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New hormone that fights weight gain, diabetes

Wed, Mar 04, 2015, 02:18 PM
New York, March 4, 2015: Too lazy to exercise? You may soon have a new excuse as scientists have discovered a new hormone that mimics the effects of exercise and fights the weight gain caused by a high-fat diet.

The newly discovered hormone, dubbed "MOTS-c" also reverses diet-induced and age-dependent insulin resistance, the findings showed. Insulin resistance could lead to Type 2 diabetes.

"This represents a major advance in the identification of new treatments for age-related diseases such as diabetes," said senior author of the study Pinchas Cohen from University of Southern California (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

Hormones are molecules that act as the body's signals, triggering various physiological responses.

To test the effects of MOTS-c, the team injected the hormone into mice fed a high-fat diet, which typically causes them to grow obese and develop a resistance to insulin.

The injections not only suppressed both effects in mice, they also reversed age-dependent insulin-resistance, a condition that precedes diabetes.

While all of the experiments on MOTS-c to date have been performed on lab mice, the molecular mechanisms that make it function in mice exist in all mammals, including humans, the researchers noted.

"The MOTS-c intellectual property has been licensed to a biotechnology company, and clinical trials in humans could begin within the next three years," said Cohen.
Agency: IANS
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