Airway innervation in health and disease: Autonomic nervous system (ANS) control of airway caliber and sensory feedback are important in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We employ mutant mice lacking specific gene function to examine airway innervation to examine the role of lung C-fibre/pain afferents in the reflex control of breathing, bronchoconstriction and inflammation. The impact of the nociceptive Òhot pepperÓ ion channel, TRPV1, is a primary theme of our research on lung afferents. The cardiopulmonary ANS function theme examines the role of M2 and M3 acetylcholine muscarinic receptors as primary regulators of airway narrowing and cardiac function in health and disease.
Airway Innervation and Sensory feedback from the Lung
The sensation of breathing and control of airway calibre contributes to many diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. My research examines the physiological genomics of airway innervation, which is specifically focused on the role of pulmonary nociceptor or C-fibre afferents and muscarinic efferents in the reflex control of breathing, bronchoconstriction and inflammatory lung disease. We routinely use mutant or gene “knockout” mice to explore the role of specific proteins in respiratory biology. These include the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channel present on C-fibre afferents, and the M2 and M3 acetylcholine muscarinic receptors (AChMR) involved in cardiopulmonary control. Research tools include measurements of pulmonary mechanics, chronic cardiopulmonary measurements using telemetry, neurophysiological recordings of airway afferents and animal models of allergic airway disease. Ongoing projects focus on the integrative role of the TRPV1 ion channel in respiratory sensation, airway afferent responses to allergic inflammation and the cardiac and airway phenotype of M2 and M3 AChMR subtypes in health and disease
Peer Review Publications:
Walker, J.K.L. and J.T. Fisher. Editorial overview: Respiratory: GPCR signaling and the lung. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 16:iv-vi, 2014.
Wasliewski, N.V., Lougheed, M.D. and J.T. Fisher. Changing Face of β2 Adrenergic and Muscarinic Receptor Therapies in Asthma. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 16:148-156, 2014.
Domnik, N.J., SE Turcotte, NY Yuen, S Iscoe and JT Fisher. CO2 rebreathing: an undergraduate lab to study the chemical control of breathing. Advances in Physiology Education 37(4): 361-369,2013. http://advan.physiology.org/content/37/4/361.long
Domnik, N.J., Seaborn, G., Vincent, S.G., Akl, S.G., Redfearn, D.P. and J.T. Fisher. OVA-induced airway hyperresponsiveness alters murine heart rate variability and body temperature. Frontiers in Physiology 3:456,2012
Walker J.K., M. Kraft and J.T. Fisher. Assessment of murine lung mechanics outcome measures: alignment with those made in asthmatics. Frontiers in Physiology 3:491,2013. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphys.2012.00491/abstract