UT Health Newsroom: Boosting liver mRNAs curbs appetite, body weight in obese mice

Original story: UT Health San Antonio Newsroom

By Will Sansom

SAN ANTONIO (April 5, 2022) — In a breakthrough discovery, scientists from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) today reported that inhibiting a liver enzyme in obese mice decreased the rodents’ appetite, increased energy expenditure in adipose (fat) tissues and resulted in weight loss.

The finding, published in Cell Metabolism, provides a potentially desirable drug target to treat metabolic issues such as obesity and diabetes, the authors said.

“We first needed to discover this mechanism and, now that we have, we can develop drugs to improve metabolic syndrome,” said senior author Masahiro Morita, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine in UT Health San Antonio’s Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies.

“We have an enzyme inhibitor that we want to make more specific to increase its effects,” said first author Sakie Katsumura, DDS, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Morita laboratory.

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