AMB-study consists of research groups from four universities including Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä (Professor Sulin Cheng, consortium leader); Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University (Professors Riitta Lahesmaa); Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Turku (Kalervo Väänänen, Professor); Department of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology (Professor Olli Yli-Harja); and Turku PET Centre, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital (Professor Pirjo Nuutila).
Understanding how body composition develops through childhood and adolescence, and the factors that influence this process, is vital in developing effective ways of optimizing children’s health. This project uses a unique 8-year longitudinal study cohort (n=396 girls at the baseline 10-13 years old) and family database. We already have body composition measurements, questionnaires and blood samples, etc. for girls obtained 1-8 times and for family members 1-2 times.
By re-analysing this existing material with the latest methods we aim to find early signs of systemic low-grade inflammation (SLGI), its dynamic changes, and the associations among physical activity/diet, SLGI, and central fat accumulation. Biopsies of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue in a subgroup of mother-daughter-father trios will allow us to explore the mechanisms behind observed associations found in the large sample and provide new knowledge on the factors contributing to adipose tissue accumulation.
In this field, very little work in humans has been reported to date, in particular related to longitudinal or family studies. Although the detrimental effects of obesity usually occur in adulthood, SLGI may begin in early age. Significant health, social and economic benefits are possible if the central mediating role of SLGI in the bone-fat-muscle interrelationship is confirmed in humans, since it offers possibilities for developing early interventional methods to prevent adiposity-related metabolic disease.