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Translating the conversation between the brain and blood vessels
Date:4/21/2009

nd out of cells, and that play a role in the signaling between the brain and the blood vessels. In experiments with animals, Dr. Abboud and his colleagues deleted one specific ion channel and found that the animals developed high blood pressure. Work is now planned to develop a blood test to identify patients who suffer high blood pressure or heart failure because of a problem with the gene that regulates the channel, Dr. Abboud said.

New work underway

Dr. Schreihofer's laboratory has identified neurotransmitters that are at work in the brain stem that regulate sympathetic nervous activity. Neurotransmitters relay signals from one nerve cell to another, allowing nerve cells to 'talk' to each other. The Schreihofer laboratory will:

  • Test the hypothesis that neurons that inhibit sympathetic activity lose their ability to do so. This may allow the neurons that stimulate sympathetic activity to get the upper hand, which leads to hypertension.

  • Study how the brain stem neurons that regulate breathing impact neurons that control blood pressure. The neurons that integrate these systems are in very close proximity in the ventral lateral medulla and play a role in affecting both breathing and blood pressure. This connection is intriguing because it raises the possibility that improving respiratory function could be a way to reduce the sympathetic activity that leads to obesity and hypertension.


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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
cguilfoy@the-aps.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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