Will there be an injection for obesity soon?
Scientists at Yale University in America tried to breed obese mice for clinical testing. The attempt failed. Instead, the researchers found something that is much more interesting: they created a mouse that can eat fat without gaining body weight. According to the researchers, the manipulation of two genes enables the lymphatic vessels to be modified so that they deflect fat molecules.
"We created a mouse that eats fat but doesn't get fat," said Anne Eichmann, professor of cardiology for cellular and molecular physiology, in a Yale University press release on the study results. The research team provided the mice with high-fat food. Instead of putting on fat, mice lacking both genes lost fat and gained little weight despite a high-fat diet. The research results were recently published in the scientific journal "Science".
How does fat defense work?
The researchers explain that lipids (i.e. fats and fat-like substances) are absorbed into the vessels in the lymphoid tissue of the intestine. In most cases, the entry of lipids into the vessels is controlled by easily penetrable structures. These structures were closed in the genetically modified mice. The fats were thus excreted rather than processed by the body.
Genetic modification is not necessary
In further tests, the scientists found that a certain inhibitor that is already used in medicines for glaucoma treatment also triggers this effect. In mice that were not genetically modified, the same anti-fat effect could be produced by injecting the inhibitor.
Does the inhibitor also work in humans?
Eichmann and her team are of the opinion that the inhibitor for glaucoma treatment could also be suitable against weight gain and obesity in humans. The effects on lipid intake and weight gain must be tested extensively beforehand.
The inhibitor is already used against glaucoma
As the researchers report, the anti-fat inhibitor is already used against glaucoma (also known as the glaucoma), in which increased intraocular pressure is the main cause. (vb)