Fat-cell Hormone Linked To Kidney Disease
Reduced levels of a hormone produced by fat cells and linked to the development of insulin resistance may also be related to a higher risk of kidney disease, according to a study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Thomas Jefferson University.
Their study, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on April 22, could point the way to drug therapies that can protect renal and cardiac function in patients with obesity.
The new findings show that the hormone, adiponectin, produced by fat cells, circulates in the blood and acts to both suppress inflammation -- known to be a contributor to diabetes and cardiovascular disease -- and to reduce protein in the urine.
"A deficiency in adiponectin could be the major reason why obese patients develop the initial signs of kidney disease," said principal investigator Kumar Sharma, M.D., F.A.H.A., professor of medicine and Director of Translational Research in Kidney Disease at UC San Diego's School of Medicine.
He added that an elevated level of protein in the urine, termed albuminuria, is often seen with obesity. Albuminuria is an indicator of kidney disease and an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. "At present, the connections between the kidney and the cardiovascular system are not clear.
A better understanding of the relationships between the kidney, the cardiovascular system and obesity will be of major benefit in treating these common public health problems at an early stage." ...continued