Hanjun Wang, MD is Margaret R. Larson Endowed Professor in Anesthesiology, Courtesy Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, and
Vice Chair, Integrative Physiology & Molecular Medicine Doctoral Program for University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Dr. Wang's lab focuses primarily on the neural control mechanisms underlying the exaggerated cardiovascular response and hyperventilation during exercise in the CHF state. They recently provided the direct evidence demonstrating that muscle mechanically sensitive afferents (Group III) are sensitized in a CHF rat model whereas the metabolically sensitive afferents (group IV) are desensitized. Currently, their study is looking for the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the abnormal sensitization of muscle afferents in CHF with the integrative techniques such as patch clamp, single fiber recording and common molecular techniques (western blot, PCR, immunohistochemistry and in vivo or in vitro gene transfer).
In addition, Dr. Wang's lab recently found that besides muscle afferents, spinal cord dysfunction may also contribute to the exaggerated cardiovascular response during exercise in CHF. The imbalance between glutamatergic and GABAergic input in the spinal cord may cause the enhanced spinal neuronal excitability in CHF. Finally, based on their previous finding that long-term exercise training (ExT), as a non-pharmacological therapeutic strategy, prevents the progression of the exaggerated EPR in CHF. The lab is focusing on the underlying mechanisms.