Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New compound improves obesity-related health complications

Date:
July 26, 2010
Source:
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Summary:
An experimental compound appears to improve metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, according to a preliminary study.

An experimental compound appears to improve metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, according to a preliminary study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"This is a promising early step toward a treatment for some of the serious health consequences of obesity," says Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the NIH.

"Our results suggest that this compound could perhaps provide clinical benefits for obese individuals without the liabilities seen thus far with similar compounds," adds senior author and NIAAA Scientific Director, George Kunos, M.D., Ph.D.

Previous studies have shown that similar compounds block the activity of endocannabinoids, natural messengers in the body that are chemically similar to the active compound in marijuana, and help regulate many biological functions. These compounds can help promote weight loss and improve metabolic complications of obesity, such as diabetes and insulin resistance, changes in blood lipid composition, and fatty liver. However, the clinical advancement of such compounds has been stymied by behavioral side effects associated with their use, such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Kunos and first author Joseph Tam, D.D.S., Ph.D., of the NIAAA Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, collaborated with a team of scientists within and outside NIH to investigate a compound designed to avoid those side effects while preserving the beneficial effects of blocking endocannabinoid activity.

"Endocannabinoid receptors are present in the brain, as well as in peripheral tissues including the liver, skeletal muscles, pancreas, and fatty tissues," explained Dr. Kunos. "Activation of peripheral endocannabinoid receptors contributes to obesity-related metabolic and hormonal abnormalities."

The researchers reasoned that a compound that is unable to penetrate into the brain would selectively block the activity of endocannabinoid receptors in peripheral tissues, and therefore might alleviate metabolic and hormonal problems related to obesity. All while avoiding the behavioral problems that result from blocking endocannabinoid receptors in the brain.

They developed such a compound, tested it in obese mice, and found that the mice showed improvements in glucose regulation, fatty liver, and plasma lipid profiles. They also found that the compound did not affect behavioral responses, such as cannabinoid-induced immobility and hypothermia, that are mediated by endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, and that it reduced weight in mice with diet-induced obesity by about 12 percent, but did not affect weight in mice with a genetic predisposition for obesity.

"These preliminary findings are very encouraging and warrant further testing of this compound as a potential pharmacotherapy for the metabolic syndrome associated with obesity," said Dr. Tam.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Joseph Tam, V. Kiran Vemuri, Jie Liu, Sαndor Bαtkai, Bani Mukhopadhyay, Grzegorz Godlewski, Douglas Osei-Hyiaman, Shinobu Ohnuma, Suresh V. Ambudkar, James Pickel, Alexandros Makriyannis and George Kunos. Peripheral CB1 cannabinoid receptor blockade improves cardiometabolic risk in mouse models of obesity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI42551
  2. Mary-Elizabeth Patti. Rehashing endocannabinoid antagonists: can we selectively target the periphery to safely treat obesity and type 2 diabetes? Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI44099

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "New compound improves obesity-related health complications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726145121.htm>.
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2010, July 26). New compound improves obesity-related health complications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726145121.htm
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "New compound improves obesity-related health complications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726145121.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) — The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. 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