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Jian Song, PH.D


Jian Song, PH.D

E-mail Address:

Office Address: Building 7, Wuhan University School of Basic Medical Sciences, 185# Donghu Road, Wuhan, Hubei, 430071




Department of Anatomy

Research interests / Specialties:

Adult stem cell differentiation and senescence in relation to tumorigenesis or vascular wall homeostasis

Education and Training

B.M., 1978-1983 Hengyang Medical College, China

M.M., 1985-1988 Hubei Medical University, China

Ph.D., 1997-2001 University of Queensland. Australia

Visiting Scientist, 1995-1997 Center for Research in Vascular Biology, University of Queensland. Australia

Research Description

Our research group focuses on differentiation and senescence of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and vescular wall-resident stem / progenitor cells (VS/PCs) in relation to sarcomagenesis or vascular wall homeostasis, respectively.

1. MSC senescence-escape in relation to sarcomagenesis: MSCs from various animals undergo a spontaneous transformation in vitro and the transformed cells are highly tumorigenetic after transplantation into immunodeficient mice. Our studies demonstrated that the initial step of the transformation is the “senescence-escape” of MSCs due to an Ezh2/H3K27me3-independent, but H3K9me-enhanced irreversible DNA hypermethylation of p16INK4a gene. These findings provide a possible epigenetic mechanism for sarcomagenesis from the MSC.


2. VS/PCs in vascular wall homeostasis and effect of estrogen: The vascular protective effect of estrogen for female is in debating. Our serial studies showed that a small amount of CD34+VS/PCs in rat artery play an important role in vascular wall homeostasis. Estrogen at physiological levels promotes both proliferation and smooth muscle differentiation of the CD34+VS/PCs by adjusting the interactions of pELK1-SRF complex to c-fos gene and myocardin-SRF to SM22, thus maintaining an appropriate vascular injury-repair response and preventing pathological remodeling of the repair process. The estrogen replacement therapy loses its vascular protective effect in old females probably due to a considerable exhaustion of stem cell reservoir in vascular wall.

Publication list

1. Wu Y., Shen Y., Kang K., Zhang Y., Ao F., Wan Y., Song J. (2015) Effects of estrogen on growth and smooth muscle differentiation of vascular wall-resident CD34+ stem/progenitor cells. Atherosclerosis. 240, 453-461

2. He L., Zheng Y., Wan Y., Song J. (2014) A shorter telomere is the key factor in preventing cultured human mesenchymal stem cells from senescence escape. Histochem Cell Biol. 142, 257–267

3. Zheng Y., He L., Wan Y., Song J. (2013) H3K9me-enhanced DNA hypermethylation of the p16INK4a gene: An epigenetic signature for spontaneous transformation of rat mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells Dev 22, 256-267.

4. Zhu C,, Zhang L,, Zheng Y,, Xu J,, Song J., Rolfe B.E., Campbell J.H. (2011) Effects of estrogen on stress-induced premature senescence of vascular smooth muscle cells: a novel mechanism for the “time window theory” of menopausal hormone therapy. Atherosclerosis. 215, 294–300.

5. Zhang L., Zhu C., Zhang X., Wan Y., Song J. (2011) Dual effects of estrogen on vascular smooth muscle cells: Receptor-mediated proliferative vs. metabolite-induced pro-senescent actions. Steroids. 309–316

6. Cheng B., Song J., Yang Z., Wang Q., Lei Y., Zhu C., Hu C. (2009) Responses of vascular smooth muscle cells to estrogen are dependent on balance between ERK and p38 MAPK pathway activities. Int J Cardiology. 134, 356–365.

7. Hu C., Wu Y., Wan Y., Wang Q., Song J.(2008) Introduction of hIGF-1 gene into bone marrow stromal cells and its effects on the cell's biological behaviors. Cell Transplantation. 17, 1067-1081.

8. Yang Z., Cheng B., Song J., Wan Y., Wang Q., Cheng B, Chen X. (2007) Estrogen accelerates G1 to S phase transition and induces a G2/M phase-predominant apoptosis in synthetic vascular smooth muscle cells. Int J Cardiology. 118, 81–388.

9. Liu Y., Song J., Liu W., Wan Y., Chen X., Hu C. (2003) Growth and differentiation of rat bone marrow stromal cells: does 5-azacytidine trigger their cardiomyogenic-differentiation? Cardiovasc Res. 58, 460-468.

10. Song J., Rolfe B.E., Campbell J.H., Campbell GR Effects of estrogen on vascular smooth muscle cells is dependent upon cellular phenotype. Atherosclerosis. 1998. 140, 97-104.