Role of cycylooxygenase-2 in renal development and function; role of growth factors in recovery from acute renal injury; role of renin-angiotensin system in regulation of epithelial cell function
The general focus of the Harris laboratory involves studies of regulation of renal epithelial cell growth and function during normal physiologic responses and after acute or chronic injury. An area of continuing interest in the laboratory is regulation of renal epithelial cell function by eicosanoids. We are continuing intensive investigation of the regulation and physiologic and pathophysiologic roles of cyclooxygenase-2 and its metabolites in the kidney. We are also investigating signaling pathways in renal epithelial cells of P450-derived arachidonate metabolites, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs). We have also recently identified a novel monoglyceride derivative of the EETs, which signals through an identified family of membrane receptors and elicits biological responses, and our studies involve investigation of expression, regulation and physiologic responses of these compounds. We are also interested in understanding mechanisms of repair in response to acute renal epithelial injury. A third area of interest is the underlying mechanisms mediating progressive kidney disease, and especially diabetic nephropathy. We are currently investigating the role of epidermal growth factor signaling in both recovery from acute kidney injury and as a mediator of progressive glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy. The overall goal of the studies in the laboratory is to identify new targets for intervention and therapy of kidney disease.