Research team of Associate Professor Cheng Li

Team Members:
Associate Professor: Cheng Li
Research assistant: Guoliang Wang
Postgraduate students: Pei Chen, Qichen Yang, Mei Shen, Yanzi Wang

Research Focus:

The integrity and functionality of the outermost epithelium is essential for corneal transparency as well as vision. The corneal epithelium is maintained by a population of limbal epithelial stem cells which reside at the junction (known as the limbus) between the corneal and neighboring conjunctival epithelium. Limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) is a pathological status characterized by the loss or dysfunction of limbal stem cells (LSC). In LSCD, the corneal epithelium integrity and function cannot be maintained and consequently epithelial defects occur and lead to persistent pain and severe visual impairment with marked patient morbidity, often affecting young adults and requiring frequent clinic visits. Evidence from a variety of experimental systems has shown that p38MAPK, Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch signaling pathways play important roles in LSCD progress. The temporal and spatial activation of these signaling pathways and the crosstalk of these signaling pathways in the occurrence and progress of LSCD will be further studied to elucidate the significance of signaling pathway abnormality in the pathophysiology of LSCD, so as to illustrate the molecular mechanism of LSCD.

Recent Publications:
1. Li J#, Li C#, Wang G, Liu Z, Chen P, Yang Q, Dong N, Wu H, Liu Z*, Li W*. APR-246/PRIMA-1Met Inhibits and Reverses Squamous Metaplasia in Human Conjunctival Epithelium. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016, 57(2):444-52.
2. Li C, Dong N, Wu H, Dong F, Xu Y, Du H, He H, Liu Z*, Li W*. A novel method for preservation of human corneal limbal tissue. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013, 54(6), 4041-4047.
3. Li C, Dong F, Jia Y, Du H, Dong N, Xu Y, Wang S, Wu H, Liu Z*, Li W*. Notch signal regulates corneal endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Am J Pathol. 2013, 183(3), 786-795.
4. Li C, Yin T, Dong N, Dong F, Fang X, Qu YL, Tan Y, Wu H, Liu Z*, Li W*. Oxygen tension affects terminal differentiation of corneal limbal epithelial cells. J Cell Physiol. 2011, 226(9), 2429-2437.
5. Dong N, Qin W, Xue Y, Li C*(corresponding), Liu Z*. Hypoxia affects in vitro proliferation and differentiation of mouse corneal epithelial progenitor cell. In Vitro Cell DevBiol Anim. 2013, 49(7), 508-514.
6. Dong N#, Li C #, Chen W, Qin W, Xue Y, Wu H, Fibrin glue-assisted for the treatment of corneal perforations using glycerin-cryopreserved corneal tissue, Int J Ophthalmol, 2014, 7(1), 62-65.
7. Shao Y, Yu Y, Zhou Q, Li C, Yang L, Pei CG. Inhibition of miR-134 Protects Against Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Apoptosis in Retinal Ganglion Cells. J MolNeurosci. 2015, 56(2):461-71.
8. Lin H, Qu Y, Geng Z, Li C, Wu H, Dong N, Liu Z*, Li W*.  Air exposure induced characteristics of dry eye in conjunctival tissue culture. PLoS One. 2014, 9(1), e87368.
9. Tan Y, Qiu F, Qu YL, Li C, Shao Y, Xiao Q, Liu Z*, Li W*. Amniotic membrane inhibits squamous metaplasia of human conjunctival epithelium. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011, 301(1), C115-125.
10. Dong N, Li W, Lin H, Wu H, Li C, Chen W, Qin W, Quyang L, Wang H, Liu Z. Abnormal epithelial differentiation and tear film alteration in pinguecula. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009, 50(6):2710-5.