The Role of a Single Molecule in Obesity

“We found 27HC directly affects white adipose (fat) tissue and increases body fat, even without eating the diet that increases body fat,” reports University of Houston assistant professor of biology Michihisa Umetani in the journal Endocrinology. First author of the paper, doctoral student Arvand Asghari, adds, “But it does need some help from the diet to increase body weight because it expands the capacity of the fat already in the body.”

Long term applications of the findings could lead researchers to a treatment that reduces the levels of 27HC, which could result in reduced capacity for making fat. “We hope to develop a new therapeutic approach toward modulating 27HC levels to treat cholesterol and/or estrogen receptor-mediated diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, cancer and metabolic diseases,” said Umetani, whose lab is part of the UH Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling.