Doctor of Philosophy, University of Illinois Chicago (2009)
Bachelor of Science, Washington University in Saint Louis, Chemical Engineering (2002)
Wei Zhou, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
My primary research interest is in pursuing biomedical research to support the use of CAM in conjunction with conventional medicinal approaches through the investigation of effective botanical natural products to treat various cardiovascular conditions and diseases.
Resistin has been implicated in coronary atherosclerotic disease and congestive heart failure. Recent studies have extended its involvement in peripheral artery disease. Despite some controversial data, the mainstream clinical literature supports that resistin is associated with both coronary and peripheral artery diseases including ischemic stroke. In this review, the multiple roles of resistin as screening, diagnostic, and prognostic marker for cardiovascular disease are discussed. The independence of resistin in disease prediction and diagnosis appears complicated by its confounders, such as C-reactive protein. A clear-cut biomarker function of resistin in cardiovascular disease needs be clarified by additional large-scale, well-designed prospective studies.
View details for Web of Science ID 000304732700004
View details for PubMedID 22498016
Earlier studies reported serotonergic activity for cimicifugic acids (CA) isolated from Cimicifuga racemosa. The discovery of strongly basic alkaloids, cimipronidines, from the active extract partition and evaluation of previously employed work-up procedures has led to the hypothesis of strong acid/base association in the extract.Re-isolation of the CAs was desired to permit further detailed studies. Based on the acid/base association hypothesis, a new separation scheme of the active partition was required, which separates acids from associated bases.A new 5-HT(7) bioassay guided work-up procedure was developed that concentrates activity into one partition. The latter was subjected to a new two-step centrifugal partitioning chromatography (CPC) method, which applies pH zone refinement gradient (pHZR CPC) to dissociate the acid/base complexes. The resulting CA fraction was subjected to a second CPC step. Fractions and compounds were monitored by (1)H NMR using a structure-based spin-pattern analysis facilitating dereplication of the known acids. Bioassay results were obtained for the pHZR CPC fractions and for purified CAs.A new CA was characterised. While none of the pure CAs was active, the serotonergic activity was concentrated in a single pHZR CPC fraction, which was subsequently shown to contain low levels of the potent 5-HT(7) ligand, N(omega)-methylserotonin.This study shows that CAs are not responsible for serotonergic activity in black cohosh. New phytochemical methodology (pHZR CPC) and a sensitive dereplication method (LC-MS) led to the identification of N(omega)-methylserotonin as serotonergic active principle.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pca.1106
View details for Web of Science ID 000263897500005
View details for PubMedID 19140115
Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. (syn. Actaea racemosa L., black cohosh) is used to relieve menopausal hot flashes, although clinical studies have provided conflicting data, and the active constituent(s) and mechanism(s) of action remain unknown. Because serotonergic receptors and transporters are involved with thermoregulation, black cohosh and its phytoconstituents were evaluated for serotonergic activity using 5-HT7 receptor binding, cAMP induction, and serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) assays. Crude extracts displayed 5-HT7 receptor binding activity and induced cAMP production. Fractionation of the methanol extract led to isolation of phenolic acids and identification of N(omega)-methylserotonin by LC-MS/MS. Cimicifuga triterpenoids and phenolic acids bound weakly to the 5-HT7 receptor with no cAMP or SSRI activity. In contrast, N(omega)-methylserotonin showed 5-HT7 receptor binding (IC50 = 23 pM), induced cAMP (EC50 = 22 nM), and blocked serotonin re-uptake (IC50 = 490 nM). These data suggest N(omega)-methylserotonin may be responsible for the serotonergic activity of black cohosh.
View details for DOI 10.1021/jf803298z
View details for Web of Science ID 000261802400024
View details for PubMedID 19049296