Meredith Hay

Meredith Hay

Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute
Professor, Physiology
Professor, Psychology
Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-7384

Work Summary

Work Summary
Our lab is focused on the development of novel peptides to inhibit this inflammatory cascade and improve brain blood flow. These peptides are designed to significantly improve serum half-life and penetrate the blood-brain-barrier. These peptides act to inhibit the inflammatory pathways at both the level of brain blood vessels and the brain itself.

Research Interest

Research Interest
Dr. Hay is internationally known for her work in cardiovascular neurobiology and her current studies on the role of sex and sex hormones in the development of hypertension. She has been continuously funded by the NIH and other sources for the past 26 years. She has extensive experience in central renin angiotensin mechanisms, neurophysiology and reactive oxygen and cytosolic calcium neuroimaging and in advancing knowledge related to central mechanisms of neurohumoral control of the circulation. She is a Professor of Physiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and maintains active participation in the American Physiological Society, the Society of Neuroscience, AAAS, and has served on numerous editorial boards of prestigious scientific journals and grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the National American Heart Association. The primary focus of Dr. Hay’s laboratory is the understanding of the biophysical and cellular mechanisms underlying neurotransmitter modulation of sympathetic outflow and ultimately arterial blood pressure. The scientific questions being asked are: 1) What central neurotransmitter mechanisms are involved in the normal regulation of cardiovascular function? 2) Does the development of some forms of hypertension involve biophysical or molecular alteration in the neurotransmitter mechanisms regulating cardiovascular control? 3) Can these central signal transduction systems, which control sympathetic outflow and ultimately arterial blood pressure, be altered in order to prevent or attenuate the development of some forms of hypertension? 4) Are there gender related differences in some of these mechanisms?Dr. Hay has extensive national experience in university-wide administration and interdisciplinary research program development. Prior to coming to the University of Arizona in 2008 as Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Hay was the Vice President for Research for the University of Iowa, where she worked with state and federal lawmakers, private sector representatives, and local community groups to broaden both private and public support for research universities. Dr. Hay, a Texas native, earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver, her M.S. in neurobiology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and her Ph.D. in cardiovascular pharmacology from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She was a tenured faculty member of the University of Missouri-Columbia from 1996-2005. Prior to Missouri, she was a faculty member in the Department of Physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center- San Antonio.


Hay, M., Vanderah, T. W., Samareh-Jahani, F., Constantopoulos, E., Uprety, A. J., & Barnes, C. A. (2017). Cognitive impairment in heart failure: A protective role for Angiotensin-(1-7). Behavioral Neuroscience, 131, 99-114.
BIO5 Collaborators
Carol A Barnes, Meredith Hay
Pollow, D. P., Uhrlaub, J., Romero-Aleshire, M. J., Sandberg, K., Nikolich-Zugich, J., Brooks, H. L., & Hay, M. (2014). Sex differences in T-lymphocyte tissue infiltration and development of angiotensin II hypertension. Hypertension, 64(2), 384-90.
BIO5 Collaborators
Heddwen L Brooks, Meredith Hay

There is extensive evidence that activation of the immune system is both necessary and required for the development of angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension in males. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sex differences exist in the ability of the adaptive immune system to induce Ang II-dependent hypertension and whether central and renal T-cell infiltration during Ang II-induced hypertension is sex dependent. Recombinant activating gene-1 (Rag-1)(-/-) mice, lacking both T and B cells, were used. Male and female Rag-1(-/-) mice received adoptive transfer of male CD3(+) T cells 3 weeks before 14-day Ang II infusion (490 ng/kg per minute). Blood pressure was monitored via tail cuff. In the absence of T cells, systolic blood pressure responses to Ang II were similar between sexes (Δ22.1 mm Hg males versus Δ18 mm : Hg females). After adoptive transfer of male T cells, Ang II significantly increased systolic blood pressure in males (Δ37.7 mm : Hg; P

Yu, R., Hay, M., & Ticku, M. K. (1996). Chronic neurosteroid treatment attenuates single cell GABAA response and its potentiation by modulators in cortical neurons. Brain research, 706(1), 160-2.

In previous studies we have observed that chronic neurosteroid 5 alpha-pregnan-3 alpha-ol-20-one (5 alpha 3 alpha) treatment produced downregulation of the GABAA receptors, heterologous uncoupling, and decreased heterologous efficacy at the GABAA receptor complex in cultured mammalian cortical neurons. In this study, using whole cell recording, we examined the consequence of chronic 5 alpha 3 alpha (1 microM; 5 days) treatment on GABA-induced currents in isolated cortical neurons. We observed that the GABA current was decreased by 78% after 5 days treatment of cortical cells with 1 microM 5 alpha 3 alpha. We also observed decreased pentobarbital, and 5 alpha 3 alpha potentiation of GABA currents after chronic 5 alpha 3 alpha treatment. These findings support the notion that GABA response, and its potentiation by pentobarbital, and neurosteroid, 5 alpha 3 alpha, are attenuated after chronic 5 alpha 3 alpha treatment.

Hay, M. (2015). The Good and the Bad: Immune Cells and Hypertension. Clin Sci (Lond)., 117(10), 830-1.
Schild, J. H., Clark, J. W., Hay, M., Mendelowitz, D., Andresen, M. C., & Kunze, D. L. (1994). A- and C-type rat nodose sensory neurons: model interpretations of dynamic discharge characteristics. Journal of neurophysiology, 71(6), 2338-58.

1. Neurons of the nodose ganglia provide the sole connection between many types of visceral sensory inputs and the central nervous system. Electrophysiological studies of isolated nodose neurons provide a practical means of measuring individual cell membrane currents and assessing their putative contributions to the overall response properties of the neuron and its terminations. Here, we present a comprehensive mathematical model of an isolated nodose sensory neuron that is based upon numerical fits to quantitative voltage- and current-clamp data recorded in our laboratory. Model development was accomplished using an iterative process of electrophysiological recordings, nonlinear parameter estimation, and computer simulation. This work is part of an integrative effort aimed at identifying and characterizing the fundamental ionic mechanisms participating in the afferent neuronal limb of the baroreceptor reflex. 2. The neuronal model consists of two parts: a Hodgkin-Huxley-type membrane model coupled to a lumped fluid compartment model that describes Ca2+ ion concentration dynamics within the intracellular and external perineuronal media. Calcium buffering via a calmodulin-type buffer is provided within the intracellular compartment. 3. The complete model accurately reproduces whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings of the major ion channel currents observed in enzymatically dispersed nodose sensory neurons. Specifically, two Na+ currents exhibiting fast (INaf) and slow tetrodotoxin (TTX)-insensitive (INas) kinetics; low- and high-threshold Ca2+ currents exhibiting transient (ICa,t) and long-lasting (ICa,n) dynamics, respectively; and outward K+ currents consisting of a delayed-rectifier current (IK), a transient outward current (I(t)) and a Ca(2+)-activated K+ current (IK,Ca). 4. Whole-cell current-clamp recordings of somatic action-potential dynamics were performed on enzymatically dispersed nodose neurons using the perforated patch-clamp technique. Stimulus protocols consisted of both short ( or = 200 ms) duration current pulses over a wide range of membrane holding potentials. These studies clearly revealed two populations of nodose neurons, often termed A- and C-type cells, which exhibit markedly different action-potential signatures and stimulus response properties. 5. Using a single set of equations, the model accurately reproduces the electrical behavior of both A- and C-type nodose neurons in response to a wide variety of stimulus conditions and membrane holding potentials. The structure of the model, as well as the majority of its parameters are the same for both A- and C-type implementations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)