Title: Faculty & research interests





Yong-Guang  Yang
Yong-Guang Yang
Professor of Medical Sciences
Full Member

Department: Medicine


Disease Models: Cancer, Transplantation

Stem Cell Categories: Adult stem cells, Cancer stem cells

Model Organisms: Human, Rodent

Themes: Blood, Cancer

Humanized mouse models for the study of human immune function in vivo: We have established a humanized mouse (hu-mouse) model with a functional human immune system. These hu-mice show normal human thymopoiesis, systemic repopulation with multilineages of human lymphohematopoietic cells (e.g., T, B and dendritic cells), formation of secondary lymphoid organs with normal architecture, and strong antigen-specific T cell and antibody responses upon immunization. We are currently using hu-mice as an in vivo model system for elucidating human immune responses in allogeneic and xenogeneic transplantation settings. Inhibitory receptor-ligand interactions in xenograft rejection: CD47 is a ligand of an inhibitory receptor, SIRPα, and its interaction with SIRPα on macrophages prevents phagocytosis of autologous hematopoietic cells. We have discovered that interspecies incompatibility of CD47 contributes significantly to phagocytosis of xenogeneic cells by macrophages. We also demonstrated that the phagocytic activity of macrophages against CD47-deficient cells is conferred by CD47 expression on nonhematopoietic cells, and that lack of CD47 on nonhematopoietic cells induces macrophage tolerance to CD47-deficient cells. Ongoing research is focused on defining the mechanisms of macrophage tolerance and developing novel strategies for controlling xenograft rejection by macrophages. GVHD vs. GVL in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT): Graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) remains the major complication of allo-HCT, the only curative therapy for many hematopoietic malignancies. We have shown that IFN-gamma plays an important role in controlling the alloresponses of donor T cells and determines whether they will predominantly mediate GVHD or graft-vs.-leukemia (GVL) effects. We are currently studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which IFN-gamma regulates the alloreactivity of donor T cells.


Wang H, Wu X, Wang Y, Oldenborg PA, Yang YG.
CD47 is required for suppression of allograft rejection by donor specific transfusion. J Immunol. 184:3401-3407. (2010)

Wang H, Asavaroengchai W, Wang MG, Wang S, Sykes M, Yang YG
Paradoxical effects of IFN-γ in graft-vs.-host (GVH) disease reflect promotion of lymphohematopoietic GVH reactions and inhibition of epithelial tissue injury Blood. 113:3612-3619. (2009)

Tonomura N, Habiro K, Shimizu A, Sykes M, Yang YG.
Antigen specific human T cell responses and T cell-dependent production of human antibodies in a humanized mouse model. Blood 111:4293-4296. (2008)

Wang H, Madariaga ML, Wang S, Oldenborg P-A, Yang YG.
Lack of CD47 on non-hematopoietic cells induces split macrophage tolerance to CD47null Cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:13744-13749. (2007)

Lan P, Tonomura N, Wang S, Yang YG.
Reconstitution of a functional human immune system in immunodeficient mice through combined human fetal thymus/liver and CD34+ cell transplantation. Blood 108:487–492. (2006)

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