Professor and Chair, Douglas Bayliss presents the 2020 Ted Rall Award to Matteo Ottolini for his first-authored publication “Local Peroxynitrite Impairs Endothelial TRPV4 Channels and Elevates Blood Pressure in Obesity,” published in Circulation. Matteo is a trainee in Swapnil Sonkusare‘s lab and describes the work and findings of he and his colleges below:
Obesity is characterized by loss of endothelial function and high blood pressure, however the mechanisms behind these pathologies remain elusive. Calcium influx via endothelial TRPV4 channels regulates endothelial function and lowers blood pressure. We have discovered that in obesity, the production of peroxynitrite, a reactive nitrogen species, nearby endothelial TRPV4 channels translates in the formation of pathological microdomains where calcium entry through TRPV4 channels is severely impaired causing hypertension. Indeed, we have demonstrated that lowering peroxynitrite levels could represent a novel therapeutic avenue in treating obesity derived hypertension.
Matteo Ottolini is also the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Pharmacology. Both awards are well-deserved. Way to Go, Matteo! Thank you for your contributions to research. The Pharmacology department is very proud of you!