The Metabolic Syndrome is a major risk marker for type 2 diabetes and for cardiovascular disease. Recent evidence suggests a crucial role for fat accumulation in the liver in the development of the Metabolic Syndrome. The hypothesis of the HEPADIP project is that this reflects an alteration in metabolic relationships or the signalling between adipose tissue and liver. The project objectives are therefore to address the role of adipose tissue and the liver, and the interaction between them, in the development of the disturbances of lipid metabolism, insulin signalling, and glucose homeostasis in the Metabolic Syndrome in order to identify, validate and develop novel targets for diagnosis, characterization, prevention and treatment of the syndrome. The Consortium comprises of 26 participants, 6 of which are SMEs, from 11 European countries. The project is organised in seven lines of research for the study of the biology of adipose tissue and the liver, the integrated function of the adipose tissue - liver axis in rodent models and in humans, and clinical and genetic epidemiology of the syndrome. Studies will be integrated across all levels from the molecular/genetic level, to the whole organism, and to the human population. The strategy emplies interactions between a hypothesis-driven and an explorative "omics" approach. Considerable amounts of data from genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics will be generated, and they will be integrated and analyzed with the novel "omics" and bioinformatics technologies. At a later stage, further integration will take place with validation and development of novel targets, and SMEs will play a key role in this phase. The Metabolic Syndrome may differ in its characteristics between men and women, and study design and analysis will address this wherever relevant. The HEPADIPproject will have the best possible prior likelihood of providing tools to combat the Metabolic Syndrome.
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Funding SchemeIP - Integrated Project