Project #1 entitled “AAV vector gene transfer to manipulate the pontine micturition circuit” is from John H. Wolfe, VMD, PhD, a Professor of Pathology and Medical Genetics and Director, Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine and Stokes Institute, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This study aims to test the hypotheses that increasing CRF expression in Barrington’s nucleus causes bladder dysfunction and decreasing CRF expression in Barrington’s nucleus will prevent the ability of social stress to produce bladder dysfunction.
Project #2 entitled “Enhancing endogenous satellite cell activity in the striated sphincter to prevent incontinence” is from Elisabeth R. Barton, PhD, an Associate Professor of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology of University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. The aims of this project is to evaluate the therapeutic potential of targeted viral delivery of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) to the striated urethral sphincter for the treatment of urinary incontinence, and to compare this strategy with delivery of syngenic myoblasts to the same tissue. We will use the rat model for stress urinary incontinence.
Project #3 entitled “Intermediate filaments in bladder wall: Role of hypoxia in vimentin gene expression” is from Boopathi Ettickan, PhD, a Senior Research Investigator in the Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. The objectives of this study are to define the hypoxia regulated transcriptional cis elements for the desmin and vimentin genes in detrusor smooth muscle cells in vitro, to identify the transcription factors that regulate the hypoxic responsive elements of desmin and vimentin promoters, and to knockdown the potential transcription factors involved in desmin and vimentin transcriptional activation in hypoxic conditions.