Compound controls weight and blood sugar
A new compound has been designed that controls weight and blood sugar in mice, raising the prospect of a treatment for sufferers of obesity and diabetes.
Researchers injected the compound, called GO-CoA-Tat, into the stomachs of live mice. Taking blood samples the next day, they found that that the levels of the hormone known to cause weight gain, acyl-ghrelin, had gone down.
It is thought the new compound works by disrupting the production of an enzyme called GOAT. GOAT is known to boost the production of acyl-ghrelin. Researchers tested this idea using GM mice which had been modified not to produce the GOAT enzyme.
The new compound had no effect on the GM mice, whereas the blood sugar levels of non-GM mice were almost halved. This suggests that the new compound depends on the GOAT enzyme to work.
Finally, researchers investigated the effects of the compound on weight. In a month-long experiment, mice were injected with the new compound daily. After a month, the fat mass of the treated mice was a third lower than the untreated mice. The blood sugar levels of the treated mice were also lower than the untreated mice.
It is hoped that the compound could be developed into medicine to treat overweight patients and sufferers of type 2 diabetes.