A Drug Against Obesity?

  • Author: Melania Tesio
  • Published: 18 December 2013
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Nature/Nature Publishing
thumbnail image: A Drug Against Obesity?

Obesity causes insulin resistance, a condition where the body does not respond to the physiological action of insulin. As this metabolic hormone promotes the absorption of glucose from the circulation, obese patients accumulate glucose in their blood, ultimately developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Miki Okada-Iwabu, University of Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues discovered a molecule that might improve the health of these individuals. The researchers identified AdipoRon (pictured), an orally active synthetic molecule that activates the receptors for adiponectin. This protein promotes fatty-acid oxidation, thereby sensitizing cells to insulin´s action. As a consequence, when the researchers stimulated adiponectin activity with AdipoRon, they increased insulin sensitivity in mice fed with a high fat diet and lowered glucose levels in diabetic mice, thereby increasing their life span.

The use of AdipoRon is thus a promising strategy to treat obesity-related disorders, such as diabetes and insulin resistance.

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