Treating obesity - mice study


Scientists have found a new approach to treating obesity in mice.


Eating disorders are one of the most common causes of a variety of diseases in industrialised societies worldwide and the research teams, from Germany, Hungary and the USA, were particularly interested in studying the correlation between nerve cells and food intake.


The scientists showed that a group of nerve cells in the hypothalamus control the release of lysophospholipids, which influence how much food is eaten. During that biological process, an enzyme called autotaxin is mainly responsible for the brain activity.


Experiments in mice showed that when obese mice received molecules that blocked the autotaxin, it led to reduced food intake and weight loss when these inhibitors were administered continuously.


The institutions involved in the study were the University of Cologne, the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, the University Medicine Greifswald, the Hans Knöll Institute, Jena, and the University of Munster, all in Germany, together with the University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary and the Yale School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA.


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