Faculty Contact Info

OFFICE:  909 S Wolcott

              4113 COMRB

PH #:  (312) 996-5552

EMAIL:  jalees@uic.edu

LAB PAGE​​​​​​​

Jalees Rehman, MD


Research Interests

Regenerative stem cells and progenitor cells in the cardiovascular system may lead to exciting novel therapies directed at treating cardiovascular diseases, such as congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy and severe coronary artery disease. While some preliminary studies using novel cell-based therapies in patients have been promising, these therapies are not yet ready for a routine usage in patients. One key obstacle to the clinical use of stem cells and progenitor cells in cardiovascular disease is the fact that we know so little about the actual biology of stem and progenitor cells in the cardiovascular system. Understanding the mechanisms by which stem and progenitor cells help repair and regenerate the cardiovascular system would allow us to develop very efficient and safe therapies that our research laboratory is therefore studying three core areas of stem and progenitor cell biology. The discovery of circulating endothelial progenitor cells has suggested that the endothelium may undergo endogenous repair following injury by such circulating EPCs. Our research has helped define and characterize the nature of EPCs by demonstrating that that at least two distinct types of EPCs can be found in the blood: Highly proliferative EPCs that are resistant to cellular senescence because of low expression levels of the senescence mediator p16INK4A and minimally proliferative macrophage-like EPCs that exert their protective effects by secreting angiogenic growth factors or lipid mediators such as endocannabinoids. We are currently exploring the question, whether the adult vasculature contains a heterogeneous population of vascular endothelial cells, some of which may be immature EPCs and repair the vessel wall in response to stress or injury. Mitochondria have been traditionally seen as a major powerhouse that generates ATP, however recent studies show that mitochondria are critical regulators of cell death and cell proliferation, in part via the release of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which can act as signaling molecules. Our most recent data suggest that mitochondrial activity also regulates the differentiation of both embryonic and adult stem cells, and we are currently identifying the specific pathways by which mitochondria exert this regulator effect.​​​​​​​

Selected Publications

Marsboom G, Zhang GF, Pohl-Avila N, Zhang Y, Yuan Y, Kang H, Hao B, Brunengraber H, Malik AB, Rehman J. Glutamine Metabolism Regulates the Pluripotency Transcription Factor OCT4. Cell Rep. 2016 Jul 12;16(2):323-32

Gong H, Rehman J, Tang H, Wary KK, Mittal M, Chaturvedi P, Zhao YY, Komarova YA, Vogel SM, Malik AB. HIF2alpha signaling inhibits adherens junctional disruption in acute lung injury. J Clin Invest. 125(2):652-64, 2015.

Toya SP, Wary KK, Mittal M, Li F, Toth PT, Park C, Rehman J, Malik AB. Integrin alpha6beta1 Expressed in ESCs Instructs the Differentiation to Endothelial Cells. Stem Cells. 33(6):1719-29, 2015.

Rexius-Hall ML, Mauleon G, Malik AB, Rehman J, Eddington DT. Microfluidic platform generates oxygen landscapes for localized hypoxic activation. Lab Chip. 14(24):4688-95, 2014.

Zhang Y, Marsboom G, Toth PT, Rehman J. Mitochondrial respiration regulates adipogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. PLoS One. 8(10):e77077, 2013.

Paul JD, Coulombe KL, Toth PT, Zhang Y, Marsboom G, Bindokas VP, Smith DW, Murry CE, Rehman J. SLIT3-ROBO4 activation promotes vascular network formation in human engineered tissue and angiogenesis in vivo. J Mol Cell Cardiol.64:124-31, 2013.

Rehman J. Bone marrow tinctures for cardiovascular disease: lost in translation. Circulation. 127:1935-7, 2013.

Marsboom G, Toth PT, Ryan JJ, Hong Z, Wu X, Fang YH, Thenappan T, Piao L, Zhang HJ, Pogoriler J, Chen Y, Morrow E, Weir EK, Rehman J, Archer SL. Dynamin-related protein 1-mediated mitochondrial mitotic fission permits hyperproliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and offers a novel therapeutic target in pulmonary hypertension. Circ Res. 110:1484-97, 2012.

Rehman J, Zhang HJ, Toth PT, Zhang Y, Marsboom G, Hong Z, Salgia R, Husain AN, Wietholt C, Archer SL. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission prevents cell cycle progression in lung cancer. FASEB J. 26:2175-86, 2012.

Ryan JJ, Rehman J, Archer SL. Paracrine proliferative signaling by senescent cells in world health organization group 3 pulmonary hypertension: age corrupting youth? Circ Res. 109:476-9, 2011.

Thenappan T, Goel A, Marsboom G, Fang YH, Toth PT, Zhang HJ, Kajimoto H, Hong Z, Paul J, Wietholt C, Pogoriler J, Piao L, Rehman J, Archer SL. A central role for CD68(+) macrophages in hepatopulmonary syndrome. Reversal by macrophage depletion. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 183:1080-91, 2011.

Rehman J. Empowering self-renewal and differentiation: the role of mitochondria in stem cells. J Mol Med (Berl). 88:981-6, 2010. Review.

Archer SL, Marsboom G, Kim GH, Zhang HJ, Toth PT, Svensson EC, Dyck JR, Gomberg-Maitland M, Thébaud B, Husain AN, Cipriani N, Rehman J. Epigenetic attenuation of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase 2 in pulmonary arterial hypertension: a basis for excessive cell proliferation and a new therapeutic target. Circulation. 121:2661-71, 2010.

Rehman J. Feeling the elephant of cardiovascular cell therapy. Circulation. 121:197-9, 2010.