C.-X. Yi MD PhD

Scientific staff member (UD)
Main activities
Research, Teaching
Hypothalamic neuron-glia Interaction in metabolic diseases
Focus of research

Our major research goal is to dissect the hypothalamic neuron-glia networks in regulation of energy homeostasis, at levels of intercellular communications, intracellular signaling and organelles functionality. Not until recently, we gained knowledge that the mechanism under the development of metabolic disease is beyond canonical concept that brain metabolic sensing and regulation is dominated by the role of neurons and pathways controlled by neurons. The microenvironment in which neurons live is supported and maintained by other cells. In this microenvironment, the innate immune cells, the microglia function as the immune homeostatic keeper, by clearance of debris, pathogens, and initiate immune response. Our recent study showed that with hypercaloric challenge, microglial cells in the hypothalamus enter a proinflammatory-like state, this activation is associated with a functional changes of neuronal network involved in keeping energy balance.
Our main projects:
• Determine the impact of hypercaloric environment and neuronal signals on hypothalamic microglial function in animal models and human.
• Investigate the impact of microglia-derived factors on hypothalamic neuronal function.
Our long-term goal is to search for targets in microglia and neurons that can rescue neuronal dysfunction in a hypercaloric environment and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Key publications
  • Gao Y, Vidal-Itriago A, Milanova I, Korpel NL, Kalsbeek MJ, Tom RZ, Kalsbeek A, Hofmann SM, Yi CX, Deficiency of leptin receptor in myeloid cells disrupts hypothalamic metabolic circuits and causes body weight increase. MOL METAB 2018;7:155-160 [PubMed]
  • Gao Y, Vidal-Itriago A, Kalsbeek MJ, Layritz C, García-Cáceres C, Tom RZ, Eichmann TO, Vaz FM, Houtkooper RH, van der Wel N, Verhoeven AJ, Yan J, Kalsbeek A, Eckel RH, Hofmann SM, Yi CX, Lipoprotein Lipase Maintains Microglial Innate Immunity in Obesity. CELL REP 2017;20 (13):3034-3042 [PubMed]
  • Yi CX, Walter M, Gao Y, Pitra S, Legutko B, Kälin S, Layritz C, García-Cáceres C, Bielohuby M, Bidlingmaier M, Woods SC, Ghanem A, Conzelmann KK, Stern JE, Jastroch M, Tschöp MH, TNFα drives mitochondrial stress in POMC neurons in obesity. NAT COMMUN 2017;8:15143 [PubMed]
  • Kälin S, Heppner FL, Bechmann I, Prinz M, Tschöp MH, Yi CX, Hypothalamic innate immune reaction in obesity. NAT REV ENDOCRINOL 2015;11 (6):339-351 [PubMed]
  • Gao Y, Ottaway N, Schriever SC, Legutko B, García-Cáceres C, de la Fuente E, Mergen C, Bour S, Thaler JP, Seeley RJ, Filosa J, Stern JE, Perez-Tilve D, Schwartz MW, Tschöp MH, Yi CX, Hormones and Diet, but Not Body Weight, Control Hypothalamic Microglial Activity. GLIA 2014;62 (1):17-25 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Research experience
04/2015 - Assistant professor, research group leader, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
01/2012 - 03/2015 Research group leader, Division of Neurophysiology, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany
09/2011 - 2012 Visiting scientist, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
03/2010 - 12/2011 Postdoctoral fellow, Metabolic Disease Institute, Div. of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Dept. of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH, USA.
11/2005 - 02/2010 PhD student, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


2017 Amsterdam Neuroscience Alliance project.

2016 NeuroTime. European Commission.
2015 Dutch Diabetes Fonds Senior Fellowship.
2014 AMC fellowship.
2010 Rubicon grant, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Scientific Awards
1. 1st Dutch Neurofederation PhD thesis prize, DN2011, May 31st 2011.
2. GOODLIFE Healthcare travel grant, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society 2008, San Francisco, USA.


Other research related activities
  • Membership of editorial board / Editorship, MOLECULAR METABOLISM
  • Membership of editorial board / Editorship, FRONTIERS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY
Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Diabetes Fonds Nederland
  • Stichting AMC Foundation (Vrijgesteld)
  • ZonMw