EU Life Lecture - Lean on Body Neurons
Dr Ana Domingos from IGC.
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, yet it has unmet medical need. Norepinephrine (NE) activates adrenergic receptors in adipocytes to trigger fat break down (lipolysis). However, the source of NE that mediates depletion of white adipose mass has remained unclear. By using by intra-vital two-photon microscopy my lab has discovered that sympathetic neurons, which release NE, can envelop adipocytes, creating neuro-adipose junctions. Local optogenetic stimulation of these sympathetic inputs is sufficient to induce a local lipolytic response with depletion of white adipose mass. Conversely, temporally controlled genetic ablation of sympathetic neurons rapidly precipitates obesity in an irreversible way, despite normal food intake. In particular, the lipolythic effect of leptin is mediated by sympathetic neuro-adipose junctions. Thus direct activation of sympathetic inputs to adipose tissues could represent a new strategy for the induction of fat loss that would circumvent central leptin resistance.
EU-LIFE is an alliance of European life science research centers that have joined forces to support, collaborate and strengthen scientific research in Europe, working together to achieve advancement and further understanding in Life Sciences.
The growing consortium currently consists of 13 partner Institutes and over 7,000 scientific staff with the Babraham Institute, currently the only UK representative, joining in 2013.
As part of the collaboration, the Babraham Institute are now proud to host a series of lectures to highlight and support the latest research from fellow members.
Dr Patrick Varga-Weisz
The Brian Heap Seminar Room