Lubo Zhang, PhD and Arlin Blood, PhD
By Hillary Angel - June 13, 2023

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has announced that the project “Mechanisms of uterine artery hemodynamics adaptation to pregnancy and gestational hypoxia” has been awarded funding in the amount of over $3.2 million from June 2023 through May 2027.  The project is headed by Lubo Zhang, PhD and Arlin Blood, PhD from the Lawrence D. Longo, MD Center for Perinatal Biology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

The striking increase of uterine blood flow during pregnancy is essential for normal fetal development as well as for cardiovascular well-being of the mother. Hypoxia during pregnancy has profound adverse effects on uterine artery hemodynamics adaptation, increasing incidence of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia and fetal intrauterine growth restriction.

The goal of this project is to investigate a novel mechanism of a small Ras-like family G protein in the regulation of L-type calcium channel currents and uterine vascular adaptation to pregnancy and gestational hypoxia. The investigators hope to provide new insights into fundamental mechanisms in uterine vascular maladaptation to gestational hypoxia, and to reveal novel modes of preventing and treating pregnancy complications of preeclampsia.