Muriel Larauche, PhD

Assistant Researcher, Division of Digestive Diseases,  David Geffen Department of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Larauche research focuses on the modulation of visceral pain and colonic motor function by stress in rodents, with a special interest on the role of ovarian hormones and the gastrointestinal immune system, particularly mast cells.  Her research activities also involve the development of new rodent models of visceral pain and stress. Her central hypothesis is that the higher susceptibility of females to visceral pain and constipation is related to sex-specific alterations of the immune (mast cells) and epithelial (ion channels and secretion, tight junctions and permeability) systems related to sex hormones. Dr Larauche intends to test her central hypothesis by pursuing the following specific aims. In Aim 1, she will dissect the role of gonadal hormones and sex chromosome complements in the sex difference in stress-induced visceral hyperalgesia and examine the influence of gonadal hormones on the recruitment and activity of colonic mucosal mast cells. In Aim 2, Dr Larauche will dissect the influence of sex chromosome and gonadal hormones on the sex- specific stress-induced alterations colonic epithelial permeability/secretion in female rats by assessing the modulatory effect of ovarian hormones on epithelial cells via tight junctions proteins modulation/permeability and on ion channels/secretion and on mast cells release of chymase and subsequent increase in angiotensin II leading to a reduction in ion secretion. Together, the proposed studies will enhance knowledge on interactions existing between sex and neuroimmune mucosal functions influencing pain sensitivity and secretion in IBS and enable the candidate to propose new testable hypotheses regarding mechanisms of IBS pain and constipation, in particular regarding differential treatment approaches based on pathophysiology and sex differences

MLarauche@mednet.ucla.edu
310-478-3711x41827

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