cortex using Alexa Fluor 633 together with neuronal activity using calcium indicators or blood flow using fluorescein dextran. Arteriole dilation decreased fluorescence recorded from immediately underlying neurons, representing a potential artifact during neuronal functional imaging experiments.

Different Signaling Mechanisms Regulating IL-6 Expression by LPS Between Gingival Fibroblasts and Mononuclear Cells: Seeking the Common Target

To reduce connective tissue IL-6 level stimulated by LPS, it is essential to control IL-6 expression in both mononuclear cells and fibroblasts. However, it is unclear whether the regulatory mechanisms for both cells are similar or not. In this study, we found that signaling pathways mediating LPS-stimulated IL-6 in mononuclear U937 cells and fibroblasts were different. Furthermore, our studies showed that while LPS activated AP-1 and NFκB in U937 cells, it only activated NFκB in fibroblasts. Analysis of nuclear AP-1 subunits showed that LPS stimulated c-Fos, Fra-1 and Jun D activities in U937 cells, but not fibroblasts. The lack of ERK involvement in LPS-stimulated IL-6 in fibroblasts was further supported by the observations that simvastatin, which is known to target ERK-AP-1, failed to inhibit LPS-stimulated IL-6 by fibroblasts. Finally, we showed that targeting NFκB pathway was highly effective in inhibition of LPS-stimulated IL-6 in coculture of U937 cells and fibroblasts.

Toll-like Receptor 4 Activation in Microvascular Endothelial Cells Triggers a Robust Inflammatory Response and Cross Talk with Mononuclear Cells Via Interleukin-6

It is known that toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays an important role in atherosclerosis. Because both microvascular (MIC) and macrovascular (MAC) endothelial cells (ECs) are present in atherosclerotic lesions, the present study compared TLR4-triggered inflammatory response and cross talk with mononuclear cells between MIC and MAC ECs.

TLR4 Antagonist Reduces Early-Stage Atherosclerosis in Diabetic Apolipoprotein E-deficient Mice

Although it has been reported that deficiency of toll-like receptor (TLR)4 is associated with reduced atherosclerosis in atherosclerosis-prone mice and attenuated pro-inflammatory state in diabetic mice, it remains undetermined if treatment with TLR4 antagonist reduces atherosclerosis in non-diabetic or diabetic mice that have TLR4 expression. In this study, we determined the effect of R. sphaeroides LPS (Rs-LPS), an established TLR4 antagonist, on the early-stage atherosclerosis in non-diabetic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice. Analysis of atherosclerotic lesions of both en face aortas and cross-sections of aortic roots showed that administration of Rs-LPS in 14 week-old diabetic apoE-/- mice for 10 weeks significantly reduced atherosclerotic lesions. Although atherosclerotic lesions in non-diabetic apoE-/- mice appeared to be decreased by Rs-LPS treatment, the difference was not statistically significant. Metabolic study showed that Rs-LPS significantly lowered serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in non-diabetic mice, but not diabetic mice. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry studies showed that Rs-LPS inhibited the expression of interleukin-6 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 and reduced the content of monocytes and macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques. Taken together, this study demonstrated for the first time that TLR4 antagonist inhibited vascular inflammation and atherogenesis in diabetic apoE-/- mice and lowered serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in non-diabetic apoE-/- mice.

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