The importance of Adiponectin signaling during cardiac remodeling
Many reports have established a correlation between obesity and diabetes with cardiovascular complications such as heart failure. This occurs due to changes in the structure and function of the heart, yet the precise mechanisms responsible for regulating these changes in diabetes remain to be determined. This project will focus on the role played by a substance (adiponectin) which is released from fat cells. Upon release, adiponectin can travel in the bloodstream to have effects in the heart. Interestingly, the amount of adiponectin circulating in the blood decreases in obese and diabetic individuals. We intend to determine how too much or too little adiponectin alters the structure and function of the heart. By conducting experiments on heart cells grown in the laboratory and in mice which have been genetically engineered to not produce adiponectin, the effect of adiponectin on survival or death of heart cells and the composition of the structural matrix (primarily made of collagen) which supports the normal funtion of the heart will be investigated. Research has shown cardioprotective effects of adiponectin and this has generated tremendous interest in recent years about its therapeutic potential.