Wei Yao

Wei Yao

Position Title
Associate Adjunct Professor


Profile Introduction

Professor Yao is a member of the faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine. Her research interests include exploring the mechanisms behind degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system with aging, especially those related to bone and arthritis, with the aim of developing both prevention and treatment strategies for these diseases utilizing in-vivo animal models for bone diseases, biochemistry, densitometry, histomorphometry, and molecular biology techniques. Her latest research interest is focus on bone regenerative medicine. She is the receiver for the 2012 “UC Davis Excellency in Federal Foundation Award in Research”, 2013 “UC Davis Health System Dean’s Excellency in Team Research Award’ and 2016 “Betterman of Mankind Award”.

Research Interests

Translational Research on Bone

1, Use of mesenchymal stem cells in bone regerneration and healing

2, Role of selectively progesterone receptor inhibition in bone mass augmentation

3, Autopahgy in bone cells metabolism and aging

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Professional Societies

  • American Scoiety of Bone and Mineral Research


  • 1996 MD Medicine Xiangya Medical University


Yao W, Jee WSS, Ma YF, Zhou H, Cui L, Liang CT. Cortical bone of old male rats is capable of responding to PGE2 treatment through modeling-dependent bone gain. Bone 25: 697-702; 1999.

Yao W, Jee WSS, Chen JL, Liu HY, Tam C, Cui L, Zhou H, Frost HM. Making rats rise to bipedal stance added bone to the intact rats and partially prevented bone loss induced by orchidectomy. J Bone Miner Res 15:1158-1168; 2000

Yao W, Jee WSS, Chen JL, Tam C, Setterberg RB, Frost HM. Bipedal stance exercise partially prevented lumbar vertebral bone loss induced by orchidectomy.  Bone 27:667-675; 2000.

Cui L, Ma YF, Yao W, Zhou H, Setterberg RB, Liang TC, Jee WSS.  The Cancellous Bone of Aged Rat Maintains Its Capacity to Respond Vigorously to the Anabolic Effects Of Prostaglandin E2 by Modeling-Dependent Bone Gain.  J Bone Miner Metab 19:29-37; 2001.

Zhou H, Ma YF, Yao W, Cui L, Setterberg RB, Liang CT, Jee WSS.  Cancellous bone of lumbar vertebral body in aged rats is capable of responding to PGE2 by both modeling and remodeling dependent bone gain.  Calcif Tissue Int 68(3): 179-184; 2001.

Chen JL, Yao W, Frost HM, Li CY, Setterberg RB, and Jee WSS  Bipedal stance exercise enhances anti-resorption effects of estrogen and counteracts its inhibitory effect on bone formation in sham and ovariectomized rats. Bone 29:126-133; 2001.

Jee WSS and Yao W.  Overview: animal model of osteopenia and osteoporosis.  J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 3:193-207; 2001.

Jee WSS and Yao W. Animal models of bone diseases. Introduction.

J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact.  1(3):183-4; 2001.

Yao W, Jee WSS, Chen JL, Li CY and Frost HM.  A novel model to exercise rats: making rats rise to bipedal stance for feeding – raised cage model.  J Muscul Neu Int 3:241-247; 2001.

Soper DL, Milbank JBJ, Mieling GE, Dirr MJ, Kende AS, Cooper R, Jee WSS, Yao W, Chen JL, Bodman M, Lundy MW, De B, Stella ME, Ebetino FH, Wang Y, Delong MA, Wos JA.  Synthesis and biological evaluation of prostaglandin-F alkylphosphinic acid derivative as bone anabolic agents for the treatment of osteoporosis. J Med Chem 44:4157-4169; 2001.

Li CY, Jee WSS, Chen JL, Mo A, Setterberg RB, Su M, Tian XY, Ling YF and Yao W.  Estrogen and “exercise” have a synergistic effect in preventing bone loss in the lumbar vertebra and femoral neck of the ovariectomized rats.  Calcif Tissue Int 72:42-49; 2003.

Ai M, Yao W, Li CY, Tian XY, Su M, Ling YF, Setterberg RB, Jee WSS. Bipedal stance exercise and PGE2 had synergistic effect in increasing bone mass and it lowering the PGE2 dose required to prevent ovariectomized induced cancellous bone loss in aged rats.  Bone 31:402-406; 2002

Lane NE, Kumer J, Yao W, Breuning T, Wronski T, Modin G, Kinney JH.  Basic fibroblast growth factor forms new trabeculae that physically connect with pre-existing trabeculae and this new bone is maintained with an anti-resorptive agent and enhanced with an anabolic agent in an osteopenic rat model. Osteoporosis Int 2003

Ma YF, Henry B, Harlan C, Hoover J, Schmidt A, Zeng QQ, Yao W, Jee WSS, Sato M.  New bone formation with Teriparatide (hPTH(1-34)) is not retarded by long-term pretreatment with alendronate, estrogen or raloxifene in ovariectomized rats.  Endocrinology 144:2008-2015; 2003

Lane NE, Yao W, M Kinney JH, Modin G, Baloosh M, Wronski TJ Both hPTH (1-34) and bFGF increase trabecular bone mass in osteopenic rats, however they have different effects on trabecular bone architecture. J Bone Miner Res 18:2105-2115; 2003

Slatopolsky E, Cozzolino M, Lu Y, Finch J, Dusso A, Staniforth M, Yao W and Jee WSS Efficacy of 19-nor-1,25-(oh)2d2 in the prevention and treatment of hyperparathyroid bone disease in experimental uremia Kidney Int 63:2020-2027; 2003

Humphrey MB, Osegawara K, Yao W, Spusta S, Daw MR, Lane NE, Lanier LL, Nakamura MC Stimulation of the signaling adapter protein DAP12 during osteoclast development regulates multinucleation J Bone Miner Res 2004 19:224-234.

Buxton E, Yao W, Lane N.E. Changes in serum sRANKL, OPG and IL-6 levels in patients Glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis treated with hPTH (1-34) J Clin Endo Metab 2004 89:3332-3336

Offley, SC, Guo TZ, Clark JD, Vogel H, Lindsey DP, Jacob CR, Yao W, Lane NE, Kingery WS.  Capsaicin sensitive neurons contribute to the maintenance of cancellous bone mass, structure, and strength.  J Bone Miner Res 2005; 21:257-267.

Lane NE, Yao W, Nakamura  MC, Humphrey MB, , Kimmel D, Huang X, Sheppard D, Teitelbaum SL, Ross FP Mice lacking integrin b5 subunit have accelerated osteoclast maturation and increased activity in the estrogen deficient state J Bone Miner Res 2005; 20: 58-66.

Hurley M, Yao W, Lane NE. Changes in serum fibroblast growth factor 2 in patients with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis treated with human parathyroid hormone (1-34). Osteoporos Int 2005 16:2080-2084.

Yao W, Hadi T, Jiang Y, Lotz J, Wronski TJ, Lane NE. Basic fibroblast growth factor improves trabecular bone connectivity and bone strength in the lumbar vertebral body of osteopenic rats. Osteoporos Int 2005 16:1939-1947

Lane NE, Yao W, Balooch M,  Krumme A, Habelitz S, Kinney JH, Bonewald LF.  Glucocorticoid-treated mice have localized changes in trabecular bone material properties and osteocyte lacunar size that are not observed in placebo-treated or estrogen-deficient mice. J Bone Miner Res 2006 21:466-476

Kelman A, Lui L, Yao W, Krumme A, Nevitt M, Lane NE.  Association of higher levels of serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and N-telopeptide crosslinks with the development of radiographic hip osteoarthritis in elderly women. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Jan;54(1):236-43.

Yao W, Balooch G, Balooch M, Jiang YB, Nalla RK, Kinney J, Wronski TJ, Lane NE. Sequential treatment of ovariectomized mice with bFGF and risedronate restored trabecular bone microarchitecture and mineralization.  Bone 2006 39:460-469

Yao W, Froman CA, Cooper PA, Tian XY, Setterberg RB, Jee WSS, Lundy MW. Simvastatin did not prevent nor restore ovariectomy-induced bone loss in adult rats.  J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 6:277-283; 2006

Yao W, Tian XY, Chen J, Setterberg RB, Lundy MW, Chmielzwski P, Froman CA, Jee WSS  Rolipram, a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, prevented cancellous and cortical bone loss by inhibiting endosteal bone resorption and maintaining periosteal bone formation in adult ovariectomized rats J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact.  7(2):119-130; 2007

Wu YL, Torchia J, Yao W, Lane NE, Lanier LL, Nakamura MC, Humphrey MB. Immune tyrosine-based activation motif signaling is partially bypassed during enhanced osteoclastogenesis in estrogen deficiency mouse model.  PLoS ONE 7:e586; 2007

Yao W, Froman CA, Cooper PA, Tian XY, Setterberg RB, Jee WSS, Lundy MW. Simvastatin did not prevent nor restore ovariectomy-induced bone loss in adult rats.  J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 6:277-283; 2006

Yao W, Su M, Zhang Q, Tian XY, Setterberg RB, Blanton C, Lundy MW, Phipps R, Jee WSS Risedronate did not block the maximal anabolic effect of PTH in aged rats.  Bone 41:813-819; 2007

Yao W, Cheng ZQ, Koester JK, Ager JW,  Balooch M,  Pham A, Chefo S, Busse C, Ritchie RO, Lane NE.  The Degree of bone mineralization is maintained with single intravenous bisphosphonates in aged estrogen deficient rats and is a strong predictor of bone strength.  Bone  41:804-12; 2007

Balooch G, Yao W, Ager JW, Balooch M, Nalla RK, Porter AE, Ritchie RO, Lane NE.  The aminobisphosphonate risedronate preserves localized mineral and material properties of bone in the presence of glucocorticoids.  Arthritis Rheum 56 (11): 3726-3737, 2007.

Chaganti RK, Kelman A, Lui L, Yao W, Javaid MK, Bauer D, Nevitt M, Lane NE.  Change in serum measurements of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and association with the development and worsening of radiographic hip osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2007

Johnson KA,  Yao W, Lane NE, Naquet P, Terkeltaub RA.  Accelerated Chondrogenesis and Up-regulated Vanin-1 Pantetheinase Activity Promote Progressive Ankylosing Intervertebral Calcification in ank/ank Mice.  Am J Pathology 172(2): 440-453, 2008.

Yao W, Cheng ZQ, Busse C, Pham A, Nakamura MC, Lane NE Glucocorticoid excess in mice results in early activation of osteoclastogenesis and adipogenesis and prolonged suppression of osteogenesis.   A longitudinal study of gene expression in bone tissue from glucocorticoid treated mice.  Arthritis & Rheumatism 58(6):1674-1686, 2008

Ritchie RO, Ionova R,  Koester KJ,  Yao W, Lane NE, Ager III JW.  Measurement of the toughness of bone: A tutorial with special reference to small animal studies.  Bone 43:798-812, 2008

Yao W, Cheng ZQ,  Zimmermann ZA, Pham A, Busse C, Kinney J, Ritchie RO, Lane NE. Glucocorticoid induced bone loss can reversed with both PTH and Risedronate by different pathways of bone cell maturation and activity. Arthritis & Rheumatism 58(11):3485-3497, 2008

You L, Temiyasathit S, Lee P, Kim CH, Tummala P, Yao W, Kingery W, Malone AM, Kwon RY, Jacobs CR. Osteocytes as mechanosensors in the inhibition of bone resorption due to mechanical loading. Bone 42(1):172-179, 2008.

Sabsovich I, Clark JD, Liao J, Peltz G, Lindsey DP, Jacobs CR, Yao W, Guo TZ, Kingery WS Bone microstructure and its associated genetic variability in 12 inbred mouse  strains: μCT study and in silico genome scan Bone 42(1): 439–451, 2008.

Shahnazari M, Yao W, Corr M, Lane NE. Targeting the Wnt signaling pathway to augment bone formation.  Curr Osteoporosis Rep. 6(4):142-148, 2008.

Nicolella DP, Feng JQ, Moravits DE, Bonivitch AR, Wang Y, Dusecich V, Yao W, Lane N, Bonewald LF.Effects of nanomechanical bone tissue properties on bone tissue strain: implications for osteocyte mechanotransduction. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. Oct-Dec;8(4):330-1, 2008.

Cheng ZQ, Yao W,  Zimmermann ZA, Busse C, Ritchie RO, Lane NE.  Prolonged treatments with anti-resorptive agents and PTH have different effects on bone strength and the degree of mineralization in old estrogen deficient osteoporotic rats.  JBMR 24:209-220, 2009.

Henley C, Davis J, Miller G, Shatzen E, Cattley R, Li XD, Martin D, Yao W, Lane N, Shalhoub V.  The calcimimetic AMG 641 abrogates parathyroid hyperplasia, bone and vascular calcification abnormalities in uremic rats  Eu J of Pharmacology 616:306-313, 2009.

Lane NE, Yao W.  Developments in the scientific understanding of osteoporosis.  Arthritis Research and Therapy 11 (3):228, 2009.

Yao W, Cheng ZQ, Shahnazari M, Dai WW, Johnson ML, Lane NE.  Overexpression of Secreted Frizzled-Related Protein 1 inhibits bone formation and attenuates PTH bone anabolic effects.  JBMR 25: 190-199, 2010.

Lane NE, Yao W. Glucocorticoid-induced bone fragility. Ann N Y Acad Sci. Mar;1192(1):81-3. 2010.

Shahnazari M, Yao W, Dai WW, Burghardt A, Ionova-Martin SS, Kimiecik M, Ritchie RO, Heeren D,  Lane NE. Higher doses of bisphosphonates further improve bone mass, architecture, and strength but not the tissue material properties in aged rats.  Bone 46: 1267-1274, 2010

Finch J L, Tokumoto M, Nakamura H, Yao W, Shahnazari M, Lane N and Slatopolsky E.  The effect of paricalcitol and cinacalcet on serum phosphate and bone histomorphometry in rats with chronic kidney disease.  American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology 298: F1315-F1322, 2010

Yao W, Dai WW, Pham A, Shahnazari M, Cheng ZQ, Chen HY, M Gaun Lane NE.  Inhibition of the progesterone nuclear receptor during the bone linear growth phase increases peak bone mass in female mice.  PlosOne 5:e11410, 2010

Xia XC, Gluhak-Heinrich J, Yao W, Lane NE, Bonewald LF, Biswas SK, Lo WK, and Jiang JX.  Autophagy is a Major Mechanism Attenuating the Effect of Glucocorticoid on Bone Cell Viability. JBMR 25:2479-2488, 2010

Shahnazari M, Yao W, Dai WW, Wang B,  Panganiban B,  Ritchie RO,Yolanda Hagar Y,  Lane NE. Differential Maintenance of Cortical and Cancellous Bone Strength following Discontinuation of Bone Active Agents  JBMR 26(3):569-81, 2011

Lane NE, Yao W. New insights into the biology of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. IBMS BoneKEy. 2011 May;8(5):229-36.

Adamopoulos IE, Tessmer M, Chao CC, Adda S, Gorman D, Pierce RH, Yao W, Lane NE, Lafacee D, Bowman EP.  IL-23 is critical for induction of arthritis, osteoclast formation and maintenance of bone mass. J Immunology 187:951-959, 2011

Jia JJ, Yao W* (co-first author), Guan M, Dai WW, Shahnazari M, Liang J, Bonewald L, Lane NE.  Glucocorticoid dose-dependently increases osteocyte autophagy.  FASEB 10:3366-3376, 2011.

Guan M, Yao W (co-first author, corresponding author), Liu RW, Jia JJ, Lam Kit, Nolta, Zhou P, Weng LP,  Shahnazari M, Panganiban B, Ritchie RO, Lane NE.  Directing mesenchymal stem cells to bone to increase bone formation.  Nature Medicine, 18: 456–462, 2012

Zhong ZD, Cassandra R. Zylstra-Diegel, Baker JJ, Carpenter AC, Rao S, Yao W, Guan M, Helms JA, Lane NE, Lang RA, and Williams BO. Wntless/Gpr177 Functions in Mature Osteoblasts to Regulate Bone Mass.  PNAS 109(33):E2197-204; 2012

Collette MN, Genetos D, Economides AN, Xie LQ, Yao W, Lane NE, Richard M. Harland RM, Loots GG. Targeted deletion of Sost Distal enhancer increases bone Formation and bone Mass. PNAS 109(35):14092-7, 2012

Jia JJ, Yao W (co-first author), Amugongo S, Lay YA, Shahnazari M, Cheng ZQ, Olvera D, Ritchie RO, Addition T, Lane NE Prolonged bisphosphonate treatments had negative effects on cortical bone strength through the involvement of TGF-β1 signaling Bone 52(1): 424-32, 2013

Yao W, Dai WW, Jiang JX, Lane NE Glucocorticoids and Osteocyte Autophagy Bone 54(2): 279-84, 2013

Lane NE, Parimi N, Corr M, Yao W,  Cauley JA, Nielson CM, Ix J, \ Laughlin G, Orwoll E Association of Serum Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 (FGF23) and incident fractures in older  men:  the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study. JBMR 28(11):2325-32; 2013.

Yao W*, Guan M, Jia JJ, LYa YA, Liu RW, Lam Kit, Nolta J, Olvera D, Ritchie RO, Lane NE. Reversal of bone loss induced by estrogen deficiency or aging by guiding the mesenchymal stem cells to bone.  Stem Cell 31:2004-2013, 2013

Amugongo SK, Yao, W, Jia JJ, Dai WW, Lay YE, Walsh D, Jiang L,  Li CH,  Panganiban B, Ritchie RO, Lane NE  Effects of Cyclical Treatments with PTH, Alendronate and Raloxifene on Trabecular Bone Mass and Strength in Estrogen Deficient Rats.  Osteoporosis International 25:1735-1750; 2014

Lane NE, Parimi Nliu LY, Wise BL, Yao W,  Lay ELLA, Cawthon PM, Orwoll E Association of serum uric acid and incident fractures in olderly  men:  the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study. JBMR 29(7):1701-1707, 2014.

Amugongo SK, Yao, W, Jia JJ, Dai WW, Lay YE, Jiang L, Li CH,  Olvera D, Zimmermann ZA, Ritchie RO, Lane NE Effect of cyclical treatments With Alendronate, PTH and Raloxifene on cortical bone mass and strength. Bone 67:257-268; 2014

TC Lee, AJ. Burghardt, W Yao, NE Lane, S Majumdar, GT. Gullberg, Y Seo Improved Trabecular Bone Structure of 20-Month-Old Male Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.  Calcify Tissue International 95:282-291; 2014

Yao W and Lane NE Targeted delivery of mesenchymal stem cells to bone.  Bone 70:62-65; 2015

Dai WW, EYA Lay, L Jiang, M Goldspring, S Amugongo, GQ Jin, N Dave, RO Ritchie, Yao W *.  Beta-ecdysone prevents glucocorticoid-inhibitions on bone formation and bone strength.  Bone 74: 48-57; 2015

Dai WW, EYA  Lay, Gq Jin, QJ Xing, L Jiang, HL Chen, RO. Ritchie, NE. Lane, Yao W*  Sexual Difference In Peak Bone Mass Regulation: Potential Treatment Option. Clinical Orthopedic Related Research 473:2495-2504; 2015

Zhong ZA., Sun W, Chen H, Zhang H, Lane NE, and Yao W*. Inactivation of the Progesterone Receptor in Mx1+ Cells Potentiates Osteogenesis in Calvaria but Not in Long Bone. PloS one 10, e0139490, 2015

Zhong ZA., Sun W, Chen H , Zhang H, Lay YE, Lane NE, and Yao W*. Optimizing tamoxifen-inducible Cre/loxp system to reduce tamoxifen effect on bone turnover in long bones of young mice. Bone 81, 614-619; 2015

Yao W *, WW Dai, EYA Lay, L Jiang, N Dave, RO Ritchie, XD Li, HZ Ke, NE Lane Effects of Sclerostin antibody on osteoblast and osteocyte viability/autophagy in mouse model of glucocorticoid-induced bone loss.  Osteoporosis International  27: 283-294, 2016

Yao W*, Lay EYA, Kot A, Liu RW, Zhang HL, Chen HY, Lam K, Lane NE.  Improved mobilization of exogenous mesenchymal stem cells to bone for fracture healing: paracrine effects and sex differences.  Stem Cells 34:2587-2600. 2016.

Mohan G, Lay EYA, Berka H, Ringwood L, Kot A, Chen HY, Yao, W, Lane NE.  A novel hybrid compound LLP2A-Ale both prevented and rescued the osteoporotic phenotype in a mouse model of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.  Calcif Tissue Int. 100: 67-79. 2017

Zhong, ZA, Kot A, Zhang HL, Lay YE, Jia JJ, Lane N E, and Yao W*.  Sex-dependent, osteoblast stage-specific effects of progesterone receptor on bone acquisition. JBMR 32(9):1841-1852. 2017

Zhang HL, Kot A,, Lay YE, Fierro F, Chen HY, Lane N E, and Yao W*.  Acceleration of fracture healing by overexpression of basic fibroblast growth factor in the mesenchymal stromal cells. Stem Cells Trans Med 2017

Kot A, Zhong, ZA, Zhang HL, Lay YE, Lane N E, and Yao W*. Sexual dimorphic regulations of progesterone receptor in bone stromal cells.  J Mol. Endo 59(4):351-363; 2017.