May 3, 2022
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Prof. Dr. Christian Wolfrum
Head of BSc Health Sciences and Technology
Head of BSc Human Medicine
Head of MSc Health Sciences and Technology
"Adipose tissue plasticity and its role in shaping metabolism"
Excess adipose tissue, as observed in obesity, poses a significant risk for the development of multiple disorders, ranging from cardiovascular complications to certain types of cancers, to name but two. While most studies in the past have focused on the link between adipose tissue mass and metabolic health, work in recent years has clearly demonstrated that adipose tissue quality is similarly an important determinant of metabolic control. So far adipose tissue quality is broadly assessed by depot localization and the average size of the adipocyte. Recently, the content of thermogenic brown and brite/beige adipocytes has been shown to stratify the patient’s health status independent of the overall adipose tissue mass.
Only in the last years through the advances in single cell and nucleus sequencing technologies has it become clear that adipose tissue on the level of the mature adipocyte is much more complex than previously envisaged, suggesting that the heterogeneity and plasticity of different adipocyte populations might define adipose tissue quality. Thus, identification of other adipose subtypes might reveal new targets to treat both obesity as well as the associated co-morbidities.
The presentation will focus on the recent advances in deconvoluting adipose tissue heterogeneity and plasticity and on the role that specific adipocyte subpopulations play in regulating energy metabolism, either through catabolic processes linked to uncoupled and coupled thermogenesis or through paracrine regulation of adipose tissue function.