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Linking vascular inflammation to obesity and atherosclerosis

Date:
May 6, 2014
Source:
The Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Researchers show that IKKβ functions in smooth muscle cells to regulate vascular inflammatory responses and atherosclerosis development in mice. Surprisingly, the lack of IKKβ also protects the animals from diet-induced obesity. The use of IKKβ inhibitors may provide an innovative treatment for atherosclerosis, obesity, and metabolic disorders.
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New research reveals that IKKβ inhibitors reduce diet-induced obesity. These images show that fat mass is significantly decreased in mice treated with IKKβ inhibitors (right) compared with a control group (left).
Credit: Sui et al., 2014

A study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine shows that IκB kinase β (IKKβ) functions in smooth muscle cells to regulate vascular inflammatory responses and atherosclerosis development.

Inflammatory responses are the driving force of atherosclerosis, a process that involves the hardening and thickening of artery walls due to excess fatty deposits. IKKβ is a central coordinator of inflammatory responses that has been implicated in vascular diseases, but its role in atherosclerosis has been unclear.

Now, Changcheng Zhou and colleagues from the University of Kentucky show that deficiency of IKKβ in smooth muscle cells decreases vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis development in mice. Surprisingly, the lack of IKKβ also blocks the differentiation of fat cells and causes an accumulation of body fat precursor cells, thus protecting the animals from diet-induced obesity.

These novel findings suggest that the kinase acts as a regulator of fat cell differentiation. The use of IKKβ inhibitors may therefore provide an innovative treatment for atherosclerosis, obesity, and metabolic disorders.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by The Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Sui, S.-H. Park, J. Xu, S. Monette, R. N. Helsley, S.-S. Han, C. Zhou. IKK  links vascular inflammation to obesity and atherosclerosis. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2014; 211 (5): 869 DOI: 10.1084/jem.20131281

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The Rockefeller University Press. "Linking vascular inflammation to obesity and atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506151848.htm>.
The Rockefeller University Press. (2014, May 6). Linking vascular inflammation to obesity and atherosclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506151848.htm
The Rockefeller University Press. "Linking vascular inflammation to obesity and atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506151848.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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