Amy Tucker

Tucker, Amy L.

Primary Appointment

Associate Clinical Professor, Medicine: Cardiovascular Medicine


  • MS, University of Alabama

Contact Information

PO Box 801394
Telephone: 434-982-3365

Research Interests

General cardiology, adult congenital heart disease; Adenosine receptors

Research Description

Adenosine is a purine nucleoside released from ischemic and hypoxic tissues that acts to restore homeostasis by increasing blood supply and decreasing metabolic demand. My laboratory studies the role of adenosine in the modulation of angiogenesis. Our interests include the effects of adenosine to promote angiogenesis through direct stimulation of vascular cells, as well as the indirect effects promoting release of angiogenic growth factors from inflammatory cells . We use several model systems to identify mechanisms of adenosine-modulated angiogenesis in specific cells and tissues, including the chicken chorioallantoic membrane, rat thoracic aortic ring, murine hindlimb ischemia, and murine myocardial infarction models. We are using adenosine receptor subtype-deficient murine models to understand the unique roles of adenosine receptor subtypes. We also use recombinant mutated adenosine receptors expressed in cultured cells to study the site of action of drugs that enhance the protective effects of adenosine. Our laboratory has access to novel adenosine receptor ligands and allosteric enhancers. Ultimately, we would like to exploit adenosine receptors in therapeutic manipulation of angiogenesis to treat ischemia and/or cancer. Additionally, we have used gene targeting to develop a knock-out mouse deficient in phospholemman, a major cardiac membrane protein regulated by adenosine, that is important in maintaining cardiac intracellular sodium and calcium concentrations in response to adrenergic stimulation.

Selected Publications