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Associate Professor Ping Liu

Ping LiuAssoc Prof Liu’s main research areas are the neurobiological basis and interventions for cognitive decline during ageing, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, and the biological mechanisms of learning and memory. Her lab uses a combination of behavioural, in vivo microdialysis, neurochemical, molecular biological, immunohistochemical and electrophysiological approaches.

L-arginine is one of the most metabolically versatile amino acids. It can be metabolised to form a number of bioactive molecules, such as nitric oxide, agmatine and polyamines. Accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of arginine metabolism in the ageing process and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Assoc Prof Liu’s research group is investigating the neurobiological basis of cognitive decline during ageing and Alzheimer’s disease and exploring the therapeutic target(s) by focusing on arginine metabolism. Altered arginine metabolism is also implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. The group is investigating two independent animal models of schizophrenia and how the arginine metabolic profile changes in post-mortem schizophrenic brain tissue.

Agmatine, decarboxylated arginine, is a putative novel neurotransmitter, and its functional role in learning and memory is poorly understood at present. Assoc Prof Liu’s group is investigating how endogenous agmatine participates in the processes of learning and memory, and how exogenous agmatine modulates cognitive function under normal and diseased conditions.

Find out more about Assoc Prof Liu’s research.

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Publications

Hariharan, A., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2019). Altered neurovascular coupling and brain arginine metabolism in endothelial nitric oxide synthase deficient mice. Nitric Oxide, 87, 60-72. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2019.03.006

Vemula, P., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Hunt, Jr, J. B., Sandusky-Beltran, L. A., Lee, D. C., & Liu, P. (2019). Altered brain arginine metabolism in a mouse model of tauopathy. Amino Acids. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00726-018-02687-x

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2018). Maternal immune activation altered microglial immunoreactivity in the brain of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Synapse. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/syn.22072

Bergin, D. H., Jing, Y., Mockett, B. G., Zhang, H., Abraham, W. C., & Liu, P. (2018). Altered plasma arginine metabolome precedes behavioural and brain arginine metabolomic profile changes in the APPswe/PS1ΔE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Translational Psychiatry, 8, 108. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0149-z

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2018). Maternal immune activation leads to increased nNOS immunoreactivity in the brain of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Synapse, 72(1), e22011. doi: 10.1002/syn.22011

Journal - Research Article

Hariharan, A., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2019). Altered neurovascular coupling and brain arginine metabolism in endothelial nitric oxide synthase deficient mice. Nitric Oxide, 87, 60-72. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2019.03.006

Vemula, P., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Hunt, Jr, J. B., Sandusky-Beltran, L. A., Lee, D. C., & Liu, P. (2019). Altered brain arginine metabolism in a mouse model of tauopathy. Amino Acids. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00726-018-02687-x

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2018). Maternal immune activation altered microglial immunoreactivity in the brain of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Synapse. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/syn.22072

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2018). Maternal immune activation leads to increased nNOS immunoreactivity in the brain of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Synapse, 72(1), e22011. doi: 10.1002/syn.22011

Bergin, D. H., Jing, Y., Mockett, B. G., Zhang, H., Abraham, W. C., & Liu, P. (2018). Altered plasma arginine metabolome precedes behavioural and brain arginine metabolomic profile changes in the APPswe/PS1ΔE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Translational Psychiatry, 8, 108. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0149-z

Zhang, J., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2018). Effects of maternal immune activation on brain arginine metabolism of postnatal day 2 rat offspring. Schizophrenia Research, 192, 431-441. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.05.016

Liu, P., Gupta, N., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Smith, P. F. (2017). Further studies of the effects of aging on arginine metabolites in the rat vestibular nucleus and cerebellum. Neuroscience, 348, 273-287. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.02.033

Mazlan, M., Hamizah, H. S., Taridi, N. M., Jing, Y., Liu, P., Zhang, H., … Damanhuri, H. A. (2017). Effects of aging and tocotrienol-rich fraction supplementation on brain arginine metabolism in rats. Oxidative Medicine & Cellular Longevity, 2017, 6019796. doi: 10.1155/2017/6019796

Knox, L. T., Jing, Y., Bawazier-Edgecombe, J., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2017). Effects of withdrawal from repeated phencyclidine administration on behavioural function and brain arginine metabolism in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, 153, 45-59. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2016.12.006

Jing, Y., Liu, P., & Leitch, B. (2016). Region-specific changes in presynaptic agmatine and glutamate levels in the aged rat brain. Neuroscience, 312, 10-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.11.002

Liu, P., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Dean, B., Bilkey, D. K., & Zhang, H. (2016). Altered brain arginine metabolism in schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry, 6, e871. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.144

Bergin, D. H., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2015). A single intracerebroventricular Aβ25-35 infusion leads to prolonged alterations in arginine metabolism in the rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience, 298, 367-379. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.04.034

Liu, P., Fleete, M. S., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Curtis, M. A., Waldvogel, H. J., … Abraham, W. C., & Zhang, H. (2014). Altered arginine metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease brains. Neurobiology of Aging, 35(9), 1992-2003. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.03.013

Knox, L. T., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2014). Effects of acute phencyclidine administration on arginine metabolism in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in rats. Neuropharmacology, 81, 195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.02.004

Jing, Y., Fleete, M. S., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2013). Regional variations and age-related changes in arginine metabolism in the rat brain stem and spinal cord. Neuroscience, 252, 98-108. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.08.002

Rushaidhi, M., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2013). Effects of prolonged agmatine treatment in aged male Sprague-Dawley rats. Neuroscience, 234, 116-124. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.01.004

Rushaidhi, M., Jing, Y., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2013). Participation of hippocampal agmatine in spatial learning: An in vivo microdialysis study. Neuropharmacology, 65, 200-205. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.10.007

Jing, Y., Zhang, H., Wolff, A. R., Bilkey, D. K., & Liu, P. (2013). Altered arginine metabolism in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of maternal immune activation rat offspring. Schizophrenia Research, 148(1-3), 151-156. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.06.001

Smith, P. F., Ganesh, S., & Liu, P. (2013). A comparison of random forest regression and multiple linear regression for prediction in neuroscience. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 220(1). doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2013.08.024

Rushaidhi, M., Jing, Y., Kennard, J. T., Collie, N. D., Williams, J. M., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2012). Aging affects L-arginine and its metabolites in memory-associated brain structures at the tissue and synaptoneurosome levels. Neuroscience, 209, 21-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.02.021

Rushaidhi, M., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2012). Agmatine selectively improves behavioural function in aged male Sprague-Dawley rats. Neuroscience, 218(30), 206-215. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.05.015

Gupta, N., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2012). Chronic difluoromethylornithine treatment impairs spatial learning and memory in rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, 100(3), 464-473. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2011.10.011

Gupta, N., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2012). Ageing alters behavioural function and brain arginine metabolism in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Neuroscience, 226, 178-196. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.09.013

Seo, S., Liu, P., & Leitch, B. (2011). Spatial learning-induced accumulation of agmatine and glutamate at hippocampal CA1 synaptic terminals. Neuroscience, 129, 28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.07.007

Leitch, B., Shevtsova, O., Reusck, K., Bergin, D. H., & Liu, P. (2011). Spatial learning-induced increase in agmatine levels at hippocampal CA1 synapses. Synapse, 65(2), 146-153. doi: 10.1002/syn.20828

Liu, P., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Campbell, S. A., & Zhang, H. (2011). Pre-aggregated Aβ25-35 alters arginine metabolism in the rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience, 193, 269-282. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.07.054

Knox, L. T., Jing, Y., Fleete, M. S., Collie, N. D., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2011). Scopolamine impairs behavioural function and arginine metabolism in the rat dentate gyrus. Neuropharmacology, 61(8), 1452-1462. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.08.042

Bergin, D. H., & Liu, P. (2010). Agmatine protects against β-amyloid25-35-induced memory impairments in the rat. Neuroscience, 169, 794-811. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.05.004

Liu, P., Zhang, H., Devaraj, R., Ganesalingam, G., & Smith, P. F. (2010). A multivariate analysis of the effects of aging on glutamate, GABA and arginine metabolites in the rat vestibular nucleus. Hearing Research, 269(1-2), 122-133. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2010.06.019

Liu, P., & Bergin, D. H. (2009). Differential effects of i.c.v. mcroinfusion of agmatine on spatial working and reference memory in the rat. Neuroscience, 159(3), 951-961. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.01.039

Liu, P., Jing, Y., Collie, N. D., Chary, S., & Zhang, H. (2009). Memory-related changes in L-citrulline and agmatine in the rat brain. Hippocampus, 19(7), 597-602. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20561

Gupta, N., Zhang, H., & Liu, P. (2009). Behavioral and neurochemical effects of acute putrescine depletion by difluoromethylornithine in rats. Neuroscience, 161(3), 691-706. doi: 10.1016/j.nueroscience.2009.03.075

Liu, P., & Collie, N. D. (2009). Behavioral effects of agmatine in naive rats are task- and delay-dependent. Neuroscience, 163(1), 82-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.05.061

Liu, P., Jing, Y., & Zhang, H. (2009). Age-related changes in arginine and its metabolites in memory-associated brain structures. Neuroscience, 164(2), 611-628. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.08.029

Nerad, L., Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. K. (2009). Bilateral NMDA lesions centered on the postrhinal cortex have minimal effects on hippocampal place cell firing. Hippocampus, 19(3), 221-227. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20517

Liu, P., Gupta, N., Jing, Y., & Zhang, H. (2008). Age-related changes in polyamines in memory-associated brain structures in rats. Neuroscience, 155, 789-796. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.06.033

Liu, P., Rushaidhi, M., Collie, N. D., Leong, M.-T. T., & Zhang, H. (2008). Behavioral effects of intracerebroventricular microinfusion of agmatine in adult rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122(3), 557-569. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.3.557

Liu, P., Collie, N. D., Chary, S., Jing, Y., & Zhang, H. (2008). Spatial learning results in elevated agmatine levels in the rat brain. Hippocampus, 18, 1094-1098. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20482

Liu, P., Smith, P. F., & Darlington, C. L. (2008). Glutamate receptor subunits expression in memory-associated brain structures: Regional variations and effects of aging. Synapse, 62, 834-841. doi: 10.1002/syn.20563

Liu, P., Chary, S., Devaraj, R., Jing, Y., Darlington, C. L., Smith, P. F., Tucker, I. G., & Zhang, H. (2008). Effects of aging on agmatine levels in memory-associated brain structures. Hippocampus, 18, 853-856. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20448

Lindsay, L., Liu, P., Gliddon, C., Zheng, Y., Smith, P. F., & Darlington, C. L. (2005). Cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor expression in the rat vestibular nucleus and hippocampus following unilateral vestibular deafferentation. Experimental Brain Research, 162, 309-314. doi: 10.1007/s00221-004-2168-7

Smith, P. F., Horii, A., Russell, N., Bilkey, D. K., Zheng, Y., Liu, P., Kerr, D. S., & Darlington, C. L. (2005). The effects of vestibular lesions on hippocampal function in rats. Progress in Neurobiology, 75, 391-405.

Liu, P., Smith, P. F., Appleton, I., Darlington, C. L., & Bilkey, D. K. (2005). Hippocampal nitric oxide synthase and arginase and age-associated behavioral deficits. Hippocampus, 15, 642-655.

Liu, P., Smith, P. F., Appleton, I., Darlington, C. L., & Bilkey, D. K. (2004). Age-related changes in nitric oxide synthase and arginase in the rat prefrontal cortex. Neurobiology of Aging, 25(4), 547-552.

Liu, P., Smith, P. F., Appleton, I., Darlington, C. L., & Bilkey, D. K. (2004). Potential involvement of NOS and arginase in age-related behavioural impairments. Experimental Gerontology, 39(8), 1207-1222.

Liu, P., Gliddon, C. M., Lindsay, L., Darlington, C. L., & Smith, P. F. (2004). Nitric oxide synthase and arginase expression changes in the rat perirhinal and entorhinal cortices following unilateral vestibular damage: A link to deficits in object recognition? Journal of Vestibular Research, 14, 411-417.

Liu, P., Jarrard, L. E., & Bilkey, D. K. (2004). Excitotoxic lesions of the pre- and parasubiculum disrupt the place fields of hippocampal pyramidal cells. Hippocampus, 14(1), 107-116.

Ashton, J. C., Zheng, Y., Liu, P., Darlington, C. L., & Smith, P. F. (2004). Immunohistochemical characterisation and localisation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor protein in the rat vestibular nucleus complex and the effects of unilateral vestibular deafferentation. Brain Research, 1021, 264-271.

Liu, P., Smith, P. F., Appleton, I., Darlington, C. L., & Bilkey, D. K. (2003). Regional variations and age-related changes in nitric oxide synthase and arginase in the sub-regions of the hippocampus. Neuroscience, 119(3), 679-687.

Liu, P., Zheng, Y., Smith, P. F., & Bilkey, D. K. (2003). Changes in NOS protein expression and activity in the rat hippocampus, entorhinal and postrhinal cortices after unilateral electrolytic perirhinal cortex lesions. Hippocampus, 13, 561-571.

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