Sanna Lensu

Researcher, PhD


Contact information

Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

room: VIV222

P.O.Box 35

FIN-40014 University of Jyväskylä, FINLAND

Tel. +358-40-8053 733

e-mail: sanna.t.k.lensu(at)


Education / Employment


* 1998               MSc Applied Zoology and Veterinary Medicine, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland

 * 1998-2001    University of Kuopio, Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Kuopio, Finland

 * 2001-2007    National Institute for Health and Welfare, Department of Environmental Health, Kuopio, Finland

 * 2008-2009    University of Kuopio, Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Kuopio, Finland

 * 2010             National Institute for Health and Welfare & grants, Kuopio & Jyväskylä, Finland

*  2015             PhD in Toxicology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

* 2011-2017     Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

 * 2017-2018    Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

* 2018 -            Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland    


Research Activities

Currently I am studying the gut-brain -pathway, in the project of Academy Research Fellow, docent Satu Pekkala

I have also studied the role of hippocampal dental spikes in learning, the project of Academy Research Fellow, docent Miriam Nokia.

I have been involved in many research projects of prof. Kainulainen:

* Active, Fit and Smart, AFIS-research project; Clarifying the links between physical activity and learning, funded by Academy of Finland

SHOK-funded research project 'Eliksiirit'; Studying the effects of whey protein supplementation and voluntary running (in vivo)  on various functional and metabolic outcomes  

* EU-FP7 funded research project 'Metapredict'; Functional and metabolic effects of high intensity training (HIT),  endurance exercise and voluntary running in vivo            


* For my PhD I have studied the effects of one of the most toxic environmental contaminant, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) exposure. Studies included mechanistic and behavioural studies of TCDD-toxicity. 

Experimens were done at THL, Dept. of Environmental Health (previously KTL) and 

at University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio (Clinical Research Unit, Neurology and Neuroscience & Pharmacology and Toxicology), 

in collaboration with University of Helsinki, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. 


Recent Publications

*      Brook MS, Wilkinson DJ, Mitchell WK, Lund JL, Phillips BE, Sweczyk NJ, Kainulainen H, Lensu S, Koch LG, Britton SL, Greenhaff PL, Smith K, Atherton PJ. A novel D2O tracer method to quantify RNA turnover as a biomarker of de novo ribosomal biogenesis, in vitro, in animal models, and in human skeletal muscle. 2017. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 313(6): E681-E689. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00157.2017.

 *      Pekkala S, Lensu S, Nokia M, Vanhatalo S, Koch LG, Britton SL, Kainulainen H. Intrinsic aerobic capacity governs the associations between gut microbiota composition and fat metabolism age-dependently in rat siblings. 2017. Genomics, 49(12): 733-746. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00081.2017

 *      Karvinen SM, Silvennoinen M, Ma H, Törmäkangas T, Rantalainen T, Rinnankoski-Tuikka R, Lensu S, Koch LG, Britton SL, Kainulainen H. Voluntary running aids to maintain high body temperature in rats bred for high aerobic capacity. Front. Physiol. 7: 311. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00311.

*     Nokia MS, Lensu S, Ahtiainen JP, Johansson PP, Koch LG, Britton SL, Kainulainen H. 2016. Physical exercise increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in male rats provided it is aerobic and sustained. J Physiol, 594: 1855–1873. doi:10.1113/JP271552.

 *    Houlahan KE , Prokopec SD, Moffat ID, Lindén J, Lensu S, Okey AB, Pohjanvirta R, Boutros PC. Transcriptional profiling of rat hypothalamus response to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. 2015. Toxicology, 328: 93 - 101. doi: