Friday, 25 November 2011

Neuron Transplant Cures Obesity

From New Scientist: Neuron transplant in damaged brain fixes obesity (in mice),
  • Jeffrey Macklis at Harvard University and his colleagues took healthy neurons from mouse embryos that had been labelled with a green fluorescent protein. They used them to repair a brain circuit involved in the regulation of food intake and body weight in response to a hormone called leptin in mutant mice born with damage to that area, which become dangerously overweight as a result.

    The fluorescent neurons survived the transplant, integrated into the brain circuit, and differentiated into mature neurons that could communicate with existing neurons and respond to leptin, insulin and glucose – suggesting that they had repaired the damaged circuit. The treated obese mice went on to weigh 30 per cent less than their untreated counterparts.
I'm not sure if 'conventional human obesity' results from damage to the brain circuit involved in the regulation of food intake, but interesting nonetheless.

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