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Articles by A Xu
Total Records ( 5 ) for A Xu
  Y Liu , S Chewchuk , C Lavigne , S Brule , G Pilon , V Houde , A Xu , A Marette and G. Sweeney

Endocrine effects of adipose-derived adiponectin on skeletal muscle have been shown to account, at least in part, for the anti-diabetic effects of this adipokine. Recently, the concept of myokines has gained credence, and the potential for skeletal muscle to produce adiponectin has been suggested. Here we demonstrated an increased level of adiponectin mRNA and protein expression as well as protein secretion in response to rosiglitazone treatment in L6 muscle cells. This correlated with the ability of rosiglitazone to enhance insulin sensitivity for stimulation of protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation and glucose transport; rosiglitazone also corrected high-glucose-induced insulin resistance in L6 cells. Overexpression of adiponectin confirmed the functional significance of local production of adiponectin in muscle cells via elevated glucose uptake and increased insulin sensitivity. In obese diabetic db/db mice, there was a change in the adiponectin expression profile in soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle with less high molecular weight (HMW) and more medium (MMW)/low (LMW) molecular weight species detected. Induction of obesity and insulin resistance in rats by feeding a high-fat high-sucrose diet also led to decreased muscle HMW adiponectin content that could be corrected by rosiglitazone treatment. In summary, we show the ability of skeletal muscle cells to produce adiponectin, which can mediate autocrine metabolic effects, thus establishing adiponectin as a bona fide myokine. We also demonstrate that skeletal muscle adiponectin production is altered in animal models of obesity and diabetes and that these changes can be corrected by rosiglitazone.

  X Fang , R Palanivel , J Cresser , K Schram , R Ganguly , F. S. L Thong , J Tuinei , A Xu , E. D Abel and G. Sweeney

Adiponectin promotes cardioprotection by various mechanisms, and this study used primary cardiomyocytes and the isolated working perfused heart to investigate cardiometabolic effects. We show in adult cardiomyocytes that adiponectin increased CD36 translocation and fatty acid uptake as well as insulin-stimulated glucose transport and Akt phosphorylation. Coimmunoprecipitation showed that adiponectin enhanced association of AdipoR1 with APPL1, subsequent binding of APPL1 with AMPK2, which led to phosphorylation and inhibition of ACC and increased fatty acid oxidation. Using siRNA to effectively knockdown APPL1 in neonatal cardiomyocytes, we demonstrated an essential role for APPL1 in mediating increased fatty acid uptake and oxidation by adiponectin. Importantly, enhanced fatty acid oxidation in conjunction with AMPK and ACC phosphorylation was also observed in the isolated working heart. Despite increasing fatty acid oxidation and myocardial oxygen consumption, adiponectin increased hydraulic work and maintained cardiac efficiency. In summary, the present study documents several beneficial metabolic effects mediated by adiponectin in the heart and provides novel insight into the mechanisms behind these effects, in particular the importance of APPL1.

  W. T Wong , X. Y Tian , Y Chen , F. P Leung , L Liu , H. K Lee , C. F Ng , A Xu , X Yao , P. M Vanhoutte , G. L Tipoe and Y. Huang

Bone morphogenic protein (BMP)4 can stimulate superoxide production and exert proinflammatory effects on the endothelium. The underlying mechanisms of how BMP4 mediates endothelial dysfunction and hypertension remain elusive.


To elucidate the cellular pathways by which BMP4-induced endothelial dysfunction is mediated through oxidative stress–dependent upregulation of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2.

Methods and Results:

Impaired endothelium-dependent relaxations, exaggerated endothelium-dependent contractions, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were observed in BMP4-treated mouse aortae, which were prevented by the BMP4 antagonist noggin. Pharmacological inhibition with thromboxane prostanoid receptor antagonist or COX-2 but not COX-1 inhibitor prevented BMP4-induced endothelial dysfunction, which was further confirmed with the use of COX-1–/– or COX-2–/– mice. Noggin and knockdown of BMP receptor 1A abolished endothelium-dependent contractions and COX-2 upregulation in BMP4-treated aortae. Apocynin and tempol treatment were effective in restoring endothelium-dependent relaxations, preventing endothelium-dependent contractions and eliminating ROS overproduction and COX-2 overexpression in BMP4-treated aortae. BMP4 increased p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity through a ROS-sensitive mechanism and p38 MAPK inhibitor prevented BMP4-induced endothelial dysfunction. COX-2 inhibition blocked the effect of BMP4 without affecting BMP4-induced ROS overproduction and COX-2 upregulation. Importantly, renal arteries from hypertensive rats and humans showed higher levels of COX-2 and BMP4 accompanied by endothelial dysfunction.


We show for the first time that ROS serve as a pathological link between BMP4 stimulation and the downstream COX-2 upregulation in endothelial cells, leading to endothelial dysfunction through ROS-dependent p38 MAPK activation. This BMP4/ROS/COX-2 cascade is important in the maintenance of endothelial dysfunction in hypertension.

  H Li , Y Bao , A Xu , X Pan , J Lu , H Wu , H Lu , K Xiang and W. Jia

Objective: Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21, a hormone primarily secreted by liver, has recently been shown to have beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in animal models. This study investigated the association of serum FGF21 levels with insulin secretion and sensitivity, as well as circulating parameters of lipid metabolism and hepatic enzymes in Chinese subjects.

Design: Serum FGF21 levels were determined by ELISA in 134 normal glucose tolerance (NGT), 101 isolated-impaired fasting glucose, and 118 isolated-impaired glucose tolerance (I-IGT) Chinese subjects, and their association with parameters of adiposity, glucose, and lipid profiles, and levels of liver injury markers was studied. In a subgroup of this study, the hyperglycemic clamp technique was performed in 31 NGT, 17 isolated-impaired fasting glucose, and 15 I-IGT subjects to measure insulin secretion and sensitivity to test the associations with serum FGF21.

Results: The serum FGF21 levels in I-IGT were significantly higher than NGT subjects [164.6 pg/ml (89.7, 261.0) vs. 111.8 pg/ml (58.0, 198.9); P < 0.05], and correlated positively with several parameters of adiposity. Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed an independent association of serum FGF21 with serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and -glutamyltransferase (all P < 0.05). However, FGF21 did not correlate with insulin secretion and sensitivity, as measured by hyperglycemic clamp and a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test.

Conclusions: Serum levels of FGF21 are closely related to adiposity, lipid metabolism, and biomarkers of liver injury but not insulin secretion and sensitivity in humans.

  A. A Richards , M. L Colgrave , J Zhang , J Webster , F Simpson , E Preston , D Wilks , K. L Hoehn , M Stephenson , G. A Macdonald , J. B Prins , G. J Cooney , A Xu and J. P. Whitehead

Adiponectin is an adipocyte-secreted, insulin-sensitizing hormone the circulating levels of which are reduced in conditions of insulin resistance and diabetes. Previous work has demonstrated the importance of posttranslational modifications, such as proline hydroxylation and lysine hydroxylation/glycosylation, in adiponectin oligomerization, secretion, and function. Here we describe the first functional characterization of adiponectin sialylation. Using a variety of biochemical approaches we demonstrated that sialylation occurs on previously unidentified O-linked glycans on Thr residues of the variable domain in human adiponectin. Enzymatic removal of sialic acid or its underlying O-linked sugars did not affect adiponectin multimer composition. Expression of mutant forms of adiponectin (lacking the modified Thr residues) or of wild-type adiponectin in cells defective in sialylation did not compromise multimer formation or secretion, arguing against a structural role for this modification. Activity of desialylated adiponectin was comparable to control adiponectin in L6 myotubes and acute assays in adiponectin–/– mice. In contrast, plasma clearance of desialylated adiponectin was accelerated compared with that of control adiponectin, implicating a role for this modification in determining the half-life of circulating adiponectin. Uptake of desialylated adiponectin by isolated primary rat hepatocytes was also accelerated, suggesting a role for the hepatic asialoglycoprotein receptor. Finally, after chronic administration in adiponectin–/– mice steady-state levels of desialylated adiponectin were lower than control adiponectin and failed to recapitulate the improvements in glucose and insulin tolerance tests observed with control adiponectin. These data suggest an important role for sialic acid content in the regulation of circulating adiponectin levels and highlight the importance of understanding mechanisms regulating adiponectin sialylation/desialylation.

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