Reporting in this week's issue of Nature Medicine, the NYU Langone team showed in experiments in mice and human tissue that Netrin-1 signaling is propelled by fat tissue growth. The team previously discovered that Netrin-1 was secreted by the immune system clean-up cells, or macrophages, whose buildup leads to inflammation.
Among the study's key findings was that inflammatory macrophage buildup is controlled by Netrin-1, which not only attracts more macrophages into fat tissue, but also prevents macrophages from carrying away pathogens and unwanted fat cells as the immune cells would normally do. Uncontrolled inflammation is known to damage arteries and vital organs.
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