Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aquaporin and obesity

22.12.2005


Dr. Gema Frühbeck, director of the Metabolic Research Laboratory of the University Hospital of the University of Navarra, has published a commentary in the latest issue of Nature. The article presents aquaporin as a new modulator of the biology of the adipocyte. It is a new concept concerning how the permeability of glycerol in fat cells is able to modulate the size of the adipocyte and, as a result, can contribute to the development of obesity.



Aquaporins are related to the transport of water through cell membranes, but only recently has they been linked to weight control and adiposity. There is a subfamily, the aquaglyceroporins, which transport water as well as smaller solutes, such as glycerol. It has been shown that if one eliminates the specific aquaporin of the adipose tissue, aquaporin-7, glycerol is no longer able to leave the fat cell and instead accumulates in the cell interior. That is to say, it produces a hypertrophy of the adipocyte, which if maintained over time, and in many adipocytes simultaneously, results in obesity. It has been shown that this aquaporin-7 also participates in insulin sensitivity. Nevertheless, in humans the loss of this function as a result of gene mutation has not been observed to be associated with the development of obesity or diabetes.

From now on the researchers from this laboratory of the Hospital will have as their objective the deepening of their understanding of the physico-pathologic situation common to human obesity and the evaluation of these channels as a possible means for therapeutic treatment.


Pioneering team

The Multidisciplinary Team of diagnosis and treatment of obesity is a project begun in 1999. Later, the Hospital aided in the creation of the Metabolic Research Laboratory of the University of Navarra.

The principal area of study is research of obesity and related morbidities, from a clinical and molecular point of view. One of the lines of research is directed towards the analysis of intracellular signaling. In particular, we are focusing on the adipocyte and smooth vascular muscle cells, and their linkage with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

In collaboration with the area of Cardiovascular Sciences of the CIMA of the University of Navarra, the group which Dr. Frühbeck coordinates studies the participation of leptin in the control of arterial pressure. We are beginning to relate leptin and arterial pressure, especially by means of the liberation of nitric oxide.

The study of the functional relationship between leptin and nitric oxide constitute the axis of other projects in progress at the Metabolic Research Laboratory. Leptin is synthesized primarily by the adipocyte, but there also exist other tissues capable of synthesizing this cytokyne. In addition, the functional receptors of leptin are found in a great quantity of organs, such as, for instance, the liver. Our hypothesis is that leptin can play a beneficial role in liver regeneration, since it is implicated in the intracellular signal cascade typical of the regeneration of damaged tissue.

Implicated factors

It has been theorized for years that obesity has a primordial genetic component: that is, patients tend to be obese because their genes condition them in that direction. The Metabolic Research Laboratory analyses the profile of gene expression in this disease.

There are genes of susceptibility which predispose a person to suffering obesity. Some people are greater savers of energy than others, while other people tend to favor the liberation of energy. Nevertheless, in a single phenotype of obesity there are multiple causes. The current epidemic of obesity is mostly due to sedentary living habits and the changes of living habits, rather than to any particular genetic alteration. Without a doubt, the development and perpetuation of obesity is due to the joint action of external environmental factors in combination with numerous genes.

The Nutrition Society’s “Sir David Cuthbertson” medal was awarded to Dr. Gema Frühbeck for her contribution in the investigation of obesity.

The Nutrition Society is the most prestigious scientific association in Europe dedicated to the study of nutrition. Dr. Frühbeck is the first Spanish researcher to receive the “Sir David Cuthbertson” medal. In fact, it is the first time that that the honour has been awarded to a specialist whose work is based fundamentally outside the United Kingdom.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
23.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry
23.10.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>