Obesity is a major human health problem, as it is extremely common and increases the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other pathologies, including some forms of cancer. Research in the Lynes laboratory is aimed at understanding how changes in the balance of energy intake and energy expenditure lead to obesity. Energy expenditure is required to maintain body temperature, and in cold environments there are myriad mechanisms that generate heat to maintain euthermia. Thermogenic adipose tissue is a type of fat tissue in mice and humans that is specialized for heat generation by expending energy stored in the body. Activated thermogenic adipose tissue is associated with decreased obesity and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, making therapeutic strategies that increase the amount and activation of thermogenic fat attractive targets to improve public health.
Image: Whole mount confocal imaging of adipose tissue from Trpv1 lineage tracing mice housed in the cold for a week. In Trpv1 lineage tracing mice, cells from the Trpv1+ vascular smooth muscle lineage express green fluorescent protein (GFP), while all other cells express membrane Tomato (tdTom) red fluorescent protein, showing the contribution of both independent lineage to the pool of mature adipocytes. These cells were first described in Shamsi F et al., Nature Metabolism 2021. Read more
A complete list of publications can be found on My NCBI
Lynes MD, Shamsi F, Sustarsic EG, et al. Cold-Activated Lipid Dynamics in Adipose Tissue Highlights a Role for Cardiolipin in Thermogenic Metabolism. Cell Rep. 2018;24(3):781-790. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2018.06.073.
Lynes MD, Leiria LO, Lundh M, et al. The cold-induced lipokine 12,13-diHOME promotes fatty acid transport into brown adipose tissue [published correction appears in Nat Med. 2017 Nov 7;23 (11):1384]. Nat Med. 2017;23(5):631-637. doi:10.1038/nm.4297.
Lynes MD, Schulz TJ, Pan AJ, Tseng YH. Disruption of insulin signaling in Myf5-expressing progenitors leads to marked paucity of brown fat but normal muscle development. Endocrinology. 2015;156(5):1637-1647. doi:10.1210/en.2014-1773.
Visiting Scientist, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston MA