Metabolic endocrinology

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SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

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Our group conducts patient-centred research, focusing mainly on the longitudinal and prospective study of epigenetic, clinical and biochemical aspects of low birth weight for gestational age and adolescents with ovarian hyperandrogenism or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We also investigate the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing or preventing comorbidities associated with these disorders. In collaboration with other clinical and basic IRSJD research groups, we also study the pathophysiological basis of low birth weight and PCOS.

In 2006, we joined the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM) and our group leader is the principal investigator of this CIBER. Since 2009, we have been a consolidated AGAUR research group (Government of Catalonia; 2018SGR1236).

Our group leader is also coordinator of the Paediatric and Adolescent Working Group of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and coordinator of the Small for Gestational Age Patient Study Group of the Spanish Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (SEEP).

Research lines

  1. The longitudinal study of genetic, epigenetic and biochemical mechanisms underlying endocrine-metabolic alterations associated with low birth weight, which include DNA methylation, microRNAs, microbiome, body composition, adipokines and brown adipose tissue.
  2. The development and subsequent marketing of new combinations of insulin  sensitisers and antiandrogens for the treatment of PCOS in adolescents, aimed at normalising the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the entity and therefore reduce the risk of subfertility and others comorbidities associated with PCOS.
  3. The development and validation of biomarkers for the early detection of low birth weight patients likely to develop associated comorbidities.

Scientific objectives

  1. To carry out longitudinal and prospective studies of the methylation pattern of genes and microRNAs in peripheral blood of patients with low birth weight compared with subjects with normal weight for gestational age, as well as differences in circulating exosome and exosomal proteome profiles.
  2. To develop and validate combinations of early longitudinal biomarkers of metabolic syndrome, early onset puberty and other pathologies associated with low birth weight.
  3. To develop a new combination of insulin sensitisers and an antiandrogen (SPIOMET) for the treatment of PCOS, conduct phase II-IV studies and submit the dossier to the EMA/FDA for approval and subsequent marketing.
  4. To describe and functionally validate epigenetic markers (microRNAs) in peripheral blood and adipose tissue associated with PCOS, predictive of comorbidities and/or the response to therapy.

Area/Field of expertise

The research carried out by our group forms part of the study of the epigenetic, clinical, biochemical, molecular and therapeutic aspects related to low birth weight and PCOS. Our main goal is to further our knowledge of the mechanisms that determine the development of these entities and the associated comorbidities in order to establish early preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Thanks to the continuous prospective follow-up of longitudinal cohorts with these two entities since 2006, we have made significant advances in the clinical and molecular knowledge in this area. Our group has expertise in the study of biochemical markers of adipose tissue (recently described adipokines, ELISA), genetic polymorphisms, expression and methylation of genes and microRNAs in peripheral blood and tissues, and exosome isolation (NanoDrop spectrophotometer plate reader, real-time PCR, etc.), as well as in determining the distribution of abdominal fat and carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) (high-resolution ultrasound).

Group members

Last Publications

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Projects

Project name:
SPIOMET4HEALTH_PCOS in adolescent girls and young women: Toward a treatment guided by pathopsysiology
Leader
Lourdes Ibañez Toda
Funding entities:
European Commission
Code
899671
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2026
Project name:
2a Accésit de los Premios a la Investigación en Endocrinología Pediátrica y Crecimiento 2020
Leader
Lourdes Ibañez Toda
Funding entities:
Fundación Sociedad Española de Endocrinología Pediátrica
Code
PCP00291
Starting - finishing date:
2020 - 2021
Project name:
Perfil longitudinal de exosomas circulantes y de su proteoma en niños nacidos con bajo peso y peso adecuado para la edad gestacional: Utilidad como biomarcador de síndrome metabólico
Leader
Lourdes Ibañez Toda, Marta Díaz Silva
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
PI18/00109
Starting - finishing date:
2019 - 2023
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Theses

  • Papel de la microbiota intestinal en el tratamiento del síndrome de Prader-Willi
    Author
    Amat Bou, Montserrat
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    20/04/2021
  • Estudio longitudinal de la composición corporal y del perfil endocrino-metabólico en niños sanos: influencia de la composición de ácidos grasos poliinsaturados maternos durante la gestación
    Author
    Sanz Marcos, Nuria Elvira
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    12/12/2019
  • Pla de desenvolupament d’una nova combinació de fàrmacs pel tractament de la Síndrome de l’Ovari Poliquístic: del mercat al mercat
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    22/12/2018
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