The purpose of the Analytical and Phenotyping Core is to provide state-of-the-art cardiovascular and biochemical analysis of sympathetic baroreflex function, including measurements of sympathetic nerve traffic, catechols, and norepinephrine clearance and spillover. This resource has been critical to the recognition and characterization by our group of new disorders involving the autonomic nervous system, such as dopamine-beta-hydroxylase deficiency. A variety of techniques have been established in this Core to support individual projects, including the determination of plasma volume (Project land 4), heart rate and blood pressure variability (Project 1,2,3, and 4), and baroreflex function (Project 1 and 4). Especially Project 2 among all the others will utilize biochemical evaluation of sympathetic activity which complements other methods of autonomic evaluation detailed in the Clinical Core. Expertise in analysis of ultradian rhythms of cardiovascular parameters for phenotyping will be utilized in Project 1, 3, and 4. Project 1 and 4 will use our novel signal processing tools for neurological signals. In addition, we have implemented an animal phenotyping facility, adapting the methods developed to evaluate autonomic function in humans, to the mice which will be used mainly in Project 1. This includes, among other things, monitoring intra-arterial blood pressure in awake unrestricted mice, monitoring renal sympathetic nerve activity, baroreflex testing, osmopressor tests, and high fidelity ECG, in intact and sinoaortic- denervated mice. Genetically-modified mice are increasingly important in translating autonomic knowledge, and this phenotyping mouse laboratory will be essential in this regard. In this funding period, the Core will provide similar biochemical analytical and phenotyping services but with focus on human data including enhanced signal processing, data reduction with automatic database feeds, links between existing databases, development of data exploration tools for all projects.

Public Health Relevance

The Analytical and Phenotyping Core provides methods to determine how well autonomic control is functioning in humans and in mice. It includes analysis of biological samples, assessment of performance of heart and vessels, and central and peripheral autonomic control. Mice with a genetic defect will be used to study a disease of blood pressure control in a way it is not possible to do in humans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Heart, Lung, and Blood Initial Review Group (HLBP)
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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