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Vincent DeMarco, PhD

Assistant Research Professor, Physiology

Child Health
University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics
One Hospital Drive, N702
Columbia, MO 65212


Dr. Marco's lab research focuses on ways to improve the lives of people with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Our approach originally centered on the use of inhaled nitric gas (iNO). Prior to the discovery of the vasodilatory effects of NO on the circulation there were no selective pulmonary vasodilators for treatment of PH. Their group initiated studies designed to determine the efficacy of iNO gas in treating experimentally produced neonatal PH. To accomplish this they used several neonatal animal models (pre-term lamb, postnatal lamb, and foal). In these experimental models iNO gas was highly effective at reducing elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, decreasing the intrapulmonary shunt and increasing blood oxygenation. iNO therapy is routinely used to treat preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Their interest in iNO effects in the hypertensive lung led us to examine pathways that control intrapulmonary NO synthesis during inflammatory responses caused by endotoxin. Endotoxin stimulates the lungs to overexpress NO by first inducing the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Endotoxin also stimulates the expression of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (IL-8, IL-1b GRO/CINC-1). The genes encoding these pro-inflammatory proteins are switched on by the transcriptional factor, NF-kappaB. Their in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that anti-inflammatory therapies, such as hypothermia, glucocorticoids, and lipoic acid inhibit NF-kappaB activation and the expression of iNOS, IL-8, IL-1b and GRO/CINC-1.

Their latest efforts are focused on the dysfunctional tissue renin-angiotensin system as a cause or accelerating factor in the development of pulmonary hypertension.


More information about Dr. DeMarco can be found here.

Research Areas of Interest

Cardiovascular biology/ research
Child health
Comparative physiology
Immunocytochemistry EM/LM
Molecular biology
Physiological recordings
Protein biology
Quantitative RNA/DNA analysis


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