Relationship among diabetes, fat and cardiovascular disease: Study | Health

A team of scientists describes a series of studies designed to determine the relationship between insulin, fats and the vascular system, and has identified a new way in which the cells that line blood vessels – endothelial cells – drive the body’s metabolism.

The study was published in the journal Circulation Research.

In a reversal of scientific theory, the findings suggest that vascular dysfunction may be the cause of the undesirable metabolic changes that lead to diabetes, but not the effect as previously thought.

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“In people with diabetes and insulin resistance, the idea that white fat and inflammation cause dysfunction in blood vessels has always led to the prevalence of heart disease, eye disease and kidney disease in this patient population,” said Thomas King. J. Beatson, Jr. Professor of Medicine in the Field of Diabetes at Harvard Medical School. “But we found that blood vessels can have an important regulatory effect here, and that was not known before.”

In addition to being associated with blood vessel abnormalities, diabetes is also associated with an undesirable decrease in the body’s storage of brown fat, known as brown adipose tissue. Unlike white fat, which primarily stores energy, brown fat burns energy, maintains body temperature, and regulates body weight and metabolism. In a series of experiments with a mouse model of diabetes, King and colleagues observed that mice engineered with enhanced sensitivity to insulin only in blood vessels weighed less than control animals, even when fed a high-fat diet. It turned out, the extra insulin-sensitive mice had more brown fat than the control animals; They showed less damage to blood vessels.

The team’s further investigation revealed that insulin signals the endothelial cells in the blood vessels to produce nitric oxide, which triggers the production of brown fat cells. In the case of insulin resistance, endothelial cells produce less nitric oxide – which increases cardiovascular risk – leading to a decline in brown fat production. Because brown fat plays such an integral role in regulating body weight and metabolism, small brown fat deposits are a risk factor, not a symptom of diabetes.

“What we found here is that the endothelial cells that line blood vessels can have an important regulatory effect on how much brown fat you develop,” King said.

“Nitric oxide comes from endothelial cells to regulate how much brown fat you have, and this finding is very exciting because we previously thought that diabetes caused cardiovascular problems, but in this context that relationship is reversed,” he said.

The study’s findings implicate brown fat and a suite of hormones and inflammatory proteins as biomarkers, or signs that doctors can test for, for atherosclerosis or cardiovascular disease. With future animal and clinical studies down the road, this new information opens the door to a whole new approach to weight control by increasing brown adipose tissue by improving endothelial nitric oxide production.

“Everything is connected,” King said.

“We think that blood vessels and endothelial cells play an important role in regulating brown fat, but also in regulating the metabolism of the whole body. Thus, these endothelial cells are an important factor in controlling weight and developing diabetes, and as other laboratories have shown. , blood vessels appear to be an important regulator of brain function. Interventions at the level of endothelial cells are many. can have a major impact on diseases,” he concluded.

This story was published by Wire Agency Feed without text modification. Only the title has been changed.

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