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1.  Six weeks of voluntary wheel running modulates inflammatory protein (MCP-1, IL-6, and IL-10) and DAMP (Hsp72) responses to acute stress in white adipose tissue of lean rats 
To prime local tissues for dealing with potential infection or injury, exposure to an acute, intense stressor evokes increases in circulating and local tissue inflammatory proteins. Regular physical activity facilitates stress-evoked innate reactivity and modulates the expression of inflammatory proteins in immuno-metabolic tissues such as white adipose tissue (WAT). The impact of regular physical activity on stress-evoked inflammatory protein expression in WAT, however, remains unclear. To investigate this question, lean male F344 rats (150–175 g) were allowed voluntary access to a running wheel for 6 weeks followed by exposure to an acute stressor (100, 1.5 mA-5 s inescapable tail shocks). Using ELISAs, corticosterone, heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72), macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 concentrations were measured in plasma and subcutaneous, intraperitoneal (epididymal and retroperitoneal WAT depots) and visceral (omental and mesenteric WAT depots) WAT compartments. Acute stress increased plasma concentrations of all proteins except TNF-α and, depending upon the compartment examined, WAT concentrations of MCP-1, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10. Exercise ubiquitously increased IL-1β within WAT, potentiated stress-evoked Hsp72 in plasma and WAT, and differentially increased stress-evoked MCP-1, IL-6, and IL-10 within WAT. These data suggest: (a) inflammatory proteins in non-obese WAT may serve compartment-specific immune and metabolic roles important to the acute stress response and; (b) voluntary habitual exercise may optimize stress-induced augmentation of innate immune function through increases in stress-evoked Hsp72, MCP-1, IL-6, and IL-10 and decreases in IL-1β/IL10 and TNF-α/IL10 ratios within white adipose tissue.
PMCID: PMC4301739  PMID: 24246250
Innate immunity; Acute stress; Visceral adipose tissue; Sterile inflammation; Cytokine; Interleukin-1beta; Interleukin-6; Interleukin-10; Macrophage chemoattractant protein-1; Heat shock protein 72
2.  Interleukin-1 beta: a potential link between stress and the development of visceral obesity 
BMC Physiology  2012;12:8.
A disproportionate amount of body fat within the abdominal cavity, otherwise known as visceral obesity, best predicts the negative health outcomes associated with high levels body fat. Growing evidence suggests that repeated activation of the stress response can favor visceral fat deposition and that visceral obesity may induce low-grade, systemic inflammation which is etiologically linked to the pathogenesis of obesity related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. While the obesity epidemic has fueled considerable interest in these obesity-related inflammatory diseases, surprisingly little research is currently focused on understanding the functions of inflammatory proteins in healthy, non-obese white adipose tissue (WAT) and their possible role in modulating stress-induced shifts in body fat distribution.
The current review presents evidence in support the novel hypothesis that stress-evoked interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) signaling within subcutaneous adipose tissue, when repeatedly induced, contributes toward the development of visceral obesity. It is suggested that because acute stressor exposure differentially increases IL-1β levels within subcutaneous adipose relative to visceral adipose tissue in otherwise healthy, non-obese rats, repeated induction of this response may impair the ability of subcutaneous adipose tissue to uptake energy substrates, synthesize and retain triglycerides, and/or adapt to positive energy balance via hyperplasia. Consequently, circulating energy substrates may be disproportionately shunted to visceral adipose tissue for storage, thus driving the development of visceral obesity.
This review establishes the following key points: 1) body fat distribution outweighs the importance of total body fat when predicting obesity-related disease risk; 2) repeated exposure to stress can drive the development of visceral obesity independent of changes in body weight; 3) because of the heterogeneity of WAT composition and function, an accurate understanding of WAT responses requires sampling multiple WAT depots; 4) acute, non-pathogenic stressor exposure increases WAT IL-1β concentrations in a depot specific manner suggesting an adaptive, metabolic role for this cytokine; however, when repeated, stress-induced IL-1β in non-visceral WAT may result in functional impairments that drive the development of stress-induced visceral obesity.
PMCID: PMC3404929  PMID: 22738239

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