Phone (Lab): 704.687.8410
Office: Woodward 486C
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We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which blood flow perfusion is regulated in the liver under the normal and stress conditions. Hepatic blood flow, particularly sinusoidal flow perfusion is essential for normal functions and metabolism of hepatocytes and also plays a crucial role in repair of injured cells in liver diseases. Regulation of sinusoidal blood perfusion consists of a delicate balance between the vasoconstrictor force and the vasodilator force that involve close interactions among the sinusoidal cells (i.e., endothelial cells, Kupffer cells, hepatic stellate cells) and hepatocytes. The primary interest of this laboratory is to delineate the relationship between the sinusoidal cells and hepatocytes with respect to their interaction contributing to the regulation of constrictor and dilator forces in various stress conditions such as endotoxemic shock, hemorrhagic shock, liver cirrhosis and liver transplant. We recently discovered, for example, that endothelin, a locally released vasoconstrictor by endothelial cells and perhaps more importantly by hepatocytes under certain diseases, induces sinusoidal constriction by contracting hepatic stellate cells thus reducing sinusoidal perfusion, and this effect is opposed by vasodilators nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. Our primary goal is to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate the balance of local constrictor and dilator forces in a variety of disease conditions and ultimately find drug interventions that help maintain liver perfusion under the stress conditions and rectify the injured tissue.
Areas of Interest: