Deranged adipose tissue proliferation and differentiation are important hallmarks of these metabolic disorders, however, comparatively little is known, how these processes influence the development of metabolic disorders. The aim of our group is to identify adipocyte precursor populations for both white and brown adipose tissue in vivo and furthermore, to elucidate how adipose tissue proliferation and differentiation affects the progression of metabolic disorders.
In our laboratory we use a translational approach from mice to men to elucidate these molecular mechanisms which are the underlying cause of altered adipocyte differentiation and maturation in different models of obesity associated metabolic disorders. Special emphasis is given to the analysis of gene expression, postranslational modifications and lipid molecular species composition in mice models and human patients. By monitoring preadipocyte differentiation of white and brown adipose tissue in vivo, we are able to identify signals that induce or inhibit adipogenesis, thereby linking the influence of genetic and environmental contributions to the progression of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders.