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18 Apr 2013

Researchers a step closer to anti-obesity drug

A team of scientists are closer to developing an anti-obesity drug

A team of researchers has come up with the idea of blocking a protein that interferes with an appetite-suppressing hormone to potentially develop an anti-obesity drug.
Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston explained that the hunger-regulation hormone - leptin - was first discovered in 1994.
Recent tests carried out on mice fed a high fat diet showed those that were enable to produce the protein Epac1 had lower body weights and fat percentages, as well as lower blood-plasma leptin levels and better glucose tolerance than normal mice.
The researchers developed an epac inhibitor and found normal mice treated with it had significantly lower levels of leptin in their blood plasma.
Lead author of the paper professor Xiaodong Cheng believes the discovery could generate new pharmaceutical possibilities, including a potential drug therapy for combatting obesity and diabetes.
He said: "We refer to these epac inhibitors as pharmacological probes, and while they are still far away from drugs, pharmaceutical intervention is always our eventual goal."


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