Mortimer M. Civan, M.D.

faculty photo
Emeritus Professor of Physiology
Department: Physiology

Contact information
A303 Richards Building
3700 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6085
Office: 215-898-8773
Columbia College, 1955.
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1959.
M.A. (Honorary)
University of Pennsylvania, 1972.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

I am concerned with salt and water transport across cell membranes and whole epithelial tissues. These issues are essential to understanding regulation of salt and water balance by whole organisms. The laboratory has been studying how changes in intracellular parameters (such as calcium activity, pH, sodium activity, and free energy of hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)) might alter sodium transport. There is also interest in how biochemical modifications of the apical membranes (induced, for example, by phorbol esters) and biophysical alterations of the basolateral membranes might alter net sodium movement.

One major direction is to relate intracellular pH and calcium activity (measured with ion selective microelectrodes) to sodium permeability and intracellular sodium activity (measured with reference micropipets, while applying computer driven trains of voltage pulses). Concurrent studies are in progress ultilizing 31phosphorus and 19fluorine nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and patch clamping.

The major model system isthe isolated epithelium from frog skin, an analogue of the human distal nephron which can be studied by a variety of biophysical techniques. Collaborations are also being undertaken with the Glaucoma Unit to study fluid transport
across the ciliary body of the eye, and with the Renal Unit to study nephron tubules directly.

Selected Publications

Li, S.K., Banerjee, J., Jang, C., Sehgal, A., Stone, R.A., and Civan, M.M.: : Temperature oscillations drive cycles in the activity of MMP-2,9 secreted by a human trabecular meshwork cell line. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56(2): 1396-405, Feb 2015.

Sanderson, J., Dartt, D.A., Trinkaus-Randall, V., Pintor, J., Civan, M.M., Delamere, N.A., Fletcher, E.L., Salt, T.E., Grosche, A., Mitchell, C.H.: Purines in the eye: recent evidence for the physiological and pathological role of purines in the RPE, retinal neurons, astrocytes, Müller cells, lens, trabecular meshwork, cornea and lacrimal gland. Exp Eye Res. 127: 270-9, Oct 2014.

Leung CT, Li A, Banerjee J, Gao ZG, Kambayashi T, Jacobson KA, Civan MM.: The role of activated adenosine receptors in degranulation of human LAD2 mast cells. Purinergic Signal. 10(3): 465-75, Sept 2014.

Taruno A, Vingtdeux V, Ohmoto M, Ma Z, Dvoryanchikov G, Li A, Adrien L, Zhao H, Leung S, Abernethy M, Koppel J, Davies P, Civan MM, Chaudhari N, Matsumoto I, Hellekant G, Tordoff MG, Marambaud P, Foskett JK.: CALHM1 ion channel mediates purinergic neurotransmission of sweet, bitter and umami tastes. Nature 495(7440): 223-6, Mar 2014.

Li A, Banerjee J, Peterson-Yantorno K, Stamer WD, Leung CT, Civan MM.: Effects of cardiotonic steroids on trabecular meshwork cells: search for mediator of ouabain-enhanced outflow facility. Exp Eye Res. 96(1): 4-12, Mar 2012.

Li A, Leung CT, Peterson-Yantorno K, Stamer WD, Mitchell CH, Civan MM.: Mechanisms of ATP release by human trabecular meshwork cells, the enabling step in purinergic regulation of aqueous humor outflow. J Cell Physiol. 227(1): 172-82, Jan 2012.

Li A, Banerjee J, Leung CT, Peterson-Yantorno K, Stamer WD, Civan MM.: Mechanisms of ATP release, the enabling step in purinergic dynamics. Cell Physiol Biochem. 28(6): 1135-44, 2011.

Li A, Leung CT, Peterson-Yantorno K, Mitchell CH, Civan MM.: Pathways for ATP release by bovine ciliary epithelial cells, the initial step in purinergic regulation of aqueous humor inflow. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 299(6): C1308-17, Dec 2010.

Wang Zhao, Do Chi Wai, Valiunas Virginijus, Leung Chi Ting, Cheng Angela K W, Clark Abbott F, Wax Martin B, Chatterton Jon E, Civan Mortimer M: Regulation of gap junction coupling in bovine ciliary epithelium. American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 298(4): C798-806, April 2010.

Civan Mortimer M: Transporters beyond transport. Focus on "Deregulation of apoptotic volume decrease and ionic movements in multidrug-resistant tumor cells: role of chloride channels". American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. 298(1): C11-3, Jan 2010.

back to top
Last updated: 04/30/2015
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania