LI Lei

LI Lei

PhD,Principal investigator
Understand the neural circuitry mechanism of reproduction regulation and how stress impact normal reproductive functions and sexual behavior.
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Reproductive functions are under sophisticated central and peripheral regulation. The related malfunction leads to reproductive diseases which impose a heavy burden on society. The study of the brain-gonads axis at the neural circuity level will shed light on the basic mechanism of gonadal function regulation and potential therapeutic targets. Our previous work demonstrates that brainstem nucleus Locus Coerulous (LC) is an important hub for stress-related response of the brain. Currently, we apply a multi-disciplinary approach, including viral-based neural tracing, optogenetics, chemogenetics, single-nuclear sequencing and endocrinology to study the role of LC and related circuits in stress-related reproductive function disturbance.


Since 2012, Associate Professor at SIAT CAS.
2017-2018, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Visiting Scholar.
2011-2012, Assistant professor at SIAT CAS.
2006-2010, University of Hong Kong, PhD.
2001-2006, Hong Kong Baptist University, BSc, MSc.
2000, Nanjing University, full scholarship to HK.

Selected publications

1.Li L*. A Lower-brainstem Structure Coordinates Acquisition of Negative Experience. Neuroscience Bulletin, 2020. (accepted)

2.Huang Y#*, Li L#, Dong K, Tang H, Yang Q, Jia X, Liao Y, Wang W, Ren Z, Chen L, Wang L*. Topological shape changes weaken the innate defensive responses to visual threats of mice, Neuroscience Bulletin, 2019: 1-5. (# co-first author)

3. Ji S#, Wang L#, Li L*. Effect of metformin on short-term high-fat diet-induced weight gain and anxiety-like behavior and the gut microbiota. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2019, 10: 704. (* corresponding author)

4.Zhou Z#, Liu X#, Chen S, Zhang Z, Liu Y, Montardy Q, Tang Y, Wei P, Liu N, Li L, Song R, Lai J, He X, Chen C, Bi G, Feng G, Xu F*, Wang L*. A VTA GABAergic Neural Circuit Mediates Visually Evoked Innate Defensive Responses. Neuron, 2019, 103(3), 473-488.

5.Li L#, Feng X#, Zhou Z#, Zhang H, Shi Q, Lei Z, Shen P, Yang Q, Zhao B, Chen S, Li L, Zhang Y, Wen P, Lu Z, Li X, Xu F, Wang L*. Stress Accelerates Defensive Responses to Looming in Mice and Involves a Locus Coeruleus-Superior Colliculus Projection. Current Biology, 2018, 28(6): 859-871. (# co-first author)

6.Li L*, Wang LP*. Modulation of Innate Defensive Responses by Locus Coeruleus-Superior Colliculus Circuit. Journal of Experimental Neuroscience, 2018, 12: 1-3. (# co-first author;* co-corresponding author)

7.Zhou C#, Zhou Z#, Han Y, Lei Z, Li L, Montardy Q, Liu X, Xu F, Wang L*. Activation of parvalbumin interneurons in anterior cingulate cortex impairs observational fear. Science Bulletin, 2018, 63: 771-778.

8.Li L#, Ma P#, Huang C, Liu Y, Zhang Y, Gao C, Xiao T, Ren P, Zabel B, Zhang J*. Expression of chemerin and its receptors in rat testes and its action on testosterone secretion. Journal of Endocrinology, 2014, 220: 155-163. (# co-first author)

9.Li L#, Huang C#, Zhang X, Wang J, Ma P, Liu Y, Xiao T, Zabel B, Zhang J*. Chemerin-Derived Peptide C-20 Suppressed Gonadal Steroidogenesis. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 2014, 71: 265-277. (# co-first author)

10.Li L#, Ma P#, Liu Y, Huang C, O W, Tang F, Zhang J*. Intermedin Attenuates LPS-induced Inflammation in the Rat Testis. Plos One, 2013, 8(6): e65278. (# co-first author)

11.Zhang J*, Li L, Huang Q, Ren P. Obestatin Receptor in Energy Homeostasis and Obesity Pathogenesis. G Protein-Coupled Receptors in Energy Homeostasis and Obesity. Progress in molecular biology and translational science, 2013, 114: 89-107.

12.Li L, Tang F, Wai-Sum O*. Preimplantation antagonism of adrenomedullin action compromises fetoplacental development and reduces litter size. Theriogenology, 2012, 77: 1846-1853. (# co-first author)

13.Li L, Wai-Sum O*, Tang F. Adrenomedullin in rat follicles and corpora lutea: expression, functions and interaction with endothelin-1. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 2011, 9(1): 111. (# co-first author)

14.Li L, Tang F, Wai-Sum O*. Coexpression of adrenomedullin and its receptor component proteins in the reproductive system of the rat during gestation. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 2010, 8(1): 130. (# co-first author)

15.Li L, Wong C*. Effects of dexamethasone and dibutyryl cAMP on stanniocalcin-1 mRNA expression in rat primary Sertoli and Leydig cells. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2008, 283: 96-103. (# co-first author)

16.Li Y, Li L, Hwang I, Tang F, Wai-Sum O*. Coexpression of adrenomedullin and its receptors in the reproductive system of the rat: Effects on steroid secretion in rat ovary. Biology of Reproduction, 2008, 79: 200-208.

(# co-first author, * co-corresponding author)