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Janet L. Dehoff-Sparks, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-7755

Fax: (585) 756-5337


Dr. Sparks is a researcher studying the role of lipoproteins in diabetes and heart disease.


Plasma lipoproteins are the major vehicles for non-aqueous transport of lipids, including cholesterol and triglyceride, and lipid-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and E, from the liver and intestine to tissues. Derangements in lipoprotein metabolism are involved in progression of atherosclerosis, an underlying cause of heart disease and strokes which remain the major cause of death in the United States. Insulin, known as a key regulator in carbohydrate metabolism, plays a major regulatory role in hepatic lipoprotein metabolism. Insulin acts by inhibition of secretion of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins through a mechanism involving the stimulation of the intracellular degradation of apolipoprotein B, an essential structural apolipoprotein. Research in my laboratory links specific events involved in insulin receptor (IR) signal transduction with microsomal events that lead to degradation of apo B. The focus is on insulin-activated phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI-3-kinase) in the translocation of apo B and its intracellular transport within the secretory pathway. Investigations employ primary rat hepatocytes, McArdle RH-7777 rat hepatoma cells and HepG2 cells and assay of IR signaling, Beta-subunit phosphorylation, IRS phosphorylation, PI 3-K activation and of PI 3-K mass in subcellular fractions. Progress will allow better understanding of insulin regulation of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein secretion by liver and will provide insights into the mechanisms involved in the development of hypertriglyceridemia in human obesity and insulin resistance syndromes such as metabolic Syndrome X which increase the risk of atherosclerosis complications up to ten times.



BA | Univ of Pennsylvania

BS | Univ of Pennsylvania
Medical Technology

PhD | Univ of Pennsylvania


Journal Articles

Sparks JD, Magra AL, Chamberlain JM, O'Dell C, Sparks CE. "Insulin dependent apolipoprotein B degradation and phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase activation with microsomal translocation are restored in McArdle RH7777 cells following serum deprivation." Biochemical and biophysical research communications.. 2016 Jan 8; 469(2):326-31. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Yu IC, Lin HY, Sparks JD, Yeh S, Chang C. "Androgen receptor roles in insulin resistance and obesity in males: the linkage of androgen-deprivation therapy to metabolic syndrome." Diabetes.. 2014 Oct 0; 63(10):3180-8.

Huang CK, Pang H, Wang L, Niu Y, Luo J, Chang E, Sparks JD, Lee SO, Chang C. "New therapy via targeting androgen receptor in monocytes/macrophages to battle atherosclerosis." Hypertension.. 2014 Jun 0; 63(6):1345-53. Epub 2014 Mar 31.