Jennifer Pluznick

Image of Dr. Jennifer Pluznick

Jennifer Pluznick

Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: 

725 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore MD 21205

Research topic: 

Elucidating the role of sensory receptors, such as olfactory receptors, in regulating renal function

Our lab is interested in the role that chemosensation plays in regulating physiological processes, particularly in the kidney and the cardiovascular system. We have found that sensory receptors (olfactory receptors, taste receptors, and other G-protein coupled receptors) are expressed in the kidney and in blood vessels, and that individual receptors play functional roles in whole-animal physiology. We have identified a number of sensory receptors found in the kidney, and are working to understand the role that each receptor plays in whole-animal physiology by using a variety of in vitro (receptor localization, ligand screening) and in vivo (whole-animal physiology) techniques. Some of the receptors we study (Olfr78, Gpr41) signal in response to metabolites produced by the gut microbiota, and thus we are also studying the role of the gut microbiota in physiology.

BCMB students currently in the lab:
Selected Publications: 

Shepard BD, Pluznick JL. Saving the Sweetness: Renal Glucose Handling in Health and Disease. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Mar 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Aisenberg WH, Huang J, Zhu W, Rajkumar P, Cruz R, Santhanam L, Natarajan N, Yong HM, De Santiago B, Oh JJ, Yoon AR, Panettieri RA, Homann O, Sullivan JK, Liggett SB, Pluznick JL, An SS. Defining an olfactory receptor function in airway smooth muscle cells. Sci Rep 2016 Dec 1;6:38231.

Pluznick JL. Gut microbiota in renal physiology: focus on short-chain fatty acids and their receptors. Kidney Int. 2016 Dec; 90(6):1191-1198.

Shepard BD, Cheval L, Peterlin Z, Firestein S, Koepsell H, Doucet A, Pluznick JL. A Renal Olfactory Receptor Aids in Kidney Glucose Handling. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 14;6:32515.

Rajkumar P, Pluznick JL. Unsung renal receptors: orphan G-protein-coupled receptors play essential roles in renal development and homeostasis. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2016 Oct 3.

Natarajan N, Hori D, Flavahan S, Steppan J, Flavahan NA, Berkowitz DE, Pluznick JL. Microbial short chain fatty acid metabolites lower blood pressure via endothelial G-protein coupled receptor 41. Physiol Genomics. 2016 Sep 23.

Shepard BD, Pluznick JL. How does your kidney smell? Emerging roles for olfactory receptors in renal function. Pediatr Nephrol. 2016 May;31(5):715-23

Challis RC, Tian H, Wang J, He J, Jiang J, Chen X, Yin W, Connelly T, Ma L, Yu CR, Pluznick JL, Storm DR, Huang L, Zhao K, Ma M. An Olfactory Cilia Pattern in the Mammalian Nose Ensures High Sensitivity to Odors. Curr Biol. 2015 Oct 5;25(19):2503-12.

Rajkumar P, Aisenberg WH, Acres OW, Protzko RJ, Pluznick JL. Identification and Characterization of Novel Renal Sensory Receptors. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 23;9(10):e111053.

Shepard BD, Natarajan N, Protzko RJ, Acres OW, Pluznick JL. A Cleavable N-terminal Signal Peptide Promotes Widespread Olfactory Receptor Surface Expression in HEK293T Cells. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 1;8(7):e68758.

Pluznick JL, Protzko RJ, Gevorgyan H, Peterlin Z, Sipos A, Han J, Brunet I, Wan LX, Rey F, Wang T, Firestein SJ, Yanagisawa M, Gordon JI, Eichmann A, Peti-Peterdi J, Caplan MJ. (2013) Olfactory receptor responding to gut microbiota-derived signals plays a role in renin secretion and blood pressure regulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 11.

Pluznick JL, Rodriguez-Gil DJ, Hull M, Mistry K, Gattone V, Johnson CA, Weatherbee S, Greer CA, Caplan MJ. (2011) Renal cystic disease proteins play critical roles in the organization of the olfactory epithelium. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19694. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019694.

Pluznick JL, Zou DJ, Zhang X, Yan Q, Rodriguez-Gil DJ, Eisner C, Wells E, Greer CA, Wang T, Firestein S, Schnermann J, Caplan MJ. Functional Expression of the Olfactory Signaling System in the Kidney. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 10;106(6):2059-64.