About Dr. Haberzettl

Petra Haberzettl

Petra Haberzettl, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Petra Haberzettl, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Institute of Molecular Cardiology and the Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Haberzettl graduated as Diplom Biochemist (master equivalent) from the Ruhr-University Bochum (Bochum, Germany) in 2003 and received her doctoral degree at the Institute for Environmental Medicine at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf, Germany) in 2006. In 2007, she moved to the U.S. where she completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Louisville (Louisville, KY, USA) in 2011.

Dr. Haberzettl's research has been focused on the mechanisms by which air pollution exposure affects pulmonary and cardiovascular health. After her initial work on the pulmonary toxicity of respirable particles during her doctoral training, she developed a strong research interest on the cardiovascular toxicity of air pollution. Currently, she investigates how inhalation of polluted air induces vascular and cardiometabolic injury.

Her previous research has demonstrated that the exposure to either particulate (fine particulate matter, PM2.5) or volatile (acrolein) air pollution induce vascular inflammation, decrease vascular insulin/VEGF sensitivity and impair the VEGF-mediated mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Treatment with insulin sensitizer or antioxidants and pulmonary overexpression of extracellular superoxide dismutase (ecSOD) protected against the vascular toxicity of PM2.5. Her studies also showed that PM2.5 exposure induces these vascular effects in the absence of other metabolic defects, but exacerbates diet-induced systemic insulin resistance.

The goal of her ongoing research is to determine the underlying mechanisms by which PM2.5 exposure induces vascular inflammation and the suppression of vascular signaling, and to test whether these PM2.5-induced vascular effects contribute to the progression of systemic insulin resistance in susceptible states such as diet-induced obesity or circadian dyssynchrony.

Her group also investigates the mechanism by which PM2.5 inhalation impairs EPC mobilization and function and whether this compromises the ability of EPCs to maintain a healthy endothelium that could heighten the cardiovascular disease risk due to air pollution exposure.

Selected Publications

  • Haberzettl P, O'Toole TE, Bhatnagar A, Conklin DJ. Exposure to Fine Particulate Air Pollution Causes Vascular Insulin Resistance by Inducing Pulmonary Oxidative Stress. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Dec;124(12):1830-1839. Epub 2016 Apr 29. PubMed PMID: 27128347; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5132639.
    Corresponding editorial: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/124-A236
  • Haberzettl P, McCracken JP, Bhatnagar A, Conklin DJ. Insulin sensitizers prevent fine particulate matter-induced vascular insulin resistance and changes in endothelial progenitor cell homeostasis. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2016 Jun 1;310(11):H1423-38. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00369.2015. Epub 2016 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 27016579; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4971897.
    Corresponding pod cast: http://ajpheart.podbean.com/e/particulate-matter-induced-vascular-insulin-resistance
  • Conklin DJ, Guo Y, Jagatheesan G, Kilfoil PJ, Haberzettl P, Hill BG, Baba SP, Guo L, Wetzelberger K, Obal D, Rokosh DG, Prough RA, Prabhu SD, Velayutham M, Zweier JL, Hoetker JD, Riggs DW, Srivastava S, Bolli R, Bhatnagar A. Genetic Deficiency of Glutathione S-Transferase P Increases Myocardial Sensitivity to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Circ Res. 2015 Aug 14;117(5):437-49. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.305518. Epub 2015 Jul 13. PubMed PMID: 26169370; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4854443.
  • O'Toole TE, Abplanalp W, Li X, Cooper N, Conklin DJ, Haberzettl P, Bhatnagar A. Acrolein decreases endothelial cell migration and insulin sensitivity through induction of let-7a. Toxicol Sci. 2014 Aug 1;140(2):271-82. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu087. Epub 2014 May 8. PubMed PMID: 24812010; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4176051.
  • Haberzettl P, Hill BG. Oxidized lipids activate autophagy in a JNK-dependent manner by stimulating the endoplasmic reticulum stress response. Redox Biol. 2013 Jan 26;1:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2012.10.003. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24024137; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3757667.
  • Haberzettl P, Lee J, Duggineni D, McCracken J, Bolanowski D, O'Toole TE, Bhatnagar A, Conklin DJ. Exposure to ambient air fine particulate matter prevents VEGF-induced mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells from the bone marrow. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Jun;120(6):848-56. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104206. Epub 2012 Mar 14. PubMed PMID: 22418586; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3385427.
  • Wheat LA, Haberzettl P, Hellmann J, Baba SP, Bertke M, Lee J, McCracken J, O'Toole TE, Bhatnagar A, Conklin DJ. Acrolein inhalation prevents vascular endothelial growth factor-induced mobilization of Flk-1+/Sca-1+ cells in mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Jul;31(7):1598-606. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.227124. Epub 2011 Apr 28. PubMed PMID: 21527748; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3182098.
  • O'Toole TE, Hellmann J, Wheat L, Haberzettl P, Lee J, Conklin DJ, Bhatnagar A, Pope CA 3rd. Episodic exposure to fine particulate air pollution decreases circulating levels of endothelial progenitor cells. Circ Res. 2010 Jul 23;107(2):200-3. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.110.222679. Epub 2010 Jul 1. PubMed PMID: 20595651; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2943671.
  • Haberzettl P, Vladykovskaya E, Srivastava S, Bhatnagar A. Role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in acrolein-induced endothelial activation. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2009 Jan 1;234(1):14-24. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2008.09.019. Epub 2008 Oct 7. PubMed PMID: 18951912; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2936103.
  • Haberzettl P, Schins RP, Höhr D, Wilhelmi V, Borm PJ, Albrecht C. Impact of the FcgammaII-receptor on quartz uptake and inflammatory response by alveolar macrophages. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2008 Jun;294(6):L1137-48. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00261.2007. Epub 2008 Apr 4. PubMed PMID: 18390832.
  • Haberzettl P, Duffin R, Krämer U, Höhr D, Schins RP, Borm PJ, Albrecht C. Actin plays a crucial role in the phagocytosis and biological response to respirable quartz particles in macrophages. Arch Toxicol. 2007 Jul;81(7):459-70. Epub 2007 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 17375287.

► The complete list of peer reviewed journal articles can be found in MyBibliography: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1zSQo7kOXOaAB/bibliography/48972106/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending