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Professor Sergey Kasparov

Physiological Genomics of Central Cardio-Vascular Control

My primary interst is the interplay between the neurones and the most abundant glial population of the central nervous sytesm - the astrocytes. Together with my colleagues, AG Teschemacher (UOB) and AV Gourine (UCL) we are woriking to establish functional contribution of astrocytes to various functions within mammalian brainstem including regulation of the autonomic functions and respiration. We are also interested in the interplay between astrocytes and central noradrenergic neurones, which costitute one of the most powerful modulatory mechanisms of the brain. Indeed, central noradrenergic mechanisms are involved in regulation of vigilance, cognition, sleep, appetite, pain and a variety of other essential functions. Our main hypothesis is that central noradrenergic neurones intimately communicate with astrocytes and via this link affect brain function. We have also demonstrated that astrocytes located in the ventral medulla play an important role in the chemo-sentitivity of the brain, one of the most important central homeostatic mechanisms. Recently with our colleagues we have shown that astrocytes in the respiratory and pre-sympathetic areas of the medulla critifcally influence the aerobic exercise capacity in rodents, further implicating astrocytes in control of cardio-respriatory circuits of the brain. We also have a strong interest to new drug targets found on astrocytes and have identified some receptors which mediate potent neuroprotection. Finally, we have projects on glioblastoma, trying to find novel mechanisms to control or treat this devastating tumor of the brain.

We actively use and develop optogenetics, viral gene transfer, confocal imaging, fluorescent genetically encoded indicators and other modern technologies. 

Research keywords

  • blood pressure
  • brainstem
  • angiotensin II
  • nitric oxide
  • viral transfection
  • imaging
  • GFP
  • baroreceptor
  • neurogenic
  • electrophysiology

Diseases related to this field of research

  • Stroke
  • retinopathy
  • hypertension
  • kidney disease
  • mycardial infarction
  • atherosclerosis

Processes and functions relevant to this work

  • Blood pressure regulation
  • homeostasis
  • processing information in the brainstem
  • brainstem control mechanisms

Equipment relevant to this work

  • Confocal microscope
  • electrophysiological recording apparatus

Research findings

  • Central effects of angiotensin II
  • Central Angiotensin II & Arterial Pressure Control
  • Targeting of specific physiological phenotypes of NTS neurones
  • GABAergic transmission in NTS.

Collaborations

  • Professor Julian Paton - University of Bristol