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 'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast

20.02.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>