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:3/27/2017)... CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics ... Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, ... 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical ... CHS for its high level of EMR usage ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be ... 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating tumor cell (CTC) capture systems, ... Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on May 8th. The peer ... Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los Angeles. The publication describes the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading provider of Big Data ... Conference and Expo in Boston May 23-25 with a featured speaker and solution ... Data Lake is also a finalist for the Best of Show award. , James ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual ... , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The University City ... with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 partner ... submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional proof-of-concept ...
Breaking Biology Technology: