John Longhurst

picture of John  Longhurst

Professor, Medicine
School of Medicine

M.D., University of California, Davis, 1973

Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1974, Physiology

Phone: (949) 824-5602
Fax: (949) 824-2200

University of California, Irvine
C240 Medical Sciences 1
Mail Code: 4076
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Cardiovascular Medicine, Autonomic Neuroscience, Neurophysiology, Acupuncture, Sensory Neurophysiology
Academic Distinctions
1969 Bachelor of Science in Zoology with Honors
1972 - 1973 U.S. Public Service Predoctoral Traineeship
1973 Loren D. Carlson Medical Student Research Award
1973 - 1974 Giannini Foundation Fellowship Award
1974 Loren D. Carlson Graduate Physiology Research Prize
1978 - 1981 NIH-NHLBI Young Investigator Research Award
1981 - 1986 Established Investigator, American Heart Association
1981 Teaching & Clinical Contribution Award, UT Southwestern
1982 Councilor, Southern Section of the AFCR
1983 First alumnus recipient, AOA, Natl Honor Soc, UC Davis
1984 Theodore Tagstad Award, Santa Barbara County Chapter,AHA
1990 Distinguished Alumnus Award, UCD, School of Medicine
1993 Physician Volunteer of the Year Award, AHA, Ca Affiliate
2001 Fellow, AHA and the Council on Basic CV Sciences
2002 Lawrence K. Dodge Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology
2006 Susan Samueli Chair in Integrative Medicine
1998 - Present, Professor of Medicine, Chair, Department of Medicine (1998-2001)
Chief, Division of Cardiology (1998-2002)

2002- 2008, Associate Dean, Programs and Development, University of California, Irvine

1999 - Present, Professor, Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine

2001 - Present, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine
Research Abstract
Our laboratory is investigating the neurophysiological basis of acupuncture. Studies involve both humans and animal models and are funded by two NIH grants. A third NIH grant in the laboratory funds studies involved in defining the mechanisms of activation of cardiac sympathetic afferents during myocardial ischemia. With respect to the acupuncture studies, we are investigating all aspects of the influence of acupuncture on regulation of the cardiovascular system including studies of the somatic sensory nervous system activated by acupuncture, central neural processing and the influence of acupuncture on sympathetic outflow and cardiovascular function. Our studies are composed of a combined physiological, pharmacological and anatomical approach to define the mechanisms underlying the regulation of blood pressure by acupuncture. For example, we are investigating the afferent fiber type, point specificity, differences between electroacupuncture (EA) and manual acupuncture and segmental spinal vs. supraspinal central neural system (CNS) regulation of blood pressure by acupuncture. We are currently studying three main areas in the hypothalamus, midbrain and medulla, including the arcuate nucleus, the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (central gray or vlPAG) and the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM). The rVLM is particularly relevant since this is a final common region of CNS processing of premotor sympathoexcitatory neurons that are inhibited for prolonged periods of time by acupuncture. We are defining the neurotransmitters involved in modifying the EA-related inhibition of rVLM neurons and many other nuclei, including opioids, such as endorphins, enkephalins and endomorphin and opioid-related peptides such as nociceptin as well as gamma aminobutyric acid and encannabinoids. We are investigating inputs at different levels into the hypothalamus, midbrain and medulla and interactions between the arcuate nucleus, vlPAG, raphe nucleus and rVLM. On the effector organ level, we are studying the influence of acupuncture on demand-induced myocardial ischemia and on short-term elevations in blood pressure. In our human investigations we are extending the experimental studies to determine the influence of EA on exercise-induced elevations in blood pressure and on blood pressure in patients with sustained hypertension. The aim of all of these studies is to provide a cohesive framework of knowledge that will explain the mechanisms of actions of acupuncture on the cardiovascular system and on patients with cardiovascular disease.
1. Vogel JK, SF Bolling, RB Costello, EM Guarneri MW Krucoff and JC Longhurst et al. Integrating Complementary Medicine into Cardiovascular Medicine: A Report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents (Writing Committee to Develop an Expert Consensus Document on Complementary and Integrative Medicine). In Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 46:184-221, 2005.
2. Zhou W, SC Tjen-A-Looi and JC Longhurst: Brain stem mechanisms underlying acupuncture modality-related modulation of cardiovascular responses in rats. Journal of Applied Physiology, 99:851-860, 2005.
3. Guo Z-L, AR Moazzami and JC Longhurst: Stimulation of cardiac sympathetic afferents activates glutamatergic neurons in the parabrachial nucleus: relation to neurons containing nNOS. Brain Research, 1053:97-107, 2005.
4. Fu L-W and JC Longhurst: Interactions between histamine and bradykinin in stimulation of ischaemically sensitive cardiac afferents. Journal of Physiology, 565.3:1007-1017, 2005.
5. Li P, SC Tjen-A-Looi and JC Longhurst: Excitatory Projections from arcuate nucleus to ventrolateral periaqueductal gray in electroacupuncture inhibition of cardiovascular reflexes. American Journal of Physiology, 290:H2535-H2542, 2006.
6. Tjen-A-Looi SC, P Li and JC Longhurst: Midbrain vlPAG inhibits rVLM cardiovascular sympathoexcitatory responses during electroacupuncture. American Journal of Physiology, 290:H2543-H2553, 2006.
7. Zhou W, LW Fu, SC Tjen-A-Looi, ZL Guo and JC Longhurst: Glutamate’s role in a visceral sympathoexcitatory reflex in rostral ventrolateral medulla of cats. American Journal of Physiology, 291:H1309-H1318, 2006.
8. Guo ZL, and JC Longhurst: Expression of c-Fos in arcuate nucleus induced by electroacupuncture: relations to neurons containing opioids and glutamate (a figure was featured on the cover of this issue of the journal). Brain Research, 1166:65-76, 2007.
9. Longhurst JC: Electroacupuncture treatment of arrhythmias in myocardial ischemia. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 292: H2032-H2034, 2007.
10. Tjen-A-Looi SC, P Li, and JC Longhurst: Role of medullary GABA, opioids and nociceptin in prolonged inhibition of cardiovascular sympathoexcitatory reflexes during electroacupuncture in cats. American Journal of Physiology, 293:H3627-H3635, 2007.
11. Zhou W, LW Fu, ZL Guo, and JC Longhurst: Role of glutamate in rostral ventrolateral medulla in acupuncture-related modulation of visceral reflex sympathoexcitation. American Journal of Physiology, 292(4):H1868-H1875, 2007.
12. Guo ZL, AR Moazzami, S Tjen-a-Looi, JC Longhurst. Responses of opioid and serotonin containing medullary raphe neurons to electroacupuncture. Brain Res. 1229: 125-136, 2008.
13. Longhurst, JC. Neural Regulation of the Cardiovascular System. In: Fundamental Neuroscience, 3rd Edition. 829.53, 2008.
14. Fu LW, A Phan and JC Longhurst: Myocardial ischemia-mediated excitatory reflexes: a new function for thromboxane A2. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.;295(6):H2530-40, 2008.
15. Fu LW, ZL Guo and JC Longhurst: Undiscovered role of endogenous thromboxane A2 in activation of cardiac sympathetic afferents during ischaemia. J Physiol. 1;586(13):3287-300, 2008.
16. Guo ZL, SC Tjen-A-Looi, LW Fu and JC Longhurst: Nitric oxide in rostral ventrolateral medulla regulates cardiac-sympathetic reflex: role of synthase isoforms. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ, Physiol. 297: H1478-H1486, 2009.
17. Fu, Liang-Wu, Longhurst, JC. Electroacupuncture modulates vlPAG release of GABA through presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Journal of Applied Physiology 106:1800-1809, 2009.
18. Li, P., SC Tjen-A-Looi, ZL Guo, LW Fu, JC Longhurst: Long-Loop Pathways in Cardiovascular Electroacupuncture Responses. Journal of Applied Physiology 106(2):620-630, 2009.
19. Tjen-A-Looi, S. C., Li, P., JC Longhurst,.: Processing Cardiovascular Information in the vlPAG during Electroacupuncture in Rats: Roles of Endocannabinoids and GABA. Journal of Applied Physiology 106(6):1793-1799, 2009.
20. Zhou W, Mahajan A, and JC Longhurst: Spinal nociceptin mediates electroacupuncture-related modulation of visceral sympathoexcitatory reflex responses in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.;297: :H859-65, 2009.
21. Fu LW, and JC Longhurst: Bradykinin and thromboxane A2 reciprocally interact to synergistically stimulate cardiac spinal afferents during myocardial ischemia. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ Physiol. 298:H235-H244.166, 2010.
1. R01-HL63313; "CNS Autonomic Regulation by Electroacupuncture", (2000-2013). 2. R01-HL66217; “Mechanisms of Regulation of Cardiac Afferents”, (2002-2014). 3. R01–HL72125; “Neural Substrates of Electroacupuncture in Cardiovascular Control”, (2003-2012). 4. R01–ES012243; “Ultrafine Particulate Matter & Cardiorespiratory Health”, Principal Investigator, Ralph J. Delfino, (2003-2010).
Professional Societies
American College of Cardiology, Fellow
American College of Physicians, Fellow
American College of Sports Medicine, Member
American Federation for Medical Research
American Heart Association, Councils on Basic Science, Circulation and Clinical Cardiology
American Physiological Society, Cardiovascular Section, Fellow
American Society for Clinical Investigation
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Western Association of Physicians, Member
Society for Neuroscience
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Research Center
Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine
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