Published on January 9, 2023 Updated on January 24, 2023

SPHERES kick-off  in-person meeting in Toulouse 

The SPHERES in person kick-off meeting had to be postponed due to COVID, and it finally took place in Toulouse on June 15th and 16th, 2022. 

The goal of SPHERES is to understand the dynamics and consequences of adipocyte hypertrophy (enlargement) through investigation of its large lipid droplet (LD). The adipocyte LD is a unique organelle specialised in storing energy in triglycerides (TGs). Its surface is composed of a phospholipid monolayer and specific LD-associated proteins (such as perilipins and lipases), which jointly regulate LD stability and TG turnover. Adipocyte hypertrophy due to an increase in LD size may, irrespective of body fat mass, cause a wide range of pathological conditions, notably cardiometabolic diseases.
The objective of this meeting was to present the progress made since the beginning of the project and to discuss findings and next steps of the SPHERES project. 

Session  1

The first day of the conference was focused on exploring six different topics through three-slides presentations:

1. 3D adipocyte studies 
2. Gene editing in adipocytes 
3. LD-associated proteomes
4. Advanced imaging of LDs
5. Native large LDs for reconstitution studies
6. New developments: Adipocyte heterogeneity and fat metabolism

Session 2

second part of the first day meeting was devoted to discuss the three questions of the project in groups: 

A. What makes the white adipocyte LD so different from LDs found in other cells?
B. How will the lipid droplet determine the maximal/optimal size of the fat cell?
C. How does the LD influences the biology of the fat cell and adipose tissue function?

Session 3

The last day was focused on discussing future actions. Interaction, timelines, visits, priorities, among others, were discussed. 

From 16 June 2022 to 17 June 2022