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  • Research Summary of Michael Ryan, PhD

    Chronic inflammation and immune system dysfunction appear to play an important role in the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The kidneys are critical to the long term control of blood pressure and numerous studies show that inflammatory markers and immune cell infiltration is elevated in both humans with hypertension and in experimental animal models. The inflammatory mediators can alter kidney function and promote the development of hypertension. 

     

    In order to accomplish this, we utilize a mouse model with the chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an ideal experiment model to examine the link between inflammation, the kidneys, and hypertension because its origins are rooted in immune system dysfunction and patients with SLE hve prevalent hypertension and renal disease. 

     

    Some of the ongoing studies in the laboratory are focused on renal hemodynamic changes during SLE, the role of specific inflammatory cytokines in SLE hypertension, neural-immune interactions that promote hypertension and renal disease, and the regulation of blood pressure and renal injury by sex steroids during SLE.