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Zhao-Qian TENG, Ph. D.

Traumatic Brain Injury and Stem Cell Therapy.

Staff: Heng-Bin Qiu
Postdoctoral Fellows: Hai-Liang Yan
Graduate students: Zhi-Meng Wang, Cong Liu, Zuo-Lun Chen, Ying-Ying Wang, Zhi-Jie Dai

• TENG Group website


  TBI is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults. TBI survivors usually suffer from varying types of disabilities, such as body motor dysfunction, language and communication difficulties, and psychological and social cognitive defects. TBI can lead to delayed-onset neurodegenerative syndromes such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Unfortunately, we know so little about the mechanisms underlying the pathology of CTE, and there are no effective medications currently available for prevention and treatment of CTE.

  Currently, we are characterizing the effects of TBI on endogenous neurogenesis and identifying both genetic and epigenetic factors which might be associated with a complex cascade of molecular, cellular and immune responses, resulting in abnormal neurogenesis, neuroinflammation, neuronal injury, and cell death. Our research interests include, but are not limited to: 1) characterizing the effects of TBI on endogenous neurogenesis; 2) elucidating mechanisms underlying the pathology of TBI; and 3) examining the therapeutic potential of transplanted stem cells in brain injuries. The long-term goal of our research is to develop new approaches, including stem-cell-based therapies, for treatment of brain injuries.

Plain english:
  Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the damage to the brain due to sudden trauma, either by penetrating or, more commonly, by closed head injury. TBI is a major public health and socioeconomic problem around the world. Approximately 1% of the population of developed countries experiences TBI each year (CDC 2012). TBI survivors usually develop many troubling symptoms, such as seizures, pain, body motor dysfunction, memory loss, and psychological and social cognitive defects. Recently, some evidences indicate that TBI may interact with other factors to trigger neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Stem cells have been considered as new therapies in the hopes of stunting neurological disease and injury, and there are growing evidences showing that experimental TBI induces abnormal neurogenesis in the adult brain. We would like to use our recently-developed mouse models of TBI to continue to identify genetic and epigenetic factors that result in altered endogenous neurogenesis and neurodegeneration following TBI, and finally to try to develop stem-cell-based therapies for brain injuries.


Selected publications:

  1. Jian Zhang, Zhaoqian Teng, Yunping Song, Mei Hu, Chu Chen. Inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase prevents chronic traumatic encephalopathy-like neuropathology in a mouse model of repetitive mild closed head injury. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2014 Dec 10. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.216.
  2. Jian Zhang, Mei Hu, Zhaoqian Teng, Yunping Song, Chu Chen. Synaptic and Cognitive Improvements by Inhibition of 2-AG Metabolism Are through Upregulation of MicroRNA-188-3p in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. J Neurosci. 2014 Nov 5;34(45):14919-33.
  3. Rongqing Chen*, Jian Zhang*, Ni Fan*, Zhao-Qian Teng*, Yan Wu*, Hongwei Yang, YaPing Tang, Hao Sun, Yunping Song, Chu Chen. 2013. Δ9-THC-Caused Synaptic and Memory Impairments Are Mediated through COX-2 Signaling. Cell, 155 (5), 1154-1165. (*Co-first author)
  4. Changmei Liu, Zhao-Qian Teng, Andrea L McQuate, Emily M Jobe, Christa C Christ, Sergei J von Hoyningen-Huene, Marie D Reyes, Eric D Polich, Yina Xing, Yue Li, Weixiang Guo, Xinyu Zhao. 2013. An Epigenetic Feedback Regulatory Loop Involving MicroRNA195 and MBD1 Governs Neural Stem Cell Differentiation. PLoS ONE, 8 (1): e51436. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051436.
  5. Rongqing Chen, Jian Zhang, Yan Wu, Dongqing Wang, Guoping Feng, Ya-Ping Tang, Zhaoqian Teng, Chu Chen. 2012. Monoacylglycerol Lipase Is a Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer's Disease. Cell Reports, 2 (5): 1329-1339.
  6. Manavendra Pathania, Juan Torres-Reveron, Lily Yan, Tomoki Kimura, Tiffany V Lin, Valerie Gordon, Zhao-Qian Teng, Xinyu Zhao, Tudor A Fulga, David Van Vactor, Angélique Bordey. 2012. miR-132 enhances dendritic morphogenesis, spine density, synaptic integration, and survival of newborn olfactory bulb neurons. PLoS ONE, 7 (5): e38174. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038174.
  7. Weixiang Guo, Li Zhang, Devin M. Christopher, Zhao-Qian Teng, Sarah R. Fausett, Changmei Liu, Olivia L. George, John Klingensmith, Peng Jin, Xinyu Zhao. 2011. RNA binding protein FXR2 regulates proliferation and differentiation of adult hippocampal neural stem cells by repressing Noggin expression. Neuron, 70:924-938.
  8. Changmei Liu*, Zhao-Qian Teng*, Nicholas J. Santistevan, Keith E. Szulwach, Weixiang Guo, Peng Jin, Xinyu Zhao. 2010. Epigenetic Regulation of miR-184 by MBD1 Governs Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation. Cell Stem Cell, 6:433-444. (*Co-first author)
  9. Richard D. Smrt, Keith E. Szulwach, Rebecca L. Pfeiffer, Xuekun Li, Weixiang Guo, Manavendra Pathania, Zhao-Qian Teng, Yuping Luo, Junmin Peng, Angelique Bordey, Peng Jin, Xinyu Zhao. 2010. MicroRNA miR-137 Regulates Neuronal Maturation by Targeting Ubiquitin Ligase Mind Bomb-1. Stem Cells, 28:1060-1070.