Physiological relevance of white adipose tissue plasticity and its relationship to the development of obesity

Sufficient plasticity of white adipose tissue allows to adjust appropriately various metabolic processes in response to changing environmental conditions. Metabolic plasticity of adipose tissue is linked with changes in the size and content of cells within the tissue. A hypothesis will be verified that adipose tissue plasticity, namely the proliferative potential of adipose tissue cells, represents an important factor counteracting toxic effects of fatty acids that are released during the breakdown of lipid stores. Reduced ability of the organism to activate these processes could contribute to the  development of obesity and its metabolic consequences.

Preliminary  results obtained in a mouse model of obesity resistance (inbred strain A/J) and obesity susceptibility (strain C57BL/6J) suggest the role of adipose tissue plasticity in the prevention of obesity in response to omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fat burning during exposure to cold. Mice of these two strains will be used in new experiments aimed to:

  1. characterize cellular plasticity of adipose tissue during  intake of omega-3 fatty acids or cold exposure;
  2. assess the link between angiogenesis and adipogenesis during adipose tissue remodelling;
  3. analyze the immune response and the role of adipose tissue macrophages during adipose tissue remodelling.

Supported by the CSF project no. 16-05151S (2016-2018, PI: Jan Kopecký, MD., DSc., IPHYS – Pavel Flachs, PhD. served as the PI on the project at its beginning).