Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scarring Is Key To Link Between Obesity And Diabetes, Study Finds

Date:
August 16, 2009
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Scientists have found that a protein that can cause scarring of fat tissue could be key to understanding the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Katarina Kos and Professor John Wilding found that a protein could further understanding of the link between type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Liverpool

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a protein that can cause scarring of fat tissue could be key to understanding the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The team, in collaboration with University Hospital Aintree, the University of Warwick and researchers in Sweden, found that people classified as obese and those with pre-diabetes have raised levels of a protein called SPARC, that can cause tissue scarring. The research revealed that an increase in insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, can trigger an increase in SPARC, which can prevent the proper storage of fat in fat tissue cells.

It is thought that leptin, in an attempt to balance energy levels in the body, could trigger SPARC to limit the storage of fat. SPARC can do this by increasing the formation of scars in fat tissue, which can prevent fat being stored safely in the body. Researchers found that this process could predispose obese patients to type 2 diabetes.

Professor John Wilding, from the University's School of Clinical Science, explains: "We tested fat tissue of patients at University Hospital Aintree and found that an increase in leptin also increases SPARC levels, which reduces the safe storage of fat through the development of abnormal tissue scarring. Scarring of fat tissue is known to increase as we gain weight and we found that this is exacerbated by leptin, as well as an increase in insulin, produced by the pancreas."

Dr Katarina Kos, lead author of the research, added: "Leptin is produced in fat cells to regulate appetite, but the body becomes resistant to the effects of appetite reduction in obese patients. Leptin continues to increase in response to overall fat mass and promotes scarring through increased SPARC levels. Once scarring occurs, the excess nutritional energy from fat cannot be taken up by fat cells and so remains in the blood and begins to gather around organs. As a result, fat cells of people classified as obese, may not fulfil their natural purpose to store fat."

Diabetes is caused by the cells' inability to respond to insulin, which would normally enable uptake of sugar from the blood. To compensate, the pancreas creates more insulin to clear blood sugar from the circulation. The pancreas becomes exhausted and is unable to produce sufficient insulin to keep up with the demands of the body. This results in the development of type 2 diabetes, which can cause problems such as lack of energy to the cells and, over time, damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart.

The research team, working with the Swedish fast food study group at Linkoping University, also found that weight gain, induced by more than doubling calorie intake through eating 'junk food', causes SPARC levels to increase by 33%. In a further study with the University of Gothenburg, scientists found that a reduced calorie diet can decrease SPARC levels and the stimulus for tissue scarring.

Researchers are now investigating why some people are more prone to fat tissue scarring than others and how further understanding of SPARC could contribute to future treatments for diabetes.

The research is published in the journal Diabetes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Scarring Is Key To Link Between Obesity And Diabetes, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142349.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2009, August 16). Scarring Is Key To Link Between Obesity And Diabetes, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142349.htm
University of Liverpool. "Scarring Is Key To Link Between Obesity And Diabetes, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142349.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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