MCS Featured Lab - July 2020

Jorge A. Castorena-Gonzalez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Tulane University
Dr Jorge A. Castorena-Gonzalez

Research Description:

Our main goal is to investigate the mechanisms through which the lymphatic system becomes dysfunctional and how this contributes to the onset and development of cardiovascular diseases. Deficiency of the lymphatic system can result in abnormal accumulation of fluid, causing lymphedema. Lymphedema can be associated with genetic malformations of the lymphatic vasculature, increased permeability through the lymphatic wall, and relevant to the work we do in our lab, impaired contractility of lymphatic vessels and/or incompetent lymphatic valves. Our current research focuses on the interaction between obesity and lymphatic function. Our lab utilizes a wide range of techniques including: pressure myography on isolated lymphatic vessels from animal models and humans, lymphatic cell cultures, electron microscopy, and confocal microscopy to study intracellular calcium dynamics. We also have a strong interest in developing novel techniques in physiology and software tools for the automated processing and analysis of data.

Lab Website:



Top lesson you have learned in your career:

Perseverance, hard-work, humility, and keeping an open mind for criticism and learning are key factors for success.

Recent Publications:

  • Castorena-Gonzalez JA, Srinivasan RS, King PD, Simon AM, Davis MJ. Simplified method to quantify valve back-leak uncovers severe mesenteric lymphatic valve dysfunction in mice deficient in connexins 43 and 37. J Physiol. 2020;598(12):2297-2310. doi:10.1113/JP279472. (PMID: 32267537)
  • Castorena-Gonzalez JA, Zawieja SD, Li M, Srinivasan RS, Simon AM, de Wit C, de la Torre R, Martinez-Lemus LA, Hennig GW, Davis MJ. Mechanisms of Connexin-Related Lymphedema. Circ Res. 2018;123(8):964-985. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.312576. (PMID: 30355030)
  • Davis MJ, Kim HJ, Zawieja SD, Castorena-Gonzalez JA, Gui P, Li M, Saunders BT, Zinselmeyer BH, Randolph GJ, Remedi MS, Nichols CG. Kir6.1-dependent KATP channels in lymphatic smooth muscle and vessel dysfunction in mice with Kir6.1 gain-of-function. J Physiol. 2020;10.1113/JP279612. doi:10.1113/JP279612. (PMID: 32372450)