Navigation Links
Anorexics found to have excess fat-- in their bone marrow
Date:2/9/2010

Boston, Mass.-- People with anorexia nervosa, paradoxically, have strikingly high levels of fat within their bone marrow, report researchers at Children's Hospital Boston. Their findings, based on MRI imaging of the knees of 20 girls with anorexia and 20 healthy girls of the same age, appear in the February issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

"It's counter-intuitive that an emaciated young woman with almost no subcutaneous fat would be storing fat in her marrow," says endocrinologist Catherine Gordon, MD, MSc, director of the Bone Health Program at Children's and the study's senior investigator.

In the study, the knee MRI images were read by radiologists who were unaware of the patient's clinical status. Compared with controls, the patients with anorexia had markedly increased fat content-- visualized as "yellow marrow"-- and less than half as much healthy red marrow in their knees; this was seen both in the lower thigh bone (femur) and upper shinbone (tibia). The findings in these girls and young women, averaging 16 years of age, confirm previous observations in mice with clinical signs similar to anorexia nervosa, reported by study co-author Clifford Rosen, MD, of the Maine Medical Center.

Previous work has shown that hormonal alterations, which are common in states of malnutrition, trigger the bone marrow's mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into fat cells (adipocytes) rather than bone-forming cells (osteoblasts). Together, the mouse and human studies may explain why people with anorexia nervosa lose bone mass, sometimes to the point of developing osteoporosis and fractures.

"Bone formation is very low in girls with anorexia, and that's a particular problem because they are growing adolescents who should be maximally forming bones," says Gordon. "But because of the hormonal alterations induced by malnutrition, the bone marrow stops yielding the needed cells to form bone. Instead the stem cells are pushed toward fat formation."

Gordon is planning follow-up studies to find out why this happens. One speculation is that it's the body's attempt to store energy and preserve warmth. Anorexics often develop hypothermia because of a lack of insulating fat, and are often hospitalized with extremely low body temperatures.

Gordon also wants see how closely fat in the bone marrow correlates with bone density, and whether measuring fat with noninvasive MRI scans might serve as one way of testing the efficacy of hormonal therapies aimed at improving bone mass. Gordon has several studies testing such therapies in anorexia and other conditions that lead to bone loss, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Kirsten Ecklund, MD, of Children's Department of Radiology, was the study's first author. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Children's Hospital Radiology Foundation, Inc.

Citation: Ecklund K et al. "Bone marrow changes in adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa." J Bone Min Res Feb 2010.


'/>"/>
Contact: James Newton
james.newton@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Key to out-of-control immune response in lung injury found
2. Natural chemical found in broccoli helps combat skin blistering disease
3. Balzan Foundation announces 2007 winners
4. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
5. Yu receives research funding from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
6. New dinosaur species found in Montana
7. PETA awards $120,000 to Duluth Foundation for advancing non-animal tests
8. New use for stem cells found in war on terrorism
9. New animal and plant species found in Vietnam
10. Three-way mating game of North American lizard found in distant European relative
11. Simons Foundation awards Emory scientists $3M for autism gene research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/15/2016)... , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, ... developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, today ... of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock and ... stock at a price to the public of ... to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding the ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the ... wireless communications for use in challenging operating environments, announced ... 2016. Management will hold a conference call to discuss ... Eastern Time (details below). Key Recent Accomplishments ... million binding agreement to acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016 Research and Markets ... America 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... North America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... that it has become a Wonderware Certified System Integrator Partner. Huffman Engineering ... Schneider Electric Software. , “The System Integrator Partner certification gives customers confidence that ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - OncoQuest Inc. ("OncoQuest"), a ... of immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of cancer, ... Antibody Manufacturing Development Program with Cytovance Biologics ( ... its oregovomab antibody product. Supported by recent positive ... study in ovarian cancer patients, OncoQuest has engaged ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016  Nordion, a standalone business ... (GA), welcome today,s award by the United States ... (NNSA) of the Phase II cooperative agreement funding ... and the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center ... support the establishment of a new, reliable supply ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... The report "Acrylic Processing Aid Market by Polymer Type (PVC), Fabrication Process (Extrusion, ... Forecast to 2026", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market size was USD 645.4 ... registering an of CAGR of 6.2% between 2016 and 2026. ... ... Logo , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: