Several internationally recognized members of the Pharmacology department from The University of Vermont are interested in the basis of tone in small blood vessels and its pharmacological modification. State of the art techniques are used to determine the role of circulating and endogenous chemical substances, innervation, intravascular pressure and flow on the level of active contraction of resistance arteries and venules.
This tone is altered in many vascular disease states including hypertension, stroke and spasm. There is also an emphasis on the correlation of drug action and structure of the developing and mature vascular system and its innervation. Researchers use state-of-the-art techniques to explore the cellular aspects of smooth muscle function including regulation of ion channels in both the plasma membrane and in intracellular organelles. Calcium sparks and intact arteries video (5 MB) is viewable using QuickTime.
The department also houses the Totman Center for Cerebrovascular Research. Investigators study the physiology of human arteries where the vascular consequences of established risk factors are assessed. This effort is undertaken in collaboration with clinical faculty.
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