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UC Davis researchers find disease-causing fat cells in those with metabolic syndrome
Date:8/24/2011

ntrol and Prevention estimates that 35 percent of American adults have metabolic syndrome, and its prevalence is increasing even in children and young adults globally. It doubles a person's chances of developing cardiovascular disease -- which can lead to heart attack or stroke -- and is at least five times the risk for developing diabetes.

"This is the plague of our time," said Jialal, who is also the editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.

In the current study, biopsies were performed to remove subcutaneous adipose tissue, which accounts for about 80 percent of body fat, from the buttocks of 70 patients: 39 newly diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and 26 who were obese. Researchers also took standard measurements, such as fasting glucose and blood pressure, waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Glucose measurements were used to estimate insulin resistance, and both waist size and BMI were used in the statistical analysis to match test subjects with their control counterparts.

Jialal and his collaborators then measured 11 biomarkers for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as counting the number of macrophages in the fat tissue. These macrophages form crown-like structures around fat cells that have outgrown their blood supply and died. The presence of macrophages -- immune system cells that engulf and destroy cellular waste -- indicates the kind of inflammatory response implicated in cardiovascular disease.

Last year, Jialal published a study on these same 65 patients showing that they have both dysfunctional and fewer endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) than control subjects. These cells eventually form the lining of blood vessels and are used as a measure of cardiovascular health. As in the current study, this abnormality cannot be explained simply by obesity. Jialal's team now is looking at differences in monocytes between the two study groups. The new data su
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Contact: Charles Casey
charles.casey@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9048
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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