Drugs that could manage obesity
Dr. Ya-Xiong Tao
Obesity in cats has reached epidemic proportions: An estimated 20 to 48 percent of owned cats are now overweight. Obese cats are more likely to develop health problems, such as diabetes, skin conditions, heart disease and severe lameness.
With a grant from Morris Animal Foundation, researchers at Auburn University investigated whether they could use drugs to act on two protein molecules in the brain, known as melanocortin-3 and melanocortin-4 receptors, that could respectively decrease fat storage or decrease food intake and increase energy expenditure. They successfully identified the sequences of these molecules and identified several drug compounds that bind to these protein molecules in a laboratory setting.
These results will allow researchers to manipulate melatonin protein molecules in the brain that could help manage obesity in cats. The next step is to move this research, into the clinical setting. This study also allowed a veterinary student to assist with the research, which led her to enroll in the school as a veterinary graduate student.
Posted by MAFon December 21, 2011. Permalink