Adipose-Derived Stem Cells: Potential for Metabolic Reprogramming

Guest Speaker:
Dr Shigeki Sugii (Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, A*STAR)
Dr Wee Kiat Ong (School of Pharmacy, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Wed, 2. November 2016, 13:00 h - 14:00 h
N3.23, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​

Adipose tissue is an expandable and readily attainable source of proliferating, multipotent adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), holding great therapeutic potentials. However, more work is necessary to fully understand biological properties of ASCs and explore novel approaches for using or targeting ASCs in a direction to make them suitable for therapy. By comprehensive image-based high content screening, we identified novel fat-depot specific cell surface markers, CD10 and CD200, which can predict how well ASCs can differentiate into mature functional adipocytes. Through another study on whole genome-wide gene expression analyses, we identified novel pathways of retinoid metabolism and oxidative stress. High level of retinoic acid negatively affects early stage of adipogenic differentiation of ASCs, which can be reversed by antagonism of retinoic acid receptors. Similarly it was found that high oxidative stress associated with ageing or visceral obesity affect ASC's ability for differentiation, proliferation, migration and/or senescence. Treatment with anti-oxidants was found to be effective in reducing reactive oxygen species and improving these ASC properties. Collectively, these results suggest that stem cells can be cellular targets for improving quality of fat tissue and adipocytes through use of specific cell surface markers, modulating RA pathway, or reversal of oxidative stress. These molecular markers and factors may be useful for future metabolic reprogramming studies in different approaches: bioimaging, screening for improved adipocyte development, or reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.


Dr. Shigeki Sugii holds a joint appointment as Group Leader at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) and as Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School since 2011. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at NTU. He currently serves an executive committee member (Treasurer) of Stem Cell Society Singapore and other committees. Dr. Sugii graduated with B.S. from Kyoto University, Japan and received his Ph.D. at Dartmouth Medical School, USA. He then moved to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA to conduct his postdoctoral research with Professor Ronald Evans. At Salk / HHMI, he studied roles of nuclear receptor superfamily in adipocyte physiology and induced pluripotency of adipose-derived stem cells. His current research interests include studies of metabolic reprogramming in adipose-derived stem cells and their translational applications for metabolic diseases.

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