Summary of Research Activity:
Our laboratory continues its 20-year N.I.D.A. collaborative biodistribution research program by characterizing the specific cellular mechanisms involved in delivering peptide-based drugs across the blood-brain barrier to the C.N.S. We recently have discovered specific peptide drug transporters that can be targeted to enhance delivery. We also are studying the effect of hypoxia/aglycemia on endothelial cell permeability and protein cytoarchitecture at the blood-brain barrier with a newly funded program from N.I.N.D.S. We recently have shown that short-term hypoxia/aglycemia leads to significant endothelial cell protein structural alterations and permeability, which can be reversed by specific calcium channel antagonists. This work has significant consequences to the field of stroke research. Additionally, we have shown that acute versus chronic nicotine exposure leads to permeabilizing of the blood-brain barrier and alterations in protein cytoarchitecture. This is the basis of an Arizona Disease Control Research Commission (ADCRC) contract.