London: Researchers have found that bone marrow cells that produce brain-derived eurotrophic factor (BDNF), known to affect regulation of food intake, travel to part of the hypothalamus in the brain where they "fine-tune" appetite.The finding could provide a new target to fight obesity, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Shiga University of Medical Science in Otsu, Shiga, Japan."We knew that blood cells produced BDNF," said Dr. Lawrence Chan, professor of molecular and cellular biology and professor and chief of the division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism in the department of medicine and director of the federally funded Diabetes Research Center, all at BCM.The factor is produced in the brain and in nerve cells as well. "We didn`t know why it was produced in blood cells."Dr. Hiroshi Urabe and Dr. Hideto Kojima, current and former postdoctoral fellows in Chan`s laboratory respectively, looked for BDNF in the brains of mice who had not been fed for about 24 hours. The bone marrow-derived cells had been marked with a fluorescent protein that showed up on microscopy. To their surprise, they found cells producing BDNF in a part of the brain`s hypothalamus called the paraventricular nucleus.
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