Researchers from Osaka Metropolitan University (Japan) have discovered a gene called CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1). related to obesity.
According to their findings in mice published in the scientific journal ‘FASEB Journal’, when CRTC1 is suppressed in mice, they become obese, indicating that CRTC1 functioning suppresses obesity.
Specific neurons to suppress obesity
However, since CRTC1 is expressed in all neurons in the brain, specific neurons The mechanisms responsible for suppressing obesity and those neurons present remain unknown.
High-calorie foods (high in fat, oil and sugar) may taste good, but they often cause overeatingWhich leads to obesity and serious health problems. But what triggers the brain to overeat? That’s the question these Japanese researchers asked themselves.
To elucidate the mechanism by which CRTC1 suppresses obesity, a research group led by Shigenobu Matsumura of Osaka Metropolitan University’s Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology focused on neurons that express Melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R).
There may be a genetic reason for overeating
The researchers hypothesized that CRTC1 expression in neurons expressing MC4R suppressed obesity because it is known mutation in the MC4R gene They cause obesity.
As a result, they created a strain of mice that express CRTC1 normally, except in neurons that express MC4R, where it is blocked, to investigate the effect loss of CRTC1 Among those neurons were obesity and diabetes.
When fed a standard diet, mice without CRTC1 in neurons expressing MC4R showed no change in body weight compared to control mice. However, when CRTC1-deficient mice were reared on a high-fat diet, they ate more, became significantly more obese than control mice and developed diabetes.
“This study revealed Role of the CRTC1 Gene In the part of the brain and system that prevents us from eating hypercaloric, fatty and sugary foods. We hope this will lead to a better understanding of the reasons why people overeat,” Professor Matsumura said.
Shigenobu Matsumura, Motoki Miyakita, Haruka Miyamori, Satomi Kyo, Fuka Ishikawa, Tsutomu Sasaki, Tomoki Jino, Jin Tanaka, Kotomi Fujita, Takumi Yokokawa and others. CRTC1 deficiency, specifically in melanocortin-4 receptor-expressing cells, induces hyperphagia, obesity, and insulin resistance. FASEB Journal (2022). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.202200617R