Hans Prydz Guest Lecture by Ana Domingos

Ana Domingos, Principal Investigator of the Obesity Laboratory at the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal, will give a lecture titled, "Sympathetic Neuroimmunity for Obesity".

Ana Domingos. Photo: Gulbenkian Science Institute.

Sympathetic Neuroimmunity for Obesity

Abstract: The brain controls adiposity via central and peripheral neural circuits. We used molecular genetic tools such as optogenetics to probe the connection between peripheral sympathetic neurons and adipocytes. Further, we found this neuro-adipose junction to drive lipolysis via norepinephrine (NE) signaling (1) and that the SNS is necessary and sufficient for fat mass reduction (1,2). As obesity is a chronic inflammatory state, we set to define neuroimmune mechanisms that link inflammation to SNS neurons (3). We report the discovery of Sympathetic neuron-Associated Macrophages (SAMs) that directly regulate the extracellular availability of norepinephrine (NE). We identified the molecular mechanism by which SAMs import and metabolize norepinephrine (NE). Abrogation of the mechanism for the uptake of NE by SAMs increases NE availability, which in turn promotes thermogenesis and browning, and long-term amelioration of obesity independently of food intake (3). The role of SAMs at steady state and obesity will be discussed.


1. Zeng W*,  Pirzgalska RM*;  Pereira MMA; Kubasova N; Barateiro A; Seixas E; Lu YH; Kozlova A; Voss H; Martins GG;  Friedman JM,  Domingos AIψ (2015). Sympathetic Neuro-Adipose Connections Mediate Leptin-Driven Lipolysis. Cell. 163(1):84–94,
2. Pereira MMA, Mahú I, Seixas E, Martinéz-Sánchez N, Kubasova N, Pirzgalska RM, Cohen P, Dietrich MO, López M, Bernardes GJL, Domingos, AIψ A brain-sparing diphtheria toxin for chemical genetic ablation of peripheral cell lineages. (2017) Nature Communications.  8:15673. 
3. Roksana M Pirzgalska*, Elsa Seixas*, Jason S Seidman, Verena M Link, Noelia Martínez Sánchez, Inês Mahú, Raquel Mendes, Vitka Gres, Nadiya Kubasova, Imogen Morris, Bernardo A Arús, Chelsea M Larabee, Miguel Vasques, Francisco Tortosa, Ana L Sousa, Sathyavathy Anandan, Erin Tranfield, Maureen K Hahn, Matteo Iannacone, Nathanael J Spann, Christopher K Glass & Ana I Domingos ψ (2017). Sympathetic neuron–associated macrophages contribute to obesity by importing and metabolizing norepinephrine. Nature Medicine. 


  • Conor A. Bradley (2017). Specialized macrophages contribute to obesity. Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 
  • Making Fat Mice Lean: Novel Immune Cells Control Neurons Responsible For Fat Breakdown. ScienMag. 
  • Wei Wong (14 Nov 2017). Fat expansion through norepinephrine catabolism. Editor's Choice, Science Signalling. 
  • Seth Thomas Scanlon (17 Nov 2017), Unusual macrophages contribute to obesity. Editor's Choice, Science 
  • Michael P Czech (7 Nov 2017), Macrophages dispose of catecholamines in adipose tissue. Nature Medicine

For more information, visit: https://domingoslabobesity.weebly.com/lab-members.html

Published Jan. 1, 2018 1:24 PM - Last modified Jan. 1, 2018 1:25 PM