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Potential therapeutic target for controlling obesity discovered

Date:
June 15, 2011
Source:
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study has found that a cellular signaling pathway governs the differentiation of cells into fat tissue or smooth muscle, which lines the vascular system. Engaging this signaling pathway and its capacity to govern cell differentiation has important implications in preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease.

A new study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine has found that a cellular signaling pathway governs the differentiation of cells into fat tissue or smooth muscle, which lines the vascular system. Engaging this signaling pathway and its capacity to govern cell differentiation has important implications in preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease. The study is published in the June issue of Developmental Cell.

This research, by Philippe M. Soriano, PhD, Professor, Developmental and Regenerative Biology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Lorin E. Olson, PhD, previously a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory who is now an Assistant Member of the Immunobiology & Cancer Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, is a novel in vivo study to evaluate the signaling activity of the Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor-beta (PDGFRβ). The research team used mice that were genetically engineered to have elevated PDGFRβ signaling. They found that elevated PDGFRβ signaling inhibits differentiation of immature mesenchymal stem cells. These cells have the ability to give rise to multiple cell types in the organism, including fat cells and vascular smooth muscle.

"How mesenchymal cells are regulated within the body had been unclear until now. Our research is the first done in animals to show that PDGFRβ is a key regulator of cellular differentiation into fat cells or smooth muscle cells," said Dr. Soriano. "These data indicate that PDGFRβ plays a critical role in determining their cellular fate, providing a new therapeutic target in preventing the onset of diseases like obesity."

The researchers caution, based on their previous research published in Developmental Cell, that some types of chronic activation of PDGFR receptors may result in tumor formation. Therefore, signaling events further in the differentiation process may be better therapeutic targets. More research is needed to better understand how PDGFRβ regulates mesenchymal cell differentiation and the immune system's response to that activity to help identify treatments for cardiovascular and obesity-related diseases.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lorin E. Olson, Philippe Soriano. PDGFRβ Signaling Regulates Mural Cell Plasticity and Inhibits Fat Development. Developmental Cell, Volume 20, Issue 6, 815-826, 14 June 2011 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.04.019

Cite This Page:

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Potential therapeutic target for controlling obesity discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614131956.htm>.
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. (2011, June 15). Potential therapeutic target for controlling obesity discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614131956.htm
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Potential therapeutic target for controlling obesity discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614131956.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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