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Articles by Y Huang
Total Records ( 16 ) for Y Huang
  X Yu , Y Huang , Q Hu and L. Ma

Homocysteine is an intermediate in the sulfur amino acid metabolism. Recent studies suggested that there might be links between hyperhomocysteinemia and insulin resistance. In the present study, we investigated the effect of homocysteine on glucose metabolism. We demonstrated that the levels of insulin were significantly higher in mice with hyperhomocysteinemia than those in the normal mice after administration of glucose. The effect of insulin on glucose output was significantly blocked in the homocysteine-treated hepatocytes. In addition, the expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene was elevated in the liver of mice with hyperhomocysteinemia and primary mouse hepatocytes treated with homocysteine. The action of homocysteine was suppressed by H89, a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor. Thus, hyperhomocysteinemia may be considered as a risk factor that contributes to the development of insulin resistance with respect to elevated glucose output and upregulation of PEPCK, probably via the PKA pathway. Our study provides a novel mechanistic explanation for the development of insulin resistance in hyperhomocysteinemia.

  Y Huang , X Yan , M. J Zhu , R. J McCormick , S. P Ford , P. W Nathanielsz and M. Du

Maternal obesity (MO) is increasing at an alarming rate. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of MO on fibrogenesis in fetal skeletal muscle during maturation in late gestation. Nonpregnant ewes were assigned to a control diet (Con; fed 100% of NRC nutrient recommendations, n = 6) or obesogenic diet (OB; fed 150% of NRC recommendations, n = 6) from 60 days before conception, and fetal semitendenosus (St) muscle was sampled at 135 days of gestation (term 148 days). Total concentration and area of collagen in cross-sections of muscle increased by 27.0 ± 6.0 (P < 0.05) and 105.1 ± 5.9% (P = 0.05) in OB compared with Con fetuses. The expression of precursor TGF-β was 177.3 ± 47.6% higher, and concentration of phospho-p38 74.7 ± 23.6% was higher (P < 0.05) in OB than in CON fetal muscle. Increases of 327.9 ± 168.0 (P < 0.05) and 188.9 ± 82.1% (P < 0.05), respectively, were observed for mRNA expression of Smad7 and fibronectin in OB compared with Con muscles. In addition, enzymes involved in collagen synthesis, including lysyl oxidase, lysyl hydroxylase 2b, and prolyl 4-hydroxylase-1, were increased by 350.2 ± 90.0 (P < 0.05), 236.5 ± 25.2 (P < 0.05), and 82.0 ± 36.2% (P = 0.05), respectively, in OB muscle. In conclusion, MO-enhanced fibrogenesis in fetal muscle in late gestation was associated with upregulation of the TGF-β/p38 signaling pathway. Enhanced fibrogenesis at such an early stage of development is expected to negatively affect the properties of offspring muscle because muscle fibrosis is a hallmark of aging.

  Y Huang , X Yan , J. X Zhao , M. J Zhu , R. J McCormick , S. P Ford , P. W Nathanielsz , J Ren and M. Du

Maternal obesity (MO) has harmful effects on both fetal development and subsequent offspring health. The impact of MO on fetal myocardium development has received little attention. Fibrogenesis is regulated by the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/p38 signaling pathway. Using the well-established model of MO in pregnant sheep, we evaluated the effect of MO on TGF-β/p38 and collagen accumulation in fetal myocardium. Nonpregnant ewes were assigned to a control diet [Con, fed 100% of National Research Council (NRC) nutrient recommendations] or obesogenic diet (OB, fed 150% of NRC recommendations) from 60 days before conception. Fetal ventricular muscle was sampled at 75 and 135 days of gestation (dG). At 75 dG, the expression of precursor TGF-β was 39.9 ± 9.9% higher (P < 0.05) in OB than Con fetal myocardium, consistent with the higher content of phosphorylated Smad3 in OB myocardium. The phosphorylation of p38 tended to be higher in OB myocardium (P = 0.08). In addition, enhanced Smad complexes were bound to Smad-binding elements in 75 dG OB fetal myocardium measured by DNA mobility shift assay (130.2 ± 26.0% higher, P < 0.05). Similar elevation of TGF-β signaling was observed in OB fetal myocardium at 135 dG. Total collagen concentration in OB was greater than Con fetal myocardium (2.42 ± 0.16 vs. 1.87 ± 0.04%, P < 0.05). Matrix metalloproteinase-9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 were higher in the Con group compared with OB sheep (43.86 ± 16.01 and 37.23 ± 7.97% respectively, P < 0.05). In summary, MO results in greater fetal heart connective tissue accumulation associated with an upregulated TGF-β/p38 signaling pathway at late gestation; such changes would be expected to negatively impact offspring heart function.

  L. S Kegeles , A Abi Dargham , W. G Frankle , R Gil , T. B Cooper , M Slifstein , D. R Hwang , Y Huang , S. N Haber and M. Laruelle

Context  A long-standing version of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia postulates that hyperactivity of dopaminergic transmission at D2 receptors in the limbic striatum is associated with the illness and that blockade of mesolimbic D2 receptors is responsible for the antipsychotic action of D2 receptor antagonists.

Objective  To localize dopaminergic hyperactivity within the striatum in schizophrenia.

Design  Case-control study.

Setting  Inpatient research unit.

Participants  Eighteen untreated patients with schizophrenia and 18 healthy control subjects matched for age, sex, ethnicity, parental socioeconomic status, cigarette smoking, and weight.

Main Outcome Measures  Percentage change in dopamine D2 receptor availability in striatal subregions within each subject measured by positron emission tomography with carbon 11–labeled raclopride before and during pharmacologically induced dopamine depletion.

Results  In the associative striatum, acute dopamine depletion resulted in a larger increase in D2 receptor availability in patients with schizophrenia (mean [SD], 15% [7%]) than in control subjects (10% [7%], P = .045), suggesting higher synaptic dopamine concentration. Within the associative striatum, this effect was most pronounced in the precommissural dorsal caudate (15% [8%] in patients vs 9% [8%] in controls, P = .03). No between-group differences were observed in the limbic and sensorimotor striatum.

Conclusions  These findings suggest that schizophrenia is associated with elevated dopamine function in associative regions of the striatum. Because the precommissural dorsal caudate processes information from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, this observation also suggests that elevated subcortical dopamine function might adversely affect performance of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. On the other hand, the absence of a group difference in the limbic striatum brings into question the therapeutic relevance of the mesolimbic selectivity of second-generation antipsychotic drugs.

  Y Huang , S Wuchty , M. T Ferdig and T. M. Przytycka

Motivation: Analysis of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) significantly contributes to the determination of gene regulation programs. However, the discovery and analysis of associations of gene expression levels and their underlying sequence polymorphisms continue to pose many challenges. Methods are limited in their ability to illuminate the full structure of the eQTL data. Most rely on an exhaustive, genome scale search that considers all possible locus–gene pairs and tests the linkage between each locus and gene.

Result: To analyze eQTLs in a more comprehensive and efficient way, we developed the Graph based eQTL Decomposition method (GeD) that allows us to model genotype and expression data using an eQTL association graph. Through graph-based heuristics, GeD identifies dense subgraphs in the eQTL association graph. By identifying eQTL association cliques that expose the hidden structure of genotype and expression data, GeD effectively filters out most locus–gene pairs that are unlikely to have significant linkage. We apply GeD on eQTL data from Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite, and show that GeD reveals the structure of the relationship between all loci and all genes on a whole genome level. Furthermore, GeD allows us to uncover additional eQTLs with lower FDR, providing an important complement to traditional eQTL analysis methods.

  Y Huang and M. S. Pepe

The performance of a well-calibrated risk model for a binary disease outcome can be characterized by the population distribution of risk and displayed with the predictiveness curve. Better performance is characterized by a wider distribution of risk, since this corresponds to better risk stratification in the sense that more subjects are identified at low and high risk for the disease outcome. Although methods have been developed to estimate predictiveness curves from cohort studies, most studies to evaluate novel risk prediction markers employ case-control designs. Here we develop semiparametric methods that accommodate case-control data. The semiparametric methods are flexible, and naturally generalize methods previously developed for cohort data. Applications to prostate cancer risk prediction markers illustrate the methods.

  Y Wang , Y Huang , K. S.L Lam , Y Li , W. T Wong , H Ye , C. W Lau , P. M Vanhoutte and A. Xu

Endothelial dysfunction is a key event that links obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to examine the protective effect of the alkaloid drug berberine against hyperglycemia-induced cellular injury and endothelial dysfunction.

Methods and results

In both cultured endothelial cells and blood vessels isolated from rat aorta, berberine concentration dependently enhanced phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) at Ser1177 and promoted the association of eNOS with heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), leading to an increased production of nitric oxide. Furthermore, berberine attenuated high glucose-induced generation of reactive oxygen species, cellular apoptosis, nuclear factor-B activation, and expression of adhesion molecules, thus suppressing monocyte attachment to endothelial cells. In mouse aortic rings, berberine elicited endothelium-dependent vasodilatations and alleviated high glucose-mediated endothelial dysfunction. All these beneficial effects of berberine on the endothelium were abolished by either pharmacological inhibition of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) or adenovirus-mediated overexpression of a dominant negative version of AMPK.


Berberine protects against endothelial injury and enhances the endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, which is mediated in part through activation of the AMPK signalling cascade. Berberine or its derivatives may be useful for the treatment and/or prevention of endothelial dysfunction associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  L Wang , J Zheng , Y Du , Y Huang , J Li , B Liu , C. j Liu , Y Zhu , Y Gao , Q Xu , W Kong and X. Wang

Rational: Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) switching from a contractile/differentiated to a synthetic/dedifferentiated phenotype has an essential role in atherosclerosis, postangioplastic restenosis and hypertension. However, how normal VSMCs maintain the differentiated state is less understood.

Objective: We aimed to indentify the effect of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), a normal vascular extracellular matrix, on modulation of VSMCs phenotype.

Methods and Results: We demonstrated that COMP was associated positively with the expression of VSMC differentiation marker genes during phenotype transition. Knockdown of COMP by small interfering (si)RNA favored dedifferentiation. Conversely, adenoviral overexpression of COMP markedly suppressed platelet-derived growth factor-BB-elicited VSMC dedifferentiation, characterized by altered VSMC morphology, actin fiber organization, focal adhesion assembly, and the expression of phenotype-dependent markers. Whereas 7 integrin coimmunoprecipitated with COMP in normal rat VSMCs and vessels, neutralizing antibody or siRNA against 7 integrin inhibited VSMC adhesion to COMP, which indicated that 7β1 integrin is a potential receptor for COMP. As well, blocking or interference by siRNA of 7 integrin completely abolished the effect of COMP on conserving the contractile phenotype. In accordance, ectopic adenoviral overexpression of COMP greatly retarded VSMC phenotype switching, rescued contractility of carotid artery ring, and inhibited neointima formation in balloon-injured rats.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that COMP is essential for maintaining a VSMC contractile phenotype and the protective effects of COMP are mainly mediated through interaction with 7β1 integrin. Investigations to identify the factors affecting the expression and integrity of COMP may provide a novel therapeutic target for vascular disorders.

  J Zhang , J. Y. F Chang , Y Huang , X Lin , Y Luo , R. J Schwartz , J. F Martin and F. Wang

Heart valves develop from precursor structures called cardiac cushions, an endothelial-lined cardiac jelly that resides in the inner side of the heart tube. The cushions are then invaded by cells from different sources, undergo a series of complicated and poorly understood remodeling processes, and give rise to valves. Disruption of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling axis impairs morphogenesis of the outflow tract (OFT). Yet, whether FGF signaling regulates OFT valve formation is unknown.


To study how OFT valve formation is regulated and how aberrant cell signaling causes valve defects.

Methods and Results:

By using mouse genetic manipulation, cell lineage tracing, ex vivo heart culture, and molecular biology approaches, we demonstrated that FGF signaling in the OFT myocardium upregulated Bmp4 expression, which then enhanced smooth muscle differentiation of neural crest cells (NCCs) in the cushion. FGF signaling also promoted OFT myocardial cell invasion to the cushion. Disrupting FGF signaling interrupted cushion remodeling with reduced NCCs differentiation into smooth muscle and less cardiomyocyte invasion and resulted in malformed OFT valves.


The results demonstrate a novel mechanism by which the FGF-BMP signaling axis regulates formation of OFT valve primordia by controlling smooth muscle differentiation of cushion NCCs.

  N. G Kutner , R Zhang , Y Huang and K. L. Johansen

Background and objectives: When patients start dialysis, their employment rate declines and disability benefits are an option. With patient sociodemographic and clinical characteristics including disability income status controlled, we investigated the significance of depressed mood and usual activity level as predictors of patients' continued employment after dialysis start.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Incident patients from 296 randomly selected dialysis clinics were surveyed in the Comprehensive Dialysis Study (CDS). Participants provided information about employment status, disability income status, education, depressive symptoms measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and usual activity level/energy expenditure measured by the Human Activity Profile. Age, gender, race, insurance, diabetes, inability to ambulate or transfer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular conditions, and hemoglobin and serum albumin values at treatment start were obtained from US Renal Data System files. Dialysis modality was defined at time of interview.

Results: Among 585 CDS participants who worked in the previous year, 191 (32.6%) continued working after dialysis start. On the basis of the PHQ-2 cutoff score ≥3, 12.1% of patients who remained employed had possible or probable depression, compared with 32.8% of patients who were no longer employed. In adjusted analyses, higher Human Activity Profile scores were associated with increased likelihood of continued employment, and there was a borderline association between lower PHQ-2 scores and continued employment.

Conclusions: Screening and management of depressive symptoms and support for increased activity level may facilitate patients' opportunity for continued employment after dialysis start, along with generally improving their overall quality of life.

  E. C Hsiao , S. M Millard , A Louie , Y Huang , B. R Conklin and R. A. Nissenson

Age-dependent changes in skeletal growth play important roles in regulating skeletal expansion and in the course of many diseases affecting bone. How G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling affects these changes is poorly understood. Previously, we described a mouse model expressing Rs1, an engineered receptor with constitutive Gs activity. Rs1 expression in osteoblasts from gestation induced a dramatic age-dependent increase in trabecular bone with features resembling fibrous dysplasia; however, these changes were greatly minimized if Rs1 expression was delayed until after puberty. To further investigate whether ligand-induced activation of the Gs-GPCR pathway affects bone formation in adult mice, we activated Rs1 in adult mice with the synthetic ligand RS67333 delivered continuously via an osmotic pump or intermittently by daily injections. We found that osteoblasts from adult animals can be stimulated to form large amounts of bone, indicating that adult mice are sensitive to the dramatic bone- forming actions of Gs signaling in osteoblasts. In addition, our results show that intermittent and continuous activation of Rs1 led to structurally similar but quantitatively different degrees of trabecular bone formation. These results indicate that activation of a Gs-coupled receptor in osteoblasts of adult animals by either intermittent or continuous ligand administration can increase trabecular bone formation. In addition, osteoblasts located at the bone epiphyses may be more responsive to Gs signaling than osteoblasts at the bone diaphysis. This model provides a powerful tool for investigating the effects of ligand-activated Gs-GPCR signaling on dynamic bone growth and remodeling.

  Y Huang , L Li and L. Yu

X-ray repair cross-complementing group 1 (XRCC1) plays an important role in base excision and single-strand break repair, as a scaffold protein that brings together proteins of the DNA repair complex, and appears to be a candidate for cancer risk. However, studies on the association between polymorphisms in this protein and cancer have yielded conflicting results. We performed a meta-analysis to investigate the association between the breast cancer and the XRCC1 polymorphisms Arg194Trp (9411 cases and 9783 controls), Arg399Gln (22 481 cases and 23 905 controls) and Arg280His (6062 cases and 5864 controls) in different inheritance models. Our analysis suggested that Arg399Gln was associated with a trend of increased breast cancer risk when using both dominant [odds ratio (OR) = 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00–1.13] and recessive models (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.02–1.23) to analyse the data. In ethnic subgroups and using recessive model analysis: Arg399Gln increased breast cancer risk in Asians (OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 0.96–1.64) and Africans (OR = 1.80, 95% CI: 0.97–3.32), and also while only slightly increasing the breast cancer risk in Caucasians (OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.95–1.22). However, Arg194Trp (recessive model, OR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.75–1.20) and Arg280His (recessive model, OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 0.64–2.55) did not appear to be risk factors for breast cancer. Larger scale primary studies are required to further evaluate the interaction of XRCC1 polymorphisms and breast cancer risk in specific populations.

  Y Zhong , Y Huang , T Zhang , C Ma , S Zhang , W Fan , H Chen , J Qian and D. Lu

O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase is one of the rare proteins to directly remove alkylating agents in the human DNA direct reversal repair pathway. Its two common single-nucleotide polymorphisms, Leu84Phe and Ile143Val, had previously been identified to contribute to susceptibility of cancer. However, there are conflicting results in studies on the association of the two polymorphisms with cancer. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to clarify the paradox with a large collected sample (13 069 cancer patients and 20 290 controls). We found significant association between the T allele (84Phe) and cancer risk, under the recessive genetic model [P = 0.023, odds ratio (OR) = 1.251, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.031–1.517, Pheterogeneity = 0.270], TT versus CC comparison (P = 0.035, OR = 1.239, 95% CI 1.015–1.511, Pheterogeneity = 0.225) and TT versus CT comparison (P = 0.007, OR = 1.292, 95% CI 1.071–1.559, Pheterogeneity = 0.374), using the random-effect model. In the ethnicity subgroup analysis, a significant association with cancer among Caucasians was found under the recessive genetic model, homozygote comparison and TT versus TC comparison. In the tumour sites subgroup analysis, only the protective effects of Leu84Phe polymorphism were found in colorectal cancer, under CT versus CC comparison. No significant association between the G allele of Ile143Val and cancer risk was found. The G allele showed an increased lung cancer risk under the dominant genetic model and AG versus AA comparison in all Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium subjects, only when the fixed-effect model was used. However, it was insignificant in the random-effect model.

  N Chen , W Wang , Y Huang , P Shen , D Pei , H Yu , H Shi , Q Zhang , J Xu , Y Lv and Q. Fan

Background. The study was performed to investigate the prevalence, awareness and the risk factors of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the community population in Shanghai, China.

Methods. A total of 2596 residents were randomly recruited from the community population in Shanghai, China. All were screened for albuminuria, haematuria, morning spot urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio and renal function. Serum creatinine, uric acid, cholesterol, triglyceride and haemoglobin were assessed. A simplified MDRD equation was used to estimate the glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). All studied subjects were screened by kidney ultrasound. Haematuria, if present in the morning spot urine dipstick test, was confirmed by microscopy. The associations among the demographic characteristics, health characteristics and indicators of kidney damage were examined.

Results. Two thousand five hundred and fifty-four residents (n = 2554), after giving informed consent and with complete data, were entered into this study. Albuminuria and haematuria were detected in 6.3% and 1.2% of all the studied subjects, respectively, whereas decreased kidney function was found in 5.8% of all studied subjects. Approximately 11.8% of subjects had at least one indicator of kidney damage. The rate of awareness of CKD was 8.2%. The logistic regression model showed that age, central obesity, hypertension, diabetes, anaemia, hyperuricaemia and nephrolithiasis each contributed to the development of CKD.

Conclusion. This is the first Shanghai community-based epidemiological study data on Chinese CKD patients. The prevalence of CKD in the community population in Shanghai is 11.8%, and the rate of awareness of CKD is 8.2%. All the factors including age, central obesity, hypertension, diabetes, anaemia, hyperuricaemia and nephrolithiasis are positively correlated with the development of CKD in our studied subjects.

  Y Huang , R Kotov , G de Girolamo , A Preti , M Angermeyer , C Benjet , K Demyttenaere , R de Graaf , O Gureje , A. N Karam , S Lee , J. P Lepine , H Matschinger , J Posada Villa , S Suliman , G Vilagut and R. C. Kessler


Little is known about the cross-national population prevalence or correlates of personality disorders.


To estimate prevalence and correlates of DSM–IV personality disorder clusters in the World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys.


International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE) screening questions in 13 countries (n = 21 162) were calibrated to masked IPDE clinical diagnoses. Prevalence and correlates were estimated using multiple imputation.


Prevalence estimates are 6.1% (s.e. = 0.3) for any personality disorder and 3.6% (s.e. = 0.3), 1.5% (s.e. = 0.1) and 2.7% (s.e. = 0.2) for Clusters A, B and C respectively. Personality disorders are significantly elevated among males, the previously married (Cluster C), unemployed (Cluster C), the young (Clusters A and B) and the poorly educated. Personality disorders are highly comorbid with Axis I disorders. Impairments associated with personality disorders are only partially explained by comorbidity.


Personality disorders are relatively common disorders that often co-occur with Axis I disorders and are associated with significant role impairments beyond those due to comorbidity.

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