Plasmalogen modulation as a therapeutic approach for fatty liver disease

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students
Department / Centre
Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Peter Meikle 85321770 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Sudip Paul Personal web page

Summary In this project we will combine our lipidomics expertise with our unique mouse models of plasmalogen modification as well as established mouse models of fatty liver diseases to define the therapeutic potential of plasmalogen modulation against fatty liver diseases. Identification of the mechanisms operating to attenuate disease pathogenesis will provide a clear rationale for the subsequent translation and commercialisation of this new prophylactic therapy.

Project Details

Plasmalogens are glycerophospholipids that are present in numerous mammalian tissues and can act as a natural antioxidant (1). Lipidomic profiling of multiple populations and clinical cohorts has identified decreased levels of plasmalogens to be associated with aging and obesity (2) as well as prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (3). Modulation of plasmalogens can be achieved by oral administration of their metabolic precursors, naturally occurring compounds known as alkylglycerols or by suppressing the activity of plasmalogen catabolising enzyme, TMEM86B. Plasmalogen modulation has reported to suppress diseases related to oxidative stress such as atherosclerosis (4). However, the capacity of plasmalogen modulation to attenuate different aspects of metabolic disease is not fully defined and our understanding of the mechanisms involved is limited. Fatty liver diseases are closely associated with metabolic diseases and involve dysregulation of lipid metabolism, heightened oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

We hypothesise that upregulation of plasmalogens will reduce the pathologies association with fatty liver disease by their multifaceted roles in lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, and inflammation. The specific aims are to:

1) Define the potential of plasmalogen upregulation as a therapeutic approach against fatty liver diseases.

2) Identify the underlying mechanisms for the therapeutic potential of plasmalogen modulation against fatty liver diseases.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Research Node

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

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