Australian scientists have for the first time proven that the cause of obesity and insulin resistance is a defect in the mesentery of the lymph nodes, with which the abdominal cavities are attached to the posterior wall of the abdomen.
Natural Metabolism reports that scientists at the Melbourne Institute of Pharmacology at Monasha University, along with colleagues from other Australian universities, have discovered that a high-fat diet stimulates the growth of a turbulent network of lymphatic vessels in the mesentery. These vessels allow lymphatic fluid rich in intestinal fat metabolites and inflammatory mediators to leak into the visceral adipose tissue in the abdominal cavity, causing abdominal fat accumulation and insulin resistance.
“For the first time in this study, we were able to find the biological cause of the accumulation of fat around the abdomen, with higher rates of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, compared with the accumulation of fat in other parts of the body,” says lead researcher Natalie Trevsky. A high-fat diet leads to dysfunction of the mesenteric lymphatic vessels, which promotes the accumulation of abdominal fat and insulin resistance.
In addition, researchers present empirical evidence that interrupting this cycle by blocking the pathways associated with lymphatic dysfunction may be a treatment for obesity and related diseases. When COX-2 inhibitors were injected into laboratory mice, the structure of the mesenteric vessels improved, their weight gain stopped, and conditions associated with glucose tolerance and elevated blood insulin levels, associated with type 2 diabetes, were eliminated.
Researchers have achieved this success, and thanks to an innovative method of delivering the blocker directly to the mesenteric lymph nodes with a special drug, the researchers hope that it will become an excellent drug in the treatment of obesity and related diseases after clinical trials.
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