MCS Featured Lab - November 2020

Brant E Isakson, Ph.D.

Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Dr Brant E Isakson

Research Description:

Our lab is focused on heterocellular communication in the microvasculature. The research ranges from endothelial-smooth muscle cell communication, to understanding endothelial cell communication with inflammatory cells or adipocytes. We utilize a range of unique transgenic mouse models, human tissue, and cell biology.

Currently we are focused on four broad areas: 1.) pannexin channels in the vasculature both in terms of inflammation and ischemia/reperfusion, as well as blood pressure regulation; 2.) understanding myoendothelial junction dynamics between endothelium and smooth muscle; 3.) how endothelial cell alpha hemoglobin regulates local and peripheral redox in hypoxia, and; 4.) heterocellular dynamics unique to the physiology of particular vascular beds (e.g., adipose).

Our lab takes a great deal of pride in the numerous and long history of success constantly demonstrated by our students and post-docs. We would love to talk with you about cellular communication in the microvasculature!

Lab Website:


Top lesson you have learned in your career:

Creativity and thinking outside of the box always trumps dogma.

Recent Publications:

  • Krüger N, Biwer LA, Good ME, Ruddiman CA, Wolpe AG, DeLalio LJ, Murphy S, Macal EH Jr, Ragolia L, Serbulea V, Best AK, Leitinger N, Harris TE, Sonkusare SK, Gödecke A, Isakson BE. Loss of Endothelial FTO Antagonizes Obesity-Induced Metabolic and Vascular Dysfunction. Circ Res. 2020 Jan 17;126(2):232-242. (PMID: 31801409)
  • DeLalio LJ, Masati E, Mendu S, Ruddiman CA, Yang Y, Johnstone SR, Milstein JA, Keller TCS 4th, Weaver RB, Guagliardo NA, Best AK, Ravichandran KS, Bayliss DA, Sequeira-Lopez MLS, Sonkusare SN, Shu XH, Desai B, Barrett PQ, Le TH, Gomez RA, Isakson BE. Pannexin 1 channels in renin-expressing cells influence renin secretion and blood pressure homeostasis. Kidney Int. 2020 Sep;98(3):630-644. (PMID: 32446934)
  • Shu X, Ruddiman CA, Keller TCS 4th, Keller AS, Yang Y, Good ME, Best AK, Columbus L, Isakson BE. Heterocellular Contact Can Dictate Arterial Function. Circ Res. 2019 May 10;124(10):1473-1481. (PMID: 30900949)