Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Roundworm quells obesity and related metabolic disorders

Date:
April 25, 2013
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Researchers have shown in a mouse model that infection with nematodes (also known as roundworms) can not only combat obesity but ameliorate related metabolic disorders.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, have shown in a mouse model that infection with nematodes (also known as roundworms) can not only combat obesity but ameliorate related metabolic disorders. Their research is published ahead of print online in the journal Infection and Immunity.

Gastrointestinal nematodes infect approximately 2 billion people worldwide, and some researchers believe up until the 20th century almost everyone had worms. In developed countries there is a decreasing incidence of nematode infection but a rising prevalence of certain types of autoimmunity, suggesting a relationship between the two. Nematode infection has been purported to have therapeutic effects and currently clinical trials are underway to examine worms as a treatment for diseases associated with the relevant cytokines, including inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and allergies.

In the study researchers tested the effect of nematode infection on mice fed a high-fat diet. Infected mice of normal girth gained 15 percent less weight than those that were not infected. Mice that were already obese when infected lost roughly 13 percent of their body weight within 10 days. Infection also drastically lowered fasting blood glucose, a risk factor for diabetes, and reduced fatty liver disease, decreasing liver fat by ~25 percent, and the weight of the liver by 30 percent.

The levels of insulin and leptin also dropped, "indicating that the mice restored their sensitivities to both hormones," says corresponding author Aiping Zhao of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. Leptin moderates appetite. As with too much insulin, too high a level of leptin results in insensitivity, thus contributing to obesity and metabolic syndrome, Zhao explains.

The mechanism of the moderation of these hormones "was associated with a parasite-induced reduction in glucose absorption in the intestine, reduced liver triglycerides, and an increase in the population of cells called "alternatively activated macrophages," which regulate glucose metabolism and inflammation," says coauthor Joe Urban of the United States Department of Agriculture. Some of these changes involved "a protein called interleukin-13 and related intracellular signaling mechanisms," he says. "This suggests that there are immune related shifts in metabolism that can alter expression of obesity and related metabolic syndrome."

The incidence of obesity has been climbing dramatically, worldwide. It is a key risk factor for many metabolic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Recent studies indicate that it is accompanied by chronic low-grade inflammation in adipose tissues, causing the release of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Parasitic nematode infection induces a marked elevation in host immune Th2-cells and related type 2 cytokines which, besides combating the infection, also have potent anti-inflammatory activity, according to the report.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Z. Yang, V. Grinchuk, A. Smith, B. Qin, J. A. Bohl, R. Sun, L. Notari, Z. Zhang, H. Sesaki, J. F. Urban, T. Shea-Donohue, A. Zhao. Parasitic Nematode-Induced Modulation of Body Weight and Associated Metabolic Dysfunction in Mouse Models of Obesity. Infection and Immunity, 2013; DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00053-13

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Roundworm quells obesity and related metabolic disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425164504.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2013, April 25). Roundworm quells obesity and related metabolic disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425164504.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Roundworm quells obesity and related metabolic disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425164504.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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