Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Prevent Obesity And Diabetes In Mice

Date:
October 3, 2000
Source:
Washington University School Of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have developed genetically-altered mice that do not become obese or develop diabetes when fed a high-fat diet. This work suggests that it is possible to alter muscle metabolism and body weight in animals by producing this protein in muscle.

St. Louis, Oct. 1, 2000 – Researchers have developed genetically-altered mice that do not become obese or develop diabetes when fed a high-fat diet. This work suggests that it is possible to alter muscle metabolism and body weight in animals by producing this protein in muscle.

"We've produced mice that can eat as much as they like without suffering the consequences of obesity and diabetes," says Clay Semenkovich, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Semenkovich directed the study, which is reported in the October issue of Nature Medicine. Both Bing Li, M.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow, and Lorraine A. Nolte, Ph.D., research assistant professor of medicine, are first authors of the paper. The study was conducted in collaboration with John O. Holloszy, M.D., professor of medicine.

The food you eat normally generates ATP, a form of chemical energy used by cells. That energy powers your muscles during exercise. But without exercise, ATP is used to make and store fat. This strategy was useful during times of famine, but it now sets the stage for dangerous levels of obesity in Western society, where food is plentiful and exercise is scarce. And obesity often causes insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.

Semenkovich and colleagues used genetic techniques to produce a protein called uncoupling protein-1 in the skeletal muscle of laboratory mice. This protein converts the energy from food into heat instead of into ATP. The protein, however, is not normally produced in skeletal tissue.

The production of uncoupling protein in muscle tissue mimicked the effects of exercise. Rather than storing excess fat from their consistently bad diet, the experimental mice remained thin, did not develop diabetes and had low levels of cholesterol. But almost all of their littermates became obese, developed diabetes and had high levels of cholesterol when they ate the high-fat diet. Remarkably, the treated mice did not overheat either. Somehow, the uncoupling protein used up the excess energy without raising body temperature. The animals also were as physically fit as mice that ate a low-fat diet. They had the same levels of high-energy phosphates, such as ATP and phosphocreatine, in their muscle. And they could run on a treadmill at 5 mph.

In the future, a similar treatment may permit humans to stay healthy and slim despite poor eating habits. First, an effective and safe means of introducing the protein into human muscle would have to be developed.

"Uncoupling protein may be a replacement for exercise," explains Semenkovich. "It burns fuel in muscle, which provides the same key benefits." For example, the protein makes more glucose flow into muscle tissue. By regulating glucose metabolism, it prevents mice from developing diabetes. In the near future, the researchers hope to determine whether gene therapy can reverse obesity and diabetes in already diseased animals. This strategy has the potential to eventually help humans. "It may be possible, either through drugs or gene therapy, to turn on something like uncoupling protein that would waste energy instead of storing it in fat," Semenkovich says. "Such treatments would promote leanness."

###

Li B, Nolte LA, Ju JS, Han DH, Coleman T, Holloszy JO, Semenkovich CF. Skeletal Muscle Respiratory Uncoupling Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance In Mice. Nature Medicine, Oct., 2000.

This work is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Aging.

The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC Health System.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School Of Medicine. "Researchers Prevent Obesity And Diabetes In Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001003071408.htm>.
Washington University School Of Medicine. (2000, October 3). Researchers Prevent Obesity And Diabetes In Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001003071408.htm
Washington University School Of Medicine. "Researchers Prevent Obesity And Diabetes In Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001003071408.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins