AMSTERDAM—It’s been many years since adipose tissue came to be appreciated not just as a store of energy, but also as a regulator of metabolism and an important player in immune function. Rheumatology researchers continue to drill down into the role of fat cells in the search for mechanisms that could reveal targets for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, and experts shared recent findings in a session at EULAR: the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology.
Explore this issueSeptember 2018
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Response to the Western Diet
Henk Schipper, MD, PhD, a pediatric cardiology fellow at University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands who specializes in the study of adipose tissue, said the understanding of adipose tissue has continued to deepen over the past 30 years, with such milestones as the discovery of the hormone leptin and adipose tissue macrophages. The volume of work in the field has soared.
Recently, an international group of investigators found that mice on a high-fat, high-glucose Western diet showed a more aggressive response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) than control mice, but that this response was long lasting—seen again weeks after the mice were put back on a normal chow diet.1 This lasting response must mean the Western diet causes a fundamental change in the mice, the researchers say.