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Research Fellows Directory

Xiang Cheng

Dr Xiang Cheng

Research Fellow


University of Cambridge

Research summary

Early reperfusion therapy is currently the most effective therapy to limit infarct size and to preserve cardiac function in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The restoration of blood flow however triggers a series of events called myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury (MIRI). The pathogenesis of MIRI is multifactorial, with inflammation being a common feature. Several clinical studies have investigated circulating Tregs in patients with AMI, but little attention has been paid to the reperfusion phase following PCI. In the study of last year, we further investigated the role of Tregs effective factors IL-35 and inflammatory factor IL-21 in MIRI. We found exogenous IL-35 could increase STAT3 activation in myocardium after MIRI which suggested the protective role of IL-35 in MIRI may relate to STAT3 activation. IL-21 could induce expression of chemokines and MIP-2 and take part in aggregation of neutrophils and finally aggravated MIRI in mice model. These findings provide new insight into the protective role of Tregs in MIRI. Moreover, the relative factors of Tregs may represent a putative therapeutic strategy for MIRI in patients undergoing elective PCI.

Grants awarded

The protective role of activated Regulatory T Cells in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury and the study of its mechanisms

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Mar 2015 - Feb 2018

Value: £111,000