New Delhi: A protein found in cells throughout the body must exist in a specific set of brain neurons to prevent weight gain after chronic feeding on high-calorie meals, revealed a study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Nicknamed the "longevity" protein because of its apparent role in mediating the effects of dietary restriction on life span, SIRT1 has been studied as a potential target for anti-aging drugs.
In addition, the researchers found that SIRT1 must be present in POMC neurons for leptin to stimulate the remodeling of white adipose tissue into brown fat tissue, which "burns" fat to generate heat. "When SIRT1 is present in POMC neurons, the neurons properly convey a signal from leptin to the white perigonadal fat, which is designed to store energy. This signal is needed for the fat to undergo a remodeling process and expand the brown fat cells component as a protective measure against obesity," said Coppari. "If you don`t have these kinds of defense mechanisms, you likely become hypersensitive to diet-induced obesity. A primary defect in SIRT1 in POMC neurons might be present in some individuals who are more prone to develop obesity when constantly exposed to an abundance of high-fat, high-calorie foods,” he added. Coppari said the idea of a drug that selectively could target neurons controlling specific fat depots – and that could trigger the remodelling of white fat into brown fat – has high potential. The study has been published in the latest issue of Cell Metabolism. ANI
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