Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain neurons and diet influence onset of obesity and diabetes in mice

18.09.2012
The absence of a specific type of neuron in the brain can lead to obesity and diabetes in mice report researchers in The EMBO Journal. The outcome, however, depends on the type of diet that the animals are fed.
The absence of a specific type of neuron in the brain can lead to obesity and diabetes in mice report researchers in The EMBO Journal. The outcome, however, depends on the type of diet that the animals are fed.

A lack of AgRP-neurons, brain cells known to be involved in the control of food intake, leads to obesity if mice are fed a regular carbohydrate diet. However, animals that are deficient in AgRP-neurons but which are raised on a high-fat diet are leaner and healthier. The differences are due to the influence of the AgRP-neurons on the way other tissues in the body break down and store nutrients. Mice lacking AgRP-neurons adapt poorly to a carbohydrate diet and their metabolism seems better suited for feeding on fat.

“Susceptibility to obesity and other metabolic diseases is mostly thought to be due to complex genetic interactions and the radical environmental changes that have occurred during the last century. However, it is not just a question of what you eat and your genetic makeup but also how the body manages to convert, store and use food nutrients,” commented Serge Luquet, lead author of the study and a researcher at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Unit of Functional and Adaptive Biology, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité.
The scientists wanted to show if a primary setting in the brain might directly affect the relative balance that exists in peripheral tissue between storage, conversion and utilization of carbohydrate and lipids. “The idea that we wanted to test in our experiments was whether the action of a specific type of brain cell known as the AgRP-neuron extended beyond its known influence on food intake. We found a new function for these cells, one that affects the communication with and activities of other tissues in the body including the liver, muscle and the pancreas,” added Luquet.

The researchers showed that mice that lacked AgRP-neurons from birth and which were fed on a regular carbohydrate diet had excessive body fat, increased amounts of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin, and normal levels of glucose in the blood. When the same animals were fed a high fat diet they showed a reduced gain in body weight and improved glucose clearance in the blood.

“Our work shows that central circuits in the brain that control food intake also control how nutrients are used in peripheral organs of the body,” remarked Luquet. “This further role for AgRP-neurons might represent a core mechanism linking obesity and obesity-related diseases.”

The prevalence of obesity and other metabolic diseases is increasing rapidly and effective and safe treatments are urgently needed. Obesity adversely affects health, decreases life expectancy, and increases the likelihood of other diseases including heart disease and type II diabetes. “Understanding the mechanisms by which the brain controls how nutrients are metabolized and stored in peripheral organs may prove essential to achieving a clinical breakthrough for these debilitating diseases,” added Luquet.
Hypothalamic AgRP-neurons control peripheral substrate utilization and nutrient partitioning

Aurélie Joly-Amado, Raphaël GP Denis, Julien Castel, Amélie Lacombe, Céline Cansell, Claude Rouch, Nadim Kassis, Julien Dairou, Patrice D Cani, Renée Ventura-Clapier, Alexandre Prola, Melissa Flamment, Fabienne Foufelle, Christophe Magnan, Serge Luquet

Read the paper:
The paper is available at http://www.nature.com/emboj/journal/vaop/ncurrent/index.html
doi: emboj.2012.250

Further information on The EMBO Journal is available at http://www.nature.com/emboj

Media Contacts
Barry Whyte
Head | Public Relations and Communications

Yvonne Kaul
Communications Offer
Tel: +49 6221 8891 108/111
communications@embo.org

About EMBO
EMBO stands for excellence in the life sciences. The organization enables the best science by supporting talented researchers, stimulating scientific exchange and advancing policies for a world-class European research environment.

Brain neurons and diet influence onset of obesity and diabetes in mice

Credit: Uta Mackensen, EMBO

EMBO is an organization of 1500 leading life scientist members that fosters new generations of researchers to produce world-class scientific results. EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in cutting-edge techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe.

Yvonne Kaul | EMBO
Further information:
http://www.embo.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>