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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Associate Professor Ping Liu

PositionAssociate Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsMB(Anhui) PhD(Otago)
Research summaryAging, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders

Research

Associate Professor Liu's main research interests are:

  1. Neurobiological basis and intervention of age-related cognitive decline, and neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders
  2. Biological basis of learning and memory

A combination of behavioural, in vivo microdialysis, neurochemical, molecular biological, immunohistochemical, and electrophysiological approaches are being used.

A growing body of evidence suggests the implications of altered arginine metabolism in the aging and neurodegenerative processes and psychiatric disorders. Associate Professor Liu's research group has been focusing on how central and/or peripheral arginine metabolism is altered, aiming to better understand the neurobiological basis of aging and neurodegenerative (Alzheimer's disease in particular) and psychiatric (e.g., schizophrenia) disorders, to identify biomarkers and to explore the therapeutic target(s). Moreover, her research group has also been investigating the functional role of agmatine, a putative novel neurotransmitter, in learning and memory, and exploring its therapeutic potential for cognitive decline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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., 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

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

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., 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

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., 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., 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

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.

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.

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

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.

Liu, P., Smith, P. F., Appleton, I., Darlington, C. L., & Bilkey, D. K. (2003). Nitric oxide synthase and arginase in the rat hippocampus and the entorhinal, perirhinal, postrhinal, and temporal cortices: Regional variations and age-related changes. Hippocampus, 13, 859-867.

Liu, P., Zheng, Y., King, J., Darlington, C. L., & Smith, P. F. (2003). Long-term changes in hippocampal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits following unilateral vestibular damage in rat. Neuroscience, 117, 965-970.

Liu, P., Zheng, Y., King, J., Darlington, C. L., & Smith, P. F. (2003). Nitric oxide synthase and arginase expression in the vestibular nucleus and hippocampus following unilateral vestibular deafferentation in the rat. Brain Research, 966, 19-25.

Liu, P., Bilkey, D. K., Darlington, C. L., & Smith, P. F. (2003). Cannabinoid CB1 receptor protein expression in the rat hippocampus and entorhinal, perirhinal, postrhinal and temporal cortices: Regional variations and age-related changes. Brain Research, 979(1-2), 235-239.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (2002). The effects of NMDA lesions centered on the postrhinal cortex on spatial memory tasks in the rat. Behavioral Neuroscience, 116, 860-873.

King, J., Zheng, Y., Liu, P., Darlington, C. L., & Smith, P. F. (2002). NMDA and AMPA receptor subunit protein expression in the rat vestibular nucleus following unilateral labyrinthectomy. NeuroReport, 13(12), 1541-1545.

Liu, P., Jarrard, L. E., & Bilkey, D. (2001). Excitotoxic lesions of the pre- and parasubiculum disrupt object recognition and spatial memory processes. Behavioral Neuroscience, 115(1), 112-124.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (2001). The effect of excitotoxic lesions centered on the hippocampus or perirhinal cortex in object recognition and spatial memory tasks. Behavioral Neuroscience, 115(1), 94-111.

Zironi, I., Iacovelli, P., Aicardi, G., Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. K. (2001). Prefrontal cortex lesions augment the location-related firing properties of area TE/perirhinal cortex neurons in a working memory task. Cerebral Cortex, 11, 1093-1100.

Bilkey, D., & Liu, P. (2000). The effects of separate and combined perirhinal and prefrontal cortex lesions on spatial memory tasks in the rat. Psychobiology, 28(1), 12-20.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (1999). The effects of excitotoxic lesions centered on the perirhinal cortex in two versions of the radial arm maze task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 113(4), 672-682.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (1998). Excitotoxic lesions centered on perirhinal cortex produce delay-dependent deficits in a test of spatial memory. Behavioral Neuroscience, 112(2), 512-524.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (1998). Lesions of perirhinal cortex produce spatial memory deficits in the radial maze. Hippocampus, 8(2), 114-121.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (1998). Perirhinal cortex contributions to performance in the water maze. Behavioral Neuroscience, 112(2), 304-315.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. K. (1997). Parallel involvement of perirhinal and lateral entorhinal cortex in the polysynaptic activation of hippocampus by olfactory inputs. Hippocampus, 7(3), 296-306.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. K. (1997). Current source density analysis of the potential evoked in hippocampus by perirhinal cortex stimulation. Hippocampus, 7(4), 389-396.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (1996). Long-term potentration the perirhinal-hippocampus pathway is NMDA dependent. NeuroReport, 7, 1241-1244.

Liu, P., & Bilkey, D. (1996). The direct connection between perirhinal cortex and hippocampus is a major constituent of the lateral perforant path. Hippocampus, 6, 125-134.

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Journal - Research Other

Piletz, J. E., Aricioglu, F., Cheng, J.-T., Fairbanks, C. A., Gilad, V. H., Haenisch, B., … Liu, P., … Gilad, G. M. (2013). Agmatine: Clinical applications after 100 years in translation. Drug Discovery Today, 18(17-18), 880-893. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2013.05.017

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