Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine. Clinical laboratory and biomedical science related news, abstracts and images for medical laboratory professionals, students and other laboratory geeks.
Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
White blood cell enzyme contributes to inflammation and obesity
Many recent studies have suggested that obesity is associated with chronic inflammation in fat tissues. Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have discovered that an imbalance between an enzyme called neutrophil elastase and its inhibitor causes inflammation, obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease. This enzyme is produced by white blood cells called neutrophils, which play an important role in the body's immune defense against bacteria. The researchers found that obese humans and mice have increased neutrophil elastase activity and decreased levels of α1-antitrypsin, a protein that inhibits the elastase.