headshot of catalina
October 28, 2019

Thesis Proposal: Catalina Chesney

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019

12pm, KNES Conference Room


Chair: Dr. Sushant Ranadive




Abstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Vascular dysfunction plays a key role in the progression of hypertension, a major CVD risk factor. Impaired endothelial function and increased arterial stiffness serve as subclinical markers of CVD and can be used as predictors of cardiovascular events and mortality. Racial disparities in CVD appear to exist, with higher incidences of hypertension and CVD in African-American (AA) adults compared to Caucasian-American counterparts. Additionally, AA populations have been found to have augmented measures of arterial stiffness and vascular dysfunction. The key to understanding these racial disparities may lie in evaluating vascular responses to inflammation. Inflammation is a systemic response to physiological stress and known contributor to vascular dysfunction. Due to the impact of inflammation on vascular function, it is possible that augmented inflammatory responses in AA may reveal inflammation as a driving force behind racial disparities in CVD.

Therefore, the aims of this study are to 1) determine differences in vascular function following an acute bout of inflammation between AA and CA and 2) to assess quantities of circulating inflammatory markers after acute induced inflammation in AA as compared to their CA counterparts. We hypothesize that 1) AA will exhibit attenuated vascular function following induced acute inflammation as compared to their CA counterparts and 2) AA will exhibit significantly higher concentrations of circulating inflammatory markers following induced acute inflammation as compared to their CA counterparts. We plan to perform a randomized, double-blind, sham controlled crossover design. Recruited participants will self-identify as healthy AA or CA males and females between the ages of 18-39. Following the completion of a maximal aerobic exercise test, the subsequent six visits will be structured under two conditions: a control saline (sham) shot and the inflammation-inducing influenza vaccine. Participants will be tested at baseline, 24 hours and 48 hours after each injection. Each visit will include a blood draw, ultrasound testing (flow-mediated dilation and carotid artery stiffness, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity), heart rate and blood pressure. Samples acquired from blood draws will be used to quantify circulating concentrations of inflammatory markers, including IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α and CRP.

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Sushant Ranadive