Making Mice Fat or Thin with an Injection

| Jul 31, 2007

Stressed mice get fat, according to a study out of Georgetown University Medical Center. And now they know the mechanism that does it; in fact, they can manipulate that mechanism to make the mice fat, or they can block the mechanism and keep the mice from getting fat no matter how stressed they may be.

Dr. Zofia Zukowska, who led the study, stressed out her mice for two weeks by making them stand in cold water or forcing them to face an aggressive alpha mouse. She found that the stressed mice, when fed a high fat "junk food" diet, gained twice as much fat as expected from their intake, all of it around their belly.

Not only did the stressed mice get twice as fat as non-stressed mice on the same diet, but they also showed signs of metabolic syndrome, including glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, inflamed blood vessels, and fat in their livers and muscles.

The researchers not only used stress to make the mice fat; they also discovered, and then played with, the mechanism by which stress leads to weight gain in mice. Stress activates a neurotransmitter called Neuropeptide Y (NPY) to bind to its receptor, called Neuropeptide Y Receptor (Y2R), in fat tissue, causing the fat cells to swell in both size and number and leading to apple-shaped obesity and metabolic syndrome.

By injecting mice with NPY, the researchers were able to generate fat in mice wherever they wanted it. And by injecting Y2R blocker into the mice's abdominal fat, they were able to shrink the fat accumulation by fifty percent in only two weeks and eliminate the metabolic syndrome.

Plastic surgeons, of course, are excited about eventually using an NPY injection to build fat in wrinkled lips and using a Y2R injection to melt away fat without surgery. That peculiar prospect aside, the findings should comfort those of us who are stressed out and seem to grow fat out of all proportion to the amount we eat. In addition to eating right, activities that lower stress may help get rid of that spare tire.

Source: EurekAlert
Georgetown Medical Center news release

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Food, Professional Issues, Weight Loss

Diabetes Health Professional
Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.