The silencing of a specific gene attenuates diet-induced weight gain, according to a study by the Institute for Biomedical Research of Girona (IDIBGI). The study, led by Dr. José María Moreno, researcher of the Nutrition, Eumetabolism and Health group of IDIBGI and CIBEROBN, has detected that this gene silencing has a direct effect on adipose tissue (or fat tissue) in mice. The research has been published in the journal Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids and has had the collaboration of researchers from the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Barcelona led by Dr. Marta Giralt.
In the last 10 years, studies led by Dr. José Manuel Fernández-Real, head of the same group at IDIBGI, and by Dr. José María Moreno, have clearly demonstrated the relationship between obesity and bacterial lipopolysaccharide binding protein (Lbp). This research pointed to a possible role of this protein in the expansion of adipose tissue and weight gain.
To test this hypothesis, this new work has investigated whether inhibition of Lbp production in adipose tissue for five weeks has any impact on adipose tissue and obesity-associated metabolic parameters. This inhibition has been achieved by direct injection into adipose tissue, whereby attenuated viral particles carrying nucleic acids, which specifically interfere with Lbp production, have been introduced.
The main findings of the study indicate that this injection significantly reduces weight gain in mice, having a direct impact on adipose tissue. However, the results suggest that inhibition of Lbp in adipose tissue could be a good therapeutic tool in the prevention of obesity-associated metabolic disorders. "This study opens a new therapeutic avenue to treat obesity using small interfering RNA, which still needs to be optimized before more advanced preclinical trials can be considered," says Dr. Moreno.
Reference Article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2162253122000075