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From Better Models to Single-Cell Resolution to Study Adipose Tissue

Manuscript deadline
15 January 2024

Cover image - Adipocyte

Article collection guest advisor(s)

Dr. Miguel L. Batista Jr., Boston University
[email protected]

Dr. Samantha Laber, Broad Institute
[email protected]

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From Better Models to Single-Cell Resolution to Study Adipose Tissue

In the absence of functional adipose tissue, lipids accumulate in peripheral organs, such as the liver, skeletal muscles, heart, and endocrine pancreas, resulting in insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Understanding how adipocytes function in different human depots is crucial to maintaining healthy and functional adipocytes. While numerous new therapies have been developed to potentially treat both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, no treatments directly target adipose tissue.

Historically, the study of adipose tissue has been facilitated by classical techniques such as bioimaging, two-dimensional (2D) cell culture, flow cytometry, and mouse genetics. However, the increasing understanding of tissue heterogeneity and the need for more physiological in vitro models have also highlighted their limitations. Specifically, the field has shifted its focus from focusing primarily on obesity degrees to recognizing that adipose tissue functionality determines a great deal of disease risk. Novel perspectives highlight the need for robust and translational experimental systems that can be used to study and understand adipose tissue function mechanistically. In recent years, the invention of 3D culturing methods has sparked an enormous interest in the adipose research community and may revolutionize the way in which adipocytes are studied in vitro. Meanwhile, the rapid development of single-cell transcriptomics and the associated analytical tools has completely reshaped our understanding of the distinct subpopulations of adipocytes, stromal cells, and immune cells that reside in adipose tissues.

The Collection aims to bring together the latest research using new methods and technologies in adipose tissue biology, from 3D culturing methods to high-throughput single-cell omics using integrating analyses and new mechanistic discoveries in adipose tissue function. The Collection welcomes the following article types: Technical Reports, Mini Reviews, Reviews, and Methods & Protocols.

Dr. Miguel L. Batista Jr.: My research during the last years has focused on defining cellular and molecular mechanisms of adipose tissue remodeling in different experimental models of cancer cachexia. My contributions have included a detailed dissection of mechanisms regulating the early phases of adipose tissue remodeling during cachexia development, particularly the induction of inflammation and brown-like adipocytes (brite/beige cells) in white adipose depots and the identification of novel targets for the development of anti-cachectic therapeutics.

Disclosure Statement: Dr. Batista declares no conflict of interest regarding this work.

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All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.