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Heiny Lab

Research Interests

Our laboratory conducts basic research on muscle physiology at the molecular and cellular levels.

Recent research projects have focused on:

  • the physiological roles and regulation of the Na, K-ATPase α isoforms in skeletal muscle.
  • Development of new technologies, based on Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) for measuring ion and nutrient transport in biological samples, including cultured cells, skeletal muscle single fibers and intact muscles.
  • Klf2, in the inflammatory response to injury

Our current research focuses on the question: How do contracting skeletal muscles take up glucose by a mechanism that does not require insulin? This study is motivated by the fact that contraction-induced glucose uptake, which does not require insulin, can exceed insulin-dependent glucose uptake by 50- to 100-fold and, therefore, is critical for maintaining glucose homeostasis in disorders of insulin-dependent glucose uptake (diabetes).  These studies represent an ongoing collaboration between my laboratory and the laboratory of Dr. Julio Landero-Figuero, Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of Cincinnati.

We use a range of experimental approaches to address this question, including:  in vitro measurement of glucose uptake in isolated contracting mouse skeletal muscles of WT and TG mice; simultaneous measurement of multiple ions (K/Rb, Ca, Na, et al.) and carbon-based molecules (13C-glucose et al.) that are potentially co-transported during contraction; and immunohistochemistry assays and functional measurements of muscle force in situ and in vivo.

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Department of
Pharmacology and Systems Physiology

College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0575