Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune system molecule affects our weight

Date:
September 24, 2012
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Researchers have identified a molecule in the immune system that could affect hunger and satiety. The researchers hope that new treatments for obesity will benefit from this finding.

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have identified a molecule in the immune system that could affect hunger and satiety. The researchers hope that new treatments for obesity will benefit from this finding.

Interleukin-6 is a chemical messenger in our immune system that plays an important role in fighting off infection. However, recent research has, surprisingly, shown that it can also trigger weight loss. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have been investigating and managed to identify the specific types of brain cells that are targeted by the interleukin-6 molecule.

The results show that the cells that are affected by interleukin-6 produce substances that not only affect our sense of hunger and fullness but also control the body's ability to burn fat. "Interleukin-6 increases levels of substances in the brain that trigger weight loss, which could explain why high levels of this molecule lead to weight loss," says doctoral student Erik Sch้le, who is presenting the results in his thesis.

It is known that our normally low levels of interleukin-6 in the brain increase dramatically during an infection, typically accompanied by reduced hunger and fatigue.

"Our previous findings would indicate that interleukin-6 can play a key role in regulating the metabolism of healthy individuals too," says Erik Sch้le.

"This is clearly substantiated by our finding that mice which lack interleukin-6 get fat, and that the metabolism of rats injected with interleukin-6 directly into the brain increases."

Although it is not yet fully understood how interleukin-6 in the brain affects bodyweight, the researchers have concluded that anyone whose brain produces plenty of interleukin-6 could be protected against overweight. The thesis also shows that our gut bacteria indirectly affect the substances in the brain that regulate bodyweight.

"This is both surprising and new. It could in the long run lead to people fighting obesity by changing what they eat in line with how it affects the brain," says Erik Sch้le.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Immune system molecule affects our weight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924080257.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2012, September 24). Immune system molecule affects our weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924080257.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Immune system molecule affects our weight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924080257.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. 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