Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inflammation in body fat is not only pernicious

Date:
March 25, 2010
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
It has been a common opinion that inflammation in adipose tissue may cause insulin resistance, and thereby type 2 diabetes. However, recent research questions the theory that inflammation in the body fat is only pernicious. Instead the findings suggest that a certain form of body fat inflammation is necessary for fat cell turnover in the lean, healthy state.

It has been a common opinion that inflammation in adipose tissue may cause insulin resistance, and thereby type 2 diabetes. However, recent research from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, question the theory that inflammation in the body fat is only pernicious. Instead the findings suggest that a certain form of body fat inflammation is necessary for fat cell turnover in the lean, healthy state.

Related Articles


In 2008 the same group of researchers showed that adult humans constantly produce new fat cells to replace equally rapid break down of the already existing fat cells due to cell death, and that overweight people generate and replace more fat cells than do lean. It is also well established that obesity is a very strong risk factor for the most common form of diabetes (type 2). The mechanisms linking obesity to diabetes are not clear, but it is believed that disturbances in the function of adipose tissue which are induced by obesity impair the action of insulin on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (insulin resistance) thereby causing type 2 diabetes.

One of the most investigated pathogenic factors behind the link between insulin resistance and obesity is inflammation of adipose tissue (i.e. where the body fat is stored). Adipose inflammation is pronounced among obese and even more so when obesity is accompanied by type 2 diabetes.

"The hypothesis has been that inflammation in adipose tissue indirectly causes insulin resistance and thereby type 2 diabetes," says Professor Peter Arner, who led the study. "However, when we investigated adipose tissue from healthy and lean young women, we found that inflammation also is necessary for fat cell turnover in the lean, healthy state."

The researchers determined the expression of a number of inflammatory factors produced by the adipose tissue. The most important of these factors in adipose tissue is the signal protein TNF-alpha. This so called cytokine influences the generation, growth and death of fat cells in the body (adipocyte turnover) and also inhibits insulin action thereby causing insulin resistance. The researchers also observed a very strong relationship between, on the one hand, the ability of adipose tissue to produce and secrete TNF-alpha and, on the other hand, the size and number of fat cells in the adipose tissue among the healthy, lean women.

"This observation was only made for TNF-alpha, since there was no relationship between other inflammatory factors and adipocytes size or number," says Professor Arner. "Furthermore, the relationship was not found in obese women who were investigated at the same time as the lean ones."

Professor Arner and his group will now continue their search for how TNF-alpha and other factors regulate the regeneration and break down of fat cells, with the goal to find new targets in adipose tissue for medical treatment of type 2 diabetes.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Erik Arner, Mikael Rydén, Peter Arner. Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha and Regulation of Adipose Tissue. New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 362:1151-1153, 25 March 2010

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Inflammation in body fat is not only pernicious." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325092251.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2010, March 25). Inflammation in body fat is not only pernicious. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325092251.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Inflammation in body fat is not only pernicious." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325092251.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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