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Sean H. Adams

Sean H. Adams

  • Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center Research Physiologist


(530) 754-4417



  • Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S., Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • B.A., Biology, California State University, Fresno

Research Interests

Dr. Adams investigates the etiology of obesity-associated metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Research efforts explore which molecular markers, metabolites, and endocrine factors correlate with indices of metabolic health in human nutritional studies and in animal models of obesity.

Selected Publications

  • E. Seifert, O. Fiehn, V. Bezaire, D.B. Bickel, G. Wohlgemuth, S.H. Adams, and M-E. Harper. Long-chain fatty acid combustion rate is associated with unique metabolite profiles in skeletal muscle mitochondria. PLoS One, Mar 24;5(3): e9834, 2010.
  • C.M. Mack, C.J. Soares, J.K. Wilson, J.R. Athanacio, V.F. Turik, J.L. Trevaskis, J.D. Roth, P.A. Smith, B. Gedulin, C.M. Jodka, B.L. Roland, S.H. Adams, A. Lwin, J. Herich, K.D. Laugero, C. Vu, R. Pittner, J.R. Paterniti Jr., M. Hanley, S. Ghosh, D.G. Parkes. Davalintide (AC2307), a novel amylin-mimetic peptide: enhanced pharmacological properties over native amylin to reduce food intake and body weight. Int. J. Obesity 34(2):385-95, 2010.
  • K.L. Teff, J. Grudziak, R.R. Townsend, T.N. Dunn, R.W. Grant, S.H. Adams, K.L. Stanhope, and P.J. Havel. Endocrine and metabolic effects of consuming fructose- and glucose-sweetened beverages with meals in obese men and women: influence of insulin resistance on plasma triglyceride responses. J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 94(5):1562-9, 2009.
  • G. Paulino, C.B. de la Serre, T.A. Knotts, P.J. Oort, J.W.Newman, S.H. Adams, and H.E. Raybould. Increased expression of receptors for orexigenic factors in nodose ganglion of diet-induced obese rats. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 296(4): E898-903, 2009.
  • S.H. Adams, C.L. Hoppel, K.H. Lok, L. Zhao, S.W. Wong, P.E. Minkler, D.H. Hwang, J.W. Newman, and W.T Garvey. Plasma acylcarnitine profiles suggest incomplete long chain fatty acid β-oxidation and altered tricarboxylic cycle activity in type 2 diabetic African-American women. J. Nutr. 139(6):1073-81, 2009.
  • T.A. Knotts, H.W. Lee, J.B. Kim, P.J. Oort, R. McPherson, R. Dent, K. Tachibana, T. Doi, S. Yu, J.K. Reddy, K. Uno, H. Katagiri, M. Pasarica, S.R. Smith, D.D. Sears, M. Grino, and S.H. Adams. Molecular characterization of the tumor suppressor candidate 5 gene: regulation by PPARγ and identification of TUSC5 coding variants in lean and obese humans. PPAR Research, Volume 2009, Article ID 867678, 2009.
  • P.J. Oort, T.A. Knotts, M. Grino, N. Naour, J-P. Bastard, K. Clément, N. Ninkina, V.L. Buchman, P.A. Permana, X. Luo, G. Pan, T.N. Dunn, and S.H. Adams. Γ-Synuclein is an adipocyte-neuron gene coordinately-expressed with leptin and increased in human obesity. J. Nutrition, 138(5):841-848, 2008.
  • S.H. Adams, K.L. Stanhope, R.W. Grant, B.P. Cummings, and P.J. Havel. Metabolic and endocrine profiles in response to systemic infusion of fructose and glucose in rhesus macaques. Endocrinology, 149(6):3002-8, 2008.
  • Oort PJ, Warden CH, Baumann TK, Knotts TA, Adams SH. Characterization of Tusc5, an adipocyte gene co-expressed in peripheral neurons.Mol Cell Endocrinol. 276(1-2):24-35, 2007;
  • S. H. Adams, C. Lei, C.M. Jodka, S.E. Nikoulina, J.A. Hoyt, B. Gedulin, C.M. Mack, and E.S. Kendall. PYY[3-36] administration decreases the respiratory quotient and reduces adiposity in diet-induced obese mice. J. Nutrition, 136: 195-201, 2006.
  • G. Perdomo, S.R. Cummerford, S.H. Adams, R.M. O’Doherty, and N.F. Brown. Increased Beta-oxidation in muscle cells enhances insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism and protects against fatty acid induced insulin resistance despite intramyocellular lipid accumulation. J. Biol. Chem., 2004;279:27177-27186.
  • S.H. Adams, Wesley B. Won, S.E. Schonhoff, A.B. Leiter, and J.R. Paterniti, Jr. Effects of PYY[3-36] on short-term food intake in mice are not affected by prevailing plasma ghrelin levels. Endocrinology, 2004;145:4967-4975.
  • Fu, L., L. John, S.H. Adams, X.X. Yu, E. Tomlinson, M. Renz, P.M. Williams, R. Soriano, R. Corpuz, M. Moffat, R. Vandlen, L. Simmons, J. Foster, J-P. Stephan, S.P. Tsai, and T.A. Stewart. Fibroblast growth factor 19 increases metabolic rate and reverses dietary and leptin deficient diabetes. Endocrinology, 2004;145:2594-2603.
  • Yu, X.X., D.A. Lewin, W. Forrest, & S.H. Adams. Cold elicits the simultaneous induction of fatty acid synthesis & β-oxidation in rodent brown adipose tissue. Prediction from differential gene expression & confirmation in vivo. FASEB J. 2002;16:155-168.
  • Yu, X.X., D.A. Lewin, A. Zhong, J. Brush, P.W. Schow, S.W. Sherwood, G. Pan, & S.H. Adams. Overexpression of the human 2-oxoglutarate carrier lowers mitochondrial membrane potential in HEK-293 cells: contrast with the unique cold-induced mitochondrial carrier CGI-69. Biochem. J. 2001;353: 369-375.
  • Adams, S.H., G. Pan, & X.X. Yu. Perspectives on the biology of UCP homologues. Invited contribution for Biochem. Soc. Transactions 2001;29(6): 798-802.
  • Adams, S.H., C. Chui., S.L. Schilbach, X.X. Yu, A.D. Goddard, J.C. Grimaldi, J. Lee, P. Dowd, S. Colman, & D.A. Lewin. BFIT, a unique acyl-CoA thioesterase induced in thermogenic brown adipose tissue. Cloning, organization of the human gene, & assessment of a potential link to obesity. Biochem. J. 2001;360:135-142.
  • 2000 Yu, X.X., W. Mao, A. Zhong, P. Schow, J. Brush, S.W. Sherwood, S.H. Adams, and G. Pan. Characterization novel UCP5/BMCP1 isoforms and differential regulation of UCP4 and UCP5 expression through dietary or temperature manipulation. FASEB J. 2000;14:1611-1618.
  • Yu, X.X., J.L. Barger, B.B. Boyer, M.D. Brand, G. Pan, and S.H. Adams. Impact of endotoxin on UCP homolog mRNA abundance, thermoregulation, & mitochondrial proton leak kinetics. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 2000;279:E433-E446.
  • Adams, S.H. Uncoupling protein homologs: emerging views of physiological function. Invited Review for Recent Advances in Nutritional Sciences, J. Nutr. 2000;130:711-714.
  • Mao, W., X.X. Yu, A. Zhong, W. Li, J. Brush, S.W. Sherwood, S.H. Adams, and G. Pan. UCP4, a novel brain-specific mitochondrial protein that reduces membrane potential in mammalian cells. FEBS Letters 1999;443: 326-330.
  • Adams, S.H. and J. Odle. Acetogenesis does not replace ketogenesis in fasting piglets infused with hexanoate. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 1998;274:E963-E970.
  • Adams, S.H., V. Esser, N.F. Brown, N.H. Ing, L . Johnson, D.W. Foster, and J.D. McGarry. Expression and possible role of muscle-type carnitine palmitoyltransferase I during sperm development in the rat. Biol. Of Reprod. 1998;59:1399-1405.
  • Adams, S.H., X. Lin, X.X. Yu, J. Odle, and J.K. Drackley. Hepatic fatty acid metabolism in pigs and rats: major differences in endproducts, O2 uptake, and β-oxidation. Am. J. Physiol. Regulatory Integrative Comp. Physiol. 1997;272:R1641-R1646.
  • Adams, S.H., C. Sampaio Alho, G. Asins, F.G. Hegardt, and P.F. Marrero. Gene expression of mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase in a poorly ketogenic mammal: effect of starvation during the neonatal period of the piglet. Biochem. J. 1997;324:65-73.
  • Lin, X., S.H. Adams, and J. Odle. Acetate represents a major product of heptanoate and octanoate β-oxidation in hepatocytes isolated from neonatal piglets. Biochem. J. 1996;318:235-240.
  • Ortiz, R.M., S.H. Adams, D.P. Costa, and C.L. Ortiz. Plasma vasopressin levels and water conservation in fasting, postweaned northern elephant seal pups (Mirounga angustirostris). Marine Mammal Sci. 1996;12:99-106.
  • Tetrick, M.A., S.H. Adams, J. Odle, and N.J. Benevenga. Contribution of D-(-)-3-hydroxybutyrate to the energy expenditure of neonatal pigs. J. Nutr. 1995;125:264-272.
  • Odle, J., T.A.T.G. van Kempen, J.K. Drackley, and S.H. Adams. Carnitine palmitoyltransferase modulation of hepatic fatty acid metabolism and radio-HPLC evidence for low ketogenesis in neonatal pigs. J. Nutr. 1995;125:2541-2549.
  • Patterson-Buckendahl, P., S.H. Adams, R. Morales, W.S.S. Jee, C.E. Cann, and C.L. Ortiz. Skeletal development in newborn and weanling northern elephant seals. Am. J. Physiol. Regulatory Integrative Comp. Physiol. 1994;267: R726-R734.
  • Adams, S.H. and J. Odle. Plasma β-hydroxybutyrate after octanoate challenge: attenuated ketogenic capacity in neonatal swine. Am. J. Physiol. Regulatory Integrative Comp. Physiol. 1993;265:R761-R765.
  • Adams, S.H. and D.P. Costa. Water conservation and protein metabolism in northern elephant seal pups during the postweaning fast. J. Comp. Physiol. B 1993;163:367-373.
  • Adams, S.H., D.P. Costa, & S.C. Winter. Plasma carnitine in fasting neonatal and adult northern elephant seals. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 1992;263:E570-E574.