Research finds white adipose tissue to be essentially the most susceptible organ to obesity-related metabolic adjustments
  • Reading time:7 min(s) read

When the physique is subjected to a high-calorie weight loss program, the physiological response just isn’t homogeneous and a few organs or tissues are extra delicate to metabolic stress. Under these circumstances, the white adipose tissue of the visceral cavity is essentially the most susceptible organ to obesity-related metabolic adjustments, in accordance with a brand new examine printed within the journal Redox Biology and led by Professor Pablo M. Garcia-Roves, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona, the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Biomedical Research Networking Center for Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN).

This vulnerability is manifested within the magnitude of metabolic adjustments in overweight animals and the poor response of the tissue when the identical animals shed extra pounds by way of way of life adjustments and return to metabolic well being. The examine —primarily based on an animal experimental mannequin— reveals that when physiological stress exceeds the capability of white adipose tissue to reply, it reaches a degree of no return the place it loses its metabolic plasticity.

The examine contains the participation of members of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and the Institute of Biomedicine of the UB (IBUB), the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), the Rovira i Virgili University, Ramon Llull University, the Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERDEM), the University of Santiago de Compostela, the Universities of Cologne and Leipzig (Germany) and the Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria), amongst different establishments.

Obesity: metabolic dysfunctions and social stigma

Obesity —nonetheless stigmatized in our society— all the time generates vital adjustments in physiology and metabolism. Many of the adjustments we will describe in overweight individuals might be thought to be mere physiological diversifications to the stress of an extreme caloric consumption. But to what extent can we make this extreme consumption continual? What is the restrict to proceed stressing our physique?

“It is not an easy task to define these limits and this is one of the main challenges in the studies on obesity and biology in general”, be aware researchers Pablo M. Garcia-Roves and Pau Gama-Pérez. “Exceeding these adaptive limits would be the set off for all these obesity-associated comorbidities which are of nice public well being concern.

One of the principle features of the adipose tissue is to retailer fats and regulate extra energy. “If that fat were stored in other organs, the consequences would be far more counterproductive to health. The cells in adipose tissue increase in size, multiply and communicate with each other to report the stresses they face. Hypoxia and inflammation, for example, are indispensable signals for their cells to act in a coordinated way, store excess fat and inform the brain that energy reserves are covered”, says Gama-Pérez.

Mitochondria on the level of no return

When these alerts are ineffective and caloric extra turns into continual, metabolic issues can happen and lots of mobile components stop to operate correctly. Mitochondria —the mobile organelles accountable for producing metabolic vitality— are a key ingredient in understanding this physiological level of no return, the authors say.

“Many alterations in gene expression and protein synthesis in the adipose tissue of obese animals had some connection with the mitochondrial function. In our study, we found that several aspects of mitochondrial inner membrane morphology and structure were not optimal and it could have serious functional implications”, says Garcia-Roves.

“In particular —the researcher continues—cone of the most significant findings is the very pronounced loss of the organelle’s own genetic material, known as the mitochondrial DNA”.

A snowball impact on metabolic dysfunctions

The function of mitochondria within the metabolic dysfunctions that weight problems produces in adipose tissue has already been described within the scientific literature. However, the brand new examine reveals for the primary time that the pathophysiological imprint attributable to weight problems is ready to persist —and even develop into extra pronounced over time— when the animals return to the metabolic well being or the opposite organic processes altered within the tissue get well.

This physiological injury would propagate and might be outlined as a snowball phenomenon triggered by the stress of continual caloric extra on the adipose tissue. This physiological dysfunction may additionally contain, to a lesser extent, peroxisomes —the mobile organelles concerned in substrate metabolism— and the elimination of reactive oxygen species (oxidative injury).

“These alterations remain present in the animals over time, even when the metabolic stress from the hypercaloric intake has disappeared. Moreover, the dysfunctions transcend to other cellular components and affect new biological processes (the transport of proteins into the mitochondria, their assembly or subsequent degradation). “In basic, this case entails a way more generalized mobile stress”, be aware Alba González-Franquesa (Novo Nordisk) and Pau Gama-Pérez (UB), first authors of the examine.

The motive why these non-functional mitochondria aren’t eradicated in an effort to keep away from such a cascade of detrimental results on the cell remains to be unknown.

“The degradation of waste products —metabolites, proteins, and even entire organelles— that are no longer functional in order to avoid major problems is a major challenge for the cellular machinery. Understanding the role of the cellular recycling machinery is crucial for understanding health and determining potential therapeutic targets for metabolic pathologies. Our results show clear indications that there are failures in this aspect, which would help us to understand this loss of metabolic plasticity”, says Pau Gama-Pérez.

Aging, metabolism and weight problems

Age is a important think about understanding the physique’s responsiveness to a hypercaloric weight loss program. In the scientific literature, older mice have been reported to be extra susceptible to those issues than youthful mice.

The new examine, carried out on younger animals, reinforces the speculation that extreme caloric consumption accelerates the lack of metabolic plasticity and promotes a sure state of untimely ageing of adipose tissue. Thus, lots of the circumstances described in overweight animals reproduce many of those indicators of ageing.

Moreover, whether or not the physiological fingerprint described within the visceral adipose compartment can also be mirrored within the subcutaneous fats compartment remains to be unknown. In the scientific subject, additionally it is unknown how visceral fats responds in these conditions and it’s troublesome to have organic samples obtained by minimally invasive means (particularly from skinny and wholesome people to check hypotheses).

Some of the research which have analyzed visceral fats responses in sufferers report an elevated vulnerability on this tissue, describing alterations similar to these described within the Redox Biology article.

“Deciphering whether this same imprint remains in humans who have been able to reverse obesity would be an important advance in the understanding of its consequences and, above all, in the design of therapeutic strategies”, the consultants say.

“Our study shows some preliminary data from a two-steps bariatric surgery study, with significant weight loss and metabolic improvement between the two interventions the patients underwent. The magnitude of the changes in gene expression following these improvements may indicate some similarities to what we observed in our preclinical study. In any case, it is essential to design robust studies that can address this question as precisely as possible in obese patients in order to improve their health and quality of life”, concludes the analysis workforce.


Journal reference:

Gonzalez-Franquesa, A., et al. (2022) Remission of weight problems and insulin resistance just isn’t enough to revive mitochondrial homeostasis in visceral adipose tissue. Redox Biology.

If you are interested in working in a distraction free environment, visit our site Blissful Noises where we provide various sounds and features to help you focus or relax.