Navigation Links
LA BioMed study increases understanding of link between low birth weights and obesity later in life

LOS ANGELES(June 21, 2011)In a study that increases the understanding of the link between fetal development and obesity later in life, researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) found altering the levels of two common hormones, insulin and leptin, in utero changes the cellular development in the region of the brain that regulates appetite.

Their study using fetal neural stem cells from animal models, which was published online by the journal, Endocrinology, found that altered levels of leptin or insulin may have marked effects on their offspring brain development. The researchers said these findings provide further clues to the causes of obesity.

With more than 60% of American adults overweight and more than one in five obese, researchers are closely examining the causes. Obesity is a serious health concern for children and adolescents, as well. About 17% of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are obese. In the past, Type 2 diabetes occurred mostly in middle-aged people. Today, this type of diabetes is seen in 11% of children and adolescents.

Leptin and insulin play a role in the body's ability to regulate energy balance, with leptin serving as a long-term appetite regulator. In comparison, insulin is released quickly into the blood stream upon eating and serves as a short-term appetite regulator. In addition, insulin is the hormone that transports glucose across the cell wall so the glucose may be converted to energy.

The researchers found altering the levels of leptin caused neural stem cells from animal model to develop more neurons, while changing the levels of insulin promoted the creation of more astrocytes. Each process occurred at the expense of the development of other brain cells. Importantly, levels of leptin and insulin are altered in infants of mothers with gestational diabetes, obesity or inadequate nutrition during pregnancy.

"This study shows these two hormones influence the makeup of brain cells and how many cells we develop," Mina Desai, PhD, a LA BioMed principal researcher and the corresponding author of the study. "Our cellular makeup is akin to the foundation for a house. If the foundation isn't constructed properly, you can try and fix it but you will still have a problem. The same is true for people with fewer cells to regulate appetite and maintain stable and proper function of brain."

The new study builds on LA BioMed research, published in Brain Research in March, which found nutritionally deprived newborns are "programmed" to eat more because they develop fewer neurons in the region of the brain that controls food intake. That study suggested overeating is programmed at the level of stem cells before birth when the mother has poor or inadequate nutrition. The present results suggest that additional infant and child brain functions may be altered or impaired under conditions of suboptimal pregnancy nutrition.

Using an animal model, the researchers found less division and differentiation of the neural stem cells of a newborn with low birth weight as compared to normal birth weight. Previous studies have found a small size at birth followed by accelerated "catch-up" growth is associated with an increased risk of adult obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and osteoporosis.

"By studying the ways in which leptin and insulin communicate with neural stem cells to divide and direct the cell fate, we may one day be able to come up with a new way to combat obesity," Dr Desai said. "We have few effective methods for preventing or treating obesity, even though it is a leading cause of death in our society."


Contact: Laura Mecoy
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)

Related medicine news :

1. BioMed Realty Trust Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2009 Financial Results
2. BioMed Realty Trust Promotes Matthew G. McDevitt to Executive Vice President, Real Estate
3. First Annual Bay Area Biomedical Device Conference to be Held at San Jose State University
4. Seattle BioMed Offers the Gift of Hope for Mother's Day
5. LA BioMed awarded research grant to study HIV prevention gel
6. Cambridge Healthtech Institute to Host Its Second Annual Collaborative Innovation in Biomedicine Conference
7. New Diagnostic Testing Company, Blue Ocean Biomedical, Specializes In Automated, Load & Go Cell Analysis Systems For Immune Monitoring
8. Manmade antibodies hold biomedical promise
9. Applied nuclear physics for biomedicine, nuclear security and basic science
10. Blue Ocean Biomedical Opens New Manufacturing Facility In Miramar, FL
11. Team led by LA BioMed scientist develops novel approach to study neurological disorders
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room ... Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, ... the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. ... toward their goal. , Research from reveals that behind the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to ... Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort ... quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s ... the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , ... launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to ... #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), ... company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: