Vascular & Smooth Muscle Physiology - VS

The VS Theme is a forum for those interested in all aspects of smooth muscle cell biology. Smooth muscle cells surround all hollow organs in the body and studying their function helps us to understand many crucial phenomena including the regulation of blood flow through the entire vascular tree, gastrointestinal motility, bladder voiding and uterine contraction during menstruation and labour.  The phenotypic malleability of smooth muscle cells characterises numerous physiological remodelling processes but can also contribute to the pathophysiologies underlying many major disease conditions e.g. blood vessel formation and growth during tumourogensesis, the development of atherosclerosis (the thickening of arteries) or  hypertension (high blood pressure) which can lead to heart attack, over-active bladder syndrome, irritable bowel or preterm labour.  The Theme also considers smooth muscle cell interactions with adjacent cell types with relevance to understanding important events such as endothelial cell-mediated vasoregulation, cardiac responses to ischemia and interstitial cell remodelling of tissue function.

The current conveners are Michael Taggart (Newcastle University) and Tim Curtis (Queen's University Belfast).

If you have any questions or would like more information on this Theme please get in touch at

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