Age-Related Peripheral Neuropathy in the Adipose Organ

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Abstract Summary

Peripheral innervation of adipose tissue, both white (energy storing) and brown (energy expending) depots, is crucial for maintaining healthy metabolic function and energy balance. Important processes such as lipid breakdown, production of new adipocytes, thermogenesis, and browning (conversion of white adipocyte to a healthier inducible brown adipocytes) all require regulation via peripheral sympathetic nerves. Without sufficient regulation from the nervous system adipose tissue can become diseased, hypertrophic and inflamed. Peripheral neuropathy (the dying back of nerves) in extremities has been well documented particularly in the diabetic population as well as with aging. We have shown for the first time that age-related peripheral neuropathy extends beneath the skin to the subcutaneous white adipose depots of mice. This decrease of innervation was most pronounced around the vasculature of the adipose depots. Following from these findings, we have further investigated adipose vascular neuropathy in the longevity mouse line HET3 in an attempt to answer the following questions: Do HET3 mice replicate the neuropathic phenotype? Are there sex differences in age-related neuropathy? Are all nerve types affected or just specific subsets? Are more than just vascular associated nerves effected?


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Biomedical Sciences
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AM2 (11:00 - 12:00)
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