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Animal Physiology

Government gazzette
1971 10/09/2009
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
+30 2410 565286
Research Categories
Molecular Pharmacology
Animal Physiology
Human Physiology
Endocrine Physiology
Attitude Physiology
Toxicity Of Food
Metabolic Processes Of Drugs
Essential Oils
Natural Products

1. Brief Description:

The Laboratory of Animal Physiology was founded in 2003. The research activity can be divided into 2 main branches. The first concerns the measurement of antioxidants in foods. This service studies the origin and quality of products in order to provide better information to the public. Moreover, the research team conducts basic and applied research to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of action of bioactive molecules with antioxidant properties with an ultimate goal to produce biofunctional foods and natural molecules for the cosmetics industry. The second branch deals with the determination of antioxidants in humans. D. Kouretas’s research team participates in the worldwide patent of a portable glutathione measuring device. The determination of glutathione levels in the blood is painless, by collecting a drop of blood from the finger of the hand. Scientists look in detail the expression of critical genes related to antioxidant defense, anti-inflammatory potential, and the body’s basic cellular defense mechanism. Laboratory experiments include in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies. We use state-of-the-art technologies such as transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics for a holistic approach and exploration of the effect of extracts on cells, animal organisms and humans. In particular, we study the metabolic profile of humans in conjunction with their lifestyle requirements and deduce their personalized needs in terms of bio-functional foods that they could benefit from. The aim is to prevent diseases, but also to treat existing ones through an individualized diet, exercise and fasting designed exclusively according to each individual's metabolic profile. Laboratory of animal physiology founded in 2018 the spin-off company FoodOxys.


2. Research Interests:

Plant based in vitro antioxidant analysis: The aim of our laboratory is to analyze endemic plant extracts, with potentially significant antioxidant and anti-mutagenic activity.

Creation of a product identity: evaluation of foods (e.g. Greek meat, garlic, honey etc.) using a wide variety of in vitro methods, cell line experiments, and in vivo studies. This leads to the creation of a product certification file.

Animal bioactive feeds: In addition, in recent years, research interest has focused on exploiting by-products of agro-industries in order to create innovative animal feeds that exhibit antioxidant activity.

Metabolic health: Interrelation of redox related biomarkers in humans with fasting, exercise and antioxidant consumption.

Cell lines and in vivo studies: Effect of phytochemical extracts, nanoparticles, food supplements, xenobiotics examined either on cells, animal organisms or humans.

Specifically, our research study aims to answer the following questions:

  • How does an antioxidant affect the organism?
  • What is the minimum amount of the antioxidant to be administered so as not to affect the normal functioning of the free radicals but to improve the antioxidant mechanism and the health of the organism?
  • Which are the molecular mechanisms of action of bioactive antioxidant molecules in various tissues?
  • Is there any difference in the action of products depending on the qualitative composition in antioxidants?
  • Can we describe nowadays the key factors that contribute to metabolic health? What are the interventions proposed?


3. Personnel

Faculty Members

  • Dimitrios Kouretas, Professor of Animal Physiology and Toxicology
  • Dimitrios Stagos, Assistant Professor of Animal Physiology and Toxicology


  • Dr Ioannis Kyriazis – Physiology and cellular immunology
  • Dr Sotiria Makri – Animal physiology
  • Dr Maria Kourti – Cellular metabolism

PhD Students

  • Polykseni Fountoucidou
  • Nikolaos Georgiadis
  • Zoi Vasiliki Skaperda
  • Fotios Tekos
  • Periklis Vardakas

Lab Technicians

  • Anastasia Patouna
  • Kallirroi Terizi
  • Eleni Vassi
  • Despoina Kyriazi
  • Paraskevi Maria Nexalioti

Erasmus Students

  • Christos Aggelakis


4. Research Projects-Funding:

An indicative list of research projects of the laboratory funded during the period 2011-2020


1. Incorporation of natural antimicrobiotics of plant origin to meat products of high added value in collaboration with ‘Vogiatzoglou meat company’ (30000 euros) (2011-2013).

2. Assessment of the antioxidant activity of grape stem extracts - Incorporation of grape stem extracts to bakery products and assessment of their in vivo antioxidant capacity in collaboration with ‘Kaplanidis Mills’ and ‘Ntougkos Winery’ (80000 euros) (2010-2013).

3. Study of the agro-nutrient identity of foods in collaboration with’ Eat walk Hellas’ company (60000 euros) (2012-2014).

4. Study of oxidative stress biomarkers and metabolic profile in patients (300000 euros) (2012-2018).

5. Effects of a product containing carbohydrates and proteins on oxidative stress biomarkers after administration to athletes (ESPA; 45000 euros) (2011-2014).

6. Assessment of oxidative stress in physiological and pathophysiological conditions using the diagnostic system ORP of Luoxis company (47000 euros) (2013-2015).

7. Study of the chemical composition and toxicity of liquids used in electronic cigarettes (Association of companies of electronic cigarette; 756000 euros) (2012-2018).

8. Study of bioactivity of biofunctional foods from spirulina ( 20000 euros) (2014-2017).

9. Assessment of oxidative stress in i) athletes, ii) septic patients, iii) patients with eating disorders, using the diagnostic tests ORP company Luoxis (budget EUR 45,000) (2014-2016).

10. Study of functional properties of Coffee extracts ( 45.000 Euros). Cooperation with Coffee Island ( 2015-2017)

11. Study of functional properties of olive oil extracts from Mount Athos olive oil ( 50.000 Euros). Cooperation with Tsantali Winery, Greece( 2016-2018)

12. Functional Food Development from grape stems: Cooperation in the frame of the action EREYNO-KAINOTOM0-DIMOURGO of Gsrt , Greece ( 450.000 euros), 2018-2020. SCIENTIFIC LEADER

13. Study of Greek meat quality by a combination of molecular and other techniques: Cooperation in the frame of the action EREYNO-KAINOTOM0-DIMOURGO of Gsrt , Greece ( 850.000 euros), 2018-2020. PARTNER

14. GIS study plus antioxidant proflle of cherries in Greece , to the development of a tool for high added value of greek products: Cooperation in the frame of the action EREYNO-KAINOTOM0-DIMOURGO of Gsrt , Greece ( 400.000 euros), 2018-2020. SUBCONTRACTOR

15. High added value dairy products from exploitation of olive mills water waste polyphenols: Cooperation in the frame of the action EREYNO-KAINOTOM0-DIMOURGO of Gsrt, Greece ( 450.000 euros), 2018-2020. SUBCONTRACTOR


5. Publications:

Indicative recent publications of 2020 (Q3-Q4) are presented:

  1. Margină D, Ungurianu A, Purdel C, Tsoukalas D, Sarandi E, Thanasoula M, Tekos F, Mesnage R, Kouretas D, Tsatsakis A. Chronic Inflammation in the Context of Everyday Life: Dietary Changes as Mitigating Factors. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 10;17(11):E4135. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17114135.
  2. Veskoukis AS, Kerasioti E, Skaperda Z, Papapostolou PA, Nepka C, Spandidos DA, Asprodini E, Taitzoglou I, Kouretas D. Whey protein boosts the antioxidant profile of rats by enhancing the activities of crucial antioxidant enzymes in a tissue-specific manner. Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Aug;142:111508. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111508. Epub 2020 Jun 13. PMID: 32544564
  3. Makri S, Raftopoulou S, Kafantaris I, Kotsampasi B, Christodoulou V, Nepka C, Veskoukis AS, Kouretas D. Biofunctional Feed Supplemented With By-products of Olive Oil Production Improves Tissue Antioxidant Profile of Lambs. In Vivo. 2020 Jul-Aug;34(4):1811-1821. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11976. PMID: 32606151
  4. Nasi A, McArdle S, Gaudernack G, Westman G, Melief C, Rockberg J, Arens R, Kouretas D, Sjölin J, Mangsbo S. Reactive oxygen species as an initiator of toxic innate immune responses in retort to SARS-CoV-2 in an ageing population, consider N-acetylcysteine as early therapeutic intervention. Toxicol Rep. 2020 Jun 18;7:768-771. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2020.06.003. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32632359
  5. Margină D, Ungurianu A, Purdel C, Nițulescu GM, Tsoukalas D, Sarandi E, Thanasoula M, Burykina TI, Tekos F, Buha A, Nikitovic D, Kouretas D, Tsatsakis AM. Analysis of the intricate effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols on inflammatory pathways in health and disease. Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Sep;143:111558. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111558. Epub 2020 Jul 5. PMID: 32640331
  6. Bacopoulou F, Landis GN, Pałasz A, Tsitsika A, Vlachakis D, Tsarouhas K, Tsitsimpikou C, Stefanaki C, Kouretas D, Efthymiou V. Identifying early abdominal obesity risk in adolescents by telemedicine: A cross-sectional study in Greece. Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Oct;144:111532. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111532. Epub 2020 Jul 6. PMID: 32645466
  7. Ikonomidis I, Pavlidis G, Katsimbri P, Lambadiari V, Parissis J, Andreadou I, Tsoumani M, Boumpas D, Kouretas D, Iliodromitis E. Tocilizumab improves oxidative stress and endothelial glycocalyx: A mechanism that may explain the effects of biological treatment on COVID-19. Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Nov;145:111694. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111694. Epub 2020 Aug 18. PMID: 32822775
  8. Tekos F, Skaperda Z, Goutzourelas N, Phelps DS, Floros J, Kouretas D. The Importance of Redox Status in the Frame of Lifestyle Approaches and the Genetics of the Lung Innate Immune Molecules, SP-A1 and SP-A2, on Differential Outcomes of COVID-19 Infection. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Aug 25;9(9):784. doi: 10.3390/antiox9090784. PMID: 32854247
  9. Grundler F, Mesnage R, Goutzourelas N, Tekos F, Makri S, Brack M, Kouretas D, Wilhelmi de Toledo F. Interplay between oxidative damage, the redox status, and metabolic biomarkers during long-term fasting. Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Nov;145:111701. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111701. Epub 2020 Aug 25. PMID: 32858131
  10. Georgiadis N, Tsarouhas K, Rezaee R, Nepka H, Kass GEN, Dorne JCM, Stagos D, Toutouzas K, Spandidos DA, Kouretas D, Tsitsimpikou C. [Corrigendum] What is considered cardiotoxicity of anthracyclines in animal studies. Oncol Rep. 2020 Oct;44(4):1772. doi: 10.3892/or.2020.7717. Epub 2020 Aug 6. PMID: 32945511
  11. Kerasioti E, Veskoukis AS, Skaperda Z, Zacharias A, Poulas K, Lazopoulos G, Kouretas D. The flavoring and not the nicotine content is a decisive factor for the effects of refill liquids of electronic cigarette on the redox status of endothelial cells. Toxicol Rep. 2020 Sep 1;7:1095-1102. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2020.08.029. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32953462
  12. Veskoukis SA, Kerasioti E, Sidiropoulos K, Maragou I, Skaperda Z, Kouretas D. Erratum: Nutritional habits and free grazing regimen of productive animals along with specific ingredients are influential factors for the antioxidant properties of milk: From farm to market. Biomed Rep. 2020 Dec;13(6):54. doi: 10.3892/br.2020.1361. Epub 2020 Sep 29. PMID: 33082951
  13. Charisis S, Ntanasi E, Yannakoulia M, Anastasiou CA, Kosmidis MH, Dardiotis E, Hadjigeorgiou G, Sakka P, Veskoukis AS, Kouretas D, Scarmeas N. Plasma GSH levels and Alzheimer's disease. A prospective approach.: Results from the HELIAD study. Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 Oct 21:S0891-5849(20)31301-0. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2020.10.027. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33099001
  14. Farsalinos K, Poulas K, Kouretas D, Vantarakis A, Leotsinidis M, Kouvelas D, Docea AO, Kostoff R, Gerotziafas GT, Antoniou MN, Polosa R, Barbouni A, Yiakoumaki V, Giannouchos TV, Bagos PG, Lazopoulos G, Izotov BN, Tutelyan VA, Aschner M, Hartung T, Wallace HM, Carvalho F, Domingo JL, Tsatsakis A. Improved strategies to counter the COVID-19 pandemic: Lockdowns vs. Primary and Community Healthcare. Toxicol Rep. 2020 Dec 3. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2020.12.001. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33294384
  15. Hashemzaei M, Tabrizian K, Alizadeh Z, Pasandideh S, Rezaee R, Mamoulakis C, Tsatsakis A, Skaperda Z, Kouretas D, Shahraki J Resveratrol, curcumin and gallic acid attenuate glyoxal-induced damage to rat renal cells. Toxicol Rep. 2020 Nov 23;7:1571-1577. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2020.11.008. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33304826

Full publication list


6. Phd Thesis:

  1. D. Stagkos (2002-2006) Study of biological properties of plant polyphenols and extracts from Greek grape varieties (Vitis Vinifera).
  2. Ch. Spanou (2006-2010) Study of biological properties of extracts from various plants of Leguminosae family.
  3. A. Veskoukis (2006-2010) Effects of allopurinol administration on oxidative stress during
  4. exercise.
  5. A. El Hamitie (2009-2013) Regulation of protein kinases by Cdc37 and chaperone proteins.
  6. E. Varamenti (2008-2012) Assessment of oxidative stress, inflammation and angiogenesis markers. during an annual period in water polo training.
  7. E. Kerasioti (2011-2014) Effects of carbohydrate – protein product administration on markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and hypoxia after exercise in humans.
  8. N. Gkoutzourelas (2013-2016) Study of the antioxidant administration on muscle and endothelial cells, and in vivo by a combination of molecular techniques.
  9. K. Gerasopoulos (2013-2016) Production of natural extracts and antioxidants nanoencapsulated in powder from olive mill waste waters, and assessment of their bioactivity.
  10. S. Makri (2014-2019) Assessment of antioxidant capacity of bio-functional animal feed enriched with winery and oil mill products in broiler chickens and sheep.
  11. Y. Spanidis( 2015-2019) Study of a new redox marker ORP ( oxidation reduction potential) in various metabolic conditions.
  12. A. Priftis ( 2015-2019) Study of functional properties of coffee extracts in vitro and in vivo.
  13. P.Kouka( 2016-2020). Study of functional properties of olive oil in vitro and in vivo.
  14. P. Fountoucidou (2016-ongoing). Study of the effects of mixtures of routinely encountered xenobiotics in redox status in vivo.
  15. N. Georgiadis (2018-ongoing). Meta-analysis in order to establish criteria classification of chemicals as cardiotoxic according to European legislation.
  16. Z. Skaperda (2018-ongoing). Study of authentication and quality of Greek meat by a combination of redox markers in blood and tissues.
  17. F. Tekos (2020-ongoing). Study of the biological activity of extracts derived from indigenous wine and vine varieties using in Vitro and in Vivo molecular tests.
  18. P. Vardakas (2020-ongoing). Study of the antioxidant activity of nanoparticles in vitro.


7. Services:

  1. Measurement of a set of biomarkers in a blood sample that are related to critical gene expression (and have been linked to oxidative stress, cytoprotection, anti-aging, inflammation).
  2. Study of the product’s origin and quality in order to provide better information to the company producing or marketing the products so as to be able to evaluate its suppliers and set accordingly the market prices.
  3. Evaluation of various nutritional supplements and foods using a wide variety of in vitro methods, cell line experiments, and in vivo studies. This leads to the creation of a product certification file.
  4. Development of biofunctional foods and components for the cosmetic industry. In addition, synthetic molecules are analyzed for their medicinal properties.
  5. Laboratory analysis of global agricultural products for the new innovative European AFQ certification mark.