S03: Obesity as a model of sex diversity in steroid metabolism

The project S03 will test the hypothesis that adipocytes from obese female subjects produce and release androgen-type steroids, and adipocytes from obese male subjects produce oestrogen-type steroids, resulting in a “pseudo-intersex steroid phenotype”. To this end, they will isolate preadipocytes and mature adipocytes from adipose tissue biopsies from lean female and male controls as well as obese female and male subjects. The cellular steroid hormone content as well as the secretome will be analysed using targeted LC-MS/MS and NMR spectroscopy (in collaboration with M06 and the hormone measurement service, as well as M05). The results of these ex vivo biopsy studies will then be tested in vivo using established human cohorts for obesity with cross-sectional, longitudinal and weight-loss intervention databases and biomaterials. Thereby the phenotyping will also include novel psycho-social phenotyping data.