Polar Bear

Polar Bear
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reverse Remodeling

When the heart is put under certain stresses, it adjusts its mass and chamber wall thickness to compensate for the stress.  For instance, when someone suffers a heart attack, the area of the heart tissue that has been deprived of oxygen (due to vessel blockage, etc.) dies.  
The dead area then undergoes 'remodeling', where the normal heart cells are replaced with scar tissue, which is not the normal heart muscle.  This area thins out and is unable to contract properly, which often leads to heart failure.  In the meantime, in the shrunken area, the blood vessels which once fed the dead tissue disappear, and the blood flow to that heart tissue is then reduced.

This is the heart's way of fixing the problem, since the heart has no other way to repair or replace this damaged tissue. As scientists, we are trying to reprogram this repair, to result in 'reverse remodeling'-one such therapy that is being researched is stem cell therapy.  The patients own bone marrow stem cells can be taken out and injected into the patient's dead heart tissue.  These stem cells can then change into heart cells, or even become part of new blood vessels to the region.


Reverse remodeling with stem cells is a very real option that is being pursued in all kinds of studies to work out any bugs, but patients in trials have already shown promising results.


When we get fat, a kind of remodeling also occurs-maybe you have heard about the 'hydrated' fat on this season of The Biggest Loser...


As we add to our fat depots, the body must feed these growing fat cells by creating a network of blood vessels into the area.
When you see the dead adipocyte (fat cell) in the obese adipose tissue (AT), this is NOT a good thing.  See the fat cell gets so full that is explodes-and it becomes an 'angry fat cell'.  This dead angry fat cell serves to recruit in more macrophages (immune cells) to clean up the mess...  These immune cells then release inflammatory chemicals which regulate how the surrounding fat functions-stimulating them to release their own proinflammatory hormones.
These angry fat chemicals then affect a WIDE array of tissues (FFA=free fatty acids)...


This remodeling turns this fat tissue into endocrine organs-organs which release chemicals (like hormones) that affect the function and survival of other organs/tissues.  So the fat chemicals affect blood vessel functions (think atherosclerosis), immune cell inflammation (think autoimmune diseases), fatty liver which can lead to cirrhosis, insulin resistance of the skeletal and heart muscle (leading to the remodeling of the heart), beta cells in the pancreas die=prediabetes-this increasing metabolic syndrome and change in blood vessels lead to a 3 times greater risk for Alzheimers.


Who knew one little angry fat cell could be so powerful?  Truth is, as obese people, we have millions of angry fat cells.  


The good news?  Unlike the heart, reverse remodeling is VERY possible in the fat tissue.  How?  Lose weight.  Even a 10 pound loss makes a difference in circulating angry fat chemicals.  There is no research needed on this therapy-we have the tools within ourselves.  Diet and exercise and lose the weight already-because you don't want to make the fat angry.  You won't like them when they're angry.  


And neither will your organs.


13 comments:

Julie said...

Cool post. I don't want my fat angry. My stomach is angry enough this week with not feeling full but it'll adjust once "she's" gone this month. Thanks of the learning experience.
Take care and God Bless!!

The Ninja said...

This is a cool post, good info.

Trisha said...

Very interesting!! I dont want angry things in my body!!!! Now to go walk ;)

Bethanny said...

You make me all educatemacated and junk. You sooo smaaarrrt gurl! :) Great post, as always :)

Jennifer said...

Very interesting...thanks for sharing :)

Jackie said...

I learned a lot from this post and, honestly, it kind of shook me up - in a good way. I have 60 pounds-worth of angry fat cells just armed for rebellion. You've inspired me to get my booty moving and reduce the hand-to-mouth exercise I've gotten far too good at. Thanks for this info. Jackie
www.midlifemyway.blogspot.com

Call me Ishmael said...

Ack! That's some scary stuff, Polar's Mom! But what cool work you are doing -- that's really amazing. I'm now afraid of my fat cells in a whole new way. Are my angry fat cells going to kill me in my sleep?

Allison S. said...

Wow ... I need to print this and put it on my fridge for a reminder. Hanging a picture of some hot skinny celeb that I will never look like won't deter me from the Blue Bell. Seeing the the angry fat cells attacking major organs has a better chance. Thanks for the info!
-Allison

JW said...

Very cool the way you put things. I also got a little shaken up, but in a good way. Heart attacks and heart disease run rampant through my family, I have to stay awake and choose health. Thanks!

Natasha said...

Great explanation!! I have lots of angry fat cells! Makes me want to work even harder to rid by body of them!

Sue said...

very interesting and thought provoking, gets you really thinking, thanks for the info

Angela said...

Instead of bone marrow cells, which are hard to obtain and are not ubiquitous, consider using your adipose tissue for stem cell regeneration. It is beating bone marrow stem cells by far in research due to the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells. Use your own adult stem cells. They are taken directly from your fatty area (abdomen, thigh) broken down to the pre-adipocyte (baby fat cell) and then injected directly into your heart of major artery and home right into the damaged area of the heart and helps in revascularization and oxygen perfusion to the heart for healthier remodeling of the heart muscle

Michele said...

Crap that was a sobering post. At least I am have less angry fat chemicals in circulation now!