Hormonal Signaling's Impact on Cardiomyocyte Regeneration
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, which makes understanding the ability of certain vertebrates to regenerate damaged heart tissue by replacing lost cardiomyocytes crucial for developing regenerative heart therapies. Recent studies suggest that the suppression of cardiomyocyte proliferation coincides with the augmentation of metabolic rates and thermogenesis post-birth in vertebrates, in part driven by changes in endocrine signaling hormones including thyroid hormone, glucocorticoids, and vitamin D. Glucocorticoid and vitamin D protein signaling are potential regulators of cardiomyocyte proliferation, but studies have found conflicting proliferative and suppressive effects of both, suggesting more studies should be conducted to clarify their roles in heart regeneration. Through my work with mouse colony management, modern sequencing, immunohistochemistry, authoring a review paper, and other experimental procedures I will investigate how vitamin D receptor and glucocorticoid receptor signaling affect the proliferative potential of cardiomyocytes in neonatal and adult mice in vitro and in vivo.
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- Major: Molecular & Cell Biology: Developmental Genetics
- Mentor: Guo Huang, UCSF