Fei Li, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (huESC) are promising source of more than 200 types of adult tissue cells, including hematopoietic and endothelial cells. Contrasting to adult tissue stem cells, (i.e. bone marrow stem cells or other stem cells,) human ESCs can be easily maintained in the laboratory for extended period of time without losing their stemness. However, the mechanisms of controlling the differentiation of human ESCs are less known. Ongoing research in my laboratory addresses the issue of regulated differentiation of hu ESCs in the context of generating functional vascular precursors. One biological property of human ESCs is, when differentiated in specific conditions, the onset and development of lineage-specific tissue cells from human ESCs mirror the events in developing embryos. Using this to our advantage experiments are designed to delineate extracellular signal proteins involved in the onset and differentiation of vascular progenitors for endothelial and vessel mural cells as well as their temporal and spatial relationship to hematopoietic precursors (hemogenic epcs). Purified vascular progenitor fractions derived from huESCs are characterized for their lineage markers, genetic makeup, in vitro and in vivo vasculogenic and angiogenic activities. Further the vaso-protective efficacy of these vascular progenitors is put to test in NOD/SCID mice modeling bacteria LPS-induced acute lung injury (ALI), an acute and lethal disease bearing pathological hallmarks of inflammatory cell infiltration and protein-rich fluid retention in the lung airspace due to the breakdown of lung micro-vascular barrier.
835 S. Wolcott Ave.
Toya SP, Li F, Bonini MG, Gomez I, Mao M, Bachmaier KW, Malik AB. Interaction of a specific population of human embryonic stem cell-derived progenitor cells with CD11b+ cells ameliorates
sepsis-induced lung inflammatory injury. Am J Pathol. 178(1):313-24, 2011.
- Lu SJ, Feng Q, Ivanova Y, Luo C, Li T, Li F, Honig GR, Lanza R. Recombinant HoxB4 fusion proteins enhance hematopoietic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. 16: 547 559, 2007.
- Li F, Lu SJ, Honig GR. Hematopoietic cells from primate embryonic stem cells. Methods Enzymol. 418: 243-251, 2006.
- Lu SJ, Li F, Vida L, Honig GR. CD34+CD38- hematopoietic precursors derived from human embryonic stem cells exhibit an embryonic gene expression pattern. Blood 103: 4134-4141, 2004.
- Lu SJ, Li F, Vida L, Honig GR. Comparative gene expression in hematopoietic progenitor cells derived from embryonic stem cells. Experimental Hematology 30: 58-66, 2002.
- Lu SJ, Quan CG, Li F, Vida L, Honig GR. Hematopoietic progenitor cells derived from embryonic stem cells: analysis of gene expression. Stem Cells 20: 428-437, 2002.
- Li F, Lu S, Vida L, Thomson JA, Honig GR. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 induces efficient hematopoietic differentiation of rhesus monkey embryonic stem cells in vitro. Blood 98: 335-342, 2001.