Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blocking key protein reduces inflammatory markers in metabolic syndrome

25.04.2006
Findings shed light on mechanism of condition associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have shown, for the first time, that blocking the action of a critical protein can improve multiple inflammatory pathways in patients with the metabolic syndrome – a cluster of symptoms associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. If supported in future studies, the findings may suggest new strategies for improving the cardiovascular risk in patients with the metabolic syndrome. This preliminary report appears in the April 24 Archives of Internal Medicine.

"This proof of principle sheds light on the physiology of inflammation and its relation to cardiac risk in obese patients," says Steven Grinspoon, MD, of the MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism and Neuroendocrine Unit, the report’s senior author. "And it’s the first study of the medication etanercept, currently prescribed to treat arthritis and psoriasis, used in patients with the metabolic syndrome."

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that includes abdominal obesity, high triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol along with low HDL ("good") cholesterol, insulin resistance or glucose intolerance, and abnormal levels of several inflammatory proteins. The occurrence of the syndrome is increasing, and it is estimated to affect more than 50 million Americans currently. Also called insulin resistance syndrome, metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular disorders, as well as type 2 diabetes. While there are many questions about the mechanism behind metabolic syndrome, current evidence suggests that inflammatory proteins released by abdominal fat may be an underlying cause of the increased cardiovascular risk.

One of the key inflammatory proteins released by fat cells is tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which is known to increase insulin resistance and the production of other inflammatory markers. Etanercept, marketed under the brand name Enbrel, treats several inflammatory disorders by blocking the action of TNF. The current study was designed to see whether using the drug might also reduce the inflammatory effects of metabolic syndrome, as measured by levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which also has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers enrolled 56 patients ages 37 to 54 who met standard criteria for metabolic syndrome but did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or any other inflammatory disorder. Half of them received weekly injections of etanercept and half received a placebo during the four-week study period. On each weekly visit, participants also had a physical examination and blood tests for levels of glucose, insulin and various markers including CRP.

At the end of the study period the CRP levels of participants who received etanercept were 34 percent lower than those of participants receiving the placebo. Levels of Interleukin-6 and fibrinogen, other inflammatory factors associated with increased cardiovascular risk, were also reduced in those who received the active medication; but levels of adiponectin – a factor that reflects reduced inflammation – had increased, also suggesting lower risk. No significant side effects were reported.

"It has been speculated that blocking TNF could reduce systemic inflammation in abdominally obese people, and we are very excited that giving this drug had such a dramatic effect on these major markers," Grinspoon says. "We were surprised that it didn’t also affect insulin resistance, but that could be because the study was only four weeks long. We’re planning longer term studies to get a more complete picture of how this strategy might someday be used to reduce the risks associated with metabolic syndrome." Grinspoon is an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>