McMaster University

McMaster University

Shucui Jiang

Shucui Jiang

Shucui Jiang, B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D. Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Neuroscience Research
Department of Surgery (Neurobiology)

My research focuses on determining how one can protect the central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord – against acute and chronic insults such as trauma, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases – i.e. neuroprotection – and how neural function can be restored after injury or disease – i.e. neurorestoration. Specifically I am investigating the neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects of pharmacological agents such as non-adenine-based purines and novel Chinese herbal formulas, as well as the strengths and limitations of cell transplantation strategies to restore neural function. 

My team is investigating the biological effects of these strategies, and the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie them. These studies employ a variety of modern techniques in cellular and molecular biology in vitro and in vivo including immunohistocytochemistry, fluorescence staining and in situ-hybridization, laser-scanning confocal microscopy and electron microscopy, advanced cell imaging, retrograde and anterograde tracing techniques, Western blot, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. Our research also involves neuromicrosurgery, electrophysiology and behavioural tests, particularly on rodents such as rats and mice.

Some of these studies are done in collaboration with members from the Hamilton NeuroRestorative Group (NRG). I also collaborate with other colleagues at McMaster University and a number of Canadian and international colleagues.

We are currently recruiting graduate students who are interested in a career in neuroscience research.


Neurobiology, neuroprotection and neuroregeneration, purinergic signaling, guanosine, Chinese herbal formula, stroke, spinal cord injury, intrinsic (endogenous) adult progenitor/stem cells

Selected Publications

  • Wang P, Su C, Li R, Wang H, Ren Y, Sun H, Yang J, Sun J, Shi J, Tian J, Jiang S. Effects and mechanisms of curcumin on spatial learning and memory improvement in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. Journal of Neuroscience Research (in press)
  • Su C, Wang P, Jiang C, Ballerini P, Caciagli F, Rathbone MP, Jiang S. Guanosine promotes proliferation of neural stem cells through cAMP-CREB pathway. Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents (in press)
  • Su C, Zhang D, Truong J, Jiang C, Lee S, Jarouche M, Hennell JR, Rathbone MP, Sucher NJ, Jiang S. Effects of a novel herbal formulation JSK on acute spinal cord injury in rats. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience 2013; 31(5):597-617.
  • Connell BJ, Di Iorio P, Sayeed I, Ballerini P, Saleh MC, Giuliani P, Saleh TM, Rathbone MP, Su C, Jiang S. Guanosine protects against reperfusion injury in rat brains after ischemic stroke. Journal of Neuroscience Research 2013 Feb; 91(2):262-72.
  • Hansebout CR, Su C, Reddy K, Zhang D, Jiang C, Rathbone MP, Jiang S. Enteric glia mediate neuronal outgrowth through release of neurotrophic factors. Neural Regeneration Research 2012 Oct; 7(28):2165-75.
  • Giuliani P, Ballerini P, Ciccarelli R, Buccella S, Romano S, D'Alimonte I, Poli A, Beraudi A, Pena E, Jiang S, Rathbone MP, Caciagli F, Di Iorio P. Tissue distribution and metabolism of guanosine in rats following intraperitoneal injection. Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents 2012 Jan-Mar;26(1):51-65.
  • Rathbone MP, Saleh TM, Connell BJ, Chang R, Su C, Worley B, Kim M, Jiang S. Systemic administration of guanosine promotes functional and histological improvement following an ischemic stroke in rats. Brain Research 2011 Aug; 1407:79-89.
  • Pilutti LA, Lelli DA, Paulseth JE, Crome M, Jiang S, Rathbone MP, Hicks AL. Effects of 12 weeks of supported treadmill training on funcitonal ability and quality of life in progressive multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2011 Jan; 92(1):31-6.
  • Wang P, Jiang S, Cui Y, Yue Z, Su C, Sun J, Sheng S, Tian J. The n-terminal 5-MER peptide analogue P165 of amyloid precursor protein exerts protective effects on SH-SY5Y cells and rat hippocampus neuronal synapses. Neuroscience 2011 Jan; 173:169-78.
  • Bridle BW, Li J, Jiang S, Chang R, Lichty BD, Bramson JL and Wan Y. Immunotherapy can reject intracranial tumor cells without damaging the brain despite sharing the target antigen.  Journal of Immunology 2010 Apr; 184(8):4269-75.
  • Su C, Picard P, Rathbone MP and Jiang S. Guanosine-induced decrease in side population of lung cancer cells: lack of correlation with ABCG2 expression. Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents 2010 Jan-Mar; 24(1):19-25.
  • Jiang S, Khan IM, Bain JR, Hansebout CR,Yu ZS, and Rathbone MP. Enteric glia transplanted into injured spinal cords of rats enhance functional and histological recovery. Neural Regeneration Research 2009 Sep; 4(9):710-6.
  • Su CX, Elfeki N, Ballerini P, D’Alimonte I, Ciccarelli R, Caciagli F, Gabriele J, Jiang S. Guanosine improves motor behavior, reduces apoptosis and stimulates neurogenesis in rats with parkinsonism. Journal of Neuroscience Research 2009 Feb; 87(3):617–25.
  • Pilutti LA, Paulseth JE, Lelli DA, Jiang S, Rathbone MP, Hicks AL. The effects of treadmill training on functional ability, quality of life and fatigue in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis 2009; 15:1396-1410.
  • D’Alimonte I, D’Auro M, Citraro R, Biagioni F, Jiang S, Nargi E, Buccella S, Di Iorio P, Giuliani P, Ballerini P, Caciagli F, Russo E, De Sarro G, and Ciccarelli R. Altered distribution and function of A2A adenosine receptors in the brain of genetically absence epileptic WAG/RIJ rats before and after appearance of disease. European Journal of Neuroscience 2009 Sep; 30:1023-35.
  • Jiang S, Caciagli F and Di Iorio P. Metabolism and distribution of guanosine given intraperitoneally: implications for spinal cord injury. Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids 2008 Jun; 27:673-81.
  • Rathbone MP, Pilutti L, Caciagli F, Jiang S. Neurotrophic effects of extracellular guanosine (Review). Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids 2008 June; 27(6):666-72.
  • Tang V, Rathbone M, Park Dorsay J, Jiang S, Harvey D. Rehabilitation in primary and metastatic brain turmous: impact of functional outcomes on survival. Journal of Neurology 2008 Jun; 255(6):820-7.
  • Jiang S, Ballerini P, Buccella S, Giuliani P, Jiang C, Huang X, Rathbone MP. Remyelination after chronic spinal cord injury is associated with proliferation of endogenous adult progenitor cells after systemic administration of guanosine. Purinergic Signalling 2008 Mar; 4(1):61-71.
  • Chang R, Algird A, Bau C, Rathbone MP, and Jiang S. Neuroprotective effects of guanosine on stroke models in vitro and in vivo. Neuroscience Letters 2008 Jan; 431(2):101-5.
  • Tang V, Harvey D, Dorsay PJ, Jiang S, Rathbone MP. Prognostic indicators in metastatic spinal cord compression: using functional independence measure and Tokuhashi scale to optimize rehabilitation planning. Spinal Cord 2007 Oct; 45(10):671-7.
  • Pettifer KM, Jiang S, Bau C, Ballerini P, D'Alimonte I, Werstiuk ES, Rathbone MP. MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity in neuroblastoma cells: Antagonism and reversal by guanosine. Purinergic Signalling 2007 Sep; 3(4):399-409.
  • Jiang S, Bendjelloul F, Ballerini P, D’Alimonte I, Nargi E, Jiang C, Rathbone MP. Guanosine reduces apoptosis and inflammation associated with restoration of function in rats with acute spinal cord injury. Purinergic Signalling 2007 Sep; 3(4):411-421.
  • D'Alimonte I, Ciccarelli R, Di Iorio P, Nargi E, Buccella S, Giuliani P, Rathbone MP, Jiang S and Caciagli F, Ballerini P. Activation of P2X(7) receptors stimulates the expression of P2Y(2) receptor mRNA in astrocytes cultured from rat brain. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 2007 Apr; 20(2):301-16.
  • D’Alimonte I, Flati V, D’Auro M, Toniato E, Martinotti S, Rathbone MP, Jiang S, Ballerini P, Di Iorio P, Caciagli F, Ciccarelli R. Guanosine inhibits CD40 receptor expression and function induced by cytokines and beta amyloid in mouse microglia cells. Journal of Immunology 2007 Jan; 178(8):720-31.
  • Jiang S, Zavitz CC, Wang J, Saraf A, Zielinski R, Ramsbottom JD, Ballerini P, D'Alimonte I, Romano S, Fischione G, Traversa U, Werstiuk ES, Rathbone MP. Non-adenine based purines accelerate wound healing. Purinergic Signalling 2006 Nov; 2(4):651-61.
  • Ballerini P, Di Iorio P, Caciagli F, Rathbone MP, Jiang S, Nargi E, Buccella S, Giuliani P, D'Alimonte I, Fischione G, Masciulli A, Romano S, Cicarelli R. P2Y2 receptor up-regulation induced by guanosine or UTP in rat brain cultured astrocytes. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 2006 Apr-Jun;19(2):293-308.
  • Ballerini P, Ciccarelli R, Caciagli F, Rathbone MP, Werstiuk ES, Traversa U, Buccella S, Giuliani P, Jiang S, Nargi E, Visini D, Santavenere C, Di Iorio P. P2X7 receptor activation in rat brain cultured astrocytes increases the biosynthetic release of cysteinyl leukotrienes. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 2005; 18(3):417-430.
  • Bau C, Middlemiss PJ, Hindley S, Jiang S, Ciccarelli R, Caciagli F, DiIorio P, Werstiuk ES, Rathbone MP. Guanosine stimulates neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells via activation of heme oxygenase and cyclic GMP. Purinergic Signalling 2005 Jun; 1(2):161-72.
  • Jiang S, Khan MI, Lu Y, Werstiuk Es, Rathbone MP. Acceleration of blood-brain barrier formation after transplantation of enteric glia into spinal cords of rats. Experimental Brain Research 2005 Mar; 162(1):56-62.
  • Jiang S, Khan MI, Middlemiss PJ, Lu Y, Werstiuk ES, Crocker CE, Ciccarelli R, Caciagli F, Rathbone MP. AIT-082 and methylprednisolone singly, but not in combination, enhance functional and histological improvement after actue spinal cord injury in rats. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology 2004 Sep-Dec; 17(3):353-66.
  • Jiang S, Khan MI, Lu Y, Wang J, Buttigieg J, Werstiuk ES, Ciccarelli R, Caciagli F, Rathbone MP. Guanosine promotes myelination and functional recovery in chronic spinal injury. Neuroreport 2003 Dec; 14(18):2463-7.
  • Jiang S, Khan MI, Wang J, Middlemiss PJ, Werstiuk ES, Wickson R, Rathbone MP. Enteric glia promote functional recovery of CTM reflex after dorsal root transection. Neuroreport 2003 Jul; 14(10):1301-4.
  • Jiang S, Wang J, Khan MI, Middlemiss PJ, Salgado-Ceballos H, Werstiuk ES, Wickson R, Rathbone MP. Enteric glia promote regeneration of transected dorsal root axons into spinal cord of adult rats. Experimental Neurology 2003; 181(1):79-83.


  • Jiang S, Su CX and Ballok DA. Astrocytes and astrocyte-derived factors in the blood-brain barrier in health and diseases (review). Tomas R. Helio (ed.) “The Blood-Brain Barrier”. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 153-167, 2008.
  • Rathbone MP, Seif G and Jiang S. Organization of the Nervous System and How It Works. The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Anatomy and Impairment (Chapter 13): The Central Nervous System, Amputations, the Senses and Burns, p4-1-20, 2009
  • Belbeck LW, Jiang S and Nutiu N. Innovative assessment and learning in a problem based environment. S. Frankland (ed.), Enhancing Teaching And Learning Through Assessment: Deriving an Appropriate Mode, pp. 228-241, 2007.
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