Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unsaturated fat breakdown leads to complications of acute pancreatitis in obese patients

Date:
November 3, 2011
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
The toxic breakdown products of unsaturated fats contribute to the higher likelihood of severe inflammation, cell death and multi-system organ failure among acute pancreatitis patients who are obese, say researchers Their findings provide new insight into how fat can induce complications after sudden inflammatory, non-infectious illnesses.

The toxic byproducts produced by the breakdown of unsaturated fats lead to a higher likelihood of severe inflammation, cell death and multi-system organ failure among acute pancreatitis patients who are obese, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings, published online November 2 in Science Translational Medicine, provide new insight into how fat can induce complications after sudden inflammatory, non-infectious illnesses.

Doctors have observed that obese people are at greater risk for adverse outcomes after trauma, severe burns, critical illnesses and acute pancreatitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas typically brought on by gallstones and alcohol, said senior author and UPMC gastroenterologist Vijay Singh, M.D., assistant professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Pitt School of Medicine.

"The mortality rate among patients with severe acute pancreatitis is 40 to 50 percent when kidney failure and respiratory failure develop," he said. "Our findings indicate that the breakdown of unsaturated fat in acute inflammatory conditions can lead to tissue damage throughout the body."

Dr. Singh's team examined pancreas tissue from 24 patients who died with acute pancreatitis and compared them to 50 people who died of other causes. They found that the diseased pancreases of patients who were obese, meaning a body mass index equal to or greater than 30, contained more fat cells, and confirmed the presence of fat from CT imaging scans from the patients taken before their deaths. Autopsy tissue showed also that there was more pancreatic cell death in the areas around fat cell destruction.

Pancreatic fluids from six obese patients with severe acute pancreatitis who had surgical procedures to remove dead tissue revealed high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, produced from the breakdown of unsaturated fat, than saturated fatty acids. When the researchers combined healthy pancreatic cells with the unsaturated fatty acids in a test tube, the pancreatic cells died.

Then, they induced pancreatitis in obese mice and found that like the human patients, they had high amounts of fat in their pancreases. The fat in obese mice was mostly unsaturated. Kidneys of the mice with pancreatitis were damaged and contained fat deposits, an unexpected finding supported by studies in human autopsy tissue. Infusing unsaturated fatty acids into the bloodstream of the animals leads to lung injury akin to the problems seen in human patients, while administration of saturated fatty acids does not.

"Now that we better understand why these complications arise, we might be able to prevent them and reduce deaths," Dr. Singh said. "We must find ways to stop this toxic process from happening."

He and his team are studying ways to prevent the generation of unsaturated fatty acids in obese rodents to see what happens when they develop acute pancreatitis.

The team includes researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's departments of Pathology, Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Surgery and Radiology.

Funding for the research was provided by the National Center for Research Resources and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, both parts of the National Institutes of Health; and the Department of Medicine, Pitt School of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Navina, C. Acharya, J. P. DeLany, L. S. Orlichenko, C. J. Baty, S. S. Shiva, C. Durgampudi, J. M. Karlsson, K. Lee, K. T. Bae, A. Furlan, J. Behari, S. Liu, T. McHale, L. Nichols, G. I. Papachristou, D. Yadav, V. P. Singh. Lipotoxicity Causes Multisystem Organ Failure and Exacerbates Acute Pancreatitis in Obesity. Science Translational Medicine, 2011; 3 (107): 107ra110 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002573

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Unsaturated fat breakdown leads to complications of acute pancreatitis in obese patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111102161158.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2011, November 3). Unsaturated fat breakdown leads to complications of acute pancreatitis in obese patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111102161158.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Unsaturated fat breakdown leads to complications of acute pancreatitis in obese patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111102161158.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So 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