Obesity

Are Angiogenic Factors of Fat Cells Associated with Treatment of Obesity

Researchers at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden believe that more insight on the angiogenic factors (development of blood vessels) of fat tissues can help in opening up new treatment options for obesity and its related complications.  Scientists discovered such a possibility in January 2009 when they exposed experimental mice to low temperatures and found that under these circumstances the mice developed more blood vessels and their utilization of fats also increased rapidly.

What the research discovered:

  • Fat cells grow and are utilized by the body when oxygen and nutrients are made available to them through blood.  Based on this premise, it can be assumed that inhibiting the development of blood vessels, or angiogenesis, in fat tissues may combat obesity.
  • Apart from the growth of blood vessels in the experimental mice at low temperatures, the researchers also noticed that fat tissue converted from white form to brown form under these circumstances.  This development took place because brown fat is required by the body for the release of heat and spread of warmth in cold conditions.
  • Such conversions of fat cell forms are mostly found in newborn babies and much less reported in adults.
  • The researchers concluded that by controlling the development of blood vessels, the transformation of white fat into brown fat could be possible in adults as well.

Scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine were the first to discover that blood vessels had a role to play in controlling fat cell development. The results of their findings were reported in the September 2008 issue of the Stem Cells Journal. The research made a further development in this field by discovering that white fat – brown fat conversion is possible in adults too by inhibiting blood vessel formation of fat tissues.

This research and its findings have paved the way for possible new therapeutic treatments of obesity and obesity-related disorders by targeting the vascular area.

References

Angiogenesis and obesity:
http://cardiovascres.oxfordjournals.org/content/78/2/286.full

Angiogenesis in the body is not only affected by drugs, but also can be influenced by diet and lifestyle. Here are some of the ways: http://www.angio.org/understanding/diet.php

Angiogenic factors are elevated in overweight and obese individuals:
http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v29/n11/abs/0802987a.html

Angiogenesis modulates adipogenesis and obesity:
http://www.jci.org/articles/view/32239

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