Ramadoss Lab Science

Cardiovascular

Credits:
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/division/division-lung-disease-anniversary

Fetal growth, neonatal birth weights and survival are all directly related to major vascular adaptations in normal pregnancies. The lab's work demonstrates substantial vascular endothelial programming in pregnancy, adaptations to blood pressure, and uterine arterial vasodilation to accommodate the blood flow and nutrient requirement of the growing fetus.

 

 

 

Pulmonary

 

The lab has an engineered e-cig vaping system utilizing an atomizer identical to those used by e-cig consumers, to generate vapor profiles directly comparable to human vaping in a pregnant rat model. We have determined that gestational exposure to e-cig aerosols results in significant alterations to the amino acid profile, pulmonary development, pulmonary function, and gene expression in the fetal lungs. Our research shows a targeted disruption to the nitric oxide pathway, branched-chain amino acid metabolism, fetal protein synthesis, and urea cycle.

 

 

Integrative Physiology, Nutrition, Brain, Endocrine, Skeletal, Vascular, Uteroplacental

Citation: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpheart.00127.2012

 

The lab's expertise in integrative fetal physiology, surgical techniques, and in vivo whole animal approaches has prepared us to investigate adverse developmental outcomes, especially fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and e-cigarette vaping at multiple organ system levels including fetal neurodevelopment, nutrition, cardiovascular system, bone development, endocrine, and the respiratory system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High throughput approaches

We have utilized mass spectrometric technologies to identify protein targets of alcohol in fetal brain regions, the placenta, and the mother's uterine artery in a rat model. Identifying etiological cues from these explorations, and clustering these cues into patterns, we developed a model of the uterine artery's adaptations in FASD, and directly related these adaptations to the cardinal outcome of fetal growth restriction.

We have utilized several novel complimentary quantitative mass spectrometric approaches including non-labeled (label-free) nano LC MS/MS, gel-based 2-D DIGE MALDI TOF/TOF, and label-based methods like iTRAQ nano LC MS/MS to study differential protein signatures during pregnancy and also validated them.

Neuroscience

The laboratory has moved from merely cataloging alcohol-induced fetal deficits to identifying factors contributing to the etiology of FASD. The lab has developed  methods to identify novel etiological factors affecting FASD outcomes. This was aided by exploiting the similarities in molecular targets of alcohol between the mother's uterine blood vessels and the fetal brain arteries. Since much of the FASD field focusses on neurobiology and behavior, our physiologic approach to characterize fetal brain hemodynamics is both novel and valuable. Employing a whole animal physiologic and cellular/molecular approach, the lab envisions assessing the effects of pharmacological and/or nutraceutical agents on prevention of FASD.