Our primary area of research is the impact of bariatric surgery on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and bile acid physiology. In this area of research the laboratory works to understand the mechanism and impact of bariatric surgical procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy and roux-en-Y gastric bypass on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other co-morbidities of obesity. Our research involves using small animal models of common and experimental bariatric procedures to study the role of bile acids in the improvements seen after bariatric surgery.
We began this work by using an experimental bariatric procedure called ileal transposition in rats (see figure 1), but we’ve progressed to murine vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), specifically its effects on intestinal adaptation (see figure 2). Recently, we are also using ileal enteroid cultures (see figure 3) for investigating the mechanistic role of bile acid triggered signaling pathways including the farnesoid x receptor (FXR) and its downstream effectors such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF19).
Figure 1 - Impact of Bariatric Surgery on NAFLD and Bile acid physiology.
Figure 2 - Apical Sodium Bile acid Transporter (ASBT) staining of the terminal ileum sections with ASBT antibody (green fluorescence). Stained area was significantly larger in VSG compared to Sham-operated mice.
Figure 3 - Ileal enteroid cultures: Intestinal tissue from
C57bl/6 mice was used to grow enteroids. This representative image shows Edu
incorporation (yellow fluorescence) in ileal derived murine enteroid villous
cells suggesting proliferative response.