The Piascik Lab

Current Projects:  

We are interested in the regulation of cardiovascular function by subtypes of the alpha1-adrenergic receptors . These receptors are members of the super family of G-protein coupled receptors. Research techniques used in the lab are whole animal cardiovascular measurements in both rats and genetically altered mice, in vitro assessment of contractile function, measurement of growth responses, immunocytochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy. Currently there are 3 known subtypes of the alpha1-AR:  the alpha1A, the alpha1B and the alpha1D. While working with Drs. Robert Graham and Dianne Perez, Dr. Piascik participated in the cloning and characterization of the alpha1A and the alpha1D-AR subtypes. Over the past several years we have focused on the regulation of peripheral vascular function by the alpha1-ARs subtypes. This work is summarized in several recent papers. (Refer to Piascik 1995, 1997; Hrometz 1999)  It is our hypothesis that, while all blood vessels express all receptors, a single receptor participates in contractile regulation. Furthermore, this regulatory receptor is different in different vascular beds. We believe that the alpha1a and the alpha1d-ARs are primarily involved in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle contraction. We have also shown that the alpha1-ARs are expressed in different cellular compartments and differ in the rate and extent of agonist mediated internalization. We propose that these differences in cellular localization result in different regulatory activities for the alpha1-ARs. We believe that the major regulatory activity of the alpha1b-AR is in the regulation of hypertrophic growth responses. In collaboration with Dr. Dianne M. Perez of the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic we have examined growth responses in mice genetically altered to overexpress the wild-type and constitutively active forms of the alpha1b-AR. These mice develop cardiac hypertrophy. Our preliminary studies show that these mice also have elevated levels of the mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) ERK and JNK. Therefore, we propose that these kinases link the alpha1b-AR to hypertrophic responses.  

We continue to pursue these areas of investigation as well expand our
horizons into new and novel areas of research involving the alpha1-ARs.

Recent Publications:

Chalothorn D, McCune DF, Edelmann SE, Tobita K, Keller BB, Lasley RD, Perez DM, Tanoue A, Tsujimoto G, Post GR and Piascik MT. (2003) "Differential cardiovascular regulatory activities of the alpha 1B- and alpha 1D-adrenoceptor subtypes." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 305:1045-53.

Yun J, Zuscik MJ, Gonzalez-Cabrera P, McCune DF, Ross SA, Gaivin R, Piascik MT and Perez DM. (2003) "Gene expression profiling of alpha(1b)-adrenergic receptor-induced cardiac hypertrophy by oligonucleotide arrays." Cardiovasc Res. 57:443-55.

Chalothorn D, McCune DF, Edelmann SE, Garcia-Cazarin ML, Tsujimoto G and Piascik MT. (2002) Differences in the Cellular Localization and Agonist-Mediated Internalization Properties of the alpha(1)-Adrenoceptor Subtypes. Mol Pharmacol 61:1008-16.

Waldrop, B.A., Piascik, M.T. and Post, G.R. (2002) Regulation of cell growth and MAPK family members ERK, JNK, and p38 kinase by the Alpha-1B and Alpha-1D adrenergic receptor subtypes. J Pharmacol Expt Ther 300:83-90. 

Piascik, M.T. and Perez, D.M. (2001) Perspectives in a1-adrenergic receptors: Pharmacology, Function and Future Directions., Invited Review, Perspectives in Pharmacology, J Pharmacol Expt Ther 298:403-410.

Zuscik, M.J., Chalothorn, D., Hellard, D., Deighan, C. McGee, A., Daly, C.J., Waugh, D.J.J., Ross, S.A., Gaivin, R.J., Morehead, A.J., Thomas, J.D., Plow, E.F., McGrath, J.C., Piascik, M.T., and Perez, D.M. (2001) Hypotension, autonomic failure, and cardiac hypertrophy in transgenic mice over-expressing the alpha1B-adrenergic receptor. J Biol Chem 276:13738-13743.

McCune DF, Edelmann SE, Olges JR, Post GR, Waldrop BA, Waugh DJJ, Perez DM and Piascik MT. (2000) Regulation of the Cellular Localization and Signaling Properties of the alphaB- and alpha1D- Adrenoceptors by Agonists and Inverse Agonists.  Mol Pharmacol  57: 659-666

Hrometz SL, Edelmann SE, McCune DF, Olges JR, Hadley RW, Perez DM and  Piascik MT. (1999) Expression of Multiple alpha1-Adrenoceptors on Vascular Smooth Muscle: Correlation with the Regulation of Contraction. J Pharmacol Exp Ther  290: 452-463.

Porter JE, Edelmann S, Waugh DJ, Piascik MT and Perez DM. (1998) The agonism and synergistic potentiation of weak partial agonists by triethylamine in alpha1 adrenergic receptor activation: Evidence for a salt-bridge as the initiating process. Mol Pharmacol 53:766-771.

Abstracts and Presentations: 

Chalothorn, D., McCune, D.F., Edelmann, S.E., Tsujimoto, G., and Piascik, M.T. Differences in cellular localization and agonist mediated internalization properties of the alpha1-adrenoceptor subtypes. Experimental Biology, 2001, Orlando, FL, April, 2001.

Chalothorn, D., McCune, D.F., Edelmann, S.E., Zuscik, M.J., Perez, D.M., and Piascik, M.T. The effect of overexpression of wild-type and constitutively active alpha1B-adrenoceptors on blood pressure regulation and vascular smooth muscle contraction. 73rd Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, New Orleans, LA, November, 2000.

McCune, D.F., Edelmann, S.E., Olges, J.R., Waldrop, B.A., Waugh, D.J., Perez, D.M., and Piascik, M.T. Regulation of the cellular localization of alpha1B and alpha1D-adrenoceptors by agonists and inverse agonists. 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, Atlanta, GA, November, 1999.

McCune, D.F., Post, G.R., Hrometz, S.L., Edelmann, S.E., Olges, J.R., and Piascik, M.T. Subcellular co-localization of alpha1-adrenergic receptor (AR) subtypes and G-protein " subunits in vascular smooth muscle and cardiac myocytes. Experimental Biology, 99, Washington, D.C., April, 1999.

Additional Publications: 


Current members of the Lab

Michael T. Piascik
Mary Lolis Garcia-Cazarin
Jenny Smith


Dianne Perez

Where are  they now? - Former members of the lab:  

Dan Chalothorn - University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Postdoctoral Fellow in James Faber's lab

Dan F. McCune - Cleveland Clinic, Postdoctoral Fellow in Dianne Perez' lab

Sandra L. Hrometz - Ohio Northern University, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy





Comments to Jenny Smith, Last Modified: December 15, 2005
Copyright 1999, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Statement