The first line of research is on neuroprotection. The Xu Lab was among the first to report apoptosis following acute spinal cord injury and to report phospholipase A2 as a key mediator of secondary spinal cord injury.
The second line of research is on axonal regeneration. The Xu Lab was among the first to transplant Schwann cells (SCs) into injured spinal cords to promote axonal regeneration and recovery of function. In addition to SCs, the lab team also transplants other glial cells, including oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived immature astrocytes in their ability to support neural circuitry reorganization and recovery of function.
These cell-based strategies are combined with other efficacious treatments on boosting intrinsic and extrinsic regenerative capacities. We are particularly interested in promoting regeneration and/or reorganization of long descending supraspinal axons such as those from the corticospinal tract (CST), the rubrospinal (RST) and the descending propriospinal tract (dPST).
Chen C, Zhang YP, Sun Y, Xiong W, Shields L, Shields CB, Jin X, and Xu X-M* (2017) An in vivo Duo-color Method for imaging Vascular Dynamics Following Contusive Spinal Cord Injury. J. Vis. Exp. (accepted)
Lin XJ, Zhao T, Xiong W, Wen S, Jin X, Xu X-M* (2017) Imaging neural activity in the primary somatosensory cortex using Thy1-GCaMP6s transgenic mice. J. Vis. Exp. (accepted)
Al-Ali H, Ding Y, Slepak T, Wu W, Sun Y, Martinez Y, Xu X-M*, Lemmon V*, Bixby J* (2017) The mTOR substrate S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) is a negative regulator of axon regeneration and a potential drug target for Central Nervous System. J. Neurosci. 37:7079-7095. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0931-17.2017
Wu W, Xiong W, Zhang YP, Chen L, Fang J, Shields CB，Xu X-M*, Jin X* (2017) Increased threshold of short-latency motor evoked potentials in transgenic mice expressing Channelrhodopsin-2. Plus ONE (accepted).
Lee HJ, Zhang D, Jiang Y, Wu XB, Shih P-Y, Liao C-S, Bungart B, Xu X-M, Drenan R, Bartlett E, Cheng J-X (2017) Label-free vibrational spectroscopic imaging of neuronal membrane potential. J. Physical Chem. Ltr. 8:1932-1936
Wu XB, Zhang YP, Qu W, Shields LBE, Shields CB, and Xu X-M* (2017) A Tissue Displacement Based Contusive Spinal Cord Injury Model in Mice. J. Vis. Exp. (124) e54988, doi:10.3791/54988.
Additional Research Team Members
Other research team members in the Xu Lab include Dr. Hanqi Han (postdoctoral fellow), Heqiao Dai, PhD (research technician), Chen Chen (graduate student) and Jeff Recchia-Rife (lab manager). Visiting scholars include Wenzhe Xu, PhD; Xiaolong Du, PhD; and Yuehong Zhuang, PhD.