Breaking News
December 17, 2018 - How the Mediterranean Diet Can Help Women’s Hearts
December 17, 2018 - Sustained connections associated with symptoms of autism
December 17, 2018 - Concussion rates among young football players were higher than previously reported
December 17, 2018 - Cresco Labs granted approval to operate marijuana dispensary in Ohio
December 17, 2018 - Study provides insight into health risks facing new mothers
December 17, 2018 - AMSBIO expands Wnt signaling pathway product range to aid research
December 16, 2018 - Surgical treatment unnecessary for many prostate cancer patients
December 16, 2018 - Excess weight responsible for cancers globally finds report
December 16, 2018 - Regular sex associated with greater enjoyment of life in seniors
December 16, 2018 - Social stigma contributes to poor mental health in the autistic community
December 16, 2018 - Multidisciplinary team successfully performs complex surgery on patient suffering from enlarged skull
December 16, 2018 - Experts analyze data that can guide antidepressant discontinuation
December 16, 2018 - Menlo Therapeutics’ Successful Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Serlopitant Demonstrates Reduction of Pruritus Associated with Psoriasis
December 16, 2018 - Siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders
December 16, 2018 - New project aims to understand why and how metabolic disorders develop in patients
December 16, 2018 - Diets containing GM maize have no harmful effects on health or metabolism of rats
December 16, 2018 - Are doctors and teachers confusing immaturity and attention deficit?
December 16, 2018 - Hearing loss linked with increased risk for premature death
December 16, 2018 - Chromatrap buffer reagents for lysing cells offer many benefits
December 16, 2018 - Young Breast Cancer Patients Face Higher Risk for Osteoporosis
December 16, 2018 - 3-D printing offers helping hand to people with arthritis
December 16, 2018 - Community Health Choice helps manage complex and chronic care conditions
December 16, 2018 - Regular trips out could dramatically reduce depression in older age
December 16, 2018 - CWRU to use VivaLNK’s Vital Scout device for stress study in student athletes
December 16, 2018 - ‘Easy Way Out’? Stigma May Keep Many From Weight Loss Surgery
December 16, 2018 - Gout drug may protect against chronic kidney disease
December 16, 2018 - Talking about memories enhances the wellbeing of older and younger people
December 16, 2018 - Occupational exposure to pesticides increases risk for cardiovascular disease among Latinos
December 16, 2018 - A biomarker in the brain’s circulation system may be Alzheimer’s earliest warning
December 16, 2018 - Magnesium may play important role in optimizing vitamin D levels, study shows
December 16, 2018 - The effect of probiotics on intestinal flora of premature babies
December 16, 2018 - Parents spend more time talking with kids about mechanics of using mobile devices
December 16, 2018 - Biohaven Announces Positive Results from Ongoing Rimegepant Long-Term Safety Study
December 16, 2018 - Arterial stiffness may predict dementia risk
December 16, 2018 - Study explores link between work stress and increased cancer risk
December 16, 2018 - Sex work criminalization linked to incidences of violence finds study
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers discover swarming behavior in fish-dwelling parasite
December 16, 2018 - Schistosomiasis prevention and treatment could help control HIV
December 16, 2018 - Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage
December 16, 2018 - Johns Hopkins researchers identify molecular causes of necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies
December 16, 2018 - Advanced illumination expands capabilities of light-sheet microscopy
December 16, 2018 - Alzheimer’s could possibly be spread via contaminated neurosurgery
December 16, 2018 - Unraveling the complexity of cancer biology can prompt new avenues for drug development
December 16, 2018 - Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Prostate Cancer Linked
December 16, 2018 - Cannabis youth prevention strategy should target mental wellbeing
December 15, 2018 - Recent developments and challenges in hMAT inhibitors
December 15, 2018 - Sewage bacteria found lurking in Hudson River sediments
December 15, 2018 - CDC selects UMass Amherst biostatistician model that helps predict influenza outbreaks
December 15, 2018 - Researchers reveal brain mechanism that drives itch-evoked scratching behavior
December 15, 2018 - New computer model helps predict course of the disease in prostate cancer patients
December 15, 2018 - Obesity to Blame for Almost 1 in 25 Cancers Worldwide
December 15, 2018 - How the brain tells you to scratch that itch
December 15, 2018 - New findings could help develop new immunotherapies against cancer
December 15, 2018 - World’s largest AI-powered medical research network launched by OWKIN
December 15, 2018 - Young people suffering chronic pain battle isolation and stigma as they struggle to forge their identities
December 15, 2018 - Lifespan extension at low temperatures depends on individual’s genes, study shows
December 15, 2018 - New ingestible capsule can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology
December 15, 2018 - Researchers uncover microRNAs involved in the control of social behavior
December 15, 2018 - Research offers hope for patients with serious bone marrow cancer
December 15, 2018 - Link between poverty and obesity is only about 30 years old, study shows
December 15, 2018 - Mass spectrometry throws light on old case of intentional heavy metal poisoning
December 15, 2018 - BeyondSpring Announces Phase 3 Study 105 of its Lead Asset Plinabulin for Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia Meets Primary Endpoint at Interim Analysis
December 15, 2018 - Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all
December 15, 2018 - Tenacity and flexibility help maintain psychological well-being, mobility in older people
December 15, 2018 - Study reveals role of brain mechanism in memory recall
December 15, 2018 - High levels of oxygen encourage the brain to remain in deep, restorative sleep
December 15, 2018 - Experimental HIV vaccine strategy works in non-human primates, research shows
December 15, 2018 - Genetically modified pigs could limit replication of classical swine fever virus, study shows
December 15, 2018 - FDA Approves Herzuma (trastuzumab-pkrb), a Biosimilar to Herceptin
December 15, 2018 - Cost and weight-loss potential matter most to bariatric surgery patients
December 15, 2018 - Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca open new Functional Genomics Centre
December 15, 2018 - New research lays out potential path for treatment of Huntington’s disease
December 15, 2018 - Prestigious R&D 100 Award presented to Leica Microsystems
December 15, 2018 - Study shows septin proteins detect and kill gut pathogen, Shigella
December 15, 2018 - Study sheds new light on disease-spreading mosquitoes
December 15, 2018 - 2017 Saw Slowing in National Health Care Spending
December 15, 2018 - Monitoring movement reflects efficacy of mandibular splint
December 15, 2018 - Study supports BMI as useful tool for assessing obesity and health
December 15, 2018 - Self-guided, internet-based therapy platforms effectively reduce depression
December 15, 2018 - Organically farmed food has bigger climate impact than conventional food production
New study could provide a potential new drug to help fight obesity

New study could provide a potential new drug to help fight obesity

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Our bodies contain two types of fat: white fat and brown fat. While white fat stores calories, brown fat burns energy and could help us lose weight. Now, scientists at the University of Cambridge have found a way of making the white fat ‘browner’ and increasing the efficiency of brown fat.

While their study was carried out in mice, they hope that this finding will translate into humans and provide a potential new drug to help fight obesity.

Obesity is a condition in which individuals accumulate more and more fat until their fat stops functioning. This can lead to diseases such as diabetes. However, not all fat tissue is bad: the fat that accumulates in obesity is known as ‘white fat’, but a second form of fat known as ‘brown fat’ could be used to treat obesity.

Both brown and white fat are made up of fat cells known as adipocytes, but in brown fat, these cells are rich in mitochondria – the ‘batteries’ that power our bodies – which give the tissue its brown colour. Brown fat also contains more blood vessels to allow the body to provide it with oxygen and nutrients.

While white fat stories energy, brown fat burns it in a process known as ‘thermogenesis’. When fully activated, just 100g of brown fat can burn 3,400 calories a day – significantly higher than most people’s daily food intake and more than enough to fight obesity.

We all have some brown fat – or brown adipose tissue, as it is also known – in our bodies, but it is found most abundantly in newborns and in hibernating animals (where the heat produced by brown fat enables them to survive even in freezing temperatures). As we age, the amount of brown fat in our bodies decreases.

Just having more brown fat alone is not enough – the tissue also needs to be activated. Currently, the only ways to activate brown fat are to put people in the cold to mimic hibernation, which is both impractical and unpleasant, or to treat them with drugs known as adrenergic agonists, but these can cause heart attacks. It is also necessary to increase the number of blood vessels in the tissue to carry nutrients to the fat cells and the number of nerve cells to allow the brain to ‘switch on’ the tissue.

In 2012, a team led by Professor Toni Vidal-Puig from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge, identified a molecule known as BMP8b that regulates the activation of brown fat in both the brain and the body’s tissues. They showed that deleting the gene in mice that produces this protein stopped brown fat from functioning.

Now, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, Professor Vidal-Puig has led an international team of researchers which has shown that increasing how much BMP8b mice can produce increases the function of their brown fat. This implies that BMP8b, which is found in the blood, could potentially be used as a drug to increase the amount of brown fat amount in humans as well as making it more active. Further research will be necessary to demonstrate if this is the case.

To carry out their research, the team used mice that had been bred to produce higher levels of the protein in adipose tissue. As anticipated, they found that increasing BMP8b levels changed some of the white fat into brown fat, a process known as beiging and thus increased the amount of energy burnt by the tissue.

They showed that higher levels of BMP8b make the tissue more sensitive to adrenergic signals from nerves – the same pathway target by adrenergic agonist drugs. This may allow lower doses of these drugs to be used to activate brown fat in people, hence reducing their risk of heart attack.

Unexpectedly, but importantly, the team also found that the molecule increased the amount of blood vessels and nerves in brown fat.

“There have been a lot of studies that have found molecules that promote brown fat development, but, simply increasing the amount of brown fat will not work to treat disease – it has to be able to get enough nutrients and be turned on,” says Professor Vidal-Puig, lead author of the study.

Co-author Dr Sam Virtue, also from the Institute of Metabolic Science, adds: “It’s like taking a one litre engine out of a car and sticking in a two litre engine in its place. In theory the car can go quicker, but if you only have a tiny fuel pipe to the engine and don’t connect the accelerator pedal it won’t do much good. BMP8b increases the engine size, and fits a new fuel line and connects up the accelerator!”

Source:

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/study-in-mice-suggests-drug-to-turn-fat-brown-could-help-fight-obesity

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles