Synthetic Compounds Cause Weight Loss in Obese Mice; Could Treat Diabetes
March 30, 2012 2:30 PM
The tiny compounds could eventually help diabetics...like Paula Deen
The pair of tiny molecules caused a decrease in cholesterol and fat mass
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida have developed a pair of molecules that could lead to weight loss and one day treat disorders like obesity and
Thomas Burris, study leader and a professor at Scripps Florida, along with a team of researchers, were able to synthesize a pair of tiny molecules that are capable of altering the biological clock in animals.
The small molecules alter the circadian rhythm and pattern of core clock gene expression in the brain’s hypothalamus. Circadian rhythms react to a 24-hour cycle of light and dark while the brain’s hypothalamus relates to the daily rhythms in mammals.
The synthetic compounds activate proteins called REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ, which are partially responsible for the biological rhythms associated with metabolism in mammals.
The researchers administered the
to obese mice twice a day for 12 days. After the 12 days, researchers tested the mice and found that fat mass, hyperglycemia, and cholesterol levels improved significantly. The mice were given a diet of high fat and high sugar foods, yet still lost weight.
According to the study’s results, cholesterol was reduced by 47 percent and triglycerides in the blood decreased by 12 percent.
The compounds also played a part in controlling the mammals’ activity during night and day, which the researchers believe could be used to control insomnia and other sleep disorders. Researchers found that oxygen consumption increased by 5 percent in mice during the day and night, which means increased energy expenditure, but they found that these increases were not due to increased energy – there was a 15 percent decrease in movement during the same time that oxygen consumption increased.
“The idea behind this research is that our circadian rhythms are coupled with metabolic processes and that you can modulate them pharmacologically,” said Burris. “As it turns out, the effect of that modulation is surprisingly positive – everything has been beneficial so far.”
This study was published in
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