This FASEB SRC focuses on the role of the immune system in the development and exacerbation of the many conditions that encompass metabolic syndrome. Obesity and metabolic syndrome have increased at epidemic proportions over the past two decades. Our understanding of how the immune system is influenced by adipose tissue has evolved greatly, even as this epidemic continues to rage. Once considered as primarily a fuel storage organ, adipose tissue is now known to have a number of immunomodulatory properties, which affect whole body physiology, and importantly, are thought to account for many of the complications of obesity including insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. The presence and activity of immune cell types such as macrophages and T cells within adipose tissue is more recently being teased out given the appreciation of obesity and insulin resistance as inflammatory in nature. It is becoming increasingly clear that in addition to altering adipose tissue function, immune cells impact the physiology and homeostasis of other organs such as the liver, CNS, skin and intestine in obesity. The immunological and inflammatory influences of obesity contribute to the complications that make up metabolic syndrome including insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
In this context, the organizers have brought together a wide and diverse group of leaders in the fields of immunology, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome, to share their latest findings on this evolving field. The conference will begin with a keynote talk by Diane Mathis, a leader in the field of immunometabolism. The Individual sessions will span a range of topics that focus on immune modulation in metabolic syndrome. These sessions include how nutrition impacts immunity and inflammation; how immune cell metabolism, activation and function are altered in obesity and diabetes; how immune signals impact lipid disorders and complications; how inflammation alters the vasculature and influences hypertension; how obesity and type 2 diabetes impact barrier tissues, and how how obesity-related inflammation promotes cancer. Taken together these sessions will give the participants an integrative view of the immune system and the impact on metabolic syndrome. There will be poster presentations, opportunities for short talks, and career mentoring and development sessions for attendees, including students and post-doctoral fellows. The cross-disciplinary nature of this conference is accentuated by the program which brings together scientists from basic science disciplines and translational research groups to give an integrative view of immunometabolism on human health and disease.