Obesity linked with immune cells
As part of a study researchers found that mice lacking a certain immune cell gained weight and developed metabolic abnormalities even when eating a standard healthy diet.
The findings join a number of other recent studies connecting obesity to the immune system.
Researcher Yair Reisner said that mice without the right dendritic immune cells could not release a toxic molecule called perforin which then results in weight gain.
“Notably, mice lacking these regulatory dendritic cells were also found to be more prone to develop another form of autoimmunity with symptoms similar to those found in multiple sclerosis,” Reisner said.
The obese mice were also found to have an altered collection of T immune cells stored in fat tissue. When the scientists reduced these T immune cells however, the mice stopped gaining weight and developing metabolic abnormalities.
Despite the research Resiner said that more study was still required.
“It is hard to predict how this might impact patient care, but we should initially try to find if the absence of this rare subpopulation of cells is associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, or any autoimmune or other immune abnormalities,” Reisner said.
This research was published on the 15 September 2015 in the Immunity journal.