Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Renal-Electrolyte

Faculty Profiles

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photo Anthony Kanai, PhD

Renal-Electrolyte

Professor of Medicine

Professors of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, Secondary Appointment

Email: ajk5@pitt.edu

Phone: 412-624-1430

Contact
Office: A1224 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
 
Phone: 412-624-1430
Fax:
E-mail: ajk5@pitt.edu
Education and Training
Education
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1992
Research Interest
My laboratory studies urinary bladder dysfunctions due to benign prostatic hyperplasia and obstruction (BPH and BPO), radiation cystitis and spinal cord injury (SCI), their pathological development and new therapeutic options. We use cutting edge approaches including telemetric bladder pressure and sphincter activity recordings in freely mobile rodents to diagnose and characterize BPH-induced BPO, and SCI-induced detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia (DSD) where the urethral sphincter and bladder contract together causing outlet obstruction. We also study neurogenic and myogenic bladder overactivity as a cause of incontinence, using optical mapping of voltage and calcium transients in bladder sheets, genetically encoded fluorescent probes and targeted drug delivery in normal, pathological, and genetically modified rodents.

We were first to demonstrate naturally occurring BPO in aged rodents and its’ alleviation with soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activators that stimulate cGMP production by nitric oxide-insensitive oxidized sGC. We were also first to directly measure nitric oxide production by bladder urothelial cells using porphyrinic microsensors and utilize mitochondrial targeting of free radical scavengers to protect the bladder when administered prior to irradiation insult—this work won the ASPET-Astellas award in translational pharmacology and contributed to two United States Patents. We have also demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of pro-apoptotic p75 neurotrophin receptor inhibitors and pro-growth TrkA/B stimulators in reversing DSD and reducing contused spinal cord glial/collagen scaring to improve hindlimb mobility, respectively.
Publications
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: PDE5 Inhibition of Afferents and Interstitial Cells in Overactive Mouse Bladders
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK098361
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2019
Title: Effect of the Tachykinin NK2 Receptor Antagonist, Ibodutant on Proto-Oncogene Expression, After TNBS-Induced Colitis in Male and Female Guinea Pig
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Menarini Ricerche S.p.A
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2016
Title: Role of Nitric Oxide and Superoxide in Cystitis
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK071085
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2018
Title: Mechanisms/Treatments of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction After Spinal Cord Injury
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: P01 DK093424
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2018
Title: Enhancing Recovery of SCI-Induced Bladder Dysfunction Using Small Molecules
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Department of Defense
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2021
Title: A Novel Combination Drug Treatment for Detrusor Hyperactivity with Impaired Contractile Function (DHIC)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: R21
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2021
Title: Contribution of Stress Induced Autonomic and Urothelial Dysregulation to IC/BPS
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK115476
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2023
Title: Bladder Mucosal Dysfunction During Aging
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: R01 AG056944
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2023
Title: Critical Roles for Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors in Bladder Development
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK104374
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2020
Title: Effect of Aging on Urothelial Function
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: R56 AG050408
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2016
Title: Role of Purine Dysregulation in the Underactive Bladder
Role: Consultant
Funding Agency: National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: R56 AG063753
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2020
Notable Achievements
Director, NIH/NIDDK Program Project (5P01DK093424-05), Mechanisms / Treatments of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction after Spinal Cord Injury, 2013-2018
United States Patents 7,718,603 & 9,402,839, Selective Targeting Agents for Mitochondria, 2010 & 2016
Permanent member, NIH/NIDDK Urologic and Kidney Development and Genitourinary Diseases (UKGD) study section, 2006-2010
Recipient of the ASPET-Astellas Award in Translational Pharmacology, 2008