Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Vily Vily Panoutsakopoulou, PhD
Investigator - Associate Professor Level

Telephone : +30 210 6597 185
Fax : +30 210 6597 545
e-mail :

Center :

Basic Research

Lab Site :

Panoutsakopoulou Lab

Brief Bio

Vily Panoutsakopoulou has a Biology degree from the University of Athens (Greece) and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University (Philadelphia, PA). She received her post-doctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA). Her research aims at understanding mechanisms of regulation of T helper cell-mediated immune responses. These mechanisms are crucial for the development of protective immunity, as well as for the pathologic immune responses causing autoimmune and allergic diseases.

Vily’s Ph.D. research was focused on understanding the immune response differences between susceptible and resistant mouse strains infected with retrovirus. By linkage analysis, these distinct responses were associated to certain genetic loci. Vily’s post-doctoral research was focused on mechanisms of autoimmunity. One of her projects was to determine the conditions under which infection could propagate autoimmune disease. Results from these studies defined the effects of viral molecular mimicry versus non-specific inflammation on autoimmunity. During those studies, she also observed that osteopontin (Opn) knockout mice were resistant to the induction of autoimmune disease and susceptible to viral infections and this lead to the discovery of Opn as a significant cytokine for the generation of Type-1 immunity. Additionally, she studied the role of non-classical Class I MHC molecules in T-cell vaccination, an immunotherapy for autoimmune diseases.

Vily’s team at BRFAA demonstrated that Opn is highly expressed in the lungs of asthmatic patients and of mice with allergic airway inflammation and exerts dual and opposing effects on Th2-mediated allergic airway disease. These effects of Opn were mainly mediated by regulation of Th2-suppressing plasmacytoid dendritic cells during primary sensitization and Th2-promoting conventional DCs during recall antigenic challenge. In addition, her team identified activin-A as an inducer of functional T regulatory cells that suppress harmful Th2 (allergic) immune responses. To continue studies on the effects of Opn on the immune system, she was awarded a grant by the European Research Council in 2009.

Selected Publications

Kourepini E, Aggelakopoulou M, Alissafi T, Paschalidis N, Simoes DCM, Panoutsakopoulou V. 2014. Osteopontin expression by CD103− dendritic cells drives intestinal inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(9):E856-65.

Samitas K, Zervas E, Vittorakis S, Semitekolou M, Alissafi T, Bossios A, Gogos H, Economidou E, Lötvall J, Xanthou G, Panoutsakopoulou V*, Gaga M*. 2011. Osteopontin expression and relation to disease severity in human asthma.  Eur Resp J 37(2):331-41.

Semitekolou M, Alissafi T, Aggelakopoulou M, Kourepini E, Kariyawasam HH, Kay AB, Robinson DS, Lloyd CM, Panoutsakopoulou V*, Xanthou G*. 2009. Activin-A induces regulatory T cells that suppress T helper cell immune responses and protect from allergic airway disease. J Exp Med 206(8):1769-85.

Xanthou G, Alissafi T, Semitekolou M, Simoes D, Economidou E, Gaga M, Lambrecht BN, Lloyd CM, Panoutsakopoulou V. 2007. Osteopontin has a crucial role in allergic airway disease through regulation of dendritic cell subsets. Nat Med 13(5): 570-578.

Panoutsakopoulou V, Huster KM, McCarty N, Feinberg E, Wang R, Wucherpfennig KW, Cantor H. 2004. Suppression of autoimmune disease after vaccination with autoreactive T cells that express Qa-1 peptide complexes. J Clin Invest 113:1218-1224.

Jansson M, Panoutsakopoulou V, Baker J, Klein L, Cantor H. 2002. Attenuated Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in Eta-1/Osteopontin-deficient mice. J Immunol (Cutting edge) 168:2096-2099.

Panoutsakopoulou V, Sanchirico ME, Huster K, Jansson M, Granucci F, Shim DJ, Wuckerpfennig KW, Cantor H. 2001. Analysis of the relationship between viral infection and autoimmune disease. Immunity 15(1):137-147.

Panoutsakopoulou V, Cantor H. 2001 On the relationship between viral infection and autoimmune disease. J Autoimmun 16:341-345

Wei MC, Zong W-X, Cheng EH, Lindsten T, Panoutsakopoulou V, Ross AJ, Roth KA, MacGregor GR, Thompson CB, Korsmeyer SJ. 2001. Proapoptotic BAX and BAK: a requisite gateway to mitochondrial dysfunction and death. Science 292:727-730

Ashkar S, Weber GF, Panoutsakopoulou V, Sanchirico ME, Jansson M, Zawaideh S, Rittling SR, Denhardt DT, Glimcher MJ, Cantor H. 2000. Eta-1 (Osteopontin): an early component of Type-1 (cell-mediated) immunity. Science 287:860-864.

Panoutsakopoulou V, Hunter K, Sieck TG, Blankenhorn EP, Blank KJ. 1999. Genetic regulation of long term nonprogression in E-55+MuLV infection in mice. J Virol 73:9232-9236.

Panoutsakopoulou V, Little CS, Sieck TG, Blankenhorn EP, Blank KJ. 1998. Differences in the immune response during the acute phase of E-55+MuLV infection in progressor BALB and long-term nonprogressor C57BL mice. J Immunol 161:17-26.


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