Engineered bacteria keep mice lean

June 24, 2014
Credit: Martha Sexton/public domain

Obesity levels are rising throughout the world. As obesity rates increase, so do the incidences of diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.

The bacteria within an individual's gut can influence their susceptibility to these disorders. Therefore, altering the microbe population in the gut could prevent or reverse disease.

A June 24th study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation demonstrates that modified bacteria can prevent weight gain in mice. Sean Davies and colleagues at Vanderbilt University made bacteria that produce a compound called NAPE, which signals to the brain to stop eating.

Mice that consumed NAPE-producing bacteria in their water ate less when given high fat food, which limited and associated symptoms.

Explore further: Researchers further understanding of how gut bacteria regulate weight gain

More information: Paper: Incorporation of therapeutically modified bacteria into gut microbiota inhibits obesity, J Clin Invest. DOI: 10.1172/JCI72517

Related Stories

Chronic intake of Western diet kills mice

June 19, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—When Cornell researchers fed high-fat Western diets to mice engineered without key immune system receptors to recognize pathogens, the mice died from lethal lung damage.

Your gut bacteria may predict your obesity risk

August 28, 2013

(HealthDay)—Bacteria in people's digestive systems—gut germs—seem to affect whether they become overweight or obese, and new research sheds more light on why that might be.

Recommended for you

Gut microbe movements regulate host circadian rhythms

December 1, 2016

Even gut microbes have a routine. Like clockwork, they start their day in one part of the intestinal lining, move a few micrometers to the left, maybe the right, and then return to their original position. New research in ...

Reactivation of embryonic genes leads to muscle aging

December 1, 2016

Developmental genes and pathways strictly regulate embryogenesis. The process is strongly driven by so-called Hox-genes. Now, researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena, Germany, can show that one of these ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.