Research Profile

Vincent Healy

Biography

I graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry from University College Cork in 1991. 

I returned to the Department of Biochemistry, UCC in 1994 and registered for a Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Shawn Doonan and Prof. Tommie McCarthy. The title of my thesis is "Purification, Characterization and cDNA Cloning of an Endo-exonuclease from the Basidiomycete Fungus Armillaria Mellea". I received my Ph.D. in July 1999.

From October 1998 to September 2000, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Pharmacology, Conway Institute, University College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. Finian Martin. My research investigated the cell signalling pathways that mediate the effects of extracellular matrix on the survival/differentiation of murine mammary epithelial cells.

From October 2000 to September 2003, I was employed as a Wellcome Trust-funded postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Brian Harvey at the Cellular Physiology Research Unit, Department of Physiology, University College Cork investigating the cell signalling pathways that mediate rapid responses to steroid hormones in colonic epithelial cells.

In October 2003, I was appointed as College Lecturer at the Department of Physiology, University College Cork and have worked in that position until this date.

Research Interests

Currently my research interests involve investigations into the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of sodium reabsorption in the nephron. The amount of NaCl excreted in the kidneys has a direct effect on the extracellular fluid (ECF) volume in the body due to the linkage between Na+ reabsorption and H2O reabsorption. Under normal conditions, the kidneys keep the ECF volume constant by adjusting the rate of Na+ reabsorption. ECF is composed of both interstitial fluid and blood plasma, therefore, if ECF volume changes, then so does blood volume and blood pressure. Any defects in the control of NaCl reabsorption can lead to chronic alterations in blood pressure such as hypertension. Therefore, the regulation of NaCl reabsorption in the kidney has important implications for cardiovascular health and this research is complementary with the cardiovascular research thematics of both the College of Medicine and Health and the Biological Sciences Institute.

Gamma melanocyte stimulating hormone (gMSH) is a peptide hormone synthesised in the pituitary gland and released into the circulatory system. Among its other functions, this hormone has also been shown to promote sodium excretion into urine (natriuresis) via a direct action on the kidney itself. Its target receptor, melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3R), is expressed in the kidney. In rats fed on a high sodium diet (HSD), plasma concentration of gMSH increases by about 100% illustrating the importance of this hormone in the regulation of sodium excretion. Interestingly, the natriuretic effects of gMSH are abolished by renal denervation. Once more, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the natriuretic effects of gMSH. We have recently established that in rats fed a HSD the abundance of MC3R in the inner medulla and the papilla increases. This suggests that the target of gMSH may be inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells.

The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and aquaporin 2 (AQP2) have been demonstrated to play central roles in renal sodium and water reabsorption in the collecting duct. In the collecting duct, the apical plasma membrane abundance of ENaC subunits (α, β, and γ) and AQP2 can be regulated by changes in intracellular trafficking to the apical plasma membrane providing a mechanism to control the rate of sodium and water reabsorption in this region of the nephron.

In my laboratory, the effects of both a HSD and in vivo gMSH infusion on intracellular distribution of ENaC and AQP2 transporters in IMCD cells are being investigated in the rat. To extend these studies into the molecular mechanisms of gMSH action, we are treating cultures of IMCD cells with gMSH and determining the effects on sodium reabsorption, intracellular redistribution of ENaC and AQP2 and the cell signalling pathways involved.

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
HRB SSS Effect of High-Salt Diet on the Activation of Cell-Signalling by the Melanocortin-3 ReceptorHealth Research Board16-JUN-0608-AUG-08€2,000.00
SFI-An invesigation into the mechanisims underlying the urinary excretion of salt caused by gammaScience Foundation of Ireland01-SEP-0728-FEB-11€218,624.00
SFI OIP 2010 Technical SupportScience Foundation of Ireland01-JAN-1031-DEC-10€920.00

Publications

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2002)'RT-PCR in cDNA library construction'
Healy, V; (2002) 'RT-PCR in cDNA library construction' In: RT-PCR Protocols. New Jersey, USA: Humana Press. [DOI] [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2010)'Impact of elevated dietary sodium intake on NAD(P)H oxidase and SOD in the cortex and medulla of the rat kidney'
Johns, EJ; O'Shaughnessy, B; O'Neill, S; Lane, B; Healy, V; (2010) 'Impact of elevated dietary sodium intake on NAD(P)H oxidase and SOD in the cortex and medulla of the rat kidney'. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 299 (1):1-40 [DOI] [Details]
(2005)'17 beta-estradiol rapidly stimulates c-fos expression via the MAPK pathway in T84 cells'
Hennessy, BA, Harvey, BJ, Healy, V; (2005) '17 beta-estradiol rapidly stimulates c-fos expression via the MAPK pathway in T84 cells'. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 229 :39-47 [DOI] [Details]
(2005)'Aldosterone Rapidly Activates Na+/H+ Exchange in M-1 Cortical Collecting Duct Cells via a PKC-MAPK Pathway'
Markos F, Healy V & Harvey BJ ; (2005) 'Aldosterone Rapidly Activates Na+/H+ Exchange in M-1 Cortical Collecting Duct Cells via a PKC-MAPK Pathway'. Nephron Physiology,   [DOI] [Details]
(2002)'Rapid responses to steroid hormones: from frog skin to human colon. A homage to Hans Ussing'
Harvey BJ, Alzamora R, Healy V, Renard C, Doolan CM.; (2002) 'Rapid responses to steroid hormones: from frog skin to human colon. A homage to Hans Ussing'. BBA Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1566 (*):116-128 [DOI] [Details]
(2000)'MAP kinase pathway signalling is essential for extracellular matrix determined mammary epithelial cell survival'
Finlay D, Healy V, Furlong F, O'Connell FC, Keon NK, Martin F.; (2000) 'MAP kinase pathway signalling is essential for extracellular matrix determined mammary epithelial cell survival'. Cell Death &Differentiation, 7 (*):302-313 [Details]
(1999)'Purification, characterization and cDNA cloning of an endo-exonuclease from the basidiomycete fungus Armillaria mellea'
Healy V, Doonan S, McCarthy TV.; (1999) 'Purification, characterization and cDNA cloning of an endo-exonuclease from the basidiomycete fungus Armillaria mellea'. Biochemical Journal, 339 (*):713-720 [Details]
(1999)'The lysine-specific proteinase from Armillaria mellea is a member of a novel class of metalloendopeptidases located in Basidiomeycetes'
Healy, V; O'Connell, J; McCarthy, TV; Doonan, S; (1999) 'The lysine-specific proteinase from Armillaria mellea is a member of a novel class of metalloendopeptidases located in Basidiomeycetes'. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 262 (1):60-63 [Details]
(2014)'The adrenergic regulation of proximal tubular Na+/H+ exchanger 3 in the rat'
Healy, V,Thompson, C,Johns, EJ (2014) 'The adrenergic regulation of proximal tubular Na+/H+ exchanger 3 in the rat'. Acta Physiologica, 210 :678-689 [DOI] [Details]
(2013)'Gamma-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Regulates the Expression and Cellular Localization of Epithelial Sodium Channel in Inner Medullary Collecting Duct Cells'
Cope G, Kaushik G, O'Sullivan SM, Healy V (2013) 'Gamma-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Regulates the Expression and Cellular Localization of Epithelial Sodium Channel in Inner Medullary Collecting Duct Cells'. Peptides, 47 :54-59 [DOI] [Details]
(2013)'[Nle(3),D-Phe(6)]-gamma(2)-melanocyte-stimulating hormone possesses the renal excretory but not the cardiovascular actions of the native gamma(2)-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in anaesthetized rats'
Cope, G,Flanagan, ET,Houghton, BL,Walsh, SA,Johns, EJ,Healy, V (2013) '[Nle(3),D-Phe(6)]-gamma(2)-melanocyte-stimulating hormone possesses the renal excretory but not the cardiovascular actions of the native gamma(2)-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in anaesthetized rats'. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 40 :5-12 [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

 YearPublication
(2013)International Hypoxia Symposia (Lake Louise, Canada)
Williams R, Healy V, O'Halloran KD (2013) Chronic intermittent hypoxia increases NADPH oxidase expression in rat sternohyoid International Hypoxia Symposia (Lake Louise, Canada) [Details]
(2013)Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Biomedical Sciences Annual Meeting (Cork)
Williams R, Lucking E, Sheehan D, Healy V, O'Halloran KD (2013) Chronic intermittent hypoxia increases NADPH oxidase subunit expression in rat sternohyoid muscle Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Biomedical Sciences Annual Meeting (Cork) [Details]
(2013)Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Biomedical Sciences Annual Meeting (Cork)
Williams R, McDonald F, Healy V, Sheehan D, O'Halloran KD (2013) Effects of neonatal exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia on respiratory muscle function and redox status Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Biomedical Sciences Annual Meeting (Cork) [Details]
(2013)Sleep & Breathing (Montreal, Canada)
Williams R, Lewis P, Hogan S, Healy V, O'Halloran KD (2013) NADPH oxidase inhibits rat sternohyoid muscle performance and expression is increased following chronic intermittent hypoxia Sleep & Breathing (Montreal, Canada) [Details]

Abstract

 YearPublication
(2012)[Nle3, D-Phe6]- gamma melanocyte stimulating hormone (NDP gamma MSH), increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in high salt fed rats.
Healy, V,Flanagan, ET,Cope, G,Johns, EJ (2012) [Nle3, D-Phe6]- gamma melanocyte stimulating hormone (NDP gamma MSH), increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in high salt fed rats. Abstract [Details]
(2010)[Nle3, D-Phe6]-gamma melanocyte stimulating hormone (NDP gamma MSH), increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in high salt fed rats.
Healy, V,Flanagan, ET,Cope, G,Johns, EJ (2010) [Nle3, D-Phe6]-gamma melanocyte stimulating hormone (NDP gamma MSH), increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in high salt fed rats. Abstract [Details]
(2009)THE INFLUENCE OF ELEVATED DIETARY SODIUM INTAKE ON NAD(P)H AND SOD IN THE CORTEX AND MEDULLA OF THE KIDNEY.
Johns, EJ,O'Shaugnessy, B,O'Neill, S,Lane, B,Healy, V (2009) THE INFLUENCE OF ELEVATED DIETARY SODIUM INTAKE ON NAD(P)H AND SOD IN THE CORTEX AND MEDULLA OF THE KIDNEY. Abstract [Details]
(2014)THE ROLE PLAYED BY INTRA-RENAL MAS RECEPTORS IN MEDIATING THE EXCRETORY ACTIONS OF EITHER ENDOGENOUS OR EXOGENOUS ANG (1-7) DURING THE ACTIVATION OF THE RAS.
Neill, JO,Healy, V,Johns, EJ (2014) THE ROLE PLAYED BY INTRA-RENAL MAS RECEPTORS IN MEDIATING THE EXCRETORY ACTIONS OF EITHER ENDOGENOUS OR EXOGENOUS ANG (1-7) DURING THE ACTIVATION OF THE RAS. Abstract [Details]
(2008)An Investigation into the Natriuretic Effects of Gamma Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone.
Healy, V,Cope, G,Johns, EJ (2008) An Investigation into the Natriuretic Effects of Gamma Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone. Abstract [Details]
(2013)Relationship between renal Ang (1-7) induced sodium and water excretion and AT1 receptors.
Neill, JO,Healy, V,Johns, EJ (2013) Relationship between renal Ang (1-7) induced sodium and water excretion and AT1 receptors. Abstract [Details]
(2009)An increase in renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) is evoked by gamma-melanocyte stimulating hormone (gamma MSH) infusion in High Salt fed Wistar rats and is associated with a natriuresis and diuresis induced by this hormone.
Cope, G,Houghton, BL,Healy, V,Johns, EJ (2009) An increase in renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) is evoked by gamma-melanocyte stimulating hormone (gamma MSH) infusion in High Salt fed Wistar rats and is associated with a natriuresis and diuresis induced by this hormone. Abstract [Details]

Book Reviews

 YearPublication
(2002)Rapid responses to steroid hormones: from frog skin to human colon. A homage to Hans Ussing.
Harvey, BJ,Alzamora, R,Healy, V,Renard, C,Doolan, CM (2002) Rapid responses to steroid hormones: from frog skin to human colon. A homage to Hans Ussing. Book Reviews [DOI] [Details]

Professional Activities

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2009)Experimental Biology,
Georgina Cope, Belinda L Houghton, Vincent Healy, Edward J Johns; (2009) An increase in renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) is evoked by γ-melanocyte stimulating hormone (γMSH) infusion in High Salt fed Wistar rats and is associated with a natriuresis and diuresis induced by this hormone. [Poster Presentation], Experimental Biology, New Orleans, USA , 25-APR-09 - 29-APR-09. [Details]
(2009)Physiology Society Main Meeting,
Georgina Cope, Belinda L Houghton, Vincent Healy and Edward J. Johns; (2009) Intra-renal infusion of NDP-MSH evokes a potent natriuresis and diuresis and is associated with collecting duct changes in ENaCα and aquaporin-2 expression. [Oral Presentation], Physiology Society Main Meeting, University College Dublin , 14-JUL-09 - 16-JUL-09. [Details]
(2008)Physiological Society Meeting,
E. J. Johns, B. O'Shaugnessy, S. O'Neill, B. Lane, V. Healy ; (2008) High dietary sodium intake - an oxidative stress for the kidney?. [Oral Presentation], Physiological Society Meeting, University of Bristol , 02-DEC-08 - 06-DEC-08. [Details]
(2008)Physiology Society Main Meeting,
G. Cope, V. Healy, E. Johns; (2008) High salt upregulates the Gamma-Melanocyte Stimulating hormone receptor 3(MC3R) in primary rat collecting duct cells. [Oral Presentation], Physiology Society Main Meeting, University of Cambridge , 08-JUL-08 - 11-JUL-08. [Details]
(2006)Physiology Society Main Meeting,
C Thompson, V Healy, E J Johns; (2006) Effect of renal sympathetic nerve activity on NHE3 in the renal proximal tubule. [Oral Presentation], Physiology Society Main Meeting, University College London , 12-JUL-06 - 14-JUL-06. [Details]
(2007)Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Section of Biomedical Sciences Summer Meeting,
C. Kelliher, E.J. Johns, V. Healy; (2007) High salt diet increases the abundance of the melanocortin 3 receptor in the inner medulla of the rat kidney. [Oral Presentation], Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Section of Biomedical Sciences Summer Meeting, University College Cork , 22-JUN-07 - 22-JUN-07. [Details]
(2006)The Physiological Society Main Meeting,
Vincent Healy, Susan O'Neill & Edward J. Johns; (2006) A high-salt diet increases the expression of NADPH oxidase in the Wistar-Kyoto rat kidney. [Poster Presentation], The Physiological Society Main Meeting, University College London, London, UK , 12-JUL-06 - 14-JUL-06. [Details]
(2005)XXV International Congress of Physiological Sciences,
Vincent Healy, Claire Thompson % Edward J. Johns; (2005) Effect of renal sympathetic nerve activity on brush-border abundance of NHE3 in the proximal tubule of the kidney. [Oral Presentation], XXV International Congress of Physiological Sciences, San Diego, California, USA , 15-APR-05 - 20-APR-05. [Details]
(2003)University College Cork Faculty of Medicine and Health Research Day,
Healy V, Hyland C and Johns EJ; (2003) Noradrenaline activates the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway via α-2 and β adrenergic receptors in a renal proximal tubule (OK) cell line. [Poster Presentation], University College Cork Faculty of Medicine and Health Research Day, Cork University Hospital , 03-JUN-03 - 03-JUN-03. [Details]
(2002)FASEB Summer Research Conference,
V. Healy, B.J. Harvey and C.M. Doolan; (2002) Rapid activation of MAP kinase pathways by 17 β-estradiol in rat colonic epithelia. [Poster Presentation], FASEB Summer Research Conference, Snowmass, Colorado, USA , 11-JUL-02 - 14-JUL-02. [Details]
(2001)2nd International Meeting on Rapid Responses to Steroid Hormones,
V. Healy*, M. B. O¿Shea, C. M. Doolan and B. J. Harvey ; (2001) Involvement of the estrogen receptor in 17 β-estradiol-induced stimulation of MAP kinase activity in the rat distal colon. [Poster Presentation], 2nd International Meeting on Rapid Responses to Steroid Hormones, Denver, Colorado. USA , 12-JUN-01 - 15-JUN-01. [Details]

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
University College Dublin Post-doctoral Researcher05-OCT-98 / 04-OCT-00
University College Cork Post-doctoral Fellow01-OCT-00 / 30-SEP-03
University College Cork College Lecturer01-OCT-03 /

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
1991University College Cork BSC (HONS)Biochemistry
1999University College Cork PHDBiochemistry

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
British Journal Of Pharmacology Referee01-JAN-03 - 31-DEC-06
Experimental Physiology Referee01-MAR-14 - 31-MAR-14
Peptides Referee01-JUL-14 - 31-JUL-14
Cell Biology And Toxicology Referee01-SEP-13 - 30-SEP-13

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

I lecture on Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal Physiology to students in the following degree programmes:

2nd year Biological Sciences
3rd year Physiology
1st year Medicine
1st year Dentistry
1st year Pharmacy

I also lecture on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of epithelial transport to students in the 4th year Physiology degree programme. My own research interests lie in this area and this research informs the content of these lectures.    

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2015Cardiovascular Physiology PL3021Cardiovascular Physiology
2015Introductory Physiology II PL2022Introductory Physiology II
2015Literature Review, Experimental Design and Data Analysis PL3025Literature Review, Experimental Design and Data Analysis

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School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K

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