• 1136 Citations

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Novel techniques for correcting type-1 diabetes without insulin, utilizing the beneficial effects of healthy adipose tissue: The ultimate goal in treating type 1 diabetes is to restore glucose homeostasis. Our research shows that glucose homeostasis can be achieved without insulin, through transplantation of embryonic brown adipose tissue (BAT) in the subcutaneous space. In mouse models of T1D chemically or autoimmune induced, BAT transplants result in weight gain, marked decrease of inflammation, and regeneration of new healthy subcutaneous white adipose tissue (WAT), accompanied by euglycemia and reversal of clinical diabetes. These effects are independent of insulin. Both plasma insulin levels and pancreatic insulin content post-mortem remain drastically low, comparable to untreated diabetic control mice. There are progressive increases in adipose tissue derived hormones such as adiponectin, leptin and IGF-1, marked suppression of glucagon, and progressive decreases in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and MCP-1. Together, these data suggest a new equilibrium of physiologically generated hormones that compensate for the lack of insulin. While all the players in this equilibrium are not identified, preliminary data suggest the involvement of several factors, with a critical role for IGF-1. To translate this approach towards a therapy for human patients, we are exploring suitable alternatives for embryonic BAT, such as healthy adult adipose tissue transplants temporarily supplemented with embryonic growth factors or anti-inflammatory agents.

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Research Output

  • 1136 Citations
  • 17 Article

Adipose tissue NAD+ biosynthesis is required for regulating adaptive thermogenesis and whole-body energy homeostasis in mice

Yamaguchi, S., Franczyk, M. P., Chondronikola, M., Qi, N., Gunawardana, S. C., Stromsdorfer, K. L., Porter, L. C., Wozniak, D. F., Sasaki, Y., Rensing, N., Wong, M., Piston, D. W., Klein, S. & Yoshino, J., 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 47, p. 23822-23828 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Scopus citations
  • 40 Scopus citations

    Ablation of PRDM16 and beige adipose causes metabolic dysfunction and a subcutaneous to visceral fat switch

    Cohen, P., Levy, J. D., Zhang, Y., Frontini, A., Kolodin, D. P., Svensson, K. J., Lo, J. C., Zeng, X., Ye, L., Khandekar, M. J., Wu, J., Gunawardana, S. C., Banks, A. S., Camporez, J. P. G., Jurczak, M. J., Kajimura, S., Piston, D. W., Mathis, D., Cinti, S., Shulman, G. I. & 2 others, Seale, P. & Spiegelman, B. M., 2014, In : Cell. 156, 1-2, p. 304-316 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 459 Scopus citations

    Adipose tissue, hormones, and treatment of type 1 diabetes

    Gunawardana, S. C., Oct 1 2012, In : Current diabetes reports. 12, 5, p. 542-550 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Scopus citations

    Reversal of type 1 diabetes in mice by brown adipose tissue transplant

    Gunawardana, S. C. & Piston, D. W., Mar 2012, In : Diabetes. 61, 3, p. 674-682 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 151 Scopus citations