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Articles by Z Huang
Total Records ( 8 ) for Z Huang
  T Sidorsky , Z Huang and J. G. H. Dinulos

Objectives  To evaluate the economic viability of shared medical appointments (SMAs) in dermatology. Secondary objectives include a comparison of the hourly adjusted census levels generated by SMAs compared with regular clinic appointments (RCAs), as well as a comparison between the economic viability of dermatology SMAs and SMAs in other fields of medicine.

Design  Cost-benefit analysis.

Setting  Outpatient clinics within an academic medical center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Patients  No patient-identifying information was obtained or reported. The SMA census data included 301 SMAs (11 different programs and 5 separate departments), representing 2045 appointments over 16 months. Comparisons between patient groups were based on data from the SMA census and mean provider census (MPC) for RCAs, matched on reason for appointment.

Main Outcome Measures  Hourly adjusted census levels and profit differences (charges less costs) between SMAs and MPC for RCAs.

Results  All individual and departmental SMAs generated significantly higher mean census levels and profits per hour than the respective non-SMA MPC of the health care provider leading the SMA (individual, P < .05; departmental, P < .001). All dermatology SMAs generated significantly greater differences in hourly adjusted census levels and profit in comparisons between SMAs and MPC for RCAs than the respective measures in all other departments (P < .001).

Conclusion  Taken together, the results of this study provide strong evidence to support a business case for SMAs in dermatology as a means of simultaneously improving access, productivity, and the bottom line.

  T Chen , Z Huang , L Wang , Y Wang , F Wu , S Meng and C. Wang

The inflammatory responses of monocytes/macrophages and the stimulation of lipid uptake into these cells by oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) are critical to the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that many microRNAs play important roles in the cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation that accompany inflammatory responses. However, whether microRNAs are associated with monocyte/macrophage inflammatory responses or oxLDL stimulation is not yet known. The aim of the present study is to investigate microRNAs in monocytes/macrophages and their potential role in oxLDL-stimulation of lipid uptake and other atherosclerotic responses.

Methods and results

Microarrays were used to analyse the global expression of microRNAs in oxLDL-stimulated human primary peripheral blood monocytes. Expression profiles of the microRNAs were verified using TaqMan real-time PCR. Five microRNAs (microRNA-125a-5p, microRNA-9, microRNA-146a, microRNA-146b-5p, and microRNA-155) were aberrantly expressed after oxLDL treatment of human primary monocytes. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that microRNA-125a-5p is related to a protein similar to ORP9 (oxysterol binding protein-like 9) and this was confirmed by a luciferase reporter assay. MicroRNA-125a-5p was found to mediate lipid uptake and to decrease the secretion of some inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-2, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-, transforming growth factor-beta) in oxLDL-stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages.


MicroRNA-125a-5p may partly provide post-transcriptional regulation of the proinflammatory response, lipid uptake, and expression of ORP9 in oxLDL-stimulated monocyte/macrophages.

  Q Niu , Z Huang , Y Shi , L Wang , X Pan and C. Hu

Objectives. To identify novel serum protein biomarkers and establish diagnostic pattern for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by using proteomic technology. Methods. Serum proteomic spectra were generated by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) combined with weak cationic exchange magnetic beads. A training set of spectra, derived from analyzing sera from 22 patients with RA, 26 patients with other autoimmune diseases and 25 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers, was used to train and develop a decision tree model with a machine learning algorithm called decision boosting. A blinded testing set, including 21 patients with RA, 24 patients with other autoimmune diseases and 25 healthy people, was used to examine the accuracy of the model. Results. A decision tree model was established, consisting of four potential protein biomarkers whose m/z values were 4966.88, 5065.3, 5636.97 and 7766.87, respectively. In validation test, the decision tree model could differentiate RA from other autoimmune diseases and healthy people with the sensitivity of 85.71% and specificity of 87.76%, respectively. Conclusions. The present data suggested that MALDI-TOF-MS combined with magnetic beads could screen and identify some novel serum protein biomarkers related to RA. The proteomic pattern based on the four candidate biomarkers is of value for laboratory diagnosis of RA.

  Z Huang , M Chen , K Li , X Dong , J Han and Q. Zhang

Cryo-electron tomography was employed to reconstruct the structure of Chlamydia trachomatis. Results revealed that the features of the structures, especially those of the membranes, were preserved much better than those by conventional ultrathin section methods. This method also enabled us to determine that the thickness of the outer membrane of the elementary bodies is nearly twice of that of the reticulate bodies. Our observations give a clue to the mechanism of outer membrane changes.

  E Fragouli , V Bianchi , P Patrizio , A Obradors , Z Huang , A Borini , J. D. A Delhanty and D. Wells

The ability to identify oocytes with the greatest potential for producing a viable embryo would be of great benefit to assisted reproductive treatments. One of the most important defects affecting oocytes is aneuploidy. Aneuploidy is also closely related with advancing maternal age, a phenomenon not well understood. This study combined a comprehensive cytogenetic investigation of 21 oocytes with a detailed assessment of their transcriptome. The first polar body was removed from all oocytes and aneuploidy assessed using comparative genomic hybridization. Preliminary mRNA transcript data were produced with the use of microarrays for seven of the corresponding oocytes (three normal and four aneuploid). The results obtained for normal and aneuploid oocytes were compared and 327 genes were found to display statistically (P < 0.05) significant differences in transcript levels. Ninety-six of these genes were further assessed in seven aneuploid and seven normal oocytes using real-time PCR. The results indicated that aneuploidy is associated with altered transcript levels affecting a subset of genes. A link between mRNA transcript numbers and age was also observed. The possibility that different transcript levels in the oocyte have an impact on cellular pathways remains to be proven. However, it may be significant that some of the highlighted genes produce proteins involved in spindle assembly and chromosome alignment. Additionally, several genes with altered amounts of transcript produce cell surface or excretory molecules, and could potentially serve as targets for non-invasive oocyte aneuploidy assessment.

  Z Huang , Y Shi , B Cai , L Wang , Y Wu , B Ying , L Qin , C Hu and Y. Li

Objectives. To discover novel potential biomarkers and establish a diagnostic pattern for SLE by using proteomic technology.

Methods. Serum proteomic spectra were generated by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) combined with weak cationic exchange magnetic beads. A training set of spectra, derived from analysing sera from 32 patients with SLE, 43 patients with other autoimmune diseases and 43 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers, was used to train and develop a decision tree model with a machine learning algorithm called decision boosting. A blinded testing set, including 32 patients with SLE, 42 patients with other autoimmune diseases and 40 healthy people, was used to determine the accuracy of the model.

Results. The diagnostic pattern with a panel of four potential protein biomarkers of mass-to-charge (m/z) ratio 4070.09, 7770.45, 28 045.1 and 3376.02 could accurately recognize 25 of 32 patients with SLE, 36 of 42 patients with other autoimmune diseases and 36 of 40 healthy people.

Conclusions. The preliminary data suggested a potential application of MALDI-TOF MS combined with magnetic beads as an effective technology to profile serum proteome, and with pattern analysis, a diagnostic model comprising four potential biomarkers was indicated to differentiate individuals with SLE from RA, SS, SSc and healthy controls rapidly and precisely.

  H Bayir , A. A Kapralov , J Jiang , Z Huang , Y. Y Tyurina , V. A Tyurin , Q Zhao , N. A Belikova , I. I Vlasova , A Maeda , J Zhu , H. M Na , P. G Mastroberardino , L. J Sparvero , A. A Amoscato , C. T Chu , J. T Greenamyre and V. E. Kagan

Damage of presynaptic mitochondria could result in release of proapoptotic factors that threaten the integrity of the entire neuron. We discovered that -synuclein (Syn) forms a triple complex with anionic lipids (such as cardiolipin) and cytochrome c, which exerts a peroxidase activity. The latter catalyzes covalent hetero-oligomerization of Syn with cytochrome c into high molecular weight aggregates. Syn is a preferred substrate of this reaction and is oxidized more readily than cardiolipin, dopamine, and other phenolic substrates. Co-localization of Syn with cytochrome c was detected in aggregates formed upon proapoptotic stimulation of SH-SY5Y and HeLa cells and in dopaminergic substantia nigra neurons of rotenone-treated rats. Syn-cardiolipin exerted protection against cytochrome c-induced caspase-3 activation in a cell-free system, particularly in the presence of H2O2. Direct delivery of Syn into mouse embryonic cells conferred resistance to proapoptotic caspase-3 activation. Conversely, small interfering RNA depletion of Syn in HeLa cells made them more sensitive to dopamine-induced apoptosis. In human Parkinson disease substantia nigra neurons, two-thirds of co-localized Syn-cytochrome c complexes occurred in Lewy neurites. Taken together, these results indicate that Syn may prevent execution of apoptosis in neurons through covalent hetero-oligomerization of cytochrome c. This immediate protective function of Syn is associated with the formation of the peroxidase complex representing a source of oxidative stress and postponed damage.

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