On October 29, 2015, Prof. Philipp Scherer from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center visited Institute of Biophysics (IBP), CAS and gave a lecture entitled Diabetes, Obesity and the Central Role of the Adipocyte in Maintaining Systemic Homeostasis. This lecture, which is a part of the special lecture series of BEI Shizhang Lecture of IBP, was hosted by Prof. LIU Pingsheng.
Philipp Scherer is currently the professor of Department of Cell Biology, Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the Director of Touchstone Diabetes Research Center, and the Senior Chairman of Gifford O. Touchstone, Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Diabetes Research. Prof. Philipp Scherer currently focuses on the integrated physiology of the adipocyte and the impact on whole body energy homeostasis, inflammation and cancer, and he has a longstanding interest in adipocyte-derived factors (adipokines) and adipocyte. Prof. Philipp Scherer has published more than 340 papers in international well-known journals, which has been cited for more than 34, 000 times, with H factor up to 94.
At the meeting, Prof. Philipp Scherer introduced the importance of adipose tissue for the body's homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Increasing and decreasing the movement of high-calorie food intake led to the current sharp increase in obesity. Obesity increases the risk of insulin resistance, but the molecular mechanism is not clear. It was found that ceramide may be one of the main causes of inducing insulin resistance. Further research found that Adiponectin inhibits ceramide generation and alleviates insulin resistance. Adponectin is an endocrine factor secreted by adipose tissue, which can significantly improve insulin sensitivity of various organs. Adiponectin- knockout mice were significantly increased in liver and blood ceramide, insulin resistance, whereas overexpression of Acid Ceramidase is able to inhibit the high fat diet-induced insulin resistance.
Prof. Philipp Scherer then introduced the latest achievements of fat metabolism made by his laboratory in recent years. By studying inducible LacZ gene adipose tissue-specific transgenic mice, they found that beige cells are not formed by specific differentiated precursor cells, instead of the conversion of mature white adipocytes. At the same time, by inducing adipose tissue-specific C/EBPα gene knockout mice, they found that C/EBPα has neither effects on beige fat development nor embryonic development, but will affect adult mice lipogenesis.
Prof. Philipp Scherer gave the lecture with vivid words, rigorous logic and great passion, which could be a lively lesson for the audience. After the lecture, Prof. Philipp Scherer and the audience shared their views on the issues of common interest.