Colorized scanning electron micrograph shows brown and yellow fat cells known as adipocytes amid adipose connective tissue fibers.
Mental Health

A Role for Fat

Factor in fat tissue found to improve glucose tolerance in mice

HMS researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have found that exercise dramatically changes fat, causing it to release an adipokine protein known as TGF-ß2 into the bloodstream. Although adipokines often are harmful to metabolism and health, the researchers found that, in mice, increased levels of TGF-ß2 in fat tissue and the bloodstream improved glucose tolerance and fatty acid uptake. The team also found that lactic acid, released from muscles during exercise, triggered the release of TGF-ß2 from fat. The findings suggest that TGF-ß2 may hold potential as a treatment for high blood sugar.  

Takahashi H, et al., Nature Metabolism, February 2019

Image: Prof. P. Motta, Dept.of Anatomy/University “La Sapienza,” Rome, Science Source