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Jennifer Fang, PhD

Role of Cx40 in Sex-Based Differences in Vascular Responses to Peripheral Ischemia


Peripheral artery disease (PAD) – a common complication of atherosclerosis and type II diabetes – is caused by fatty plaque occlusions that narrow or occlude blood vessels of the lower extremities. In general, PAD prevalence increases significantly with patient age across both men and women, however, there appear to be sex-based differences in when and how PAD presents clinically. Using a mouse surgical model of PAD, we recently found that Cx40 is required in a sex-specific manner to maintain bloodflow to ischemic tissue, and that this may be related to Cx40 regulation of estrogen receptor signaling in endothelial cells. This project aims to better understand Cx40’s involvement in estrogen and androgen signaling in the vasculature, and how this might explain sex-based differences in PAD in patients.

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