Navigation Links
Cortisol and fatty liver: Researchers find cause of severe metabolic disorders
Date:9/9/2008

A healthy body stores fat in the form of so-called triglycerides in specialized fatty tissue as an energy reserve. Under certain conditions the delicate balance of the lipid metabolism gets out of control and fat is accumulated in the liver, leading to the dreaded fatty liver. This increases the risk of many metabolic diseases, such as the metabolic syndrome known as "deadly quartet". This combination of fatty liver, obesity, diabetes and hypertension is regarded as the primary cause of life-threatening vascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

It was still unknown which conditions cause the body to deposit fat in the liver. However, scientists knew that the body's own glucocorticoid hormones such as cortisol promote the development of fatty liver. This can be observed, for example, in a condition known as Cushing syndrome. Cortisol levels in affected patients are permanently raised often caused by malignant tumors. This, in turn, leads to high blood sugar levels and patients frequently develop fatty liver. Long-term cortisone therapies such as those used for treating chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma also cause the triglyceride level in the liver to rise to dangerous levels. Dr. Stephan Herzig, head of the Junior Research Group "Molecular Metabolic Control" at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), and his team have now published the mechanism by which the body's own glucocorticoid hormones contribute to this disruption of the lipid metabolism.

The researchers in Herzig's team specifically switched off the cortisol receptor in the livers of mice, thus blocking the hormone's effect. As a result, the triglyceride level in the livers of the experimental animals dropped considerably. Investigations have revealed that, in the absence of the cortisol receptor, large amounts of the HES1 protein are produced in the livers of these animals. HES1 activates a number of enzymes that break down fat and, thus, counteracts fat accumulation in the liver. If, on other hand, normal mice are treated with cortisol, their HES1 levels in the liver drops, while triglyceride levels rise. Further experiments have shown that the cortisol receptor in this newly found metabolic pathway act directly on a switch of the HES1 gene and, thus, switches it off completely.

"We have discovered a key mechanism here that plays a crucial role in many pathologic metabolic disorders," explains Stephan Herzig. "It has been obvious for some time that there is an association between the body's own cortisol or therapeutically administered cortisone and the development of fatty liver. Now we also know what the interconnections look like at a molecular level."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstdt
s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Omega-3 fatty acids protect against Parkinsons, study says
2. University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels
3. Typical North American diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids
4. Trans-fatty acids and insulin sensitivity
5. Scientists suspect omega-3 fatty acids could slow acute wound healing
6. Atomic structure of the mammalian fatty acid factory determined
7. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
8. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
9. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
10. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
11. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... leader in dairy research, today announced a new collaboration ... reduce the chances that the global milk supply is ... dairy project, Cornell University has become the newest academic ... Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that includes IBM ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/17/2017)... ... September 17, 2017 , ... ... Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS) for an Investigational New Drug ... Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The study in Korea represents the second ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... , ... September 14, 2017 ... ... the launch of its CliniControl™ (CC) product portfolio, clinically-relevant starting and ancillary ... translation of human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell (hMSC)-based therapies. The CliniControl product portfolio ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... , ... September 14, 2017 , ... AIM Global, the ... Tracking Systems Inc. has won the 2017 Case Study Competition for AIDC. The ... provide benefits that decrease risk” and push the adoption of automated data collection systems ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... PhysIQ, a Chicago-based company that provides ... monitoring and clinical trial support, earned DPharm Idol 2017 honors at the 7th ... Launched in 2005, PhysIQ leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to empower digital health. The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: