Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How saturated fatty acids 'anger' the immune system (and how to stop them)

Date:
November 6, 2009
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Researchers have new evidence to explain how saturated fatty acids, which soar in those who are obese, can lead the immune system to respond in ways that add up to chronic, low-grade inflammation. The new results could lead to treatments designed to curb that inflammatory state, and the insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes that come with it.

Researchers have new evidence to explain how saturated fatty acids, which soar in those who are obese, can lead the immune system to respond in ways that add up to chronic, low-grade inflammation. The new results could lead to treatments designed to curb that inflammatory state, and the insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes that come with it.

One key, according to the report in the November Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, is an immune receptor (called Toll-like receptor 4 or Tlr4) at the surface of blood cells, including a particularly "angry" class of macrophages known to pump out toxic molecules and spur inflammation. It now appears that fatty acids may in essence "hijack" those immune cells via Tlr4.

"Tlr4 is out there to sense bacterial products, but one of those looks a lot like fatty acids," said the study's senior author Jerrold Olefsky of the University of California, San Diego. "They don't know it's not bacteria."

That bacterial product is something called lipopolysaccharide (LPS) found in bacterial membranes. Olefsky notes, however, that they have not yet fully demonstrated that fatty acids bind Tlr4 directly.

Scientists had suspected that Tlrs might be the "sensors" linking obesity to inflammation. Indeed, earlier studies had supported that notion. In the new study, the researchers show that this interaction is particularly important in the bloodstream. Mice lacking Tlr4 only in blood cells grew obese when they were fed a high-fat diet, but they were largely spared the metabolic consequences of their obesity. The mice were fat, but metabolically they continued to "look pretty normal," Olefsky said.

The researchers showed in another Cell Metabolism report last year that a "genetic trick" designed to kill off the offending macrophages, which are distinguished by a CD11c marker, could reverse insulin resistance in obese mice. The method used by the team wasn't one that they could consider translating into the clinic, however.

The new findings suggest one that could. "A Tlr4 antagonist -- now that's a therapeutic," Olefsky said. "The jury is still out, but it sure makes sense they could be a new class of insulin sensitizers."

They say that drugs aimed at Tlr4 have already been developed, and the idea that those drugs may hold promise in fighting insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is one Olefsky's team is now exploring in detail in the mice.

The researchers include Maziyar Saberi, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA; Niels-Bjarne Woods, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA; Carl de Luca, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA; Simon Schenk, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA; Juu Chin Lu, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA; Gautam Bandyopadhyay, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA; Inder M. Verma, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA; and Jerrold M. Olefsky, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "How saturated fatty acids 'anger' the immune system (and how to stop them)." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103121603.htm>.
Cell Press. (2009, November 6). How saturated fatty acids 'anger' the immune system (and how to stop them). ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103121603.htm
Cell Press. "How saturated fatty acids 'anger' the immune system (and how to stop them)." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103121603.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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