Scientists Stumbled Upon a Drug that Supposedly Stops Weight Gain

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For the purpose of a study, scientists at Yale University tried to create a morbidly obese mouse. However, their mouse started to eat a lot but didn’t get any fatter. Supposedly, that’s because of a drug which allows it to eat as much as it wants without gaining weight.

The experiment

The experiment required that the scientists would select two genes from the lymphatic tissue and would edit them to prevent the fat particles uptake. The particles, called chlyomicrons would have been restricted and the mice would become fat.

However, when they observed the creatures, scientists noticed them not getting fat, instead they remained skinny. The animals whose genes were missing were able to excrete lipids and remain thin although they were following a high-fat diet.

The supposition

Feng Zhang is the scientist who discovered that by not having the two gene molecules, the mice’s lymphatic tissues had specialized vessels who ‘zipped up’, preventing the lipid uptake. The fat particles enter the lymphatic tissue in the gut through lacteals, the specialized vessels mentioned before.

The passage of lipids is controlled through button-like structures and the mice lacking the two genes (vascular endothelial development factor 1 and neuropilin1) presented zippered structures which leads to fats being discharged, not taken up by these vessels. Zippering can also be lead to by hindering the Rho kinase (ROCK) in ordinary mice.

I wanna ROCK!

A professor of Cardiology, Anne Eichmann, stated that there is already an inhibitor of ROCK which is used to treat glaucoma and that it should also be tested to see its effects on weight gain. Technically, this was a failed experiment.

However, science works that way and through having failed and failed again you end up with a valuable result. So far, they only experimented on rodent but maybe sometime in the future we could see some effects in humans as well.


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