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Ajay Chawla, MD, PhD

Ajay Chawla, MD, PhD
Professor, Cardiovascular Research Institute
Departments of Physiology and Medicine
Research Summary:
Immune determinants of metabolism and regeneration

Across species, the aberrant activation of the innate immune system has been linked to pathogenesis of metabolic, inflammatory, and degenerative diseases.  However, the molecular pathways by which innate immune cells coordinate these diverse programs remain poorly understood.  Our major goals are to elucidate the regulatory role of nuclear receptors, co-activator proteins, and nutrient sensors in innate immune activation, and the importance of these pathways in regulation of systemic metabolism and tissue regeneration.

Selected Publications

Vats, D., Mukundan, L., Odegaard, J.I., Zhang, L., Smith, K.L., Morel, C.R., Greaves, D.R., Murray, P.J., Chawla, A.  Oxidative metabolism and PGC-1b attenuate macrophage-mediated inflammation.  Cell Metabolism, 4, 13-24, 2006. PubMed PMID: 16814729; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1904486.

Odegaard, J.I., Ricardo-Gonzalez, R.R., Goforth, M.H., Morel, C.R., Subramanian, V., Mukundan, L., Vats, D., Brombacher, F., Ferrante, A.W., Chawla, A.  Macrophage-specific PPARy controls alternative activation and improves insulin resistance. Nature, 447: 1116-20, 2007. PubMed PMID: 17515919; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2587297.

Odegaard, J.I., Ricardo-Gonzalez, R.R., Red Eagle, A., Vats, D., Morel, C.R., Subramanian, V., Mukundan, L., F., Ferrante, A.W., Chawla, A.  Alternative M2 activation of Kupffer cells by PPARdelta ameliorates obesity-induced insulin resistance. Cell Metabolism, 6: 496-507, 2008. PubMed PMID: 18522831; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2587370.

Mukundan, L., Odegaard, J.I., Morel, C.R., Heredia, J.E., Mwangi, J.W., Ricardo-Gonzalez, R.R., Goh, Y.P.S., Red Eagle, A., Dunn, S.E., Awakuni, J.U.H., Nguyen, K. D., Steinman, L., Michie, S.A., Chawla, A.  PPARdelta senses and orchestrates clearance of apoptotic cells to promote tolerance.  Nature Medicine, 2009 Nov;15(11):1266-72. Epub 2009 Oct 18. PubMed PMID: 19838202; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2783696.

Wu, D., Molofsky, A. B., Liang, H-E., Ricardo-Gonzalez, R.R., Jouihan, H. A., Bando, J.K., Chawla, A., Locksley, R.M. Eosinophils sustain alternatively activated macrophages in adipose tissue.  Science, 2011 Mar 24. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:  21436399.  PMCID: PMC3144160.

Ricardo-Gonzalez, R. R., Red Eagle, A., Odegaard, J.I., Jouihan, H., Morel, C.R., Heredia, J. E., Mukundan, L., Wu, D., Locksley, R. M., Chawla, A.  IL-4/STAT6 immune axis regulates peripheral nutrient metabolism and insulin sensitivity.  PNAS, 2010, Dec. 28; 107(52):22617-22622. PubMed PMID: 21149710; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3012500.