Muscle Research Laboratory

Our Boston University Neurology Muscle Research Laboratory is located in the Boston University Medical Campus. Led by Dr. Lan Zhou, the Professor and Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Neurology, our research focuses on the mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle injury repair. Skeletal muscle injury is common. It can be caused by trauma, genetic diseases, or immune-mediated disorders. Skeletal muscle has excellent regenerative capacity with myogenic stem cells, satellite cells, located within the muscle. While acute skeletal muscle injury often repairs with no significant residual abnormalities, chronic muscle injury associated with genetic diseases, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and immune-mediated myositis usually causes chronic muscle damage, inflammation, fibrosis, and functional impairment. By studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle injury and repair, our research aims to develop therapies to modify muscle inflammation, reduce muscle fibrosis, and improve muscle function. Our research has been funded by NIH. We have published extensively in our research field.

Lab Members:

  • Lan Zhou, M.D., Ph.D.: Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Neurology
  • Xingyu Wang, Ph.D, Assistant professor, Department of Neurology. Dr. Xingyu Wang received his Ph.D. degree in Molecular & Cell Biology from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. He then received his postdoctoral training in microbiology and immunology at Columbia University and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr. Wang is an immunologist with more than 20 years’ experience working on innate immune response to both pathogen infection and tissue injury. He has been working on skeletal muscle injury repair since his joining the lab in 2012. He is now also an experienced muscle biologist. Dr. Wang has published many research articles in prestigious journals, including PNAS, Journal of Immunology, and FASEB J.
  • Jianming Chen, PhD, Research Scientist and Biostatistician. Dr. Jianming Chen received his Ph.D. degree in Immunology from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China and completed the postdoctoral training at University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Chen also obtain Master’s degree in Applied Statistics from University of Pittsburgh. He has been doing both basic research and bioinformatics projects.
  • Yinhang Wang, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr. Yinhang Wang received his Ph. D. degree in Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmacology, Fudan University, China. He is now a junior postdoctoral research fellow in the lab.

Current Research Funding:

1R01AR074428 (PI: Lan Zhou; Co-I: Xingyu Wang): 2019-2024
Title: Origins and Functions of Intramuscular Macrophages in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Recent Publications:

Zhao W, Lu H, Wang X, Ransohoff RM, Zhou L. CX3CR1 deficiency delays acute skeletal muscle injury repair by impairing macrophage functions. FASEB J. 2016; 30(1):380-93. PubMed PMID: 26443824; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4684523.

Wang X, Zhao W, Ransohoff RM, Zhou L. Identification and Function of Fibrocytes in Skeletal Muscle Injury Repair and Muscular Dystrophy. J Immunol. 2016; 197(12):4750-4761. PubMed PMID: 27913649; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5667912.

Zhao W, Wang X, Ransohoff RM, Zhou L. CCR2 deficiency does not provide sustained improvement of muscular dystrophy in mdx5cv mice. FASEB J. 2017; 31(1):35-46. PubMed PMID: 27655900; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5161528.

Zhao W, Wang X, Sun KH, Zhou L. α-smooth muscle actin is not a marker of fibrogenic cell activity in skeletal muscle fibrosis. PLoS One. 2018; 13(1):e0191031. PubMed PMID: 29320561; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5761950.

Wang X, Zhao W, Ransohoff RM, Zhou L. Infiltrating macrophages are broadly activated at the early stage to support acute skeletal muscle injury repair. J Neuroimmunol. 2018; 317:55-66. PubMed PMID: 29325905; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5835410.

Rubenstein AB, Smith GR, Raue U, Begue G, Minchev K, Ruf-Zamojski F, Nair VD, Wang X, Zhou L, Zaslavsky E, Trappe TA, Trappe S, Sealfon SC. Single-cell transcriptional profiles in human skeletal muscle. Sci Rep. 2020; 10(1):229. PubMed PMID: 31937892; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6959232.

Wang X, Sathe AA, Smith GR, Ruf-Zamojski F, Nair V, Lavine KJ, Xing C, Sealfon SC, Zhou L. Heterogeneous origins and functions of mouse skeletal muscle-resident macrophages. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020; 117(34):20729-20740. PubMed PMID: 32796104; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7456122.

Contact Information:

Xingyu Wang, Ph.D.
Boston University School of Medicine
Evans Building, Room E-301
72 E. Concord Street, Boston, MA, USA 02118
Phone: 617-358-3683

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