Navigation Links
NIH awards $8 million to UT Southwestern to study metabolism, obesity-related inflammation
Date:9/14/2010

DALLAS Sept. 14, 2010 An $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will enable UT Southwestern Medical Center to investigate how fat tissue "talks" to the brain and the liver to promote inflammation-related disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

The five-year grant takes advantage of expertise across the UT Southwestern campus, including faculty in the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, the division of hypothalamic research, and the departments of molecular genetics, internal medicine, and pharmacology.

"We're excited about tackling the complexity of how adipose [fat] tissue, the brain and the liver talk to each other and how this cross talk affects metabolism and inflammation," said Dr. Philipp Scherer, director of the Touchstone Center and principal investigator of the new project. "Getting this grant validates that the UT Southwestern metabolism group is doing state-of-the-art science."

In 2007, the Task Force for Obesity Research at UT Southwestern (TORS) received a $22 million NIH grant to enhance the institution's groundbreaking obesity research.

Dr. Scherer said that while there is clearly synergy with the TORS grant, this new effort is unique because it is specifically focused on phenomena related to inflammation, considered an underlying cause of metabolic disorders in humans.

"We're especially interested in understanding how the brain and the liver influence inflammation and how inflammation influences metabolism within other organs. Those are just a few of the questions our team plans to tackle," Dr. Scherer said.

Large fat cells are a particular area of focus, Dr. Scherer said, because they typically lead to increased cell death and systemic insulin resistance. Under normal circumstances, fat cells continue to grow until the extracellular matrix they've built around themselves is so strong that it's no longer flexible. Once that happens, the cells become inflamed and may contribute to the development of diabetes and heart disease.

"Our research benefits from a multidisciplinary approach and a willingness to share diverse expertise in working toward a common goal," he said. "Models generated for one project are pivotal for the other projects, just as the physiological or molecular expertise of one project leader will be critical to the success of future projects."

The five laboratories involved in the project will work individually on two common areas: identifying the critical sites of action for lipid-related inflammation in the periphery of the body as well as the brain, and identifying the biochemical signals that take place in the body after exposure to high-fat, lipid-rich foods. Lipids encompass a broad group of naturally occurring molecules, including fats, fatty acids and cholesterol.

Dr. Scherer said the team hypothesizes that the vagus nerve, which stretches from the brain stem into the abdomen, acts as a key link between the liver and the molecules involved in metabolism, such as hormones and lipids. Activation of this nerve affects parts of the brain associated with feeding and control of basic functions like heart rate and blood pressure.

The researchers also speculate, based on prior findings, that sensory neurons found within this nerve might be equipped to serve as a link between adipose tissue and the liver.

The award also will enable the researchers to characterize which genes are active in these vagus sensory neurons, Dr. Scherer said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
kristen.hollandshear@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. NSF awards stem cell bio-manufacturing research and education program to Georgia Tech
2. Penns Positive Psychology Center awards $2.9 million for research
3. Susan G. Komen awards Case Western Reserve nearly $500,000 to study breast cancer in older women
4. NIH awards Scripps Florida scientists $2.3 Million to develop drug addiction treatments
5. AOSSM presents prestigious research awards at annual meeting
6. Solar Eclipz's Portable Umbrella And Canopy Curtain, Called The ezShade, Wins Coveted Outstanding Product Award From Disney Owned iParenting Media Awards
7. Outstanding high school students receive AGA Foundation 2010 Student Research Fellowship Awards
8. Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards $3.1M to 8 top young clinical investigators
9. Parkinsons Disease Foundation announces research awards totaling $1.2 million
10. Nominations Wanted for Vascular Disease Foundation President's Awards
11. Dorland Health People Awards Accepting Entries through Friday, June 25, 2010
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... STAT courier is pleased ... a convenient service for Texas, they are expanding their presence in Dallas. One of ... spree that will bring new jobs to the Dallas and Forth Worth market. STAT ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Vida Health, the digital ... B led by Canvas Ventures . Other investors include Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) ... platform to serve more consumers who are managing chronic conditions or simply ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp ... in and around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event ... mission of the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... families and business owners in and around central Kansas, is joining the Youth ... youth in the region. , Headquartered in Wichita, Youth Horizons works to empower ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Kenall Manufacturing, a leader ... MedMaster™ MPCNGX . The MPCNGX is a multi-function, sealed, LED luminaire that meets the ... light where and when it’s needed. , A 2’ x 4’ model ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 According to a new ... BP, Sleep, Fetal), Therapeutic (Pain, Insulin)), End Use (Sports, Fitness, RPM), Type ... by MarketsandMarkets, the global market, in terms of value, is projected to ... a CAGR of 18.0% during the forecast period. ... ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Mass. , Dec. 8, 2016  Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE: ... NextGen DMS (Donor Management System), an innovative software suite designed ... The launch of NextGen DMS 4 improves ... including: reducing the cost per liter of plasma collected, enhancing ... improve plasma center operations. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... BEIJING , and SAN DIEGO , ... genomic services and solutions with cutting edge next-generation sequencing and ... biotechnology company; and the Genome Institute of ... (NovogeneAIT) – a new joint venture between Novogene and AITbiotech ... at Biopolis, Singapore .   ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: