Joseph L. Messina, PhD
Dept. of Pathology
University of Michigan Medical School
PhD, Endocrine Physiology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmacology
Disease states, such as diabetes, cancer and stresses such as infection, sepsis and surgical trauma are characterized by changes in cellular metabolism and function. These changes are often preceded by the development of resistance to insulin and/or growth hormone (GH) and by alterations in the expression of a number of genes important for regulation of key steps in cellular metabolism. Our main interests are the underlying mechanisms by which hormones and growth factors act and interact to regulate gene transcription and the mechanism(s) by which hormones/growth factors regulate the expression of these genes. Recent studies indicate that changes in the responsiveness to insulin and growth hormone may be important in aiding survival of patients following surgery, trauma, burns and infection. We are exploring the development of insulin and GH resistance and the interaction between insulin, GH, and the pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 beta) in cultured cells and in the liver, heart, muscle and fat of animal models of infection, injury, hemorrhage, diabetes and obesity. These studies are important if we are to understand the role of these hormones in normal physiology and growth, in diseases such as diabetes, in hormone-dependent cancers, and in the recovery following surgery, trauma, burns and infection.
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