Xian-Liang Tang, M.D.

Professor of Medicine

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine


E-mail 502-852-4539

Education and Training

M.D.: Hunan Medical University, Medicine and Pharmacology
Postdoctoral Fellowship: Baylor College of Medicine, Cardiology


Research Interests

The long-term goal of my research interest is to explore and to develop novel strategies for myocardial protection in patients at risk. Over the past three decades, I have acquired enormous experience with animal models of myocardial infarction and heart failure and with the assessment of cardiac function using the state-of-art methods including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiography, and invasive pressure-volume analysis as well as studies of cardiac structure using pathology and immunohistochemical techniques. My expertise in in vivo injury and functional analysis provides a unique opportunity to work on projects in assessment of the efficacy of cardioprotective therapies. As PI or co-Investigator on several University-, AHA- and NIH-funded grants, I have laid the groundwork for developing my research direction in elucidating the mechanisms of myocardial injury and in performing translational research on cardioprotective therapeutic approaches.

My earlier research was focused on studying the mechanisms of the phenomenon of ischemic preconditioning whereby brief episodes of ischemia render the myocardium resistant to subsequent ischemic/reperfused injury via endogenous adaptive mechanisms. The studies that we have done include: (1) demonstrating that the late phase of ischemic preconditioning against myocardial stunning and infarction exists in all animal models tested including open chest mice, conscious rats, conscious rabbits, and conscious pigs; (2) elucidating that the mechanisms underlying the early phase of ischemic preconditioning involve in activating a series of kinase signaling cascades and that cardioprotection of the late phase of ischemic preconditioning is afforded by upregulation of cardioprotective proteins such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), hemooxygenase-1 (HO-1), and cooxygenase-2 (COX-2) ; and (3) finding that the phenomenon of ischemic preconditioning is abrogated in animals under pathological conditions such as hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.  

In recent years, my laboratory focuses on preclinical translational research using rat, rabbit, and pig models of cardiomyopathy to evaluate the efficacy of cardioprotective therapies. I have conducted numerous translational studies of cardioprotective therapies including novel pharmacological agents, adult stem cells, and therapeutic genes in postinfarction LV remodeling and heart failure. In the studies using adult stem cells, I have demonstrated that cardiac functional benefits can be attained in rats and pigs after receiving cell therapy via various routes of delivery including intracoronary infusion, direct intramyocardial injection, echo-guided intraventricular cavity infusion, and intravenous injection. In the studies of novel agents, I found that intracoronary administration of fusogenic nanoliposomes during coronary artery occlusion effectively reduced myocardial infarct size and attenuated the postinfarction myocardial no-reflow phenomenon. I believe these studies should pave the way to future success of developing novel cardiac therapeutic approaches.


Featured Publications

Full list of publications  (.pdf)

  • Bolli R, Tang XL. Clinical trials of cell therapy for heart failure: recent results warrant continued research. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2022 May 1;37(3):193-200. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000956. PMID: 35612934; PMCID: PMC9178910.
  • Abouleisa RRE, Salama ABM, Ou Q, Tang XL, Solanki M, Guo Y, Nong Y, McNally L, Lorkiewicz PK, Kassem KM, Ahern BM, Choudhary K, Thomas R, Huang Y, Juhardeen HR, Siddique A, Ifthikar Z, Hammad SK, Elbaz AS, Ivey KN, Conklin DJ, Satin J, Hill BG, Srivastava D, Bolli R, Mohamed TMA. Transient Cell Cycle Induction in Cardiomyocytes to Treat Subacute Ischemic Heart Failure. Circulation. 2022 Apr 26;145(17):1339-1355. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.057641. Epub 2022 Jan 21. PMID: 35061545; PMCID: PMC9038650.
  • Tang XL, Wysoczynski M, Gumpert AM, Li Y, Wu WJ, Li H, Stowers H, Bolli R. Effect of intravenous cell therapy in rats with old myocardial infarction. Mol Cell Biochem. 2022 Feb;477(2):431-444. doi: 10.1007/s11010-021-04283-2. Epub 2021 Nov 16. PMID: 34783963; PMCID: PMC8896398.
  • Bolli R, Tang XL. The sad plight of cell therapy for heart failure: causes and consequences. J Cardiovasc Aging. 2022;2:16. doi: 10.20517/jca.2022.02. Epub 2022 Mar 2. PMID: 35373217; PMCID: PMC8974963.
  • Maldonado C, Nguyen MD, Bauer P, Nakamura S, Khundmiri SJ, Perez-Abadia G, Stowers HL, Wu WJ, Tang XL. Rapid Lipid Modification of Endothelial Cell Membranes in Cardiac Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury: a Novel Therapeutic Strategy to Reduce Infarct Size. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2021 Feb;35(1):113-123. doi: 10.1007/s10557-020-07101-x. Epub 2020 Oct 20. PMID: 33079319; PMCID: PMC8376233.
  • Bolli R, Tang XL, Guo Y, Li Q. After the storm: an objective appraisal of the efficacy of c-kit+ cardiac progenitor cells in preclinical models of heart disease. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2021 Feb;99(2):129-139. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2020-0406. Epub 2020 Sep 16. PMID: 32937086; PMCID: PMC8299902.
  • Miller JM, Meki MH, Ou Q, George SA, Gams A, Abouleisa RRE, Tang XL, Ahern BM, Giridharan GA, El-Baz A, Hill BG, Satin J, Conklin DJ, Moslehi J, Bolli R, Ribeiro AJS, Efimov IR, Mohamed TMA. Heart slice culture system reliably demonstrates clinical drug-related cardiotoxicity. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2020 Nov 1;406:115213. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2020.115213. Epub 2020 Aug 30. PMID: 32877659; PMCID: PMC7554180.
  • Ou Q, Abouleisa RRE, Tang XL, Juhardeen HR, Meki MH, Miller JM, Giridharan G, El-Baz A, Bolli R, Mohamed TMA. Slicing and Culturing Pig Hearts under Physiological Conditions. J Vis Exp. 2020 Mar 20;(157):10.3791/60913. doi: 10.3791/60913. PMID: 32250357; PMCID: PMC7388059.
  • Heidel JS, Fischer AG, Tang XL, Sadri G, Wu WJ, Moisa CR, Stowers H, Sandella N, Wysoczynski M, Uchida S, Moore Iv JB. The Effect of Cardiogenic Factors on Cardiac Mesenchymal Cell Anti-Fibrogenic Paracrine Signaling and Therapeutic Performance. Theranostics. 2020 Jan 1;10(4):1514-1530. doi: 10.7150/thno.41000. PMID: 32042319; PMCID: PMC6993223.
  • Ou Q, Jacobson Z, Abouleisa RRE, Tang XL, Hindi SM, Kumar A, Ivey KN, Giridharan G, El-Baz A, Brittian K, Rood B, Lin YH, Watson SA, Perbellini F, McKinsey TA, Hill BG, Jones SP, Terracciano CM, Bolli R, Mohamed TMA. Physiological Biomimetic Culture System for Pig and Human Heart Slices. Circ Res. 2019 Aug 30;125(6):628-642. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.314996. Epub 2019 Jul 16. PMID: 31310161; PMCID: PMC6715512.