Worldwide it is estimated that one person in every eight is overweight and more than 300 millions are obese. For a definition of overweight and obesity see Table 1 at the end of the press release.
Data collected by the International Obesity TaskForce (IOTF; see also http://www.iotf.org/database/index.asp) and by the WHO (see also: http://www.who.int/bmi/index.jsp) suggests that more than half of the population in the European Union (EU) is overweight. According to the IOTF in Austria one person in three is overweight and one person in five is obese.
It is predicted that the incidence of obesity will double in the next four decades in Europe. Adding to the alarming situation is the observation that in all countries where surveys have been performed, the numbers of overweight and obese children have increased dramatically. It is predicted that in the EU 26 million schoolchildren will be overweight by the year 2010 of which 6 million will be obese. By that time these numbers will grow annually by 1.3 million and 0.3 million, respectively.
Obesity does not only mean a loss of quality of life for the affected person but also increases the risk of suffering from other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes, liver malfunction and orthopedic dysfunction. Our research focus is on studying the link between obesity and cardiovascular disease in general and atherosclerosis in particular. It is well known now, that obese individuals are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and several studies suggest obesity as an independent risk factor.
Adipose tissue is no longer seen merely as a mostly passive energy storage organ but is now also considered to be an active endocrine tissue that by producing a variety of cytokines, hormones and other proteins impacts on a multitude of physiological and pathophysiological processes in the human body. The adipocyte, whose size and numbers are increased in obesity, is the cellular factory that produces these proteins termed adipokines. We have cultured adipocytes from human adipose tissue and used them as a model to study effects of inflammatory mediators on the production of various adipokines by these cells.
The rationale behind this approach is based on the notion that obesity is associated with a state of chronic inflammation, which is in contrast to acute inflammation, which is in most cases a life-saving defence reaction of the body against infection that leads to tissue damage and destruction. Such tissue damage is thought to be the initiating event in the development of atherosclerotic blood vessels.
By using this approach we were the first to show that certain inflammatory mediators increase the production of two key adipokines, namely plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by adipocytes. PAI-1 is a prothrombotic protein that promotes the development of blood clots. The development of such clots in atherosclerotic blood vessels is a key event in cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction. Thus we believe that through these findings we have established a link between inflammation, adipose tissue and the development of cardiovascular disease.
VEGF is a protein, which induces the growth of new blood vessels. It is believed that adipose tissue, when it increases in mass, needs additional blood vessels to secure its supply with nutrients and oxygen. In fact, in mice it has been shown that blockade of VEGF leads to a decrease in adipose tissue mass in these animals. We were able to show in mice, for the first time, that inflammatory mediators injected into these animals led to increased blood vessel growth in adipose tissue. Such increase in blood vessel density in adipose tissue would then in turn result in better supply with oxygen and nutrients and could ultimately lead to growth of adipose tissue.
In conclusion we suggest that knowledge of regulatory mechanisms, which impact on the production of adipokines and on adipose tissue development and growth is instrumental to develop and improve strategies for combating not only obesity but also cardiovascular disease.Reference:
ESC Press Office | alfa
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses