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Douglas K. Bowles, PhD

Professor, Chair, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology

Office Location: E101 Veterinary Medicine
Office Phone: 573-882-7193

Research Interests

Coronary and cardiac adaptations to exercise training and disease, exercise physiology

Research Description

Dr. Bowles focuses his research on the effects of exercise training on the heart and coronary arteries. The primary goal is to understand the cellular mechanisms for functional changes observed in the heart after endurance training. Hopefully, understanding these changes at the cellular level will allow for better use of exercise in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Currently, research efforts in his lab are focused on understanding the role of ion channels, specifically K+ and Ca2+ channels and their role in regulating coronary artery function. A recent discovery in Bowles' lab is that exercise training increases the contribution of K+ channels to regulation of arterial tone. In addition, exercise training increases activity of L-type Ca2+ channels in coronary arterial smooth muscle.

Dr. Bowles is currently exploring the mechanisms and consequences of these changes using electrophysiology, cannulated microvessel preparations, high speed confocal imaging, fluorescence imaging and biochemical techniques.

Bowles' lab is interested in the role of vascular ion channels in adaptive responses to exercise, atherosclerosis and sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen). The primary model is the pig, with an emphasis on coronary smooth muscle. The overall research question is how changes in ion channel function alter physiologic responses such as vasomotion, gene regulation and disease progression. Aside from standard patch-clamping and physiological measures, we are developing a line of research examining how ion channels regulate gene expression in smooth muscle with the goal of understanding how adaptive changes in ion channels alter smooth muscle phenotype during atherosclerosis.

Professional Background

  • Obtained BS in biochemistry, Kansas State University.
  • Obtained MS in exercise science, Kansas State University.
  • Obtained PhD in exercise Physiology, University of Texas-Austin.
  • Completed a postdoctoral fellowship, University of Missouri.
  • Joined the Biomedical Sciences Department in 1998.
  • Joint-appointed in Medical Pharmacology and Physiology in 2005.
  • Received the New Investigator Award from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
  • Received an Independent Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Elected fellow in ACSM.
  • Elected fellow of the Cardiovascular Section of APS
  • Served as Charter member of the Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology and several Special Emphasis Council Study Sections of the NIH.
  • Member of the National American Heart Association Peer Review Group.

Selected Publications

Newcomer, J.C., J.C. Taylor, D.K. Bowles and M.H. Laughlin. Endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxation in the forelimb and hindlimb vasculatures of swine. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 148(2):292-300, 2007. PMID: 17544306

Bowles, D.K., K.K. Maddali, V.C. Dhulipala and D.H. Korzick. PKCd mediates anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic effects of testosterone on coronary smooth muscle. Am. J. Physiol. Cell. 293(2):C805-13, 2007. PMID: 17507429

Emter, C.A. and D.K. Bowles. Curing the Cure: Utilizing Exercise to Limit Cardiotoxicity. Med. Sci. Sports Ex.  40(5):806-807, 2008. PMID: 18408620

Tharp, D.L., B.R. Wamhoff, H. Wulff, G. Raman, A. Cheong and D.K. Bowles. Local delivery of the KCa3.1 blocker, TRAM-34, prevents acute angioplasty-induced coronary smooth muscle phenotypic modulation and limits stenosis. Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 28:1084-1089, 2008. PMID: 18309114

Editorial comment: Lounsbury, K.M. Preventing stenosis by local inhibition of KCa3.1: A finger on the phenotypic switch. Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 28:1036, 2008.

Heaps, C.L. and D.K. Bowles. Effects of exercise training and hypercholesterolemia on adenosine-activation of voltage-dependent K+ channels in coronary arterioles. J. Appl. Physiol. 105(6): 1761-71, 2008. PMID: 18832757

Tharp, D.L and D.K. Bowles. Intermediate-conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ channels in vascular disease. Cardiovasc. Hematol. Agents Med. Chem. 7(1): 1-11, 2009. PMID: 19149539

Tharp, D.L., I. Masseau, J. Ivey, V.K. Ganjam and D.K. Bowles. Endogenous testosterone attenuates neointima formation after moderate coronary balloon injury in male swine. Cardiovascular Res. 82(1):152-60, 2009. PMID: 19181935

Fleenor, B., J. Ivey and D.K. Bowles. Negligible contribution of adventitial fibroblasts to neointimal formation in a swine model of post-angioplasty restenosis. Am. J. Physiol. (Heart Circ. Physiol). 296: H1532-H1539, 2009. PMID: 19252097

Fleenor, B.S. and D.K. Bowles. Exercise training decreases the size and alters the composition of the neointima in a porcine model of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. J. Appl Physiol. 107: 937-945, 2009. PMID: 19556453

Long, X., D.L. Tharp, M.A. Georger, B.R. Wamhoff, D.K. Bowles and J.M. Miano. SRF-myocardin dependent regulation of a smooth muscle restricted ion channel subunit. J. Biol. Chem. 284(48):33671-82, 2009. PMID: 19801679

Phillips, L.C., A.L. Klibanov, D.K. Bowles, M. Ragosta, J. A. Hossack and B.R. Wamhoff. Focused In Vivo Delivery of plasmid DNA to the Porcine Vascular Wall via Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) Destruction of Microbubbles. J. Vasc. Res. 47(3):270-274, 2010. PMID: 19923850

Emter, C.A. and D.K. Bowles. Store-operated Ca2+ entry is not essential for PDGF-BB induced phenotype modulation or upregulation of intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel (KCa3.1) in rat aortic smooth muscle. Cell Calcium. 48(1):10-18, 2010. PMID: 20619453

Bowles, D.K. and M.H. Laughlin. Mechanisms of beneficial effects of Physical Activity on Atherosclerosis and Coronary Heart Disease. J. Appl. Physiol. 111(1):308-10, 2011. PMID:21617083

Padilla, J., G.H. Simmons, J.W. Davis, J.J. Whyte, T.W. Zderic, M.T. Hamilton, D.K. Bowles, M.H. Laughlin. Impact of exercise training on endothelial transcriptional profiles in healthy swine: A genome-wide microarray analysis. Am. J. Physiol. (Heart Circ. Physiol). 301(2):H555-64, 2011. PMID:21622830

Emter, C.A., D.L. Tharp, J.R. Ivey, V.K. Ganjam and D.K. Bowles. Low-Intensity Interval Exercise Training Attenuates Heart Failure Induced Alterations in Coronary Vascular Function in Aortic-Banded Miniature Swine. Am. J. Physiol. (Heart Circ. Physiol). 301(4):H1687-94, 2011. PMID:21841018

McCommis, K.S., A.M. McGee, M.H. Laughlin, D.K. Bowles and C.P. Baines. Chronic exercise reverses hypercholesterolemia-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in porcine hearts. Am. J. Physiol. (Reg. Int. Comp). 301(5):R1250-8, 2011. PMID:21865543.

Laughlin, M.H., D.K. Bowles and D. Duncker. The Coronary Circulation in Exercise Training. Am. J. Physiol. (Heart Circ. Physiol) 302(1): H10-23, 2012. PMID: 21984538

O’Connor, E.K., J.R. Ivey and D.K. Bowles. Differential effects of androgens on coronary blood flow regulation and arteriolar diameter in intact and castrated swine. Biol. Sex Differences. 3(1):10, 2012. PMID:22620281

Masseau, I., M.J. Davis and D.K. Bowles. Carotid Inflammation Is Unaltered by Exercise in Hypercholesterolemic Swine. Med. Sci. Sport Med., 44(12):2277-89, 2012. PMID:22776877

Tharp, D.L, J.R. Ivey, R.L. Shaw and D.K. Bowles. Ovariectomy increases L-type Ca2+ channel activity in porcine coronary smooth muscle. Menopause. In press. PMID:24104606

de Beer, V.J., D. Merkus, S. Bender, D.L. Tharp, D.K. Bowles, D.J. Duncker and M.H. Laughlin. Familial hypercholesterolemia impairs exercise-induced systemic vasodilation due to reduced NO bioavailability. J. Appl. Physiol. (1985). 2013 Oct 24. PMID: 24157527

Bender, S., V.J. de Beer, D.L. Tharp, E.D. van Deel, D.K. Bowles, D.J. Duncker, M.H. Laughlin and D. Merkus. Reduced contribution of endothelin to the regulation of systemic and pulmonary vascular tone in severe familial hypercholesterolaemia. J. Physiol. In press. PMID: 24421352

Published by Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, 1500 Research Park Drive, Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-7588 Email: