In many patients with Crohn’s disease abdominal fat migrates to the wall of the inflamed small intestines. What prompts the fat tissue to “creep” through the abdomen and wrap around the intestines of many patients with this inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been an enduring mystery.
Now, investigators have identified a critical clue. In a study published in the journal CELL this week, researchers from Cedars-Sinai show that the peculiar creeping activity of the fat appears to initially be protective but then ends up doing more harm than good.
“Creeping fat is often a landmark for surgeons performing resections on an IBD patient’s bowels because they know when they see it, that’s likely where the lesions are located,” said Suzanne Devkota, PhD, principal investigator and lead author of the study. “But we don’t know whether the presence of the fat is making the disease worse or trying to protect the