Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fat Cell Hormone Causes Weight Loss

Date:
April 23, 2004
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have established in an animal model that the hormone adiponectin secreted by fat tissue acts in the brain to reduce body weight.

Penn(Philadelphia, PA) - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have established in an animal model that the hormone adiponectin secreted by fat tissue acts in the brain to reduce body weight. In contrast to leptin, a related hormone, adiponectin can cause weight loss by raising metabolic rate while not affecting appetite. This finding may have future implications in understanding and treating obesity and metabolic disorders like diabetes, says lead author, Rexford Ahima, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Penn Diabetes Center. This research appears in the May issue of Nature Medicine.

Related Articles


When adiponectin, which is involved in glucose and lipid metabolism, was introduced into the cerebrospinal fluid of normal mice, they showed no changes in food intake, but their metabolism rose. "The animal burns off more calories, so over time loses weight, which was very fascinating because we knew that leptin caused weight loss by suppressing appetite and increasing metabolic rate," explains Ahima. "Here we have another fat hormone that can cause weight loss but without affecting intake."

For many dieters, it's easy, at first, to lose weight; but over time, it becomes more difficult because the body compensates, in part, by dropping its metabolic rate. "Adiponectin or its targets in the brain and other organs could be harnessed to sustain weight loss by maintaining a high metabolic rate," says Ahima. "This is only a possibility. We're not suggesting at this point that adiponectin will become a drug." In severely obese mice, adiponectin rapidly decreases blood glucose and lipids, while burning fat. Hence, adiponectin could be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes and heart disease associated with obesity.

These findings have far-reaching potential to help fight the war against obesity, which healthcare experts agree has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. "For years people used to think fat tissue was a passive player--just there to store excess energy," explains Ahima. This proved to be a simplistic view since hormones produced by fat tissue are released into the blood and are actively involved in the regulation of metabolism. The best known fat hormone, leptin, decreases body weight by decreasing appetite and increasing metabolic rate. Leptin also reduces glucose and lipids. The researchers found that both adiponectin and leptin require the melanocortin pathway in the brain to control body weight and glucose. However, these fat hormones also control metabolism through other distinct pathways in the brain. "We focus on the brain because it is a major coordinator of feeding, metabolism, and hormones, including insulin," says Ahima.

Other Penn researchers collaborating on this work are Yong Qi, Nobuhiko Takahashi, and Hiralben R. Patel, as well as Philipp E. Scherer, Anders Berg, and Utpal B. Pajvani from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Stanley M. Hileman from West Virginia University. The research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

PENN Medicine is a $2.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation's first integrated academic health system).

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System consists of four hospitals (including its flagship Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation's "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report), a faculty practice plan, a primary-care provider network, three multispecialty satellite facilities, and home health care and hospice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Fat Cell Hormone Causes Weight Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040422224153.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. (2004, April 23). Fat Cell Hormone Causes Weight Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040422224153.htm
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Fat Cell Hormone Causes Weight Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040422224153.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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