David E. Rivera

Research Assistant Professor  
Ph.D., 2017, Universidad Central del Caribe
ORCID ID# 0000-0002-6036-1217
Academic Department(s)

Research Area

Research Interest
Astrocytes Functions and Diabetes

My current research interest is to understand the basic mechanisms underlying the pathway whereby hyperglycemia downregulates astrocytic Kir4.1 potassium channels. Thereby, hyperglycemia as seen in diabetics can disrupt the normal homeostatic functions of astrocytes. One consequence of this may be exacerbating stroke-induced damage. Astrocytes are important to the central nervous system (CNS) since they help to maintain proper homeostatic balance by the uptake of extracellular K+ and glutamate. Disruption of such function will be crucial for neuronal viability. Previous studies have reported the role of cytokines in the regulation of glutamate uptake by astrocytes. We propose to determine the impact that the different microRNAs and key proteins, such as cytokines, have on the astrocytes supportive function/dysfunction such as glutamate uptake and potassium buffering when astrocytes are grown in hyperglycemic conditions. The result from this study will give us a mechanistic understanding of how hyperglycemia affects the normal function of astrocytes and its contribution to abnormal brain function in diabetics.

Contact Information
Universidad Central del Caribe
P.O. Box 60327
Bayamón, PR 00960-6032

Tel.: (787) 798-3001 x2035
e-mail:  david.rivera@uccaribe.edu