Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anorexia susceptibility molecule

07.05.2018

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry explain how prenatal stress can affect the predisposition to activity-based anorexia and identify placental miR-340 as a candidate.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by self-imposed starvation. Often beginning in the teenage years or young adulthood, anorexia is around 10 times more common in women than men. Despite having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, very little is known about anorexia and so its treatment rarely leads to full recovery.


Susceptibility to eating disorders has often been associated with stress experienced early on in life. However, stress alone does not always result in an eating disorder, and a combination of an inborn predisposition resulting from a variety of early-life factors is what leads to disease.

In this study, published in Nature Communications, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry provide some crucial biological insight into this destructive illness. Mariana Schroeder, the author of the current study and a Project Leader in Alon Chen’s group, hypothesised that susceptibility to anorexia originates in the womb.

She challenged adolescent mice with a protocol that mimics the choice of exercise above eating and found that females had a high susceptibility to activity-based anorexia. She explains “what was interesting is that when the female mice were challenged with this activity protocol they split into 2 groups. Around 40% became ‘anorexic’ and the other 60% didn’t. Males were largely resistant”. Schroeder continues “Unexpectedly, prenatal stress eradicated this susceptibility”.

Next, they wanted to try to identify the molecular mechanism behind this gestational programming. To do this, they studied micro-RNA levels in the placentas. They found one micro-RNA that stood out: miR-340. This miR was highly variable in females and hardly detectable in the placentas of any of the male offspring.

When the expression of miR-340 was artificially manipulated and selectively increased in the placentas, they found that the susceptibility to anorexia in both male and female mice boosted. Finally, they discovered that miR-340 indirectly affected the transfer of nutrients from the mother to the fetus, changing the fetal brain.

Alon Chen, director of the Institute, concludes “This study provides some important insight into the early origins of this poorly understood eating disorder”.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.psych.mpg.de/2366054/pm1618-magersucht

Anke Schlee | Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Quality control in immune communication: Chaperones detect immature signaling molecules in the immune system
20.09.2019 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Moderately Common Plants Show Highest Relative Losses
20.09.2019 | Universität Rostock

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quality control in immune communication: Chaperones detect immature signaling molecules in the immune system

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Moderately Common Plants Show Highest Relative Losses

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

The Fluid Fingerprint of Hurricanes

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>