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Profile for Barry Lombardini, PhD

John Lombardini

Barry Lombardini, PhD

  • Professor
  • Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Neuroscience (Joint Appointment)
Office Phone: 806-743-2425 ext 227
Mail Address: 3601 4th Street
Lubbock TX 79430

Research Interests

Physiological function and pharmacological effects of taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) in the cardiovascular system (effects on blood pressure and heart rate), in the brain (antiepileptic effects), in the retina (maintenance and stabilization of structural and functional integrity of the photoreceptor membrane), and in the lung (protecting agent).

My primary research interests in the taurine field are in determining the function(s) of taurine in the retina, brain, heart, and lung. The concentrations of taurine in these tissues are in the mM range. Taurine occurs as the free ß-aminosulfonic acid and is not a component of proteins. Current studies are aimed at understanding the following:
a) The roles of taurine in the stimulation of ATP-dependent uptake of calcium ions in mitochondrial subcellular fractions and inhibition of protein phosphorylation in excitable tissues (retina, brain, and heart) are under study. The stimulatory effect of taurine on calcium uptake may have regulatory and therefore protective consequences for the cell in times of calcium ion overload. The inhibitory effect of taurine on protein phosphorylation may have functional significance in the signal transduction process.

b) The topography of the taurine binding site in retina, brain, and cardiac tissue is being investigated with taurine analogues that have restricted rotation about the amino and sulfonic acid moieties. These structure-activity-relationship experiments will give valuable information as to the configuration of the taurine molecule at its binding site.

c) The characterization and purification of specific proteins in the retina and heart whose phosphorylation is inhibited by taurine are in progress. Antibodies to the specific phosphoproteins will be made. Ultimate goal of these studies will be to determine the subcellular location of these phosphoproteins by immunohistochemical techniques employing light and electron microscopy.

d) The role of taurine as a protective agent in the lung especially against the toxicities observed with amidarone (an antiarrhythmic agent), bleomycin (an antineoplastic agent), and paraquat (a broad spectrum herbicide).

Teaching Interests

Currently I am the block director for systems Disorders I which covers 4 organ systems: cardiac, respiratory, renal, and GI/Liver. In this block lectures are presented to the sophomore medical students on pharmacology, pathology, and medicine.

My personal teaching responsibilities are involved with presenting to the sophomore medical students chemotherapy which includes, antibiotics, antifungal agents, antituberculosis agents, antiviral agents, antiparasitic agents, and cancer chemotherapy.

Selected Publications:

  • Lombardini, John & Militante, Julius (2006) Effects of taurine supplentation on cholesterol levels with potentail ramification in atherosclerosis Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 583, 251-254.
  • Militante, Julius & Lombardini, John (2004) Age-related retinal degeneration in animal models of aging: possible involvement of taurine deficiency and oxidative stress Neurochemical Research, 29, 151-160.
  • Militante, Julius & Lombardini, John (2004) Dietary taurine supplementation: hypolipidemic and antiatherogenic effects Nutrition Research, 24, 787-801.
  • Tenner, Thomas & Zhang, X & Lombardini, John (2003) Hypoglycemic effects of taurine in the alloxan-treated rabbit: a model for type I diabetes Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 526, 92-104.
  • Militante, Julius & Lombardini, John (2003) Taurine stimulaltion of calcium uptake in the retina: mechanisms of action Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 526, 547-554.