Adaptive responses to immuno-metabolic dysregulations

Research Projects

In most industrialized countries, obesity has become epidemic, resulting in a dramatic rise of associated pathologies (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and several forms of cancer).

Growing evidence supports that the common denominator of these pathologic conditions is obesity induced low-grade inflammation.

Our team’s research efforts concentrate on the interplay between immunological and metabolic processes which has recently been defined as immunome­tabolism; an emerging field of investigation at the interface between the historically distinct disciplines of immunology and metabolism.

More specifically, our research focuses on the recently described role of adipose tissue T cells in the development of obesity-associated insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.

In particular, we are investigating the role of the ligand-activated nuclear receptor transcription factor Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Beta (PPARbeta) in T cell biology in this context.

We use both in vitro and in vivo models to study the role of PPARbeta in T cell proliferation/polarization, metabolism, mitochondria biogenesis/function, and oxidative stress.

From these studies, we anticipate to obtain a better knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms implicated in metabolic dysfunctions in obese/insulin resistant patients and to identify new targets for novel therapeutic approaches.

Figure: T cell staining (CD3) showing adipose tissue from an obese mouse with several adipocytes surrounded by T cells.

Team Publications