About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

'Immature' Fat Cells May Hold Obesity Cure

by VR Sreeraman on September 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM
Font : A-A+

 'Immature' Fat Cells May Hold Obesity Cure

Experiments on mice conducted at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggest that immature fat cells may play a crucial role in treating obesity.

The researchers have discovered that such cells lurk in the walls of the blood vessels that nourish fatty tissue, just waiting for excess calories to help them grow into the adult monsters responsible for packing on the extra pounds.

Advertisement

While scientists have long known immature fat cells are located near blood vessels, this is the first time a study has shown exactly where they exist.

The researchers say that finding the existence, identity and lair of such cells may direct future research to find ways to them from creating undesired fat.
Advertisement

According to them, immature cells may also be used for such clinical treatments as filling in a woman's breast after a lumpectomy.

"There's both intellectual and clinical importance in this discovery. Identifying the progenitor cells and finding where they live gives us an exciting therapeutic opportunity," said Dr. Jonathan Graff, associate professor of developmental biology and molecular biology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, which appears in today's online edition of the journal Science.

"Since we can now isolate the progenitor cells, we can interrogate them molecularly and gain insight not only into how they function but also how to harness their powers to help in a variety of human conditions. And because we have found their location, we might be able to develop therapies that can help people with obesity, diabetes or other metabolic challenges," the researcher added.

He believes that it may soon be possible to remove immature cells from each person's own fat to other parts of the body, where they might be medically useful.

Such therapies may be beneficial particularly to soldiers, for progenitor fat cells from their bellies or thighs could be moved to their wounds. The approach may also be helpful in treating scars from breast cancer surgery.

For their study, the researchers engineered mice so that the progenitor cells would glow green, making them easy to follow as they transformed from progenitors into fully developed fat cells.

They found that the progenitor cells were embedded within the walls of the blood vessels that run through fat tissue.

"They're not just attached to the vessel wall, they're an integral part of it," Dr. Graff said.

He said that such an arrangement is crucial to the cells' interaction with the nutrients present in the blood after a meal, such as glucose.

When they sense excess caloric intake, they drift out of the vessel walls and mature into fat cells, ensuring that they reside in the appropriate location among other fat cells.

The green glow also allowed the researchers to separate the progenitor cells from other cells using a technique that isolates only the glowing cells.

Later, the team grew the cells in culture to analyse some of their properties, and observed that the progenitor cells has a distinct set of molecules on the surface, which could allow the cells to be isolated easily for transplant or study.

In their future research, the researchers hope to characterize the cells more fully and to isolate the progenitors just by removing unwanted fat, so that they could be moved to other locations in the same person for reconstructive purposes, to treat a variety of diseases, and also paradoxically to treat obesity and diabetes.

Source: ANI
SRM
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Black Pepper as Preventive Measure Against Omicron
FODMAP Diet: A Beginner's Guide
Smallpox
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bariatric Surgery Cholesterol Obesity Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Bulimia Nervosa Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction Battle of the Bulge 

Recommended Reading
Obesity
Obesity is a condition where there is excess accumulation of body fat which poses a risk to the ......
Ideal Body Weight
Calculate the ideal body weight for adults easily with Medindia's Ideal Body Weight Calculator....
Low Cholesterol Diet - PUFA & MUFA
Cholesterol - The Pivotal Chemical in Low Cholesterol Diet...
Battle of the Bulge
The ‘battle of bulge’ is the toughest of all battles. Once you put on weight it is so difficult to g...
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Bulimia Nervosa
The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followe...
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use