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Xiaoping Zhong, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Immunology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail: Box 2644 Med Ctr, Div. Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 681-9450
Email address: xiaoping.zhong@duke.edu

The immune system protects the host from microbial infection but can cause diseases if not properly controlled. My lab is interested in the receptor signaling mediated regulation of immune cell development and function as well as the pathogenesis and treatment of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

We are currently investigating the roles diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) and TSC1/2-mTOR play in the immune system. DGKs are a family of ten enzymes that catalyze the conversion of diacylglycerol (DAG) to phosphatidic acid (PA), Both DAG and PA are important second messengers involved signaling from numerous receptors. While we expect DGKs to perform important roles in development and cellular function by modulating DAG and PA levels, the physiologic functions of DGKs have been poorly understood. Using cell line models and genetically manipulated mice, we have demonstrated that DGKα and ζ isoforms play critical roles in: T cell development, activation, and anergy by regulating T cell receptor signaling; FcεRI signaling and mast cell function; and Toll-like receptor signaling and innate immune responses.

Research areas that we are actively pursuing include:
1. The mechanisms that control T cell maturation, activation
and self-tolerance.
2. NKT cell development and function.
3. Thymic epithelial cells and thymic development, function, and involution.
4. Regulation of Toll-like receptor signaling and innate immunity. 
5. The pathogenesis and treatment of autoimmune hepatitis. 
6. Mast cell development and function.
7. The pathogenesis and immunotherapy for peanut allergy.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University, 1997
  • M.D., First Medical College in Guangzhou (China), 1985

Publications

Xie, Jinhai, Yun Pan, Huishan Tao, Peng Wang, Yongping Chen, Jimin Gao, and Xiao-Ping Zhong. “Deficiency of Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells in TCRJα18 Germline Knockout Mice.” Immunohorizons 3, no. 6 (June 1, 2019): 203–7. https://doi.org/10.4049/immunohorizons.1900035.

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Chen, Pengcheng, Wenhai Deng, Dandan Li, Tai Zeng, Ling Huang, Qun Wang, Jinli Wang, et al. “Circulating Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells in a Large Cohort of Healthy Chinese Individuals From Newborn to Elderly..” Front Immunol 10 (2019). https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00260.

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Hu, Shengfeng, Xialin Du, Yulan Huang, Yuling Fu, Yalong Yang, Xiaoxia Zhan, Wenting He, et al. “NLRC3 negatively regulates CD4+ T cells and impacts protective immunity during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection..” Plos Pathog 14, no. 8 (August 2018). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007266.

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Hu, Shengfeng, Wenting He, Xialin Du, Yulan Huang, Yuling Fu, Yalong Yang, Chuxuan Hu, et al. “Vitamin B1 Helps to Limit Mycobacterium tuberculosis Growth via Regulating Innate Immunity in a Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ-Dependent Manner..” Front Immunol 9 (2018). https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01778.

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He, Wenting, Shengfeng Hu, Xialin Du, Qian Wen, Xiao-Ping Zhong, Xinying Zhou, Chaoying Zhou, et al. “Vitamin B5 Reduces Bacterial Growth via Regulating Innate Immunity and Adaptive Immunity in Mice Infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis..” Front Immunol 9 (2018). https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00365.

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Hu, Shengfeng, Wenting He, Xialin Du, Jiahui Yang, Qian Wen, Xiao-Ping Zhong, and Li Ma. “IL-17 Production of Neutrophils Enhances Antibacteria Ability but Promotes Arthritis Development During Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection..” Ebiomedicine 23 (September 2017): 88–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.08.001.

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Deng, Wenhai, Jialong Yang, Xingguang Lin, Jinwook Shin, Jimin Gao, and Xiao-Ping Zhong. “Essential Role of mTORC1 in Self-Renewal of Murine Alveolar Macrophages..” J Immunol 198, no. 1 (January 1, 2017): 492–504. https://doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1501845.

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Xie, Dan-Li, Meng-Meng Zheng, Yi Zheng, Hui Gao, Jie Zhang, Ting Zhang, Jian-Chun Guo, X Frank Yang, Xiao-Ping Zhong, and Yong-Liang Lou. “Vibrio vulnificus induces mTOR activation and inflammatory responses in macrophages..” Plos One 12, no. 7 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181454.

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Lin, Xingguang, Jialong Yang, Jinli Wang, Hongxiang Huang, Hong-Xia Wang, Pengcheng Chen, Shang Wang, et al. “mTOR is critical for intestinal T-cell homeostasis and resistance to Citrobacter rodentium..” Sci Rep 6 (October 12, 2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep34939.

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Yang, Jialong, Xingguang Lin, Yun Pan, Jinli Wang, Pengcheng Chen, Hongxiang Huang, Hai-Hui Xue, Jimin Gao, and Xiao-Ping Zhong. “Critical roles of mTOR Complex 1 and 2 for T follicular helper cell differentiation and germinal center responses..” Elife 5 (September 30, 2016). https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17936.

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