Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Research in this laboratory is directed toward understanding the electrophysiology of the vascular smooth muscle membrane and its relation to the etiology of hypertension. In vivo and in vitro studies are carried out using animals with hypertension and their respective normotensive controls to better understand the role of smooth muscle electrophysiology in the development and maintenance of hypertension. In some experiments, animals are treated with antihypertensive agents to ameliorate the hypertension and the effects of these antihypertensive agents on the smooth muscle membrane are examined. Other areas of research include: 1) measurement of membrane potentials using a fiber optic system and voltage-sensitive dyes. 2) Measurement of electrophysiological and biophysical properties of cultured NG108 neuroblastoma cells. Several ionic currents in these cells are sensitive to the presence of chemical agents. We are currently characterizing these currents under various experimental conditions to determine if these electrophysiological changes may allow the cells to be used as biological sensors.