Bo Liu, PHD

Position title: Professor, Surgery


Phone: 608-263-5931

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Vascular diseases, in particular restenosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm
Aligned Research Focus:
Vascular biology (signaling transduction, apoptosis, cell differentiation, vascular graft)
Bo Liu headshot


More information:
Research Description:

My research involves stem cells in three broad areas. First is to understand the role of bone marrow derived progenitors in vascular injury responses. Evidence generated from mouse studies demonstrates that significant number of cells within restenotic lesions and adjacent arterial wall are derived from bone marrow progenitors. However, whether the similar mechanism exists in others mammalian species including human remains debatable. Another research topic is to understand the recruitment of progenitor cells such as MSC in aneurysm patients. A major pathological feature of aneurysm is the loss of vascular smooth muscle cells, a major source of extracellular matrix. An understanding of the molecular mechanism regarding how progenitors may be recruited in aneurismal tissue will help us to develop strategies to stimulate tissue/cell regeneration. Finally, we like to develop protocols to produce vascular smooth muscle cells by differentiating stem cells in vitro. Our preliminary data suggest that TGF-beta in conjunction with other factors secreted by smooth muscle cells induced MSC to express markers that are normally expressed in smooth muscle cells. Whether these differentiated MSC can function like smooth muscle cells is currently being tested. Our goal is to be able to produce large quantity of smooth muscle cells to be used for synthetic vascular grafts or other vascular application.

Selected References:
  • Si Y, Ren J, Wang P, Rateri DL, Daugherty A, Shi X, Kent KC, and Liu B. Protein kinase C-delta mediates adventitial cell migration through regulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression in a rat angioplasty model. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol (in press) (PMC# pending)
  • Tsai S, Butler J, Rafii S, Liu B, and Kent KC. The role of progenitor cells in the development of intimal hyperplasia. J Vasc Surg 2009 49:502-10
  • Zhang F, Tsai S, Kato K, Yananouchi D, Wang C, Rafii S, Liu B, and Kent KC. TGF-beta Promotes Recruitment of Bone Marrow Cells and Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells through Stimulation of MCP-1 Production in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. J Biol Chem 2009 284:17564-74.