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Status: 24.01.2019 10:00:34
Metabolic diseases such as diabetes and adiposity (obesity) are common side effects of aging and can be attributed, among other things, to age-related physiological changes. With increasing age, the body’s ability to form metabolically active brown adipose cells decreases, leading to the accumulation of white fat cells instead. The resulting disturbance of energy metabolism may lead to further weight gain in older people thereby further aggravating obesity.
In addition, degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system develop in old age, with more frequent occurrences of sarcopenia (muscle wasting) and osteoporosis (bone loss). These diseases are among the most common causes of clinical treatments and can significantly limit the quality of life of those affected. Scientists have observed an increased accumulation of fat cells with age in muscles as well as bones, which limit the ability of these tissues to self-heal.
In order to maximize the lifelong maintenance of health, it is necessary to identify the molecular causes that contribute to the development of age-associated diseases and to create a base for specialized therapies for aging patients.
In our department, we explore the biological mechanisms that contribute to the pathophysiological aspects of fat cell biology. We investigate the function of various stem cells in the tissues as well as the influences of their microenvironment, the so-called stem cell niche.
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