Potential Obesity Treatment: Hormone Causes Body To Metabolize Stored Fat
10/19/2005 5:11:17 PM
In 1999, Drs. Miles Brennan and Ute Hochgeschewender announced their finding that melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) regulates the balance of fat storage and metabolism. In April, they received a patent on the use of MSH analogs -- chemicals that mimic MSH -- as potential treatments for obesity (U.S. Patent #6,716,810). Brennan is an associate research professor at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute at the University of Denver (ERI) and Hochgeschwender is an associate member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Their research also suggests that MSH integrates fat and glucose metabolism in the periphery, or body. The scientists began by engineering mice missing the pro-opio melanocortin (POMC) gene. The mice, which had no MSH in their bloodstream, became obese because they stored all the fat they ate without metabolizing any of it.
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