This laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanism(s) of blood flow regulation to the heart using both in vivo and in vitro techniques. The major emphasis is on the role of adenosine and its nucleotides in the regulation of vascular tone and its signaling (such as calcium, role of cytochrome 450 system, G proteins, protein kinase, phosphoinositides, arachidonic acid pathways, cAMP, cGMP, NO, etc.) in relation to endothelium and vascular smooth muscle cells. Currently, we are using all four-adenosine and beta -adrenergic receptor knockouts (both single and double) to address this topic. Also, we have isolated both the coronary smooth muscle and endothelial cells from the adenosine receptor knockout mice for our signaling work. Recently, we are now using models of coronary disease (APOE knockout with high fat diet) to address the signaling of adenosine receptors in vascular and heart tissues. Our projects involve physiology, pharmacology, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry.
The second area of major interest of this laboratory is to define the role of adenosine in asthma in relation to airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation and oxidative stress. We have identified the receptor subtype involved in airway hyperresponsiveness using an allergic mouse model of asthma. We are now utilizing all four subtypes of adenosine receptor knockouts to further characterize the receptor involved in this model. Also, we are using different allergens to maximize the airway inflammation in these knockouts to identify the receptor subtype on the inflammatory cells and their mediators including TH1 and Th2 cytokines. We are also interested as to how in this model asthma leads to systemic inflammation and vascular reactivity. Finally, we are also investigating how obesity and coronary disease influences lung function and inflammation.
Bunyen Teng, DVM, Ph.D., - Research Assistant Professor
Hicham Labazi, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow
Vishal Yadav, Ph. D. - Postdoctoral Fellow
Sherry Xie - Research Assistant