B12 - Hormonal regulators of adipose tissue plasticity

Adipose tissue is a remarkably plastic organ that responds to local and systemic signals by producing new adipocytes or enlarging preexisting adipocytes. This project will elaborate on the adipose depot-specific activation of adipocyte precursors in response to thyroid hormone signaling. Furthermore, we will delineate the multidirectional crosstalk between thyroid hormones, sympathetic nervous system, adipokines and the thermogenic response in brown and beige adipocytes and related effects on energy balance. Overall, we expect that this study will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms by which thyroid hormones regulate adipose tissue plasticity, thereby potentially suggesting new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of obesity.

Weiner J, Roth L, Kranz M, Brust P, Boelen A, Klöting N, Heiker JT, Blüher M, Tönjes A, Pfluger PT, Stumvoll M, Mittag J, Krause K. Leptin counteracts hypothermia in hypothyroidism through its pyrexic effects and by stabilizing serum thyroid hormone levels. Mol Metab. 2021 Oct 2:101348. 

Steinhoff KG, Krause K, Linder N, Rullmann M, Volke L, Gebhardt C, Busse H, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Sabri O, Hesse S, Tönjes A. Effects of hyperthyroidism on adipose tissue activity and distribution in adults. Thyroid. 2020. (DOI: 10.1089/thy.2019.0806)

Krause K. Novel Aspects of White Adipose Tissue Browning by Thyroid Hormones. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2020; 128: 446-49.

Zieger K, Weiner J, Krause K, Schwarz M, Kohn M, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Heiker JT. Vaspin suppresses cytokine-induced inflammation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes via inhibition of NFκB pathway. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018; 460:181-88.

Tönjes A, Scholz M, Krüger J, Krause K, Schleinitz D, Kirsten H, Gebhardt C, Marzi C, Grallert H, Ladenvall C, Heyne H, Laurila E, Kriebel J, Meisinger C, Rathmann W, Gieger C, Groop L, Prokopenko I, Isomaa B, Beutner F, Kratzsch J, Fischer-Rosinsky A, Pfeiffer A, Krohn K, Spranger J, Thiery J, Blüher M, Stumvoll M, Kovacs P. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies novel determinants of circulating serum progranulin. Hum Mol Genet. 2018; 27: 546-58.

Zieger K, Weiner J, Kunath A, Gericke M, Krause K, Kern M, Stumvoll M, Klöting N, Blüher M, Heiker JT. Ablation of kallikrein 7 (KLK7) in adipose tissue ameliorates metabolic consequences of high fat diet-induced obesity by counteracting adipose tissue inflammation in vivo. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2018; 75: 727-42

Weiner J, Rohde K, Krause K, Zieger K, Klöting N, Kralisch S, Kovacs P, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Böttcher Y, Heiker JT. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) specific vaspin expression is increased after obesogenic diets and cold exposure and linked to acute changes in DNA-methylation. Mol Metab. 2017; 6: 482-93.

Weiner J, Hankir M, Heiker JT, Fenske W, Krause K. Thyroid hormones and browning of adipose tissue. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017; 458: 156-59.

Weiner J, Kranz M, Klöting N, Kunath A, Steinhoff K, Rijntjes E, Köhrle J, Zeisig V, Hankir M, Gebhardt C, Deuther-Conrad W, Heiker JT, Kralisch S, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Sabri O, Hesse S, Brust P, Tönjes A, Krause K. Thyroid hormone status defines brown adipose tissue activity and browning of white adipose tissues in mice. Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 38124.

Steinhoff KG, Hankir M, Krause K, Tönjes A, Fenske WK, Sabri O, Hesse S. Interaction of thyroid hormone with brown adipose tissue. Lessons learned from PET-CT. Nuklearmedizin. 2015; 54: 82-87.

Krause K, Weiner J, Hönes S, Klöting N, Rijntjes E, Heiker JT, Gebhardt C, Köhrle J, Führer D, Steinhoff K, Hesse S, Moeller LC, Tönjes A. The Effects of Thyroid Hormones on Gene Expression of Acyl-Coenzyme A Thioesterases in Adipose Tissue and Liver of Mice. Eur Thyroid J. 2015; 4: 59-66


Project leader

Doctoral Researcher

Lisa Roth

Office address:
Room No. R007, Zentr. Forschungsgebäude, Liebigstraße 21/Haus C
Phone (lab or office):
+49 341 9713318
PhD project description:
Thyroid hormones are main regulators of the balance between energy storage and energy expenditure, acting on plenty different organs including the adipose tissue. My PhD project focuses on direct effects of thyroid hormones on the formation, plasticity and function of adipocytes. Of particular interest is the interplay with Zinc finger protein 423 (Zfp423), a transcription factor shown to be involved in pre-adipocyte commitment and determination of a white adipocyte phenotype.