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The crosstalk between brown adipose tissue and islets of Langerhans

Author Valeriia VARTANOVA
Director of thesis Prof Pedro Herrera
Co-director of thesis Dr Daniel Oropeza
Summary of thesis

Pancreas and brown adipose tissue (BAT) are critically important for whole-body energy and glucose homeostasis. Pancreatic α- and β- cells tightly control blood glucose levels by releasing specific hormones. Upon cold or insulin stimulation, BAT utilizes circulating triglycerides and glucose for thermogenesis, consequently lowering the concentration of these molecules in the bloodstream. Recent findings have shown that BAT is present and active in adult humans, which makes this organ interesting for potential obesity and diabetes therapy. Even though BAT and islet cells significantly contribute to maintaining whole-body energy homeostasis, the information about BAT-islet communication is very scarce, especially in the context of severe β -cell loss. Moreover, BAT is a potent endocrine organ, which releases molecules that could potentially target pancreatic islets. The role of BAT-islet communication could be

extremely important for developing new therapeutically approaches however currently this topic has been overlooked. In this project we are planning to gain more insights into the role of BAT in glucose homeostasis under conditions of α- or β- cell loss and potentially identify specific molecules which could mediate BAT-islet interaction.

Status beginning
Administrative delay for the defence 2025