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Gina Yosten, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Pharmacological and Physiological Science


G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most abundant receptor family encoded by the human genome.  They are involved in all aspects of mammalian cellular life, and are extraordinarily diverse both in terms of ligands and biological function. GPCRs can bind to peptides, lipids, and react to photons; and they play a role in various cellular and physiological processes, including cell motility, metabolism, and visual perception.  In particular, GPCRs play essential roles in the central nervous system, including neurotransmission and neuronal metabolism, as well as in energy homeostasis, including modulation of insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. Within the GPCR superfamily is a subgroup of GPCRs, identified by molecular cloning and bioinformatics, for which the ligands are unknown. I have developed a simple, yet effective strategy that utilizes a combination of in vitro pharmacology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, to match these “orphan” GPCRs with their cognate ligands. Using this strategy, I have matched two orphan GPCRs with their ligands–GPR107 with the neuropeptide neuronostatin, and GPR146 with the connecting peptide, or C-peptide, of pro-insulin.  My overall goals are to 1) evaluate the roles of GPCRs in diabetes-associated microvascular dysfunction, and 2) understand the roles of GPCRs in the central circuits underlying obesity-associated hypertension.


Salvatori, A.S., Elrick, M.M. Corbett, J.A., Samson, W.K.,and Yosten, G.L.C. (2014) Neuronostatin inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin secretion via a direct action on the pancreatic alpha cell.  Accepted, American Journal of Physiology. PMID: 24735892.

Kolar, G.R., Elrick, M.M., and Yosten, G.L.C. (2014) G protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling: Implications for the Treatment of Diabetes and its Complications (Invited Review).  Accepted, OA Evidence-Based Medicine, London.

Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2014) Neural circuitry underlying the central hypertensive action of nesfatin-1: melanocortins, corticotropin releasing hormone and oxytocin.  Accepted, American Journal of Physiology. PMID: 24598461.

Liu, J., Yosten, G.L.C.,  Zhang, D., Ji, H., Zheng, W., Bajaj, B., Speth, R. C., Samson, W.K., and Sandberg, K. (2014) Selective inhibition of angiotensin receptor signaling through Erk1/2 pathway by a novel peptide.  American Journal of Physiology, 25: 1290-1297. PMID: 24523339.

Pate, A.T., Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2013) Compromise of endogenous neuropeptide W production abrogates the dipsogenic and pressor effects of angiotensin II in adult, male rats.  Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 25(12): 1290-1297. PMID: 24028220.

Pate, A.T., Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2013) Neuropeptide W increases mean arterial pressure as a result of behavioral arousal.  American Journal of Physiology, 305(7): R804-R810. PMID: 23926134.

Yosten, G.L.C., Kolar, G.R., Redlinger, L.J., and Samson, W.K. (2013) Evidence for an interaction between proinsulin C-peptide and GPR146.  Journal of Endocrinology, 218(2): B1-8. PMID: 23980258.

Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2013) Cardiovascular and antidiposgenic effects of nesfatin-1.  Review.  Current Pharmaceutical Design, Accepted. PMID: 23537087.

Yosten, G.L.C., Lyu, R.M., Hsueh, A.J., Chang, J.K., Tullock, C.W., Dun, S.L., Dun, N., and Samson, W.K. (2013) A novel reproductive peptide, phoenixin.  Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 25(2): 206-215. PMID: 22963497.

Yosten, G.L.C., Redlinger, L.J., and Samson, W.K. (2012) Evidence for an interaction of neuronostatin with the orphan G protein coupled receptor GPR107.  American Journal of Physiology, 303(9): R941-R949. PMID: 22933024.

Yosten, G.L.C., Redlinger, L.J., and Samson, W.K. (2012) Evidence for a role of endogenous nesfatin-1 in the control of water drinking.  Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 24(7):1078-84. PMID: 22375892.

Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2012) Pressor doses of vasopressin result in only transient elevations in plasma peptide levels.  Peptides, 33(2):342-5. PMID: 22227112.

Yosten, G.L.C., Pate, A.T., and Samson, W.K. (2011) Neuronostatin acts in brain to biphasically increase mean arterial pressure through sympatho-activation followed by vasopressin secretion: the role of melanocortin receptors.  American Journal of Physiology, 300(5):R1194-9. PMID: 21325646.

Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2010) The melanocortins, not oxytocin, mediate the anorexigenic and antidispsogenic effects of neuronostatin.  Peptides, 31(9):1711-5. PMID: 20600426.

Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2010) The anorexigenic and hypertensive effects of nesfatin-1 are reversed by pretreatment with an oxytocin receptor antagonist.  American Journal of Physiology, 298(6):R1642-7. PMID: 20335376.

Yosten, G.L.C., and Samson, W.K. (2009) Nesfatin-1 exerts cardiovascular actions in brain:  possible interaction with the central melanocortin system.  American Journal of Physiology, 297(2):R330-6. PMID: 19474390.

Samson, W.K., Zhang, J.V., Avsian-Kretchmer, O., Cui, K., Yosten, G.L.C., Klein, C., Lyu, R., Wang, Y.X., Chen, X.Q., Yang, J., Price C.J., Hoyda, T.D., Ferguson, A.V., Yuan, X., Chang, J.K., Hsueh, A.J.W. (2008) Neuronostatin encoded by the somatostatin gene induces c-fos in brain/gut tissues and regulates neuronal and metabolic functions.  Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283(46):31949-59. PMID: 18753129.

Samson, W.K., Yosten, G. L. C., Chang, J.K., Ferguson, A.V., and White, M.M. (2008) Obestatin inhibits vasopressin secretion: evidence for a physiological action in the control of fluid homeostasis.  Journal of Endocrinology, 196(3):559-64. PMID: 18310451.

Berkowitz, A., Yosten, G.L.C., and Ballard, R.M. (2006) Soma-dendritic morphology predicts physiology for neurons that contribute to several kinds of limb movements.  Journal of Neurophysiology, 95(5):2821-31. PMID: 16452255.

Honors and Awards

2001 Jane A. Quade Scholarship in Zoology (Univ of Oklahoma)

2002 Rita Lottinville Prize for Community Service and Scholarship (Univ of Oklahoma)

2003 Golden Key International Honor Society, New Member Award (Univ of Oklahoma)

2004 Phi Beta Kappa

2009 University of Missouri Cardiovascular Day Award Winner, Second Place

2009 APS Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Recognition Award

2010 Finalist, The Endocrine Society Presidential Poster Competition

2011 APS Mead Johnson Award in Endocrinology and Metabolism

2011 Glenn I. Hatton Award (World Congress on Neurohypophyseal Hormones)

2011 ADVANCE Future Faculty Workshop Selectee (NSF Sponsored Program)

2011 Gender Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease Travel Award (APS)

2012 APS Endocrinology and Metabolism Virendra B. Mahesh Award of Excellence in Endocrinology

2012 MARC Travel Award to attend the 2012 NIGMS Postdoc Workshop at the NIH

2012 University of Missouri Cardiovascular Day Poster Competition, First Place

2012 Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award

2013 American Physiological Society IUPS Travel Award

2014 Star Reviewer, American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Phys

Editorial Boards

2012-present  International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

2013-present  American Journal of Neuroscience Research

Professional Organizations and Associations

Societal Memberships

American Physiological Society

American Heart Association

Endocrine Society

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Faculty of 1000, Contributing Faculty Member

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Golden Key International Honor Society

Societal Committees

2010-2013 American Physiological Society (APS) Science Policy Committee

2012-present American Physiological Society Joint Program Committee

2012-present FASEB Training Subcommittee

2013-present APS Endocrinology and Metabolism Section Steering Committee