Obesity-related illnesses are a critical health concern in many countries, including the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36.5 percent of adults in America are obese, putting them at risk for serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
“These are challenging conditions to treat,” says Dr. James Luyendyk, associate professor for the Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our research suggests that a blood thinner called dabigatran can counteract hyper-coagulation, inflammation, and tissue damage—conditions that exacerbate these risks in obese individuals.”
In their latest paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Luyendyk, his MSU colleague Dr. Anna Kopec, and Dr. Matthew Flick, associate professor in the Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, discuss the possibilities of using the FDA-approved blood thinner to impede molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation. This may reduce weight gain and associated disease in individuals that consume a high-fat diet.
The blood thinner works by blocking thrombin, an enzyme that, in obese individuals, can cause inflammation and other risk factors for disease. The research team is continuing their investigation with the Pediatric Obesity Tissue Repository at Cincinnati Children’s, where they will use donated biopsy samples to look for correlations between diseases that are linked to obesity.
Additional details about this research and its funding are available from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.