Feng Lab

Department of Pharmacology

Yumei Feng, M.D., PhD. F.A.H.A.
Associate Professor

Yumei Feng photo

Email: yumeifeng@med.unr.edu
Phone: (775) 784-4116
Fax: (775) 784-1620

Anderson Health Science Building 108
1664 North Virginia Street, Mail Stop 0318
Reno, NV 89557-0318

Dr. Feng is a faculty member of the following departments and programs:


  • Ph.D., Chongqing University of Medical Science
  • M.D., Zhejiang Medical University

Research Interests

The current focus of my laboratory is to understand the neural mechanisms of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases including diabetes and obesity. We are currently interested in the physiological and pathophysiological role of the (pro)renin receptor (PRR) and prorenin as a novel pathway for brain renin-angiotensin system. Briefly, we are investigating the importance of PRR in neurons, astrocyte, and microglial cells in mediating angiotensin II formation, and the neural circuits involved in hypertension with special focus on the subfornical organ (SFO) and the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus (PVN).

Expression of (pro)renin receptor in brain nuclei

To achieve our goal, we utilize many physiological genomics approaches including the commercialized transgenic and knockout mouse models. We also have developed a PRR conditional knockout mouse, prorenin conditional knockout mouse (Cre-Loxp strategy) models, and a neuron-targeted human PRR transgenic mouse model. We have also developed adeno-associated virus coding for PRR or PRR-shRNA to specifically target brain nuclei. Expertise in our laboratory includes but not limited to blood pressure, heart rate recording in conscious free moving mice using telemetry system; brain nuclei-targeted microinjection; sympathetic nerve activity recording and autonomic function assessment; as well as high resolution confocal and ground state depletion (GSD/Storm) microscope, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope to examine ion channel activity in neurons, routine cell and molecular biology techniques. These powerful tools allow us to dissect the neural mechanisms and signaling pathways of brain PRR, prorenin, and other renin-angiotensin system components in neurogenic hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.

(pro)remin receptor in the central nervous system

Current Projects

  • To investigate the critical role and neural mechanisms of (pro)renin receptor activation in the development of salt-sensitive hypertension in the central nervous system.
  • Elucidate the contribution of (pro)renin receptor-mediated MAPK signaling in the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus to the development and maintenance of hypertension.
  • Epigenetic regulation of brain (pro)renin receptor in salt-sensitive hypertension.
  • Develop and characterize (pro)renin receptor antagonist for the treatment of resistant hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Novel neural mechanisms of resistant hypertension.

Current Lab Members

Dane Jensen headshot

Dane D. Jensen, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Chengyuan Feng headshot

Chengyuan Feng, MD, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow 

Caleb Worker headshot

Caleb Worker, BS
Research Assistant

Silvana Cooper headshot
Silvana Cooper
Undergraduate Student

Callum Kirby headshot
Callum Kirby
Undergraduate Student
Placement student from University of Manchester, UK

Mathewos Habte headshot
Mathewos Habte
Undergraduate program from UNR

***Contact Dr. Feng directly if you are interested in joining Feng laboratory***

Former Lab Members

  • Wencheng Li, MD. PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Scientist (2010-2015). Currently in Residency at Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University.
    • Research Recognition Award from The American Physiological Society CNS section. Experimental Biology, 2011
    • Best poster Award for postdoctoral fellows from Gulf Coast Physiology Society Meeting, 2011
    • Inter-American Society of Hypertension New Investigator Travel Award from American Fountain for Hypertension Research and Education. Scientific Sessions of the IASH and HBPR, 2011
    • Cardiovascular Section Research Recognition Award from The American Physiological Society. Experimental Biology, 2012
    • The oral presentation 1st place award to trainees at cardiovascular section from The American Physiological Society. Experimental Biology, 2012
    • The Annual High Blood Pressure Research Conference New Investigator Award from American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research, 2012
    • The Caroline tum Suden/Frances A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award from The American Physiological Society, 2015
  • Michelle Sullivan PhD, Graduate student (2013-2015). Currently Veterinary Technician at Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Cardiovascular Section Research Recognition Award from The American Physiological Society. Experimental Biology, 2014 in San Diego.
    • Riddell & Sundberg Graduate Scholarship from Colorado State University from 08/2014 to 05/2015.
    • High Blood Pressure Research Council New Investigator Award. September 2014 in San Francisco.
  • Hua Peng, MD PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow (2010-2013). Currently an Assistant Professor and Pediatrician at Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Wuhan, China.
    • The Caroline tum Suden/Frances A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award from The American Physiological Society, 2012
    • The Fall Postdoctoral Travel Grant from Tulane University School of Medicine, 2012.

Selected publications


  • Xu Q, Jensen DD, Peng H, and Feng Y. . The Critical role of the central nervous system (pro)renin receptor in regulation of systemic blood pressure. Pharmacology & Therepeutics, 164: 126-134, 2016 (Review). PMCID: 4942374.
  • Pitra S, Feng Y, and Stern JE. . Mechanisms underlying prorenin actions on hypothalamic neurons implicated in cardiometabolic control. Molecular Metabolism, 5: 858-868,2016.
  • Lu X, Wang F, Xu C, Soodvilai S, Peng K, Su J, Zhao L, Yang KT, Feng Y, Zhou S-F, Gustafsson J-A, and Yang T. . Soluble (pro)renin receptor via β-catenin enhances urine concentration capability: a target of liver X receptor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113: E189-8-1906, 2016.


  • Feng Y. . Ang II-independent prorenin/(pro)renin receptor signaling pathways in the central nervous system. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 309: H731-3, 2015 PMID: 26209058 (Review).
  • Li W, Liu J, Saifudeen Z, and Feng Y. . Angiotensin II regulates brain (pro)renin receptor expression through activation of cAMP response element-binding protein in DOCA-salt-induced hypertension. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 309: R138-147, 2015. PMID: 25994957.
  • Li W, Sullivan MN, Zhang S, Worker CJ, Xiong Z, Speth RC, and Feng Y. . Intracerebroventricular infusion of the (pro)renin receptor antagonist PRO20 attenuates neurogenic hypertension. Hypertension, 65:352-361, 2015. PMID: 25421983.
  • Sullivan MN, Gonzales AL, Pires PW, Bruhl A, Leo MD, Li W, Oulidi A, Boop FA, Feng Y, Jaggar JH, Welsh DG, and Earley S. . Localized TRPA1 channel Ca2+ signals stimulated by reactive oxygen species promote cerebral artery dilation. Science Signaling. 8: ra2, 2015. PMID: 25564678.
  • Li Y, Liu J, Li W, Brown A, Baddoo M, Li M, Carroll T, Oxburgh L, Feng Y, and Saifudeen Z. . P53 enables metabolic fitness and self-renewal of nephron progenitor cells. Development, 142: 1228-1241, 2015. PMID: 25804735.
  • Wang F, Lu X, Liu M, Feng Y, Zhou S-F, and Yang T. . Renal medullary (pro)renin receptor contributes to angiotensin II-induced hypertension in rats via activation of local renin-angiotensin system. BMC Medicine, 13: 278, 2015. PMID: 26554902.


  • Zubcevic J, Jun JY, Kim S, Perez PD, Afzal A, Shan Z, Li W, Santisteban MM, Yuan W, Febo M, Mocco J, Feng Y, Scott E, Baekey DM, and Raizada MK. . Altered inflammatory response is associated with an impaired autonomic input to the bone marrow in the SHR. Hypertension. 63: 542-50, 2014. PMID: 24366083.
  • Xia H, de Queiroz TM, Sriramula S, Feng Y, Johnson T, Mungrue IM, Lazartigues E. . Brain ACE2 overexpression reduces DOCA-salt hypertension independently of endoplasmic reticulum stress. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 308: R370-8, 2015. PMID: 25519733.
  • Cao T, Li W, Seth D, Navar G, and Feng Y. . Brain-targeted (pro)renin receptor knockdown modulates body fluid homeostasis. Journal of Hypertension, 3: 160, DOI: 10.4172/2167-1095.1000160, 2014.
  • Li W, Peng H, Mehaffey EP, Kimball CD, Grobe JL, van Gool JMG, Danser AJH, Ichihara A, and Feng Y. . Neuron-specific (pro)renin receptor knockout prevents the development of salt-sensitive hypertension. Hypertension. 63: 316-23, 2014. PMID: 24246383.


  • Cao T and Feng Y. . (Pro)renin receptor and body fluid homeostasis. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 305 (2): R104-6, 2013. PMID: 23678024 (Review).
  • Peng H, Li W, Seth DM, Nair AR, Francis J, and Feng Y. . (Pro)renin receptor mediates both angiotensin II-dependent and -independent superoxide production in neuronal cells. PLoS One. 8 (3): e58339, 2013. PMID: 23516464.
  • Li W, Peng H, Seth DM, and Feng Y. . The prorenin and (pro)renin receptor: new players in the brain renin-angiotensin system. International Journal of Hypertension. 2012: 290635. 2012. PMID: 23316344 (Review).


  • Feng Y, Hans C, Mcllwain E, Varner KJ, and Lazartigues E. . Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 over-expression in the central nervous system reduces angiotensin-II-mediated cardiac hypertrophy. PLoS One.7: e48910, 2012. PMID: 23155428.
  • Li W, Peng H, Cao T, Sato R, McDaniels SJ, Kobori H, Navar LG, and Feng Y. . Brain-targeted (pro)renin receptor knockdown attenuates angiotensin II-dependent hypertension. Hypertension. 59: 1188-1194, 2012. PMID: 22526255.


  • Xia H, Suda S, Bindom SA, Feng Y, Gurley SB, Seth DM, Navar LG and Lazartigues E. . ACE2-Mediated reduction of oxidative stress in the central nervous system is associated with improvement of autonomic function. PLoS One. 6(7): e22682. 2011. PMID: 21818366.
  • Prieto MC, Gonzalez-Villalobos RA, Botros FT, Martin VL, Pagan J, Sato R, Lara LS, Feng Y, Fernandez F, Kobori H, Casarini DE, and Navar LG. . Reciprocal changes in renal ACE/Ang II and ACE2/Ang 1-7 are associated with enhanced collecting duct renin in Goldblatt hypertensive rats. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology. 300 (3): F749-55. 2011. PMID: 21209009.


  • Feng Y, Xia H, Santos RA, Speth RC and Lazartigues E. . ACE2: a new target for neurogenic hypertension. Experimental Physiology. 95(5): 601-6, 2010. (Selected for the Cover) PMID: 19923158.
  • Feng Y, Xia H, Cai Y, Halabi CM, Becker LK, Santos RA, Speth RC, Sigmund CD and Lazartigues E. . Brain-selective over-expression of human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 attenuates neurogenic hypertension. Circulation Research. 106:373-382; 2010. (Selected for the Cover) PMID: 19926873.
  • Hans C, Feng Y, Naura A, Troxclair D, Naura AS, Zerfaoui M, Ju J, Kaye AD, Lazartigues E, DeClerck YA, and Boulares AH. . Opposing roles of PARP-1 in MMP-9 and TIMP-2 expression and mast cell degranulation in dyslipidemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Cardiovascular Pathology. 20(2): e56-68, 2010. PMID: 20434371.


  • Xia H, Feng Y, Obr TD, Hickman PJ and Lazartigues E. . AT1 receptor-mediated reduction of ACE2 activity in the brain impairs baroreflex function in hypertensive mice. Hypertension. 53(2):210-6; 2009. PMID: 19124678.
  • Hans C, Feng Y, Naura A, Zerfaoui M, Rezk B, Xia H, Kaye A, Matrougui K, Lazartigues E and Boulares H. . Protective effects of PARP-1 knockout on dyslipidemia-induced autonomic and vascular dysfunction in ApoE-/- mice: effects on eNOS and oxidative stress. PLoS One. 4(10): e7430; 2009. PMID: 19823587.
  • Zhang X, Wang G, Dupré DJ, Feng Y, Robitaille M, Lazartigues E, Feng YH, Hébert TE, and Wu G. . Rab1 GTPase and dimerization in the cell surface expression of angiotensin II type 2 receptor. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 330(1):109-17; 2009. PMID: 19357319.
  • Xu W, Yi L, Feng Y, Chen L and Liu J. . Structure insight into the activation mechanism of human pancreatic prophospholipase A2. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 284: 16659-16666; 2009. PMID: 19297324.


  • Feng Y, Yue X, Xia H, Bindom SA, Hickman PJ, Filipeanu C, Wu G and Lazartigues E. . Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 overexpression in the subfornical organ prevents the angiotensin II-mediated pressor and drinking responses and is associated with angiotensin II type 1 receptor downregulation. Circulation Research. 102(6):729-36; 2008. PMID: 18258853.
  • Park S, Bivona BJ, Feng Y, Lazartigues E, and Harrison-Bernard LM. . Intact renal afferent arteriolar autoregulatory responsiveness in db/db mice. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology. 295:F1504-1511; 2008. PMID: 18753291.


  • Lazartigues E, Feng Y and Lavoie J. . The two fACEs of the tissue renin-angiotensin systems: implication in cardiovascular diseases. Current Pharmaceutical Design.13: 1231-1245; 2007. PMID: 17504232 (Review).


  • Feng Y, Feng Y, Liao X, Zhu X, Zhou Q, Zeng Z and Ma Q. . Characterization of a monoclonal antibody that antagonizes the function of human endostatin. Hybridoma. 24(1): 42-49; 2005. PMID: 15785208.
  • Feng Y, Feng Y, Zhu X and Ma Q. . Inhibition of rhEndostatin on corneal neovascularization. Chinese Ophthalmic Research. 23(1): 12-14; 2005.


  • Feng Y, Feng Y, Zhu X, Dang Y and Ma Q. . Alkali burn causes aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 A1 (ALDH3A1) decrease in mouse cornea. Molecular Vision. 10: 845-850; 2004. PMID: 15547490.
  • Wu G, Feng Y, Zhang X, Feng Y, Qing Z, Lu L, Li S and Ma Q. . Serum Endostatin Levels in Patients with Primary Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Chongqing Medicine. 33(12): 1843-1847; 2004.
  • Feng Y, Zhang Y, Zhu X, Feng Y and Ma Q. . Soluble expression of human endostatin in E.coli. China Biotechnology. 24(9): 943-947; 2004.
  • Feng Y, Feng Y, Zhu X, Dang Y, Ma Q, Zhou Q and Zeng Z. . The expression of MMP2, MMP9 and VEGF in alkali-burn induced mouse corneal neovascularization. Letters in Biotechnology. 15(6):561-565; 2004.


  • Feng Y, Feng Y and Ma Q. . New progresses in B-cell Activating Factor. Chemistry of Life. 23(4): 265-267; 2003. (Review).
  • Feng Y, Feng Y, Zhang Y, Ren L, Zeng Z and Ma Q. . Preparation and identification of the monoclonal antibody against human endostatin. Chinese Journal of Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 19(6): 580-582; 2003. PMID: 15182655.


  • Feng Y and Zeng Z. . Mechanism of Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres. Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Foreign Medical Sciences. 23(4): 212-213; 2002 (Review).