Memory Study Leads to Obesity Finding; A Fat Storage Hormone Changed Minds and Weight of Study Mice

By Cox, Jeremy | The Florida Times Union, February 10, 2011 | Go to article overview

Memory Study Leads to Obesity Finding; A Fat Storage Hormone Changed Minds and Weight of Study Mice


Cox, Jeremy, The Florida Times Union


Byline: JEREMY COX

Their mission was to solve a small but nagging mystery of Alzheimer's disease: How would the brain's ability to store information be affected if they "turned off" the obscure protein LRP1?

But Guojun Bu and his fellow researchers were in for a surprise. As they expected, mice whose brains had been wiped of the LRP1 gene showed Alzheimer's-like memory problems. But they also started to put on weight - fast.

The mice were lethargic. They were on their way to becoming diabetic. And they didn't seem to know when to stop eating.

In other words, they were a lot like the more than 72 million Americans who are obese.

Bu, a neuroscientist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and the study's lead author, said the findings could lead to a treatment that attacks the genetic causes of obesity.

"People complain that for people who are obese, it's just a lack of self control," he said. "But this confirmed there's a strong genetic element that controls their appetite."

Or rather, reconfirmed. Scientists have long suspected that people's DNA has a profound impact on their waistlines, and a number of studies have proved them right.

Bu's research focused on leptin, a hormone that regulates fat storage. Normally, leptin is produced as the body's cells take in fat from food, sending a signal to the brain that suppresses appetite. Bu, who did the bulk of the research while with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that both the leptin and LRP1 receptors must work together to transmit those signals.

Researchers injected a virus into young mice to turn off the LRP1 gene in the hypothalamus, the brain's control center. After six months, there was virtually no difference between the "knock out" mice and the normal ones.

But then, the modified mice suddenly got plumper as their leptin signals faded. A year into the experiment, the mice weighed an average of about 43 grams; their counterparts, less than 30. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Memory Study Leads to Obesity Finding; A Fat Storage Hormone Changed Minds and Weight of Study Mice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.