Nancy L. Kanagy, PhD


Vivo Profile

Research Interests

My primary research interests are vascular physiology, hypertension and blood pressure control. My current research focuses on altered signal transduction in vascular cells during the development and maintenance of hypertension. This involves studies in vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells and arterial segments. The long-term goal of these investigations is elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for elevated vascular contractility in hypertension and the development of pharmacological tools to reverse this hypersensitivity. 

A major emphasis is investigating vascular effects of sleep apnea. We have developed a rat model of sleep apnea by exposing animals to intermittent hypoxia during their sleep period. Using this model, we have determined that the vasoactive peptide endothelin appears to initiate sustained hypertension (Kanagy et al 2001). We have also determined that 14 days of intermittent hypoxia initiates profound vascular changes that alter both endothelial function and vascular smooth muscle cell responses to endothelin. Ongoing studies are investigating specific alterations in endothelial and smooth muscle cell function to decipher the molecular mechanisms leading to augmented vasoconstriction. 

A second ongoing project is investigating the cardiovascular effects of the recently described vasodilator, hydrogen sulfide  We have found that endogenously produced hydrogen sulfide appears to activate endothelial BKCa artery function and that repeated exposures initiate systemic alterations in both cardiac and vascular function.

A final area of research in investigating interactions between the alpha 2 adrenergic receptor and cardiovascular regulation. We have observed that decreased expression of the alpha 2B adrenergic receptor upregulates expression and function of vascular nitric oxide synthase. Ongoing studies are investigating specific molecular targets of this interaction.

Education, Honors and Professional Experience 

1980 - 1984, B.A., Chemistry, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. 
1987 - 1992, Ph.D., Pharmacology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. 
1992 - 1994, Postdoctoral Fellow, Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1995 - 1997, Assistant Professor of Physiology, University of New Mexico.
1997 - 2001, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of New Mexico. 
2001 - 2007, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of New Mexico. 
2007 - Present, Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of New Mexico. 

Current Lab Personnel 

Jessica Osmond, PhD, Post-doctoral fellow
Bradley Webster, Doctoral student
Daniel Paredes, Medical student
Carolyn Lucero Pace, Undergraduate student
Minerva Murphy Laboratory manager

Selected Recent Publications

KANAGY NL, Walker BR, Nelin LD. Intermittent hypoxia induces endothelin-dependent hypertension. Hypertension 37:511-515, 2001

Allahdadi KJ, Walker BR, KANAGY NL. Augmented endothelin vasoconstriction in intermittent hypoxia-induced hypertension.Hypertension. 2005 Apr;45(4):705-9. Allahdadi K, Walker B, KANAGY NL. ROK contribution to endothelin-mediated contraction in aorta and mesenteric arteries following intermittent hypoxia/hypercapnia in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 293(5):H291108, 2007.

Silva AQ, Allahdadi KJ, Youngblood VM, KANAGY NL. Reactive Oxygen Species Contribute to Sleep Apnea-induced Hypertension in Rats. (in press) Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 293(5):H2971-6, 2007.

Allahdadi K, Duling, L.C., Walker B, KANAGY NL. Eucapnic intermittent hypoxia augments endothelin-1 vasoconstriction in rats: role of PKCd. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. E-published 2008.

Snow J, Kitzis V, Norton C, Torres S, Johnson K, KANAGY NL, Walker BR, and Resta TC. Differential Effects of Chronic and Intermittent Hypoxia on Pulmonary Vasoreactivity. J Applied Physiol 104(1):110-118, 2008.

Jackson-Weaver O, Paredes DA, Gonzalez Bosc LV, Walker BR, Kanagy NL. Intermittent Hypoxia in Rats Increases Myogenic Tone Through Loss of Hydrogen Sulfide Activation of Large-Conductance Ca2+-Activated Potassium Channels. Circ Res. 10;108(12):1439-47, 2011.

Snow JB., Gonzalez Bosc LV, Kanagy NL, Walker BR, and Resta TC. Role for PKCβ in Enhanced Endothelin-1-Induced Pulmonary Vasoconstrictor Reactivity Following Intermittent Hypoxia. Am J Physiol Lung. 301(5):L745-54, 2011.

Norton CE, Jernigan NL, Kanagy NL, Walker BR, Resta TC. Intermittent Hypoxia Augments Pulmonary Vascular Smooth Muscle Reactivity to NO: Regulation by Reactive Oxygen Species. J Appl Physiol. inPress July 2011.

Meyer MR, Field AS, Kanagy NL, Barton M, Prossnitz ER. GPER regulates endothelin-dependent vascular tone and intracellular calcium. Life Sci. ePublished 2012 Feb 2.

Meyer MR, Amann K, Field AS, Hu C, Hathaway HJ, Kanagy NL, Walker MK, Barton M, Prossnitz ER. Deletion of g protein-coupled estrogen receptor increases endothelial vasoconstriction. Hypertension. 2012 Feb;59(2):507-12.