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 Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment
17.10.2017 | McMaster University

nachricht Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes
17.10.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>