I am a Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. Prior to joining the University of Alberta in 2013, I was the Director of the International Medical Graduate Program and a clinician researcher for the Institute of Advanced Medicine at the University of Manitoba. I obtained my MD and PhD in Physiology from Norman Bethune University in Changchun, China.
As a clinician scientist in the field of biological psychiatry and neuropharmacology, I have been a leader in the advancement of the theory of white matter dysfunction and neurodegeneration in psychiatric disorders.
My laboratory approaches mental health disorders as neurodegenerative disorders. We examine whether central white matter damage can produce the behavioural symptoms and brain pathology in experimental animal models of schizophrenia or depression.
We examine whether antipsychotics and antidepressant treatment can prevent white matter damage and/or facilitate recovery which suggests a new role for these treatments and also suggests a new target for future drug development.
A new research direction for the lab involves the study of neurostimulation as a potential treatment for depression. We use a mouse model of depression to examine the effects of treatment with ultrasound or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on both the brain and behaviour.
mental health, depression, schizophrenia, white matter, neurostimulation
1. Chen X, Guan T, Zhang X, Li C, Shang H, Cui L, Li XM, Kong, J. (2013). S-nitrosylated protein disulphide isomerase contributes to mutant SOD1 aggregates in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Neurochemistry, 124(1): 45-58. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jnc.12046
2. Bi X, Zhang Y, Yan B, Fang S, He J, Tan Q, Zhang D, Kong J, Li XM. (2012). Quetiapine prevents oligodendrocyte and myelin losses and promotes maturation of oligodendrocyte progenitors in the hippocampus of global cerebral ischemia mice. Journal of Neurocheistry, 123: 14-20. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07883.x
3. Zhang Y, Zhang H, Wang L, Jiang W, Xu H, Xiao L, Bi X, Wang J, Zhu S, Zhang R, He J, Tan Q, Zhang D, Kong J, Li XM. (2012). Quetiapine enhances oligodendrocyte regeneration and myelin repair after cuprizone-induced demyelination. Schizophrenia Research, 138(1): 8-17. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996412001971
4. Wang Y, Zhang Y, He J, Zhang H, Lan X, Nasarali A, Zhang Z, Zhang D, Tan Q, Kong J, Li XM. (2011). Hyperforin promotes mitochondrial function and development of oligodendrocytes. Journal of Neurochemistry, 119(3): 555-568. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2011.07433.x
5. Zhang Y, Xu H, Jiang W, Xiao L, Yan B, He J, Wang Y, Bi X, Li X, Kong J, Li XM. (2008). Quetiapine alleviates the cuprizone-induced white matter pathology in the brain of C57BL/6 mouse. Schizophrenia Research, 106(2-3): 182-191. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996408004131
6. Xiao L, Xu H, Zhang Y, Wei Z, Dyck L, Devon RM, He J, Jiang W, Li XM. (2008). Quetiapine facilitates oligodendrocyte development and prevents mice from myelin breakdown and behavioral changes. Molecular Psychiatry, 13(7): 697-708. https://www.nature.com/articles/4002064
7. Yan B, He J, Xu H, Zhang Y, Bi X, Thakur S, Gendron A, Kong J, Li XM. (2007). Quetiapine attenuates the depressive and anxiolytic-like behavioural changes induced by global ischemia in mice. Behavioral Brain Research, 182(1): 36-41. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432807002343
8. Xu H, Chen Z, He J, Haimano S, Li XM. (2006). Synergist effects of quetiapine and venlafaxine in preventing the chronic restraint stress-induced decrease in cell proliferation and BDNF expression in rat hippocampus. Hippocampus, 16:551-559. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hipo.20184
9. Chen X, Xu H, Haimano S, Li X, Li XM. (2005). Quetiapine and venlafaxine synergically regulate heme oxygenase-2 protein expression in the hippocampus of stressed rats. Neuroscience Letters, 389:173-177. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304394005008578?via%3Dihub
10. He J, Yang Y, Xu H, Zhang X, Li XM. (2005). Olanzapine attenuates the okadaic acid-induced spatial memory impairment and hippocampal cell death in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology, 30: 1511-1520. https://www.nature.com/articles/1300757
11. Kolla N, Wei Z, Richardson JS, Li XM. (2005). Amitriptyline and fluoxetine protect PC12 cells from cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 196-201. http://jpn.ca/vol30-issue3/30-3-196/
12. Luo C, Xu H, Li XM. (2005). Quetiapine reverses the suppression of hippocampal neurogenesis caused by repeated restraint stress. Brain Research, 1063(1): 32-39. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899305013570
13. Xu R, Richardson JS, Luo C, Li XM. (2004). Recovery of hippocampal cell proliferation and BDNF levels, both of which are reduced by repeated restraint stress, is accelerated by chronic venlafaxine. Journal of Pharmacogenomics, 4: 322-331. https://www.nature.com/articles/6500265
14. Xu, H, Qing H, Lu W, Keegan D, Richardson J, Chlan-Fourney J, Li XM. (2002). Quetiapine attenuates the immobilization stress-induced decrease of brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in rat hippocampus. Neuroscience Letters, 321: 65-68. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304394002000344