“We were quite surprised by the unexpected quality control mechanism that ensures the quality of breast milk,” says Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., professor in the Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. “Our finding explains why breast milk is always clean and healthful, even when there’s a lot of inflammation going on in the mother’s body,” he adds.
The Salk research team – led by Evans– published their findings in the August issue of the journal Genes & Development. They hope that a better understanding of PPARã could help explain the role lipids and inflammation play in hair loss and other skin disorders and facilitate the development of new treatments for these diseases.
PPARã acts as a genetic switch, sensitizing the body to insulin and lowering levels of circulating glucose. In fact PPARã drugs, including Actos and Avandia, belong to the newest generation of anti-diabetic medications. Naturally occurring mutations in PPARã lead to obesity and insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes.
Unexpectedly, postdoctoral researcher and first author Yihong Wan, Ph.D., observed that mice lacking PPARã in endothelial cells had trouble rearing their newborns. “Although the mothers seemed perfectly normal, the nursing offspring soon stopped growing and lost their hair,” says Wan. “It took us some time to figure out what was going on.”
If the pups were given anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen, the symptoms reversed and their fur started to regrow. “These observations suggested that the milk produced by the mutant mice may be the source of the troubles,” explained Wan. A closer inspection revealed that the milk of PPARã-deficient mice contained high levels of toxic fatty acids that set off an inflammatory response in the skin of nursing pups. According to Evans “by examining the action of PPARã in vivo, our work revealed an unexpected link between diet, inflammation and the quality of breast milk.”
“Milk is considered a pure and nutritious nourishment. It forms the bond between mother and infant and is one of the true sustaining forces in life. Yihong’s work showed us that this does not simply happen but it is the product of an intricate genetic program that ensures its purity,” says Evans.
Gina Kirchweger | EurekAlert!
Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy