Factors other than genes may cause obesity


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UPI) — Purdue University scientists say factors other than genetics may be involved in the development of obesity.

The researchers said they have uncovered evidence that genetically identical cells store widely differing amounts of fat, depending on subtle variations in how the cells process insulin. They said identifying the precise mechanism responsible for fat storage in cells could lead to methods for controlling obesity in humans.

“Insights from our study also will be important for understanding the precise roles of insulin in obesity or Type II diabetes and to the design of effective intervention strategies,” said Assistant Professor Ji-Xin Cheng, who said the findings indicate the faster a cell processes insulin, the more fat it stores.

Although other studies have suggested certain “fat genes” might be associated with excessive fat storage in cells, the Purdue researchers confirmed such genes are expressed, or activated, in all of the cells. Yet those cells varied drastically — from nearly zero in some cases to pervasive in others — in how much fat they stored.

The study is reported in the online journal PLoS One.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 20th April 2009


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