Research Learns About a New Theraupatic Approch for Obesity
Obesity along with type 2 diabetes was declared a national epidemic last year by the United States government. Obese people are prone to a host of health diseases. Doctors and fitness trainers emphasize on intake of good food and regular exercise as the common preventive measures for obesity. But treatment and possible cure of this physical disorder can be a reality only when researchers learn about it in human genetic level. Latest research done (dated January 2010, in Vienna, Austria), has gain new insights about obesity and hopes that it will open up new doors for treating obesity.
The initial research study was conducted on experimental fruit flies. Working of different mechanisms in these flies have striking resemblance to that of in we humans. So knowledge gained from research carried out on these flies can be applied directly on humans too. The researchers wanted to study how fat gets stored and worked out in the body of fruit flies in details. They learnt that a group of genes (natural instructions, based on which, our entire body works) called the Hedgehog, and signals of instructions generated by them, were responsible for storage and controlling of fats levels in the fruit flies.
The researchers in the next stage studied the impact of inhibiting Hedgehog signals on fat cells. So, as an extension of their experiment, the scientists generated special type of mice. In these mice, a naturally present gene called Sufu was inactivated. This gene stops Hedgehog signals generation at the time of birth.
These laboratory generated mouse were observed to be healthy and thin noticeably. According to the Principle researchers Dr.Andrew Pospisilik, the reason for these mice to be thin was that inactivation of Hedgehog signalling produced no white adipocytes cells in these mouse. However, it had no affect on the brown adipocytes cells .
This is an important finding in treating Obesity and will be equally applicable on we humans too. It is because, in humans, fat is stored in special cells meant for them, known as Adipocytes. They are of two types, white and brown adipocytes cells. The white cells store the harmful component of cholesterol, the triglycerides within them. The brown cells regulate the body temperature and keeps it warm. The triglycerides produce the malignant effects of fats in the body. Absence of these white cells in the experimental mice completely addresses the risk of becoming obese.
Until now, any other technique which tried to influence the white adipose tissue also simultaneously affected the brown tissues. It was for the first time that scientist to find out about a gene (the Hedgehog), which influenced only the white cells keeping the brown fat cells unaffected. This development will produce new drugs for treating Obesity, according to the researchers.