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S.M. Raquibul Hasan, PhD, of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Receives $98,950 Grant to Study Mechanisms that Influence Artery Dilation And Blood Flow in the Body

The American Heart Association has awarded postdoctoral associate Dr. S.M. Raquibul Hasan $98,950 to study the mechanisms that influence artery dilation affecting blood flow in the body. (Photo by Jane Pate, UTHSC)

S.M. Raquibul Hasan, PhD, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $98,950 from the American Heart Association to study how TRPP1 ion channels regulate blood vessel diameter to control blood pressure.

Blood circulation through arteries provides for a constant supply of nutrients and oxygen to all organs, tissues and cells of our body. Circulating blood exerts a pressure on the arterial wall causing the arteries to constrict and set a resting diameter from which they can be dilated or restricted further – a phenomenon known as the myogenic response. While various ion channels have been implicated in this process, the mechanisms behind the response are not fully understood.

Dr. Hasan and his research team will explore the molecular basis of TRPP1 ion channel trafficking and how it impacts the blood vessel diameter to regulate blood pressure.

“We have found that TRPP1 ion channels are highly expressed in the surface of muscle artery cells and regulate arterial contractility,” Dr. Hasan said. “Loss of these ion channels, either due to genetic deletion or loss of pressure within arteries, dramatically reduces myogenic response. These arteries are unique because, at rest, they receive about 20 percent of cardiac output to supply to skeletal muscle that makes up approximately 40 percent of body mass. However, blood supply in these arteries may sharply rise up to 80 percent during exercise, emphasizing a pivotal role of these arteries in controlling systemic blood pressure.

“Therefore, understanding how TRPP1 ion channels regulate the diameter of skeletal muscle arteries to enable them to cope with the sudden change of metabolic needs of skeletal muscle will advance our knowledge of blood pressure regulation during rest and exercise. This knowledge may open up new avenues for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension, peripheral artery disease, myocardial infarction and stroke,” he said.

The funds will be used to support his project titled, “Regulation of TRPP1 Channel Trafficking and Functional Significance in Arterial Smooth Muscle,” and will be distributed over two years.

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The organization funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies and provides tools and information to save and improve lives. For more information, visit www.heart.org.