A new study has demonstrated that controlling weight gain, obesity, and diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain.
The study by Yale School of Medicine's researchers showed that when they blocked the effects of the nuclear receptor PPARgamma in a small number of brain cells in mice, the animals ate less and became resistant to a high-fat diet.
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Lead author Sabrina Diano, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine asserted that these animals ate fat and sugar, and did not gain weight, while their littermates gained weight on the same diet.
Diano said that when they blocked PPARgamma in these hypothalamic cells, they found an increased level of free radical formation in POMC neurons, and they were more active.
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Diano further said that their study suggested that the increased weight gain in diabetic patients treated with TZD could be due to the effect of this drug in the brain, therefore, targeting peripheral PPARgamma to treat type 2 diabetes should be done by developing TZD compounds that could not break in the brain.
The study is published in the issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI).