Agneta Sunehag, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine
My overall research interest is glucose metabolism in infants and children. Specifically, I am investigating how the composition of parenteral nutrition solutions affects glucose production from gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis in newborns at risk of disturbed glucose metabolism, i.e., very premature infants, infants with respiratory illness and infants with congenital heart disease. The overall aim of these studies is to determine the best composition of parenteral glucose, amino acids and lipids to render these infants normoglycemic and yet achieve normal growth during their first week(s) of life when the tolerance for enteral feedings is reduced and they are dependent on parenteral nutrition.
I am also interested in the effects of obesity per se, distribution of fat (subcutaneous, visceral and intramyocellular), dietary macronutrient intake and exercise on glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity and secretion in adolescents. The goal of these studies is to determine which factors and mechanisms are involved in the development of disturbed glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in obese adolescents, and to use this information to define treatment strategies, which have the potential of preventing or delaying the development of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, I am involved in studies addressing the metabolic adaptation to lactation and which factors are impacting the production of breast milk.
Sunehag AL, Toffolo G, Campioni M, Bier DM, Haymond MW. Effects of dietary macronutrient intake on insulin sensitivity and secretion and glucose and lipid metabolism in healthy, obese adolescents. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 90(8):4496-4502, 2005.
Saha PK, Kojima H, Martinez-Botas J, Sunehag AL, Chan L. Metabolic adaptations in the absence of perilipin: increased beta-oxidation and decreased hepatic glucose production associated with peripheral insulin resistance but normal glucose tolerance in perilipin-null mice. J Biol Chem. 279(34):35150-35158, 2004.
Sunehag AL. The role of parenteral lipids in supporting gluconeogenesis in very premature infants. Pediatr Res. 54(4):480-486, 2003.
Sunehag AL, Haymond MW. Maternal protein homeostasis and milk protein synthesis during feeding and fasting in humans. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 285(2):E420-E426, 2003.
Sunehag AL. Parenteral glycerol enhances gluconeogenesis in very premature infants. Pediatr Res. 53(4):635-641, 2003.
Treuth MS, Sunehag AL, Trautwein LM, Bier DM, Haymond MW, Butte NF. Metabolic adaptation to high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets in children and adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr. 77(2):479-489, 2003.
Sunehag A, Tigas S, Haymond MW. Contribution of plasma galactose and glucose to milk lactose synthesis during galactose ingestion. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 88(1):225-229, 2003.
Sunehag AL, Toffolo G, Treuth MS, Butte NF , Cobelli C, Bier DM, Haymond MW. Effects of dietary macronutrient content on glucose metabolism in children. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87(11): 5168-5178, 2002.
Tigas S, Sunehag AL, Haymond MW. Metabolic adaptation to feeding and fasting during lactation in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87(1): 302-307, 2002
Sunehag AL, Louie K, Bier J, Tigas S, Haymond MW. Hexoneogenesis in the human breast during lactation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87 (1): 297-301, 2002
Sunehag AL, Treuth MS, Toffolo G, Butte NF , Cobelli C, Bier DM, Haymond MW. Glucose production, gluconeogenesis and insulin sensitivity in children and adolescents: An evaluation of their reproducibility. Pediatr Res 50:115-123, 2001
Sunehag AL, Haymond MW, Schanler RJ, Reeds PJ, Bier DM. Gluconeogenesis in very low birth weight infants receiving total parenteral nutrition. Diabetes 48:791-800, 1999.