The current focus of my laboratory is to understand the neural mechanisms of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases including diabetes and obesity. Our current interest is focused on the physiological and pathophysiological role of the (pro)renin receptor (PRR) and prorenin as a novel pathway for brain renin-angiotensin system. Briefly, we are interested in dissecting the importance of PRR in neurons, astrocyte, and microglial cells in mediating angiotensin II formation, and the neural circuits involved in hypertension with special focus on the subfornical organ (SFO) and the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus (PVN). To achieve our goal, we have developed a PRR conditional knockout mouse (Cre-Loxp strategy) model and a neuron-targeted human PRR transgenic mouse model. We have also developed adeno-associated virus coding for PRR or PRR-shRNA to specifically target brain nuclei. Expertise in our laboratory includes but not limited to blood pressure, heart rate recording in conscious free moving mice using telemetry system; brain nuclei-targeted microinjection; sympathetic nerve activity recording and autonomic function assessment; as well as routine cell and molecular biology techniques. These powerful tools allow us to dissect the neural mechanisms and signaling pathways of brain PRR and renin-angiotensin system in neurogenic hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
- Cardiovascular diseases