Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fibroblasts Hold Clues To Fat, Scars And Inflammation

Date:
September 26, 2003
Source:
University Of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Scientists used to think that fibroblasts – the cells that form basic tissue structures – were little more than scaffolding on which more important cells would climb. But University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have discovered that certain fibroblasts have highly specialized duties and play a major role in how scars form, fat accumulates, and harmful inflammation arises in humans.

Scientists used to think that fibroblasts – the cells that form basic tissue structures – were little more than scaffolding on which more important cells would climb. But University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have discovered that certain fibroblasts have highly specialized duties and play a major role in how scars form, fat accumulates, and harmful inflammation arises in humans.

Related Articles


The research is published in The American Journal of Pathology, October 2003 edition. The work may help doctors understand why some people suffer from unexplained internal scarring around vital organs, which can lead to serious diseases of the eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys or intestines. It may tell us why some accident victims and surgical patients scar easily and take longer to heal. Ultimately, the goal of the research is to pave the way toward drugs that stop unhealthy scars or fatty tissue from developing.

"This is the first clear demonstration that certain kinds of human fibroblasts can develop into scar-type or fat-type cells," says Richard P. Phipps, Ph.D., lead author and professor, Environmental Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Oncology and Pediatrics. "In fact, our results show that some fibroblasts may prove to be a useful diagnostic tool by providing clues to the severity of a disease or who might be prone to abnormal wound healing, for example."

For decades scientists generally assumed that fibroblast cells were all alike. Phipps' group, however, began investigating subsets of fibroblasts, looking at whether they were capable of becoming specialized cells called myofibroblasts or lipofibroblasts.

Myofibroblasts are normally inconspicuous in healthy tissue but become active after injury or trauma. When uncontrolled, myofibroblasts lead to fibrosis of the liver, kidneys, lungs and heart. Lipofibroblasts have no role in scarring, but develop into fat cells and lead to thyroid eye disease and the harmful buildup of fatty tissue in the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

In the laboratory, Phipps' group conducted experiments on fibroblasts from human uterine and eye tissue. They separated the fibroblasts, and treated the cells with an inducing agent. The scientists investigated how cells could be driven to become either the scar producers (myofibroblasts) or the fat cells (lipofibroblasts).

They discovered the surface markers that identify which fibroblasts have the potential to change and perform specialized duties. In fact, fibroblasts that express Thy-1, a protein involved in growth function, can become myofibroblasts. In contrast, cells with no Thy-1 have the potential to become lipofibroblasts.

Next, Phipps says, the group will more closely study the pathways for this cell transformation. They hope the research might lead to a medication or protein capable of blocking the buildup of fat cells or scar tissue.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Fibroblasts Hold Clues To Fat, Scars And Inflammation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030926065254.htm>.
University Of Rochester Medical Center. (2003, September 26). Fibroblasts Hold Clues To Fat, Scars And Inflammation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030926065254.htm
University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Fibroblasts Hold Clues To Fat, Scars And Inflammation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030926065254.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins