Navigation Links
Cortisol and fatty liver: Researchers find cause of severe metabolic disorders
Date:9/9/2008

A healthy body stores fat in the form of so-called triglycerides in specialized fatty tissue as an energy reserve. Under certain conditions the delicate balance of the lipid metabolism gets out of control and fat is accumulated in the liver, leading to the dreaded fatty liver. This increases the risk of many metabolic diseases, such as the metabolic syndrome known as "deadly quartet". This combination of fatty liver, obesity, diabetes and hypertension is regarded as the primary cause of life-threatening vascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

It was still unknown which conditions cause the body to deposit fat in the liver. However, scientists knew that the body's own glucocorticoid hormones such as cortisol promote the development of fatty liver. This can be observed, for example, in a condition known as Cushing syndrome. Cortisol levels in affected patients are permanently raised often caused by malignant tumors. This, in turn, leads to high blood sugar levels and patients frequently develop fatty liver. Long-term cortisone therapies such as those used for treating chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma also cause the triglyceride level in the liver to rise to dangerous levels. Dr. Stephan Herzig, head of the Junior Research Group "Molecular Metabolic Control" at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), and his team have now published the mechanism by which the body's own glucocorticoid hormones contribute to this disruption of the lipid metabolism.

The researchers in Herzig's team specifically switched off the cortisol receptor in the livers of mice, thus blocking the hormone's effect. As a result, the triglyceride level in the livers of the experimental animals dropped considerably. Investigations have revealed that, in the absence of the cortisol receptor, large amounts of the HES1 protein are produced in the livers of these animals. HES1 activates a number of enzymes that break down fat and, thus, counteracts fat accumulation in the liver. If, on other hand, normal mice are treated with cortisol, their HES1 levels in the liver drops, while triglyceride levels rise. Further experiments have shown that the cortisol receptor in this newly found metabolic pathway act directly on a switch of the HES1 gene and, thus, switches it off completely.

"We have discovered a key mechanism here that plays a crucial role in many pathologic metabolic disorders," explains Stephan Herzig. "It has been obvious for some time that there is an association between the body's own cortisol or therapeutically administered cortisone and the development of fatty liver. Now we also know what the interconnections look like at a molecular level."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstdt
s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Omega-3 fatty acids protect against Parkinsons, study says
2. University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels
3. Typical North American diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids
4. Trans-fatty acids and insulin sensitivity
5. Scientists suspect omega-3 fatty acids could slow acute wound healing
6. Atomic structure of the mammalian fatty acid factory determined
7. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
8. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
9. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
10. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
11. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... present at the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual Global Healthcare ... Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ... can be accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  The webcast ... Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com . ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... ANTONIO , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research ... Dr. Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new ... Texas Biomed effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the ... Director of the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio ... Schlesinger as the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of ... paper " What You Should Know About Biometrics in ... user authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, ... However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from ... authentication offers an elegant solution to the problem of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading ... the world, is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Precision Medicine Virtual Conference. ... online-only conference focused on the development and advancements in precision medicine. , Precision ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin Agritech, LLC, a subsidiary ... seed provider, and Arcadia (Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., ... and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional products, today announced their ... product developed in China to ... ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... announced the addition of Tom Perkins as European director. Operating from Pennside’s Zurich ... to Pennside. , Perkins joins Pennside after more than a decade with ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... 2017 Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), ... to protect and restore the health of patients, intends to report ... 2016 on Thursday, March 2, 2017, and to host a conference ... for the call is as follows: U.S. (toll free): ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: