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Adipocyte Differentiation and Metabolic Functions in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes (AdipoDif)
Start date: Jul 1, 2008, End date: Jun 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Obesity associated disorders such as T2D, hypertension and CVD, commonly referred to as the “metabolic syndrome”, are prevalent diseases of industrialized societies. Deranged adipose tissue proliferation and differentiation contribute significantly to the development of these metabolic disorders. Comparatively little however is known, about how these processes influence the development of metabolic disorders. Using a multidisciplinary approach, I plan to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying the altered adipocyte differentiation and maturation in different models of obesity associated metabolic disorders. Special emphasis will be given to the analysis of gene expression, postranslational modifications and lipid molecular species composition. To achieve this goal, I am establishing several novel methods to isolate pure primary preadipocytes including a new animal model that will allow me to monitor preadipocytes, in vivo and track their cellular fate in the context of a complete organism. These systems will allow, for the first time to study preadipocyte biology, in an in vivo setting. By monitoring preadipocyte differentiation in vivo, I will also be able to answer the key questions regarding the development of preadipocytes and examine signals that induce or inhibit their differentiation. Using transplantation techniques, I will elucidate the genetic and environmental contributions to the progression of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. Furthermore, these studies will integrate a lipidomics approach to systematically analyze lipid molecular species composition in different models of metabolic disorders. My studies will provide new insights into the mechanisms and dynamics underlying adipocyte differentiation and maturation, and relate them to metabolic disorders. Detailed knowledge of these mechanisms will facilitate development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of obesity and associated metabolic disorders.
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