JIALIN ZHENG, MD
Durham Research Center II, Room 3070
In the news:
Omaha World-Herald, December 27, 2012
UNMC Today, November 10, 2011
UNMC Today, November 8, 2011
UNMC Today, May 23, 2011
UNMC Connect summer 2010 - UNMC on the World Stage - Sixty years ago in the Midwest, diversity meant...Dr. Zheng discusses brain inflammation in neural injury and his work with UNMC and international graduate students.
The Laboratory of Neurotoxicology is currently pursuing several investigative routes to elucidate the mechanism involved in HIV-1 Associated Dementia (HAD). These routes include: neurogenesis, mononuclear phagocyte (MP) activation in the brain, HIV viral proteins and their neurotoxic effects, and the chemokines (chemical signals) released by neurons, astrocytes and MP and their direct consequences on the brain environment. While these areas of research seem miles apart, they are actually quite linked. Studies have shown that neurogenesis plays an important role in the adult brain and can be stimulated by neuronal injury, physical exercise or stress. HIV-infected and activated MP can release viral proteins and neurotoxins, including glutamate, that injure neighboring neurons. Upon injury, neurons release chemokines that recruit more MPs to the site of injury, to repair the injury and promote neurogenesis as well as, rid the site of cellular debris and viral proteins. Infected and activated MP then respond to the signals produced by neurons, releasing more neurotoxins, thereby creating more damage and beginning yet another vicious cycle of injury. Therefore, by integrating studies of neuroscience, virology, immunology, biochemistry and receptor pharmacology to investigate these areas, the neuropathogenesis of HAD can be fully explored
Long Range Goals
The mission of our lab is to ultimately develop drugs that will selectively inhibit neurotoxin production and enhance neuronal repair in the brain. These studies will not only answer questions regarding HAD, but also other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.