Hormone Laboratory Research Group

Obesity and Diabetes

Main content

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are increasingly prevalent worldwide. An interdisciplinary cluster for the study of obesity and associated diseases has been established to include experimental, clinical, genetic and epidemiologic studies. Fat biopsies, blood and urine samples from obese patients treated with bariatric surgery are stored in biobanks. The patients are treated at several hospitals in Norway that use different surgical procedures. We also perform dietary intervention studies to study clinical and molecular changes during weight loss.

In healthy individuals, immune cells in adipose tissue maintain metabolic homeostasis. Whereas in the obese state, these immune cells may change to pro-inflammatory phenotypes that contributes to metabolic disturbances, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Alterations in core metabolic pathways, including those related to carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism, contribute to insulin resistance and risk of modern diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adipocytes, along with hepatocytes and myocytes, have emerged as key metabolic and endocrine cells that govern the regulation of whole-body energy homeostasis.

Our projects focus on

  1. The study of changes in gene expression and novel genes in adipose tissue due to weight loss.
  1. The study of novel factors in adipocyte development and function
  1. The evaluation of alternative dietary strategies for the long-term treatment of obesity and related diseases
  1. The study of the role of pro-inflammatory immune cells, in particular Natural Killer (NK) cells, in obesity-related adipose tissue inflammation and systemic insulin resistance
  1. The study of human brown adipocytes as a regenerative approach for restoring body weight and glucose homeostasis

  2. CRISPR-mediated editing of single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to uncover individual and evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of gene regulation, metabolic finetuning and disease susceptibility

  3. The role of amino acid transport and metabolism in adipocytes in the context of obesity and insulin resistance

  4. The role of adipocyte subtypes and adipocyte heterogeneity in adipose tissue function and energy homeostasis

  5. Metabolic adaptations and effects on internal body fat, disease risk markers and postprandial responses following altered intake of dietary carbohydrates and lipids (e.g., the FATFUNC, CARBFUNC and OMEGA randomized controlled trials)

  6. The therapeutic potential of dietary intervention for type 2 diabetes remission (the CARBCOUNT multicenter randomized controlled trial)