Leena Bharath

Academic Title

  • Assistant Professor, Health Sciences

I am interested in understanding the changes in immune cell mitochondria during physiological aging and during the development and progression of aging-associated metabolic dysregulation such as obesity and diabetes. Emerging evidence shows a strong association between immune cell function and cellular metabolism. However, the mechanistic links among immune cell function, changes in mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetics has not been explored and characterized thoroughly. This fueled my interest in “mitochondrial aging” and inflammation

  • Ph.D. Food Science - Molecular Microbiology Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  • MSc Microbiology University of Madras, India
  • BSc Microbiology University of Madras, India
  • Cell biology
  • Immunology
  • Metabolism
  • Microbiology
  1. Bharath LP, Agrawal M, McCambridge G, Nicholas DA, Hasturk H, Liu J, Jiang K, Liu R, Guo Z, Deeney J, Apovian CM, Snyder-Cappione J, Hawk GS, Fleeman RM, Pihl RMF, Thompson K, Belkina AC, Cui L, Proctor EA, Kern PA, Nikolajczyk BS. Metformin Enhances Autophagy and Normalizes Mitochondrial Function to Alleviate Aging-Associated Inflammation. Cell Metabolism. 31, 1-12 doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.04.015. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32402267; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7217133.

  2. Nicholas DA, Proctor EA, Agrawal M, Belkina AC, Van Nostrand SC, Bharath LP, Jones AR 4th, Raval F, Ip BC, Zhu M, Cacicedo JM, Habib C, Sainz-Rueda N, Persky L, Sullivan PG, Corkey BE, Apovian CM, Kern PA, Lauffenburger DA, Nikolajczyk BS. Fatty Acid Metabolites Combine with Reduced β Oxidation to Activate Th17 Inflammation in Human Type 2 Diabetes. Cell Metab. 2019 Jul 25;. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.07.004. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31378464.
  3. Modica-Napolitano JS, Bharath LP, Hanlon AJ, Hurley LD. The Anticancer Agent Elesclomol Has Direct Effects on Mitochondrial Bioenergetic Function in Isolated Mammalian Mitochondria. Biomolecules. 2019 Jul 24;9(8). doi: 10.3390/biom9080298. PubMed PMID: 31344923; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6724019.
  4. McCambridge G, Agrawal M, Keady A, Kern PA, Hasturk H, Nikolajczyk BS, Bharath LP. Saturated Fatty Acid Activates T Cell Inflammation Through a Nicotinamide Nucleotide Transhydrogenase (NNT)-Dependent Mechanism. Biomolecules. 2019 Feb 25;9(2). doi: 10.3390/biom9020079. PubMed PMID: 30823587; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6406569.
  5. Bharath LP, Choi WW, Cho JM, Skobodzinski AA, Wong A, Sweeney TE, Park SY. Combined resistance and aerobic exercise training reduces insulin resistance and central adiposity in adolescent girls who are obese: randomized clinical trial. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018 Aug;118(8):1653-1660. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-3898-8. Epub 2018 May 30. PubMed PMID: 29846794.
  6. Bharat D, Cavalcanti RRM, Petersen C, Begaye N, Cutler BR, Costa MMA, Ramos RKLG, Ferreira MR, Li Y, Bharath LP, Toolson E, Sebahar P, Looper RE, Jalili T, Rajasekaran NS, Jia Z, Symons JD, Anandh Babu PV. Blueberry Metabolites Attenuate Lipotoxicity-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Jan;62(2). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700601. Epub 2017 Dec 14. PubMed PMID: 29024402.
  7. Bharath LP, Cho JM, Park SK, Ruan T, Li Y, Mueller R, Bean T, Reese V, Richardson RS, Cai J, Sargsyan A, Pires K, Anandh Babu PV, Boudina S, Graham TE, Symons JD. Endothelial Cell Autophagy Maintains Shear Stress-Induced Nitric Oxide Generation via Glycolysis-Dependent Purinergic Signaling to Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2017 Sep;37(9):1646-1656. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.309510. Epub 2017 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 28684613; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5693355.
  8. Son WM, Sung KD, Bharath LP, Choi KJ, Park SY. Combined exercise training reduces blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and insulin resistance in obese prehypertensive adolescent girls. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2017;39(6):546-552. doi: 10.1080/10641963.2017.1288742. Epub 2017 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 28590143.
  9. Li Y, Bharath LP, Qian Y, Ruan T, Anandh Babu PV, Bruno RS, Symons JD, Jalili T. γ-Carboxyethyl hydroxychroman, a metabolite of γ-tocopherol, preserves nitric oxide bioavailability in endothelial cells challenged with high glucose. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2016 Dec;241(18):2056-2062. doi: 10.1177/1535370216661780. Epub 2016 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 27465143; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5102138.
  10. Park SY, Rossman MJ, Gifford JR, Bharath LP, Bauersachs J, Richardson RS, Abel ED, Symons JD, Riehle C. Exercise training improves vascular mitochondrial function. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2016 Apr 1;310(7):H821-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00751.2015. Epub 2016 Jan 29. PubMed PMID: 26825520; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4867356.
  11. Park SY, Ives SJ, Gifford JR, Andtbacka RH, Hyngstrom JR, Reese V, Layec G, Bharath LP, Symons JD, Richardson RS. Impact of age on the vasodilatory function of human skeletal muscle feed arteries. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2016 Jan 15;310(2):H217-25. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00716.2015. Epub 2015 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 26589330; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4796628.
  12. Bharath LP, Ruan T, Li Y, Ravindran A, Wan X, Nhan JK, Walker ML, Deeter L, Goodrich R, Johnson E, Munday D, Mueller R, Kunz D, Jones D, Reese V, Summers SA, Babu PV, Holland WL, Zhang QJ, Abel ED, Symons JD. Ceramide-Initiated Protein Phosphatase 2A Activation Contributes to Arterial Dysfunction In Vivo. Diabetes. 2015 Nov;64(11):3914-26. doi: 10.2337/db15-0244. Epub 2015 Aug 7. PubMed PMID: 26253611; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4613970.
  13. Bharath LP, Mueller R, Li Y, Ruan T, Kunz D, Goodrich R, Mills T, Deeter L, Sargsyan A, Anandh Babu PV, Graham TE, Symons JD. Impairment of autophagy in endothelial cells prevents shear-stress-induced increases in nitric oxide bioavailability. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Jul;92(7):605-12. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2014-0017. Epub 2014 Jun 18. PubMed PMID: 24941409.
  14. Panneerseelan L, Muriana PM. An immunomagnetic PCR signal amplification assay for sensitive detection of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins in foods. J Food Prot. 2009 Dec;72(12):2538-46. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-72.12.2538. PubMed PMID: 20003736.