Member Listing


Stefania Carobbio


Metabolic Research Laboratories




Post Doctoral

Research Summary

I study allostatic mechanisms taking place in adipose tissue in response to states of obesity and morbid obesity. These states are typically associated with insulin resistance and I aim to understand how these compensatory mechanisms allow the maintenance of functional adipose organ alongside hyperinsulinemia. One particular area of interest is how such mechanisms maintain cellular membrane lipid composition in states of lipid dysregulation such as obesity. Moreover, how these allostatic mechanisms vary between specific adipose tissue depots (subcutaneous, visceral) may be highly relevant for understanding the pathogenesis of obesity and insulin resistance.

Some other areas of research I am interested in are:

– Identifying molecular mechanisms that control energy expenditure via sympathetic tone to brown adipose tissue and also that directly regulate its activation.

– Understanding how the disruption of specific lipid species can affect adipose tissue expansion and lipid metabolism in key metabolic tissues such as liver, muscle and heart.

– Adaptation and failure of pancreatic beta cell function in mouse models of metabolic syndrome and specific lipid species disruption.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Regenerative Medicine

Selected Publications

Peirce V, Carobbio S, Vidal-Puig A. The different shades of fat.Nature. 2014 Jun 5;510(7503):76-83.
Carobbio S, Rosen B, Vidal-Puig A. Adipogenesis: new insights into brown adipose tissue differentiation.J Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Nov 26;51(3):T75-85.

Carobbio S, Hagen RM, Lelliott CJ, Slawik M, Medina-Gomez G, Tan CY, Sicard A, Atherton HJ, Barbarroja N, Bjursell M, Bohlooly-Y M, Virtue S, Tuthill A, Lefai E, Laville M, Wu T, Considine RV, Vidal H, Langin D, Oresic M, Tinahones FJ, Fernandez-Real JM, Griffin JL, Sethi JK, López M, Vidal-Puig A. Adaptive changes of the Insig1/SREBP1/SCD1 set point help adipose tissue to cope with increased storage demands of obesity. Diabetes. 2013 Aug 6.

Whittle AJ*, Carobbio S*, Martins L*, Slawik M*, Hondares E, Vázquez MJ, Morgan D, Csikasz RI, Vidal-Puig A. Bmp8b increases brown adipose tissue thermogenesis through both central and peripheral actions. Cell 2012 May 11;149(4):871-85.*co-first authorship.

Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Carobbio S, Vidal-Puig A. Ablation of Pparg2 impairs lipolysis and reveals murine strain differences in lipolytic responses. FASEB J. 2012 May;26(5):1835-44.

Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Carobbio S, Velagapudi VR, Barbarroja N, Moreno-Navarrete JM, Tinahones FJ, Fernandez-Real JM, Oresic M, Vidal-Puig A. Pparγ dependent regulation of lipolytic nodes and metabolic flexibility. Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Apr;32(8):1555-65.

Carobbio S, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Vidal-Puig A. Origins of metabolic complications in obesity: ectopic fat accumulation. The importance of the qualitative aspect of lipotoxicity.
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Nov;14(6):520-6.

Carobbio S, Frigerio F, Rubi B, Vetterli L, Bloksgaard M, Gjinovci A, Pournourmohammadi S, Herrera PL, Reith W, Mandrup S, Maechler P. Deletion of glutamate dehydrogenase in beta cells abolishes part of the insulin secretory response not required for glucose homeostasis.J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 9;284(2):921-9.

Ahuja N*, Schwer B*,Carobbio S*, Waltregny D, North BJ, Castronovo V, Maechler P, Verdin E. Regulation of insulin secretion by sirt4, a mitochondrial ADP-ribosyltransferase. J Biol Chem. 2007 Nov 16;282(46):33583-92. *co-first authorship.

Carobbio S, Ishihara H, Fernandez-Pascual S, Bartley C, Martin-Del-Rio R & Maechler P, Insulin secretion profiles are modified by over expression of glutamate dehydrogenase in pancreatic islets. Diabetologia (2004), vol. 47, p.p. 266-276