Norma Adragna, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Research Interests

Ion Transport and Vascular Cells in Health and Disease, funded by NIH, American Heart Association, and private funding

Research involves the role of ion transport abnormalities in the etiology and treatment of diseases (essential hypertension, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer's disease), and on aging. The main focus of the research is on the characterization, regulation, including signal transduction, and expression of ion transport systems and their relationship to abnormal cellular function and to cellular aging. Main cell models are cultured vascular endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, red blood cells, lens epithelial cells, and transfected HEK-293 cells. The main techniques used are measurement of ion fluxes by atomic and electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry or by radiotracers, flow cytometry, use of fluorescent dyes, and molecular biological techniques for isolation, cloning, and expression, in Xenopus oocytes and by cell transfection, of transport systems, in particular, the K-Cl cotransporter.

Selected Publications


Regulated phosphorylation of the K-Cl cotransporter KCC3 is a molecular switch of intracellular potassium content and cell volume homeostasis, Adragna NC, Ravilla NB, Lauf PK, Begum G, Khanna AR, Sun D, Kahle KT. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Jul 9;9:255. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00255. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26217182, Free PMC Article

K-Cl cotransporters, cell volume homeostasis, and neurological disease, Kahle KT, Khanna AR, Alper SL, Adragna NC, Lauf PK, Sun D, Delpire E., Trends Mol Med. 2015 Aug;21(8):513-23. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2015.05.008. Epub 2015 Jul 1. Review., PMID: 26142773


Interaction between Na-K-ATPase and Bcl-2 proteins BclXL and Bak, Lauf PK, Alqahtani T, Flues K, Meller J, Adragna NC., Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2015 Jan 1;308(1): C51-60. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00287.2014. Epub 2014 Oct 15, PMID: 25318106


Canonical Bcl-2 motifs of the Na+/K+ pump revealed by the BH3 mimetic chelerythrine: early signal transducers of apoptosis? Lauf PK, Heiny J, Meller J, Lepera MA, Koikov L, Alter GM, Brown TL, Adragna NC, Cell Physiol Biochem. 2013;31(2-3):257-76. doi: 10.1159/000343366. Epub 2013 Feb 22. Erratum in: Cell Physiol Biochem. 2013;31(4-5):744, PMID: 23466888


KCC2a expression in a human fetal lens epithelial cell line, Lauf PK, Di Fulvio M, Srivastava V, Sharma N, Adragna NC, Cell Physiol Biochem. 2012;29(1-2):303-12. doi: 10.1159/000337611. Epub 2012 Mar 1, PMID: 22415099

Ion transport in a human lens epithelial cell line exposed to hyposmotic and apoptotic stress. Chimote AA, Adragna NC, Lauf PK. J Cell Physiol. 2010 Apr;223(1):110-22.

Incidence of respiratory disorders in neonates born between 34 and 36 weeks of gestation following exposure to antenatal corticosteroids between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation. Ventolini G, Neiger R, Mathews L, Adragna NC, Belcastro M., Am J Perinatol, 25(2): 79-83, 2008.

Lithium Fluxes Indicate Presence of Na-Cl Cotransport (NCC) in Human Lens Epithelial Cells. Lauf PK, Chimote, A., Adragna, N.C., J Physiol Biochemistry, 21: 335-346, 2008.

K-Cl cotransport function and its potential contribution to cardiovascular disease. Adragna NC, Lauf PK., J. Pathophysiol. 14(3-4):135-46, 2007. (Invited Review)

Signal Transduction Mechanisms of K-Cl cotransport regulation and their relationship to disease. Adragna NC, Ferrell CM, Zhang J, Di Fulvio M, Temprana CF, Sharma A, Fyffe REW, Cool DR, Lauf PK. Acta Phys Scand 187: 125-39, 2006. (Invited Review)

Regulation of K-Cl cotransport: from function to genes. Adragna NC, Di Fulvio M, Lauf PK. J Membrane Biol. 201: 109-137, 2004. (Invited Review)

Erythrocyte signal transduction pathways, their oxygenation dependence and functional significance. Barvitenko NN, Adragna NC, Weber RE. Cell Physiol Biochem. 15: 1-18, 2005. (Review)

Platelet-derived growth factor regulates K-Cl cotransport in vascular smooth muscle cells. Zhang J, Lauf PK, Adragna NC. Am. J. Physiol. 284: C674-C680, 2003.

Nitric oxide signaling pathway regulates the potassium-chloride cotransporter-1 mRNA expression in vascular smooth muscle cells. Di Fulvio M, Lauf PK, Adragna NC. J. Biol. Chem. 276: 44534-40, 2001.

Hydroxyurea affects cell morphology, cation transport and red cell adhesion in cultured vascular endothelial cells. Adragna NC, Fonseca P, Lauf PK. Blood 83: 553-560, 1994.

Cation transport in vascular endothelial cells and aging. Adragna NC. J. Membrane Biol., 124: 258-291, 1991.

Cyclic stretching affects sodium and potassium transport in vascular endothelial cells and its response to bradykinin. Adragna NC. J. Vasc. Med. Biol. 3: 61-67, 1991.

Books and book chapters

Pathophysiology of the K+-Cl- Cotransporters: Paths to Discovery and Overview, J.S. Gibson, J.C. Ellory, N.C. Adragna and P.K. Lauf In:Physiology and Pathology of Chloride Transporters and Channels in the Nervous System: From Molecules to Disease, eds., Javier Alvarez-Leefmans and Eric Delpire, 2008. In Press

Cell Volume and Signaling Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Vol. 559. Peter K. Lauf and Norma C. Adragna, eds. Springer Verlag, 2004.

Hypertension in K-Cl cotransporter-3 knockout mice, Adragna NC, Chen Y, Delpire E, Lauf PK, Morris M. In: Cell Volume and Signaling. Lauf PK and Adragna NC, eds. Cell Volume and Signaling Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer Verlag, NY. Vol. 559: 379-387, 2004.

Twenty-Five Years of K-Cl Cotransport: From Stimulation by a Thiol Reaction to cloning of the Full-length KCCs, P.K. Lauf and N. C. Adragna, Ch. 2, in Cell Volume and Signaling Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Peter K. Lauf and Norma C. Adragna, eds. Springer Verlag, NY Vol. 559:11-28, 2004.

K-Cl cotransport (K-Cl, KCC1) activation by N-ethylmaleimide in C6 glioma cells, K.E.B. Gagnon, N.C. Adragna, R.E.W. Fyffe, and P.K. Lauf. In: Proceedings of the Dayton International Symposium on Cell Volume and Signaling, Springer Verlag. P.K. Lauf and N.C. Adragna, eds. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Volume 559 ,391-392, 2004.


Li fluxes reveal presence of Na-Cl Cotransport (NCC) in Human Lens Epithelial Cells (LECs), Norma C. Adragna, Ameet A. Chimote, and Peter K. Lauf, FASEB J. 2008 22:936. (Abstract)

Apparent intermediate K conductance channel hyposmotic activation in human lens epithelial cells. Lauf PK, Misri S., Chimote AA, Adragna NC, Am J Physiol Cell Physiol., 294: C820-32, 2008. (Abstract)

Further characteristics of hyposmotically activated K loss in human lens epithelial cells (hLECs), Peter K. Lauf, Ameet A. Chimote, and Norma C. Adragna, FASEB J. 2008 22:937.22. (Abstract)

Education History

Biochemist Degree (1969), National University of Córdoba, Argentina

Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1973), National University of Córdoba, Argentina

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