Hormone helps reverse brain damage caused by obesity

October 4, 2018, Asociacion RUVID
insulin
High-resolution model of six insulin molecules assembled in a hexamer. Credit: Isaac Yonemoto/Wikipedia

The neurobiotechnology research team of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón, Spain, headed by professor Ana María Sánchez, has proven the positive effects of a vegetable hormone, reversing brain alterations caused by high-fat diets, type-2 diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity. The results of this work, developed by the Health Sciences Department, have been published in Molecular Neurobiology.

"We have verified how a vegetable hormone, , is able to counter the deleterious effects that a high-fat diet has on the central nervous system," explains Ana María Sánchez. By making use of this molecule on an animal model with neuroinflammation induced by a high-fat diet, the results of the study "have shown that the alterations on the expression of some genes would be reversed, as well as alterations in the process of neurogenesis, while we also noted a decrease of the inflammation markers in the brain," adds Sánchez.

Alzheimer's disease and other dementias

The UJI neurobiotechnology professors believe that acquiring further knowledge on neuroinflammation is a priority public health matter, as high-fat and sugary diets, combined with a lack of physical exercise, lead to metabolic syndrome and neuroinflammation. This "leads to degenerative processes that can eventually cause diseases as severe as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias," says Sánchez.

The study analysed the expression of several genes related to the signaling pathway, together with the expression of genes that act as neuroinflammation markers with quantitative PCR. Alberto Ribes Navarro says, "We have been able to prove that the expression of proteins required for the proper functioning of insulin (the IRS) decreases in neuroinflammatory situations induced by a high-fat diet. With the addition of abscisic acid to the high-fat it is possible to recover the expression of these genes, even reaching normal levels."

Alteration of the role of insulin

The group's latest research has shown that the vegetable "reduces inflammation levels in the brain, as measured with various techniques and in different cerebral areas," says researcher Sandra Sánchez-Sarasúa, adding that with a , they noticed alterations in cognitive functions that were also recovered with the vegetable hormone treatment. "With protein-level analysis techniques, we observed that neuroinflammation alters the expression of specific genes and that abscisic acid restores it to normal levels, confirming the results obtained with the RNA analysis," says Sánchez-Sarasúa.

The results of this work reveal new data for research into the causes of several neuroinflammatory diseases and insulin resistance. Therefore, one of the objectives of this UJI team is to replicate the insulin resistance model in an animal model, through the regulation of insulin signaling using viral particles.

The UJI neurobiotechnology research group, headed by professor Ana Sánchez, is focused on the study of the mechanisms through which neurodegenerative diseases develop, specifically, diseases such as Alzheimer's, in which there is a resistance to cerebral insulin and neuroinflammation.

They also study the signalling of insulin and similar peptides, and their effect on behaviour. They are also working on the creation of viral particles modified with biotechnology in order to modulate in vivo the genetic .

Explore further: Omega-3, omega-6 in diet alters gene expression in obesity

More information: Alberto Ribes-Navarro et al. Abscisic Acid Supplementation Rescues High Fat Diet-Induced Alterations in Hippocampal Inflammation and IRSs Expression, Molecular Neurobiology (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s12035-018-1091-z

Sandra Sánchez-Sarasúa et al. The effect of abscisic acid chronic treatment on neuroinflammatory markers and memory in a rat model of high-fat diet induced neuroinflammation, Nutrition & Metabolism (2016). DOI: 10.1186/s12986-016-0137-3

Related Stories

Omega-3, omega-6 in diet alters gene expression in obesity

May 15, 2018
A new study reveals that essential fats in the diet may play a role in regulating protein secretion in the muscles by changing the way genes associated with secretion act. The study is published ahead of print in Physiological ...

Obesity + aging linked to Alzheimer's markers in the brain

June 28, 2018
A new study suggests that when a high-fat, high-sugar diet that leads to obesity is paired with normal aging, it may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, researchers discovered that certain areas ...

Ketogenic diets may lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes

August 8, 2018
New research published in the Journal of Physiology indicates that ketogenic diets, which are low carbohydrate high fat eating plans that are known to lead to weight loss, may cause an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in ...

Resistance exercise improves insulin resistance, glucose levels

April 4, 2018
A new study suggests that resistance exercise may improve indicators of type 2 diabetes by increasing expression of a protein that regulates blood sugar (glucose) absorption in the body. The paper, published ahead of print ...

Culprit in reducing effectiveness of insulin identified

April 26, 2018
Scientists at Osaka University have discovered that Stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1) secreted from adipocytes reduces the effectiveness of insulin in adipocytes and decreased insulin-induced glucose uptake.

Medication improves obesity-associated gene expression in mice

February 27, 2017
Obesity often leads to insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. The anti-diabetic drug rosiglitazone counters insulin resistance in diabetic patients by targeting PPARγ, a nuclear receptor that senses hormones ...

Recommended for you

A new mechanism in the control of inflammation

October 18, 2018
After infection or tissue injury, the inflammatory immune response attacks the infection and repairs the damaged tissue. However, sometimes excess inflammation can have the opposite effect, increasing injury in a process ...

A novel insulin accelerant

October 17, 2018
Insulin levels rise after eating a meal, signaling uptake of circulating glucose by skeletal muscle. In individuals with diabetes this process is often impaired—a condition known as insulin resistance.

Sugar, a 'sweet' tool to understand brain injuries

October 15, 2018
Australian researchers have developed ground-breaking new technology which could prove crucial in treating brain injuries and have multiple other applications, including testing the success of cancer therapies.

Fat tissue may play a crucial role in the progression of diabetes, challenging long established notions

October 12, 2018
A new study by Australian researchers, out today, is challenging what we know about the causes of diabetes. The new research points to fat tissue as a source of disease, and widens our understanding beyond the traditional ...

Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?

October 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The hormone prolactin—most commonly associated with breastfeeding—may play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Scientists reveal new cystic fibrosis treatments work best in inflamed airways

October 11, 2018
A new UNC School of Medicine study shows that two cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs aimed at correcting the defected CFTR protein seem to be more effective when a patient's airway is inflamed. This is the first study to evaluate ...

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.