Ilka Pinz



Research Interests

My laboratory is interested in cardiac pathology associated with obesity. We are particularly interested in the sphingolipid pathway in the heart. Ceramide and sphingomyelin are the main sphingolipids and are major components of caveolae and lipid rafts. Caveolae are membrane invaginations to which many integral and membrane-associated signalling proteins localize to. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches we are able to change caveolar structure and follow the changes in intracellular localization of signalling molecules such as endothelial nitric oxide synthase, Akt/PKB, and caveolin3. These changes in intracellular localization have a direct effect on the activity of these proteins, and thus are directly correlated to the contractile performance of the heart.

I am also the Director of the Small Animal Imaging Core at MMCRI. We have a state-of-the-art in vivo imaging facility that includes a small animal magnetic resonance imager (MRI, BRUKER, PharmaScan, 7T), a high resolution micro-ultrasound (Vevo770, VisualSonis), and a X-ray micro-computed tomograph (µCT) (vivaCT40, SCANCO USA Inc.).


Selected Publications

  • Knowles CJ, Cebova M, Pinz IM: Palmitate diet-induced loss of cardiac caveolin-3: A novel mechanism for lipid-induced contractile dysfunction. PLosOne 2013, Apr 9;8(4):e61369. PMCID: PMC3621834.
  • Young K, Conley B A, Romero D, Tweedie E, O’Neill C F, Pinz I, Brogan L, Lindner V, Liaw L, and Vary C P H: BMP9 Regulates Endoglin-dependent Chemokine Responses in Endothelial Cells. Blood 2012 Nov 15, 120(20):4263-73. PMCID: PMC3501721
  • Pinz I, Zhou M, Mende U, Ingwall JS: An Improved Isolation Procedure for Adult Mouse Cardiomyocytes. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2011 Sep;61(1):93-101. PMCID: PMC3249381
  • Pinz I, Tian R, Belke D, Swanson E, Dillmann W, Ingwall JS: Compromised Myocardial Energetics in Hypertrophied Mouse Hearts Diminish the Beneficial Effect of Overexpressing SERCA2a. J. Biol. Chem. 2011 Mar 25;286(12):10163-8. PMCID: PMC3060468
  • Knowles CJ, Dionne M, Cebova M, Pinz IM: Palmitate-induced Translocation of Caveolin-3 and eNOS in Cardiomyocytes. Online J Biol Sci. 2011;11(2):27-36. PMCID: PMC3175373
  • Devlin MJ, Cloutier AM, Thomas NA, Panus DA, Lotinun S, Pinz I, Baron R, Rosen CJ, Bouxsein ML. Caloric restriction leads to high marrow adiposity and low bone mass in growing mice. J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Sep; 25(9):2078-88, PMCID: PMC3127399
  • Yang X, Kilgallen S, Andreeva V, Spicer DB, Pinz I, Friesel R. Conditional expression of Spry1 in neural crest causes craniofacial and cardiac defects. BMC Dev Biol. 2010 May 11;10(1):48. PMCID: PMC2874773
  • Pinz I., Robbins J., Rajasekaran N.S., Benjamin I.J., Ingwall J.S.: Unmasking different mechanical and energetic roles for the small heat shock proteins CryAB and HSPB2 in transgenic mouse hearts. FASEB J. 2008 Jan; 22(1): 84-92.
  • Pinz I, Ostroy SE, Hoyer K, Osinska H, Robbins J, Molkentin JD, Ingwall JS.: Calcineurin-induced energy wasting in a transgenic mouse model of heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Mar; 294(3): H1459-66.
  • Pinz I, Wax SD, Anderson P, Ingwall JS: Low over-expression of TNF? in the mouse heart increases contractile performance via TNFR1. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2008, 105(1): 99-107.
  • Urs U, Roudabush A, O’Neill C, Pinz I, Prudovsky I, Kacer D, Liaw L, Small D: Soluble forms of the Notch ligands Delta1 and Jagged1 promote in vivo tumorigenicity in NIH3T3 fibroblasts with distinct phenotypes. American Journal of Pathology, 173(3):865-78. PMCID: PMC2527077
  • Nascimben L., Ingwall J. S., Lorell B. H., Pinz I., Schultz V., Tornheim K., Tian R.: Mechanisms for increased glycolysis in the hypertrophied rat heart. Hypertension 2004, 44(5): 662-667
  • Pinz I. & H.O. Pörtner: Metabolic costs induced by lactate in the toad Bufo marinus: new mechanism behind oxygen dept? J. Appl. Physiol. 2003, 94: 1177-1183,
  • Javadpour M., Tardiff J. C., Pinz I., Ingwall J. S.: Decreased energetics in murine hearts bearing the R92Q mutation in cradiac troponin T. J. Clin. Invest. 2003, 112: 768-775


Community Service

  • 2006 to 2007 — reviewer, NEA1, Northeast Consortium, American Heart Association
  • 2008 — reviewer, Region 1 Cardiac Biology / Regulation, American Heart Association