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Vishwa Deep Dixit, DVM, PhD

Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Pathology and Professor of Immunobiology; Director, Yale Center for Research on Aging (Y-Age), Pathology

Contact Information

Vishwa Deep Dixit, DVM, PhD

Research Summary

A major goal of Dixit lab is to obtain creative insights that advance knowledge in the field of Immune-Metabolic interactions that drive adiposity and age-related chronic diseases. Studies focus on understanding the mechanisms and consequences of aberrant immune-cell activation in adipose tissue microenvironment and age-related ectopic adipocyte development in lymphoid microenvironment like thymus and bone marrow. The long-term goal of Dixit lab is to understand the mechanisms of immune-metabolic crosstalk and to help develop novel approaches to regulate the aberrant immune cell activation and inflammation as means to enhance healthspan and lifespan.

Extensive Research Description

Dixit’s research is focused on Immunometabolism with the goal to reveal molecular targets that can be harnessed to enhance healthspan with longevity. His laboratory found that pro-longevity hormone FGF21 protects against thymic degeneration and T cell senescence during aging. The ongoing work on this project utilizes various genetic and pharmacological approaches to regulate FGF21 signaling and determine its mechanism of action in control of age-related inflammation and immune-senescence.

Dixit lab has identified a specialized macrophage subset called the Nerve-associated macrophages (NAMs) that resides on sympathetic nerves and controls the bioavailability of catecholamines in tissue microenvironments. The identity of NAMs their function and role in health and disease are unclear and are a major focus of his lab.

Dixit and collaborators help define the role of innate immune sensor NLRP3 inflammasome in age-related chronic diseases, insulin-resistance, type 2 diabetes and immune-senescence and development of inflammation. His lab has also identified that ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is a therapeutic target to lower the NLRP3 inflammasome -dependent chronic inflammatory diseases. The ongoing work in Dixitlab is investigating metabolic regulators of inflammasome deactivation and mechanism of age-related inflammation as a trigger for chronic disease.

The Dixit lab uses reverse translation approach, where his group has established the impact of caloric restriction (CR) on human physiology and immunometabolism (CALERIE-II trial) and are using animal models to test causality to develop CR-mimetic targets that could potentially confer pro-longevity benefits of CR. This work led to identification of PLA2G7 and SPARC as CR-inhibited proteins in humans that control inflammaging and healthspan.

The research in Dixit Lab is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Cure Alzheimer Fund.

Public Health Interests

Aging; Immunology; Obesity

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Selected Publications