The brain contains billions of nerve cells, or neurons, which receive and integrate signals from the environment, and which govern the body’s responses.

Nervous system activity is made possible by synapses, contacts formed either between neurons or between a neuron and a target cell. Synapses are asymmetric structures in which neurotransmitter molecules are released from the presynaptic membrane and activate receptors on the postsynaptic membrane, thus establishing neuronal communication.

As such, synapses are fundamental units of neural circuitry and enable complex behaviors. Research in our lab has focused on mechanisms of synapse formation, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. Our studies contribute to a better understanding of these processes and development of potential therapeutic strategies for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and depression and neurological disorders such as muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy.‌

Publications (Select)

Entire publication list can be found here.

  • Appel JR, Ye S, Tang F, Sun D, Zhang H, Mei L, Xiong W-C. Increased Microglial Activity, Impaired Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, and Depressive-like Behavior in Microglial VPS35-Depleted Mice. J Neurosci. 2018 Jun 27;38(26):5949–5968. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3621-17.2018 Pubmed PMID: 29853629
  • Tan Z, Robinson HL, Yin D-M, Liu Y, Liu F, Wang H, Lin TW, Xing G, Gan L, Xiong W-C, Mei LDynamic ErbB4 Activity in Hippocampal-Prefrontal Synchrony and Top-Down Attention in Rodents. Neuron. 2018 Apr 18;98(2):380-393.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.03.018 Pubmed PMID: 29628188
  • Wang Y-N, Figueiredo D, Sun X-D, Dong Z-Q, Chen W-B, Cui W-P, Liu F, Wang H-S, Li H-W, Robinson H, Fei E-K, Pan B-X, Li B-M, Xiong W-C, Mei L. Controlling of glutamate release by neuregulin3 via inhibiting the assembly of the SNARE complex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Mar 6;115(10):2508–2513. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716322115 Pubmed PMID: 29463705
  • Yan M, Liu Z, Fei E, Chen W, Lai X, Luo B, Chen P, Jing H, Pan J-X, Rivner MH, Xiong W-C, Mei L. Induction of Anti-agrin Antibodies Causes Myasthenia Gravis in Mice. Neuroscience. 2018 Mar 1;373:113–121. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.01.015 Pubmed PMID: 29339325
  • Pan J-X, Xiong L, Zhao K, Zeng P, Wang B, Tang F-L, Sun D, Guo H-H, Yang X, Cui S, Xia W-F, Mei L, Xiong W-C. YAP promotes osteogenesis and suppresses adipogenic differentiation by regulating beta-catenin signaling. Bone Res. 2018;6:18. doi: 10.1038/s41413-018-0018-7 Pubmed PMID: 29872550
  • Li L, Xiong WC, Mei LNeuromuscular Junction Formation, Aging, and Disorders. Annu Rev Physiol. 2017 Dec 1. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-022516-034255. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29195055.



Cleveland FES Center

Professor and Chair of Neurosciences
Case Western Reserve University

Allen C. Holmes Professor of Neurological Diseases
Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland Brain Health Initiative


Program Contact
Lin Mei

Contact Number
(216) 368-4928

Contact Email