Use your own fat to lose weight?

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Own fat cells for weight loss: New treatment options for diabetes and obesity

Use your own fat cells to fight obesity and diabetes? Researchers from MedUni Vienna and the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg have discovered a new signaling pathway that could form the basis for the development of efficient medications for obesity and diabetes.

In their study, the Austrian and German scientists identified a new signaling pathway that has a massive impact on metabolism. The scientists led by Raffaele Teperino from the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Sabine Amann and Martina Bayer from the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna) report in the specialist magazine "Cell" that the so-called hedgehog signaling pathway affects the glucose uptake capacity in the brown adipose tissue and muscles increased significantly. "Substances that activate this signaling pathway could be used to treat obesity and diabetes," reports the MedUni Vienna. The researchers also blamed the discovered signal path for the side effects of an active ingredient against cancer.

Better treatment of obesity and diabetes possible. The metabolism is completely changed via the hedgehog signaling pathway, whereby calcium-dependent enzymes are also activated, according to the MedUni Vienna. In particular, the cells in the brown adipose tissue and the muscles can "absorb an enormous amount of glucose via the new signaling pathway," explained Harald Esterbauer, also involved in the study, from the clinical department for medical-chemical laboratory diagnostics at MedUni Vienna. In his view, "Active ingredients that only activate the new hedgehog signaling pathway, that is, candidates for medication for obesity and type 1 and type 2 diabetes." The current findings are "of central importance for the rational design of hedgehog Modulators and new therapeutic pathways against obesity and diabetes, ”the researchers report in the specialist magazine“ Cell ”.

New signaling pathway Cause of muscle cramps in some cancer medications According to the researchers, the signaling pathway also causes the influx of calcium into the muscle cells, which causes them to contract and trigger severe cramps. The scientists also see this as the reason for the unpleasant side effects, "which have increased with the use of a cancer drug approved by the American health agency (FDA)". According to a report by MedUni Vienna, the current study also showed that hedgehog inhibitors are available, which "do not cause calcium and glucose levels to rise and do not cause cramps." Harald Esterbauer explained that "the development of Drugs with fewer side effects are therefore quite possible ”.

Hedgehog protein as a trigger for cancer?
The hedgehog protein takes on important functions in embryonic development and malfunctions can lead to serious malformations in the offspring. In addition, the signal protein plays an essential role "in the multiplication, migration and specialization of cells," according to the MedUni Vienna. Disorders of the signaling pathway can also cause cancer in adults, write the researchers led by Raffaele Teperino from the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Sabine Amann and Martina Bayer from the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna). Two years ago, Austrian researchers had already clearly demonstrated that the hedgehog protein blocks the formation of "bad" white adipose tissue. (fp)

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Image: Courtesy: Department of Histology, Jagiellonian University Medical College

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