Kalypso Karastergiou, MD, PhD
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease
Before joining the Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism Institute at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, I completed my MD degree at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, my PhD at University of London, London, UK and postdoctoral training at Boston University, Boston, MA. I am interested in the integrative physiology of human adipose tissue.
Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Award
Adipose, Cytokines, Genomics, Hormones, Obesity
Overview: Interactions between adipose tissue and other target-organs contribute significantly to obesity-associated pathologies. However, the specific role of each adipose tissue depot is complex, poorly understood and likely varies among populations based on gender, ethnicity, menopausal state and other factors. My research interests focus on depot- and sex- differences in human physiology and pathophysiology. I am also interested on the effects of systemic hormones on adipocyte function, particularly of glucocorticoids and their circadian rhythm. I undertake translational research in humans using in vivo, ex vivo and “big data” approaches.
A full list of publications is available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=karastergiou+k
My most significant contributions to the field of obesity and metabolic disease are highlighted below.
Epicardial adipose tissue characteristics: This small depot has attracted significant scientific interest due to its proximity to the coronary arteries and the myocardium, and multiple studies have investigated associations between its size and the extent of cardiovascular disease. My work characterized the adipokine profile secreted by human epicardial adipose tissue, its alterations in obese subjects or those with coronary artery disease and its potential effects on human coronary endothelial cells and monocytes.
Adipose endocrine function: Via the release of multiple pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules, the adipose tissue interacts with distant tissues and contributes to the development of multiple chronic diseases from diabetes to cancer. I participated in studies describing the release of RANTES, a T-cell chemokine, from various human fat depots in vivo and ex vivo, and how aspirin can modulate the release of interleukin-6, a cytokine central among those produced by fat. A study on adiporedoxin, a novel regulator of adipokine release was recently published.
Adipose heterogeneity: The concept that intra-abdominal, visceral, adipose depots are more closely related to cardiometabolic diseases is widely accepted. However, our understanding of further differences among subcutaneous depots, abdominal versus gluteofemoral, is limited. In my work, I investigated sex- and depot-dependent differences in global gene expression among these depots, and identified genes that are exclusively expressed in the gluteal tissue. These characteristics are retained ex vivo and are thus cell-autonomous and likely to contribute to the unique protection againstmetabolic diseases seen in women with preferential peripheral fat distribution (pear-shape).
Hormonal regulation: The effects of systemic hormones on adipose tissue function ensure coordination between diverse metabolic tissues; conversely their abnormalities disrupt metabolic health partly through adipose phenomena. I am particularly interested in glucocorticoid and growth hormone effects.