Huxing Cui, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology

Contact Information

Primary Office
2-372 BSB
Iowa City, IA 52242

2-300 BSB
Iowa City, IA 52242


BA, Medicine, Yanbian University College of Medicine
PhD, Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Kobe
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute

Research Summary

In order to maintain energy homeostasis, the central nervous system must sense and gather information from periphery on energy status and coordinate appropriate responses, ranging from mood and behavior to activity of the autonomic nervous system, to keep balanced energy intake and expenditure. Any disruption in these physiological processes can lead to serious health problems including disordered eating behaviors, obesity and associated chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. The goal of my research is to better map the complicated network of neural circuits and uncover signaling mechanisms that control metabolic homeostasis and cardiovascular function. To tease apart the complex neural networks and neuronal signaling that control these distinct physiological processes, we employee the state-of-the-art techniques, including in vivo Cre/loxP, optogenetics and chemogenetics, combined with behavioral neuroscience, neuroanatomy, systemic physiology, molecular biology, biochemical assay and electrophysiology.


Bell, B. B., Harlan, S. M., Morgan, D. A., Guo, D. F., Cui, H. & Rahmouni, K. (2018). Corrigendum to "Differential contribution of POMC and AgRP neurons to the regulation of regional autonomic nerve activity by leptin" [Molecular Metabolism 8 (2018) 1-12]. Molecular metabolism, 14, 158. PMID: 29886180.

Saito, K., Cui, H. (2018). Emerging Roles of Estrogen-Related Receptors in the Brain: Potential Interactions with Estrogen Signaling. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(4). PMID: 29621182.

Morselli, L. L., Claflin, K. E., Cui, H. & Grobe, J. L. (2018). Control of Energy Expenditure by AgRP Neurons of the Arcuate Nucleus: Neurocircuitry, Signaling Pathways, and Angiotensin. Current hypertension reports, 20(3), 25. PMID: 29556733.

Jiang, J., Cui, H. & Rahmouni, K. (2017). Optogenetics and pharmacogenetics: principles and applications. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 313(6), R633-R645. PMID: 28794102.

Lutter, M., Bahl, E., Hannah, C., Hofammann, D., Acevedo, S., Cui, H., McAdams, C. J. & Michaelson, J. J. (2017). Novel and ultra-rare damaging variants in neuropeptide signaling are associated with disordered eating behaviors. PloS one, 12(8), e0181556. PMID: 28846695.

Lutter, M., Khan, M. Z., Saito, K., Davis, K. C., Kidder, I. J., McDonald, L., Darbro, B. W., Pieper, A. A. & Cui, H. (2017). The Eating-Disorder Associated HDAC4A778T Mutation Alters Feeding Behaviors in Female Mice. Biological Psychiatry, 81(9), 770-777. PMID: 27884425.

Cui, H., Lopez, M. & Rahmouni, K. (2017). The cellular and molecular bases of leptin and ghrelin resistance in obesity. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 13(6), 338-351. PMID: 28232667.

Liu, Y., Huang, Y., Liu, T., Wu, H., Cui, H. & Gautron, L. (2016). Lipopolysacharide rapidly and completely suppresses AgRP neuron-mediated food intake in male mice. Endocrinology, 157(6), 2380-92. PMID: 27111742.

Lutter, M., Croghan, A. E. & Cui, H. (2016). Escaping the Golden Cage: Animal Models of Eating Disorders in the Post-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Era. Biological Psychiatry, 79(1), 17-24. PMID: 25777657.

Guo, D. F., Cui, H., Zhang, Q., Morgan, D. A., Thedens, D. R., Nishimura, D., Grobe, J. L., Sheffield, V. C. & Rahmouni, K. (2016). The BBSome Controls Energy Homeostasis by Mediating the Transport of the Leptin Receptor to the Plasma Membrane. PLoS Genet, 12(2), e1005890. PMID: 26926121.

De Jesús-Cortés, H., Lu, Y., Anderson, R. M., Khan, M. Z., Nath, V., McDaniel, L., Lutter, M., Radley, J. J., Pieper, A. A. & Cui, H. (2016). Loss of estrogen-related receptor alpha disrupts ventral-striatal synaptic function in female mice, 329, 66-73. PMID: 27155145.

Cui, H., Lu, Y., Khan, M. Z., Anderson, R. M., McDaniel, L., Wilson, H. E., Yin, T. C., Radley, J. J., Pieper, A. A. & Lutter, M. (2015). Behavioral disturbances in estrogen-related receptor alpha-null mice. Cell Rep, 11(3), 344-350. PMID: 25865889.

Morgan, D. A., McDaniel, L. N., Yin, T., Khan, M., Jiang, J., Acevedo, M. R., Walsh, S. A., Ponto, L. L., Norris, A. W., Lutter, M., Rahmouni, K. & Cui, H. (2015). Regulation of glucose tolerance and sympathetic activity by MC4R signaling in the lateral hypothalamus. Diabetes, 64(6), 1976-87. PMID: 25605803.

Yin, T. C., Britt, J. K., De Jesus-Cortes, H., Lu, Y., Genova, R. M., Khan, M. Z., Voorhees, J. R., Shao, J., Katzman, A. C., Huntington, P. J., Wassink, C., McDaniel, L., Newell, E. A., Dutca, L. M., Naidoo, J., Cui, H., Bassuk, A. G., Harper, M. M., McKnight, S. L., Ready, J. M. & Pieper, A. A. (2014). P7C3 neuroprotective chemicals block axonal degeneration and preserve function after traumatic brain injury. Cell Rep, 8(6), 1731-40. PMID: 25220467.

Cui, H., Moore, J., Ashimi, S. S., Mason, B. L., Drawbridge, J. N., Han, S., Hing, B., Matthews, A., McAdams, C. J., Darbro, B. W., Pieper, A. A., Waller, D. A., Xing, C. & Lutter, M. (2013). Eating disorder predisposition is associated with ESRRA and HDAC4 mutations. J Clin Invest, 123(11), 4706-13. PMID: 24216484.

Cui, H., Lutter, M. (2013). The expression of MC4Rs in D1R neurons regulates food intake and locomotor sensitization to cocaine. Genes Brain Behav, 12(6), 658-65. PMID: 23786641.

Cui, H., Mason, B. L., Lee, C., Nishi, A., Elmquist, J. K. & Lutter, M. (2012). Melanocortin 4 receptor signaling in dopamine 1 receptor neurons is required for procedural memory learning. Physiol Behav, 106(2), 201-10. PMID: 22342812.

Cui, H., Sohn, J. W., Gautron, L., Funahashi, H., Williams, K. W., Elmquist, J. K. & Lutter, M. (2012). Neuroanatomy of melanocortin-4 receptor pathway in the lateral hypothalamic area. J Comp Neurol, 520(18), 4168-83. PMID: 22605619.

Vialou, V., Cui, H., Perello, M., Mahqoub, M., Yu, H. G., Rush, A. J., Pranav, H., Jung, S., Yangisawa, M., Zigman, J. M., Elmquist, J. K., Nestler, E. J. & Lutter, M. (2011). A role for ?FosB in calorie restriction-induced metabolic changes. Biol Psychiatry, 70(2), 204-7. PMID: 21215388.

Cui, H., Supriyanto, I., Sasada, T., Shiroiwa, K., Fukutake, M., Shirakawa, O., Asano, M., Ueno, Y., Nagasaki, Y. & Hishimoto, A. (2011). Association study of EP1 gene polymorphisms with suicide completers in the Japanese population. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 35(4), 1108-11. PMID: 21447366.

Chuang, J. C., Krishnan, V., yu, H. G., Mason, B., Cui, H., Wilkinson, M. B., Zigman, J. M., Elmquist, J. K., Nessler, E. J. & Lutter, M. (2010). A beta3-adrenergic-leptin-melanocortin circuit regulates behavioral and metabolic changes induced by chronic stress. Biol Psychiatry, 67(11), 1075-82. PMID: 20060958.

Cui, H., Supriyanto, J., Asano, M., Ueno, Y., Nagasaki, Y., Nishiguchi, N., Shirakawa, O. & Hishimoto, A. (2010). A common polymorphism in the 3'-UTR of the NOS1 gene was associated with completed suicides in Japanese male population. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 34(6), 992-6. PMID: 20470850.

Cui, H., Nishiguchi, N., Yanagi, M., Fukutake, M., Mouri, K., Kitamura, N., Hashimoto, T., Shirakawa, O. & Hishimoto, A. (2010). A putative cis-acting polymorphism in the NOS1 gene is associated with schizophrenia and NOS1 immunoreactivity in the postmortem brain. Schizophr Res, 121(1-3), 172-8. PMID: 20605417.

Drerup, J. M., Hayashi, K., Cui, H., Mettlach, G. L., Long, M. A., Marvin, M., Sun, X., Goldberg, M. S., Lutter, M. & Bibb, J. A. (2010). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity phenotype in mice lacking the cyclin-dependent kinase 5 cofactor p35. Biol Psychiatry, 68(12), 1163-71. PMID: 20832057.

Chuang, J. C., Cui, H., Mason, B. L., Mahgoub, M., Bookout, A. L., Yu, H. G., Perello, M., Elmquist, J. K., Repa, J. J. & Zigman, J. M. (2010). Chronic social defeat stress disrupts regulation of lipid synthesis. J Lipid Res, 51(6), 1344-53. PMID: 20129912.

Hishimoto, A., Cui, H., Mouri, K., Nushida, H., Ueno, Y., Maeda, K. & Shirakawa, O. (2008). A functional polymorphism of the micro-opioid receptor gene is associated with completed suicides. J Neural Transm (Vienna), 115(3), 531-6. PMID: 18250953.

Cui, H., Nishiguchi, N., Yanagi, M., Fukutake, M., Nushida, H., Ueno, Y., Kitamura, N., Maeda, K. & Shirakawa, O. (2008). Association of RGS2 gene polymorphisms with suicide and increased RGS2 immunoreactivity in the postmortem brain of suicide victims. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(7), 1537-44. PMID: 17728697.

Nishiguchi, N., Shirakawa, O., Sakurai, K., Hattori, H., Yamamoto, K., Cui, H., Aoki, S., Nushida, H., Ueno, Y. & Maeda, K. (2005). Genetic association study of the genes involved in mood stabilizers action with suicide. Annual Report of Pharmacopsychiatry Research, 37(75-79).

Yanagi, M., Hashimoto, T., Kitamura, N., Fukutake, M., Cui, H., Nishiguchi, N., Shirakawa, O. & Maeda, K. (2005). Investigation of New Candidate Genes for Schizophrenia. Annual Report of Pharmacopsychiatry Research, 38, 105-108.