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Department of Kinesiology
Director: Dr. Heidi Kluess
Overview: The sympathetic nervous system is critically important for maintaining blood pressure and blood flow in the body at rest and during exercise. It exerts this control via release of chemicals, such as norepinephrine, adenosine triphosphate and neuropeptide Y. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, act on the vascular smooth muscle and cause vasoconstriction. The magnitude of vasoconstriction that occurs is related to the amount of neurotransmitter released, the activity of enzymes that metabolize neurotransmitters and the number and sensitivity of the receptors that cause vasoconstriction. See the diagram for a schematic of the sympathetic-vascular smooth muscle synapse.
Hypertension is blood pressure that is higher than normal. The causes of hypertension are generally unknown, but we know that hypertension becomes more prevalent as we age and is a common side effect of diabetes. A decrease in skeletal muscle blood flow is found in aging and is strongly correlated to an increase in efferent sympathetic nerve activity. Although both sexes experience these age-related changes, women experience a greater magnitude increase in sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure compared to men. This lab is focused on understanding the role of the sympathetic nervous system in causing increased vascular resistance and hypertension. The overall hypothesis of the lab is that Hypertension is, in part, caused by excess neurotransmitter release and a loss of ability to metabolize neurotransmitters.
We do this work using various technologies with isolated arterioles. Some of the technology we employ is biosensors (see photograph), fluorescent markers, ELISA, EIA, spectrophotometric assays, Luminometry, and fluorometric assays.
Poultry Science, Auburn University
Nutrition and Food Science, Auburn University
Poultry Science, University of Arkansas
Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas
Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington
Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin
Biomedical Engineering, Wayne State University
1. Kluess, HA, J. Stafford, K. W. Evanson, A. J. Stone, J. Worley, and R. F. Wideman. Lung resistance arterioles respond to serotonin and ATP in broiler chickens susceptible to idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Poultry Science, in press, 2012.
2. DeLorey, DS, PS Clifford, S Mittelstadt, MM Anton, HA Kluess, J Tune, U Dincer, and JB Buckwalter. The effect of aging on adrenergic and non-adrenergic receptor expression and responsiveness in canine skeletal muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology, 112: 841-848, 2012.
3. Evanson, KW, AJ Stone, AL Hammond, HA Kluess. Neuropeptide Y overflow and metabolism in skeletal muscle arterioles. Journal of Physiology, 589: 3309-3318, 2011.
4. DeLorey, DS, JB Buckwalter, S Mittelstadt, MM Anton, HA Kluess, JD Tune, and PS Clifford. Is tonic sympathetic vasoconstriction increased in the skeletal muscle vasculature of aged canines? American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 299: 1342-1349, 2010.
5. Kluess, HAJournal of Physiology , AJ Stone, KW Evanson. ATP overflow in skeletal muscle 1A arterioles. , 588: 3089-3100, 2010.
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2012