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Study in mice discovers injection of heat-generating cells reduces belly fat
Date:9/5/2012

utrition at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.

"We observed the mice for 80 days after injection and the capsule didn't break or cause any scarring or inflammation. This suggests it's a clean, safe potential therapy for obesity," added Ziouzenkova, also an investigator in Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Studies in larger animals would be needed before trials in humans could begin, she said.

If this were someday approved for humans, Ziouzenkova said such a therapy would be best suited to patients who develop visceral fat with aging, aren't able to exercise and shouldn't dramatically reduce their calories because that can cause the loss of beneficial subcutaneous fat. She also noted that anti-obesity drugs for humans currently on the market can reduce body weight by about 10 to 15 percent, but also have side effects.

The research is published in a recent issue of the journal Biomaterials.

A year ago, Ziouzenkova's lab identified an enzyme in mice that relates to fat accumulation after consumption of a high-fat diet, and she recently published a paper indicating that mice lacking that enzyme could stay lean even while eating excess fat. She applied those findings in this work by using the genetically modified cells that are missing that enzyme to potentially help boost the ability of brown fat cells to burn up visceral fat.

For this study, she collaborated with Ohio State chemists to create the capsules. They are composed of alginate-poly-L-lysine, a compound that creates enough of a barrier to encapsulate cells without signaling the immune system that it should react to a foreign object in the body, while also enabling nutrient supply to the encapsulated cells for their long-term survival.

The researchers used three groups of normal mice for the study, feeding them all a high-fat diet for 90 days. After that, five mice received
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Contact: Ouliana Ziouzenkova
Ziouzenkova.1@osu.edu
614-292-5034
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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