Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of The Pacific, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences (2014)
  • Master of Science, China Pharmaceutical University, Pharmacology (2009)
  • Bachelor of Science, China Pharmaceutical University, Pharmacy (2006)

Stanford Advisors

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Gestational diabetes and hypertension affect 5-10% of pregnant women and cause severe complications in both mothers and babies. We are interested in the effect of excessive dietary sugar on the cardiovascular and renal system during the pregnancy.


All Publications

  • Sex-specific vascular responses of the rat aorta: effects of moderate term (intermediate stage) streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology Han, X., Shaligram, S., Zhang, R., Anderson, L., Rahimian, R. 2016; 94 (4): 408-415


    Hyperglycemia affects male and female vascular beds differently. We have previously shown that 1 week after the induction of diabetes with streptozotocin (STZ), male and female rats exhibit differences in aortic endothelial function. To examine this phenomenon further, aortic responses were studied in male and female rats 8 weeks after the induction of diabetes (intermediate stage). Endothelium-dependent vasodilation (EDV) to acetylcholine (ACh) was measured in phenylephrine (PE) pre-contracted rat aortic rings. Concentration response curves to PE were generated before and after L-NAME, a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor. Furthermore, mRNA expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NADPH oxidase subunit (Nox1) were determined. At 8 weeks, diabetes impaired EDV to a greater extent in female than male aortae. Furthermore, the responsiveness to PE was significantly enhanced only in female diabetic rats, and basal NO, as indicated by the potentiation of the response to PE after L-NAME, was reduced in female diabetic rat aortae to the same levels as in males. In addition, eNOS mRNA expression was decreased, while the Nox1 expression was significantly enhanced in diabetic female rats. These results suggest that aortic function in female diabetic rats after 8 weeks exhibits a more prominent impairment and that NO may be involved.

    View details for DOI 10.1139/cjpp-2015-0272

    View details for PubMedID 26845285

  • The transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 channel modulates uterine tone during pregnancy SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Ying, L., Becard, M., Lyell, D., Han, X., Shortliffe, L., Husted, C. I., Alvira, C. M., Cornfield, D. N. 2015; 7 (319)
  • Dietary fructose in pregnancy induces hyperglycemia, hypertension, and pathologic kidney and liver changes in a rodent model PREGNANCY HYPERTENSION-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WOMENS CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH Shortliffe, L. M., Hammam, O., Han, X., Kouba, E., Tsao, P. S., Wang, B. 2015; 5 (4): 308-314
  • Sexual dimorphism in rat aortic endothelial function of streptozotocin-induced diabetes: Possible involvement of superoxide and nitric oxide production EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY Han, X., Zhang, R., Anderson, L., Rahimian, R. 2014; 723: 442-450


    Little is known of the interactions between diabetes and sex hormones on vascular function. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether there were sex differences in rat aortic endothelial function one week after the induction of streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetes, and to examine the potential roles of superoxide and nitric oxide (NO) in this sex-specific effect. Endothelium-dependent vasodilatation to acetylcholine (ACh) was measured in rat aortic rings before and after treatment with MnTMPyP (25µM), a superoxide dismutase. Contractile responses to phenylephrine (PE) were generated before and after treatment with l-NAME (200μM), a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor. The mRNA expression of NADPH oxidase (Nox) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were also determined. We demonstrated that (1) STZ-diabetes impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilatation to ACh to a greater extent in female than male aortae, (2) inhibition of superoxide enhanced sensitivity to ACh only in diabetic females, and (3) Nox1 and Nox4 mRNA expression were significantly elevated only in aortic tissue of diabetic females. Furthermore, incubation of aortic rings with l-NAME potentiated PE responses in all groups, but aortae from control females showed a greater potentiation of the PE response after NOS inhibition compared with others. STZ-diabetes reduced the extent of PE potentiation after l-NAME and the aortic eNOS mRNA expression in females to the same levels as seen in males. These data suggest that a decrease in NO, resulting from either decreased eNOS or elevated superoxide, may partially contribute to the predisposition of the female aorta to injury early in diabetes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.10.052

    View details for Web of Science ID 000330574600057

    View details for PubMedID 24211329

  • Sex differences in mesenteric endothelial function of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: a shift in the relative importance of EDRFs AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Zhang, R., Thor, D., Han, X., Anderson, L., Rahimian, R. 2012; 303 (10): H1183-H1198


    Several studies suggest that diabetes affects male and female vascular beds differently. However, the mechanisms underlying the interaction of sex and diabetes remain to be investigated. This study investigates whether there are 1) sex differences in the development of abnormal vascular responses and 2) changes in the relative contributions of endothelium-derived relaxing factors in modulating vascular reactivity of mesenteric arteries taken from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats at early and intermediate stages of the disease (1 and 8 wk, respectively). We also investigated the mesenteric expression of the mRNAs for endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) and NADPH oxidase (Nox) in STZ-induced diabetes in both sexes. Vascular responses to acetylcholine (ACh) in mesenteric arterial rings precontracted with phenylephrine were measured before and after pretreatment with indomethacin (cyclooxygenase inhibitor), N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (NOS inhibitor), or barium chloride (K(ir) blocker) plus ouabain (Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase inhibitor). We demonstrated that ACh-induced relaxations were significantly impaired in mesenteric arteries from both male and female diabetic rats at 1 and 8 wk. However, at 8 wk the extent of impairment was significantly greater in diabetic females than diabetic males. Our data also showed that in females, the levels of eNOS, Nox2, and Nox4 mRNA expression and the relative importance of NO to the regulation of vascular reactivity were substantially enhanced, whereas the importance of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) was significantly reduced at both 1 and 8 wk after the induction of diabetes. This study reveals the predisposition of female rat mesenteric arteries to vascular injury after the induction of diabetes may be due to a shift away from a putative EDHF, initially the major vasodilatory factor, toward a greater reliance on NO.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart.00327.2012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311223600002

    View details for PubMedID 22982780



    Crocetin, a constituent of saffron, has been shown not only to prevent reactive oxygen species-induced hepatotoxicity and genotoxicity but also to increase whole-body oxygen consumption and survival. The present study was to determine whether crocetin has beneficial effects on cardiac injury caused by hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation in rats. Anesthetized rats were bled to reduce mean arterial pressure (MAP) to 35 +/- 5 mmHg for 60 min and then resuscitated with their withdrawn shed blood and isotonic sodium chloride solution. Crocetin was administered via the duodenum at 50 mg/kg 40 min after bleeding. We investigated MAP, serum creatine kinase activity, the activity of nuclear factor-kappaB, iNOS, and total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), as well as levels of NO, malondialdehyde, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 in the heart at 2 h postresuscitation. Compared with control group, crocetin significantly increased MAP from 10 min after administration to the end of the protocol except the period between 75 and 90 min after initial bleeding, whereas serum creatine kinase activity was dramatically decreased at 2 h postresuscitation. Myocardial nuclear factor-kappaB activity, iNOS activity, NO, malondialdehyde, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 were significantly elevated, whereas T-SOD activity was suppressed in the control group if compared with those of sham animals. These parameters tended to be normalized in rats administered crocetin. These results suggest that crocetin blocks inflammatory cascades by inhibiting reactive oxygen species production and preserving T-SOD activity to ameliorate the cardiac injury caused by hemorrhage/resuscitation.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3181a98f55

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272970200014

    View details for PubMedID 19487985