Research Group Principal Investigator

    Kirsi Pietiläinen, associate professor (docent), MD, PhD, PSc in Nutrition

    Tel. +358 50 599 2295
    Email kirsi.pietilainen [at]

    Diabetes and Obesity
    Research Program
    P.O.Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
    FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Diabetes and Obesity Research Program contact information

Postal Address
Research Programs Unit
Diabetes and Obesity
Research Program
P.O.Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Visiting Address
Biomedicum 1
Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 Helsinki

Tel. +358 2941 911 (tel. exchange)
Fax + 358 2941 26382
Email name.lastname [at]

Obesity Research Unit - Selected publications

Stock image - Book

Featuring findings from KP’s group and her collaborators

  • Impaired mitochondrial biogenesis in adipose tissue in acquired obesity. Heinonen S, Buzkova J, Muniandy M, Kaksonen R, Ollikainen M, Ismail K, Hakkarainen A, Lundbom J, Lundbom N, Vuolteenaho K, Moilanen E, Kaprio J, Rissanen A, Suomalainen A, Pietiläinen KH. Diabetes 2015, May 13.
  • Epigenetic alterations in blood DNA methylome are observed only in unhealthy obesity with high liver fat, not in the healthyobesity. Ollikainen M, Ismail K, Gervin K, Kyllönen A, Hakkarainen A, Lundbom J, Järvinen EA, Harris JR, Lundbom N, Rissanen A, Lyle R, Pietiläinen KH* and Kaprio J*. Genome-wide blood DNA methylation alterations at regulatory elements and heterochromatic regions in monozygotic twins discordant for obesity and liver fat. Clinical Epigenetics 2015, in press. *Shared contribution.  
  • There is a significant global reduction in mitochondrial transcript pathways and mtDNA copy number in subcutaneous fat in human obesity. Pietiläinen KH, Naukkarinen J, Rissanen A, Saharinen J, Ellonen P, Keränen H, Suomalainen A, Götz A, Suortti T, Yki-Järvinen H, Oresic M, Kaprio J, Peltonen L. Global transcript profiles of fat in monozygotic twins discordant for BMI: pathways behind acquired obesity. PLoS Medicine 2008;11;5(3):e51.
  • Metabolically healthy obesity is linked to the activity of the mitochondrial transcriptomic profiles and lack of inflammation in the adipose tissue. Naukkarinen J, Heinonen S, Hakkarainen A, Lundbom J, Vuolteenaho K, Saarinen L, Hautaniemi S, Rodriguez A, Frühbeck G, Pajunen P, Hyötyläinen T, Orešič M, Moilanen E, Suomalainen A, Lundbom N, Kaprio J, Rissanen A, Pietiläinen KH. Characterizing metabolically healthy obesity in weight-discordant monozygotic twins. Diabetologia 2014;57(1):167-76.
  • Gut hormones after glucose and meal challenges are blunted in insulin resistant obesity, but remain normal in healthy obesity. Matikainen N, Bogl L, Hakkarainen A, Lundbom J, Lundbom N, Kaprio J, Rissanen A, Holst JJ, Pietiläinen KH. GLP-1 responses are heritable and blunted in acquired obesity with high liver fat and insulin resistance. Diabetes Care 2014;37(1):242-51.
  • Brown adipose tissue activity is decreased in obesity and tends to increase after weight loss. Orava J, Nuutila P, Noponen T, Parkkola R, Viljanen T, Enerbäck S, Rissanen A, Pietiläinen KH, Virtanen K. Blunted metabolic responses to cold and insulin stimulation in brown adipose tissue of obese humans. Obesity 2013 21:2279–87.
  • The first-ever published lipidomics article in obesity: Increase in proatherosclerotic and a decrease in anti-inflammatory serum lipid species in acquired obesity. Pietiläinen KH, Sysi-Aho M, Rissanen A, Seppänen-Laakso T, Yki-Järvinen H, Kaprio J, Orešič M. Acquired obesity is associated with changes in the serum lipidomic profile independent of genetic effects – a monozygotic twin study. PLoS ONE 2007;14;2:e218.