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National Yang-Ming University, Department & Institute of Physiology
National Yang-Ming University, Department & Institute of Physiology
Yu Ru Kou

 Research Field    Publications    Research grant    Lab intro    (2014.01.23  update)


Yu Ru Kou


Position Professor
Tel. 886-2-2826-7086
Fax No. 886-2-2826-4049




Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Kentucky, Kentucky, U.S.A



Bachelor of Science, Department of Biology, Tunghai University, Taiwan, R.O.C

Experience Assistant Research Fellow (1974-1975), Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica Taipei, Taiwan,ROC
Research Interests:

My major research interests are:

(1)Inflammation and apoptosis of lung cells - Various techniques of cellular and molecular biology including cell culture, protein measurements, immunocyto-staining, PCR, microarray analysis, gene transfection are used.  Airway epithelial cells, pulmonary vascular endothelial cells, and macrophages are studied.

(2)Pathophysiological mechanisms and therapies of various types of acute lung injury and pulmonary inflammation - Protein measurements, immunocyto-staining, PCR, and pathohistological methods are used.  Rats and mice studied.

(3)Critical care medicine in neonates and adults - Measurements of respiratory signals, pulmonary function test, protein measurements, immunocyto-staining, PCR, and pathohistological methods are used.  Rats, piglets, and human subjects are studied.

(4)Functions of respiratory reflexive defense mechanisms - Conventional methods recording respiratory signals and electrophysiological techniques are used. Rats and mice are studied.

(5)Respiratory variability in health and disease conditions - Measurements of respiratory signals, statistical analysis, and mathematical analysis are used.  Human subjects are studied.

Currently (2014), my laboratory has1 students working in the master program, 15 students working in the Ph.D. program, and 2 full-time technician. I also collaborate with four clinicians from the Departments of Otolaryngology, Pediatrics and Critical Care Medicine, and four professors in the Department of Physiology from other universities.


Selected Recent Publications:


Wu YL, Lin AH, Chen CH, Huang WC, Wang HY, Liu MH, Lee TS, Kou YR*. Glucosamine attenuates cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation by inhibiting ROS-sensitive inflammatory signaling. Free Radical Biology & Medicine (In Press).


Ko HK, MD; Lien TC, Chen YW, Yu WK, Pan S W, Wang JH, Haibo Zhang, H, Kou YR*. Clinical features and outcome of Elizabethkingae meningoseptica bacteremia in adult ICU patients. PLoS ONE 8(12):e83298, 2013.


Ko, HK, Hsu, WH, Hsieh, CC, Lien TC, Kou YR*. High expression of high-mobility group box 1 in the blood and lungs is associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in smokers. Respirology doi: 10.1111/resp.12209, 2013.


Wu HT, Hseu SS, Bien MY, Kou YR*, Daubechies I. Evaluating physiological dynamics via Synchrosqueezing: Prediction of Ventilator Weaning. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 2013 Nov 4. [Epub ahead of print]. SCI.


Wang YM, Wu HT, Huang EY, Kou YR*, Hseu SS. Heart rate variability is associated with survival in patients with brain metastasis: a preliminary report. Biomedical Research International 2013;2013:503421.


Fan WJ, Li YT, Chen JJ, Chen SC, Lin YS, Kou YR*, Peng CW. Sexually dimorphic urethral activity in response to pharmacological activation of 5-HT1A receptors in the rat. American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology 305: F1332-F1342, 2013. SCI.


 Zhao JF, Ching LC, Kou YR, Lin SJ, Wei J, Shyue SK, Lee TS. Activation of TRPV1 prevents OxLDL-induced lipid accumulation and TNF-α-induced inflammation in macrophages: role of liver X receptor α. Mediators Inflammation 2013;2013:925171.


 Lin YJ, Hsu HH, Ruan T, Kou YR*. Mediator mechanisms involved in TRPV1, TRPA1 and P2X receptor-mediated sensory transduction of pulmonary ROS by vagal lung C-fibers in rats. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 189: 1-9, 2013.


Kao JH, Kao HK, Chen YW, Yu WK, Pan SW, Wang JH, Lien TC, Ho LI, Kou YR*. Impact and predictors of prolonged chest tube duration in mechanically ventilated patients with acquired pneumothorax. Respiratory Care 58: 2093-2100, 2013.


Lin YJ, Lin YS, Lai CJ, Yuan ZF, Ruan T, Kou YR*. Perivagal antagonist treatment in rats selectively blocks the reflex and afferent responses of vagal lung C-fibers to intravenous agonists. Journal of Applied Physiology 114: 361-370, 2013.


Shen CM, Lin SC, Niu DM, Kou YR*. Development of monocyte toll-like receptor 2 and toll-like receptor 4 in preterm newborns during the first few months of life. Pediatric Research 73: 685-691, 2013.


Liu BY, Tsai TL, Ho CY, Lu SW, Lai CJ, Kou YR*. Role of TRPA1 and TRPV1 in the ROS-dependant sensory irritation of superior laryngeal capsaicin-sensitive afferents by cigarette smoke in anesthetized rats. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 26: 364-372, 2013.


Perng DW, Chang TM, Wang JY, Lee CC, Lu SW, Shyue SK, Lee TS, Kou YR*. Inflammatory role of AMP-activated protein kinase signaling in experimental model of toxic smoke inhalation injury. Critical Care Medicine 41: 120-32, 2013.


Chuang KH, Lu CS, Kou YR, Wu YL. Cell cycle regulation by glucosamine in human pulmonary epithelial cells. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 26: 195-204, 2013.


Wei J, Ching LC, Zhao JF, Shyue SK, Lee HF, Kou YR*, Lee TS. Essential role of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 in evodiamine-mediated protection against atherosclerosis. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 207: 299-307, 2013.


Tsai WH, Lai SL, Li IT, Chien HY, Shih CH, Kou YR, Hsu HC. Annexin A1 mediates the anti-adhesive effects of dexamethasone during the cell-cell interaction between the all-trans retinoic acid-treated acute promyelocytic leukemic cells and endothelial cells. Journal of Cell Biochemistry 114: 551-557, 2013.


Pan SW, Kao HK, Yu WK, Lien TC, Chen YW, Wang JH, Kou YR*. Synergistic impact of low serum albumin on intensive care unit admission and high blood urea nitrogen during intensive care unit stay on post-intensive care unit mortality in critically ill elderly patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Geriatrics & Gerontology International 13: 107-115, 2013.


Zhao JF, Ching LC, Huang YC, Chen CY, Chiang AN, Kou YR, Shyue SK, Lee TS. Molecular mechanism of curcumin on the suppression of cholesterol accumulation in macrophage foam cells and atherosclerosis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 56: 691-701, 2012.


Ching LC, Chen CY, Su KH, Hou HH, Shyue SK, Kou YR, Lee TS. Implication of AMP-activated protein kinase in transient receptor potential vanilloid type mediated activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Molecular Medicine doi: 10.2119/molmed.2011.00461, 2012.


Yu YB, Liao YW, Su KH, Chang TM, Shyue SK, Kou YR*, Lee TS. Prior exercise training alleviates the lung inflammation induced by subsequent exposure to environmental cigarette smoke. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 205: 532-540, 2012.


Tsai WH, Chien HY, Shih CH, Lai SL, Li IT, Hsu SC, Kou YR, Hsu HC. Annexin A1 mediates the anti-inflammatory effects during the granulocytic differentiation process in all-trans retinoic acid-treated acute promyelocytic leukemic cells. Journal of Cell Physiology 227: 3661-3669, 2012.


Lee HF, Lee TS, Kou YR*. Anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of triptolide on traumatic brain injury in rats. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 182: 1-8, 2012.


Lee TS, Kou YR*. Enhancing the endothelial progenitor cell therapy for critical limb ischemia by extracorporeal shock wave. Critical Care Medicine 40: 332-333, 2012.


Hou HH, Hammock BD, Su KH, Morisseau C, Kou YR, Imaoka S, Oguro A, Shyue SK, Zhao JF, Lee TS. N-terminal domain of soluble epoxide hydrolase negatively regulates the VEGF-mediated activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Cardiovascular Research 93: 120-129, 2012. SCI.


Tsai WH, Shih CH, Wu HY, Chien HY, Chiang YC, Lai SL, Hsu SC, Kou YR, Hsu HC. Role of lipoxin A4 in the cell-to-cell interaction between all-trans retinoic acid-treated acute promyelocytic leukemic cells and alveolar macrophages. Journal of Cellular Physiology 227: 1123-1129, 2012.


Su KH, Yu YB, Hou HH, Zhao JF, Kou YR, Cheng LC, Shyue SK, Lee TS. AMP-activated protein kinase mediates erythropoietin-induced activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Journal of Cellular Physiology 227:3053-3062, 2012.


Chen SC, Grill WM, Fan WJ, Kou YR, Lin YS, Lai CH, Peng CW. Bilateral pudendal afferent stimulation improves bladder emptying in rats with urinary retention. British Journal of Urology International 109: 1051-1058, 2012.


Shih RH, Cheng SE, Hsiao LD, Kou YR, Yang CM. Cigarette smoke extract upregulates heme oxygenase-1 via PKC/NADPH oxidase/ROS/PDGFR/PI3K/Akt pathway in mouse brain endothelial cells. Journal of Neuroinflammation 8:104. 2011.


 Lee TS, Kou YR*. How alcohol impairs the granulocyte expansion during septicemia. Critical Care Medicine 39: 2194-2195. 2011.


Pan SW, Kao HK, Lien TC, Chen YW, Kou YR*, Wang JH. Acute kidney injury on ventilator initiation day independently predicts prolonged mechanical ventilation in intensive care unit patients. Journal of Critical Care 26: 586-592. 2011.


Powell FL, Kou YR. Inflammation and cardio-respiratory control: Foreword. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 178: 359-361. 2011.


Chen CH, Xirasagar S, Lin CC, Wang LH, Kou YR, Lin HC. Risk of adverse perinatal outcomes with antithyroid treatment during pregnancy: a nationwide population-based study. BJOG 118: 1365-1373. 2011.


Chiang CH, Chuang CH, Liu SL, Lee TS, Kou YR, Zhang H. Apocynin attenuates ventilator- induced lung injury in an isolated and perfused rat lung model. Intensive Care Medicine 37: 1360-1367. 2011.


Bien MY, Lin YS, Shih CH, Yang YL, Lin HW, Bai KJ, Wang JH, Kou YR*. Comparisons of predictive performance of breathing pattern variability measured during T-piece, automatic tube compensation, and pressure support ventilation for weaning intensive care unit patients from mechanical ventilation. Critical Care Medicine 39: 2253-2262, 2011.


Ching LC, Kou YR, Shyue SK, Su KH, Wei J, Cheng LC, Yu YB, Pan CC, Lee TS. Molecular mechanisms of activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase mediated by transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1. Cardiovascular Research 91: 492-501. 2011.


Chen CH, Huang MC, Liu HC, Huang CJ, Lin HC, Kou YR*. Increased risk of preterm birth among women with mitral valve prolapse: a nationwide, population-based study. Annals of Epidemiology 21: 391-398. 2011.


Kou YR, Kwong K, Lee LY. Airway inflammation and hypersensitivity induced by chronic smoking. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 178: 395-405. 2011.


Tang GJ, Wang HY, Wang JY, Lee CC, Tseng HW, Wu YL, Shyue SK, Lee TS, Kou YR*. Novel role of AMP-activated protein kinase signaling in cigarette smoke induction of IL-8 in human lung epithelial cells and lung inflammation in mice. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 50: 1492-1502. 2011.


Su KH, Shyue SK, Kou YR, Ching LC, Chiang AN, Yu YB, Chen CY, Pan CC, Lee TS. β Common receptor integrates the erythropoietin signaling in activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Journal of Cellular Physiology 226: 3330-3339. 2011.


Cheng SE, Lin CC, Lee IT, Hsu CK, Kou YR, Yang CM. Cigarette smoke extract regulates cytosolic phospholipase A2 expression via NADPH oxidase/MAPKs/AP-1 and p300 in human tracheal smooth muscle cells. Journal of Cell Biochemistry 112: 589-599. 2011.


Chen CY, Shyue SK, Ching LC, Su KH, Wu YL, Kou YR, Chiang AN, Pan CC, Lee TS. Wogonin promotes cholesterol efflux by increasing protein phosphatase 2B-dependent dephosphorylation at ATP-binding cassette transporter-A1 in macrophages. J Nutritional Biochemistry 22: 1015-1021. 2011.


Cheng LC, Su KH, Kou YR, Shyue SK, Ching LC, Yu YB, Wu YL, Pan CC, Lee TS. a-Lipoic acid ameliorates foam cell formation via liver X receptor α-dependent upregulation of ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 and G1. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 50: 47-54, 2011.


Tsai TH, Chen SF, Huang TY, Tzeng CF, Chiang AS, Kou YR, Lee TS, Shyue SK. Impaired Cd14 and Cd36 expression, bacterial clearance, and Toll-like receptor 4-Myd88 signaling in caveolin-1-deleted macrophages and mice. Shock 35: 92-99, 2011.


Tsai JY, Su KH, Shyue SK, Kou YR, Yu YB, Hsiao SH, Chiang AN, Wu YL, Ching LC, Lee TS. EGb761 ameliorates the formation of foam cells by regulating the expression of SR-A and ABCA1: role of haem oxygenase-1. Cardiovascular Research 88: 415-423, 2010.


Shih RH, Lee IT, Hsieh HL, Kou YR, Yang CM. Cigarette smoke extract induces HO-1 expression in mouse cerebral vascular endothelial cells: involvement of c-Src/NADPH oxidase/PDGFR/JAK2/STAT3 pathway. Journal of Cellular Physiology 225: 741-750, 2010.


Lee TS, Pan CC, Peng CC, Kou YR, Chen CY, Ching LC, Tsai TH, Chen SF, Lyu PC, Shyue SK. Anti-atherogenic effect of berberine on LXRalpha-ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux in macrophages. Journal of Cell Biochemistry 111: 104-110, 2010.


Lu KY, Ching LC, Su KH, Yu YB, Kou YR, Hsiao SH, Huang YC, Chen, CY, Cheng LC, Pan, CC; Lee TS. Erythropoietin suppresses the formation of macrophage foam cells: role of liver X receptor a. Circulation 121: 1828-1837. 2010.


Kou YR*, Lee TS. Intratracheal siRNA for the in vivo silencing of caspase-3: a novel therapy for acute lung injury? Critical Care Medicine 38: 1223-1224, 2010.


Wu YL, Kou YR, Ou HL, Chien HY, Chuang KH, Liu HH, Lee TS, Tsai CY, Lu ML. Glucosamine regulation of LPS-mediated inflammation in human bronchial epithelial cells. European Journal of Pharmacology 635: 219-226. 2010.


Cheng SE, Lee IT, Lin CC, Kou YR, Yang CM. Cigarette smoke particle-phase extract induces HO-1 expression in human tracheal smooth muscle cells: role of the c-Src/NADPH oxidase/MAPK/Nrf2 signaling pathway. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 48: 1410-1422. 2010.


Lin YS, Hsu CC, Bien MY, Hsu HC, Weng HT, Kou YR*. Activations of TRPA1 and P2X receptors are important in the ROS-mediated stimulation of capsaicin-sensitive lung vagal afferents by cigarette smoke in rats. Journal of Applied Physiology 108: 1293-1303. 2010.


 Chen CH, Kou YR, Chen CS, Lin HC. Seasonal variation in the incidence of spontaneous pneumothorax and its association with climate: a nationwide population-based study. Respirology 15: 296-302, 2010.


Lin CC, Lee IT, Yang YL, Lee CW, Kou YR, Yang CM. Induction of COX-2/PGE2/IL-6 is crucial for cigarette smoke extract-induced airway inflammation: Role of TLR4-dependent NADPH oxidase activation. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 48: 240-254, 2009.


Yang CM, Lee IT, Lin CC, Yang YL, Luo SF, Kou YR, Hsiao LD. Cigarette smoke extract induces COX-2 expression via a PKCalpha/c-Src/EGFR, PDGFR/PI3K/Akt/NF-kappaB pathway and p300 in tracheal smooth muscle cells. American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cell Molecular Physiology 297: L892-L902, 2009.


Tsai CY, Lee TS, Kou YR, Wu YL. Glucosamine inhibits IL-1beta-mediated IL-8 production in prostate cancer cells by MAPK attenuation. Journal of Cell Biochemistry 108: 489-498, 2009.


Hsu CC, Bien MY, Huang YT, Ruan T, Kou YR*, Lin YS. N-arachidonyl dopamine sensitizes rat capsaicin-sensitive lung vagal afferents via activation of TRPV1 receptors. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 167: 323-132, 2009.


Shen CM, Lin SC, Niu DM, Kou YR*. Labor increases the surface expression of two Toll-like receptors in the cord blood monocytes of healthy term newborns. Acta Paediatrica 98: 959-962, 2009.


Kao HK, Lien TC, Kou YR, Wang JH. Assessment of myocardial injury in the emergency department independently predicts the short-term poor outcome in patients with severe carbon monoxide poisoning receiving mechanical ventilation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 22: 473-477, 2009.


Su KH, Tsai JY, Kou YR, Chang AN, Hsiao SH, Wu YL, Hou HH, Pan CC, Shyue SK, Lee. Valsartan regulates the interaction of angiotensin II type 1 receptor and endothelial nitric oxide synthase via Src/PI3K/Akt signaling. Cardiovascular Research 82: 468-475, 2009.


Cheng, SE, Shue-Fen Luo, SF, Jou, MJ, Lin, CC, Kou, YR, Lee, IT. Hsieh, HL, Yang, CM. Cigarette smoke induces cytosolic phospholipase A2 expression via NADPH oxidase, MAPKs, AP-1, and NF-kappaB in human tracheal smooth muscle cells. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 46: 948-960, 2009.


Hsu, CL, Wu, YL, Tang, GJ, Lee, TS, Kou YR*. Ginkgo biloba extract confers protection from cigarette smoke extract-induced apoptosis in human lung endothelial cells: role of heme oxygenase-1. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 22: 286-296, 2009.


Tsai TL, Chang SY, Ho CY, Kou YR*. Role of ATP in the ROS-mediated laryngeal airway hyperreactivity induced by laryngeal acid-pepsin insult in anesthetized rats. Journal of Applied Physiology 106: 1584-1592, 2009.


Wu YL, Chuang HH, Kou YR, Lee TS, Lu SH, Huang YH, Nishi Y, Yanase T. Regulation of LH receptor and PGF2α receptor signaling by the regulator of G protein signaling 2 (RGS2) in human and mouse granulosa cells. Chinese Journal of Physiology 51: 282-291, 2008.


Lin YS, Lin RL, Bien MY, Ho CY, Kou YR*. Sensitization of capsaicin-sensitive lung vagal afferents by anandamide in rats: the role of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors. Journal of Applied Physiology 106: 1142-1152, 2009.


 Lee TS, Lin CY, Tsai JY, Wu YL, Su KH, Lu KY, Hsiao SH, Pan CC, Kou YR, Hsu YP, Ho LT. Resistin increases lipid accumulation by affecting class A scavenger receptor, CD36 and ATP-binding cassette transporter-A1 in macrophages. Life Sciences 84: 97-104. 2009.

Research grant: 
1. Research Promotion in Anatomy, Physiology and Forensic  Medicine (2009/01/01~2010/12/31) 

2. Novel Protein Function of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Negatively Regulates Lipopolysacharrideand Cigarette Smoke-induced Lung Inflammation in  Mice via Common Molecular Mechanisms (2009/08/01~2012/07/31) 

3. Neural and Mediator Mechanisms Underlying the Laryngeal Airway Hyperreactivity in a Rat Model of Gastroesophageal Reflux (2006/08/01~2009/10/31)

Lab membership:
Master Student: Yan-Ling Guo, Chiao-Ting Zou
Ph.D. Student: An-Shiuan Lin, Meng-Han Liu, Shiue-Shiau Lin,  Chung-Huan Yang, Pei-Chen Tsao, Ming-Cheng Chan, Yu-Ming Wang, Kuen- Ming Wu,
                         Wen-Guang YuGang-Jeng Su, Ching-Ming Tseng, Yi-Han Hsiao
Research Assistant: Hai-ching Hsu




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