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Mortimer Civan, M.D.

Professor of Physiology and Medicine



Business Address:

University of Pennsylvania
A303 Richards
Philadelphia , PA 19104

Phone: 215-898-8773
Fax: 215-573-5851


Undergraduate: Columbia College, New York City

Medical: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Residency: Internal Medicine

Fellowship: Biophysics; Clinical & Research Fellowship in Nephrology,

Institution: N.I.H., as Staff Assoc.; Mass. General Hospital

Board Certification: Internal Medicine

Research Interests:

My laboratory is primarily concerned with: (1) the mechanisms of movement of solutes and water across epithelial membranes, (2) the regulation of that movement, and (3) the clinical implications of altering the underlying mechanisms and regulation. Our current focus is on the mechanisms and regulation of aqueous humor inflow into, and exit from, the eye, and their implications for the treatment of glaucoma. Two broad lines of in vitro work are in progress using the techniques of patch clamping, molecular biology, fluorescence microscopy and electronic cell sorting. First, we are seeking to identify the molecular basis for chloride-channel activity, which likely limits the rate of ciliary epithelial secretion. Second, we are also testing our current hypothesis concerning the autocrine and paracrine basis for purinergic regulation of aqueous humor secretion and efflux. We are testing our hypotheses, developed on the basis of our in vitro work, using measurements of intraocular pressure in the mouse.

Selected References:

Civan, M.M. and Shporer, M.:   The physical state of cell Na+. Curr. Top. Membr. Transp. 34:1-19, 1989.

Mitchell, C.H., Carré, D.A., McGlinn, A.M., Stone, R.A. and Civan, M.M.: A release mechanism for stored ATP in ocular ciliary epithelial cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 95:7174-7178, 1998.

Avila, M.Y., Stone, R.A. and Civan, M.M.: Knockout of A3 Adenosine Receptors Reduces Mouse Intraocular Pressure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 43:3021-3026, 2002.

McLaughlin, C.W., Zellhuber-McMillan, S., Macknight, A.D.C. and Civan, M.M.: Electron microprobe analysis of ouabain-exposed ciliary epithelium: PE-NPE cell couplets form the functional units. Am. J. Physiol.: Cell Physiol. 286:C1376-1389, 2004 Jun; Epub 2004 Feb 04.

Do, C.-W., Peterson-Yantorno, K., Mitchell, C.H. and Civan, M.M.: cAMP-Activated Maxi-Cl- Channels in Native Bovine Pigmented Ciliary Epithelial Cells. Am. J. Physiol.: Cell Physiol. 287:C1003-11, 2004. Epub 2004 Jun 09 10.1152/ajpcell.00175.2004.

Do, C.-W., Lu, W., Mitchell, C.H. and Civan, M.M.: Inhibition of Swelling-Activated Cl- Currents by Functional Anti-ClC-3 Antibody in Native Bovine Non-Pigmented Ciliary Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 46:948-55, 2005.

Karl, M.O., Fleischhauer, J.C., Stamer, W.D., Peterson-Yantorno, K., Mitchell, C.H., Stone, R.A. and Civan, M.M.: Differential P1-Purinergic Modulation of Human Schlemm´s Canal Inner-Wall Cells. Am. J. Physiol.: Cell Physiol. 288:C784-94, 2005. Epub 2004 Dec 8.

Do, C.W., Peterson-Yantorno, K. and Civan, M.M.: Swelling-activated Cl- channels support Cl- secretion by bovine ciliary epithelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47: 2576-2582, 2006.

Karl, M.O., Peterson-Yantorno, K. and Civan, M.M.: Cell-specific differential modulation of human trabecular meshwork cells by selective adenosine receptor agonists. Exp. Eye Res. 84:126-34, 2007. Epub 2006 Oct 30.


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