Washington, April 2 ANI | 4 months ago

Researchers have found that high levels of GDNF protein (Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) could help the body resist weight gain despite high-fat diet.


GDNF is a protein integral to keeping the body's systems in balance (homeostasis) and helping develop and maintain the nerve cells responsible for a host of bodily functions such as digestion and muscle control.

Previous research has shown that elevated levels of GDNF can lead to weight loss in rodents and primates with age-related obesity and prevent weight gain in younger animals. In this study, researchers looked specifically at how the increased presence of GDNF might affect obesity caused by a high fat diet.

Simon Musyoka Mwangi and colleagues compared mice bred to have higher levels of GDNF protein with control mice. The mice were fed either a regular rodent diet (containing almost 6 per cent fat) or a high-fat diet (almost 34 per cent fat).They found that the GDNF-mice fed a high-fat diet resisted diet-induced weight gain, visceral (around the organs) fat development, fatty liver, high lipid (fat) levels in the blood, and insulin resistance. The GDNF mice also experienced improved insulin sensitivity and increased calorie burn compared to control mice on a high-fat diet.

The study has been published in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

(Posted on 02-04-2014)