Theme leader: Thierry Alquier, Ph.D.
|Cardiometabolic and respiratory diseases are the main causes of mortality and morbidity are account for the lion’s share of health system costs. The sub-themes of this research theme focus on physiopathological process (discovery of mechanisms of pathogenesis), genetics (prevention, prediction and discovery of therapeutic targets), animal modelling (therapeutic innovation), imaging, and clinical research (diagnostics, treatment and prevention).|
The mechanisms responsible for modulating angiogenesis and cardiac remodelling; the inflammatory process in atherosclerosis and the involvement of natriuretic peptides and imidazoline receptors in hypertension and heart failure; the signalling pathways of insulin, the growth hormone, oxytocin, vitamin D as well as those present in the proliferation of thyroid and adrenocortical cells. Of note also is the development of the concept of glucagon resistance.
Genetics and animal modelling
Several models of the main risk factors for cardio-metabolic diseases are developed: transgenic mice overexpressing angiotensinogen and other genes in their kidneys and that develop hypertension and kidney failure, a model of familial hyperlipidemia, and pharmacogenetics have allowed the identification of several response loci to antihypertensive drugs; the production of congenic strains, with a focus on different loci regulating blood pressure; global genomic approaches and the use of computerized genealogies are making it possible to dissect genetically-distinct forms of complex diseases in humans; the identification of new genes involved in the action of insulin and the apoptosis of pancreatic ß cells, in the development type 2 diabetes, and obesity and its response to diet, in the biosynthesis of retinoic acids, and in the somatropic function and aging.
Vascular ultrasound elastography and non-intrusive vascular echography and elastography in genetically-modified species. The Vascular Biomaterials Laboratory collaborates with several other laboratories, including interventional neuroradiology, biorheology and ultrasonography as well as with the Radiology Department. Several collaborations with the École Polytechnique de Montréal have facilitated the development of new concepts, such as the navigation of ferromagnetic agents in MRI and algorithms for imaging stents by CT scan.
The role of epithelial cells in the pathophysiology of pulmonary lesions caused by cystic fibrosis, and lung transplantation. Research in this area has shown that the inflammatory process greatly diminishes the expression of sodium channels which can contribute to the severity of pulmonary lesions. The role played by potassium channels in these processes and in repairing the pulmonary epithelium caused by these lesions is also studied.
Diagnostics, treatment and prevention
Identification of biomarkers and development of new screening and treatment strategies for subjects with an elevated risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; development of new methods to reduce aneurysm recanalization; development of new procedures to improve drug compliance among people with hypertension and a community program aimed at changing dietary habits among subjects at risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.