Minglei Guo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Durham Research Center 8012
985880 University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5880

Minglei Guo


HIV, cocaine, autophagy, neuroinflammation, HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), microglia

In the News
Professional Summary
Research Interests
Representative Publications
Dr. Guo's biographical information

Currently recruiting graduate students. Please contact if you are interested. 

In the News

InterCOM | July/August 2017
Research highlights

Professional Summary

HIV infection results in elevated microglial and astrocyte activation in the brain.  My long term goal is to explore the detailed molecular mechanisms/pathways that are responsible for over-activation of glial cells and identify potential targets for HAND treatment.

Research Interests

Autophagy is a highly conserved process in all eukaryotic cells.  In general, autophagy is a cellular homeostatic process that involves the sequestration of unfolded cytosolic proteins within the double-membrane-bound compartments (autophagosome) that are eventually destined for protein degradation.   Various neuroinflammation related diseases including HIVE involve with dysregulated autophagy levels.   Also, autophagy is well known for regulating innate immune response.   Cocaine and HIV-TAT have the ability to activate microglia and astrocytes, which in turn, increase neuroinflammation levels in the brain.  However, the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon remain much unexplored.  To address on this interesting topic, I mainly focus on the functional link between autophagy and neuroinflammation under the context of cocaine & TAT.

Representative Publications

  1. Periyasamy P, Liao K, Kook YH, Niu F, Callen SE, Guo ML, Buch S. Cocaine-Mediated Downregulation of miR-124 Activates Microglia by Targeting KLF4 and TLR4 Signaling. Mol Neurobiol. 2017 May 6. doi: 10.1007/s12035-017-0584-5. PMID: 28478506
  2. Chivero ET, Guo ML, Periyasamy P, Liao K, Callen SE, Buch S. HIV-1 Tat Primes and Activates Microglial NLRP3 Inflammasome-Mediated Neuroinflammation. J Neurosci. 2017 Mar 29;37(13):3599-3609. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3045-16.2017. Epub 2017 Mar 7. PMID: 28270571
  3. Guo ML, Periyasamy P, Liao K, Kook YH, Niu F, Callen SE, Buch S. Cocaine-mediated downregulation of microglial miR-124 expression involves promoter DNA methylation. Epigenetics. 2016 Nov;11(11):819-830. Epub 2016 Oct 27. PMID: 27786595 
  4. Periyasamy P, Guo ML, Buch S. Cocaine induces astrocytosis through ER stress-mediated activation of autophagy. Autophagy. 2016 Aug 2;12(8):1310-29. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2016.1183844. Epub 2016 Jun 23. PMID: 27337297
  5. Cai Y, Arikkath J, Yang L, Guo ML, Periyasamy P, Buch S. Interplay of endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy in neurodegenerative disorders. Autophagy. 2016;12(2):225-44. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1121360. PMID: 26902584
  6. Guo ML, Liao K, Periyasamy P, Yang L, Cai Y, Callen SE, Buch S. Cocaine-mediated microglial activation involves the ER stress-autophagy axis. Autophagy. 2015;11(7):995-1009. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1052205. PMID: 26043790
  7. Jin DZ, Guo ML, Xue B, Mao LM, Wang JQ. Differential regulation of CaMKIIα interactions with mGluR5 and NMDA receptors by Ca(2+) in neurons.  J Neurochem. 2013, 127:620-631. PMID 2403240
  8. Guo ML, Xue B, Jin DZ, Mao LM, Wang JQ.  Dynamic downregulation of Nogo receptor expression in the rat forebrain by amphetamine. Neurochem Int. 2013, 63:195-200. PMID 23770273
  9. Jin DZ, Guo ML, Xue B, Fibuch EE, Choe ES, Mao LM, Wang JQ.  Phosphorylation and feedback regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. J Neurosci. 2013, 33:3402-3412.  PMID 23426668
  10. Guo ML, Xue B, Jin DZ, Liu ZG, Fibuch EE, Mao LM, Wang JQ.  Upregulation of Npas4 protein expression by chronic administration of amphetamine in rat nucleus accumbens in vivo.  Neurosci Lett. 2012, 528:210-214.  PMID 22884934
  11. Buch S, Yao H, Guo M, Mori T, Mathias-Costa B, Singh V, Seth P, Wang J, Su TP.  Cocaine and HIV-1 interplay in CNS: cellular and molecular mechanisms.  Curr HIV Res.  2012, 10: 425-428.  PMID 22591366
  12. Van Dolah DK, Mao LM, Shaffer C, Guo ML, Fibuch EE, Chu XP, Buch S, Wang JQ.  Reversible palmitoylation regulates surface stability of AMPA receptors in the nucleus accumbens in response to cocaine in vivo.  Biol Psychiatry. 2011, 69:1035-1042.  PMID 21216391
  13. Buch S, Yao H, Guo M, Mori T, Su TP, Wang J.  Cocaine and HIV-1 interplay: molecular mechanisms of action and addiction.  J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2011, 6: 503-515.  PMID 21766222
  14. Guo ML, Mao LM, Wang JQ.  Modulation of M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors by interacting proteins.  Neurosci Bull. 2010, 26:469-4673.  PMID 2113197
  15. Guo ML, Liu Z, Chu XP, Mao LM, Wang JQ. CaMKIIα, a modulator of M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.  Commun Integer Biol. 2010, 3:465-467.  PMID 21057642
  16. Guo ML, Fibuch EE, Liu XY, Choe ES, Bush S, Mao LM, Wang JQ. CaMKIIalpha interacts with M4 muscarinic receptors to control receptor and psychomotor function. EMBO J. 2010, 29:2070-81.  PMID 20461055

Additional publications in PubMed

Dr. Guo's biographical information
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