It is well-known that blood flow regulates blood vessel function through its effects on the endothelium, which consists of one layer of cells between the blood vessel lumen and the muscle cells underneath. In response to the normal mechanical signal indicating blood flow, known as shear stress, the endothelium releases chemicals that lead to relaxation of blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow and tissue perfusion. However, how the mechanical blood flow signal is converted to blood vessel relaxation is not entirely known. We made a novel finding that the shear stress-mediated dilation of coronary arteries is critically dependent on the integrity of membrane structures called caveolae, which are places where important molecules that regulate blood vessel function are assembled. In this project, we will determine how caveolae regulate the membrane proteins called ion channels that control the traffic of calcium and potassium ions across the membrane in response to shear stress. We will use innovative equipment design and perform technically challenging experiments that are feasible in our laboratory to answer these mechanistic questions. The results of our studies will provide novel insights and help advance this very important field, which may result in better diagnosis and treatment of blood vessel diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes.
|Effective start/end date||1/1/18 → 12/31/20|
- American Diabetes Association
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