Jennifer Pluznick

Associate Professor


725 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore MD 21205


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.

Cheema MU, Pluznick JL. Gut Microbiota Plays a Central Role to Modulate the Plasma and Fecal Metabolomes in Response to Angiotensin II. Hypertension. 2019 Jul;74(1):184-193.

Halperin Kuhns VL, Sanchez J, Sarver DC, Khalil Z, Rajkumar P, Marr KA, Pluznick JL.  Characterizing Novel Olfactory Receptors Expressed in the Renal Cortex.  Am J Physiol Renal Physiol.  2019 May 1.

Shubitowski TB, Poll BG, Natarajan N, Pluznick JL.  Short-chain fatty acid delivery:  assessing exogenous administration of the microbiome metabolite acetate in mice.  Physiol Rep 2019 Feb; 7(4):e14005.

Shepard BD, Koepsell H, Pluznick JL.  Renal olfactory receptor 1393 contributes to the progression of type 2 diabetes in a diet-induced obesity model.  Am J Physiol Renal Physiol.  2019 Feb 1;316(3):F372-F381.

Rajkumar P, Cha B, Yin J, Arend L, Paunescu T, Hirabayashi Y, Donowitz M, Pluznick JL.  Identifying the localization and exploring a functional role for Gprc5c in the kidney.  FASEB J.  2017 Dec 1.

Halperin-Kuhns VH, Pluznick JL.  Novel Differences in Renal Gene Expression in a Diet Induced Obesity Model.  Am J Physiol Renal Physiol.  2017 Nov 15.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.