Although changes in lifestyle are responsible for the increase in incidence of obesity, heritability studies provide evidence for a substantial genetic contribution to obesity risk. This indicates that humans are not equally susceptible to weight gain and that interaction between genes and environment plays fundamental roles in obesity development. Because diet and physical activity have shown limited long-term success in reducing obesity, the improvement of our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating food consumption and energy storage could help the development of new tools to treat obesity and its related diseases.
Key questions :    
  • What are the factors that define the identity of preadipocytes and their adipogenic potential?
  • Are there any factors secreted by enlarged adipocytes that help the recruitment of new fat cells during the development of obesity? 
  • Is it possible to treat obesity and its related complications by modifying the adipocyte life cycle?