Systemic hypoxia occurs at high altitude and in a variety of cardio-pulmonary diseases. Few studies have examined its effects on the microcirculation despite considerable clinical evidence suggestive of microvascular inflammation during hypoxia (i.e., high altitude cerebral edema). In fact, it is generally accepted that microvascular injury occurs during elevated tissue oxygen levels (during reperfusion of organs after prolonged ischemia) rather than during low tissue oxygen levels during ischemia. Currently, our major goal is to examine mechanisms responsible for microvascular inflammation during acute systemic hypoxia as well as the mechanisms involved in adaptation to chronic hypoxia. These studies are in collaboration with Dr. Norberto Gonzalez.