Crohn’s disease could be worsened by “creeping fat.”
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis progression and development have been found to be linked to “creeping fat.” Researcher Charalabos Pothoulakis said, “A well-appreciated feature of IBD [inflammatory bowel disease], especially longstanding Crohn’s disease, is intra-abdominal fat, also known as ‘creeping fat,’ which wraps around the intestine. However, it’s not clear whether this fat is protective or harmful. Our study offers insight into this phenomenon. We found that intra-abdominal fat cells may normally be programmed to dampen inflammation but, in fact, have acquired a tendency to promote inflammation in IBD.”
The researchers collected mesenteric fat tissues from 11 colitis patients, 11 Crohn’s patients, and 10 non-IBD controls. The researchers then isolated and cultured preadipocytes, cells that differentiate into becoming part pf adipose tissue where fat is stored for energy. They intended to evaluate the effect of the neuropeptide substance P on the expression of cytokines, which are small proteins important for cell signaling.
The researchers found that signaling mediators produced by the intra-abdominal fat cells in the controls were significantly different from those in the IBD patients. This indicates that these cells are actively involved in gut immunity and inflammation, as pointed out in the press release.
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