Publications -- Ran Liu

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Metabolic Heterogeneity of Cerebral Cortical and Cerebellar Astrocytes
    (MDPI, 2023-01-22) Sun, Yuanhong; Winters, Ali; Wang, Linshu; Chaudhari, Kiran; Berry, Raymond; Tang, Christina; Liu, Ran; Yang, Shaohua
    Astrocytes play critical roles in regulating neuronal synaptogenesis, maintaining blood-brain barrier integrity, and recycling neurotransmitters. Increasing numbers of studies have suggested astrocyte heterogeneity in morphology, gene profile, and function. However, metabolic phenotype of astrocytes in different brain regions have not been explored. In this paper, we investigated the metabolic signature of cortical and cerebellar astrocytes using primary astrocyte cultures. We observed that cortical astrocytes were larger than cerebellar astrocytes, whereas cerebellar astrocytes had more and longer processes than cortical astrocytes. Using a Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer, we demonstrated that cortical astrocytes had higher mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis than cerebellar astrocytes. Cerebellar astrocytes have lower spare capacity of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis as compared with cortical astrocytes. Consistently, cortical astrocytes have higher mitochondrial oxidation and glycolysis-derived ATP content than cerebellar astrocytes. In addition, cerebellar astrocytes have a fuel preference for glutamine and fatty acid, whereas cortical astrocytes were more dependent on glucose to meet energy demands. Our study indicated that cortical and cerebellar astrocytes display distinct metabolic phenotypes. Future studies on astrocyte metabolic heterogeneity and brain function in aging and neurodegeneration may lead to better understanding of the role of astrocyte in brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders.
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    Artemisinin Prevents Glutamate-Induced Neuronal Cell Death Via Akt Pathway Activation
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2018-04-20) Lin, Shao-Peng; Li, Wenjun; Winters, Ali; Liu, Ran; Yang, Shaohua
    Artemisinin is an anti-malarial drug that has been in use for almost half century. Recently, novel biological effects of artemisinin on cancer, inflammation-related disorders and cardiovascular disease were reported. However, neuroprotective actions of artemisinin against glutamate-induced oxidative stress have not been investigated. In the current study, we determined the effect of artemisinin against oxidative insult in HT-22 mouse hippocampal cell line. We found that pretreatment of artemisinin declined reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, attenuated the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential induced by glutamate and rescued HT-22 cells from glutamate-induced cell death. Furthermore, our study demonstrated that artemisinin activated Akt/Bcl-2 signaling and that neuroprotective effect of artemisinin was blocked by Akt-specific inhibitor, MK2206. Taken together, our study indicated that artemisinin prevented neuronal HT-22 cell from glutamate-induced oxidative injury by activation of Akt signaling pathway.
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    Determination of metformin bio-distribution by LC-MS/MS in mice treated with a clinically relevant paradigm
    (PLOS, 2020-06-11) Chaudhari, Kiran; Wang, Jianmei; Xu, Yong; Winters, Ali; Wang, Linshu; Dong, Xiaowei; Cheng, Eric Y.; Liu, Ran; Yang, Shaohua
    Metformin, an anti-diabetes drug, has been recently emerging as a potential "anti-aging" intervention based on its reported beneficial actions against aging in preclinical studies. Nonetheless, very few metformin studies using mice have determined metformin concentrations and many effects of metformin have been observed in preclinical studies using doses/concentrations that were not relevant to therapeutic levels in human. We developed a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry protocol for metformin measurement in plasma, liver, brain, kidney, and muscle of mice. Young adult male and female C57BL/6 mice were voluntarily treated with metformin of 4 mg/ml in drinking water which translated to the maximum dose of 2.5 g/day in humans. A clinically relevant steady-state plasma metformin concentrations were achieved at 7 and 30 days after treatment in male and female mice. Metformin concentrations were slightly higher in muscle than in plasma, while, ~3 and 6-fold higher in the liver and kidney than in plasma, respectively. Low metformin concentration was found in the brain at ~20% of the plasma level. Furthermore, gender difference in steady-state metformin bio-distribution was observed. Our study established steady-state metformin levels in plasma, liver, muscle, kidney, and brain of normoglycemic mice treated with a clinically relevant dose, providing insight into future metformin preclinical studies for potential clinical translation.
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    For the pursuit of oxygen and carbon dioxide channels in mitochondria
    (Wolters Kluwer - Medknow, 2016-12-30) Yang, Shaohua; Liu, Ran
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    Hyperglycemia Alters Astrocyte Metabolism and Inhibits Astrocyte Proliferation
    (JKL International, 2018-08-01) Li, Wenjun; Roy Choudhury, Gourav; Winters, Ali; Prah, Jude; Lin, Wenping; Liu, Ran; Yang, Shaohua
    Diabetes milieu is a complex metabolic disease that has been known to associate with high risk of various neurological disorders. Hyperglycemia in diabetes could dramatically increase neuronal glucose levels which leads to neuronal damage, a phenomenon referred to as glucose neurotoxicity. On the other hand, the impact of hyperglycemia on astrocytes has been less explored. Astrocytes play important roles in brain energy metabolism through neuron-astrocyte coupling. As the component of blood brain barrier, glucose might be primarily transported into astrocytes, hence, impose direct impact on astrocyte metabolism and function. In the present study, we determined the effect of high glucose on the energy metabolism and function of primary astrocytes. Hyperglycemia level glucose (25 mM) induced cell cycle arrest and inhibited proliferation and migration of primary astrocytes. Consistently, high glucose decreased cyclin D1 and D3 expression. High glucose enhanced glycolytic metabolism, increased ATP and glycogen content in primary astrocytes. In addition, high glucose activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway in astrocytes. In summary, our in vitro study indicated that hyperglycemia might impact astrocyte energy metabolism and function phenotype. Our study provides a potential mechanism which may underlie the diabetic cerebral neuropathy and warrant further in vivo study to determine the effect of hyperglycemia on astrocyte metabolism and function.