Neural Control of Energy Metabolism
Research Strength: Molecular Neuroscience
An abundance of evidence has emerged demonstrating a close link between metabolism and immunity. The metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are consistently associated with a state of chronic and low-grade inflammation that appears to be from over-nutritional stress in cells. Such atypical inflammatory reaction that occurs in metabolic tissues at molecular and subcellular levels is termed as “micro-inflammation”. My laboratory aims to investigate the action of micro-inflammatory cascades in neuroendocrinal system in metabolic physiology and pathology. First, we are studying the roles of nutrition-associated micro-inflammatory signaling within the network of neuroendocrinal regulation and their significance during the central dysregulation of metabolism leading to obesity and diabetes. Second, we are interested in studying the involvement of intrinsic anti-inflammatory components in neural control of metabolic homeostasis; the defects of which presumably participate in the regulatory imbalance of systemic metabolism. In addition, we take steps from the mechanistic understandings to invent gene and cell therapies that selectively prevent nutritional inflammation and therefore solidify the central regulation of metabolic behavior, which might work as new therapeutic avenue combating with over-nutritional diseases.
- Cai, D., M. Yuan, J.D. Frantz, P.A. Melendez, L. Hansen, J. Lee, and S.E. Shoelson. 2005. Local and systemic insulin resistance resulting from hepatic activation of IKKb/NF-kB. Nat Med 11: 183-190.
- Cai, D., J.D. Frantz, N.E. Tawa, P.A. Melendez, B. Oh, H. Lidov, P.O. Hasselgren, W.R. Frontera, J. Lee, D.J. Glass, and S.E. Shoelson. 2004. IKKb/NF-kB activation causes severe muscle wasting in mice. Cell 119: 285-298.
- Cai, D., S. Dhe-Paganon, P.A. Melendez, J. Lee, and S.E. Shoelson. 2003. Two new substrates in insulin signaling: IRS5/DOK4 and IRS6/DOK5. J. Bio. Chem. 278: 25323-25330.