The new research reinforces the link between belly fat, inflammation and thickening of the arterial linings that can lead to heart disease and strokes.
Triglycerides are types of fat molecules, commonly associated with “bad cholesterol,” known to increase risk of inflammation of the endothelium, the layer of cells that lines arteries.
“The new study shows that eating a common fast food meal can affect inflammatory responses in the blood vessels," said Anthony Passerini, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis, who led the project.
"Our techniques allowed us to measure the inflammatory potential of an individual’s lipids outside of the body and to correlate that with easily measured characteristics that could be used to help better understand a person’s risk for vascular disease,” Passerini said.
Passerini collaborated with Scott Simon, professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis, to develop cell culture models to mimic the properties of blood vessels. They wanted to learn how triglyceride levels can cause endothelial inflammation, and find a way to assess an individual’s inflammatory potential.
They recruited 61 volunteers with high and normal fasting triglyceride levels and a range of waist sizes, then measured levels of triglyceride particles in their blood after they ate a typical fast food breakfast from a major fast food franchise: two breakfast sandwiches, hash browns and orange juice.
Passerini's team found that after eating the high-fat meal, the size of a type of a particle called triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TGRL) varied directly with the individual’s waist size and preexisting blood triglyceride level. These particles can bind to the endothelium, triggering inflammation and an immune response that brings white blood cells to repair the damage. Over time, this leads to atherosclerosis.
The researchers tested whether TGRL particles from the volunteers' blood could cause cultured endothelial cells in the laboratory to express markers for inflammation.
There was a mixed response: individuals with both a waist size over 32 inches (not terribly large by most standards) and high triglyceride levels had large lipoprotein particles that bound easily to the endothelial cells and caused inflammation in response to an immune chemical “trigger.”
The TGRLs only caused inflammation when exposed to this immune molecule, which suggests that people with existing low-grade inflammation may be more susceptible to endothelial dysfunction related to triglyceride “spikes” that occur after eating high-fat meals, Passerini said.
In people who are predisposed, repeated episodes of inflammation could lead to atherosclerosis. Passerini's lab is continuing to investigate how abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels and inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis.
The findings are published online in the journal American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. The other authors of the paper, all at the UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering, are: graduate student Ying Wang, staff researcher John Schulze, clinical coordinator Nadine Raymond, and undergraduates Tyler Tomita and Kayan Tam. The work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to Wang.Media contact(s):
Andy Fell, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-4533, email@example.com
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy