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Sandberg Lab

Physiology and Pathophysiology of blood pressure control

The Sandberg Lab focuses on the molecular pathophysiology of blood pressure control. We are investigating immune mechanisms that determine susceptibility and resistance to hypertension and associated damage to the vasculature, kidneys and brain. We study vascular reactivity, kidney function and pathology and conduct behavioral and cognitive tests in animal models of hypertension, aging and acute and chronic kidney disease.

We are elucidating the role of gonadal hormones and sex chromosomes in the immune mechanisms that regulate blood pressure and affect end organ damage using the four core genotype mouse model that separates gonadal sex from the sex chromosome complement. We also use immune cell adoptive transfer and bone marrow transplantation to study the impact of biological sex on specific immune cell responses.

Our lab is particularly interested in the regulation of the renin angiotensin system in blood pressure control. We are investigating the posttranscriptional regulation of the type 1 angiotensin receptor by cis- and trans-acting RNA factors and RNA binding proteins in receptor signaling and cellular trafficking and the role of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 in female resilience to hypertension and kidney disease. In addition, we are studying the role of the renin angiotensin system in the cardiovascular impairments associated with anorexia as a result of severe food restriction.

The Sandberg Lab is also investigating the role of physical activity and blood pressure in the cognitive decline that is associated with ovarian hormone loss prior to menopause and we are researching these relationships in both experimental animal models and in women after elective bilateral salpingo oophorectomy.