Gerard  Karsenty
Gerard Karsenty
Professor and Chair, Genetics and Development

Address: 701 West 168th Street Room 1602A New York NY 10032
Phone: 212-305-6398
Fax: 212-923-2090


Education and Training:
M.D., Ph.D. 1984, University of Paris V
Postdoctoral Fellowship 1987, National Institute of Health
Postdoctoral Fellowship 1990, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
bullet  Department of Genetics and Development
bullet  Department of Medicine
Training Activities:
bullet  Graduate Program in Genetics and Development
bullet  Integrated Program in Molecular, Cellular and Biophysical Studies
Research Summary:
(800 words, max)
Novel Physiology of the Skeleton
Current Research:
Work in my laboratory is based on the two following assumptions: the influences organs exert on each other and that define the field of whole-organism physiology has long been neglected to the advantage of a purely molecular (and highly productive) approach to physiology. The second assumption is that mouse genetics by allowing to delete one gene at a time in one cell type at a time and in an inducible manner allows now to revive whole-organism physiology with the dual goal to better understand the bases of degenerative diseases and to propose adapted therapies for these diseases. To verify in a defined system that there are indeed many new physiologies to be discovered and that mouse genetics can help us do so, we are studying one organ, the skeleton, and are trying to define the entire spectrum of its functions. Based on evolutionary and clinical observations we hypothesized that there must be a coordinated regulation, endocrine in nature, of bone growth, energy metabolism and reproduction and have used mouse and human genetics to explore all facets of this hypothesis. This led us to identify novel organs regulating bone mass but more importantly, to show that bone is an endocrine organ that secretes a multifunctional hormone, osteocalcin. The functions already known for osteocalcin reveal the remarkable large spectrum of influence that bone exerts on the entire organism. Those include but are not limited to glucose metabolism, energy expenditure, male fertility and cognition. Even more far-reaching, these studies also revealed that the skeleton of the mother determines, through osteocalcin, hippocampus development and establishment of the memory in the adult offspring. Current studies in the laboratory explore other functions of osteocalcin and aim at elucidating its molecular mode of action in all its target organs.
(6 max)
1. Lee NK, Sowa H, Hinoi E, Ferron M Ahn JD, Confavreux C, Dacquin R, Mee PJ, McKee M, Jung, DY, Zhang Z, Kim JK, Mauvais-Jarvis F, Ducy P, and Karsenty G.: (2007) Endocrine regulation of energy metabolism by the skeleton. .  Cell  130: 456-469

2. Yadav VK, Oury F, Suda N, Liu Z-W, Gao X-B, Confavreux C, Klemenhagen CK, Tanaka KF, Gingrich JA, Guo XE, Tecott LH, Mann JJ, Horvath TL and Karsenty G.: (2009) A serotonin-dependent mechanism explains leptin regulation of bone mass, appetite and energy expenditure.  Cell  138(5): 976-989

3. Ferron M, Wei J, Yoshizawa T, Del Fattore A, De Pinho RA, Teti A, Ducy P and Karsenty G: (2010) Insulin signaling in osteoblasts integrates bone remodeling and energy metabolism .  Cell  142: 296-308

4. Oury F, Sumara G, Sumara O, Ferron M, Smith CE, Hermo L, Suarez S, Roth BL, Ducy P and Karsenty G: (2011) Endocrine regulation of male fertility by the skeleton.  Cell  144: 796-810

5. Oury F, Khrimian L, Denny CA, Gardin A, Chamouni A, Goeden N, Huang YY, Srinivas P, Gao XB, Suyama S, Langer T, Horvath T, Bonnin A, and Karsenty G: (2013) Maternal and offspring pools of osteocalcin influence brain development and functions.  Cell  155: 228-241

URL for lab page: