Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Manipulating hormone receptors may help in the fight against obesity

Date:
September 20, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In the body's ongoing effort to maintain a healthy weight, an arsenal of cellular proteins called androgen receptors is critical for blocking fat accumulation. Now researchers have discovered that naturally occurring steroids called glucocorticoids can thwart the receptors' activity, ultimately encouraging fat buildup.

In the body's ongoing effort to maintain a healthy weight, an arsenal of cellular proteins called androgen receptors is critical for blocking fat accumulation. Now researchers reporting in the September issue of the Cell Press Journal Chemistry & Biology have discovered that naturally occurring steroids called glucocorticoids can thwart the receptors' activity, ultimately encouraging fat buildup.

"This has implications in this era of an obesity epidemic," says senior author Dr. Michael Mancini, from Baylor College of Medicine. "If you can reduce glucocorticoids, you might be able to upregulate, or increase, androgen receptor activity and regulate fat storage."

The discovery came after Dr. Mancini and his team searched for genes or signals expressed specifically by human fat cells with the hope of gaining a better understanding of fat deposition and the development of obesity. They used a novel approach that combined gene expression studies with automated microscopy and specialized image analyses.

The approach showed that the androgen receptor is both expressed and functional during the early stages of fat cell differentiation. "Activation of the androgen receptor can inhibit the early stages of human fat maturation," says first author Dr. Sean Hartig, also from Baylor College of Medicine. The finding makes sense because androgens such as testosterone, which bind to androgen receptors, are known to favorably direct muscle differentiation, regulate muscle mass, and increase lean body mass as humans age.

The researchers also found that glucocorticoids decrease androgen receptor activity and alter the effects of androgens on fat storage. The result is deposition of fat throughout the body, particularly in the abdominal region. "Using a custom-developed image analysis software platform usually found only in large pharmaceutical screening centers, we applied specific algorithms to sensitively detect the glucocorticoid inhibition of androgen receptor activity," says Dr. Mancini.

The research suggests that treatment strategies that modulate the activity of glucocorticoids and the androgen receptor -- perhaps in combination -- may help combat obesity.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. SeanM. Hartig, Bin He, JustinY. Newberg, ScottA. Ochsner, DavidS. Loose, RainerB. Lanz, NeilJ. McKenna, BenjaminM. Buehrer, SeanE. McGuire, Marco Marcelli, MichaelA. Mancini. Feed-Forward Inhibition of Androgen Receptor Activity by Glucocorticoid Action in Human Adipocytes. Chemistry & Biology, 2012; 19 (9): 1126 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2012.07.020

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Manipulating hormone receptors may help in the fight against obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120920135611.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, September 20). Manipulating hormone receptors may help in the fight against obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120920135611.htm
Cell Press. "Manipulating hormone receptors may help in the fight against obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120920135611.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 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:
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