Dr. Wilkes Gets Research Grant
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Heart Study Outlined— Dr. Wilkes Gets Research Grant By MERRILEE LEATHERMAN Journal Staff Writer The Louisiana Heart Assn. has awarded $3,870 to Ann B. Wilkes, Ph. D., for research in cardiovascular diseases and function. Dr. Wilkes, assistant profes-sor in the department of Pharmacology and Therapeu-tics, LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, will use the grant for a period of one year in her research project, "Role of Calcium in Excitation-con-traction of Atria." THIS PROJECT proposes to study specifically the role of calcium and the mechanism of excitation-contraction in the normal and failing atrium of the rabbit heart. The results of the project, according to the r e s e a r c h outline, should be a determi-nation of the normal ultras-tructure of the atria and is relation to normal contraction and ultrastructure changes in the contracile failure. The invesigator says some drugs such as digitalis and caffeine appear to produce or modify the mechanism of contraction in muscle by in-creasing calcium from intra-cellular exchange across the membrane by causing the release of calcium from in-tracellular storage sites or inhibiting the ability of the muscle cell to adjust its calcium levels. SEVERAL GROUPS of in-vesigators already have shown there is a defect in calcium transport in various components of the muscle cell and a functional abnormality of the calcium regulating system in the intact myocar-dial cell in heart failure. This could lead to changes in the excitability and contractility of clinioal importance. Therefore, nominal function of heart muscle appears to depend on the regulation of calcium within the cardiac cell, but the precise mecha-n i s m s responsible for the changes in intracellular con-centration of free calcium necessary to effect the contraction relaxation cycle remain to be determined. This reportedly is particu-larly true in cardiac muscle where the concepts of excita-tion and contraction that have been determined for skeletal muscle will no apply due to the difference in ultrastruc-ture. DR. WILKE'S study will involve a detailed study of the ultrastructure of the normal rabbit atria to use for com-parison purposes. She will treat the tissue with special stains to elucidate the area occupied by the extracellular space. Another stain will permit semi quaniatie estimation of the location of sodium, magnesium and calcium by precipitation of these cations within the cell- The atria will be treated with solutions known to pro-duce a failure of the coupling of excitation to contracton. The changes in the tension produced by the muscle will be correlated with the ultra-s t r u c t u r a l changes and changes in cation content — especially calcium. VARIOUS DRUGS will be used to change the contractili-ty of the muscle and again, the ultrastructure and cation content will be observed. Dr. Wilkes, who was with the Department of Pharma-cology at the University of Mississippi M e d i c a l School before coming to Shreveport, is the co-author of numerous scientific articles and pre-viously has received a grant-in- aid from the Mississippi Heart Assn. Fellowships she has re-ceived include a predoctoral- NIH General Medical 'Sciences from 1965-69, and two re-search fellowships from the Mississippi Heart Assn. She is the wife of Thurston E. Wilkes II, M.D. They are the parents of one son, Thurs-ton E. Wilkes, III.
|Title||Dr. Wilkes Gets Research Grant|
Wilkes, Ann B.
Louisiana Heart Association
Louisiana State University School of Medicine (Shreveport, La.)
Pharmacology and Therapeutics Department (Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport)
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|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|