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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



I have relocated to a new institution, the Faculty of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Starting from the 1st of June, my email address at will no longer be fully operative. If you need to contact me, please use my new address:

Current Research Interest

(2024-29: Group Leader, Cesar Nombela Research Fellow - Madrid Talent Attraction Program) - Faculty of Medicine. Autonomous University of Madrid. Spain

(2020-24: Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow)

During pregnancy, the mother must adapt metabolically to support offspring growth. Inadequate maternal adaptations can result in pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), defined as high glucose levels during pregnancy. This is worrying as gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with other pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and abnormal birthweight. Moreover, GDM can predispose the mother and her child to develop metabolic diseases, like type-2 diabetes in later life.

The placenta secretes hormones with metabolic effects. For example, placental lactogen, prolactins, progesterone and estrogen influence maternal metabolism by modulating insulin secretion by the pancreas and the response of tissues such as the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue to the action of insulin. However, the precise role of placental endocrine function and how other placental derived-hormones influence maternal metabolic health is largely unknown.

Work performed in animal studies have shown that the placental expression of two reciprocally expressed imprinting genes, insulin-like growth factor-2 (Igf2) and H19 is linked to maternal metabolism and placental endocrine capacity during pregnancy. My current work as a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow employs animal models to manipulate the imprinted Igf2-H19 locus to modify placental endocrine function and determine the impact on maternal metabolism during pregnancy and after delivery, as well as offspring growth. These studies are important for understanding the development of metabolic diseases during and after pregnancy.

Previous Research Experience

2018-20: Postdoctoral Newton Royal Society Fellow. University of Cambridge.

2017-18: Research Associate. University of Cambridge. I examined the impact of cell-specific deletion of PI3K signalling on feto-placental growth. Using PI3K-p110α gene targeting in mice, we found that PI3K-p110α plays distinct roles in the different compartments of the conceptus, which ultimately affect placental development, function and impact on fetal growth.

2018: Frontiers in Reproduction course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Boston, USA.

2014-17: PhD in Veterinary Medicine. Complutense University of Madrid. Spain. I assessed whether maternal undernutrition compromises maternal metabolism, placental formation, vascularisation and blood flow and thereby contributes to fetal growth restriction. Moreover, I also evaluated the efficacy of Sildenafil Citrate as a possible therapy for pregnancy complications. 

2013-14: Master in Animal Production and Health, Spain.

2008-13: Bachelor Degree in Veterinary Medicine, Spain (academic year with Erasmus Exchange Programme in Bologna, Italy).

Current & Past Funding

Wellcome Trust  – Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship

Royal Society – Newton Fellowship

Society for Endocrinology - Early Career Award

Burroughs Wellcome Fund (Frontiers in Reproduction)

Epigenetics and Periconception Environment (EPICONCEPT) COST Action - Short Term Mission

Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models (SALAAM)  COST Action - Short Term Mission

Erasmus Practice and Learning

Journal Peer Review Activities

Journal of Physiology -  Plos ONE -  Molecular Reproduction and Development -  Theriogenology -  Journal of Neuroinflammation -  Animal -  Placenta -  Reproduction in domestic animals - Journal of animal science and biotechnology - Pediatric Research - Reproduction - Scientific Reports - Metabolites - Molecular Human Reproduction - Journal of Endocrinology - BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth - Gut Microbes - Heliyon - eLIFE - Microbiology Spectrum

Membership of Scientific Societies

Society of Endocrinology - British Society for Developmental Biology - Genetics Society - Society for Reproductive Investigation - The Physiological Society UK - Society for Reproduction and Fertility - European Atherosclerosis Society - SRUK/CERU

College Affiliation

2021-24: Hughes Hall. Research Associate


Key publications: 

+Corresponding author; #☼Joint authorship


  1. Lopez-Tello J+, Schofield Z, Kiu R, van Sinderen D, Le Gall G, Hall LJ☼, Sferruzzi-Perri AN☼ (2024) Maternal gut Bifidobacterium Breve modifies fetal brain metabolism in mice (Available in Biorxiv: DOI)
  1. Zaugg J,  Lopez-Tello J, Musial M, Zurkinden L, Vaughan O, Fowden AL, Albrecht C☼+, Sferruzzi-Perri AN☼+ (2024)  Obesogenic diet in pregnancy disrupts placental iron handling, ferroptosis and stress signalling in association with fetal growth alterations. Cellular and Molecular Life Science (DOI: 
  2. Lopez-Tello J+ & Sferruzzi-Perri AN (2024) Histological analysis of trophoblast cells in the mouse placental labyrinth zone. Methods in Biology – Title: Maternal Placental Interface (Book chapter, ISBN978-1-0716-3745-6)


  1. Lopez-Tello J#+, Yong HE#, Sandovici I, Dowsett KC, Salazar-Petres E, Christoforou ER, Boyland R, Giles SHY, Brian YHL, Napso T, Constancia M+, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Fetal manipulation of maternal metabolism is a critical function of Igf2 imprinting. Cell Metabolism(
  2. Salazar-Petres E#, Carvalho D#, Lopez-Tello J+, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Maternal and intrauterine influences on feto-placental growth are accompanied by sexually dimorphic changes in placental mitochondrial respiration, and metabolic signalling pathways. Cells (DOI:
  3. Lopez-Tello J+, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Placental endocrine function and fetal brain development in a mouse model of small for gestational age. Frontiers in Endocrinology (DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1116770)


  1. Sferruzzi-Perri AN+, Lopez-Tello J, Salazar-Petres E. Placental adaptations supporting fetal growth during normal and adverse gestational environments. Experimental Physiology (DOI:
  2. Carvalho D#, Salazar-Petres E#, Lopez-Tello J+, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+.  Maternal and fetal PI3K-p110α deficiency induce sex-specific changes in conceptus growth and placental mitochondrial bioenergetic reserve. Veterinary Sciences (
  3. Lopez-Tello J+#, Salazar-Petres E#, Webb L, Fowden AL, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Ablation of PI3K-p110alpha impairs maternal metabolic adaptations to pregnancy. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (
  4. Lopez-Tello J+, Jimenez-Martinez MA, Salazar-Petres E, Patel R, George AL, Kay RG, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Identification of structural and molecular signatures mediating adaptive changes in the mouse kidney in response to pregnancy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (DOI:
  5. Lopez-Tello J+ & Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Histological analysis of trophoblast cells in the mouse placental labyrinth zone. Methods in Biology (Book chapter – DOI not available yet)
  6. Lopez-Tello J+#, Schofield Z#, Kiu R, Dalby MJ, van Sinderen D, Le Gall G, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+, Hall LJ+.Maternal microbiome Bifidobacterium promotes placental morphogenesis, nutrient transport and fetal growth in mice. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences  (DOI:
  7. Salazar-Petres E, Carvalho D, Lopez-Tello J, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+. Placental mitochondrial function, nutrient transporters, metabolic signalling and steroid metabolism relate to fetal size and sex in mice. Biology of Reproduction (DOI:


  1. Yao S, Lopez-Tello J, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+ (2021) Developmental programming of the female reproductive system - a review. Biology of Reproduction (DOI:
  2. Lopez-Tello J+, Sferruzzi-Perri AN (2021) Fused placentas: Till birth do us part. Placenta (DOI:
  3. Sandovici I+, Georgopoulou A#, Perez-Garcia V#, Hufnagel AS, López-Tello J, Schiefer SN, Santos F, Hoelle K, Lam BYH, Yeo GSH, Burling K, Reiterer M, Fowden AL, Burton GJ, Sferruzzi-Perri AN, Branco CM, Constância M+. The imprinted Igf2-Igf2r axis is critical for matching placental microvasculature expansion to fetal growth. Developmental Cell (


  1. De Clercq K#, López-Tello J#, Voets Vriens J, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+ (2020) Double-label immunohistochemistry to assess labyrinth structure of the mouse placenta with stereology. Placenta (DOI:
  2. González-Bulnes A+, Parraguez VH, Berlinguer F, Barbero A, Garcia-Contreras C, López-Tello J, Pesantez-Pacheco JL, Martinez-Ros P (2020). The impact of prenatal environment on postnatal life and performance: Future perspectives for prevention and treatment. Theriogenology  (DOI:
  3. Sferruzzi-Perri AN+, López-Tello J, Napso T, Yong HE (2020). Exploring the causes and consequences of maternal metabolic maladaptations during pregnancy. Placenta (DOI:


  1.  López-Tello J, Perez-Garcia V, Khiara J, Kusinski L, Cooper W, Andreani A, Grant I, Fernandez-Liger E, Hemberger M, Sandovici I, Constancia M, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+(2019). Fetal and trophoblast PI3Kp110α have distinct roles in regulating resource supply to the growing fetus. eLIFE (DOI: 10.7554/eLife.45282)
  2. López-Tello J+, Arias-Álvarez M, González-Bulnes A, Sferruzzi-Perri AN (2019). Rabbit models for studying intrauterine growth restriction and fetal programming. Molecular Reproduction & Development (DOI: 10.1002/mrd.23271)
  3. Lee CQE, Bailey A, López-Tello J, Sferruzi-Perri AN, Okkenhaug K, Moffett A, Hemberger M, Rossant J (2019). Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling promotes the stem cell state of trophoblast. Stem Cells (DOI:


  1. López-Tello J,  Martínez-Jiménez MA, Herrera EA, Krause BJ, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+ (2018). Progressive uterine artery occlusion leads to defects in placental formation that relate to fetal growth. Placenta (DOI:
  2. Napso T#, Yong HE#, López-Tello J, Sferruzzi-Perri AN+ (2018). The role of placental hormones in mediating maternal adaptations to support pregnancy and lactation. Frontiers in Physiology (DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01091) *Rated exceptional and recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field by F1000 (link).
  3. Ontiveros AE, Benglini CS, López-Tello J+ (2018) Skating through development. Molecular Reproduction & Development (DOI:
  4. Arias-Álvarez M+, García-García RM, López-Tello J, Nieto K, Rebollar PG, Gutiérrez-Adán A, Lorenzo PL (2018) Alpha-tocopherol reduces oxidative stress and apoptosis during rabbit oocyte in vitro maturation. Reproduction, Fertility and Development (DOI:
  5. Rodríguez M, García-García RM, Arias-Álvarez M, Millan P, Febrel N, Formoso-Rafferty N, López-Tello J, Lorenzo PL, Rebollar PG+ (2018) Improvements in the conception rate, milk composition and embryo quality of rabbit does after dietary enrichment with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Animal. (DOI: 10.1017/S1751731117003706)
  6. Balmas E#, Rana B#, Hamilton RS, Shreeve N, Kieckbusch J, Aye I, Hawkes DA, López-Tello J, Yong H, Valenti S, Sferruzi-Perri AN, Gaccioli F, McKenzie ANJ, Francesco Colucci+. Lack of maternal group 2 innate lymphoid cells associated with fetal microcephaly and increased rate of endotoxin-induced abortion in mice. (Available online on Bioarchive server:


  1. López-Tello J+, Arias-Álvarez M, González-Bulnes A, Rebollar PG (2017) Restricción Alimentaria en la Gestación de la Coneja – Revisión de los Últimos Hallazgos. REDVET, vol 8(04)
  2. Rodríguez M, García-García RM, Arias-Álvarez M, Formoso-Rafferty N, Millán P, López-Tello J, Lorenzo PL, González-Bulnes A, Rebollar PG+ (2017) A diet supplemented with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids influences the metabolic and endocrine response of rabbit does and their offspring.  Journal of Animal Science (DOI: 10.2527/jas2017.1429)
  3. Decato BE, López-Tello J, Sferruzzi-Perri AN, Smith AD, Dean MD+ (2017) DNA methylation divergence and tissue specialization in the developing mouse placenta. Molecular Biology and Evolution (


  1. López-Tello J+, Arias-Álvarez M, Martínez-Jiménez MA, García-García RM, Rodríguez M, Lorenzo PL, Bermejo-Poza R, González-Bulnes A, Rebollar PG (2016) Competition for materno-fetal resource partitioning in a rabbit model of undernourished pregnancy. Plos One (DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0169194)
  2. Arias-Álvarez M+, García-García RM, López-Tello J, Rebollar PG, Gutiérrez-Adán A, Lorenzo PL (2016) In vivo and in vitro maturation of rabbit oocyte differently affects the gene expression profile, mitochondrial distribution, apoptosis and early embryo development. Reproduction, Fertility and Development  (DOI:10.1071/RD15553)
  3. Sferruzzi-Perri AN+, López-Tello J, Fowden A, Constancia M (2016) Maternal and fetal genomes interplay through PI3K-p110a signalling to modify placental resource allocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI:10.1073/pnas.1602012113)* Two commentary manuscript about our work in PNAS and Biol Reproduction. Also published in media press Daily Mail UK.
  4. López-Tello J+, Arias-Álvarez M, Rebollar PG (2016) Restricción alimentaria durante la gestación en conejas. ¿Existe un conflicto de intereses entre madre y feto? Boletín de cunicultura (ISSN: 1696-6074-20151215)
  5. López-Tello J, Arias-Álvarez M, Martínez-Jiménez MA, Barbero-Fernández A, García-García RM, Rodríguez M, Lorenzo PL, Torres-Rovira L, Astiz S, González-Bulnes A, Rebollar PG+ (2016) The effects of sildenafil citrate on fetoplacental development and hemodynamics in a rabbit model of intrauterine growth restriction. Reproduction, Fertility and Development (DOI:10.1071/RD15330)


  1. López-Tello J, Barbero-Fernández A, González-Bulnes A, Astiz S, Rodríguez M, Formoso-Rafferty N, Arias-Álvarez M, Rebollar PG+ (2015) Characterization of early changes in fetoplacental hemodynamics in a diet-induced rabbit model of IUGR. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease  (DOI:10.1017/S2040174415001385)


Teaching and Supervisions


VetST IA Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology. Practical demonstrations at dissection room

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Details

+44 (0) 1223 333 882
Email address: