Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fat tissue in energy saving mode

31.03.2016

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne have discovered brain cells, which not only tell hungry mice to search for food, but also to limit blood sugar use by the brown fat tissue. This could ensure the survival of mice when they cannot find enough to eat.

What happens when we get hungry? How does the brain control energy expenditure? To find answers to these questions a research team led by Jens Brüning, director of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, analyzed the function of a specific class of nerve cells in the brain, called AgRP neurons.


Cross-section through the mouse brain: Regions that are activated by the AgRP neurons are highlighted (yellow: weakly active, brown: highly active).

MPI for Metabolism Research

“These nerve cells are located in the hypothalamus, which can be seen as the brain command center controlling appetite”, explains Sophie Steculorum, one of the authors of the study and associate of Brüning. “It has already been known for a few years that these cells control feeding behavior in hunger states”.

In the recent study, researchers demonstrated that in mice AgRP neurons use an additional mechanism to regulate the sugar metabolism in the body. “These AgRP neurons tell the body to use less blood sugar when the mouse is hungry and cannot find food”, says Johan Ruud, co-author of the study.

Reprogramming the brown fat tissue

The cologne scientists could show that the AgRP neurons are connected with the brown adipose tissue, also called brown fat. “When the neurons are activated, the cells in this brown fat tissue are reprogrammed – they produce a different set of proteins, for example high levels of myostatin”, explains Ruud.

The protein myostatin is usually found in muscle cells and slows down muscle growth. Now the scientists could show for the first time that myostatin directly controls the sensitivity of the brown fat to insulin, which dictates how the body utilizes blood sugar.

AgRP neurons in human

AgRP neurons, myostatin and insulin are not only found in mice, but also in humans. Obesity and type-2-diabetes are likely associated with chronic activation of AgRP- neurons, at least in mice. The mechanism could explain why AgRP neurons are connected with those diseases. “Next we want to find out whether the cells also control the sensitivity of brown fat to insulin in humans”, explains Steculorum.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.sf.mpg.de/steculorum-cell-2016

Dr. Maren Berghoff | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Further information:
http://www.sf.mpg.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Magic number colloidal clusters
13.12.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Record levels of mercury released by thawing permafrost in Canadian Arctic
13.12.2018 | University of Alberta

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>