New study reveals that not all inflammation during weight gain is bad. The study has been published in Science Immunology and led by Dr. Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha, a professor at the Université de Montréal and researcher at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.
Dr. Ariel Wilson, a senior postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Sapieha's team and lead author of the new study, found that Neuropilin1-positive macrophage immune cells accumulate in fat tissue and orchestrate healthy weight gain. These cells are important in removing excess fat from the body and also help build the body's infrastructure to accommodate new fat reserves without causing complications typically associated with obesity.
Body fat is made up of billions of cells called adipocytes that store energy. Depending on how many calories we intake, adipose tissue (body fat) expands or contracts. In order for fat tissue to expand in a healthy manner, it must first be prepared, much like a garden must be plowed before planting seeds.
In sum, this study demonstrates that a subset of immune cells is critical for ensuring healthy weight gain. The study's findings are important in helping understand the complications that arise from obesity.