Heart Produced Hormone Lowers Obesity And Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Research suggests that elevated levels of natriuretic peptides (NPs) in our fat tissue protect us from the consequences of high-fat diets.

NPs are hormones manufactured in the heart. Earlier studies concluded these hormones modulate water and salt to regulate blood pressure, and they facilitate the transformation of energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.

“What we discovered in this study is the important role for NPs in managing metabolism and resisting the deleterious effects of a high-fat diet,” said researcher Sheila Collins, Ph.D., professor in the Integrative Metabolism Program at SBP Lake Nona.

The investigators made their discovery by using mice to explore the difference between high NP levels in fat tissue compared to high NP levels in skeletal muscle tissue. To accomplish this, the mice had an NP receptor, called receptor C, taken out of either their fat, or skeletal muscle. When NPs land on receptor C, the NPs are removed from circulation, so getting rid of receptor C keeps NP levels high.

Deleting receptor C from muscle tissue did not offer the mice protection from a high-fat diet. However, removing the receptor from their fat tissues enhanced insulin sensitivity, prevented weight gain, decreased inflammation, and increased sugar absorption in the energy-burning brown fat.

“Usually when you feed mice high-fat diets they get fatty liver,” says Collins. “In mice without [receptor C] in adipose tissue the liver was completely clean and completely devoid of stored lipids, which I'm sure contributes to their improved overall metabolic performance.”

These findings are in line with others studies indicating that naturally lean individuals tend to have greater NP blood concentrations.

The research results make NPs a therapeutic target for preventing obesity, and decreasing risk for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Increasing NP levels by knocking out receptor C will be studied further, as will the effects of enhancing NP transmission signals via another receptor, called receptor A.

“However, before any therapy can move forward, more work must be done to better understand these protective mechanisms and unwind the complex interrelationships between NPs, white fat, brown fat, and possibly other players,” said Collins.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: StateofIsrael

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