The National Institutes of Health recently awarded Brian Ruyle, a graduate student in the laboratory of Biomedical Sciences Professor Eileen Hasser, PhD, a predoctoral fellowship to study mechanisms of action in the chemoreflex neurocircuitry.
The arterial chemo reflex is an essential protective mechanism for adaptive responses to hypoxia. However, chemoreflex dysfunction, including over-excitation of chemoreflex pathways leads to respiratory instability, increased sympathetic nerve activity and hypertension in disease states, including heart failure.
The long-term objectives of this study are to further characterize interactions between the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the nucleus tractus solitarius, and the mechanisms by which this reciprocal pathway shapes cardiorespiratory responses to peripheral chemoreflex stimulation. Determining the pathways, circuits and mechanism(s) mediating chemoreflex function and how these may be changed in disease would help in designing rational and targeted therapeutic approaches in these debilitating diseases.