Central cardiovascular control: Does MCP-1 act on area postrema neurons to increases in blood pressure?

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students
Number of Honour Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Song Yao song.yao@florey.edu.au

Summary The Neurovascular Biology Laboratory is located in the Howard Florey Institute. The laboratory’s main interest is to understand how the brain controls the cardiovascular system and how these mechanisms become dysfunctional in diseases such as heart failure and hypertension. Recently, we have explored mechanisms whereby inflammation can cause increased activity in certain brain areas which ultimately causes an increase in sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure. Our laboratory is particularly interested in how inflammation and inflammatory mediators might lead to increases in blood pressure in hypertension. We use a range of techniques in the laboratory. These include, neuropharmacology, electrophysiology, radiotelemetry, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy.

Project Details

The area postrema is a circumventricular organ located in the brain stem. Because it lacks a blood-brain barrier the area postrema is exposed to a wide range of factors found in the circulation. There is much evidence to suggest that inflammatory cytokines are increased in a number of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and heart failure. However, the cardiovascular effect of these cytokines when exogenously applied to the area postrema is not currently known. This project will investigate the effects of the monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), within the area postrema. Plasma levels of MCP-1 has been previously shown to be increased in hypertension when administered centrally (via intracerebroventricular cannula) but whether it acts within the area postrema is not known. The successful completion of the project will increase our understanding of the role of cytokines in driving changes in blood pressure at the level of the area postrema and how this signaling might be altered in disease states such as hypertension.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.