2021 Translational Discovery Series 1 - CRISPR-Enhanced Adipocyte Browning: A Cell Therapy Approach to Treat Metabolic Disease

Join Michael Czech, PhD as he discusses adipose tissue "browning" as a treatment for metabolic disease, and presents recent data using light sheet microscopy to visualize functional changes in adipose tissue depots.

Adipose tissue is central to metabolic health and its disruption in obesity and type 2 diabetes causes havoc with normal body processes. In lean people, white adipocytes sequester fat away from other tissues where it can be toxic, while brown or beige adipocytes rapidly remove fat by metabolic oxidation. In addition, healthy white, beige and brown adipocytes act as endocrine cells by secreting factors beneficial to other tissues. However, pharmaceutical approaches to restore these therapeutic features of adipose tissue function in obesity and diabetes have had limited success.

In this presentation, Michael Czech, PhD shows how imaging adipose tissue depots from mice under various conditions by light sheet microscopy has illuminated changes in their function. Data are presented on the advancement of a novel CRISPR-based approach to enhance the “browning” and therapeutic efficacy of human adipocytes when implanted into humanized mice. Analysis of adipose implants by light sheet microscopy also adds to the wealth of data obtained on this cell therapy approach to alleviate obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Key Topics Include:

*Visualization of adipose tissue cell compositions and morphology in 3D by light sheet microscopy

*Understanding how adipose tissue functions to control whole body metabolism

*Learning CRISPR methods for gene modification in adipocytes with high efficiency

*Learning methods of adipocyte implantation in “humanized” mice to alleviate diabetes