Saraswathi Viswanathan
Saraswathi Viswanathan

Associate Professor
Ph.D., 1999, University of Madras, Chennal , India
Specialty: Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease
Major Interest:
To study the interplay between inflammation and metabolism in modulating obesity-linked metabolic diseases
Curriculum Vitae

The overall focus of our laboratory is to determine the role of obesity in modulating the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and alcohol-associated organ injury.  Obesity is a growing worldwide concern, and the mechanism by which it leads to other metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance (IR), dyslipidemia, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an area of intense research.  Adipose tissue (AT) is a storage reservoir for excess energy in the form of triglycerides (TGs).  In addition to storing TGs, AT secretes several factors called adipokines into the plasma which in turn, regulate glucose and lipid metabolism.  It is becoming clear that AT-inflammation impairs the storage and secretory functions of AT thereby leading to other metabolic disorders.  While arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoid metabolites regulate several physiological and pathological processes, their role in modulating inflammation as it relates to metabolic syndrome is not clear.  Using nutritional, genetic, and pharmacological approaches, we sought to determine the role of eicosanoid signaling in modulating obesity-associated metabolic disorders (Figure 1). 

Mounting evidence suggests that obesity (visceral fat accumulation) and insulin resistance are strongly associated with the severity of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). However, the exact mechanisms by which alcohol and obesity interact to intensify liver injury are still unclear.  Our research goal is to define the role of superoxide, generated during alcohol and free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism, in enhancing the pathogenesis of obesity-associated ALD, and how a novel nanoformulated superoxide dismutase 1 (nanoSOD) ameliorates this condition (Figure 2).


Viswanathan-FigureViswanathan figure 2

Recent Publications
  1. Natarajan, G., Perriotte-Olson, C., Bhinderwala, F., Powers, R., Desouza, CV., Talmon, GA., Yuhang, J., Zimmerman, MC., Kabanov, AV., and Saraswathi, V. Nanoformulated Copper/Zinc Superoxide Dismutase Exerts Differential Effects on Glucose versus Lipid Homeostasis Depending on the Diet composition Possibly via Altered AMPK Signaling. Res., 2017; 188: 10-26. PMID: 28867395
  2. Saraswathi, V., Perriotte-Olson, C., Ganesan, M., Desouza, CV., Alnouti, Y., Duryee, MJ., Thiele, GM., Nordgren, TM., and Clemens, DL. A Combination of Dietary N-3 Fatty Acids and a Cyclooxygenase-1 Inhibitor Attenuates Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Mice. J Nutr Biochem., 2017; 42: 149-159.  PMID: 28187366   
  3. Saraswathi V, Ganesan M, Perriotte-Olson C, Manickam DS, Westwood RA, Zimmerman MC, Ahmad IM, Desouza CV, Kabanov AV.  Nanoformulated copper/zinc superoxide dismutase attenuates vascular cell activation and aortic inflammation in obesity. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Jan 15; 469(3):495-500.  PMID: 26692492
  4. Perriotte-Olson C, Adi N, Manickam DS, Westwood RA, Desouza CV, Natarajan G, Crook A, Kabanov AV, Saraswathi V.  Nanoformulated copper/zinc superoxide dismutase reduces adipose inflammation in obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Jan; 24(1):148-56.  PMID: 26612356
  5. Saraswathi V, Ramnanan CJ, Wilks AW, Desouza CV, Eller AA, Murali G, Ramalingam R, Milne GL, Coate KC, Edgerton DS.  Impact of hematopoietic cyclooxygenase-1 deficiency on obesity-linked adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic disorders in mice. Metabolism. 2013 Nov; 62(11):1673-85.  PMID: 23987235