Division of Pharmacology
School of Medicine
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA 92350

Phone: (909) 558-4325
Fax: (909) 558-4029

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Research Interest

My major research interest is focusing on the cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy and fetal programming of adult hypertension in response to prenatal insults. The current research project in my lab is studying of fetal nicotine exposure and aberrant development of cardiovascular dysfunctional phenotype and investigates the early risk epigenetic biomarkers that contribute to the programming of cardiovascular disease later life.

Adverse intrauterine environment-induced fetal programming of cardiovascular disease in adulthood is one of the most provocative findings in modern medicine. However, the epigenetic mechanisms are still not fully understood. My lab is specifically studying the potential effect of prenatal stress (maternal smoking/nicotine use and gestational hypoxia) on fetal development of adult hypertension.  We have established the antenatal nicotine exposed pregnant rat model and maternal hypoxia rat model and developed the technique and approaches to determine the patho-physiologic changes of vascular myogenic tone by Ion Optix system and blood pressure by telemetry system. In addition, we have also employed the innovative approaches (such as DNA methylation-specific PCR, miRNA transfection) to study of the epigenetic molecular mechanisms underlying prenatal nicotine or hypoxia-induced hypertensive and vascular dysfunctional phenotype in offspring.

Selected Publications

  1. Xiao D, Dasgupta C, Chen M, Zhang K, Buchholz J, Xu Z, Zhang L. Inhibition of DNA methylation reverses norepinephrine-induced cardiac hypertrophy in rats. Cardiovasc Res. 101: 378-82, 2014.
  2. Xiao D, Dasgupta C, Li Y, Huang X, Zhang L. Perinatal nicotine exposure increases angiotensin II receptor-mediated vascular contractility in adult offspring. PLoS One. 29: e108161, 2014.
  3. Paradis A, Xiao D, Zhou J, Zhang L. Endothelin-I promotes cardiomyocyte terminal differentiation in the developing heart via heightened DNA methylation. Int J Med Sci. 11: 373-80, 2014.
  4. Xiao D, Hu XQ, Huang X, Zhou J, Wilson SM, Yang S, Zhang L. Chronic hypoxia during gestation enhances uterine arterial myogenic tone via heightened oxidative stress. PLOS One. 8:e73731, 2013.
  5. Li Y, Xiao D, Yang S, Zhang L. Promoter methylation represses AT2R gene and increases brain hypoxic-ischemic injury in neonatal rats. Neurobiol Dis. 60:32-38, 2013.
  6. Xiao D, Huang X, Yang S, Zhang L. Estrogen Normalizes Perinatal Nicotine-induced Hypertensive Responses in Adults Females Rat Offspring. Hypertension. 61:1246-54, 2013.
  7. Zhu R, Hu XQ, Xiao D, Yang S, Wilson SM, Longo LD, Zhang L. Chronic hypoxia inhibits pregnancy-induced upregulation of SKCa Channel expression and function in uterine arteries. Hypertension. 62: 367-74, 2013.
  8. Patterson AJ, Xiao D, Xiong F, Dixon B, Zhang L. Hypoxia-derived oxidative stress mediates epigenetic repression of PKCε gene in foetal rat hearts. Cardiovasc Res. 93:302-10, 2012.
  9. Hu XQ, Xiao D, Zhu R, Huang X, Yang S, Wilson SM, and Zhang L. Chronic hypoxia suppresses pregnancy-induced upregulation of large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel activity in uterine arteries. Hypertension. 60: 214-22, 2012.
  10. Xiong F, Xiao D, Zhang L. Norepinephrine causes epigenetic repression of PKC epsilon gene in rodent hearts by activating Nox1-dependent reactive oxygen species production. FASB J. 26: 2753-63, 2012.
  11. Hu XQ, Xiao D, zhu R, Huang X, Yang S, Wilson S, Zhang L. Pregnancy upregulates large-conductance Ca2+ -activated K+ channel activity and attenuates myogenic tone in uterine arteries. Hypertension. 58: 1132-9, 2011.
  12. Xiao D, Huang X, Yang S, Zhang L. Antenatal Nicotine Induces Heightened Oxidative Stress and Vascular Dysfunction in Rat Offspring. British J. Pharmacology. 164:1400-1409 (with Commentary, 164:1397-99), 2011.
  13. kLawrence J, Chen M, Xiong F, Xiao D, Buchholz J, Zhang L. Fetal nicotine exposure causes PKC epsilon gene repression by promoter methylation in rat hearts. Cardiovascular Research. 89:89-97, 2011.
  14. Xiao D, Huang X, Yang S, Longo LD, Zhang L. Pregnancy downregulates actin polymerization and pressure-dependent myogenic tone in ovine uterine arteries. Hypertension. 56:1009-1015, 2010.
  15. Patterson AJ, Chen M, Xue Q, Xiao D, Zhang L. Chronic prenatal hypoxia induces epigenetic programming of PKCε gene repression in rat hearts. Circulation Research. 107:365-373, 2010.
  16. Xiao D, Yang S, Zhang L. Prenatal cocaine exposure causes sex-dependent impairment in the myogenic reactivity of coronary arteries in adult offspring. Hypertension. 54: 1123-1128, 2009.
  17. Xiao D, Zhang L. Upregulation of Bax and Bcl-2 following prenatal cocaine exposure induces apoptosis in fetal rat brain. Int J Med Sci. 5:295-302, 2008.
  18. Xiao D, Xu Z, Huang XH, Longo LD, Yang S, Zhang L. Prenatal nicotine exposure increases blood pressure response to angiotensin II in adult offspring. Hypertension. 51:1239-1247, 2008.
  19. Lawrence J, Xiao D, Xue Q, Rejali M, Yang S, Zhang L. Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Increases Heart Susceptibility to Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Adult Offspring. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 324:331-341, 2008.
  20. Xiao D, Huang XH, Lawrence J, Yang S, and Zhang L. Fetal and neonatal nicotine exposure differentially regulates vascular contractility in adult male and female offspring. J Pharmacol Exp Ther.  320: 654-661, 2007.