Physiological Assessment of Animal Models of Health and Disease

Image relating to the CRIC Group

Group leader: Dr Andrew Coney

Overview

This group assesses the physiological function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in whole animals at rest and in responses to acute and chronic stimuli.

Our research group

Diseases are often multifactorial and involve different body systems meaning an integrative approach is vital to understanding their causes and progression. Some diseases of particular interest to this research group are obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes, which can often occur as co-morbidities.

We are developing animal models of OSA, COPD and glucose dysregulation in order to understand the mechanisms of disease development and progression. We are able to assess the physiological function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in conscious and anaesthetised whole animals. Superimposed on these assessments we investigate the responses to acute and chronic stimuli linked to the diseases and their symptoms.

We are also interested in characterising the acute and chronic responses to cardiovascular and respiratory challenges in genetically manipulated animals. This will further our understanding of the mechanisms involved in sensing changes in oxygen, carbon dioxide and glucose and their relationship to disease progression.

Current Projects

  • Changes evoked by intermittent hypoxia in relation to chronic cardiorespiratory diseases such as OSA
  • The effect of ageing on cardiorespiratory function
  • Changes in pulmonary vasculature in diseases such as COPD
  • Mechanisms behind the cardiorespiratory changes evoked by glucose dysregulation
  • Aetiology of Necrotising Enterocolitis using an animal model

Recent Publications

  • Thompson EL, Ray CJ, Coney AM and Kumar P (2013) Hypoglycaemia-induced hyperpnoea: a role for epinephrine and the carotid body? FASEB Journal 27:1137.18
  • Hauton D, Holmes A, Ziff O and Kumar P (2013) The impact of acute and chronic catecholamines on respiratory responses to hypoxic stress in the rat. Pflugers Arch 465:209-19
  • Rook W, Coney AM and Marshall JM (2011) Femoral Vascular Responses Evoked by Different Patterns of Sympathetic Nerve Stimulation in Developmentally Programmed Rats. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2:S39-S39

Staff

Principal Investigators
Dr Andrew Coney - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 
Prof Prem Kumar - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Prof Janice Marshall - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Dr Clare Ray - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 

PhD Students
Abu Gassama
Rehan Junejo
Emma Thompson

Honorary Staff
Dr David Hauton

Internal Collaborators
Dr George Balanos - School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences 
Dr Abd Tahrani - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 
Dr Daniel Tennant - School of Cancer Sciences 

External Collaborators
Dr Susan Pyner - Durham University