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Francesca  Di Sole

Francesca Di Sole Ph.D.

Academic Title: Adjunct Assistant Professor
Primary Appointment: Medicine
Location: HSFII, S005
Phone: (410) 706-6031
Fax: (410) 706-6034

Personal History:

Dr. Di Sole is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine. She was a member of the faculty at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas before she joined the University of Maryland in 2012. Prior to her appointment at the University of Texas, she taught cardiovascular and renal physiology as a lecturer at the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, University of Newcastle in the UK.

Dr. Di Sole obtained her PhD in renal physiology in 1999 working between the University of Bari, Italy and the University of Zurich, Switzerland. As a PhD student, she developed her interest in studying the regulation of sodium ion transport, in particular the function of adenosine in the maintenance of salt and water homeostasis in the kidney. She has pursued these research interests during two consecutive post-doctoral fellowships at the Faculty of Medicine, Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Germany and the Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern MC, Dallas (Sponsored by an American Heart Association Fellowship), respectively, several sabbaticals at different academic institutions, and presently, as an assistant professor.

Dr. Di Sole’s work has made key contributions in the understanding of both adenosine renal physiology and pathophysiology, providing new insight on the renal action of this crucial paracrine/autocrine hormone. Her research on adenosine has been awarded a Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant.

Education and Training

  • 1994: M. Sc., Biology, University of Bari, Italy
  • 1999: Ph. D., Physiology, University of Bari, Italy
  • 1996 - 1998: Visiting Scientist at the Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland).
  • 1999 - 2000: Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Faculty of Medicine, Center of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Gottingen (Germany).
  • 2001 - 2003: Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Faculty of Medicine, Center of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Gottingen, Gottingen (Germany).
  • 2000, 2001, 2002: Visiting Scientist at the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas (USA).
  • 2003 - 2004: Postdoctoral Fellowship sponsored by the American Heart Association Texas Award at the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas (USA).

Research Interests:

Sodium handling is an essential physiologic function in mammals for body fluid maintenance and blood pressure regulation. Quantitatively, a significant amount of sodium absorption in the kidney occurs in the renal proximal tubule and the Na+/H+ exchanger-isoform 3 (NHE3) is heavily expressed in this nephron segment where it plays a key function in sodium and fluid balance.

By using state of the art physiological, biochemical and molecular approaches, Dr. Di Sole’s research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms and transduction signaling that regulate epithelial sodium ion transport. Emphasis is given to NHE3 regulation upon physiological stimuli (e.g., hormones such as adenosine and protein kinase activation) or pathophysiological conditions (e.g., hypertension and hypoxia/ischemia). Her scientific goal is to develop a mechanistic understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology primarily associated with renal salt and fluid handling.


Di Sole F, Casavola V, Mastroberardino L, Verrey F, Moe OW, Burckhardt G, Murer H and Helmle Kolb C. Adenosine inhibits the transfected Na+/H+ exchanger NHE3 in renal epithelial cells (A6/C1). J Physiol. 1999; 515(3): 829-842

Di Sole F, Cerull R, Casavola V, Moe OW, Burckhardt G and Helmle-Kolb C. Molecular aspects of acute inhibition of Na+/H+ exchanger NHE3 by A2-adenosine receptor agonists. J Physiol. 2002; 541 (Pt 2): 529-543

Di Sole F, Cerull R, Petzke S, Casavola V, Burckhardt G, Helmle-Kolb C. Bimodal acute effects of A1 adenosine receptor activation on Na+/H+ exchanger 3 in opossum kidney cells. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2003; 14(7): 1720-1730.

Di Sole F, Cerull R, Babich V, Quinones H, Gisler SM, Biber J, Murer H, Burckhardt G, Helmle-Kolb C, Moe OW. Acute regulation of Na/H exchanger NHE3 by adenosine A(1) receptors is mediated by calcineurin homologous protein. J Biol Chem. 2004; 279(4):2962-2974.

Di Sole F, Cerull R, Babich V, Casavola V, Helmle-Roth C, Burckhardt G. Short- and long-term A3 adenosine receptor activation inhibits the Na+/H+ exchanger NHE3 activity and expression in opossum kidney cells. J Cell Physiol. 2008; 216(1): 221-233.

Di Sole F. Adenosine and renal tubular function. Review. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2008; 17(4): 399-407.

Di Sole F, Babich V, Moe OW. The calcineurin homologous protein-1 increases Na+/H+-exchanger 3 trafficking via ezrin phosphorylation. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009; 20(8): 1776-1786.

Di Sole F, Hu MC, Zhang J, Babich V, Bobulescu IA, McLeroy P, Rogers TE, Moe OW. Reduction of Na/H Exchanger-3 protein and transcript expression in acute ischemia-reperfusion is mediated by extractable tissue factor(s). Kidney Int. 2011 Oct; 80(8): 822-31.

Di Sole F, Vadnagara K, Moe OW, Babich V. Calcineurin Homologous Protein: A multi-functional Ca2+-binding protein family. Review. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Jul 15; 303(2): F165-79

Girardi AC, Di Sole F. Deciphering the mechanisms of the Na+/H+ exchanger-3 regulation in organ dysfunction. Review. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012 Jun 1; 302(11): C1569-87.