The Delpire laboratory focuses on elucidating mechanisms of cell volume regulation, intracellular chloride homeostasis, and epithelial sodium transport. This involves studying the function of electroneutral cation-chloride cotransporters such as NKCC1-2 (Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporters) and KCC1-4 (K+-Cl- cotransporters).
NKCCs are responsible for increasing intracellular chloride, while KCCs are primarily responsible for chloride extrusion. In neurons, the intracellular chloride concentration affects GABAergic and glycinergic neurotransmission. During development, these cotransporters are differentially expressed causing GABA to elicit excitatory or inhibitory responses. The laboratory utilizes molecular approach, cellular physiology techniques, and genetically-modified mouse models to understand how mutations that arise in these cotransporters affect cellular homeostasis. In kidneys, the Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter-2 and the Na+-Cl- cotransporter participate in salt reabsorption and control of blood pressure. The laboratory also studies the kinases which regulate these transport mechanisms using molecular, biochemical approaches as well as genetically-modified mouse models.