📰 Why the fat in our body has more to offer than we think

2023-10-02 04:00:05

Although fat does not get a good press, it nevertheless remains essential to the proper functioning of our body. Since 2009 and the discovery of new types of adipose tissue in humans, brown and beige, biological research in this area has accelerated. White adipose tissue (adipose tissue (fat mass)) represents more than 95% of the fat masses in the body. It is he who participates in the regulation of energy metabolism in storing and releasing the energy (In the common sense energy refers to anything that allows us to carry out work, make energy, etc.) that we need to live.
Image d’illustration Pixabay

Brown adipose tissue has a completely different role: it participates in adaptive thermogenesis. In other words, it allows stored energy to be dissipated in the form of heat and thus regulates body temperature. However, it has been found that it malfunctions in patients suffering from obesity (Obesity is the state of a person, or an animal, suffering from hypertrophy of…) but also sometimes during aging (The notion of aging describes one or more diminishing functional modifications…). It then appears as an object of study and a major therapeutic target.

Given its low quantity in the body, stimulating the conversion of white adipose tissues into beige tissues, whose properties are very close to those of brown ones, is the preferred avenue for scientists. Until now, in vitro study models were limited to classic two-dimensional cell cultures (in common sense, the notion of dimension refers to size; the dimensions of a room, etc.), in Petri dishes, very far from reproducing the three-dimensional and complex context of the tissue in vivo. On the other hand, animal-based models do not exhibit the same physiology of these tissues as humans.

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The multidisciplinary collaboration of the teams involved in the scientific study allowed the development of a unique tissue engineering process to generate Pre-vascularized human beige adipose tissue organoids of variable dimensions. Organoids are increasingly used in medical research (Medical research is divided into fundamental and clinical research.) to manufacture models capable of mimicking the physiology of human tissues by reproducing their complexity (Complexity is a notion used in philosophy , structural epistemology (by…) and their cellular variety. They can be used both for the development of in vitro tests as an alternative to animal experimentation (Animal experimentation consists of using animals as models, to better… .) only for their transplantation for therapeutic purposes.

By developing an appropriate biochemical and biomechanical microenvironment through the use of hydrogel and defined inducing growth factors, scientists have developed a unique engineering process necessary for the emergence of organoids of millimeter-sized adipose tissues, as well as centimeter-sized micro-tissues. This work was the subject of two patents.


Scalable Generation of Pre-Vascularized and Functional Human Beige Adipose Organoids
Mélanie Escudero, Laurence Vaysse, Gozde Eke, Marion Peyrou, Francesc Villarroya, Sophie Bonnel, Yannick Jeanson, Louisa Boyer, Christophe Vieu, Benoit Chaput, Xi Yao, Frédéric Deschaseaux, Mélissa Parny, Isabelle Raymond-Letron, Christian Dani, Audrey Carrière, Laurent Malaquin and Louis Casteilla. Advanced Science, September 21, 2023.

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