"We found that estrogen suppresses appetite using the same pathways in the brain as the adipose hormone leptin," said lead author Tamas L. Horvath, chair and professor of Comparative Medicine and professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine.
Horvath and his team studied the regulation of obesity in mice with mutations in leptin or estrogen signaling. They analyzed the effect of estrogen on the ability of nerve cells to make new connections in the hypothalamus. They also measured the associated feeding behavior and energy expenditure of the animals.
According to their report, estrogen is a strong regulator of energy metabolism through the brain. They show that while the pathway of estrogen-induced intracellular signaling merges with that of leptin, estrogen's effect on feeding and obesity is independent from leptin or the leptin receptor.
"Impaired estrogen signaling in the brain may be the cause of metabolic changes during menopause," said Horvath. "Brain-selective mimics of estrogen could be a viable approach to tackle obesity in the case of leptin resistance."
In previous studies, Horvath and his team found that that estrogen induces synaptic plasticity in the hypothalamus, so they looked to see whether those alterations by estrogen were in line with the proposed shift in the activity of the hypothalamus.
In future studies, Horvath and his team will analyze brain-specific mimics of estrogen on metabolism, obesity in particular. "Brain-specific estrogen analogs would allow us to take advantage of estradiol's weight reducing effects without altering peripheral tissues such as the breast and ovaries," said Horvath.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
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