Project Details


The work will determine the role of the amino acid glutamine in fat metabolism during both obesity and also during lactation. We have evidence that glutamine availabilty with fat contributes to the health of the fat tissue in lean inviduals, but may be deterimental in the obese. We will test this by looking at how glutamine acts to improve the health of small (lean) fat cells and also how it provides a fuel to invading inflammatory macrophages (immune cells) in obesity that then leads to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. This work will establish if glutamine is used to synthesize different forms of fat in adipose tissue and will be complemented by comparison to other tissues such as liver and lactating mammary gland. A second line of investigation will be to investigate the beneficial effects of dietary glutamine supplementation on the health of lactating mothers and the well-being of the offspring. In this phase of work, both pigs and mice will be used and we will determine how supplemental glutamine gives rise to high levels of fat in the milk, and so links to the work described above with fat tissue. The final phase of work will use molecular biological tecniques to prevent glutamine synthesis in specific organs (fat, liver, mammary gland) of the body and so identify potential sites of intervention to both prevent the complications of obesity and to improve performance and development in lactation.
Effective start/end date3/19/142/28/19


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))


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