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Ning Xia

Vascular Ageing

Vascular ageing contributes to the age-dependent rise of hypertension and atherosclerotic diseases. Increased arterial stiffness and impaired vascular function are the two most clinically important events that occur with vascular ageing. Arterial stiffening and vascular function vary widely even among healthy middle-aged and older adults. This observation suggests that one, or most likely several, factors influence these vascular characteristics with adult ageing.

Our research is focused on molecular mechanisms of vascular dysfunction and vascular remodelling. Our group is particularly interested in the role of adipocyte eNOS (endothelial NO synthase), sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and B lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of vascular ageing. Preventing vascular ageing may represent a key therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular disease. Our research aims to improve the understanding of the pathogenesis of vascular ageing and to identify potential therapeutic targets in reversing age-dependent arterial remodelling.

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2007: Research Scientist, Group leader, Dept. of Pharmacology, Medical Centre, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  • 2004 - 2007: Postdoc, Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology, Medical Centre, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main
  • 2001 - 2004: Postdoc, Institute of Atherosclerosis, Dept. of Internal Medicine-2, Medical Centre, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg
  • 1998 - 2000: Research Assistant, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical Centre, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  • 1994 - 1998: Assistant Physician, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Wuhan, China
  • 1991 - 1994: Assistant Physician, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical Centre, Hubei TCM University, Wuhan, China


  • 2001: MD, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical Centre, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  • 1991: Human Medicine, Tongji Medical College, Wuhan, China

Selected publications by Ning Xia

Karl M, Hasselwander S, Zhou Y, Reifenberg G, Kim YO, Park KS, Ridder DA, Wang X, Seidel E, Hövelmeyer N, Straub BK, Li H, Schuppan D and Xia N (2022) Dual roles of B lymphocytes in mouse models of diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Hepatology, 76:1135-1149 Link

Xia N, Reifenberg G, Schirra C and Li H (2022) The involvement of sirtuin 1 dysfunction in high-fat diet-induced vascular dysfunction in mice. Antioxidants (Basel), 11:541 Link

Förstermann U, Xia N and Li H (2017) Roles of vascular oxidative stress and nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Circ Res, 120:713–735 Link

Xia N, Weisenburger S, Koch E, Burkart M, Reifenberg G, Förstermann U and Li H (2017) Restoration of perivascular adipose tissue function in diet-induced obese mice without changing bodyweight. Br J Pharmacol, 174:3443–3453 Link

Xia N, Horke S, Habermeier A, Closs EI, Reifenberg G, Gericke A, Mikhed Y, Münzel T, Daiber A, Förstermann U and Li H (2016) Uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in perivascular adipose tissue of diet-induced obese mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 36:78–85 Link