The Mei Lab


The brain contains billions of nerve cells, or neurons, which receive and integrate signals from the environment, and which govern the body's responses. Nervous system activity is made possible by synapses, contacts formed either between neurons or between a neuron and a target cell. Synapses are asymmetric structures in which neurotransmitter molecules are released from the presynaptic membrane and activate receptors on the postsynaptic membrane, thus establishing neuronal communication. As such, synapses are fundamental units of neural circuitry and enable complex behaviors. Research in our lab has focused on mechanisms of synapse formation, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. Our studies contribute to a better understanding of these processes and development of potential therapeutic strategies for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and depression and neurological disorders such as muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy.

mei presentation

Selected recent publications

R.-S. Woo*, X.M. Li*, Y. Tao, E. Carpenter-Hyland, Y.Z. Huang, J. Weber, H. Neiswender, X..-p. Dong, J. Wu, M. Gassmann, C. Lai, W.-C. Xiong, T.-M. Gao1, L. Mei1. Neuregulin-1 Enhances Depolarization-Induced GABA Release. Neuron 54:599-610, 2007 (Highlighted in Neuron 54:495-497, 2007; Nature 448:263, 2007 and Nature Rev. Neurosci., 8:492, 2007). (*, co-contributing; 1, co-correspondence).

 B. Zhang, S. Luo, Q. Wang, T. Suzuki, W.C. Xiong, Lin Mei. LRP4 serves as a coreceptor of agrin. Neuron 60:285-297, 2008 (highlighted in Nature 455:1153, 2008;Nature Rev. Neurosci. 9:886, 2008; Neuron, 60:526, 2008).

 S. Luo, B. Zhang, X.-p. Dong, Y. Tao, A. Ting, Z. Zhou, J. Meixiong, J. Luo, F.C.A. Chiu, W.C. Xiong, L. Mei. HSP90β Regulates Rapsyn Turnover and Subsequent AChR Cluster Formation and Maintenance. Neuron 60:97-110, 2008. (Highlighted at Faculty 1000, DOI: 10.3410/f.1141890.598995)

 L. Wen1, Y.S. Lu1, X. Zhu1, X.M. Li, R.-S. Woo, Y.-J. Chen, D.-M. Yin, C. Lai, A. Vazdarjanova, W.C. Xiong, and L. Mei. Neuregulin 1 regulates pyramidal neuron activity via ErbB4 in parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 107:1211- 1216, 2010.

 B. Zhang, J.S. Tzartos, M. Belimezi, S. Ragheb, B. Bealmear, R.A. Lewis, W.C. Xiong, R.P. Lisak, S.J. Tzartos, Lin Mei. Autoantibodies to LRP4 in double seronegative myasthenia gravis patients. Archive Neurol. 69:445-451, 2012. (Highlighted by Editorial, same issue, Archive Neurol., 2012)

 Y. Zong, B. Zhang, S. Gu, K. Lee, J. Zhou, G. Yao, D. Figueiredo, K. Perry, L. Mei* and Rongsheng Jin*. Structural basis of neuron-specific regulation of postsynaptic differentiation. Genes & Development. 26:247-258, 2012 (Cover) (*, cocorrespondence).

 H.T. Wu, Y.S. Lu, C.Y. Shen, W.C. Xiong, L. Mei. Distinct roles of muscle and motoneuron LRP4 in neuromuscular junction formation. Neuron, 75:94-107, 2012.

Y. Tao*, Y. Chen*, C. Shen*, Z. Luo, C.R. Bates, D. Lee, S. Marchetto, T.-M. Gao, J.-P. Borg, W.C. Xiong, Lin Mei. Erbin interacts with TARP gamma-2 for surface expression of AMPA receptors in cortical interneurons. Nature Neurosci. 16:290-299, 2013. (*, cofirst)

 D.M. Yin*, Y.J. Chen*, Y.S. Lu, J.C. Bean, A. Sathyamurthy, C.Y. Shen, X.H. Liu, T.W. Lin, C.A. Smith, W.C. Xiong, and L. Mei. Reversal of schizophrenia-like deficits in neuregulin 1 transgenic mice. Neuron 78:644-657, 2013. (Highlighted by Preview, Neuron 78:577, 2013) PMID: 23719163.

 C. Shen*, B. Zhang*, Y. Lu*, D. Figueiredo, H. Wu, B. Arnab, W.C. Xiong and L. Mei. Immunization with LRP4 induces myasthenia gravis in mice. J. Clin. Invest. 123:5190–5202, 2013.

 Lu,* X.-D. Sun,* F.-Q. Hou, F. Liu, L.L. Bi, D.M. Yin, Y.J. Chen, J. Bean, H.F. Jiao, X. Liu, B.M. Li, W.C. Xiong, T.M. Gao** and L. Mei**. Maintenance of GABAergic activity by neuregulin 1/ErbB4 in amygdala for fear conditioning memory. Neuron 84:835-846, 2014 (*, co-first; **, co-correspondent)

 H. Wu*, A. Barik*, Y. Lu, C. Shen, A. Bowman, L. Li, A. Sathyamurthy, T.W. Lin, W.C. Xiong, and L. Mei. Slit2 as a β-catenin/Ctnnb1-dependent retrograde signal for presynaptic differentiation. eLife 4:e07266, 2015 (*, co-first)

 X.D. Sun,*,** L. Li*, F. Liu, Z.H. Huang, J.C. Bean, H.F. Jiao, A. Barik, S.M. Kim, H. Wu, Shen, Y. Tian, T.W. Lin, R. Bates, A. Sathyamurthy, Y.J. Chen, D.M. Yin, L. Xiong, H.P. Lin, J.X. Hu, B.M. Li, T.M. Gao, W.C. Xiong, Lin Mei**. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission. Nature Neuroscience 19:1010-1018, 2016 (*, equal contributing; **, corresponding)

 Li,* Y. Cao,* H. Wu, X. Ye, Z. Zhu, G. Xing, C. Shen, A. Barik, B. Zhang, X. Xie, W. Zhi, L. Gan, H. Su, W.C. Xiong, L. Mei. Enzymatic activity of the scaffold protein rapsyn for synapse formation. Neuron (in press). (*, equal contributing)

 Selected recent reviews:

Mei and W.C. Xiong, Neuregulin-1 signaling in neural development, synaptic plasticity and schizophrenia. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 9:437-452, 200

Wu, Wen C. Xiong, L. Mei. To build a synapse: Signaling pathways in neuromuscular junction assembly. Development 137:1017-1033, 2010

 Mei and K.-A. Nave, A neuregulin and ErbB network in the nervous system. Neuron 83:27-49, 2014