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Weizmann Institute scientists discover: A protein that contributes to obesity
Date:5/4/2011

l activity. Paradoxically, obese people often have a surfeit of leptin circulating in their blood. This is because, while their bodies produce the hormone normally, their cells become resistant to its effects, and more leptin is then generated to compensate.

The new research shows that PTPe plays a role in this resistance. The scientists found that the mice lacking the protein were highly sensitive to leptin; and they remained so despite aging, ovary removal or high-fat diets. This suggests that in obese humans with leptin insensitivity, inhibiting PTPe might, conceivably, help to reestablish the leptin response and help induce weight loss. This, however, requires further research to ensure that it acts in the same way in humans with no dangerous side-effects.

Elson: "Interestingly enough, the effect seems to be gender-specific. Male mice hardly benefitted at all from the lack of PTPe compared with the female mice. This finding could open up whole new lines of inquiry in obesity studies."


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Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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