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"Cardiovascular Phenotyping and Translational Strategies"

 

Cardiovascular disease is arguably the number-one health problem worldwide. Our ability to understand the basic mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases and to develop preventive measures and treatments depends on suitable animal models that replicate pathogenesis in humans. MicroRNAs as master regulators of gene expression are controlling many physiologic and pathologic processes. They may have enormous potential as novel therapeutic targets in the cardiovascular system.



Staff:
   Dr. med. Sandor Batkai, PhD, Group Leader (see CV)

   Ariana Foinquinos, PhD-student

   Sabrina Thanscheidt (cand. med.)

   Bernadette Hinzmann, PhD-student

   Janet Remke, Technician

   Karina Zimmer, Technicia

 

 

Cardiovascular phenotyping:

Characterization of cardiovascular phenotypes in mouse models requires a systematic approach using standardized, high quality, state-of-the-art techniques. As a core unit, in collaboration with other research teams, we develop mouse models of disease conditions and characterize the cardiovascular function.

 

Methodology:

The methodologies to accurately assess in vivo cardiovascular function in basal and pathological conditions in our studies include blood pressure and heart rate monitoring, analysis of cardiac function and organ blood flow.  Left ventricular hemodynamic function is assessed by the intracardiac Millar Pressure-Volume (PV) catheters. The system allows simultaneous and continuous high-fidelity monitoring of left ventricular pressure and volume in the intact heart of anesthetized animals. PV signals recorded real time are used to determine load-dependent and -independent parameters of cardiac contractile function in normal and disease conditions, allowing comprehensive evaluation of the fundamental mechanical properties of the heart (see our publications: Nat Protoc. 2008, 1422-34; Nat Med. 2001, 827-32). The research group manages the breeding and maintenance of the various genetically altered mouse strains.

 

Projects:

The primary interest of the research group is to use animal models to better understand the role of microRNAs in the development of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and chronic heart failure.

 

1. MicroRNAs and cardioprotection

Our research focuses on the role of microRNAs in pharmacologically induced cardioprotective mechanisms.

 

2. MicroRNA based therapy

We aim to develop and test microRNA based therapies in small and large animal models of myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure.