Lower Urinary Tract
Dr. Apodaca's Research
My lab studies the biology of the epithelial cells that line the inner surface of the bladder and ureters (urothelium), as well the cells that line the tubules that comprise the kidney nephron. We have three major projects in the laboratory:
1. Studies of stretch-regulated membrane traffic in umbrella cells
2. Analysis of tight junction morphology and function in response to stretch
3. Exploration of what the role is of uroplakins in urinary tract development and congenital anaomalies of the kidney and urinary tract
Dr. Birder's Research
Dr. Carattino's Research
Dr. Ikeda's Research
Our lab has demonstrated communication of urothelial cells with lamina propria pacemaker interstitial cell. In certain pathologies, bladder interstitial cells become interconnected by gap junctions. This permits interactions with the detrusor smooth muscle to enhance autonomous bladder contractions and stimulation sensory nerves responsible for initiating micturition; therefore contributing to overactive bladder symptoms. Our research has now expanded to also examine the interaction of sensory nerves with interstitial cells and the bidirectional communication between sensory neurons and the urothelium.
The overall goal of our research is to characterize the intrinsic communication mechanisms between the different layers of the bladder wall and determine their role in lower urinary tract dysfunction.
Division of Renal-Electrolyte Academic Offices
A919 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261