Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Another clue to how obesity works

Date:
October 14, 2011
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
The effects of obesity -- both on our bodies and on the health budget -- are well known, and now, scientists are getting closer to understanding how the disease progresses, providing clues for future treatments.

The effects of obesity -- both on our bodies and on the health budget -- are well known, and now, scientists are getting closer to understanding how the disease progresses, providing clues for future treatments.

In a study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers at Monash University in collaboration with colleagues in the United States, have revealed how resistance to the hormone leptin, a key causal component of obesity, develops.

Lead author Professor Tony Tiganis, of the Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute and Monash University's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, said our bodies produce leptin in response to increasing fat deposits.

"Acting on a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, leptin instructs the body to increase energy expenditure and decrease food intake, and so helps us maintain a healthy body weight," said Professor Tiganis.

"The body's response to leptin is diminished in overweight and obese individuals, giving rise to the concept of 'leptin-resistance'. We've discovered more about how 'leptin-resistance' develops, providing new directions for research into possible treatments."

Two proteins are already known to inhibit leptin in the brain and Professor Tiganis' team have discovered a third. In mice, this third protein becomes more abundant with weight-gain, exacerbating leptin-resistance and hastening progression to morbid obesity. The study showed that the three negative regulators of leptin take effect at different stages, shedding light on how obesity progresses.

"Drugs targeting one of the negative regulators are already in clinical trials for Type 2 Diabetes, however, our research shows that in terms of increasing leptin-sensitivity in obesity, targeting only one of these won't be enough. All three regulators might need to be switched off," said Professor Tiganis.

The study showed that high fat diet-induced weight gain is largely prevented in genetically-modified mice when two of the negative regulators are deleted in the brain.

"We now have to determine what happens when all three negative regulators are neutralised. Do we prevent high fat diet-induced obesity?"

Professor Tiganis said the more that is known about obesity, the better equipped scientists are to develop drugs to support good diet and exercise choices.

"Humans have a deep-seated attraction to overeating and nutrient-rich food, inherited from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Now that food is more readily available and our lifestyles are less active, our evolutionary drive to overeat is becoming problematic."

More than four million Australians are obese and if current trends continue, by 2020, more than 80 per cent of adults and almost one third of children will be overweight or obese. Studies indicate that obesity and related health issues cost Australians more than $56 billion a year.

"Simply telling people to eat less and exercise more is not going to be sufficient to reverse the obesity trend. There is a pressing need to develop novel drugs that complement diet and exercise to both prevent and treat this disease," said Professor Tiganis.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kim Loh, Atsushi Fukushima, Xinmei Zhang, Sandra Galic, Dana Briggs, Pablo J. Enriori, Stephanie Simonds, Florian Wiede, Alexander Reichenbach, Christine Hauser, Natalie A. Sims, Kendra K. Bence, Sheng Zhang, Zhong-Yin Zhang, Barbara B. Kahn, Benjamin G. Neel, Zane B. Andrews, Michael A. Cowley, and Tony Tiganis. Elevated Hypothalamic TCPTP in Obesity Contributes to Cellular Leptin Resistance. Cell Metabolism, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.09.011

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Another clue to how obesity works." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014095624.htm>.
Monash University. (2011, October 14). Another clue to how obesity works. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014095624.htm
Monash University. "Another clue to how obesity works." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014095624.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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