Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene Linked To Adult-onset Obesity Discovered

Date:
June 11, 2008
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a gene that may provide a clue as to why obesity rates increase with age. The age-dependence of the obesity seen in this mouse model mimics human obesity patterns, researchers said. Indeed, the likelihood of people developing obesity more than doubles between the ages of 20 and 60.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a gene that may provide a clue as to why obesity rates increase with age. The research was published June 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers in the lab of Kevin Wickman, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, removed a single gene from mice as part of an ongoing study to understand how the brain controls heart function. While some cardiac deficiencies were detected in these mice, the researchers unexpectedly found that these mice exhibited a predisposition to adult-onset obesity. "This was not an outcome we expected, but now we have an animal model that may provide new insight into human obesity," said Wickman, co-author of the article.

By examining closely where this gene, termed Girk4, is expressed in the body, the researchers found particularly high levels in the hypothalamus, a brain region involved in regulating food intake and energy expenditure. Wickman speculated that disruption of normal function in the hypothalamus may underlie the obesity seen in the mutant mice, but he acknowledges that more research is needed to understand where and how this gene works, and consequently, why mice missing this gene develop obesity.

The age-dependence of the obesity seen in this mouse model mimics human obesity patterns, researchers said. Indeed, the likelihood of people developing obesity more than doubles between the ages of 20 and 60.

"This is a novel finding that may provide important new insight to the underlying cellular mechanisms that influence obesity," said Catherine Kotz, Ph.D., co-author of the article, scientist at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and adjunct professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.

This research was funded by the University of Minnesota Graduate School, a pilot award from the Minnesota Obesity Consortium, and a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The research was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Perry et al. Predisposition to late-onset obesity in GIRK4 knockout mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2008; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803261105

Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Gene Linked To Adult-onset Obesity Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610105943.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2008, June 11). Gene Linked To Adult-onset Obesity Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610105943.htm
University of Minnesota. "Gene Linked To Adult-onset Obesity Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610105943.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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