Inflammation and metabolism – Nicolas Pillon's team

Our goal is to understand how immune responses contribute to skeletal muscle remodeling and its consequences on whole-body metabolic health.

ImmunoMax cover

Divergent inflammatory responses in skeletal muscle: contributions to physical activity and metabolic diseases.

Are you aware that your immune system plays a crucial role in how your body reacts to exercise and diet? Whether it’s the muscle soreness after a rigorous workout or the diminished insulin sensitivity observed in type 2 diabetes, the immune system is central to these processes.

Our research team precisely aims to investigate the communications between skeletal muscle and the immune system under conditions of metabolic stress. Our primary objective is to understand how these interactions affect the development and progression of metabolic diseases, with an emphasis on type 2 diabetes.

We use advanced bioinformatic techniques to identify molecular responses of skeletal muscle to both exercise and diabetes-related stress. This includes the characterization of cytokines and other soluble factors released by inflamed skeletal muscle, which may influence systemic metabolic health. We grow skeletal muscle progenitors from human volunteers to characterize molecular responses in vitro using diverse combinations of metabolic assays, pharmacological approaches, and molecular bioengineering methods. Our close relationship with clinical researchers allows us to perform clinical physiology assessments, that help explore the functional implications of these findings on muscle and whole-body metabolism in humans.

By advancing our understanding of inflammatory mechanisms within skeletal muscle, we hope that our finding will translate into practical interventions that can be applied clinically to improve the metabolic health of individuals at risk of or suffering from type 2 diabetes and related metabolic conditions.

Inflammation och Metabolism
Inflammation och Metabolism Photo: N/A

Figure. Cross-talks between skeletal muscle and the immune system regulate metabolic inflammation and muscle remodelling. 
Molecules released by either immune cells or myocytes during exercise, obesity or type 2 diabetes are crucial to maintaining tissue homeostasis. Understanding the roles and mechanisms of action of soluble molecules on inflammatory pathways and tissue remodelling can open new perspectives for improving metabolic health.

Publications

Selected publications

  • Article: CELL REPORTS MEDICINE. 2024;5(1):101348
    Dollet L; Lundell LS; Chibalin AV; Pendergrast LA; Pillon NJ; Lansbury EL; Elmastas M; Frendo-Cumbo S; Jalkanen J; de Castro Barbosa T; Cervone DT; Caidahl K; Dmytriyeva O; Deshmukh AS; Barrès R; Rydén M; Wallberg-Henriksson H; Zierath JR; Krook A
  • Article: SCIENCE ADVANCES. 2022;8(36):eabo3192
    Pillon NJ; Smith JAB; Alm PS; Chibalin AV; Alhusen J; Arner E; Carninci P; Fritz T; Otten J; Olsson T; van Doorslaer de Ten Ryen S; Deldicque L; Caidahl K; Wallberg-Henriksson H; Krook A; Zierath JR
  • Article: NATURE GENETICS. 2022;54(9):1332-1344
    Wang Z; Emmerich A; Pillon NJ; Moore T; Hemerich D; Cornelis MC; Mazzaferro E; Broos S; Ahluwalia TS; Bartz TM; Bentley AR; Bielak LF; Chong M; Chu AY; Berry D; Dorajoo R; Dueker ND; Kasbohm E; Feenstra B; Feitosa MF; Gieger C; Graff M; Hall LM; Haller T; Hartwig FP; Hillis DA; Huikari V; Heard-Costa N; Holzapfel C; Jackson AU; Johansson Å; Jørgensen AM; Kaakinen MA; Karlsson R; Kerr KF; Kim B; Koolhaas CM; Kutalik Z; Lagou V; Lind PA; Lorentzon M; Lyytikäinen L-P; Mangino M; Metzendorf C; Monroe KR; Pacolet A; Pérusse L; Pool R; Richmond RC; Rivera NV; Robiou-du-Pont S; Schraut KE; Schulz C-A; Stringham HM; Tanaka T; Teumer A; Turman C; van der Most PJ; Vanmunster M; van Rooij FJA; van Vliet-Ostaptchouk JV; Zhang X; Zhao J-H; Zhao W; Balkhiyarova Z; Balslev-Harder MN; Baumeister SE; Beilby J; Blangero J; Boomsma DI; Brage S; Braund PS; Brody JA; Bruinenberg M; Ekelund U; Liu C-T; Cole JW; Collins FS; Cupples LA; Esko T; Enroth S; Faul JD; Fernandez-Rhodes L; Fohner AE; Franco OH; Galesloot TE; Gordon SD; Grarup N; Hartman CA; Heiss G; Hui J; Illig T; Jago R; James A; Joshi PK; Jung T; Kähönen M; Kilpeläinen TO; Koh W-P; Kolcic I; Kraft PP; Kuusisto J; Launer LJ; Li A; Linneberg A; Luan J; Vidal PM; Medland SE; Milaneschi Y; Moscati A; Musk B; Nelson CP; Nolte IM; Pedersen NL; Peters A; Peyser PA; Power C; Raitakari OT; Reedik M; Reiner AP; Ridker PM; Rudan I; Ryan K; Sarzynski MA; Scott LJ; Scott RA; Sidney S; Siggeirsdottir K; Smith AV; Smith JA; Sonestedt E; Strøm M; Tai ES; Teo KK; Thorand B; Tönjes A; Tremblay A; Uitterlinden AG; Vangipurapu J; van Schoor N; Völker U; Willemsen G; Williams K; Wong Q; Xu H; Young KL; Yuan JM; Zillikens MC; Zonderman AB; Ameur A; Bandinelli S; Bis JC; Boehnke M; Bouchard C; Chasman DI; Smith GD; de Geus EJC; Deldicque L; Dörr M; Evans MK; Ferrucci L; Fornage M; Fox C; Garland T; Gudnason V; Gyllensten U; Hansen T; Hayward C; Horta BL; Hyppönen E; Jarvelin M-R; Johnson WC; Kardia SLR; Kiemeney LA; Laakso M; Langenberg C; Lehtimäki T; Marchand LL; Lifelines Cohort Study; Magnusson PKE; Martin NG; Melbye M; Metspalu A; Meyre D; North KE; Ohlsson C; Oldehinkel AJ; Orho-Melander M; Pare G; Park T; Pedersen O; Penninx BWJH; Pers TH; Polasek O; Prokopenko I; Rotimi CN; Samani NJ; Sim X; Snieder H; Sørensen TIA; Spector TD; Timpson NJ; van Dam RM; van der Velde N; van Duijn CM; Vollenweider P; Völzke H; Voortman T; Waeber G; Wareham NJ; Weir DR; Wichmann H-E; Wilson JF; Hevener AL; Krook A; Zierath JR; Thomis MAI; Loos RJF; Hoed MD
  • Review: CELL. 2021;184(6):1530-1544
    Pillon NJ; Loos RJF; Marshall SM; Zierath JR
  • Article: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY. 2020;318(3):C615-C626
    Abdelmoez AM; Sardón Puig L; Smith JAB; Gabriel BM; Savikj M; Dollet L; Chibalin AV; Krook A; Zierath JR; Pillon NJ
  • Article: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. 2020;11(1):470
    Pillon NJ; Gabriel BM; Dollet L; Smith JAB; Sardón Puig L; Botella J; Bishop DJ; Krook A; Zierath JR

Funding

Funding - current

  • European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) / Novo Nordisk Fonden
  • Strategic research program in Diabetes and the Karolinska Institutet
  • Diabetes Wellness Sverige
  • Forska Utan Djurforsök

 Funding – past

  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, European Commission
  • O. E. och Edla Johanssons vetenskapliga stiftelse
  • Sigurd och Elsa Goljes Foundation
  • Lars Hiertas Minne Foundation
  • Magnus Bergvalls Foundation

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group

Other people connected to the group

  • Yu, Xue
  • Ortiz, de Zevallos Joaquin
  • Björnsdotter, Öberg Sofia

Visiting address

Karolinska Institutet, Physiology and Pharmacology, Biomedicum C4, Stockholm, 171 11, Sweden

Keywords:
Carbohydrate Metabolism Cell and Molecular Biology Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 Energy Metabolism Exercise Inflammation Muscle, Skeletal Obesity Physiology Show all
NP
Content reviewer:
18-04-2024