Selected Publications
  • Giovanna Muscogiuri, Alberto O. Chavez, Amalia Gastaldelli, Lucia Pereg, Devjit Tripathy, Mario J. Saad, Licio Velloso, F. Folli. (2008) The Crosstalk Between Insulin and Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone Signaling Systems and Its Effect on Glucose Metabolism and Diabetes Prevention. Current Vascular Pharmacology (in press).
  • A. Gastaldelli, L. Perego, M. Paganelli, G. Sesti, M. Hribal, A.O. Chavez, A.M. Sironi, R.A. DeFronzo, A. Pontiroli, and F. Folli. Elevated Levels of Liver Enzymes and Ferritin Identify a New Phenotype of Insulin Resistance in the Obese Population: Effect of Weight Loss After Gastric Banding. Obesity Surgery (in press).
  • A.O. Chavez, J.C. Lopez-Alvarenga, C. Triplitt, R.A. Bastarrachea, A. Sriwijitkamol, P. Tantiwong, M. Leland, A. Monroy-Guzman, V. Saroja Voruganti, N. Musi, A.G. Comuzzie, R.A. DeFronzo, and F. Folli (2008) Physiologic and molecular determinants of insulin action in the baboon. Diabetes. 57:899-908.
  • F. Folli, A.E. Pontiroli, and W.H. Schwesinger (2007) Metabolic Aspects of Bariatric Surgery: Primer for the Internist Medical Clinics of North America 91:393-414.
  • Pontiroli AE, Pizzocri P, Paroni R, Folli F. (2006) Sympathetic overactivity, endothelial disfunction, inflammation, and metabolic abnormalities cluster in Grade III (WHO) obesity. Reversal through sustained weight loss obtained with laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). Diabetes Care, 29:2735-2738.
  • G. Sesti, L. Perego, M. Cardellini, F. Andreozzi, C. Ricasoli, M. Paganelli, A.E. Pontiroli, M.L. Hribal, F. Folli (2005) Impact of Common Polymorphisms in Candidate Genes on Weight Loss or Morbidly Obese Subjects after Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding and Hypocaloric Diet. JCEM 90:5064-9.
  • A.E. Pontiroli, L. Pizzocri, M.C. Librenti, P. Vedani, M. Marchi, C. Orena, E. Cucchi, M. Paganelli, M. Giacomelli, G.F. Ferla, F. Folli (2002) Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is superior to conventional treatment of morbid obesity and its metabolic and cardiovascular complications: A three years controlled study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 87:3555-61.
  • F. Folli, C.R. Kahn, J. Bouchie, H. Hansen, E.P. Feener (1997) Angiotensin II inhibits insulin signaling in aortic smooth muscle cells at multiple levels: A role for serine phosphorylation in insulin/angiotensin II crosstalk. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 100:2158-2169.
Franco B. Folli

Franco B. Folli

Associate Professor and Director of Metabolic Research
Ph.D., Universita di Milano e Padova
M.D., University of Milano, Italy

Office: 210-567-4826



molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance, Islets' of Langerhans amyloidosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance syndrome, bariatric surgery


Research Summary

New animal models for the study of the molecular pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolic and molecular effects of bariatric surgery in patients with type 2 diabetes and morbid obesity.


Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by insulin resistance and progressive beta cell dysfunction. Beta cell failure to compensate for insulin resistance is the major determinant of overt hyerglycemia. Intra-islet accumulation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) deposits have a cytotoxic effect on the beta cells, playing a major role in the pathogenesis of beta cell death. We believe that the study of animal models which are physiologically very close to humans will be of extreme importance to better understand the molecular pathways that underlie insulin action and resistance, as well as beta cell failure. This knowledge will also help us to find new means to prevent and cure insulin resistance and subsequent deficiency, which are the hallmarks of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


The baboon is a new non-human primate model to examine the cellular/molecular mechanisms responsible for insulin resistance, for the study of beta cell dysfunction and death and very early therapeutic interventions in T2DM. Obesity affects a very large proportion of the population worldwide, including a very large proportion of young adults. It is characterized by insulin resistance, arterial hypertension and increased cardiovascular risk and medical therapy has limited possibilities of success. Bariatric surgery has demonstrated that it can benefit a large number of patients and it also offers us the possibility to study the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the improvement of metabolic and cardiovascular parameters.