Susan E. Mulroney, PhD

Professor and Vice-Chair
Department of Physiology
Georgetown University Medical Center
253 Basic Science Building
3900 Reservoir Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20057 
Phone: 202 687-1017
Fax: 202 687-7407
mulrones@georgetown.edu

Research Interests

Sex differences in cardio-renal pathology

Research Summary

Our laboratory investigates the sex differences in development of cardio-renal pathology. Specifically, we have identified significant regulation of estrogen receptors (ER) and angiotensin II type 1 receptors (AT1Rs) by circulating growth hormone (GH). Findings indicate that GH up-regulates both ERa and AT1Rs; however, ERs appear to provide tonic inhibition of renal AT1Rs. Ang II is also down-regulating renal ERa, and we hypothesize that the addition of estrogen in the GH/AT1R mechanism provides cardio-renal balance and protection in the female. Our initial studies in diabetic rats indicate that when circulating estrogen is decreased (as in human female diabetics, and post-menopausal women), the tonic inhibition of the AT1R is abolished, and the stimulatory effects of Ang II and GH enhance the pathophysiologic effects of Ang II, including enhanced fluid and electrolyte retension, enhanced vascular tone and increased renal matrix deposition, leading to progressive renal failure and hypertension. 

Representative Publications
  • Phillip, M., Y. Segeve, A. Zung, A.A. Kowarski, H. Werner, C.T. Roberts, Jr., D. LeRoith, J.G. Ladas, and S.E. Mulroney. The accumulation of IGF-I in kidneys of streptozotocin-diabetic adult rats is not associated with elevated plasma GH and IGF-I levels. Endocrine 3: 689-693, 1995
  • Mulroney, S.E., M. Johnson, C. Woda, and C. Pesce. Gender differences in renal growth and function after uninephrecotmy in adult rats. Kidney International 56(3):994-953, 1999
  • Mulroney, S.E. and C. Pesce. Early hyperplastic renal growth following uninephrectomy in adult female rats. Endocrinology 141:932-937, 2000
  • Sandberg, K, Z. Wu, H. Ji, E. Hernandez, and S.E. Mulroney. Regulation of G-protein coupled receptors by cytosolic mRNA binding proteins. pp. 285-306. IN: RNA Binding Proteins: New Concepts in Gene Regulation. Kluwer Academic Press, 2001
  • Mok, K-Y, J.M. Sweeney, W. Zheng, K. Sandberg, and S.E. Mulroney. Gender differences in renal Ang II AT1 receptor expression following unilateral nephrectomy in the rat. Endocrinology (in review)