Studies have shown that human fat cells are much more active than previously thought.
Knowledge of how adipose tissue changes with age has in the past been based on the study on mice. After conducting a study involving people, Swedish researchers found that everything happens differently in humans.
Scientists at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm) for the first time conducted a prospective (time-stretched) study in humans, which allows you to take a fresh look at how our fat cells reduce lipid metabolism with age.
The results are published in the journal Cell Metabolism. With age, many changes occur in the body that affect physiological functions. Studies in mice have shown that macrophages contained in adipose tissue - immune cells whose primary goal is to protect themselves from pathogens - eventually begin to destroy norepinephrine, a hormone that stimulates lipid breakdown. It was believed that humans have the same mechanism. However, as it turned out in a new study, not microphages, but human fat cells themselves begin to destroy norepinephrine with age.
To find out, it took a prospective study that tracks the same people over time. 13 years ago, in a study of diets in women aged 30 to 35 years, fat samples were taken. Now the same women have been invited for further research.
According to scientists, it was found that the breakdown of lipids - lipolysis - in adipose tissue decreases over time, and these changes are not dependent on menopause or pregnancy, they are simply the result of aging. A lower lipolysis rate can contribute to weight gain and the accumulation of fat in other tissues. The result of this process can be atherosclerosis, as well as changes in the body's ability to cope with cold and hunger.
According to the authors, it was previously believed that the fat cell is quite inactive. A new study shows that it is active and controls much more than previously thought. Now scientists plan to study how various cells of adipose tissue affect age. They are especially interested in stem cells, which have a unique ability to self-repair and repair damage.