CMRC Children's Memorial Research Center
Sahai Laboratory

Research Goals:

1. Role of a Th1 cytokine "osteopontin" in the development of obesity/type II diabetes, and the associated fatty liver disease refer to as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Underlying molecular signaling mechanisms by which osteopontin regulates the progression of liver inflammation and fibrosis in NASH is currently studied. Major emphasis is given on the roles of oxidative stress, insulin resistance, renin-angiotensin system, PI3-kinase, leptin/leptin receptors, and matrix metalloproteinases. Animal models of obesity, type II diabetes, and NASH as well as cell culture models of hepatocytes, stellate and kupffer cells are used to perform these studies.(Co-Investigator: Peter F. Whitington, M.D., Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition).
2. Adipose tissue growth early in the development of lean and obese state. Potential role of adipose tissue specific cytokines including osteopontin in the development of fat cell mass will be delineated. Several mouse models of obesity and cultured adipocytes will be utilized to perform these studies (Co-Investigator: Katherine K. Christoffel, M.D., Director, Center for Obesity Management and Prevention).