During a study spanning nearly a decade, researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Cancer Center have linked the protein clusterin – for the first time — to many different facets of cardiometabolic syndrome risk through its actions in the liver.
Cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) is a cluster of conditions occurring together that increase a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. The risk of developing CMS is even greater for patients who are physically inactive or smoke,
Findings of the study that involved humans and mice are published online in the journal Diabetes Care.
“Our goal was to discover new factors produced by the cells in fat tissue that have an impact on cardiometabolic disease. In particular, we wanted to identify those important to maintaining the framework of fat tissue, called the extracellular matrix, which becomes dysfunctional in obesity,” said first author Dr. David Bradley, assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and a member of Ohio State’s Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center.
The study found that a particular extracellular matrix protein called clusterin, which is overproduced from the fat cells of obese patients, is strongly related to insulin resistance. It’s also linked to increased cardiovascular disease risk and mortality, high blood pressure, harmful cholesterol levels and fatty liver disease.
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