Parent Page: Academic Departments id: 23201 Active Page: Faculty and Staffid:23396

Faculty and Staff

Hongliang Li, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine

Hongliang Li, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Research

1122 N.E. 13th St., ORB 331
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1039

(405) 271-5896 ext 52269

Academic Section(s):

Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • 2005     Doctor of Philosophy, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China

  • 1996     Doctor of Medicine, Xinjiang Medical University, Xinjiang, China


  • 1996 - 2000     Department of Internal Medicine, Xinjiang Kelamayi People’s Hospital, China


  • 2010 - 2016       Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK

  • 2008 - 2009       Research Scholar, Department of Vascular Biology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

Clinical/Research Interests:

Research Interests

  1. We have identified an activating autoantibody to the GnRH receptor (GnRHR-AAb), an autonomic G protein coupled receptor (GPCR), directed toward the second extracellular loop (ECL2) of GnRHR and that this autoantibody is pathophysiologically relevant in its targeted transduction system(s) in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). We have established a novel autoimmune PCOS rat model with immunized GnRHR peptide and found that the presence of GnRHR-ECL2-AAb leads to peripheral insulin resistance and reproductive dysfunction. Our lab current research builds logically on this prior work and will focus on more specific molecular mechanisms of PCOS and effective therapies.
  2. The potential role of autoimmunity in Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) has gained increased attention in recent years. Our group first reported the presence of activating autoantibodies (AAb) to the α1‐adrenergic (α1AR), β1/2‐adrenergic receptors (β1/2AR) in a significant proportion of patients with POTS. We demonstrate that the designed retro‐inverso (RI) peptides can effectively block the effects of α1AR‐AAb and β1AR‐AAb both in vitro and in vivo. Our current project focuses on the role and mechanism of vagus nerve stimulation in the treatment of POTS.
  3. AMPK is a key enzyme in the regulation of energy metabolism, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. We found AMPK activation prevents excess nutrient-induced hepatic lipid accumulation by Inhibiting mTORC1 signaling and endoplasmic reticulum stress response. Suppression of mTORC1/STAT3/Notch1 pathway by activated AMPK prevents hepatic insulin resistance. In addition, we found that leucine increases SIRT1 expression and prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic abnormalities.


  • Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology
  • AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship

Select Publications:

Complete List of Published Work in My NCBI:

Li H*, Guo Y, Zhang G, Deng J, Fischer H, Craig LB, Yu X, Kem DC. Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone receptor autoantibodies induce polycystic ovary syndrome-like features in a rat model. Exp Physiol. 2021 Feb 12. Online ahead of print.

Deng J, Guo Y, Zhang G, Zhang L, Kem D, Yu X, Jiang H, Li H*. M2 muscarinic autoantibodies and thyroid hormone promote susceptibility to atrial fibrillation and sinus tachycardia in an autoimmune rabbit model. Exp Physiol. 2021 Feb 7. Online ahead of print.

Li H*, Zhang G, Guo Y, Deng J, Fischer H, Craig LB, Kem DC, Yu X. Autoimmune activation of the GnRH receptor induces insulin resistance independent of obesity in a female rat model. Physiol Rep. 2021;8(24): e14672.

Weedin EA, Burks HR, Yu X, Li H, Aston CE, Kem DC, Craig LB. Elevated activity levels of activating autoantibodies to the GnRH receptor in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. F&S Reports. 2020; 1(3): 299-304.

Kem DC, Li H, Yu X, Weedin E, Reynolds AC, Forsythe E, Beel M, Fischer H, Hines B, Guo Y, Deng J, Liles JT, Nuss Z, Elkosseifi M, Aston CE, Burks HR, Craig LB. The Role of GnRH Receptor Autoantibodies in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. J Endocr Soc. 2020; 4(8): bvaa078.

Deng J, Jiang Y, Guo Y, Li H*. Patients taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II type I receptor blockers: higher risks of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection but milder clinical manifestations? Chin Med J (Engl). 2020:133(22):2650-2652.

Deng J, Wang M, Guo Y, Fischer H, Yu X, Kem D, Li H*. Activation of α7nAChR via vagus nerve prevents obesity-induced insulin resistance via suppressing endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced inflammation in Kupffer cells. Med Hypotheses. 2020;140: 109671.

Li H, Zhang G, Zhou L, Nuss Z, Beel M, Hines B, Murphy T, Liles J, Zhang L, Kem DC, Yu X. Adrenergic Autoantibody-Induced Postural Tachycardia Syndrome in Rabbits. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019;8(19): e013006.

Yu X, Li H, Murphy TA, Nuss Z, Liles J, Liles C, Aston CE, Raj SR, Fedorowski A, Kem DC. Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Autoantibodies in Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018; 7(8): e008351.

Fedorowski A, Li H, Yu X, Koelsch KA, Harris VM, Liles C, Murphy TA, Quadri SMS, Scofield RH, Sutton R, Melander O, Kem DC. Antiadrenergic autoimmunity in postural tachycardia syndrome. Europace. 2017;19(7):1211-1219.

Li H, Murphy T, Zhang L, Huang B, Veitla V, Scherlag BJ, Kem DC, Yu X. β1-Adrenergic and M2 Muscarinic Autoantibodies and Thyroid Hormone Facilitate Induction of Atrial Fibrillation in Male Rabbits. Endocrinology. 2016;157(1):16-22.

Li H, Zhang L, Huang B, Veitla V, Scherlag BJ, Cunningham MW, Aston CE, Kem DC, Yu X. A peptidomimetic inhibitor suppresses the inducibility of β1-adrenergic autoantibody-mediated cardiac arrhythmias in the rabbit. J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2015;44(3):205-12.

Liles C, Li H, Veitla V, Liles JT, Murphy TA, Cunningham MW, Yu X, Kem DC. AT2R Autoantibodies Block Angiotensin II and AT1R Autoantibody-Induced Vasoconstriction. Hypertension. 2015;66(4):830-5.

Li H, Kem DC, Zhang L, Huang B, Liles C, Benbrook A, Gali H, Veitla V, Scherlag BJ, Cunningham MW, Yu X. A novel retro-inverso peptide inhibitor reverses angiotensin receptor autoantibody-induced hypertension in the rabbit. Hypertension. 2015;65(4):793-9.

Zhang L, Po SS, Wang H, Scherlag BJ, Li H, Sun J, Lu Y, Ma Y, Hou Y. Autonomic remodeling: How atrial fibrillation begets atrial fibrillation in the first 24 hours. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol.2015;66(3):307-15.

He C, Li H, Viollet B, Zou MH, Xie Z. AMP-activated Protein Kinase Suppresses Vascular Inflammation in vivo by Inhibiting Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription-1. Diabetes.2015; 64(12):4285-97.

Li H, Yu X, Cicala MV, Mantero F, Benbrook A, Veitla V, Cunningham MW, Kem DC. Prevalence of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R)-activating autoantibodies in primary aldosteronism. J Am Soc Hypertens. 2015; 9(1):15-20.

Li YD, Ji YT, Zhou XH, Li H, Zhang HT, Xing Q, Hong YF, Tang BP. TNNT2 Gene Polymorphisms are Associated with Susceptibility to Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Kazak and Han Chinese. Med Sci Monit. 2015;21:3343-7.

Galloway A, Li H, Vanderlinde-Wood M, Khan M, Benbrook A, Liles C, Zillner C, Rao V, Cunningham MW, Yu X, Kem DC. Activating autoantibodies to the β1/2-adrenergic and M2 muscarinic receptors associate with atrial tachyarrhythmias in patients with hyperthyroidism. Endocrine.2015; 49(2):457-63.

Li H, Min Q, Ouyang C, Lee J, He C, Zou MH, Xie Z. AMPK Activation Prevents Excess Nutrient-induced Hepatic Lipid Accumulation by Inhibiting mTORC1 Signaling and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014;1842 (9):1844-54.

Li H, Scherlag BJ, Kem DC, Benbrook A, Zhang L, Huang B, Cunningham MW, Lazzara R, Yu X. Atrial Tachyarrhythmias Induced by the Combined Effects of β1/2-adrenergic Autoantibodies and Thyroid Hormone in the Rabbit. J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2014; 7(6):581-9.

Kem DC, Li H, Velarde-Miranda C, Liles C, Vanderlinde-Wood M, Galloway A, Khan M, Zillner C, Benbrook A, Rao V, Gomez-Sanchez CE, Cunningham MW, Yu X. Autoimmune mechanisms activating the angiotensin AT1 receptor in primary aldosteronism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(5):1790-7.

Li H, Yu X, Liles C, Khan M, Vanderlinde-Wood M, Galloway A, Zillner C, Benbrook A, Reim, S, Collier D, Hill MA, Raj SR, Okamoto LE, Cunningham MW, Aston CE, Kem DC. Autoimmune basis for postural tachycardia syndrome. J Am Heart Assoc. 2014; 3(1): e000755.

Li H, Scherlag BJ, Kem DC, Zillner C, Male S, Thirunavukkarasu S, Shen X, Benbrook A, Pitha JV, Lazzara R, Yu X. The Propensity for Inducing Atrial Fibrillation: A Comparative Study on Old versus Young Rabbits. J Aging Res. 2014;684918.

Li H, Lee J, He C, Zou MH, Xie Z. Suppression of the mTORC1/STAT3/Notch1 pathway by activated AMPK prevents hepatic insulin resistance induced by excess amino acids. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 306(2):E197-209.

Li H, Scherlag BJ, Kem DC, Benbrook A, Shen X, Cunningham MW, Lazzara R, Aston CE, Yu X. Inducible cardiac arrhythmias caused by enhanced β1-adrenergic autoantibody expression in the rabbit. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2014; 306(3):H422-428.

Li H, Zuccolo J, Kem DC, Zillner C, Lee J, Smith K, James JA, Cunningham MW, Yu X. Implications of a vasodilatory human monoclonal autoantibody in postural hypotension. J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(42): 30734 -30741.

Li H, Scherlag BJ, Kem DC, Zillner C, Male S, Thirunavukkarasu S, Shen X, Pitha JV, Cunningham MW, Lazzara R, Yu X. Atrial tachycardia provoked in the presence of activating autoantibodies to β2-adrenergic receptor in the rabbit. Heart Rhythm. 2013; 10(3):436-441.

He C, Zhu H, Zhang W, Okon I, Wang Q, Li H, Le YZ, Xie Z. 7-Ketocholesterol induces autophagy in vascular smooth muscle cells through Nox4 and Atg4B. Am J Pathol. 2013;183(2):626-637.

Li H, Yu X. Emerging role of JNK in insulin resistance. Curr Diabetes Rev.2013;9(5):422-428.

He C, Zhu H, Li H, Zou MH, Xie Z. Dissociation of Bcl-2-Beclin1 complex by activated AMPK enhances cardiac autophagy and protects against cardiomyocyte apoptosis in diabetes. Diabetes. 2013; 62(4):1270 -1281.

Yu X, Stavrakis S, Hill MA, Huang S, Reim, S, Li H, Khan M, Hamlett SR, Cunningham MW, Kem DC. Autoantibody activation of beta-adrenergic and muscarinic receptors contributes to an "autoimmune" orthostatic hypotension. J Am Soc Hypertens. 2012;6(1):40-47.

Li H, Kem DC, Reim S, Khan M, Vanderlinde-Wood M, Zillner C, Collier D, Liles C, Hill MA, Cunningham MW, Aston CE, Yu X. Agonistic autoantibodies as vasodilators in orthostatic hypotension: a new mechanism. Hypertension. 2012; 59(2):402-408.

Li H, Xu M, Lee J, He C, Xie Z. Leucine supplementation increases SIRT1 expression and prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic disorders in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 303(10):E1234-44.

Shen X, Li H (Co-first author), Pan L, Hong J, Xiao J, Hermansen K, Jeppesen PB, Li GW. Glucotoxicity and α cell dysfunction: involvement of the PI3K/Akt pathway in glucose-induced insulin resistance in rat islets and clonal αTC1-6 cells. Endocr Res. 2012; 37(1):12-24.

Xie Z, Lau K, Eby B, Lozano P, He C, Pennington B, Li H, Rathi S, Dong Y, Tian R, Kem D, and Zou M-H. Improvement of cardiac functions by chronic metformin treatment is associated with enhanced cardiac autophagy in diabetic OVE26 mice. Diabetes. 2011; 60(6):1770-1778.

Zou MH, Li H, He C, Lin M, Lyons TJ, Xie Z. Tyrosine nitration of prostacyclin synthase is associated with enhanced retinal cell apoptosis in diabetes. Am J Pathol. 2011; 179(6): 2835-2844.

Gregg EW, Wang J, An Y, Zhang P, Yang W, Li H, Li H, Jiang Y, Shuai Y, Zhang B, ZhangJ, Gerzoff   RB, Roglic   G, Hu   Y, Li  G, Bennett   PH.   Long-term effects of   a randomised trial of   a   6 year lifestyle intervention in impaired glucose tolerance on diabetes related microvascular complications: the China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Outcome Study. Diabetologia. 2011; 54(2):300-7.

Li H, Li H, Bao YG, Zhang XX, Yu YR. Free fatty acids induce endothelial dysfunction and activate protein kinase C and nuclear factor-κB pathway in rat aorta. Int J Cardiol. 2011; 152(2):218-224.

Yang W, Lu J, Weng J, Jia W, Ji L, Xiao J, Shan Z, Liu J, Tian H, Ji Q, Zhu D, Ge J, Lin L, Chen L, Guo X, Zhao Z, Li Q, Zhou Z, Shan G, He J. Prevalence of diabetes among men and women in China. N Engl J Med. 2010; 362(12):1090-101. Collaborators(142): Xiao J, Yang Z, He J, ChenCS, Xiang K, Chen J, Pan C, Fu Z, Yang W, Xiao J, Yang Z, Ruan D, Li Y, Bu S, Li H, et al.

Su JY, Li H (Co-first author), Yang WY, Xiao JZ, Du RQ, Shen XX, Cai Z, Zhang L, Shu J. Role and mechanism of uncoupling protein 2 on the fatty acid-induced dysfunction of pancreatic alpha cells in vitro. Chin Med J (Engl). 2010; 2416-23.

Wang H, Li H (Corresponding author), Hou Z, Pan L, Shen and Li G. Role of oxidative stress in elevated blood pressure induced by high free fatty acids. Hypertens Res. 2009;32(2):152-158.

Hou Z, Li H (Co-first author), Gao L, Pan L, Zhao JJ, Li GW. Involvement of chronic stresses in rat islet and INS-1 cell glucotoxicity induced by intermittent high glucose. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2008; 291(1-2):71-78.

Li G, Zhang P, Wang J, Gregg E, Yang W, Gong Q, Li H, Li H, Jiang Y, An Y, Shuai Y, Zhang B, Zhang J, Thompson T, Gerzoff B, Gojka R, Hu Y, and Bennett PH. The long term effect of lifestyle interventions to prevent diabetes in the China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study: a 20-year follow-up study. Lancet. 2008; 371(9626):1783-1789.