Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic factor controls health-harming inflammation in obese: Trigger holds promise for treating diabetes, other chronic illnesses

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a genetic factor that can regulate obesity-induced inflammation that contributes to chronic health problems.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered a genetic factor that can regulate obesity-induced inflammation that contributes to chronic health problems.

If they learn to control levels of the factor in defense cells called macrophages, "We have a shot at a novel treatment for obesity and its complications, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer," said Mukesh K. Jain, MD, Ellery Sedgwick Jr. Chair, director of the Case Cardiovascular Research Institute, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and chief research officer of the Harrington-McLaughlin Heart & Vascular Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and senior author of the new study.

A description of the research, led by Drs. Xudong Liao and Nikunj Sharma, research associates at the School of Medicine, will be published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on June 13.

Signals from the environment within tissues determine whether Kruppel-like factor 4, KLF4 for short, is turned off or on, which in turn determines whether macrophages become attackers or healers.

In the absence of KLF4, macrophages produce and spew toxins -- the stuff of inflammation -- that destroy invaders such as bacteria.

High levels of KLF4 turn macrophages into anti-inflammatory cells that remove the debris and secrete compounds that heal tissues.

The process works well in lean people. Fellow researchers in France found that the macrophages residing in fatty tissues of lean people contain high levels of KLF4.

But, when people eat high-fat foods and gain weight, their body fat draws more and more macrophages, the vast majority of which are of the inflammatory type. These macrophages contain low levels of KLF4 and are more easily irritated by cytokines, which are cell-signaling proteins, and fatty acids released by fat cells. The macrophages respond by producing a low level of inflammation, Jain explained.

"A low level of inflammation over time is deleterious," he said. In people, long-lasting inflammation is connected to diabetes, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses.

In experiments using mouse models, Jain's team found that when KLF4 was removed from macrophages, they all assumed the inflammatory state.

Furthermore, when the KLF4-deficient mice were fed a high-fat diet for 10 weeks, they gained 15 percent more weight than control animals fed the same diet, and developed severe diabetes as evidenced by glucose tolerance tests.

The researchers are now designing experiments to determine if they can prevent or reverse the shift from anti-inflammatory to inflammatory by increasing KLF4 levels in macrophages as they are bombarded by cytokines or fats.

If they can induce macrophages to remain anti-inflammatory, Jain said, "Would you be able to lose weight, would diabetes go away, would inflammation go away?

"Possibly."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Xudong Liao, Nikunj Sharma, Fehmida Kapadia, Guangjin Zhou, Yuan Lu, Hong Hong, Kaavya Paruchuri, Ganapati H. Mahabeleshwar, Elise Dalmas, Nicolas Venteclef, Chris A. Flask, Julian Kim, Bryan W. Doreian, Kurt Q. Lu, Klaus H. Kaestner, Anne Hamik, Karine Clιment, Mukesh K. Jain. Krόppel-like factor 4 regulates macrophage polarization. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI45444

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Genetic factor controls health-harming inflammation in obese: Trigger holds promise for treating diabetes, other chronic illnesses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613122514.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2011, June 20). Genetic factor controls health-harming inflammation in obese: Trigger holds promise for treating diabetes, other chronic illnesses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613122514.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Genetic factor controls health-harming inflammation in obese: Trigger holds promise for treating diabetes, other chronic illnesses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613122514.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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