Tuesday October 22, 2019

Using aspirin may reduce obesity’s effect on cancer, finds study

To study how obesity affects this defence mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.

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To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.
Representational Image, Pixabay

Aspirin, a medication used to treat pain, fever or inflammation, could significantly reduce the effects of obesity on cancer, suggests a study on mice.

Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.

The new study, from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, showed that obesity could enhance cancer development by slowing down the key cancer defence mechanism.

“Epithelial” cells lining the surfaces of organs have the intrinsic ability to remove potentially malignant cells from their midst. This is called the “epithelial defense against cancer” mechanism.

Normally, the cells sense harmful cells and push them out by the process called cell competition.

Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.
Medicines. Pixabay

“This is the first report to show that obesity and chronic inflammation can influence competitive interaction between normal cells and transformed cells,” said lead author Yasuyuki Fujita.

“It implies other factors such as infection, smoking, sleeping patterns and ageing may also affect cell competition,” Fujita added.

To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.

Epithelial cells usually remove the potentially malignant Ras-transformed cells.

Feeding the Ras mice high-fat diets, which resulted in severe obesity, suppressed the defense mechanism and therefore increased the number of Ras-transformed cells remaining in the tissue.

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This suppression was seen in the intestine and pancreas, but not in the lungs, the researchers noted.

A month later, the Ras-transformed cells developed a tumor in the pancreas of mice with the high-fat diet.

Further experiments using the mice model and cultured cells revealed that fatty acids and chronic inflammation cause the suppression of the defense mechanism.

However, when mice fed a high-fat diet were treated with aspirin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, the defense mechanism was substantially enhanced.

This implies that reinforcing the epithelial defense mechanism with anti-inflammatory drugs could be utilized for cancer prevention, the researchers said. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Fatty Tissues Accumulate Inside Lungs of Obese People: Study

The researchers examined post-mortem samples of the lungs that had been donated for the research and stored in the Airway Tissue Biobank

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Excess fat accumulates in the airway walls of Obese people where it takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs. Pixabay

Researchers have found that fatty tissues accumulate in the airway walls, particularly in people who are overweight or obese.

The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggested that the fatty tissue alters the structure of people’s airways and this could be one reason behind the increased risk of asthma.

“Our research team studies the structure of the airways within our lungs and how these are altered in people with respiratory disease,” said the study’s author John Elliot from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Australia.

“Looking at the samples of lungs, we spotted fatty tissue that had built up in the airway walls. We wanted to see if this accumulation was correlated with body weight,” Elliot said.

The researchers examined post-mortem samples of the lungs that had been donated for the research and stored in the Airway Tissue Biobank.

They studied samples from 52 people, including 15 who had no asthma, 21 who had the disease but died of other causes and 16 who died of asthma.

Using dyes to help visualise the structures of 1373 airways under a microscope, they identified and quantified any fatty tissue present.

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Fatty tissue alters the structure of Obese people’s airways and this could be one reason behind the increased risk of asthma. Pixabay

They compared this data with each person’s body mass index (BMI).

The study showed that fatty tissue accumulates in the walls of the airways. The analysis revealed that the amount of fat present increases in line with increasing BMI.

“We’ve found that excess fat accumulates in the airway walls where it takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs,” said the study’s co-author Peter Noble.

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“We think this is causing a thickening of the airways that limits the flow of air in and out of the lungs, and that could at least partly explain an increase in asthma symptoms,” Noble said. (IANS)