Yoel Sadovsky, M.D.

  • Professor
  • Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences

Education & Training

  • MD from Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, 1981
  • B. Med. Sci. from Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, 1985

Research Categories

Research Interests

The Sadovsky lab utilizes molecular and cellular approaches to decipher mechanisms underlying placental development and differentiation. Within the placenta, the trophoblast at the feto-maternal interface fulfills the critical functions of gas exchange, supply of nutrients, removal of waste products, endocrine regulation, and immunological defense. Using cultured primary human placental cells, genetically-altered mice, and placental samples from abnormal human pregnancies, the lab examines trophoblast response to diverse stressors that adversely influence the homeostatic balance between cell injury and regeneration. These stressors contribute to placental dysfunction and fetal growth restriction (FGR), which predispose to childhood neurodevelopmental dysfunction and metabolic derangements in the adult.

Specific areas of research include:

  • The role of microRNAs in placental differentiation: We use diverse miRNA technologies (including microarray, RNAseq, and qPCR tools) to define the trophoblastic miRNA landscape, and determine the unique function and regulation of placental specific miRNAs in antiviral responses and other functions that are critical for fetal development.
  • Placental nanovesicles: We investigate the production and cargo of trophoblastic nanovesicles (exosomes), as well as their trafficking and targeting to maternal tissues. 
  • Placental nutrition: We focus on fat trafficking in the feto-placental unit, and examine the dynamics of lipid droplet accumulation and trophoblastic mobilization of fatty acids and neutral lipids.

Representative Publications

Lee SL, Sadovsky Y, Swirnoff AH, Polish JA, Goda P, Gavrilina G, Milbrandt J. Luteinizing hormone deficiency and female infertility in mice lacking the transcription factor NGFI-A (Egr-1). Science 1996;273:1219-21.

Yan X, Mouillet JF, Ou Q, Sadovsky Y. A novel domain within the DEAD-box protein DP103 is essential for transcriptional repression and helicase activity. Mol Cell Biol 2003;28:414-23. PMC140651.

Mouillet JF, Sonnenberg-Hirche C, Yan X, Sadovsky Y. p300 regulates the synergy of SF-1 and Egr-1 in activating LH gene. J Biol Chem 2004;279:7832-9.

Chen BS, Nelson DM, Sadovsky Y. NDRG1 modulates the response of term human trophoblasts to hypoxic injury. J Biol Chem 2006;281:2764-72.

Schaiff WT, Knapp, Jr. FF, Barak Y, Biron-Shental T, Nelson DM, Sadovsky Y. Ligand-activated PPAR alters placental morphology and placental fatty acid uptake in mice. Endocrinology 2007; 148:3625-34.

Mouillet JF, Chu T, Nelson DM, Mishima T, Sadovsky Y. miR-205 silences MED1 in hypoxic primary human trophoblasts. FASEB J 2010;24:230-9. PMC2874470.

Mishima T, Miner JH, Morizane M, Stahl, Sadovsky Y. The expression and function of fatty acid transport protein-2 and -4 in the murine placenta. PLoS One, 2011;6:e25865. PMC3197585.

Delorme-Axford E, Donker RB, Mouillet JF, Chu T, Bayer A, Ouyang Y, Wang T, Stolz DB, Sarkar SN, Morelli AE, Sadovsky Y*, Coyne CB*. Human placental trophoblasts confer viral resistance to recipient cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2013;110:12048-53 (*equal contribution). PMC3718097.

Shi X-H, Larkin JC, Chen B, Sadovsky Y. The expression and localization of N-Myc Downstream-Regulated Gene 1 in human trophoblasts. PLoS One 2013;8(9):e75473. PMC 3774633.

Larkin J, Chen B, Shi X-H, Mishima T, Kokame K, Barak Y, Sadovsky Y. NDRG1 deficiency attenuates fetal growth and the intrauterine response to hypoxic injury. Endocrinology, 2014; 155:1099-106. PMC3929742.

Full List of Publications