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Keshari Thakali

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
DepartmentPediatrics, College of Medicine
DivisionPeds Developmental Nutrition
Address ACH Research Institute
1212 Marshall Street
Mail Slot # 512-20B
Little Rock AR 72202
Phone501-364-2734
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    Currently, many women entering pregnancy are either overweight or obese and it is well-established that exposure to maternal obesity during gestation is associated with increased risk of offspring obesity. In addition, in both humans and animal models, in utero exposure to maternal obesity is associated with increased offspring risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) is an adipose depot surrounding blood vessels and is an important paracrine regulator of underlying smooth muscle and endothelial cell function. Obesity is associated with the loss of PVAT-mediated anti-contractile properties, thus contributing to obesity-associated vascular dysfunction and hypertension. While studies suggest that PVAT is a key link between obesity and cardiovascular disease, there is a lack of information regarding how maternal nutritional status, dietary factors, and physical activity affect offspring PVAT function and overall vascular reactivity.

    Our studies will examine how maternal nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy program offspring vascular function and are part of an ACNC systems-based approach to carefully characterize how maternal nutrition and physical activity impact offspring health and well-being.


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    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    1. Thakali KM, Faske JB, Ishwar A, Alfaro MP, Cleves MA, Badger TM, Andres A, Shankar K. Maternal obesity and gestational weight gain are modestly associated with umbilical cord DNA methylation. Placenta. 2017 Sep; 57:194-203. PMID: 28864012.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Wankhade UD, Shen M, Yadav H, Thakali KM. Novel Browning Agents, Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Potentials of Brown Adipose Tissue. Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016:2365609. PMID: 28105413.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Wankhade UD, Thakali KM, Shankar K. Persistent influence of maternal obesity on offspring health: Mechanisms from animal models and clinical studies. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2016 Nov 05; 435:7-19. PMID: 27392497.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Shankar K, Kang P, Zhong Y, Borengasser SJ, Wingfield C, Saben J, Gomez-Acevedo H, Thakali KM. Transcriptomic and epigenomic landscapes during cell fusion in BeWo trophoblast cells. Placenta. 2015 Dec; 36(12):1342-51. PMID: 26515927.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Ou X, Thakali KM, Shankar K, Andres A, Badger TM. Maternal adiposity negatively influences infant brain white matter development. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 May; 23(5):1047-54. PMID: 25919924; PMCID: PMC4414042.
    6. Kang J, Thakali KM, Jensen GS, Wu X. Phenolic acids of the two major blueberry species in the US Market and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015 Mar; 70(1):56-62. PMID: 25535004.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Saben J, Kang P, Zhong Y, Thakali KM, Gomez-Acevedo H, Borengasser SJ, Andres A, Badger TM, Shankar K. RNA-seq analysis of the rat placentation site reveals maternal obesity-associated changes in placental and offspring thyroid hormone signaling. Placenta. 2014 Dec; 35(12):1013-20. PMID: 25449029; PMCID: PMC4270847.
    8. Saben J, Thakali KM, Lindsey FE, Zhong Y, Badger TM, Andres A, Shankar K. Distinct adipogenic differentiation phenotypes of human umbilical cord mesenchymal cells dependent on adipogenic conditions. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2014 Oct; 239(10):1340-51. PMID: 24951473; PMCID: PMC4238288.
    9. Thakali KM, Saben J, Faske JB, Lindsey F, Gomez-Acevedo H, Lowery CL, Badger TM, Andres A, Shankar K. Maternal pregravid obesity changes gene expression profiles toward greater inflammation and reduced insulin sensitivity in umbilical cord. Pediatr Res. 2014 Aug; 76(2):202-10. PMID: 24819376; PMCID: PMC4135718.
    10. Saben J, Lindsey F, Zhong Y, Thakali K, Badger TM, Andres A, Gomez-Acevedo H, Shankar K. Maternal obesity is associated with a lipotoxic placental environment. Placenta. 2014 Mar; 35(3):171-7. PMID: 24484739; PMCID: PMC3978121.
    11. Saben J, Zhong Y, Gomez-Acevedo H, Thakali KM, Borengasser SJ, Andres A, Shankar K. Early growth response protein-1 mediates lipotoxicity-associated placental inflammation: role in maternal obesity. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul 01; 305(1):E1-14. PMID: 23632636; PMCID: PMC4116409.
    12. Joseph BK, Thakali KM, Moore CL, Rhee SW. Ion channel remodeling in vascular smooth muscle during hypertension: Implications for novel therapeutic approaches. Pharmacol Res. 2013 Apr; 70(1):126-38. PMID: 23376354; PMCID: PMC3607210.
    13. Kharade SV, Sonkusare SK, Srivastava AK, Thakali KM, Fletcher TW, Rhee SW, Rusch NJ. The ß3 subunit contributes to vascular calcium channel upregulation and hypertension in angiotensin II-infused C57BL/6 mice. Hypertension. 2013 Jan; 61(1):137-42. PMID: 23129698; PMCID: PMC3748590.
    14. Joseph BK, Thakali KM, Pathan AR, Kang E, Rusch NJ, Rhee SW. Postsynaptic density-95 scaffolding of Shaker-type K? channels in smooth muscle cells regulates the diameter of cerebral arteries. J Physiol. 2011 Nov 01; 589(Pt 21):5143-52. PMID: 21911612; PMCID: PMC3225670.
    15. Seely KA, Holthoff JH, Burns ST, Wang Z, Thakali KM, Gokden N, Rhee SW, Mayeux PR. Hemodynamic changes in the kidney in a pediatric rat model of sepsis-induced acute kidney injury. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011 Jul; 301(1):F209-17. PMID: 21511700; PMCID: PMC3129882.
    16. Thakali KM, Kharade SV, Sonkusare SK, Rhee SW, Stimers JR, Rusch NJ. Intracellular Ca2+ silences L-type Ca2+ channels in mesenteric veins: mechanism of venous smooth muscle resistance to calcium channel blockers. Circ Res. 2010 Mar 05; 106(4):739-47. PMID: 20044515; PMCID: PMC2855128.
    17. Thakali K, Galligan JJ, Fink GD, Gariepy CE, Watts SW. Pharmacological endothelin receptor interaction does not occur in veins from ET(B) receptor deficient rats. Vascul Pharmacol. 2008 Jul; 49(1):6-13. PMID: 18485831; PMCID: PMC2529478.
    18. Watts SW, Thakali K, Smark C, Rondelli C, Fink GD. Big ET-1 processing into vasoactive peptides in arteries and veins. Vascul Pharmacol. 2007 Nov-Dec; 47(5-6):302-12. PMID: 17904426; PMCID: PMC2719821.
    19. Linder AE, Thakali KM, Thompson JM, Watts SW, Webb RC, Leite R. Methyl-beta-cyclodextrin prevents angiotensin II-induced tachyphylactic contractile responses in rat aorta. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Oct; 323(1):78-84. PMID: 17636007.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Rondelli CM, Szasz IT, Kayal A, Thakali K, Watson RE, Rovner AS, Eddinger TJ, Fink GD, Watts SW. Preferential myosin heavy chain isoform B Expression may contribute to the faster velocity of contraction in veins versus arteries. J Vasc Res. 2007; 44(4):264-72. PMID: 17377397.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Watts SW, Rondelli C, Thakali K, Li X, Uhal B, Pervaiz MH, Watson RE, Fink GD. Morphological and biochemical characterization of remodeling in aorta and vena cava of DOCA-salt hypertensive rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 May; 292(5):H2438-48. PMID: 17237246.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Szasz T, Thakali K, Fink GD, Watts SW. A comparison of arteries and veins in oxidative stress: producers, destroyers, function, and disease. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2007 Jan; 232(1):27-37. PMID: 17202583.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Thakali K, Davenport L, Fink GD, Watts SW. Cyclooxygenase, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase MAPK, Rho kinase, and Src mediate hydrogen peroxide-induced contraction of rat thoracic aorta and vena cava. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Jan; 320(1):236-43. PMID: 17003231.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Thakali KM, Lau Y, Fink GD, Galligan JJ, Chen AF, Watts SW. Mechanisms of hypertension induced by nitric oxide (NO) deficiency: focus on venous function. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006 Jun; 47(6):742-50. PMID: 16810074.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Thakali K, Davenport L, Fink GD, Watts SW. Pleiotropic effects of hydrogen peroxide in arteries and veins from normotensive and hypertensive rats. Hypertension. 2006 Mar; 47(3):482-7. PMID: 16432037.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Thakali K, Demel SL, Fink GD, Watts SW. Endothelin-1-induced contraction in veins is independent of hydrogen peroxide. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 Sep; 289(3):H1115-22. PMID: 15908460.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Grass G, Thakali K, Klebba PE, Thieme D, Müller A, Wildner GF, Rensing C. Linkage between catecholate siderophores and the multicopper oxidase CueO in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 2004 Sep; 186(17):5826-33. PMID: 15317788; PMCID: PMC516812.
    28. Thakali K, Fink GD, Watts SW. Arteries and veins desensitize differently to endothelin. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2004 Mar; 43(3):387-93. PMID: 15076222.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Ni W, Li MW, Thakali K, Fink GD, Watts SW. The fenfluramine metabolite (+)-norfenfluramine is vasoactive. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 May; 309(2):845-52. PMID: 14752059.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Roberts SA, Weichsel A, Grass G, Thakali K, Hazzard JT, Tollin G, Rensing C, Montfort WR. Crystal structure and electron transfer kinetics of CueO, a multicopper oxidase required for copper homeostasis in Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Mar 05; 99(5):2766-71. PMID: 11867755; PMCID: PMC122422.
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