Zhenqi Liu, MD

Zhenqi Liu, MD

null Zhenqi  Liu
Degree(s): MD
Graduate School: Hunan Medical University
Residency: Internal Medicine, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
Fellowships: Endocrinology, University of Virginia; Endocrinology, Yale University
Primary Appointment: Professor of Medicine and Division Chief, Endocrinology and Metabolism
Research Interests:
Insulin action; energy metabolism; diabetes complications.
Email Address: zl3e@virginia.edu

Research Description

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. The following areas are under active investigation in my laboratory:

  • Insulin delivery and action in muscle. In order for insulin to exert its metabolic actions in muscle, it first must be delivered to muscle interstitium. Insulin regulates its own delivery by acting at three discrete step: dilation of the resistance vessels to increase total blood flow, relaxation of pre-capillary arterioles to increase microvascular perfusion and endothelial exchange surface area, and trans-endothelial transport of insulin from plasma to muscle interstitium. These actions are impaired in the insulin resistant states and my laboratory studies insulin actions at all these 3 steps.
  • Insulin and IGF-1 signaling in the endothelial cells, particularly the IRS/PI3K/AKT/eNOS pathway.
  • Regulation of insulin action in the muscle microcirculation, particularly by the renin-angiotensin system, incretin hormones, and adiponectin.

Selected Publications

Zhao L, Chai W, Fu Z, Dong Z, Aylor KW, Barrett EJ, Cao W, Liu Z. Globular Adiponectin Enhances Muscle Insulin Action via Microvascular Recruitment and Increased Insulin Delivery. Circ Res. 2013 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23459195.

Wang N, Chai W, Zhao L, Tao L, Cao W, 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(5):E538-45.

Liu Z. The vascular endothelium in diabetes and its potential as a therapeutic target. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2013; 14(1):1-3.

Barrett EJ, Liu Z. The endothelial cell: An "early responder" in the development of insulin resistance. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2013; 14(1):21-7.

Dong Z, Chai W, Wang W, Zhao L, Fu Z, Cao W, 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):E222-8.

Eggleston E, Liu Z, Mirmira RG, Silva CM, Shu J, Santen RJ. Insights into mentorship for endocrinologists. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 97(11):3891-6.

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

Sauder MA, Liu J, Jahn LA, Fowler DE, Chai W, Liu Z. Candesartan acutely recruits skeletal and cardiac muscle microvasculature in healthy humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 97(7):E1208-12.

Barrett EJ, Wang H, Upchurch CT, and Liu Z. Insulin regulates its own delivery to skeletal muscle by feed-forward actions on the vasculature. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2011, 301(2):E252-E263

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

PubMed Listings for this Faculty Member


Contact Information

Office Address: PO Box 801410, Fontaine Research Park,
450 Ray C. Hunt Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22908-1410

Office Phone: 434-243-2603, 434-924-5629

Fax Phone: 434-924-1284, 434-243-9143