Richard Lewanczuk (PhD, MD University of Alberta)
362 Heritage Medical Research Building
University of Alberta
Canada T6G 2S2
Tel: 780.492.7177 or 780.407.6277
Hypertension and the Role of a New Circulating Hypertensive Factor Therein
Hypertension is a heterogeneous condition which may have a variety of causative and contributory factors. In low renin hypertension, which represents about 40% of all hypertension, a parathyroid-dependent hypertensive factor has been isolated. This factor has been termed Parathyroid Hypertensive Factor, or PHF. PHF appears to be causally related to low renin hypertension and is modulated by factors known to affect blood pressure in this form of hypertension. In my laboratory, various models of hypertension are used to study the expression and modulation of this factor in both hypertension and related diseases.
Candidate Genes in Hypertension
Hypertension is generally considered to be a genetic disease with environmental influences. Although the environmental influences of hypertension have been well studied, genetic factors causing or predisposing to the hypertensive state have not been well described. Using PCR, Northern blot and other techniques, we are searching for unique or selectively expressed genes in hypertension.
Ionic Changes in Hypertension and Related Diseases
Hypertension and related diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) are characterized by alterations in intracellular ion concentrations. Such alterations in intracellular ion concentrations can lead to functional changes at a cellular level. Using fluorescent probes and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we are studying the characteristic changes seen in a variety of disease states as well as the relationship between intracellular ion concentration and disease expression.
The following molecular biology techniques are used in my laboratory: Northern blot, Southern blot, various PCR techniques, in situ hybridization and cloning techniques. We also utilize the following physiological techniques: in vivocardiovascular monitoring, measurement of intracellular ions by fluorescent probes and NMR, blood flow studies and immunoassays.