In the last decade the obesity has increased at an alarming rate throughout the world, including in Brazil. The excess of adipose tissue is the main risk factor associated with the development of several pathologies in obese individuals, such as diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular diseases. For a long time, the white adipose tissue (WAT) has been described as a reserve energy tissue. On the other hand, the brown adipose tissue (BAT) presents opposite actions to those of the WAT due to its high thermogenic activity. However, several recent studies have shown that WAT cells after certain stimuli can differentiate into brown and beige adipocytes, through the process known as browning, resulting in increased energy consumption and reduced risk of metabolic diseases associated to obesity. In this sense, several studies carried out in the last decade aim to identify the mechanisms involved in the browning of WAT in order to develop new strategies for the treatment of diseases associated with obesity.In parallel, several studies have revealed that numerous miRNAs are directly involved in various metabolic alterations, such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, adipogenesis and browning of WAT. In fact, recently we have observed that miRNA-22 expression is increased in the epididymal adipose tissue of obese mice, and loss of miRNA-22 attenuated the adipose tissue gain induced by high-fat diet feeding (FAPESP process: 2015/21859-5; Diniz, et al. 2017). However, the possible mechanisms by which miRNA-22 contributes to the increase of WAT induced by obesity are not fully understood. In this sense, the present project aims to characterize the contribution of miRNA-22 in the adipogenesis and in the browning of WAT.
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