Dr. Anna N. Bukiya, PhD

Anna Bukiya

Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

205 Translational Science Research Building
71 S. Manassas St.
Memphis, TN 38103-8982
Phone: (901) 448-2128
Email: Anna Bukiya


  • PhD: Institution: Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov (Russia), Department of Physiology
  • Postdoctoral: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Department of Physiology

Research Interests

The major line of interest in the lab is the lipid regulation of alcohol effect on cerebral circulation at different points during lifetime (from in utero into late adulthood). We are currently pursuing several lines. We are studying the role of dietary cholesterol in the physiology and pathology of cerebral arteries via ion channel involvement. Using rat model of high-cholesterol diet, we were the first to show that dietary cholesterol was a critical nutritional regulator of alcohol-induced constriction of cerebral arteries. After establishing the phenomenon at organ level, we are currently dissecting out molecular and structural mechanisms that enable cholesterol regulation of alcohol-induced constriction of cerebral arteries. Considering that statins - cholesterol lowering therapy - are one of the most widely prescribed and consumed drugs, we are studying their effect on cholesterol level in cerebral artery tissue and on artery response to alcohol.

Another line of work is carried out in close collaboration with the Department of Comparative Medicine and with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UTHSC. This line of work involves non-human primates - baboons, whose pregnancy and developmental milestones are similar to humans. We are focused on the role of endocannabinoid lipids in alcohol effect on fetal cerebral circulation during maternal binge drinking. We are aiming at identification of novel targets of maternal drinking in fetal cerebral arteries. This exploratory work may lay a foundation to early diagnostics and successful prevention/treatment of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) that are estimated to affect at least 1% of births in the USA.

In addition, we are working on the interaction of potassium (e.g. GIRK, BK) channels with physiologically relevant lipids. In close collaboration with Dr. Alex Dopico (UTHSC), we were able to map several lipid-sensing sites in both BK channel-forming and accessory beta 1 subunits. These studies include recognition motifs for bile acids, cholesterol, and leukotriene B4. We are currently working on developing synthetic ligands for these sites. Newly discovered ligands will be used as lead compounds for designing drugs that modulate diameter of cerebral arteries via action on BK channel. In another collaborative line with Dr. Avia Rosenhouse-Dantsker at the University of Illinois at Chicago we are studying molecular mechanisms of cholesterol modulation of GIRK channels and potential implications of such modulation on GIRK channel physiology and role in Down syndrome pathology.

Representative Publications

  • North K, Tobiasz A, Sullivan RD, Bursac Z, Duncan J, Sullivan JP, Davison S, Tate DL, Barnett S, Mari G, Bukiya AN. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Anesthesia, and Fetal Loss in Baboon Model of Pregnancy. J Drug Alcohol Res. 2018 Jun;7. pii: 236064. PubMed PMID: 30656064; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6333472.
  • Bukiya AN, Dopico AM. Regulation of BK Channel Activity by Cholesterol and Its Derivatives. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1115:53-75. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-04278-3_3. PubMed PMID: 30649755.
  • Bukiya AN, Blank PS, Rosenhouse-Dantsker A. Cholesterol intake and statin use regulate neuronal G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels. J Lipid Res. 2019 Jan;60(1):19-29. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M081240. Epub 2018 Nov 12. PubMed PMID: 30420402; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6314255.
  • Bisen S, Kakhniashvili D, Johnson DL, Bukiya AN. Proteomic Analysis of Baboon Cerebral Artery Reveals Potential Pathways of Damage by Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Feb;18(2):294-307. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA118.001047. Epub 2018 Nov 9. PubMed PMID: 30413562; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6356072.
  • North KC, Chang J, Bukiya AN, Dopico AM. Extra-endothelial TRPV1 channels participate in alcohol and caffeine actions on cerebral artery diameter. Alcohol. 2018 Dec;73:45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2018.04.002. Epub 2018 Apr 26. PubMed PMID: 30268908; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6417832.
  • Bisen S, Simakova MN, Dopico AM, Bukiya AN. Large conductance voltage- and calcium-gated potassium channels (BK) in cerebral artery myocytes of perinatal fetal primates share several major characteristics with the adult phenotype. PLoS One. 2018 Sep 13;13(9):e0203199. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203199. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30212531; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6136719.

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