Mete Civelek and Qianyi Yang Lead Lab in New Discovery on How Women’s Bodies Store Fat

March 4, 2022 by   |   Leave a Comment

School of Medicine researchers at the University of Virginia have identified a potential way to battle the health effects of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in women after discovering an important factor that could determine how their bodies use and store fat.

Based on their new discovery, the researchers, led by Mete Civelek, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, were able to change whether female lab mice’s bodies stored fat subcutaneously (under the skin) or viscerally (wrapped around the organs).

While visceral fat goes unseen, hidden deep inside the body, it can be particularly harmful to good health.

The researchers say their results in mice suggest that a similar approach could help treat the effects of obesity and battle metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, in women.

“There is a strong need for targeted therapies against metabolic abnormalities caused by obesity and diabetes,” said the study’s first author, Qianyi Yang of UVA’s Center for Public Health Genomics. “We hope that increasing KLF14 abundance in fat cells of females with obesity and diabetes may provide a novel treatment option to alleviate these metabolic abnormalities.”

Read the full UVA Today article here

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