A new research conducted by scientists revealed an anti-inflammatory drug was able to combat obesity in mice. In the study Toshihiro Nakajima of Tokyo Medical University in Japan, found a key regulator of energy expenditure and body weight is controlled by a drug-targeted inflammatory enzyme opens new possibilities for pharmacologically modulating body weight.
Energy spending in human cells is controlled by organelles called mitochondria, which are the major sites for burning of nutrients such as fatty acids. Mitochondria therefore play key roles in the fat cells that form white adipose tissue, an excess of which characterizes obesity. Earlier research has shown that mitochondrial biogenesis and fatty acid breakdown is regulated by hormone receptors known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Pharmacological activators of PPARs have been tried as promising clinical treatments for obesity, but such trials have been hindered by undesirable side effects.
Nakajima's team had been studying a gene called Synoviolin, which is causally linked to the inflammatory condition of rheumatoid arthritis. In previous work, they developed a chemical compound, LS-102, that inhibits the enzyme encoded by the Synoviolin gene and suppresses rheumatoid arthritis in mouse disease models.
The study is published in The EMBO Journal.