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Studies show how a fat cell immune response makes obesity worse

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Washington D.C: During obesity, a person’s own fat cells harbor a complex inflammatory chain reaction that can disrupt metabolism and weaken the immune response. This could potentially place people at high risk of poor outcomes from a variety of diseases and infections, including COVID-19.
The study was led by scientists at the Cincinnati Children’s and University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine and published in Nature Communications.
The team reports that type I interferons, a class of substances produced by immune cells, are also produced by fat cells called adipocytes. These interferons drive a sustained low-level, chronic immune response that increases “fat” to a cycle of inflammation within white fat tissue (WAT).
More commonly known as white fat, it is the type of fat that spreads around our thighs, arms, and bells to form most of the unwanted bulge.
This inflammation, in turn, appears to drive a cascade of cellular responses that promote obesity-related disease, particularly type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Senad Dinaikov, PhD author and a researcher at Cincinnati Children, Cenad Divanovic, said, “Our novel study shows that type I interferon by adipocytes exposes its latent inflammatory capacity and enhances the metabolic system associated with obesity.” is.”
“Further, our findings highlight a previously underlined role for adipocytes as a contributor to overall inflammation in obesity,” said Divanovic.
New studies reveal how 1 interferons type along an axis of interaction with IFNa receptors (IFNAR) to trigger a vicious cycle of inflammation. Among the effects: changes in expression of several genes associated with inflammation, glycolysis, and fatty acid production.
For example, mice fed an obesity-inducing diet displayed an enhanced type I IFN signature, including increased IFnb1, Ifnar1, Oas1a and Isg15 gene expression, the team reported.
Importantly, many of the metabolic changes documented in mice were preserved in human adipocytes.
This activity was unexpected because by now most scientists have studied type 1 interferons in relation to viral infection and immune cell function.
“Our observations suggest that the type I interferon axis may alter adipocyte core inflammatory programming to make them closer to an inflammatory immune cell. Furthermore, type I interferon modulates the metabolic circuit of adipocytes, which is, to our knowledge, Is the first depiction of immunity. Rapid modulation of adipocyte core metabolism, “said Divanovic.
Further investigation continues into the specific mechanisms that type I interferons employ to modify adiposite core metabolism. In addition, researchers continue to fully study how adipocytes can “mimic” inflammatory immune cell capabilities.
“These findings directly affect a broad number of adult and pediatric patients,” said Divanovic.
Beyond diabetes and NAFLD, the difference between obesity and the immune system increases the risk of preterm birth and may reduce the body’s ability to fight infection – including viruses such as COVID-19.


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