Infants born to obese mothers risk developing liver disease, obesity

Infant gut microbes altered by their mother’s obesity can cause inflammation and other major changes within the baby, increasing the risk of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease later in life, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study was published Oct. 26 in the journal Nature Communications.

“Alteration of the gut microbiome early in life may precede development of obesity instead of being caused by established obesity,” said the study’s lead author Taylor Soderborg, an MD/Ph.D. candidate in the Integrative Physiology Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “This is the first study to show a causative role of these microbes in priming development of obesity.”

Childhood obesity is a world-wide epidemic with recent predictions saying that 57 percent of today’s children will be obese by age 35. That parallels the rate of maternal obesity which is nearly 40 percent. Obesity increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which impacts at least 30 percent of obese children. NAFLD can lead to liver failure, requiring a transplant.

In this study, researchers looked at two-week old infants born to normal weight mothers and obese mothers. They took stool samples from infants from both groups and colonized them inside germ-free mice.

They discovered that the gut microbes from babies born to obese mothers caused metabolic and inflammatory changes to the liver and bone marrow cells of the mice. Then, when fed a Western-style high fat diet, these mice were predisposed to more rapid weight gain and development of fattier livers.

“This is the first experimental evidence in support of the hypothesis that changes in the gut microbiome in infants born to obese mothers directly initiate these disease pathways,” Soderborg said.

For the study’s senior author, Jed Friedman, Ph.D., MS, professor of pediatrics and neonatology at the CU School of Medicine, the findings offer potential hope for understanding how early microbes might go awry in children born to obese mothers.

“About 35 percent of these kids have NAFLD and there is no known therapy for it,” he said. “But if we can alter the microbiome we can change the course of NAFLD.”

Friedman said the study shows that the microbiome can cause the disease rather than simply be associated with it. Newborns of obese mothers, he said, could be screened for potential changes in their gut that put them at risk for NAFLD.

“If we could modify the first two weeks of the infant microbiome, we could reduce the risk of this disease,” said Friedman.

That could be done through giving the infant probiotics or other supplements.

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High fat diet has lasting effects on the liver

Consuming a high-fat, high-sugar diet causes a harmful accumulation of fat in the liver that may not reverse even after switching to a healthier diet, according to a new study by scientists from Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

For the study, published Oct. 3 in Science Translational Medicine, the investigators developed a nanosensor that can detect and noninvasively track the accumulation of fat in the liver. They used the sensor to assess the effects of a high-fat, high-sugar diet on the livers of mice. They then evaluated the outcomes when the mice returned to a healthy diet. Unexpectedly, the researchers found that, while the fat accumulation decreases after returning to a healthy diet, some residual fat remains in certain liver cells long afterwards.

“Going on a short-term unhealthy diet binge is a bad idea,” said senior author Dr. Daniel Heller, an associate professor in the Pharmacology and Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology program at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and head of the Cancer Nanomedicine Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The liver remembers.”

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects up to 30 percent of people in the United States, where a high-fat, high-sugar diet is common. Patients with NAFLD develop an accumulation of excess fat in their livers. The condition can progress to a more serious disease involving inflammation, scarring and even liver cancer (called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH). People who accumulate fat inside liver cells called Kupffer cells, specifically a part of these cells named lysosomes that act like cellular garbage collectors, appear more likely to progress to serious liver disease.

“Fatty liver disease is a growing concern in the clinic and has rapidly become one of the top causes of liver disease in the United States and Europe,” said co-author and hepatologist Dr. Robert Schwartz, an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and an assistant professor in the Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology program at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. “Currently, we have no medical therapies for fatty liver disease. We tell our patients to eat better and to exercise more, which, as you can imagine, is not very effective.”

Currently, some imaging tools like ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging can help identify people with fatty livers, but these techniques often provide less detailed information. Dr. Heller’s nanosensor is the first to noninvasively detect fat in the lysosomes of the Kupffer cells, potentially identifying those most at risk of progressing.

The tiny sensor is about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and made of single-stranded DNA wrapped around a single-walled carbon nanotube. Fat accumulation in the lysosomes changes the color of light emitted by the nanosensor, and was first observed in live cells in Dr. Heller’s lab by MSKCC research associate Prakrit Jena and Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences student Thomas Galassi, the first author of the paper.

When the nanosensors are injected into a mouse, the liver filters them out of the blood and then are consumed by the organ’s lysosomes. Shining a near-infrared flashlight-like device on rodents injected with these nanosensors causes the sensors to glow. The color of the light corresponds to the fat content in the liver, allowing Dr. Heller and his colleagues to measure fat non-invasively using the device.

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Scientists were able to prove the benefits of young blood in the fight against aging


Chinese scientists from Huajumbaro University of science and technology found that plasma transfusions of young blood helps to rejuvenate the liver and its recovery after ischemia-reperfusion. This condition occurs when the cessation of blood flow in the body and is dangerous for older patients. About it reported in a press release on EurekAlert!.

In the experiment, the researchers used three groups of rats. The first animals were given injections of young blood plasma and the other got plasma from old rodents. The third group served as a control, the scientists did not carry out any interventions. Then all animals were subjected to artificially induced ischemia-reperfusion. It turned out that the animals in the first group of the liver to recover from injury much faster.

According to scientists, the results for the first time, clearly support the therapeutic and rejuvenating effect of a transfusion of blood plasma. This procedure may be useful for people, however further research is required to confirm a beneficial effect of the plasma on the liver elderly patients with poor circulation.

Transfusion of young blood restores damaged liver

Experts Huajumbaro University of science and technology in China has received confirmation of the therapeutic effect of the transfusions of young blood plasma. In particular, it became clear what the transfusion triggers mechanisms of accelerated liver regeneration after injury.

In a press release on EurekAlert! it is the opinion of the researchers that plasma transfusions of young blood helps to restore the liver after ischemia-reperfusion. This condition is very dangerous for a man: thus there is violation of blood supply of the liver, caused as consequences of the surgical intervention, and shock States (hypovolemic, hemorrhagic, traumatic, burn, septic shock).

Scientists have conducted an experiment with three groups of rats. In the first group of animals received injection of young blood plasma, the second plasma old blood. The third group was a control. In all three groups of rats subjected to as ischemia-reperfusion.
The results of the experiment were as follows. In the first group, where animals received injections of young blood plasma, the liver has recovered after the breach much faster.

Scientists admit that the method of plasma transfusions of young blood might be useful for people.

Previously, the journal Nature published the findings of a study conducted by researchers from London studied whether blood transfusion to stop the aging process. The researchers came to the conclusion that I can’t, but at the same time they received evidence that such experiences may prevent the development of in the elderly life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease, dementia.

Earlier Magicforum wrote that scientists were able to understand how high blood pressure causes the development of heart attacks and strokes.