Soon, pill that can alter biological clock and combat obesity

   Mar 30, 5:07 pm

London, Mar 30 (ANI): Scientists have synthesized a pair of small molecules that significantly alter the core biological clock in animal models, highlighting the compounds' potential effectiveness in treating a wide range of disorders-including obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and serious sleep disorders.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute showed that when administered in animal models the synthetic small molecules altered circadian rhythm and the pattern of core clock gene expression in the brain's hypothalamus, the site of the master cellular clock that synchronizes daily rhythms in mammals.

Circadian rhythms are the physiological processes that respond to a 24-hour cycle of light and dark and are present in most living things.

When given to diet-induced obese mice, these same small molecules decreased obesity by reducing fat mass and markedly improving cholesterol levels and hyperglycemia-chronically high blood sugar levels that frequently lead to diabetes .

"The idea behind this research is that our circadian rhythms are coupled with metabolic processes and that you can modulate them pharmacologically," said Thomas Burris, a professor at Scripps Florida who led the study.

"As it turns out, the effect of that modulation is surprisingly positive-everything has been beneficial so far."

Burris stressed that these compounds were first generation-the first to hit their targets in vivo with room for improvement as potential treatments. "In terms of therapeutics, this is really the first step," he said.

In the new study, the team identified and tested a pair of potent synthetic compounds that activate proteins called REV-ERBa and REV-ERB (beta), which play an integral role in regulating the expression of core clock proteins that drive biological rhythms in activity and metabolism.

In the study, the scientists observed clear metabolic effects when the synthetic compounds were administered twice a day for 12 days.

Animals displayed weight loss due to decreased fat mass with no changes in the amount of food they ate.

The animals followed the human model of obesity closely, eating a standard Western diet of high fat, high sugar foods, yet still lost weight when given the compounds.

In one of the study's more striking findings, both synthetic compounds were shown to reduce cholesterol production. Cholesterol in the blood of treated animal models decreased 47 percent; triglycerides in the blood decreased 12 percent.

The circadian pattern of expression of a number of metabolic genes in the liver, skeletal muscle, and in fat tissue was also altered, resulting in increased energy expenditure, something of a surprise.

In the study, the scientists observed a five percent increase in oxygen consumption, suggesting increased energy expenditure during the day and at night.

However, these increases were not due to increased activity-the animals displayed an overall 15 percent decrease in movement during those same time periods.

In addition to its impact on metabolism, the two compounds also affected the animals' activity during periods of light and darkness, suggesting that this class of compound may be useful for the treatment of sleep disorders, including the common problem of jet lag.

The study has been published in an advance, online edition of the journal Nature. (ANI)

High-intensity workouts work better against diabetes than lower counterparts Mar 3, 2:57 pm
Washington, Mar 3 (ANI): As per a new study, both low intensity and high intensity workouts are effective for weight loss, but higher intensity workouts may do a better job of decreasing blood sugar levels.
Full Story
Easy-to-obtain 'oral swab' samples can be game changer for TB control Mar 3, 2:16 pm
Washington, Mar 3 (ANI): A team of researchers has developed new approach to diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) with easy-to-obtain oral swab samples.
Full Story
Many 60-65-yr-old women may still have 'troublesome' hot flashes Mar 3, 1:40 pm
Washington, Mar 3 (ANI): As per a new study, some 40 percent of women 60 to 65 years old still have hot flashes, out of which many have occasional and mild ones, but for some, they remain really troublesome.
Full Story
India's first Centre for Excellence in Robotics opened in Kochi Mar 3, 12:52 pm
Kochi (Kerala), Mar.3 (ANI): Asia-Pacific's first Centre for Excellence in Robotics in medical sector was formally opened by Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy on Monday.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY