Forskargruppsledare: Holger Nilsson
We are investigating basal mechanisms in excitation-contraction coupling in vascular smooth muscles and its regulation by extrinsic factors. We have studied the mechanisms generating oscillations in vascular tone seen in many vascular beds. This work has resulted in the identification of a chloride current responsible for synchronisation of smooth muscle activation. We are now under way of identifying the molecular correlate of this current, which depends on at least one candidate for calcium-activated chloride channels, bestrophin-3. We are now investigating the interaction of this molecule with other channel proteins and regulating molecules, as well as the role of bestrophin-3 in other tissues.
The interplay between local control mechanisms and external factors in the vasculature is important in the pathophysiology of major diseases. We are therefore studying vascular changes in renal failure as well as the relation between adipose tissue and vascular smooth muscle. Alterations in this latter coupling may be related to the metabolic syndrome, where obesity and increased vascular resistance are hallmarks. We are studying the influence of perivascular adipose tissue on vascular function with special emphasis on changes in this function around menopause in women with the hypothesis that altered adipose tissue localisation and function may contribute to the elevated cardiovascular risk after menopause.
The development of atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process in the vascular wall, but has also been suggested to be influenced by nervous activity. On that background we are investigating the role of the autonomic nervous system in the development of atherosclerosis using animal models of atherosclerosis and pharmacological and genetic tools.
Tfn.: 031-786 3518
Helena Gustafsson, assoc.prof.
Maria Johansson, postdoc
Rui Li, postdoc
Veronika Golubinskaya, PhD student
Lisa Nguy, PhD student