Adipocytes are highly specialized cells that play a crucial role in energy balance of most vertebrates by providing the ability to synthesize and deposit fat during times of positive energy balance in preparation for periods of food deprivation. In modern society, however, excess adipose tissue leading to obesity with its associated diseases such as diabetes is a major health problem.
With excess energy intake, there is an increase in lipogenesis and storage of triacylglycerol (TAG) in adipose tissue, that causes enlarged adipocytes (hypertrophy). In addition, precursor cells, preadipocytes, are recruited to become adipocytes, increasing adipocyte number (hyperplasia). Elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying these two processes, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of adipocytes, is critical for understanding obesity and its associated diseases. The long-term goals in our laboratory are to understand (1) adipocyte TAG metabolism that contributes to increased TAG storage and adipocyte size and (2) adipocyte differentiation process that contributes to increased adipocyte number.
Our laboratory is located in the Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley.
219 Morgan Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3104
510-642-3978 / fax 510-642-0535