Our goal is to understand how obesity affects the central nervous system (CNS). In the periphery, obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation which in turn is linked to a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a variety of cancers. Mounting evidence from clinical studies suggests that obesity is associated with increased vulnerability of the CNS to damage from acute and chronic insults such as stroke and dementia. Currently, little is known about the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon but we hypothesize that obesity related changes in the neuroimmune milieu may be a contributing factor. The energy homeostasis field has largely focused on the role of neurons in both the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of obesity and the specific contribution of other CNS cell types has remained largely unexamined. Our laboratory is interested in how obesity affects non-neuronal cell types in the CNS such as glia and cerebral endothelial cells. We employ a variety of techniques including neuroanatomy, in vivo physiology, cell culture and molecular biology.
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Key: MeSH Term KeywordAcclimatization Adrenal Glands Amino Acid Sequence Analysis of Variance Appetite Depressants Base Sequence Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors Biomechanical Phenomena Blotting, Western Body Temperature Central Nervous System Cold Temperature Depression, Chemical Diet, High-Fat Dose-Response Relationship, Drug Drug Administration Schedule Fatty Liver Feeding Behavior Gene Expression Insulin Resistance Macrophages Melanocortins Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones Mice, Mutant Strains Models, Animal Models, Biological Molecular Sequence Data obesity Peptide Fragments Prolactin-Releasing Hormone Weight Gain