Navigation Links
A new candidate pathway for treating visceral obesity
Date:5/6/2012

BOSTON, MABrown seems to be the color of choice when it comes to the types of fat cells in our bodies. Brown fat expends energy, while its counterpart, white fat stores it. The danger in white fat cells, along with the increased risk for diabetes and heart disease it poses, seems especially linked to visceral fat. Visceral fat is the build-up of fat around the organs in the belly.

So in the battle against obesity, brown fat appears to be our friend and white fat our foe.

Now a team of researchers led by Jorge Plutzky, MD, director of The Vascular Disease Prevention Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School has discovered a way to turn foe to friend.

By manipulating the metabolic pathways in the body responsible for converting vitamin Aor retinolinto retinoic acid, Plutzky and his colleagues have essentially made white fat take on characteristics of brown fat. Their findings put medical science a step closer in the race to develop novel anti-obesity therapies.

The study will be published online on May 6, 2012 in Nature Medicine.

Retinoids, which are molecules derived from vitamin A metabolism, are responsible for many biological functions. One such function is the control of fat cell development and actions. A key step in retinoid metabolism occurs with help from an enzyme called retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 1, or Aldh1a1. The researchers saw that in humans and mice, Aldh1a1 is abundant in white fat cells, especially in the more dangerous visceral fat (sometimes referred to as abdominal fat or belly fat).

When Aldh1a1 was inhibited in white fat cells, those cells began acting like brown fat cells. One of the defining characteristics of brown fat is its ability to release energy as heat. Mice with either deficiency or inhibition of Aldh1a1 become protected against exposure to cold. The researchers saw this classic indicator of brown fat and its ability to generate heat by oxidizing fat (a chemical reaction involving oxygen) in their research.

Especially exciting for the prospects of targeting Aldh1a1 for therapeutic benefit, the researchers found that knocking down expression of the Aldh1a1 gene by injecting antisense molecules into mice made fat by diet resulted in less visceral fat, less weight gain, lower glucose levels, and protection against cold exposure as compared to control mice.

"Brown fat, and mechanisms that might allow white fat to take on brown fat characteristics, has been receiving increasing attention as a possible way to treat obesity and its complications," said Plutzky. "Although more work is needed, we can add specific aspects of retinoid metabolism to those factors that appear involved in determining white versus brown fat."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of adults in the United States are obese. Current methods to reduce obesity include exercise, dietary therapy, medications and surgery.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lori J. Shanks
ljshanks@partners.org
617-534-1604
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Voters prefer candidates with deep voices
2. Promising results in mice on needle-free candidate universal vaccine against various flu viruses
3. Scientists discover new drug candidates for cystic fibrosis and other diseases
4. First genome-wide association study for dengue identifies candidate susceptibility genes
5. TB vaccine candidate shows early promise
6. Scientists find new drug candidates for set of protein-folding diseases
7. The impact of candidates statements about climate change on electoral success
8. Team awarded $7.5 million to identify potential drug candidates to treat nicotine addiction
9. Novartis and collaborators discover novel antimalarial drug candidate
10. Lexicon to Present Clinical Data for Diabetes Drug Candidate, LX4211, at Two Major Healthcare Conferences
11. Researchers discover weak link in Alzheimers drug candidates
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in hospitals ... medical screening and diagnostic applications, such as ... that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring without ... being bolstered through new opportunities offered by ... coupled with wireless connectivity and low power ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... retinopathy market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent ... America Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product ... provider in North America , ... in the rapidly growing diabetic retinopathy market. The ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... Ohio , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, ... based in West Chester, Ohio ... award winning service staff, based in Austin, ... capacity and ability to provide modifications, installations and technical ... Dovalina , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... N.C. , Feb. 8, 2016 Novan, Inc. today ... Chairman of the Board of Directors of Novan. In addition, ... North Carolina . --> ... Company also announced that it received a total of $32.8 million ... 2015 from its private investor network originating throughout the Research Triangle ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  BioElectronics Corporation ... medical devices, announced today that it is responding ... proceedings from the Securities and Exchange Commission posted ... Staelin , Chairman of the Board of BioElectronics ... of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... range of loose, bulk foods at various stages of the production process. Despite ... to inspect large bulk products post packaging such as sacks of dry powders. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Inc. (NYSE MKT: NNVC) (the "Company"), a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral ... will present information about the company,s programs at the BIOCEO conference ... York City . --> --> ... EST. Registered attendees can request a one on one meeting through ... --> New York City . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: