December 2011 Researcher of the Month - Zhou Chen, MD, PhD

Zhou Chen, MD, PhDResearch Interests
Aging is the accumulation of changes in organisms over time. It contributes to health deterioration, induces aging-associated diseases and ultimately to death. Many aging-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis, hypertension and Alzheimer's disease are deserving more attention and intervention than ever.

My research in the Diabetes Research Program involves an aging project using primary cultured endothelial cells isolated from young (4 months) and old (24 months) rats for in vitro studies and using young and old wild type C57 and RAGE knockout mice for in vivo studies. We have obtained evidence that some genes are noted to display significant differences between aged vs. young animals to baseline and in response to hypoxia stress. Heart, aortas and lung tissue have been retrieved and subjected to study. We are now pursuing in depth, the mechanisms underlying these exciting new discoveries.

1.  CHEN Z, CHEN B, YU CX. Protective effects of IGF-1 on cell injuries and tau hyperphosporylation induced by okadaic acid. Chin J Appl Physiol, 2010, 26(2):202-5

2.  LIN LS, ZHANG ZQ, CHEN Z, XU YL.  Purification and properties of the L-amino acid oxidase from Chinese cobra (Naja atra) venom. Journal of Fujian Medical University, 2007, 41(4):308-11

3.  CHEN Z, HUANG JJ, XUE L, et al. Purification of L-amino acid oxidase from Naja atra venom and its effects on endothelial cells. Chin Pharmacol Bull, 2009, 25(8):1024-8

4.  WANG YP, PANG XD, CHEN Z, et al. Oxidative stress induces apoptosis via NF-κB-iNOS-nitric oxide pathway in pancreatic β-cells. Chin J Appl Physiol, 2009, 25(2)255-9

5.  CHEN Z, LIAO LP, LIU LB.  The effect of sibutramine hydrochloride on expression of hypothalamus orexin system gene in high-fat dietary obesity rats. Chin Pharmacol Bull, 2008, 24(2):262-5

6.  LIN YC, WANG YP, CHEN Z. Tert-butyl hydroperoxide induces oxidative damage model in murine pancreatic β-cell MIN6. Journal of Fujian Medical University, 2007, 41(6):502-5

7.  LIU XH, CHEN Z, WANG YP, LIU LB. Protective effect of insulin-like growth factor-1 on apoptosis in murine pancreatic β- cells. Chinese Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and therapeutics, 2007, 12(6):645-8

8.  LIAO LP, CHEN Z, LIU XH, et al. The expression of hypothalamus orexin system gene in high-fat dietary obesity rats was decreased. Basic & Clinical Medicine, 2006, 26(12):1376-7

9.  CHEN Z, HUANG ZQ, XU JH. Thrombolytic effects of staphylokinase in experimental carotid thrombosis model in rats. Chin J Cardiovase Rehabil Med, 2006, 15(1):33-5

Future Plans
My future research interest is to study the mechanisms by which AGE-RAGE singling contributes to aging and its associated vascular perturbation in diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. RAGE knockout mice and siRNA knockdown of RAGE in primary endothelial cells will be used in these studies. The studies will be helpful in finding some new targets for therapeutic intervention.