Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Spanish scientists discover how it produces the hormone that regulates appetite

According to one of the researchers, this scientific development represents “a breakthrough in the treatment of obesity.”

Spanish scientists discovered the mechanism by which adipocytes, the cells that make up most of the tissue or body fat, produce leptin, one of the main hormones that controls appetite, and they saw that this mechanism also regulates the biological clock of fat cells.

The research, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, by scientists Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (Diamet) of the Pere Virgil Institute of Health (IIPSV), from Ciber de Diabet et Morbis Metabolism (Ciberdem) and from the John XXm Hospital of Tarracone.

The historic discovery of leptin as a hormone secreted by adipocytes in the 1990s was a paradigm shift showing that body fat should be considered an active endocrine organ that regulates appetite and body weight.

From that, and despite the fact that many scientific papers have studied how leptin acts in the central nervous system (inhibiting intake by producing satiety) and why this mechanism does not work properly in obese people, there have been no studies. it progresses in the process of production of this hormone in the adipose tissue.

This research, which received more than one thousand dollars from the La Caixa Foundation and the State Research Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, represents, according to the researchers, “a very significant milestone not only from a physiological point of view. It helps to better understand the biological process that controls body weight, but also to address metabolic diseases such as great pain.

According to Sonia Fernández-Veledo, researcher at IIPSV and responsible for Diamet: “If everything works well, when we eat, the level of leptin in the blood increases. This hormone is responsible for sending the satiety signal to our brain. In people with obesity, more leptin than thin women produces, but on the other hand, the phenomenon that leptin resistance arises, which means that the body does not respond to this hormone.

“People with obesity have an altered pain mechanism. Our study not only shows the mechanism by which adipocytes produce leptin, but also why the obese are too obese,” he added.

The researcher explained that succinate, an energetic metabolite that can also act as a hormone through its receptor SUCNR1, plays an important role in all these processes.

For many years, the main inflammatory role was attributed to this metabolite, in addition to being a biomarker of metabolic dysfunction in the diseases of obesity and diabetes, but in recent years, the Diamet Group has shown that this aspect is complex. since succinate levels are also increased in certain physiological situations, such as when eating.

“At this point we believe that succinate, through the SUCNR1 receptor, naturally regulates energy homeostasis, that is, the internal functions of our body that regulate the balance between energy intake and expenditure,” Fernández-Veledo said.

In this study they showed that one of the mechanisms is through the production of leptin and therefore the feeling of satiety, and “it is possible to have other physiological functions acting on other tissues”, according to the researcher.

“Furthermore, we have shown that succinate determines leptin oscillations throughout the day by regulating the biological clock of adipocytes. In obese humans, this mechanism is hyperactive, which partially explains the elevated leptin levels,” he defined.

According to Fernández-Veledo, this scientific development represents “a major milestone in the treatment of obesity” and opens the door to future studies that will not only investigate other metabolic functions of succinate, but also to explore therapies that allow restoring and controlling this mechanism. feeling of satiety

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