Nav: Home

T cells trim the fat and protect against obesity

July 25, 2019

Specialized immune cells protect against obesity by regulating the diverse communities of intestinal bacteria in mice, according to a new study, which shows how changes in gut microbiota can influence the development of metabolic disorders. The results suggest the potential for new microbiome-based therapies for obesity and other metabolic diseases. Obesity, a common metabolic syndrome affecting the health of nearly two billion people worldwide, has been linked to a variety of factors including genetics, diet, behavior and most recently, the host's microbiome. Studies in mice have revealed differences in the gut microbiota composition in lean and obese animals, which can predispose a mouse to obesity. Moreover, transplanted microbiota of obese humans can confer metabolic defects into otherwise healthy animals. Building on previous research, which identified the immune system as a key factor in regulating the composition of the microbiome, Charisse Petersen and colleagues discovered that specialized immune cells called T follicular helper (TFH) cells shield mice from obesity by promoting the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies by B cells in the gut. Genetically altered mice with defective TFH cell development produced little IgA. This resulted in symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including fat accumulation and insulin resistance, which are characteristics of human metabolic disease. According to Petersen et al., dysfunctional IgA production impeded the colonization of Clostridia bacterial species, allowing the expansion of Desulfovibro bacteria. Clostridia and Desulfovibro, respectively, suppress and enhance the expression of genes that direct the absorption of dietary lipids. In a related perspective, Yuhao Wang and Lora Hopper write that "the Petersen et al.'s findings beautifully illuminate how immune system defects can lead to metabolic disease."

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Obesity Articles:

Obesity is in the eye of the beholder
Doctors have a specific definition of what it means to be overweight or obese, but in the social world, gender, race and generation matter a lot for whether people are judged as 'thin enough' or 'too fat.'
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
Three in 4 don't know obesity causes cancer
Three out of four (75 percent) people in the UK are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer, according to a new Cancer Research UK report published today.
Obesity on the rise in Indonesia
Obesity is on the rise in Indonesia, one of the largest studies of the double burden of malnutrition in children has revealed.
Obesity rates are not declining in US youth
A clear and significant increase in obesity continued from 1999 through 2014, according to an analysis of data on United States children and adolescents age 2 to 19 years.
How does the environment affect obesity?
Researchers will be examining how agricultural and food processing practices may affect brown fat activity directly or indirectly.
Obesity Day to highlight growing obesity epidemic in Europe
The growing obesity epidemic, which is predicted to affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030, will be the focus of European Obesity Day to be held on May 21.
Understanding obesity from the inside out
Researchers developed a new laboratory method that allowed them to identify GABA as a key player in the complex brain processes that control appetite and metabolism.
Epigenetic switch for obesity
Obesity can sometimes be shut down.
Immunological Aspects of Obesity
This FASEB Conference focuses on the interactions between obesity and immune cells, focusing in particular on how inflammation in various organs influences obesity and obesity-related complications.

Related Obesity Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...