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Ramer, Leanne - Abstract

Disordered cardiovascular control following spinal cord injury (SCI) is both dangerous and detrimental to quality of life.  This is particularly true for individuals with high SCI, many of whom experience both autonomic dysreflexia (AD) and orthostatic hypotension, and thus experience pronounced fluctuations in blood pressure.  We do nt know how this blood pressure lability affects the resistance vessels or cardiovascular function over the long-term.  Mechanisms underlying AD remain controversial.  These experiments investigate the potential for impaired local vasodilatation in resistance vessels to contribute to the pronounced hypertension observed in AD.  Using in vitro myography, we found the mesenteric arteries below SCI were hypersensitive to phenylephrine (PE).  Arteries from animals with SCI exhibited normal vasodilatory responses to acetylcholine.  However, PE sensitivity was attenuated in the presence of indomethacin and NS-398 ( a COX-2 inhibitor).  These findings suggest that COX-2, associated with many types of pathological inflammation, may also contribute to cardiovascular dysfunction following SCI.

International Award Winners:  Simonette, G., Yiu, J., Zwicker, J., Chen, S.,  Faradaji, F., Gaudet, A., Hewapathirane, S., Inskip, J., Mikhail, D., Mills, P.,
National Award Winners: Beirnes, K., Bundon, A., Hume, A., Lige, S., Schiarti, V.