The integrated action of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems occurs largely, but not solely, through the combined actions of cardiorespiratory reflexes that ensure the co-ordinated delivery of adequate oxygenation to all tissues and organs according to their metabolic needs. When not operating optimally, the outcome is inevitably cardiovascular and/or respiratory disease, including coronary vascular disease, hypertension, asthma and COPD, which together constitute the major causes of worldwide morbidity and mortality. The aim of the CRIC theme is to work towards a greater understanding of the physiological and pathological processes underlying the co-ordinated regulation of cardiovascular and respiratory homeostasis in health and disease. To this end, studies are conducted from the sub-cellular to the clinical level and encompass a number of animal models of cardiorespiratory disease as well as cell-based and patient studies.
The group consists of basic scientists and clinicians from across the University studying the impact of acute and chronic disturbances of oxygen delivery and utilisation in a range human and animal models. A variety of approaches, between sub-cellular to clinical, are utilised but the group is particularly distinguished by its use of in vivo techniques and its emphasis on systemic integration. Present studies include elucidation of:
blood flow regulatory mechanisms in skeletal and cardiac muscle in models of ischaemia
hypoxia transduction mechanisms in health and diseases pertaining to chronic or intermittent hypoxaemia, e.g., COPD and obstructive sleep apnoea
cardiorespiratory function in diseases of metabolism including diabetes and metabolic syndrome
the impact upon cardiovascular regulation of alterations in thermoregulatory set point: potential in clinical intervention