Louis A. Mulieri, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor 

Dr. Mulieri is a muscle physiologist currently researching myocardial mechanisms of heart failure and mechanisms of progression of heart failure in human heart diseases. His specialty is in vitro measurement of mechanics and energetics of isolated human myocardium (obtained by surgical biopsy) under physiological conditions. The goal is to detect, characterize, and determine molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal function of various subcellular systems (acto-myosin cross-bridges, excitation-contraction coupling, recovery metabolism) that contribute specifically to clinically manifest abnormalities of left ventricular function in vivo. This work requires close interdisciplinary collaboration with cardiologists and surgeons caring for the patients enrolled in the study groups. Results demonstrate that in dilated cardiomyopathy, alterations in both cross-bridge function and function of the excitation-contraction coupling system play a significant role in limiting contractility of the left ventricle both at resting heart rates, and  to increasing degree, as heart rate increases with exercise. Similar, but less severe alteration has also been found in volume overload heart failure present in mitral regurgitation patients and, more recently, in patients with coronary artery disease and diabetes. The common abnormality of declining contractility as heart rate increases is under study as a possible mechanism of progression of heart failure. The role of increased levels of plasma norepinephrine and depressed levels of intracellular cyclic AMP as a common mediator of declining contractility is under study.   

Relevant Publications

Mulieri LA, Alpert NR: The Role of Myocardial Force-Frequency Relation in Left Ventricular Function and Progression of Human Heart Failure, in Bittar EE, 

Altschuld RA, Haworth RA (eds): Advances in Organ Biology: Heart Metabolism in Heart Failure. Stamford, CT, JAI Press, 1998, Vol. 4A, pp 47-62 

Mulieri LA, Leavitt BJ, Wright RK, Alpert NR: Role of cAMP in modulating relaxation kinetics and the force-frequency relation in mitral regurgitation heart failure. Basic Res Cardiol 1997; 92 Suppl I; 95-103

Mulieri LA, Leavitt BJ, Martin BJ, Haeberle JR, Alpert NR: Myocardial force-frequency defect in mitral regurgitation heart failure is reversed by forskolin. Circulation 1993; 88:2700-2704