Fat and Fibrosis

  • Ren Mao
  • J. Calvin Coffey


Wrapping of the mesenteric fat (creeping fat) represents a characteristic feature of Crohn’s disease (CD). As a powerful producer of fatty acids, cytokines and adipokines, creeping fat plays an important role in regulation of immunity and inflammation. Increasing evidence points towards a link between creeping fat and intestinal inflammation in CD. Early data from macroscopic findings showed a significant relationship between creeping fat and connective tissue changes including fibrosis and muscular hypertrophy. Emerging mechanistic data indicate a link between creeping fat and intestinal fibrosis in CD. Data on fibrosis in other organs could provide clues to address the mechanistic role of distinct components of creeping fat in the pathogenesis of intestinal fibrosis. Future studies will provide essential new information and could lead to novel therapeutic agents for the prevention or treatment of IBD-associated fibrosis.


Creeping fat Crohn’s disease Stricture Fibrosis Adipose tissue 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ren Mao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Calvin Coffey
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionDigestive Diseases and Surgery Institute, The Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathobiologyLerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, Graduate Entry Medical SchoolUniversity Hospital Limerick, 4i Centre, University of LimerickLimerickIreland

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