Research Group on Inflammation

Metabolism and Organic Damage Area

The WHO estimates that cardiovascular diseases will be the main global health and socio-economic problem in the near future. Our group has long been working in the area of Immunity and Inflammation and, more precisely, in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in endothelial dysfunction which precedes atherosclerosis development. Consequently, the main objectives of our group are: a) to elucidate new immune players and mechanisms involved in the systemic inflammation associated with different metabolic disorders as the main cause of atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm development, b) to detect new biomarkers of cardiovascular risk and c) generate alternative therapies with potential application in the control of the metabolic inflammation. This research is carried out through collaborations with different clinical groups belonging to INCLIVA that allow us to provide new insights to disease understanding, therapeutic success and generation of patentable new drugs. Our final aim is to provide the basis for a proper traslational research and, a rapid application of our findings to the clinic. At present, inflammation and immunology are cutting edge areas in the understanding of cardiometabolic diseases, cancer and neurological disorders among other disease states.

Dr. Esteban Morcillo Sánchez
Dra. Mª Jesús Sanz Ferrando  

Leading, R4

Mª Jesús Sanz Ferrando    
Esteban Morcillo Sánchez

Established, R3
Recognised/Emerging, R2

Elena Domingo Pérez

First Stage, R1

Álvaro Gómez Martín

Collaborating Researchers

José Aparicio Collado


Inés Descalzo Arenas

Administrative assistant
Targeting systemic inflammation in metabolic disorders. A therapeutic candidate for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases?. Domingo E, Marques P, Francisco V, Piqueras L, Sanz M. Pharmacological Research. 2024 Jan 11:S0214-9168(23)00120-1. doi: 10.1016/j.arteri.2023.12.005. PMID: 38218355

Anti-inflammatory effects and improved metabolic derangements in ob/ob mice by a newly synthesized prenylated benzopyran with pan-PPAR activity. Marques P, Villarroel-Vicente C, Collado A, Garcia A, Vila L, Duplan I, Hennuyer N, Garibotto F, Enriz RD, Dacquet C, Staels B, Piqueras L, Cortes D, Sanz MJ, Cabedo N. Pharmacological Research. 2023 Jan;187:106638. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2022.106638. PMID: 36586645

CCL17 and CCL22 chemokines are upregulated in human obesity and play a role in vascular dysfunction. Hueso L, Marques P, Morant B, Gonzalez-Navarro H, Ortega J, Real J, Sanz M, Piqueras L. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 2023 Apr 12;14:1154158. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1154158. PMID: 37124725

Metabolomic signature and molecular profile of normal and degenerated human intervertebral disc cells. Francisco V, Eldjoudi D, Gonzalez-Rodriguez M, Ruiz-Fernandez C, Cordero-Barreal A, Marques P, Sanz M, Real J, Lago F, Pino J, Farrag Y, Gualillo O. Spine Journal. 2023 Oct;23(10):1549-1562. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2023.06.005. PMID: 37339697

Overview of cellular and soluble mediators in systemic inflammation associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Marques P, Francisco V, Martinez-Arenas L, Carvalho-Gomes A, Domingo E, Piqueras L, Berenguer M, Sanz M. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023 Jan 24;24(3):2313. doi: 10.3390/ijms24032313. PMID: 36768637

Adipokines in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: are we on the road toward new biomarkers and therapeutic targets?. Francisco V, Sanz M, Real J, Marques P, Capuozzo M, Ait Eldjoudi D, Gualillo O. Biology. 2022 Aug 19;11(8):1237. doi: 10.3390/biology11081237. PMID: 36009862

Association of chemokines IP-10/CXCL10 and I-TAC/CXCL11 with insulin resistance and enhance leukocyte endothelial arrest in obesity. Moreno B, Hueso L, Ortega R, Benito E, Martinez Hervas S, Peiro M, Civera M, Sanz MJ, Piqueras L, Real JT. Microvascular Research. 2022 Jan;139:104254. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2021.104254. PMID: 34534571

Beneficial effects of PCSK9 inhibition with alirocumab in familial hypercholesterolemia involve modulation of new immune players. Marques P, Domingo E, Rubio A, Martinez-Hervas S, Ascaso JF, Piqueras L, Real JT, Sanz MJ. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2022 Jan;145:112460. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112460. PMID: 34864314

Correction: L-selectin regulates human neutrophil transendothelial migration. Rahman I, Sánchez AC, Davies J, Rzeniewicz K, Abukscem S, Joachim J, Hoskins Green HL, Killock D, Sanz MJ, Charras G, Parsons M, Ivetic A. Journal of Cell Science. 2022 Oct 15;135(20):jcs260658. doi: 10.1242/jcs.260658. PMID: 36259426

Effect of personality on blood glucose control in patients with type 1 diabetes. Gu Hong W, Ferri J, Ampudia-Blasco F, Martin-Brufau R, Peiro M, Benito E, Martinez-Hervas S, Sanz M, Real J. Endocrinologia, Diabetes y Nutricion. 2022 Nov;69(9):677-685. doi: 10.1016/j.endien.2021.11.034. PMID: 36470643

Revealing 2-dimethylhydrazino-2-alkyl alkynyl sphingosine derivatives as sphingosine kinase 2 inhibitors: Some hints on the structural basis for selective inhibition. Corro Moron M, Granell A, Ivanova V, Domingo E, Beltran Debon R, Barril X, Sanz MJ, Matheu MI, Castillon S, Diaz Y. Bioorganic Chemistry. 2022 Apr;121:105668. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2022.105668. PMID: 35219046

Synthesis and biological studies of polycerasoidol and trans-delta-tocotrienolic acid derivatives as PPARalpha and/or PPARgamma agonists. Vila L, Cabedo N, Villarroel-Vicente C, Garcia A, Bernabeu A, Hennuyer N, Staels B, Franck X, Figadere B, Sanz MJ, Cortes D. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 2022 Jan 1;53:116532. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116532. PMID: 34863066

The radiographic assessment of lung edema score of lung edema severity correlates with inflammatory parameters in patients with coronavirus disease 2019-Potential new admission biomarkers to predict coronavirus disease 2019 worsening. Marques P, Fernandez-Presa L, Carretero A, Gómez-Cabrera MC, Viña J, Signes-Costa J, Sanz MJ. Frontiers in Medicine. 2022 Aug 11;9:871714. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.871714. PMID: 36035415

Activation of the constitutive androstane receptor inhibits leukocyte adhesiveness to dysfunctional endothelium. Lopez-Riera M, Ortega R, Hueso L, Montesinos MC, Gomez-Cabrera MC, Sanz MJ, Real JT, Piqueras L. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021 Aug 27;22(17):9267. doi: 10.3390/ijms22179267. PMID: 34502180

An updated overview of e-cigarette impact on human health. Marques P, Piqueras L, Sanz MJ. Respiratory Research. 2021 May 18;22(1):151. doi: 10.1186/s12931-021-01737-5. PMID: 34006276

L-selectin regulates human neutrophil transendothelial migration. Rahman I, Collado Sanchez A, Davies J, Rzeniewicz K, Abukscem S, Joachim J, Hoskins Green H, Killock D, Sanz M, Charras G, Parsons M, Ivetic A. Journal of Cell Science. 2021 Feb 8;134(3):jcs250340. doi: 10.1242/jcs.250340. PMID: 33408247

MUC4 is overexpressed in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and collaborates with transforming growth factor beta inducing fibrotic responses. Milara J, Ballester B, Safont M, Artigues E, Escriva J, Morcillo E, Cortijo J. Mucosal Immunology. 2021 Mar;14(2):377-388. doi: 10.1038/s41385-020-00343-w. PMID: 32887938

Natural products and analogs as preventive agents for metabolic syndrome via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors: an overview. Villarroel-Vicente C, Gutierrez-Palomo S, Ferri J, Cortes D, Cabedo N. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2021 Oct 5;221:113535. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113535. PMID: 33992930

Oral unsaturated fat load impairs postprandial systemic inflammation in primary hypercholesterolemia patients. Collado A, Domingo E, Marques P, Perello E, Martínez-Hervás S, Piqueras L, Ascaso JF, Real JT, Sanz MJ. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021 Apr 20;12:656244. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.656244. PMID: 33959024

Peripheral blood levels of CXCL10 are a useful marker for diabetic polyneuropathy in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Ascaso P, Palanca A, Martinez-Hervas S, Sanz MJ, Ascaso JF, Piqueras L, Real JT. International Journal of Clinical Practice. 2021 Aug;75(8):e14302. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14302. PMID: 33930221

Postprandial triglyceridemia is modulated by insulin resistance but not by grade of obesity in abdominal and morbid obese subjects. Moreno-Perez B, Benito E, Civera M, Alabadi B, Martinez-Hervas S, Peiro M, Gonzalez-Navarro H, Piqueras L, Jesus Sanz M, Ascaso J, Real J. International Journal of Clinical Practice. 2021 Apr;75(4):e13776. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13776. PMID: 33089594

Prevalence and risk factors for delirium in critically ill patients with COVID-19 (COVID-D): a multicentre cohort study. Pun B, Badenes R, Heras La Calle G, Orun O, Chen W, Raman R, Simpson B, Wilson-Linville S, Hinojal Olmedillo B, Vallejo de la Cueva A, van der Jagt M, Navarro Casado R, Leal Sanz P, Orhun G, Ferrer Gomez C, Nunez Vazquez K, Pineiro Otero P, Taccone F, Gallego Curto E, Caricato A, Woien H, Lacave G, O’Neal H, Peterson S, Brummel N, Girard T, Ely E, Pandharipande P, COVID-19 Intensive Care International Study Group. Lancet. Respiratory medicine. 2021; 9(3): 239-250. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30552-X. PMID: 33428871

Primary hypercholesterolemia and development of cardiovascular disorders: Cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in low-grade systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. Collado A, Domingo E, Piqueras L, Sanz MJ. International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 2021 Oct;139:106066. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2021.106066. PMID: 34438057

Role of antiangiogenic VEGF-A165b in angiogenesis and systolic function after reperfused myocardial infarction. Rios Navarro C, Hueso Soler L, Diaz Cuevas A, Marcos Garcés V, Bonanad Lozano C, Ruiz Sauri A, Vila Salinas J, Sanz Ferrando M, Chorro Gascó F, Piqueras Ruiz L, Bodí Peris V. Revista espanola de Cardiologia (English ed.). 2021 Feb;74(2):131-139. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2020.03.013. PMID: 32474003

Synthesis of 2-prenylated alkoxylated benzopyrans by horner- wadsworth-emmons olefination with PPAR alpha/gamma agonist activity. Garcia A, Vila L, Marin P, Bernabeu A, Villarroel-Vicente C, Hennuyer N, Staels B, Franck X, Figadere B, Cabedo N, Cortes D. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2021 Oct 6;12(11):1783-1786. doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.1c00400. PMID: 34795868

The nuclear retinoid-related orphan receptor RORalpha controls adipose tissue inflammation in patients with morbid obesity and diabetes. Ortega R, Hueso L, Benito E, Ortega J, Civera M, Sanz M, Real J, Piqueras L. International Journal of Obesity. 2021 Jul;45(7):1369-1381. doi: 10.1038/s41366-021-00787-5. PMID: 33637954

Reference: PID2020-120336RB-I00
Title: Modulación de la inflamación metabólica en la prevención de la patología cardiovascular: Identificación de nuevas dianas terapéuticas y desarrollo de fármacos novedosos.
Funding body: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Principal Investigator: Mª Jesús Sanz Ferrando
Duration: 2021 – 2024
Total budget: 290.400 €
Reference: PROMETEO/2019/032
Title: Una aproximación traslacional desde la clínica a la experimentación animal: Estudio del papel del eje CCL11/CCR3 y la inflamación eosinofílica en la patología cardiovascular asociada a desórdenes metabólicos
Funding body: Conselleria de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Principal Investigator: Mª Jesús Sanz Ferrando
Duration: 2020 – 2023
Total budget: 211.736 €
Reference: RTI2018-096827-B-I00
Title: Modulación farmacológica de la señalización redox en remodelado de vía aérea y vascular pulmonar en modelos humano in vitro y animal in vivo relevantes en EPOC y FPI
Funding body: Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades
Principal Investigator: Esteban Jesús Morcillo Sánchez
Duration: 2019 – 2020
Total budget: 96.800 €
Reference: SAF2017-89714-R
Title: Modulación farmacológica del sistema inmune como diana clave en la prevención de la enfermedad cardiovascular asociada a desordenes metabólicos. Síntesis de fármacos novedosos
Funding body: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Principal Investigator: Mª Jesús Sanz Ferrando, Juan F. Ascaso Gimilio
Duration: 2018 – 2021
Total budget: 205.700 €
Reference: FALTA
Title: The William Harvey International Translational Research Academy (WHRI-ACADEMY)
Funding body: European Commission. FP7 Marie Curie Actions
Principal Investigator: Márta Korbonits
Duration: 2015 – FALTA
Total budget: 6,5 million €
Reference: CB06/06/0027
Title: CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES)
Funding body: Instituto de Salud Carlos III – Cofinanciado FEDER
Principal Investigator: Esteban Jesús Morcillo Sánchez
Duration: 2007 –
Total budget:
+ Info
Title: Search for new immune players in primary hypercholesterolemia and aterosclerosis development
Doctoral candidate: Domingo Pérez, Elena
Director(s): Sanz Ferrando, María Jesús
Date of the defense: 01/04/2023
University: University de Valencia

Title: Effect of SGLT-2 inhibition in abdominal aortic aneurysm development. Role of rora in adipose tissue inflammation associated to obesity
Doctoral candidate: Ortega Herráiz, Rebeca
Director(s): Piqueras Ruiz, Laura; Sanz Ferrando, María Jesús; Real Collado, José Tomás
Date of the defense: 21/02/2022
University: Universitat de València

Title: Chemokine axes and inflammatory status in metabolic syndrome. Effect of pcsk9 inhibitors in the systemic inflammation associated to familial hypercholesterolemia
Doctoral candidate: Gomes Marques, Patrice
Director(s): Piqueras Ruiz, Laura; Sanz Ferrando, María Jesús
Date of the defense: 07/02/2020
University: Universitat de València

Title: Study of the systemic inflammation associated to primary hypercholesterolemia, its modulation and its impact in atherosclerosis. Role of cxcl16/cxcr6 axis in abdominal aortic aneurysm formation
Doctoral candidate: Collado Sánchez, Aida
Director(s): Sanz Ferrando, María Jesús; Piqueras Ruiz, Laura
Date of the defense: 22/07/2019
University: Universitat de València