Weight Loss Virus

A Virus That Could Help You Lose Weight - PSFK

A new study has found evidence that a virus could be used to convince your brain you aren’t hungry. The study, published in Cell Metabolism, explains how researchers at Johns Hopkins University gave some rats a virus that inhibited hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY), a protein linked to appetite.

Turning 'bad' fat into 'good': A future treatment for obesity?

ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — By knocking down the expression of a protein in rat brains known to stimulate eating, Johns Hopkins researchers say they not only reduced the animals' calorie intake and weight, but also transformed their fat into a type that burns off more energy. The finding could lead to better obesity treatments for humans, the scientists report.
For five weeks, two groups of rats were fed a regular diet, with one group also treated with a virus to inhibit NPY expression and the other left as a control group. At the end of five weeks, the treated group weighed less than the control group, demonstrating that suppression of NPY reduced eating.

GEN | News Highlights: Scientists Claim Region of Hypothalamus Could Represent New Target for Obesity and Diabetes

U.S. team finds knocking out DMH neuropeptide Y increases energy expenditure, reduces food intake, improves insulin sensitivity and triggers brown fat adipogenesis. [V. Yakobchuk/Fotolia.com]

NPY in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) region of the hypothalamus has previously been shown to be involved in energy regulation, report Sheng Bi, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues. Meanwhile, observations that DMH lesions result in hypophagia and decreased body weight indicate that this region of the hypothalamus also plays a role in maintaining energy homeostasis.

Although NPY is expressed by neurons within the DMH, its function in this region of the brain remains unclear. NPY in the ARC is under the control of leptin, but NPY in the DMH is leptin-independent, suggesting that different neuronal mechanism are involved.

Cell Metabolism - Knockdown of NPY Expression in the Dorsomedial Hypothalamus Promotes Development of Brown Adipocytes and Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity

Cell Metabolism, Volume 13, Issue 5, 573-583, 4 May 2011
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Pei-Ting Chao, Liang Yang, Susan Aja, Timothy H. Moran, Sheng Bi