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Medical College Receives NIH Grant to Study Role of Amino Acid in Regulation of Kidney Function

The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a five-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study the role of the amino acid L-arginine (L-Arg) in the regulation of kidney blood vessel function.

David L. Mattson, Ph.D., professor of physiology, is principal investigator for the grant.

Nitric oxide (NO) regulates arterial blood pressure and kidney function by influencing systemic and kidney blood flow. L-Arg is a critical modulator of NO production in the cells of kidney blood vessels. L-Arg is also an important regulator of kidney blood flow resistance.

Dr. Mattson will use unique cellular and molecular techniques to identify the L-Arg uptake transporters in blood vessels of the kidneys and then determine the functional importance of these transporters on NO production in normal and diseased models.

The results of these studies may provide important insights into the causes of high blood pressure and related complications that are a leading cause of death and disease in the U.S.

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