Immune system molecule affects our weight
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have identified a molecule in the immune system that could affect hunger and satiety. The researchers hope that new treatments for obesity will benefit from this finding.
Interleukin-6 is a chemical messenger in our immune system that plays an important role in fighting off infection. However, recent research has, surprisingly, shown that it can also trigger weight loss.
Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have been investigating and managed to identify the specific types of brain cells that are targeted by the interleukin-6 molecule.
The results show that the cells that are affected by interleukin-6 produce substances that not only affect our sense of hunger and fullness but also control the body’s ability to burn fat. “Interleukin-6 increases levels of substances in the brain that trigger weight loss, which could explain why high levels of this molecule lead to weight loss,” says doctoral student Erik Schéle, who is presenting the results in his thesis.
It is known that our normally low levels of interleukin-6 in the brain increase dramatically during an infection, typically accompanied by reduced hunger and fatigue.
“Our previous findings would indicate that interleukin-6 can play a key role in regulating the metabolism of healthy individuals too,” says Erik Schéle.
“This is clearly substantiated by our finding that mice which lack interleukin-6 get fat, and that the metabolism of rats injected with interleukin-6 directly into the brain increases.”
Although it is not yet fully understood how interleukin-6 in the brain affects bodyweight, the researchers have concluded that anyone whose brain produces plenty of interleukin-6 could be protected against overweight. The thesis also shows that our gut bacteria indirectly affect the substances in the brain that regulate bodyweight.
“This is both surprising and new. It could in the long run lead to people fighting obesity by changing what they eat in line with how it affects the brain,” says Erik Schéle.
Erik Schéle, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
+ 46 31 786 3681
Helena Aaberg | idw
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products