Scientists find way to convert bad body fat into good fat
Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a way to convert white fat, which stores calories, into brown fat that burns them. Above are white fat cells from a normal mouse (left) and from a mouse lacking the PexRAP protein (right), which interferes with the conversion of calorie-storing fat cells into calorie-burning cells. The fat cells without PexRAP store fewer calories and look more like brown fat cells. – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
There’s good fat and bad fat in our bodies. The good fat helps burn calories, while the bad fat hoards calories, contributing to weight gain and obesity. Now, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified a way to convert bad, white fat into good, brown fat, at least in mice. – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The findings raise the prospect of developing more effective treatments, in people, for obesity and diabetes related to weight gain. The study is published Sept. 19 in the journal Cell Reports. White fat stores calories and pads our bellies, hips and thighs. In contrast, brown fat, found near our necks and shoulders, burns calories through a process that generates heat. – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The researchers found that blocking the activity of a specific protein in white fat triggered the fat to begin to brown into beige fat, a type of fat in between white and brown. Blocking the protein to create beige fat caused the fat cells to heat up and burn calories. – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
“Our goal is to find a way to treat or prevent obesity,” said first author Irfan J. Lodhi, PhD. “Our research suggests that by targeting a protein in white fat, we can convert bad fat into a type of fat that fights obesity.” – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
His group directed a progression of trials in mice, making a hereditary strain of creatures that didn’t make a key protein in their white fat cells. Those mice had more beige fat and were less fatty than their littermates, notwithstanding when they ate an indistinguishable measure of nourishment from other mice. They additionally consumed more calories.
“Mice ordinarily have low levels of the protein, called PexRAP, in their darker fat,” he said. “When we put the mice into a cool domain, levels of the protein likewise diminished in white fat, enabling that fat to carry on more like darker fat. Chilly incites dark colored and beige fats to consume put away vitality and deliver warm.”
At the point when Lodhi’s group blocked PexRAP in the creatures, the mice changed over white fat into beige fat that could consume calories.
More than 66% of grown-ups in the United States are either overweight or fat. Somewhere in the range of 30 million individuals have diabetes. These discoveries think about propose that if treatments could help change over their terrible fat into great fat, those numbers may begin to decay.
Lodhi said if the PexRAP protein could be blocked securely in white fat cells in people, individuals may have a less demanding time getting more fit.
“The test will be discovering safe approaches to do that without making a man overheat or build up a fever, yet medicate designers now have a decent target,” he said.
Source & Credit @ Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Reference: Lodhi IJ, Dean JM, He A, Park H, Tan M, Feng C, Song H, Hsu FF, Semenkovich CF. PexRAP inhibits PRDM16-mediated thermogenic gene expression. Cell Reports, Sept.19, 2017.