Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First link found between obesity, inflammation and vascular disease

19.09.2005


Researchers find human fat cells produce C-reactive protein



Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have found that human fat cells produce a protein that is linked to both inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
They say the discovery, reported in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, goes a long way to explain why people who are overweight generally have higher levels of the molecule, known as C-reactive protein (CRP), which is now used diagnostically to predict future cardiovascular events.

And they also report some good news: the researchers found that aspirin and statin drugs, now commonly used to treat heart diseases, effectively damp down production of CRP from fat cells.



"This study is the first to show how body fat participates in the inflammatory process that leads to cardiovascular disease, but also demonstrates that this process can be blocked by drugs now on the market," said study leader Edward T. H. Yeh, M.D., who is both chairman of the Department of Cardiology at M. D. Anderson and director of the Research Center for Cardiovascular Disease at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases at the UT Health Science Center at Houston.

UT Health Science Center at Houston President James T. Willerson, M.D., is a co-author of the study.

Adipose tissue (body fat) has been lately regarded as a separate body organ which can produce a number of different biologically active molecules - such as cytokine proteins that are associated with inflammation, and the hormone resistin, which is linked to insulin resistance and the development of type two diabetes.

Even if they are healthy, people with more adipose tissue also tend to have higher levels of CRP. Previous research, however, had only found CRP to be produced in liver tissue, although Yeh, Willerson and Paolo Calabro, M.D., discovered in 2003 that the protein also is manufactured in the walls of blood vessels.

"But that didn’t explain obesity’s connection to high levels of CRP and it also was not clear why CRP is higher in patients who have metabolic disorders," Yeh said.

So the research team decided to see whether fat cells themselves can be stimulated by inflammatory cytokines or resistin to produce CRP. To help find out, plastic surgery patients at M. D. Anderson donated adipose tissue that would have been discarded, and the research team then isolated fat cells, cultured them and stimulated them under a number of different conditions. They found the cells produced cytokines that resulted in inflammation and that this process triggered production of high levels of C-reactive proteins.

The researchers also discovered that resistin, the hormone associated with diabetes and insulin resistance, can stimulate production of CRP proteins. "And this is interesting because it is known that resistin is itself produced by fat cells," Yeh said.

"We know that patients with metabolic syndromes have higher levels of CRPs, as well as a higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke, but no one understands why that is," Yeh said. "If fat cells by themselves produce inflammatory signals that trigger cells to produce CRPs, and if CRPs also produce biological effects on vascular walls, that could explain the higher risk of cardiovascular disease."

The investigators then solved the other part of the puzzle – why it is that aspirin, statin drugs and an agent known as troglitazone, used to treat diabetes, can reduce CRP levels. They exposed the cultured fat cells that were producing high levels of CRPs to these drugs, and found production of the proteins declined. "We knew from studying patients that these drugs can reduce C-reactive proteins, but now we have direct proof of their benefit."

Even as the CRP picture becomes clearer, there is still much that is not known, say the researchers, including the reason why fat tissue produces an inflammatory response, and just precisely how CRP participates in that process.

"Inflammation is a very complicated phenomenon, but at least we now have a few more clues as to what it does and how the damage it produces can be prevented," Yeh noted.

Scott Merville | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>