Guido E. Santacana, Associate Professor  

Ph.D., 1982, 
University of Puerto Rico, 
Medical School
Phone: (787) 758-2525 ext. 1609

Research Interests

The main interest in my laboratory is the study of airway smooth muscle physiology. We are particularly interested in two relevant areas. The first one has to do with the effects of low temperature on the contractile responses of airway smooth muscle to pharmacological as well as to electrical stimuli and the mechanisms mediating these effects. Low temperature has been related to the bronchoconstriction that occurs is asthmatics, specially those suffering from exercise induced asthma. Elucidating the mechanisms that mediate cold induced contraction in airway smooth muscle will help in the understanding and treatment of this very debilitating condition suffered by a significant portion of our population. The other area in which our laboratory is involved is related to the effects of the highly abused drug cocaine on airway smooth muscle. Most of the studies about the toxicity of this drug have focused on the heart, disregarding the large concentrations present in the airways after smoking or snorting plus the fact that in many patients with toxic responses to cocaine, bronchoconstriction is also observed. We intend to study the mechanisms by which cocaine induces changes in pharmacologically and electrically stimulated airway smooth muscle. The data obtained from this study should help in better understanding the underlying mechanisms that mediate the responses of the airway to cocaine. It should also help to develop better treatment modalities when dealing with the toxic responses to this drug at the clinical level.

Selected Publications

  1. C. A. Jimenez, G. Santacana, W. Silva, D. D. Savage and G. Weiss. 1991. Effects of chronic administration of imipramine on CNS alpha-2 receptors. Life Sci., 58: 287-294.

  2. G. Santacana and W. Silva. 1990. Differential antagonism by amiloride and pirenzepine of the muscarinic receptors of rat tracheal smooth muscle. Bull. of the P. R. Medical Assoc., 82: 403-406. PubMed Entry

  3. G. Santacana and W. Y. Chen. 1988. The role of Na+ and Ca++ in guinea pig trachealis contraction induced by cooling. Respiration. 53: 24-30. PubMed Entry

  4. H. F. Miranda, G. Santacana, W. W. Wolstenholme and G. M. Moneau. 1987. Mixed actions of hemicholinium at autonomic receptor sites of the rat vas deferens. Gen. Pharmacol., 18: 643-645. PubMed Entry