My research focuses on three main areas:

1) Hormonal regulation of renal physiological and pathophysiologic functions. Specifically, we have investigated the regulation of renal cortical and medullary cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression by different hormones including elements of the renin-angiotensin system, dopaminergic system, adrenal corticosteroids, vasopressin, and others. We have also investigated the regulation of renal COX-2 by type II 11ß hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11ßHSD2) elevation of intracellular glucocorticoids. We are now intensively investigating the interaction between the intrarenal dopaminergic system and the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system using genetically manipulated mice with either elevated or reduced intrarenal dopaminergic activity.

2) 11ßHSD2 and colorectal tumorigenesis. COX-2 expression increases in colorectal tumors. Inhibition of COX-2 activity suppresses colorectal tumorigenesis. Both COX-2 and 11ßHSD2 expression are elevated in colorectal adenomas. Glucocorticoids are potent endogenous 11ßHSD2 inhibitors. Inhibition of 11ßHSD2 activity elevates levels of intracellular glucocorticoids in tumor cells, leading to inhibition of both COX-2 and tumorigenesis.

3) Immunohistochemistry in the kidney, application of image analysis and tissue microarray (TMA) in kidney research.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Smad6 suppresses the growth and self-renewal of hepatic progenitor cells. Ding ZY, Liang HF, Jin GN, Chen WX, Wang W, Datta PK, Zhang MZ, Zhang B, Chen XP (2014) J Cell Physiol 229(5): 651-60
    › Primary publication · 24446200 (PubMed)
  2. Role of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) in mediation of dopamine's effects in the kidney. Zhang MZ, Wang Y, Yao B, Gewin L, Wei S, Capdevila JH, Harris RC (2013) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 305(12): F1680-6
    › Primary publication · 24154693 (PubMed) · PMC3882452 (PubMed Central)
  3. 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type II is a Potential Target for Prevention of Colorectal Tumorigenesis. Yang S, Jiang L, Zhang MZ (2013) J Oncobiomarkers 1(1)
    › Primary publication · 23936870 (PubMed) · PMC3736594 (PubMed Central)
  4. Epithelial-specific deletion of 11β-HSD2 hinders Apcmin/+ mouse tumorigenesis. Jiang L, Yang S, Yin H, Fan X, Wang S, Yao B, Pozzi A, Chen X, Harris RC, Zhang MZ (2013) Mol Cancer Res 11(9): 1040-50
    › Primary publication · 23741059 (PubMed) · PMC3778073 (PubMed Central)
  5. Cyclooxygenase metabolites in the kidney. Harris RC, Zhang MZ (2011) Compr Physiol 1(4): 1729-58
    › Primary publication · 23733687 (PubMed)
  6. Transforming growth factor β induces expression of connective tissue growth factor in hepatic progenitor cells through Smad independent signaling. Ding ZY, Jin GN, Liang HF, Wang W, Chen WX, Datta PK, Zhang MZ, Zhang B, Chen XP (2013) Cell Signal 25(10): 1981-92
    › Primary publication · 23727026 (PubMed)
  7. CSF-1 signaling mediates recovery from acute kidney injury. Zhang MZ, Yao B, Yang S, Jiang L, Wang S, Fan X, Yin H, Wong K, Miyazawa T, Chen J, Chang I, Singh A, Harris RC (2012) J Clin Invest 122(12): 4519-32
    › Primary publication · 23143303 (PubMed) · PMC3533529 (PubMed Central)
  8. Association of high blood pressure with renal insufficiency: role of albuminuria, from NHANES, 1999-2006. Yan P, Zhu X, Li H, Shrubsole MJ, Shi H, Zhang MZ, Harris RC, Hao CM, Dai Q (2012) PLoS One 7(7): e37837
    › Primary publication · 22802927 (PubMed) · PMC3388992 (PubMed Central)
  9. Intrarenal dopamine inhibits progression of diabetic nephropathy. Zhang MZ, Yao B, Yang S, Yang H, Wang S, Fan X, Yin H, Fogo AB, Moeckel GW, Harris RC (2012) Diabetes 61(10): 2575-84
    › Primary publication · 22688335 (PubMed) · PMC3447896 (PubMed Central)
  10. Dopamine, the kidney, and hypertension. Harris RC, Zhang MZ (2012) Curr Hypertens Rep 14(2): 138-43
    › Primary publication · 22407378 (PubMed) · PMC3742329 (PubMed Central)
  11. New isoform-specific monoclonal antibodies reveal different sub-cellular localisations for talin1 and talin2. Praekelt U, Kopp PM, Rehm K, Linder S, Bate N, Patel B, Debrand E, Manso AM, Ross RS, Conti F, Zhang MZ, Harris RC, Zent R, Critchley DR, Monkley SJ (2012) Eur J Cell Biol 91(3): 180-91
    › Primary publication · 22306379 (PubMed) · PMC3629562 (PubMed Central)
  12. Intrarenal dopamine modulates progressive angiotensin II-mediated renal injury. Yang S, Yao B, Zhou Y, Yin H, Zhang MZ, Harris RC (2012) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 302(6): F742-9
    › Primary publication · 22169008 (PubMed) · PMC3311314 (PubMed Central)
  13. Role of blood pressure and the renin-angiotensin system in development of diabetic nephropathy (DN) in eNOS-/- db/db mice. Zhang MZ, Wang S, Yang S, Yang H, Fan X, Takahashi T, Harris RC (2012) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 302(4): F433-8
    › Primary publication · 22114203 (PubMed) · PMC3289417 (PubMed Central)