Mammals and insects might have a lot in common while gaining fat. The hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway may also have a prominent role when it comes to fat formation in the case of mice and flies, according to a new research. The research also reveals the effect that genes have on fat storage. The Hh pathway in mammals also decides as to whether adult stem cells are meant for the bone or fat.
The Hh pathway drugs may also be useful for treating conditions like diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and lipodystrophy, according to the research. Common traits which are connected with aging may also be explained through the research. As a person ages, he gains weight while his bones become thinner, and this trend may be prevented or reversed with new drugs which stimulate the pathway, contributing towards stronger bones.
The Hh treatment of mouse cells produced lesser fat, in addition to showing signs which are connected to cells which are meant for the bone. The mice that are genetically obese have lower levels of the Hh pathway. The role of the Hh signaling varies from vertebrates and invertebrates. The Hh proteins' activity can be modulated by small molecules, according to the study, which gives rise to the possibility that drugs aimed at the fat pathway may be in existence already, while more could be made.
The drugs which are capable of manipulating Hh signaling may also serve to treat obesity, disease of altered adiposity, and lipodystrophy. It is also possible that when fat formation is blocked, then other parts of the body like the liver or muscle may experience higher lipid deposits. Even without taking the therapeutic implications of the study into consideration, it has been proved that the Hh plays an important role where fat formation is concerned.