Creeping fat has long been recognized as an indicator of Crohn's disease (CD) activity. Although most patients with CD have normal or low body mass index (BMI), the ratio of intraabdominal fat to total abdominal fat is far greater than that of controls. The obesity epidemic has instructed us on the inflammatory nature of hypertrophic adipose tissue and similarities between mesenteric depots in obese and CD patients can be drawn. However, several important physiological differences exist between these two depots as well. While the molecular basis of the crosstalk between mesenteric adipose and the inflamed intestine in CD is largely unknown, novel evidence implicates neuropeptides along with adipocyte-derived paracrine mediators (adipokines) as potential targets for future investigations and highlight adipose tissue physiology as a potential important determinant in the course of IBD.
Copyright © 2012 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.