Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mouse stem cell study offers new insights into body fat distribution

12.07.2010
New research being presented today (12 July) at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting in Nottingham shows that adding fat to mouse stem cells grown in the lab affects their response to the signals that push them to develop into one or other of the main types of fat storage cells – subcutaneous (under the skin) or visceral (around the organs).

Visceral fat – the so-called "pot-belly" – indicates a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes than subcutaneous fat. This discovery will help us to understand the fundamental biology underpinning these two major causes of obesity-related morbidity and mortality in the developed world.

During development, some groups of stem cells will go on to become adipose cells – the large globular cells that store and metabolise fats from our diets. This research suggests that the distribution of visceral versus subcutaneous adipose cells is at least in part down to the nutrition available to stem cells during the early stages of development.

The study, led by Professor Kevin Docherty of the University of Aberdeen, found that adding palmitate (a major component in palm oil) to mouse stem cells affected how they responded to androgen and oestrogen - the sex hormones which normally control the types of fat cells that stem cells become.

Professor Docherty said "This finding is an important insight as it suggests that nutrition in early development can affect how and where fat is stored in later life. We've known for a while that having a pot-belly suggests someone's risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease is high, but there is still a lot to learn about why body fat distribution varies so much between people. Our research helps by putting another small piece into the puzzle.

"Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease that struck people in later life, but in the UK and some other developed countries we're seeing a worrying increase of this problem amongst overweight teenagers and younger adults. In the UK, 30% of teenagers are overweight or obese so it's crucial that we understand the fundamental biology of weight-related diseases so that we can develop better ways of preventing, treating and managing this serious problem."

The researchers hope that this study might lead to new insights into how to combat type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Professor Docherty concluded: "The number one way of reducing the number of overweight people is improving diet and encouraging exercise, but we hope our research might eventually offer insights that lead to new treatments including drugs to reduce these high-risk fat stores around organs."

CONTACT

UKNSCN Media Office email: ukpo@uknscn.org or mike.davies@bbsrc.ac.uk, Tel: 01793 442 042

NOTES TO EDITORS

Humans can store fat either beneath the skin in subcutaneous cells, or around internal organs in visceral cells. Women tend to store excess fat underneath the skin, around the hips and thighs, which, although responsible for cosmetic conditions such as cellulite, is much safer than storing fat viscerally as a pot-belly which is more common amongst men.

Storing excess visceral fat is thought to greatly increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a range of associated problems including heart disease so having more visceral fat cells could predispose a person to those problems if they are overweight.

About UKNSCN

The UK National Stem Cell Network acts as a network for stem cell researchers and all stakeholders. It aims to bring coordination and coherence to a range of national and regional activities in the field of stem cell research. Its overall mission is to promote and enhance the coordination of research across the sub-disciplines of stem cell science, thereby helping to speed to translation basic research into therapeutic applications.

2010 will be the third UKNSCN Annual Conference, following on from successful events in Edinburgh (2008) and Oxford (2009).

The UKNSCN currently receives financial support from four of the UK Research Councils:

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
The Network operates for all stakeholders in UK stem cell research. The secretariat is operated through BBSRC on behalf of all the Government sponsors of stem cell research, including the Research Councils, the Department of Health, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Technology Strategy Board. Its work is governed by a sponsors' Management Board, supported by an expert Advisory Committee.

Mike Davies | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uknscn.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>