Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Creighton University (2009)
  • MD, Southern Medical University (The First Military Medical University), Medicine (1998)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Thrombin-cleaved Fragments of Osteopontin Are Overexpressed in Malignant Glial Tumors and Provide a Molecular Niche with Survival Advantage JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Yamaguchi, Y., Shao, Z., Sharif, S., Du, X., Myles, T., Merchant, M., Harsh, G., Glantz, M., Recht, L., Morser, J., Leung, L. L. 2013; 288 (5): 3097-3111


    Osteopontin (OPN), which is highly expressed in malignant glioblastoma (GBM), possesses inflammatory activity modulated by proteolytic cleavage by thrombin and plasma carboxypeptidase B2 (CPB2) at a highly conserved cleavage site. Full-length OPN (OPN-FL) was elevated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from all cancer patients compared with noncancer patients. However, thrombin-cleaved OPN (OPN-R) and thrombin/CPB2-double-cleaved OPN (OPN-L) levels were markedly increased in GBM and non-GBM gliomas compared with systemic cancer and noncancer patients. Cleaved OPN constituted ?23 and ?31% of the total OPN in the GBM and non-GBM CSF samples, respectively. OPN-R was also elevated in GBM tissues. Thrombin-antithrombin levels were highly correlated with cleaved OPN, but not OPN-FL, suggesting that the cleaved OPN fragments resulted from increased thrombin and CPB2 in this extracellular compartment. Levels of VEGF and CCL4 were increased in CSF of GBM and correlated with the levels of cleaved OPN. GBM cell lines were more adherent to OPN-R and OPN-L than OPN-FL. Adhesion to OPN altered gene expression, in particular genes involved with cellular processes, cell cycle regulation, death, and inflammation. OPN and its cleaved forms promoted motility of U-87 MG cells and conferred resistance to apoptosis. Although functional mutation of the RGD motif in OPN largely abolished these functions, OPN(RAA)-R regained significant cell binding and signaling function, suggesting that the SVVYGLR motif in OPN-R may substitute for the RGD motif if the latter becomes inaccessible. OPN cleavage contributes to GBM development by allowing more cells to bind in niches where they acquire anti-apoptotic properties.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M112.362954

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314397900019

    View details for PubMedID 23204518

  • Differential Gene Expression in Thrombomodulin (TM; CD141)(+) and TM(-) Dendritic Cell Subsets. PloS one Toda, M., Shao, Z., Yamaguchi, K. D., Takagi, T., D'Alessandro-Gabazza, C. N., Taguchi, O., Salamon, H., Leung, L. L., Gabazza, E. C., Morser, J. 2013; 8 (8)


    Previously we have shown in a mouse model of bronchial asthma that thrombomodulin can convert immunogenic conventional dendritic cells into tolerogenic dendritic cells while inducing its own expression on their cell surface. Thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells are tolerogenic while thrombomodulin(-) dendritic cells are pro-inflammatory and immunogenic. Here we hypothesized that thrombomodulin treatment of dendritic cells would modulate inflammatory gene expression. Murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells were treated with soluble thrombomodulin and expression of surface markers was determined. Treatment with thrombomodulin reduces the expression of maturation markers and increases the expression of TM on the DC surface. Thrombomodulin treated and control dendritic cells were sorted into thrombomodulin(+) and thrombomodulin(-) dendritic cells before their mRNA was analyzed by microarray. mRNAs encoding pro-inflammatory genes and dendritic cells maturation markers were reduced while expression of cell cycle genes were increased in thrombomodulin-treated and thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells compared to control dendritic cells and thrombomodulin(-) dendritic cells. Thrombomodulin-treated and thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells had higher expression of 15-lipoxygenase suggesting increased synthesis of lipoxins. Thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells produced more lipoxins than thrombomodulin(-) dendritic cells, as measured by ELISA, confirming that this pathway was upregulated. There was more phosphorylation of several cell cycle kinases in thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells while phosphorylation of kinases involved with pro-inflammatory cytokine signaling was reduced. Cultures of thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells contained more cells actively dividing than those of thrombomodulin(-) dendritic cells. Production of IL-10 is increased in thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells. Antagonism of IL-10 with a neutralizing antibody inhibited the effects of thrombomodulin treatment of dendritic cells suggesting a mechanistic role for IL-10. The surface of thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells supported activation of protein C and procarboxypeptidase B2 in a thrombomodulin-dependent manner. Thus thrombomodulin treatment increases the number of thrombomodulin(+) dendritic cells, which have significantly altered gene expression compared to thrombomodulin(-) dendritic cells in key immune function pathways.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0072392

    View details for PubMedID 24009678

  • Calcium-Activated Potassium Channel KCa3.1 in Lung Dendritic Cell Migration AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Shao, Z., Makinde, T. O., Agrawal, D. K. 2011; 45 (5): 962-968


    Migration to draining lymph nodes is a critical requirement for dendritic cells (DCs) to control T-cell-mediated immunity. The calcium-activated potassium channel KCa3.1 has been shown to be involved in regulating cell migration in multiple cell types. In this study, KCa3.1 expression and its functional role in lung DC migration were examined. Fluorescence-labeled antigen was intranasally delivered into mouse lungs to label lung Ag-carrying DCs. Lung CD11c(high)CD11b(low) and CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs from PBS-treated and ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were sorted using MACS and FACS. Indo-1 and DiBAC4(3) were used to measure intracellular Ca(2+) and membrane potential, respectively. The mRNA expression of KCa3.1 was examined using real-time PCR. Expression of KCa3.1 protein and CCR7 was measured using flow cytometry. Migration of two lung DC subsets to lymphatic chemokines was examined using TransWell in the absence or presence of the KCa3.1 blocker TRAM-34. OVA sensitization up-regulated mRNA and protein expression of KCa3.1 in lung DCs, with a greater response by the CD11c(high)CD11b(low) than CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs. Although KCa3.1 expression in Ag-carrying DCs was higher than that in non-Ag-carrying DCs in OVA-sensitized mice, the difference was not as prominent. However, Ag-carrying lung DCs expressed significantly higher CCR7 than non-Ag-carrying DCs. CCL19, CCL21, and KCa3.1 activator 1-EBIO induced an increase in intracellular calcium in both DC subsets. In addition, 1-EBIO-induced calcium increase was suppressed by TRAM-34. In vitro blockade of KCa3.1 with TRAM-34 impaired CCL19/CCL21-induced transmigration. In conclusion, KCa3.1 expression in lung DCs is up-regulated by OVA sensitization in both lung DC subsets, and KCa3.1 is involved in lung DC migration to lymphatic chemokines.

    View details for DOI 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0514OC

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299681800009

    View details for PubMedID 21493782

  • Fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 Ligand Decreases T Helper Type 17 Cells and Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling Proteins in the Lung of House Dust Mite-Sensitized and -Challenged Mice AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY McGee, H. S., Stallworth, A. L., Agrawal, T., Shao, Z., Lorence, L., Agrawal, D. K. 2010; 43 (5): 520-529


    We previously reported that Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3-L) reversed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation, and increased the number of regulatory CD11c(high)CD8?(high)CD11b(low) dendritic cells and CD4(+)CD25(+)ICOS(+)Foxp3(+)IL-10(+) T-regulatory cells in the lung of allergen-sensitized and -challenged mice. In this study, we evaluated the effect of Flt3-L on Th17 cells and expression of suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins in the lungs of house dust mite (HDM)-sensitized and -challenged mice. BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with HDM, and AHR to methacholine was established. Mice were treated with Flt3-L (5 ?g, intraperitoneal) daily for 10 days. Levels of IL-4, -5, -6, -8, and -13, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-? in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were examined by ELISA. Flt3-L treatment reversed existing AHR to methacholine and substantially decreased eosinophils, neutrophils, IL-5, -6, -8, and IL-13, and TGF-? levels in the BALF. HDM-sensitized and -challenged mice showed a significant increase in lung CD4(+)IL-17(+)IL-23R(+)CD25? T cells with high expression of retinoic acid-related orphan receptor (ROR)-?t transcripts. However, administration of Flt3-L substantially decreased the number of lung CD4(+)IL-17(+)IL-23R(+)CD25? T cells, with significantly decreased expression of ROR-?t mRNA in these cells. HDM sensitization caused a significant increase in the expression of SOCS-1, -3, and -5 in the lung. Flt3-L treatment abolished the increase in SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 proteins, whereas SOCS-5 expression was significantly reduced. These data suggest that the therapeutic effect of Flt3-L in reversing the hallmarks of allergic asthma in a mouse model is mediated by decreasing IL-6 and TGF-? levels in the BALF, which, in turn, decrease CD4(+)IL-17(+)IL-23R(+)ROR-?t(+)CD25? T cells and the expression of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 in the lung of HDM-sensitized and -challenged mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1165/rcmb.2009-0241OC

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283828700003

    View details for PubMedID 19933379

  • Programmed Death-1 Antibody Blocks Therapeutic Effects of T-Regulatory Cells in Cockroach Antigen-Induced Allergic Asthma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY McGee, H. S., Yagita, H., Shao, Z., Agrawal, D. K. 2010; 43 (4): 432-442


    We recently reported that the adoptive transfer of T-regulatory cells (Tregs) isolated from lung and spleen tissue of green fluorescent protein-transgenic mice reversed airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation. Because Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) is a pivotal receptor regulating effector T-cell activation by Tregs, we evaluated whether PD-1 is involved in the therapeutic effect of naturally occurring Tregs (NTregs) and inducible Tregs (iTregs) in cockroach (CRA)-sensitized and challenged mice. The CD4(+)CD25(+) NTregs and CD4(+)CD25(-) iTregs isolated from the lungs and spleens of BALB/c mice were adoptively transferred into CRA-sensitized and CRA-challenged mice with and without anti-PD-1 antibody (100 ?g/mice). The CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells in the lung were phenotyped after adoptive transfer. Concentrations of IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IFN-?, and IL-13 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were measured using ELISA. The NTregs and iTregs from either lung or spleen tissue reversed airway hyperresponsiveness for at least 4 wk. However, the therapeutic effect was blocked by administering the anti-PD-1 antibody. The administration of Tregs-recipient mice with anti-PD-1 antibody significantly decreased cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 expression, with low concentrations of Forkhead-winged transcriptional factor box 3 (Foxp3) mRNA transcripts in lung CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells. These mice had substantially higher concentrations of BALF IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, but significantly decreased levels of BALF IL-10. Adoptive therapy recipients without the anti-PD-1 antibody exhibited high levels of CTLA-4 expression and Foxp3 transcripts in lung CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells, with a significant decrease in BALF IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 concentrations and a substantial increase in BALF IL-10 concentrations. These data suggest that the reversal of airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation by Tregs is mediated in part by PD-1, because other costimulatory molecules (e.g., inducible costimulatory molecule [ICOS] or CTLA-4) have been shown to play a role in Treg-mediated suppression.

    View details for DOI 10.1165/rcmb.2009-0258OC

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282673100006

    View details for PubMedID 19901343

  • Pathogenesis of Allergic Airway Inflammation CURRENT ALLERGY AND ASTHMA REPORTS Agrawal, D. K., Shao, Z. 2010; 10 (1): 39-48


    Advances have been made in defining the mechanisms for the control of allergic airway inflammation in response to inhaled antigens. Several genes, including ADAM33, DPP10, PHF11, GPRA, TIM-1, PDE4D, OPN3, and ORMDL3, have been implicated in the pathogenesis and susceptibility to atopy and asthma. Growing evidence associates asthma with a systemic propensity for allergic T-helper type 2 cytokines. Disordered coagulation and fibrinolysis also exacerbate asthma symptoms. Balance among functionally distinct dendritic cell subsets contributes to the outcome of T-cell-mediated immunity. Allergen-specific T-regulatory cells play a pivotal role in the development of tolerance to allergens and immune suppression. The major emphasis on immunotherapy for asthma during the past decade has been to direct the immune response to a type 1 response, or immune tolerance. In this review, we discuss the current information on the pathogenesis of allergic airway inflammation and potential immunotherapy, which could be beneficial in the treatment of airway inflammation, allergy, and asthma.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11882-009-0081-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276907600007

    View details for PubMedID 20425513

  • Fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 Ligand Regulates Migratory Pattern and Antigen Uptake of Lung Dendritic Cell Subsets in a Murine Model of Allergic Airway Inflammation JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Shao, Z., Makinde, T. O., McGee, H. S., Wang, X., Agrawal, D. K. 2009; 183 (11): 7531-7538


    Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) reverses the features of allergic airway inflammation and increases a Th2-suppressive regulatory lung CD11c(high)CD11b(low) dendritic cell (DC) subset in a mouse model. We examined the migratory pattern and Ag uptake efficiency of lung DC subsets in the therapeutic effect of Flt3L. Lung CD11c(high)CD11b(low) and CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs from PBS-treated, OVA-sensitized, and Flt3L-treated/OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice were sorted using MACS and FACS for phenotype analysis. Lymphatic chemokine expression in thoracic lymph nodes was determined by immunohistochemistry. Migration of two lung DC subsets to lymphatic chemokines was examined in vitro using a Transwell chemotaxis assay. Labeled Ag was intranasally delivered into mouse lung to track the migration and Ag uptake of lung DCs. The in vitro cytokine secretion of mediastinal lymph node cells was determined using ELISA. CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs have higher expression of CCR5, CCR6, and CCR7, but lower expression of CCR2 than CD11c(high)CD11b(low) DCs. CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs in Flt3L-treated/OVA-sensitized mice demonstrated a less mature phenotype, inefficiency in Ag uptake, and impaired migration in vitro to lymphatic chemokine than those in OVA-sensitized mice. Administration of Flt3L decreased the expression of CCR5 and CCR7 in CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs in OVA-sensitized mice. Fewer Ag-carrying cells were detected in the lungs and lymph nodes in Flt3L-treated/OVA-sensitized mice than OVA-sensitized mice with a greater decrease in CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs. Mediastinal lymph node cells from Flt3L-treated mice secreted higher levels of Th1 cytokines and IL-10 than OVA-sensitized mice in vitro. In conclusion, Flt3L-generated lung immunogenic CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs have a less mature phenotype, impaired Ag uptake, and impaired migration to draining lymph nodes.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.0901341

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272478800075

    View details for PubMedID 19917684

  • Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand increases a lung DC subset with regulatory properties in allergic airway inflammation JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Shao, Z., Bharadwaj, A. S., McGee, H. S., Makinde, T. O., Agrawal, D. K. 2009; 123 (4): 917-924


    Dendritic cell (DC) subsets display different functional roles in regulating immune responses and lead to various outcomes, including T(H)1 versus T(H)2 or regulatory versus immunologic responses. Administration of Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) ligand prevents and reverses allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model. However, the underlying mechanisms are unclear.We characterized and examined the role of lung DC subsets in the therapeutic effect of Flt3 ligand.DCs were isolated from the lungs of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and OVA-challenged mice treated with recombinant human Flt3 ligand. Two populations of CD11c+ cells labeled with fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies were sorted. The ability of the purified cells to stimulate T-cell proliferation and cytokine secretion patterns by different DC subsets was examined. Also, DCs were adoptively transferred in mice to examine their effect on pulmonary function.Two DC populations, CD11c(high)CD11b(low) and CD11c(low)CD11b(high), were identified in the lungs of naive and OVA-sensitized and OVA-challenged mice with and without treatment with Flt3 ligand. The expression levels of CD8alpha, B220, CD19, F4/80, MHC II, CCR7, CD40, programmed death ligand 1, programmed death ligand 2, CD80, and CD86 were distinctly different between the 2 DC populations, which supports the notion that CD11c(high)CD11b(low) and CD11c(low)CD11b(high) DCs potentially have regulatory and immunogenic properties, respectively. Administration of Flt3 ligand increased the DCs with regulatory potential in the lungs of antigen-sensitized mice, and CD11c(high)CD11b(low) DCs acquired a maximum degree of regulatory capacity after Flt3 ligand treatment.These data suggest that Flt3 ligand reverses airway hyperresponsiveness by regulating the function of lung DCs in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.01.052

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265058600021

    View details for PubMedID 19348927

  • Chloride channel expression and functional diversity in the immune cells of allergic diseases CURRENT MOLECULAR MEDICINE Cheng, G., Ramanathan, A., Shao, Z., Agrawal, D. K. 2008; 8 (5): 401-407


    Chloride channels are involved in many different physiological processes such as cell migration, proliferation and apoptosis. The importance of the CLC family of chloride channels in these cellular functions has been recognized only recently. Infiltration of inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils, T cells, mast cells and neutrophils, is a hallmark of allergy and asthma. Indeed, chronic asthma is associated with widespread damage to the bronchial epithelium, due to excessive apoptosis, and with defective epithelial repair. However, the relationship between the immune cells of allergic airway diseases and chloride channels has not been clearly elucidated. In this review, characteristics of CLC channels are mainly discussed based on their function and presence in different immune cells in airway diseases. Not only are chloride channels involved in the recruitment of immune cells, they also play a role in the activation of these cells. Thus, understanding the role of CLC channels in the immune cells would provide unique insights to the pathophysiologic process of chronic asthma and the means to prevent or reverse the disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259446500010

    View details for PubMedID 18691067

  • Involvement of chloride channels in TGF-beta 1-induced apoptosis of human bronchial epithelial cells AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LUNG CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY Cheng, G., Shao, Z., Chaudhari, B., Agrawal, D. K. 2007; 293 (5): L1339-L1347


    Widespread damage of airway epithelium and defective epithelial repair are hallmarks of chronic asthma. Growth factors and cytokines spatially and temporally regulate epithelial shedding and repair. Within this context, a key function is exerted by transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta. Recent growing evidence suggests that chloride (Cl(-)) channels are critical to cell apoptosis. We examined the effects of TGF-beta1 on Cl(-) channel expression and activity and its relationship with apoptosis in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs). The small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach was used to investigate the potential role of CLC-3, a member of the volume-regulated Cl(-) channel family, in apoptosis of HBECs. TGF-beta1 significantly induced HBEC apoptosis, which paralleled to a significant decrease in the endogenous expression of CLC-3 protein and mRNA transcripts. Outward rectifying and voltage-dependent CLC-3-like Cl(-) currents in HBECs were diminished by TGF-beta1. siRNA for CLC-3 abolished Cl(-) current and enhanced TGF-beta1-induced cell apoptosis. Overexpression of CLC-3 in HBECs inhibited TGF-beta1-induced cell apoptosis. Bcl-2 was also downregulated after TGF-beta stimulation. TGF-beta1-induced cell apoptosis was suppressed in Bcl-2-transfected HBECs. Our data demonstrate that CLC-3-like voltage-gated chloride channels play a critical role in TGF-beta-induced apoptosis of human airway epithelial cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajplung.00121.2007

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250870700028

    View details for PubMedID 17873007

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