Dr. Kai Sun
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Institute of Molecular Medicine
Research in my laboratory examines the essential contributions of adipocyte-derived factors to the dynamics of adipose tissue remodeling during obesity development and pinpoints them as critical factors with clinical significance in the pathophysiology of human obesity and diabetes. Specifically, we explore the fine-tuned regulation at multiple levels during the pathological expansion of adipose tissue in obese individuals. The dynamic process includes hypoxia, angiogenesis and fibrosis. More recently, we use molecular tools and mouse models to study endotrophin, a small fibrotic molecule that we recently identified. All our findings highlight endotrophin as an attractive target for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Hypoxia induced fibrosis and local inflammation in adipose tissue.
- VEGF-A stimulated metabolic benefits during adipose tissue healthy expansion.
- The effects of antiangiogenic action by blocking VEGF-A and/or its receptors in the context of preexisting adipose tissue (unhealthy expansion).
- The mechanisms by which endotrophin shapes unhealthy microenvironment in obese adipose tissue.
- Reversibility of adipose tissue fibrosis by novel anti-fibrotic therapies.