Resveratrol is a phenolic derivative found in certain plants, peanuts and in the skin of black grapes. It is found in significant quantities in red wine. The results obtained by this research demonstrate how resveratrol improves energy expenditure in mice and protects them against obesity and diabetes.
The study was headed by Johan Auwerx, Professor at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (3). At the macroscopic level, researchers have noticed that a dietary supplement of resveratrol had a considerable effect on the muscles of mice. In the presence of resveratrol, muscle fibres display a high oxygen consumption and therefore high energy expenditure during exercise, where they exhibit a surprising level of endurance, as well as during periods of inactivity.
At the molecular level, the researchers have studied the signalling pathway taking part in this process, leading them to the mitochondrion (4). This organelle, found in large numbers within muscle cells is responsible for energy production. They observed that resveratrol activates a protein from the Sirtuin (5) family (SIRT1) which then leads to an increased activity of another protein involved in mitochondrial function. By acting on the mitochondria, resveratrol enhances energy expenditure and therefore the reduction in weight gain.
Furthermore, this study links sirtuins with energy expenditure and raises the possibility of using SIRT1 activators as a means of prevention or treatment of metabolic disorders. For this reason, the sirtuins reveal themselves as attractive pharmacological targets. From a therapeutic point of view they would be potentially beneficial in certain pathologies related to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is often the case for disorders associated with aging such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
In order to substantiate these results in humans, the company Sirtris pharmaceuticals have just started a clinical trial on diabetes using SRT501, a confidential formulation of resveratrol which has better bioavailability (6).
1 Group of Pere Puigserver, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, Boston.
2 Group of Markku Laakso at the University of Kuopio in Finland.
3 Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire (IGBMC): UMR 7104 / UMR_S 596. Joint ULP / CNRS / Inserm research unit.
4 Mitochondrion: Intracellular organelle where the energy provided by organic molecules is generated and stored. The mitochondrion is the energy powerhouse of the cell
5 Sirtuins : Recently discovered family of enzymes contributing to the healthy functioning of the cell.
6 Bioavailability: capacity of a substance to be absorbed by body tissue
Isabel Pellon Zarragoitia | alfa
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy