Ronald J. Korthuis, PhD


Our research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the inflammatory responses to ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) and how blood vessels in the microcirculation (arterioles, capillaries, and venules) can be preconditioned to resist the deleterious inflammatory effects I/R. When the blood supply is reduced (ischemia) and then subsequently reestablished (reperfusion), the ability of arterioles to regulate the distribution of blood flow is impaired, many capillaries fail to perfuse (capillary no-reflow), and white blood cells become adherent to and emigrate across the walls of postcapillary venules. In addition, the permeability of the cells lining capillaries and postcapillary venules is increased, leading to edema formation. We are studying how white blood cells which adhere to and emigrate across the walls of postcapillary venules alter vasoregulatory function in arterioles, cause no-reflow in capillaries, and increase permeability in postcapillary venules. Another line of investigation focuses on understanding how exposing tissues to preconditioning stimuli such as short periods of ischemia or ethanol (at doses equivalent to drinking one to two alcoholic beverages) 24 hours prior to the onset of prolonged ischemia followed by reperfusion prevents microvascular dysfunction. Using a variety of pharmacologic approaches and mutant mouse models, we are examining the signaling mechanisms that are triggered by exposure to preconditioning stimuli to induce the formation of protective proteins such as heme oxygenase.

Academic Information

Professor Emeritus

Research Interests

  • Inflammatory responses to ischemia and reperfusion (I/R)

Areas of Expertise

  • Microcirculation
  • Inflammation
  • Alcohol Research
  • Septic Shock

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

1983, PhD in Physiology, Michigan State University

Awards & Honors

  • Established Investigatorship, American Heart Association, 1988-1993.
  • Member, Cardiovascular and Renal B Study Section, (1995-1999); Pathophysiology of the Organ Systems (2003-2007); Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology (2007-2011) National Heart, Lung, and Blood institution
  • Fellow of the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society
  • Fellow of the Council on Basic Sciences of the American Heart Association
  • Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society, Elected Faculty Member, 2011
  • Gold Chalk Award for Dedication and Service to the Advancement of Graduate Student Education, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2007
  • Elected to the Order of Socrates for Excellence in Medical Education, University of Missouri, 2006
  • CC Chou Endowed Lectureship, Michigan State University, 2004
  • Allen A. Copping Award for Excellence in Teaching, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 2003
  • European Society for Microcirculation Travel Award to the XV European Conference on Microcirculation, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 1988
  • U.S. Microcirculatory Society Travel Award to Third World Congress for Microcirculation, Oxford, England, 1984
  • Jerry B. Scott Award for Excellence in Teaching, Michigan State University, 1983
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, 1983
  • NIH Predoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1978 to 1983
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Editorial Boards:

  • American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 1987-1999; 2005-present
  • Cardiovascular Research 2008-2012
  • Circulation Research 2010-2014
  • Journal of Applied Physiology, 1991-1993
  • Microcirculation, 1993-2010
  • Pathophysiology, 2005-2008
  • PLoS One, Academic Editor, 2013-2016
  • Frontiers in Vascular Physiology, Associate Editor, 2010-present


  • Liu X, Xiao Y, Zhu Q, Cui Y, Hao H, Wang M, Cowan PJ, Korthuis RJ, Sun Q, and Liu Z. 
    Circulating endothelial progenitor cells are selectively preserved in female mice with ambient fine particulate matter exposure independent of estrogen. 
    Int J Molec Sci in press, 2021.
  • Liu Y, Wang M, Wang D, Fay WP, Korthuis RJ, and Sowa G. 
    Elevated post-ischemic tissue injury and leukocyte-endothelial adhesive interactions in mice with global deficiency in caveolin-2: role of PAI-1. 
    Am J Physiol: Heart Circ Physiol 320: H1185-H1198, 2021.
  • Higashi Y, Sukhanov S, Shai SY, Danchuk S, Snarski P, Li Z, Hou X, Hamblin MH, Woods TC, Wang M, Wang D, Yu H, Korthuis RJ, Yoshida T, Delafontaine P. 
    Endothelial deficiency of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor reduces endothelial barrier function and promotes atherosclerosis in Apoe-deficient mice. 
    Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 319: H730-H743, 2020.
  • Yu H, Liu Y, Wang M, Restrepo RJ, Wang D, Kalogeris TJ, Neumann WL, Ford DA, and Korthuis RJ.  
    Myeloperoxidase instigates proinflammatory responses in a cecal ligation and puncture rat model of sepsis.
    Am J Physiol:  Heart Circ Physiol 319: H705-H721, 2020.
  • Shukla SD, Restrepo R, Aroor AR, Liu X, Lim RW, Ford DA, and Korthuis RJ.
    Binge alcohol in vivo is more injurious to liver in female than male rats: histopathological, pharmacological, and epigenetic profiles.
    J Pharmacol Exp Ther 370: 390-398, 2019.
  • Yu H, Kalogeris T, and Korthuis RJ. 
    Reactive species-induced microvascular dysfunction in ischemia/reperfusion.  
    Free Radical Biol Med 135: 182-197, 2019.
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