The Brain, Fatty Acids and Obesity

January 5/Boulder, Col./Hindustan Times -- Researchers have established a link between how lipid sensing and metabolism in the brain relate to the regulation of energy balance and body weight.

Hong Wang of University of Colorado created mice with a deficiency of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in neurons, and observed that the mouse models ate less and they became sedentary.

"This work may have important impact in understanding the causes of obesity and providing new treatments for this epidemic of our time," said Robert H. Eckel.

These mice became obese on a standard chow diet between three and six months. The research also looked at which areas of the brain have the greatest impact on regulating body weight.

The team learned that the hypothalamus may be the key area to observe as NEXLPL mice have increases in hypothalamic AgRP/NPY gene expression before obesity.

Overall, this research indicates that the lipoproteins are sensed in the brain by an LPL-dependent pathway and provide lipid signals for the central regulation of body weight and energy balance.

The study was published in Cell Metabolism.

From the January 10, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition