Skip to Main Content

Pascal Rowart, PhD

Research Instructor
E1316 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-624-5853
Fax: 412-648-2229


BS (Pharmaceutical and Biomedical sciences), University of Liège, Belgium, 2011

MS (Pharmaceutical and Biomedical sciences, Neurosciences), University of Liège, Belgium, 2014

PhD (Pharmaceutical and Biomedical sciences, Renal physiology), University of Liège, Belgium, 2018
Headshot of Pascal Rowart, PhD
Metabolic syndrome is a multifactorial disease that affects more than 35% of the world’s population and is associated with comorbidities including heart disease and cardiovascular dysfunction thus reducing life expectancy and quality. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by increased plasma levels of cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), insulin resistance, hypertension, an increased inflammatory state, and risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) events. Fish oil (FO) derived omega-3 (ω-3) have been shown to be protective and are used in the clinic to reduce circulating triglycerides, reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events and plaque formation.
To characterize potential bioactive metabolites of ω-3 treatments involved in these beneficial effects, We assessed samples from two clinical trials involving healthy human volunteers receiving the ω-3 FA prescription drug Lovaza using untargeted metabolomic approaches. To our surprise, we found elevated levels of circulating and urinary metabolites (CMPF) of furan FA (FuFA). FuFA are a ubiquitous class of FA mainly found in FO, making up to 3% of total FA. 

Figure 1

I study the effect of FuFA on metabolic syndrome, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes. I am using new drug based on fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids to prevent metabolic syndrome, obesity-related cardiovascular disease, and hypertriglyceridemia.
Finally, I am working on another project related with nitrated fatty acids (NO2-FA) which are electrophilic molecules present in plants, animals, and humans that form during digestion and inflammation and display pleiotropic signaling activities. A unique pharmacokinetic profile is expected for NO2-FA because of an ability to undergo reversible reactions including Michael addition with cysteine-containing proteins and esterification into complex lipids. The signaling actions of NO2-FA have been extensively studied, but their detection and characterization lagged. We are aiming at understanding their mode of action using in vivo and in vitro models.

Journal Articles

Jobbagy S, Vitturi DA, Salvatore SR, Pires M, Rowart P, Emlet DR, Ross M, Hahn S, St. Croix C, Wendell SG, Subramanya AR, Straub AC, Tan RJ and Schopfer FJ. Nrf2 activation protects against lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight 5(1):e128578, 2020.
Salvatore SR, Rowart P and Schopfer FJ. Mass spectrometry-based study defines the human urine nitrolipidome. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 162:327-337, 2020.
Wu J, Rowart P,  Gassaway BM, Rinehart J, Rajendran V, Jouret F and Caplan MJ. Mechanisms Iinvolved in AMPK-mediated deposition of tight junction components to the plasma membrane. American Journal of Physiology, Cell physiology 10:1152/ajpcell.00422.2019, 2019.
Rowart P, Wu J, Caplan MJ and Jouret F. Implications of AMPK in the formation of epithelial tight junctions. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(7):2040, 2018.
Rowart P, Erpicum P, Krzesinski JM, Sebbagh M and Jouret F. Mesenchymal stromal cells accelerate epithelial tight junction Assembly via the AMP-activated protein kinase pathway, independently of liver kinase B1. Stem Cells International, Volume 2017, 2017. Article ID 9717353
Erpicum P, Rowart P, Poma L, Krzesinski JM, Detry O and Jouret F. Administration of mesenchymal stromal cells before renal ischemia/reperfusion attenuates kidney injury and may modulate renal lipid metabolism in rats. Scientific Report 7:8687, 2017.
Rowart P, Erpicum P, Detry O, Weekers L, Grégoire C, Lechanteur C, Briquet A, Beguin Y, Krzesinski JM and Jouret F. Mesenchymal stromal cell therapy in ischemia/reperfusion injury. Journal of Immunology Research, Volume 2015, 2015. Article ID 602597
Fazzari M, Woodcock SR, Rowart P, Ricart K, Lancaster JR, Patel R, Vitturi DA, Freeman BA and Schopfer FJ. Endogenous generation of nitro-fatty acid hybrids having dual nitrate ester (RONO2) and nitroalkene (RNO2) substituents. Redox Biology 41:101913, 2021.