Faculty and Research

Endothelial Cell Function and Salivary Gland Blood Flow

Dr. Leigh Anderson

Microangiopathy develops early in diabetes mellitus, and its consequent effects on retinal, neural and renal function underlie the major complications associated with diabetes. Microvascular impairment results from the complex interaction of impaired endothelial function and neural (vasomotor) regulation of vascular tone and permeability. The role of the vasculature in salivary secretion has generally been assumed rather than investigated, and thus work in our laboratory addresses some of the basic physiological processes that underlie the development of microangiopathy.

The rat submandibular gland (SMG) is an excellent model system for investigating the role of the endothelium in the local regulation of blood flow. Therefore, identification of the cellular mechanisms that underlie microvascular abnormalities in the diabetic rat SMG may have important implications for the development of new therapeutic strategies aimed at the prevention and treatment of diabetic microvascular disease.

Leigh Anderson, landerso@pacific.edu, 415.929.6413