Joseph F. Ndisang

Joseph F. Ndisang

University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, Canada

Title: Heme oxygenase ameliorates cardio-renal complications in diabetic animals


Dr. Joseph Fomusi Ndisang is an Associate Professor in the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, Department of Physiology. He received postdoctoral training in Physiology at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine from 2000-2005. He obtained a PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Florence, Italy, 2000. He obtained a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Florence, Italy in 1995. He has received several distinguished awards and distinctions including: (i) Fellow of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (FCCS) in 2016, (ii) Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) in 2011; (iii) Fellow of the International College of Angiology (FICA) in 2007; (iv) Young Investigator Award by International College of Angiology (2007); (v) Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics-Division for Drug Discovery, Development & Regulatory Affairs (2005); (vi) Young Investigator Award by the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine (2005); (vii) Caroline tum Suden/Frances A Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award for Meritorious Research by the American Physiological Society (2005); and (viii) Recognition Award for Meritorious Research by a Young Investigator by the American Physiological Society (2004). Top 5% of cited authors in journals of Biology and Biochemistry in 2011, by Thomson-Reuters. Currently, Dr. Ndisang is an Editor for Frontiers in Bioscience (impact factor 3.8) and Executive Guest Editor for Current Medicinal Chemistry (impact factor 3.7) He has published more than 64-full length manuscripts in peerreviewed journals and more than 80 abstracts. Dr. Ndisang has served as external PhD examiner for several universities in Canada, has given more than 30-invited talks, and has also served as peer-reviewer for several reputed journals and granting agencies in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Poland. Research Interest: His research is mainly focused on investigating the role of the heme oxygenase system in hypertension, diabetes (types-1 and -2), and obesity.


Impaired glucose metabolism and dysfunctional insulin signaling are forerunners of cardio-renal complications. Upregulating heme-oxygenase (HO) with HO-inducers potentiates insulin signaling and improved glucose metabolism in type-1 and type-2 diabetic models. Particularly, pro-inflammatory/oxidative mediators including: (i) cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β), (ii) chemokines (MCP-1, MIP-1α), (iii) macrophage-M1 infiltration, (iv) NF-κB, AP-1, AP-2, cJNk and 8-isoprostane were suppressed by the HO-inducer, hemin whereas components of insulinsignaling such as IRS-1, GLUT4, PI3K and PKB were robustly enhanced. Furthermore, hemin reduced insulin/glucose intolerance. These were associated with the amelioration of cardiac lesions (hypertrophy, collagen deposition in cardiomyocytes and left ventricular longitudinal muscle-fiber thickness) and the improvement of renal lesions (glomerulosclerosis, tubular necrosis, tubular vacuolization, interstitial macrophage infiltration). In addition, the HO-inducer, hemin and abrogated pro-fibrotic/extracellular-matrix proteins like collagen and fibronectin that deplete nephrin, a protein which forms the scaffolding of the podocyte slit-diaphragm for filtration. Correspondingly, improved cardiac hemodynamics and reduced albuminuria/proteinuria and enhanced creatinine clearance was observed suggesting improved cardiac and renal functions. Collectively, these data suggest that HO-inducers may be explored in the search for novel and effective remedies against cardio-renal complications.