The presence of fat cells outside the fat tissue disrupts metabolism and promotes the development of complications such as type 2 diabetes. By describing the underlying mechanism, based on the release of adipocyte precursors from subcutaneous tissue, researchers identified a biomarker potential for individual diabetes risk.
The presence of fat cells (or adipocytes) in tissues other than fat tissue is abnormal. It is even known to be harmful to metabolism, with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in overweight or obese people. Until now, it has been accepted that these “ectopic” adipocytes were derived from local precursors. But researchers at StromaLab* in Toulouse have just described that this abnormal presence is set up at a distance, from adipocyte precursors – adipocyte stromal cells (ASCs) – released by subcutaneous adipose tissue and able to migrate, for example, into skeletal muscle tissue.
Reproducing human fat tissue in the laboratory? This is now possible thanks to a research team bringing together Inserm, CNRS, Toulouse III-Paul-Sabatier University, the French Blood Establishment and the Toulouse National Veterinary School (ENVT) within the STROMALab laboratory. This team has developed – via 3-dimensional culture – small cellular units that mimic the characteristics and organization of adipose tissue as it appears in vivo: the organoids of adipose tissue or “adipospheres”. In their article in Scientific Reports, the researchers detail the different stages of the experimental conditions necessary to obtain these adipospheres from human cells. This innovation could make it possible, in particular, to study pathologies associated with the dysfunction of this tissue such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, but also to develop new drugs to treat these diseases.
The presence of ectopic adipocytes in the muscle is known to be detrimental to the metabolism. Until now it has been accepted that these fat cells came from the maturation of a local population of fat progenitors. This study published in Cell Reports shows that in mice in a context of caloric overload, subcutaneous adipose tissue abnormally releases adipose progenitors migrating to muscle, which participate in the formation of ectopic adipocytes and associated metabolic damage.
Adipose tissue has a remarkable plasticity that allows it to adapt to large variations in energy storage. This capacity, based on the increase in the size and number of adipocytes, is however limited and in a prolonged situation of energy imbalance it is frequent to observe an accumulation of lipids called “ectopic” because not associated with adipose tissue. This is particularly the case in skeletal muscle where, in addition to the appearance of small lipid droplets within the muscle fibres, real fat cells form between the muscle fibres and are associated with metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance.
Researchers, clinicians, economic actors all present at the 1st day #INSPIRE at the regional hotel. A structuring project of unmatched scale on ageing and the prevention of dependency supported by the Occitania region. STROMALab is a key partner in the project.
Once again, StromaLab met with great success with INSERM on its stand at Futurapolis 2018 in Toulouse. Despite the blockages and other disruptions in the city, many of you were curious about the research world, and asked us many questions! It is always a pleasure, and in a way, a duty, to share the knowledge we have gained from our research activities.
Thank you again to all of you and do not hesitate to consult our agenda regularly to know where and when to come to meet us.
In most mammals, the scarring process is fast-paced but alters the normal functioning of the tissue, unlike regeneration. In a study published in August 2018 in Scientific Reports, a team from the StromaLab laboratory (UMR 1031 – UT3 Paul Sabatier/EFS/ENVT/Inserm/ERL CNRS 5311), shows that the painkillers currently used are leading tissue repair towards scar healing and not regeneration. These results question about the actual pain relief strategy.
Regeneration is a complex biological process that allows an organism to restore a damaged tissue close to its original state. While spectacular examples exist in nature, such as the salamander capable of re-forming an entire limb after its amputation, regeneration in adult mammals is an exceptional phenomenon. In the vast majority of cases, the repair of an organ following a massive injury leads to scar healing that will frequently be associated with functional loss. From an evolutionary point of view, the scarring process leads more quickly to the reconstitution of a barrier against subsequent aggressions compared to the regeneration process.
The science village has finally closed its doors and the whole team thanks you for your interest and curiosity.
Our stand was almost full all week and it was a real pleasure to welcome you, to answer all your questions and sometimes even to awaken vocations!
To give you an idea of the success of our stand, here is a list of the feedback we received (not exhaustive, a more complete one can be found here):
- Our stand was one of the “must-see” of the event according to “La dépèche du midi”! (text in french)
- Inserm quoted us in its review of ESOF 2018 (text in french).
- A local webTV channel, ViaOccitania, interviewed us (audio in french, subtitles unavailable).
- Teresa fernandez, PhD in Sweden and project manager who wants to invite us for a scientific popularization event.
- As you will see in the photos below, we received the visit of the Minister of Research and Higher Education, the Mayor and his deputies and Armelle Barelli (regional delegate INSERM)
- Several specialized journalists and international bloggers also came to see us
In February 2017, the Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament (ANSM) issued 3 Primo-Conformities to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) of Status A at the end of a non-clinical Multisite study involving academic and private Toulouse establishments.
As part of the Toulouse regenerative medicine field, included in the Regional Innovation Strategy, STROMALab and LabHPEC (Laboratoire d’HistoPathologie Expérimentale et Comparée) are embarking on the GLP adventure to conduct non-clinical regulatory trials for cell therapies. These actors take on board with them two other organisations, one academic (CREFRE, Inserm’s zootechnics service) and the other private (Scanelis, PCR analysis laboratory). The study carried out is a biodistribution and toxicity study of ASC (mesenchymal stem cells originated from fat) which was sponsored by STROMAlab as part of the ECellFrance platform (future investment financing).
Big success last night at the’ Mini Chercheurs’ stand of the Stromalab team where children (but also adults) came to meet the researchers.
Young aspiring “researchers” were able to discover how to obtain mesenchymal stem cells with powerful and varied therapeutic properties from adipose tissue.
The program: handling of the mouse stuffed animals, whose “operation” allowed the extraction of fat tissue, followed by a centrifugal passage to collect the stem cells to be grown in an oven before injecting them into a sick heart. Not to mention, of course, the careful and indispensable observation of our precious cells under the microscope.