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New findings, throw light on obesity

An international team of researchers were studying Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and found that cells which lacks proper functional cilia gets lodged in the wrong places and cause obesity. //

These cells which are in the brain which control appetite are at fault. These findings were published in the journal Nature Genetics. It was found that children born with BBS are obese and go blind and develop kidney failure.

Eight faulty genes are thought to be responsible for this disorder. Professor Peter Beales from University College London Institute of Child Health, working with colleagues from Canada, France and the US, has discovered that cilia play a very important role in this disorder.

In the mouse model of BBS, they found there were problems with tiny hair-like projections on cells, known as cilia. Without these hairs the cell cannot orient itself inside the body.

Hence researchers say that malfunction in the cilia could play a role in the symptoms of BBS and its related obesity. The researcher said that cilia on neurons on the brain in areas such as the hypothalamus which are involved in appetite control could be defective. He also said that BSS proteins present in the cilia are involved in a pathway known as planer cell polarity (PCP). It is this pathway which directs the cells to orient themselves in the embryo consequently on how the entire organism becomes arranged.

Further research is necessary to understand the different types of disorder that results due to defective cilial function.


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