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Using RNA Interference to Study Behaviors and Function Cells Within Adipose Fat Tissue and the Effect on Blood Glucose Metabolism

The Czech Lab contributed RNAi technology to a study published in The Journal of Immunology

Date Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020


Type 2 Diabetes and Adipose Tissue

Type 2 diabetes continues to rise in the United States, and obesity is a growing concern. Nearly three quarters of the U.S. population is categorized as overweight or obese.

Research in the laboratory of Michael Czech, PhD, at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, includes studying the behavior and function of the various cells that make up adipose tissue, with a goal of improving systemic metabolism in obesity. 

The main role of adipose tissue, commonly known as fat, is to store energy.  However, healthy adipose tissue also plays a major role in secreting factors that have beneficial effects on overall body metabolism. Determining the identity of those factors and their role in metabolic control is an active area of investigation. The Czech Lab participated in research recently published in The Journal of Immunology (December 2019) titled “Loss of Antigen Presentation in Adipose Tissue Macrophages or in Adipocytes, but Not Both, Improves Glucose Metabolism.”

“We were pleased to contribute some of our RNAi technology to this study,” said Dr. Czech, professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine at UMass Medical School, and the Isadore and Fannie Foxman Chair of Medical Research. “It helped to define the roles of immune cells versus fat cells in adipose function.”

Identifying molecular mechanisms which disrupt insulin signaling in obesity and type 2 diabetes could lead to the development of therapies to treat both diseases. The findings explained in the article have implications for potentially developing an immune-based strategy to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

Read the full article in The Journal of Immunology.

More Diabetes Center of Excellence News