Zhenqi Liu

Zhenqi Liu, MD

Dr. Zhenqi Liu, MD

  • James M. Moss Professor of Diabetes
  • Chief, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Training:

  • Graduate: M.D., Hunan Medical University
  • Internal Medicine Residency: Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  • Endocrinology Fellowship: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • Endocrinology Research Fellowship: Yale University (New Haven, CT) and University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

Research Interests:

My laboratory has long been interested in insulin action in health and diabetes. Currently the primary focus is on the regulation of insulin action in the vasculature and its relation to insulin’s metabolic action and the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. We use a variety of rodent models and cultured cells to study the mechanisms of insulin action and conduct clinical research studies in humans with or without diabetes to see how insulin’s vascular actions are regulated in humans with or without insulin resistance and diabetes.

Our research is supported by the NIH and the American Diabetes Association:

  1. NIH/NIDDK R01DK102359 (7/1/2015 – 4/30/2021): GLP-1R Regulation of Insulin Action – Principal Investigator
  2. NIH/NIDDK R01DK125330 (7/1/2020 – 4/30/2025): Effects of Exercise and GLP-1R Agonism on Muscle Microvascular Perfusion and Insulin Action – Principal Investigator
  3. American Diabetes Association (01/01/2017 – 12/31/2019): GLP-1R Activation, Muscle Microvasculature and PAD in Human Diabetes – Principal Investigator
  4. NIH/NHLBI R01 HL142250 (12/1/2018 – 11/30/2022): Acute effects of hyperglycemia on heart and skeletal muscle micorvasculature – Co-investigator (PI: E Barrett)
  5. NIH/NHLBI R01 HL130296 (02/01/2017 – 01/31/2022): Exercise dose and metformin for vascular health in adults with metabolic syndrome – Co-investigator (PI: S Malin)
  6. NIH/NIDDK R01 DK116768 (01/10/2019 – 12/31/2022): Genetic connections between type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis – Co-investigator (PI: W Shi)

Prospective new fellows could focus on the regulation of insulin’s vascular and metabolic actions by GLP-1 receptor activation, SGLT2 inhibition, or exercise in health and diabetes.

PubMed listing for Dr. Liu

Recent Publications (selected from a total 126 papers):

Note: The names of trainees are italicized

  1. Liu J, Jahn LA, Fowler DE, Barrett EJ, Cao W, and Liu Z. Free fatty acids induce insulin resistance in both cardiac and skeletal muscle microvasculature in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 96(2):438-46.
  2. Chai W, Liu J, Jahn LA, Fowler DE, Barrett EJ, and Liu Z. Salsalate attenuates free fatty acids-induced microvascular and metabolic insulin resistance in humans. Diabetes Care 2011, 34(7):1634-8
  3. Chai W, Wang W, Dong Z, Cao W, and Liu Z. Angiotensin II receptors modulate muscle microvascular and metabolic responses to insulin in vivo. Diabetes 2011, 60(11):2939-46.
  4. Chai W, Dong Z, Wang N, Wang W, Tao L, Cao W, and Liu Z. Glucagon-like peptide 1 recruits microvasculature and increases glucose use in muscle via a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism. Diabetes 2012, 61(4):888-896.
  5. Sauder MA, Liu J, Jahn LA, Fowler DE, Chai W, and Liu Z. Candesartan acutely recruits skeletal and cardiac muscle microvasculature in healthy humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012, 97(7):E1208-1212.
  6. Dong Z, Chai W, Wang W, Zhao L, Fu Z, Cao W, and Liu Z. Protein kinase A mediates glucagon-like peptide 1-induced nitric oxide production and muscle microvascular recruitment. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2013, 304(2):E222-228
  7. Wang N, Chai W, Zhao L, Tao L, Cao W, and Liu Z. Losartan increases muscle insulin delivery and rescues insulin’s metabolic action during lipid infusion via microvascular recruitment. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2013, 304(3):E538-E545
  8. Zhao L, Chai W, Fu Z, Dong Z, Aylor KW, Barrett EJ, Cao W, and Liu Z. Globular adiponectin enhances muscle insulin action via microvascular recruitment and increased insulin delivery. Circulation Research 2013; 112(9):1263-1271.
  9. Fu Z, Zhao L, Chai W, Dong Z, and Liu Z. Ranolazine recruits muscle microvasculature and enhances insulin action in rats. Journal of Physiology 2013; 591(Pt20):5235-49.
  10. Subaran SC, Sauder MA, Chai W, Jahn LA, Fowler DE, Aylor KW, Basu A and Liu Z. GLP-1 at physiological concentrations recruits skeletal and cardiac muscle microvasculature in healthy humans. Clinical Science 2014; 127(Part 3):163-170
  11. Fu Z, Zhao L, Aylor KW, Carey RM, Barrett EJ, and Liu Z. Angiotensin-(1-7) recruits muscle microvasculature and enhances insulin’s metabolic action via Mas receptor. Hypertension 2014; 63(6):1219-1227
  12. Chai W, Zhang X, Barrett EJ, and Liu Z. Glucagon-like peptide 1 recruits muscle microvasculature and improves insulin’s metabolic action in the presence of insulin resistance. Diabetes 2014; 63(8):2788-2799
  13. Zhao L, Fu Z, Wu J, Aylor KW, Barrett EJ, Cao W, and Liu Z. Globular adiponectin ameliorates metabolic insulin resistance via AMPK-mediated restoration of microvascular insulin responses. Journal of Physiology 2015; 593(17):4067-4079.
  14. Zhao L, Fu Z, Wu J, Aylor KW, Barrett EJ, Cao W, and Liu Z. Inflammation-induced microvascular insulin resistance is an early event in diet-induced obesity. Clinical Science 2015; 129(12):1025-1036.
  15. Chai W, Zhuo Fu, Aylor KW, Barrett EJ, and Liu Z. Liraglutide prevents microvascular insulin resistance and preserves muscle capillary density in high-fat diet-fed rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2016; 311(3):E640-8
  16. Fu Z, Wu J, Nesil T, Li MD, Aylor KW, and Liu Z. Long-term high-fat diet induces hippocampal microvascular insulin resistance and cognitive dysfunction. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2017; 312(2):E89-97
  17. Yan F, Yuan Z, Wang N, Aylor KW, Carey RM, Zhou X, Chen L, and Liu Z. Direct activation of angiotensin II type 2 receptors enhances muscle microvascular perfusion, oxygenation and insulin delivery in male rats. Endocrinology 2018; 159(2):685-695
  18. Tan AWK, Subaran SC, Sauder MA, Chai W, Jahn LA, Fowler DE, Patrie J, Aylor KW, Basu A, and Liu Z. GLP-1 and insulin recruit muscle microvasculature and dilate conduit artery individually but not additively in humans. Journal of the Endocrine Society 2018; 2(2):190-206.
  19. Liu J and Liu Z. Muscle insulin resistance and the inflamed microvasculature: Fire from within. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019; 20(3), pii: E562. doi:10.3390/ijms20030562
  20. Wang N, Tan AWK, Jahn LA, Hartline L, Patrie JT, Lin S, Barrett EJ, Aylor KW, and Liu Z. Vasodilatory actions of Glucagon-like peptide 1 are preserved in skeletal and cardiac muscle microvasculature but not in conduit artery in obese humans with vascular insulin resistance. Diabetes Care 2020; 43(3):634-642.
  21. Love KM, Liu J, Regensteiner JG, Reusch JEB, and Liu Z. GLP-1 and insulin regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle microvascular perfusion in type 2 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes 2020 [ePub ahead of print]
  22. Fu Z, Gong L, Liu J, Wu J, Barrett EJ, Aylor KW, and Liu Z. Brain endothelial cells regulate glucagon-like peptide 1 entry into the brain via a receptor-mediated process. Frontiers in Physiology 2020; 11:555. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00555