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Cell signaling pathway linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes
Date:8/7/2014

e, reducing their fat mass and raising their metabolism. The transgenic mice stayed leaner than their wild-type littermates even though their daily energy intake was similar, Kuang said. They also had a higher sensitivity to insulin, a lower blood glucose level and were more resistant to weight gain when fed a high-fat diet.

Pengpeng Bi, a doctoral candidate in animal sciences and first author of the study, said that the transgenic mice's body fat appeared browner upon dissection than the fat in wild-type mice, suggesting that blocking the Notch pathway had increased the number of their beige fat cells.

"Otherwise they looked normal," he said. "We did not notice anything exceptional about them until we looked at the fat."

Kuang and his team found that giving obese mice dibenzazepine, a drug that suppresses the Notch signaling pathway, reduced their obesity and improved their glucose balance.

Because the Notch signaling pathway is very similar in mice and humans, Kuang sees the results as having important implications for treating obesity and Type 2 diabetes in humans.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as "adult-onset diabetes," is a chronic ailment that particularly affects people who are overweight, lead sedentary lifestyles or have poor nutrition.

"This gives us new targets in the fight against obesity," Kuang said. "Inhibiting genes in the Notch pathway can convert white fat into beige and could reverse some of the effects of diabetes by renewing the body's sensitivity to insulin."


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Contact: Natalie van Hoose
nvanhoos@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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