A study by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has shown that secreted frizzled-related protein 5 (Sfrp5) is an anti-inflammatory adipokine whose expression is disrupted in animal models of obesity and type 2 diabetes . The research, published in Science, could be key to the development of new approaches to obesity and other metabolic diseases.
Obesity can contribute to metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with a low-grade inflammatory state in adipose tissue . Since adipokine dysregulation is associated with the pathogenesis of obesity-linked disorders, the research team attempted to identify new adipokines by comparing the genetic profile of adipose tissue taken from both lean mice obese mice on a high calorie diet .
Kenneth Walsh, lead author of the study, commented that “Our study shows that Sfrp5 is secreted by adipocytes and that it controls the microenvironment of white adipose tissue under conditions of obesity-induced metabolic stress .
Whereas Sfrp5 deficient mice do not express a detectable phenotype when fed a normal diet, these animals displayed aggravated fat pad inflammation and systemic metabolic dysfunction when fed a high calorie diet.” On the other hand, they found the administration of Sfrp5 to models of obese and diabetic mice improved metabolic function and reduced adipose tissue inflammation.

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