Ramona Weber, M.S.


Education: Bachelor of Science in life science (May 2019)

Master of Science in kinesiology at Kansas State University

Currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in kinesiology at Kansas State University

McNair Project: Role of Adenosine Triphosphate Sensitive Potassium (KATP) Channel Function in Exercise Tolerance (2018)

Mentor: David Poole, Ph.D.

ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels found in muscle, pancreatic beta cells, and the brain contribute to a myriad of physiological and pathological processes. Paramount among which is vascular control. We hypothesized that the inhibition of KATP function via Glibenclamide (GLI) would cause a decrease in exercise tolerance because of reduced muscle(s) blood flow. Furthermore, as the density of KATP channels is high in vascular tissue we expected to see greater peripheral than central dysfunction. 10 young adult healthy female Sprague Dawley rats were used in these experiments. The menstrual cycle was tracked using vaginal lavage. Each test was performed at peak estrogen levels in order to distinguish estrogen effects when these intact rats were subsequently compared with ovariectomized counterparts (future study). Echocardiography and VO2 max (maximal exercise tests) were used to distinguish between central and peripheral effects of GLI. Measurements were paired across control and GLI conditions. Paired statistical analyses demonstrated no significant differences between either echocardiographic measurements of myocardial structure (control LV end-diastolic diameter: 0.711, GLI LV end-diastolic diameter: 0.714) and function (control ejection fraction: 81.94, GLI ejection fraction: 77.48) or VO2max (control: 71.58, GLI: 68.69). This investigation revealed and absence of GLI effects of myocardial or integrated cardiovascular-muscle function. These findings are germane to physicians assessing whether Type II diabetic patients should be prescribed GLI especially when there is the presence of concurrent heart failure.