About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Brain System: A Remote Control for Fat Metabolism as Well as Regulation of Food

by Gandhi on September 25, 2007 at 1:15 PM
Font : A-A+

Brain System: A Remote Control for Fat Metabolism as Well as Regulation of Food

A new study has thrown some light on already existing knowledge about a brain system. The system, which is generally associated with food uptake, has been observed to act as a direct "remote control" for fat storage and metabolism.

The study conducted by Matthias Tschop, MD, UC, associate professor of psychiatry from the University of Cincinnati, and co-authored by scientists at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, found that the melanocortin system, controls fat metabolism and the way it accumulates in the body completely independently of food intake.

Advertisement

The researchers believe that the finding could lead to the development of new and urgently needed medications to treat the growing, worldwide obesity epidemic.

The melanocortin system was previously identified as a "control loop" in the central nervous system (CNS) that receives signals from hunger and "satiety" hormones, like those given off by 'such as ghrelin and leptin', and responds to these sensations of hunger or fullness by causing the body to either ingest or burn calories.
Advertisement

Tschop and colleagues say that beyond responding to signals of hunger or satiety, the melanocortin system also controls whether extra energy (glucose) will be converted to fat and whether it will be stored or metabolized.

"Understanding how specific CNS circuits directly control fat storage and metabolism is essential in order to achieve a breakthrough in this important area of research," the authors write.

The group studied the melanocortin system at the molecular level in rodents. They found that when the system is stimulated to increase activity, fat is metabolized. When activity in the system is reduced—either pharmacologically or genetically—fat accumulation increases.

"We were able, in essence, to change traffic signals in so-called nutrient highways in the body so that calories were metabolized, and not dumped into fat cells. And we did this without changing the rate of food intake," said Tschop.

"These findings are relevant for human obesity, since mutations in the system we studied here are the most common known reason for genetically caused obesity in humans," Tschop added.

The study authors also reported clinical data from co-authors I. Sadaf Farooqi and Stephen O'Rahilly.

Their studies in humans with activity-reducing genetic variations in the melanocortin system indicate that fat metabolism may be "remote controlled" by the human brain similar to the way it is in rodents.

The study appears in the Sept. 20, 2007, online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Source: ANI
GAN/C
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Guide to Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way
Resting Heart Rate
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cholesterol Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction Brain Brain Facts Ataxia 

Recommended Reading
Obesity
Obesity is a condition where there is excess accumulation of body fat which poses a risk to the ......
Know Your Nervous System
The Central nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and the body's nerve network. ......
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use