Dongsheng Cai, Ph.D., received two NIH grants to study the role of the hypothalamus in obesity and hypertension. Dr. Cai has found that sustained activation of astrocytes (cells that surround and support neurons) may contribute to the metabolic dysregulation and subsequent weight gain caused by pro-inflammatory signaling in the hypothalamus. He was awarded a four-year, $2 million grant (1R01DK121435-01) to study how hypothalamic astrocytes are altered in inflammation and how those altered astrocytes influence hypothalamic neurons to dysregulate metabolism. Evidence also indicates that inflammation–induced activation of hypothalamic astrocytes plays a role in in obesity-related hypertension (OHT), which accounts for 75% of hypertension cases but is difficult to control. The second grant (1R01HL147477-01), totaling $2.5 million over four years, sponsors Dr. Cai’s research into how the astrocyte-neuron relationship in obesity contributes to OHT. Dr. Cai is professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein.
Posted on: Wednesday, July 17, 2019