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Gene Therapy

Gene Therapy Prevents Obesity in Mice

20 years, 4 months ago

10455  0
Posted on Dec 07, 2003, 2 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Gene Therapy Prevents Obesity in Mice Scientists have managed to prevent mice fed a high-fat diet from becoming obese. Dr Sergei Zolotukhin of the University of Florida in Gainesville and colleagues used gene therapy to boost levels of a hormone secreted by fat cells called adiponectin. Previous research suggests that adiponectin affects how the body responds to insulin, and studies have shown that obese and diabetic mice have below-average levels of the hormone.

Gene Therapy Prevents Obesity in Mice

Scientists have managed to prevent mice fed a high-fat diet from becoming obese. Dr Sergei Zolotukhin of the University of Florida in Gainesville and colleagues used gene therapy to boost levels of a hormone secreted by fat cells called adiponectin. Previous research suggests that adiponectin affects how the body responds to insulin, and studies have shown that obese and diabetic mice have below-average levels of the hormone. Some studies have found evidence to suggest that boosting adiponectin levels may improve insulin sensitivity and decrease obesity. Results of Zolotukhin's study showed that mice given the gene therapy gained significantly less weight than animals that did not receive the therapy. Furthermore, treated animals were also more sensitive to insulin. Zolotukhin stresses that more research on adiponectin is needed to prove both its safety and efficacy.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: PNAS 10.1073/pnas.2336090100
Published online before print November 5th, 2003.

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