Image 1. The single-cell transcriptome atlas of the brown adipose tissue illustrates the diverse cellular landscape of the thermogenic adipose niche
Image 2. Brown adipocytes derived from progenitors expressing the Trpv1 receptor are labeled with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and are found in the brown adipose tissue of mice exposed to cold temperature.
The adipose tissue plays a central role in the regulation of energy homeostasis and is, therefore, a major contributor to the pathophysiology of obesity and metabolic diseases. Adipose tissue depots house a wide array of cell types interacting to maintain tissue function and homeostasis through extensive cellular crosstalk. However, the intercellular dialogues in the adipose niche and how they coordinate the response to the fluctuating nutritional status and metabolic demand are mostly unknown.
The research in the Shamsi laboratory aims to systematically identify the intercellular communications in the highly specialized adipose niche and understand the roles of cellular crosstalks and niche factors in the regulation of adipose tissue development and remodeling. We blend discovery-based systems approaches, hypothesis-driven molecular and cell biology, and mammalian physiology to obtain integrated, high-resolution insights into the adipose niche. These will delineate cellular plasticity and crosstalks involved in making synchronized decisions, aging, and obesity-induced dysfunction in the adipose niche. In-depth characterization of cellular interactions in mouse and human adipose tissue and understanding how they become dysregulated in obesity will inform the design of novel targeted therapies for the treatment of obesity and metabolic diseases.