Fat Beneath Skin May Ward Off Infections

January 2, 2015 12:04 PM

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When it comes to skin infections, a healthy and robust immune response may depend greatly upon what lies beneath. In a new paper published in today’s Science, researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine report the surprising discovery that fat cells below the skin help protect us from bacteria.

Richard Gallo, professor and chief of dermatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues have uncovered a previously unknown role for dermal fat cells, known as adipocytes: they produce antimicrobial peptides that help fend off invading bacteria and other pathogens.

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