Swapnil Sonkusare


  • PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Postdoc, University of Vermont

Primary Appointment

  • Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


Research Interest(s)

Microcirculation, vascular ion channels, calcium signaling mechanisms, endothelial cells, hypertension

Research Description

Our mission is to understand the calcium signalling pathways that control the diameter of small blood vessels, with special focus on calcium entry channels in endothelial cells. We utilize high-speed imaging of localized calcium signals, patch clamp electrophysiology and functional studies coupled with transgenic mouse models. The ultimate goals are to understand how the networks of ion channels control local blood flow and vascular resistance and to use this information for unraveling pathological mechanisms and therapeutic approaches for vascular disorders.

List of Publications in Pubmed

Selected Publications

  • Biwer L, Good M, Hong K, Patel R, Agrawal N, Looft-Wilson R, Sonkusare S, Isakson B. Non-Endoplasmic Reticulum-Based Calr (Calreticulin) Can Coordinate Heterocellular Calcium Signaling and Vascular Function. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2017;38(1): 120-130. PMID: 29122814 | PMCID: PMC5746467
  • Marziano C, Hong K, Cope E, Kotlikoff M, Isakson B, Sonkusare S. Nitric Oxide-Dependent Feedback Loop Regulates Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) Channel Cooperativity and Endothelial Function in Small Pulmonary Arteries. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2017;6(12). PMID: 29275372
  • Dalsgaard T, Sonkusare S, Teuscher C, Poynter M, Nelson M. Pharmacological inhibitors of TRPV4 channels reduce cytokine production, restore endothelial function and increase survival in septic mice. Scientific reports. 2016;6 33841. PMID: 27653046 | PMCID: PMC5031985
  • Mah W, Sonkusare S, Wang T, Azeddine B, Pupavac M, Carrot-Zhang J, Hong K, Majewski J, Harvey E, Russell L, Chalk C, Rosenblatt D, Nelson M, Séguin C. Gain-of-function mutation in TRPV4 identified in patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Journal of medical genetics. 2016. PMID: 27330106
  • Sonkusare S, Dalsgaard T, Bonev A, Nelson M. Inward rectifier potassium (Kir2.1) channels as end-stage boosters of endothelium-dependent vasodilators. The Journal of physiology. 2016. PMID: 26840527
  • Hill-Eubanks D, Gonzales A, Sonkusare S, Nelson M. Vascular TRP channels: performing under pressure and going with the flow. Physiology (Bethesda, Md.). 2014;29(5): 343-60. PMID: 25180264 | PMCID: PMC4214829
  • Krishnamoorthy G, Sonkusare S, Heppner T, Nelson M. Opposing roles of smooth muscle BK channels and ryanodine receptors in the regulation of nerve-evoked constriction of mesenteric resistance arteries. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2014;306(7): H981-8. PMID: 24508642 | PMCID: PMC3962638
  • Sonkusare S, Dalsgaard T, Bonev A, Hill-Eubanks D, Kotlikoff M, Scott J, Santana L, Nelson M. AKAP150-dependent cooperative TRPV4 channel gating is central to endothelium-dependent vasodilation and is disrupted in hypertension. Science signaling. 2014;7(333): ra66. PMID: 25005230 | PMCID: PMC4403000
  • Villalba N, Sonkusare S, Longden T, Tran T, Sackheim A, Nelson M, Wellman G, Freeman K. Traumatic brain injury disrupts cerebrovascular tone through endothelial inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide gain of function. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2014;3(6): e001474. PMID: 25527626 | PMCID: PMC4338739
  • Kharade S, Sonkusare S, Srivastava A, Thakali K, Fletcher T, Rhee S, Rusch N. The β3 subunit contributes to vascular calcium channel upregulation and hypertension in angiotensin II-infused C57BL/6 mice. Hypertension. 2012;61(1): 137-42. PMID: 23129698 | PMCID: PMC3748590
  • Sonkusare S, Bonev A, Ledoux J, Liedtke W, Kotlikoff M, Heppner T, Hill-Eubanks D, Nelson M. Elementary Ca2+ signals through endothelial TRPV4 channels regulate vascular function. Science (New York, N.Y.). 2012;336(6081): 597-601. PMID: 22556255 | PMCID: PMC3715993
  • Nystoriak M, O'Connor K, Sonkusare S, Brayden J, Nelson M, Wellman G. Fundamental increase in pressure-dependent constriction of brain parenchymal arterioles from subarachnoid hemorrhage model rats due to membrane depolarization. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2010;300(3): H803-12. PMID: 21148767 | PMCID: PMC3064296
  • Thakali K, Kharade S, Sonkusare S, Rhee S, Stimers J, Rusch N. Intracellular Ca2+ silences L-type Ca2+ channels in mesenteric veins: mechanism of venous smooth muscle resistance to calcium channel blockers. Circulation research. 2010;106(4): 739-47. PMID: 20044515 | PMCID: PMC2855128
  • Télémaque S, Sonkusare S, Grain T, Rhee S, Stimers J, Rusch N, Marsh J. Design of mutant beta2 subunits as decoy molecules to reduce the expression of functional Ca2+ channels in cardiac cells. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. 2008;325(1): 37-46. PMID: 18184831
  • Sonkusare S, Fraer M, Marsh J, Rusch N. Disrupting calcium channel expression to lower blood pressure: new targeting of a well-known channel. Molecular interventions. 2007;6(6): 304-10. PMID: 17200457
  • Pathan A, Viswanad B, Sonkusare S, Ramarao P. Chronic administration of pioglitazone attenuates intracerebroventricular streptozotocin induced-memory impairment in rats. Life sciences. 2006;79(23): 2209-16. PMID: 16904700
  • Sonkusare S, Palade P, Marsh J, Telemaque S, Pesic A, Rusch N. Vascular calcium channels and high blood pressure: pathophysiology and therapeutic implications. Vascular pharmacology. 2006;44(3): 131-42. PMID: 16427812
  • Sonkusare S, Srinivasan K, Kaul C, Ramarao P. Effect of donepezil and lercanidipine on memory impairment induced by intracerebroventricular streptozotocin in rats. Life sciences. 2005;77(1): 1-14. PMID: 15848214
  • Sonkusare S, Kaul C, Ramarao P. Dementia of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders--memantine, a new hope. Pharmacological research : the official journal of the Italian Pharmacological Society. 2004;51(1): 1-17. PMID: 15519530