Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unsaturated fat breakdown leads to complications of acute pancreatitis in obese patients

03.11.2011
The toxic byproducts produced by the breakdown of unsaturated fats lead to a higher likelihood of severe inflammation, cell death and multi-system organ failure among acute pancreatitis patients who are obese, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings, published online today in Science Translational Medicine, provide new insight into how fat can induce complications after sudden inflammatory, non-infectious illnesses.

Doctors have observed that obese people are at greater risk for adverse outcomes after trauma, severe burns, critical illnesses and acute pancreatitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas typically brought on by gallstones and alcohol, said senior author and UPMC gastroenterologist Vijay Singh, M.D., assistant professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Pitt School of Medicine.

"The mortality rate among patients with severe acute pancreatitis is 40 to 50 percent when kidney failure and respiratory failure develop," he said. "Our findings indicate that the breakdown of unsaturated fat in acute inflammatory conditions can lead to tissue damage throughout the body."

Dr. Singh's team examined pancreas tissue from 24 patients who died with acute pancreatitis and compared them to 50 people who died of other causes. They found that the diseased pancreases of patients who were obese, meaning a body mass index equal to or greater than 30, contained more fat cells, and confirmed the presence of fat from CT imaging scans from the patients taken before their deaths. Autopsy tissue showed also that there was more pancreatic cell death in the areas around fat cell destruction.

Pancreatic fluids from six obese patients with severe acute pancreatitis who had surgical procedures to remove dead tissue revealed high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, produced from the breakdown of unsaturated fat, than saturated fatty acids. When the researchers combined healthy pancreatic cells with the unsaturated fatty acids in a test tube, the pancreatic cells died.

Then, they induced pancreatitis in obese mice and found that like the human patients, they had high amounts of fat in their pancreases. The fat in obese mice was mostly unsaturated. Kidneys of the mice with pancreatitis were damaged and contained fat deposits, an unexpected finding supported by studies in human autopsy tissue. Infusing unsaturated fatty acids into the bloodstream of the animals leads to lung injury akin to the problems seen in human patients, while administration of saturated fatty acids does not.

"Now that we better understand why these complications arise, we might be able to prevent them and reduce deaths," Dr. Singh said. "We must find ways to stop this toxic process from happening."

He and his team are studying ways to prevent the generation of unsaturated fatty acids in obese rodents to see what happens when they develop acute pancreatitis.

The team includes researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's departments of Pathology, Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Surgery and Radiology.

Funding for the research was provided by the National Center for Research Resources and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, both parts of the National Institutes of Health; and the Department of Medicine, Pitt School of Medicine.

Anita Srikameswaran | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar waltz with dramatic ending

22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>