[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 18-Oct-2010
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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22165
BioMed Central

Western diet exacerbates sepsis

High fat diets cause a dramatic immune system overreaction to sepsis, a condition of systemic bacterial infection. An experimental study in mice, published in the open access journal BMC Physiology, has shown that a diet high in saturated fat, sugars and cholesterol greatly exaggerates the inflammatory response to sepsis.

Chantal Rivera, PhD Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, said that "Mortality due to sepsis in morbidly obese subjects is estimated to be 7 times more prevalent compared to mortality in lean individuals. Morbidity in obese patients is also more severe. Results from our recent studies suggest that this adverse outcome may be caused by consuming a high-fat diet, which predisposes the immune system to react more strongly to infection".

Dr. Rivera lead a team of researchers to carry out the surgical induction of sepsis in mice that had been fed normal chow or western diet for 3 weeks. Mice on the western diet, which was enriched in saturated fat, showed exacerbated inflammation that was found to be mediated by signaling via the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) pathway. According to Dr Rivera, "These results suggest that targeting the TLR signaling pathway as a therapeutic approach to the medical management of sepsis may be especially beneficial in obese patients".

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Notes to Editors

1. Western diet enhances hepatic inflammation in mice exposed to cecal ligation and puncture
Chantal A Rivera, LaTausha Gaskin, Georg Singer, Jeff Houghton and Monique Allman
BMC Physiology (in press)

During embargo, article available here

After the embargo, article available at the journal website

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.

2. BMC Physiology is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in cellular, tissue-level, organismal, functional, and developmental aspects of physiological processes. BMC Physiology (ISSN 1472-6793) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, BIOSIS, CAS, EMBASE, Scopus, Zoological Record, CABI and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



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