Dr Stefania Carobbio

Senior Research associate


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

Research Interests

Thermogenesis: Identifying molecular mechanisms that control energy expenditure via sympathetic tone to brownadipose tissue and also that directly regulate its activation in both mouse and human context.

Lipotoxicity and adipose tissue expansion: Understanding how compensatory adaptive mechanisms taking place inadipose tissue in response to states of obesity and morbid obesity that allow the maintenance of functional adipose organalongside insulin resistance.

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

Lipotoxicity and pancreatic β cells: Adaptation and failure of pancreatic β cell function in mouse models of metabolicsyndrome and specific lipid species disruption.

List of publications:

Research articles:

1.Mele L, Carobbio S, Brindani N, Curti C, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Bidault G, Mena P, Zanotti I, Vacca M, Vidal-Puig A, Del Rio D. Phenyl-γ-valerolactones, flavan-3-ol colonic metabolites, protect brown adipocytes from oxidative stress without affecting their differentiation or function. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Sep;61(9). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700074. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

2.Vetterli L, Carobbio S, Frigerio F, Karaca M, Maechler P. The Amplifying Pathway of the β-Cell Contributes to Diet-induced Obesity. J Biol Chem. 2016 Jun 17;291(25):13063-75.

3.Sanghez V, Cubuk C, Sebastián-Leon P, Carobbio S, Dopazo J, Vidal-Puig A, Bartolomucci A. Chronic subordination stress selectively downregulates the insulin signaling pathway in liver and skeletal muscle but not in adipose tissue of male mice. Stress. 2016;19(2):214-24.

4.Sanghez V, Razzoli M, Carobbio S, Campbell M, McCallum J, Cero C, Ceresini G, Cabassi A, Govoni P, Franceschini P, de Santis V, Gurney A, Ninkovic I, Parmigiani S, Palanza P, Vidal-Puig A, Bartolomucci A. Psychosocial stress induces hyperphagia and exacerbates diet-induced insulin resistance and the manifestations of the Metabolic Syndrome. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Dec;38(12):2933-42.

5.*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 Nov;62(11):3697-708.

6.Frigerio F, Karaca M, De Roo M, Mlynárik V, Skytt DM, Carobbio S, Pajęcka K, Waagepetersen HS, Gruetter R, Muller D, Maechler P. Deletion of glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) in the central nervous system affects glutamate handling without altering synaptic transmission.J Neurochem. 2012 Nov;123(3):342-8.

7.Vetterli L, Carobbio S, Pournourmohammadi S, Martin-Del-Rio R, Skytt DM, Waagepetersen HS, Tamarit-Rodriguez J, Maechler P. Delineation of glutamate pathways and secretory responses in pancreatic islets with β-cell-specific abrogation of the glutamate dehydrogenase. Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Oct;23(19):3851-62.

8.* Carobbio S*, Whittle AJ*, *, 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.

9.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.

10.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.

11.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.

12.Kis A, Murdoch C, Zhang M, Siva A, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Carobbio S, Lukasik A, Blount M, O'Rahilly S, Gray SL, Shah AM, Vidal-Puig A. Defective peroxisomal proliferators activated receptor gamma activity due to dominant-negative mutation synergizes with hypertension to accelerate cardiac fibrosis in mice. Eur J Heart Fail. 2009 Jun;11(6):533-41.

13.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.

14.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. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

15.Rubí B, Ljubicic S, Pournourmohammadi S, Carobbio S, Armanet M, Bartley C, Maechler P Dopamine D2-like receptors are expressed in pancreatic beta cells and mediate inhibition of insulin secretion. J Biol Chem. 2005 Nov 4;280(44):36824-32. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

16.Carobbio S, Maechler P.Sustained glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in mouse islets is not culture-dependent. Diabetologia. 2004 Oct;47(10):1856-7. Epub 2004 Oct 22. No abstract available.

17.Carobbio S, Ishihara H, Fernandez-Pascual S, Bartley C, Martin-Del-Rio R, Maechler P. Insulin secretion profiles are modified by overexpression of glutamate dehydrogenase in pancreatic islets. Diabetologia. 2004 Feb;47(2):266-76. Epub 2003 Dec 20.

18.Gabriel JM, Lacombe T, Carobbio S, Paquet N, Bisig R, Cox JA, Jaton JC Zinc is required for the catalytic activity of the human deubiquitinating isopeptidase T. Biochemistry. 2002 Nov 19;41(46):13755-66.

19.Carobbio S, Realini C, Norbury CJ, Toda T, Cavalli F, Spataro V.Sequence of Crm1/exportin 1 mutant alleles reveals critical sites associated with multidrug resistance. Curr Genet. 2001 Feb;39(1):2-9.

20.Bertoni F, Conconi A, Carobbio S, Realini C, Codegoni AM, Zucca E, Cavalli F.Analysis of Fas/CD95 gene somatic mutations in ovarian cancer cell lines. Int J Cancer. 2000 May 1;86(3):450. No abstract available.

21.Bertoni F, Conconi A, Luminari S, Realini C, Roggero E, Baldini L, Carobbio S, Cavalli F, Neri A, Zucca E. Lack of CD95/FAS gene somatic mutations in extranodal, nodal and splenic marginal zone B cell lymphomas. Leukemia. 2000 Mar;14(3):446-8.

22.Bertoni F, Luminari S, Intini D, Carobbio S, Codegoni AM, Spataro V, Neri A.Analysis of BCL-10 gene mutations in ovarian cancer cell lines. Ann Oncol. 1999 Oct;10(10):1259. No abstract available.


23. Carobbio S, Guénantin AC, Vidal-Puig A. 'Basic and Applied Thermogenesis Research' Bridging the Gap. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Jan;29(1):5-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2017.10.002. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

24.Carobbio S, Pellegrinelli V, Vidal-Puig A. Adipose Tissue Function and Expandability as Determinants of Lipotoxicity and the Metabolic Syndrome. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;960:161-196. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-48382-5_7.

25.Pellegrinelli V, Carobbio S, Vidal-Puig A. Adipose tissue plasticity: how fat depots respond differently to pathophysiological cues. Diabetologia. 2016 Jun;59(6):1075-88. Review.

26.Peirce V, Carobbio S, Vidal-Puig A. The different shades of fat. Review. Nature. 2014 Jun 5;510(7503):76-83.

27.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. Review.

28.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. Review.

29.Frigerio F, Casimir M, Carobbio S, Maechler P.Tissue specificity of mitochondrial glutamate pathways and the control of metabolic homeostasis. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jul-Aug;1777(7-8):965-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.04.031. Epub 2008 Apr 30. Review.

30.Maechler P, Carobbio S, Rubi B.In beta-cells, mitochondria integrate and generate metabolic signals controlling insulin secretion. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;38(5-6):696-709. Epub 2006 Jan 6. Review.