Removing just one enzyme permanently prevents obesity in mice

In the course of research carried out by a team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen, it was found that genetic removal of just one enzyme in mice makes it impossible for them to gain weight in the future, even when eating high-calorie foods.

Scientists have named this enzyme NAMPT. In both animals and humans, it is responsible for the processes associated with obesity. It has been found that when it is in adipose tissue, it enhances metabolic processes in many other tissues, which contributes to the accumulation of fat in the body.

To understand how it works, the researchers bred mice lacking the NAMPT enzyme in their adipose tissue. When these experimental mice were fed a high-fat diet, they did not get fat. Simultaneously with them, mice with NAMPT successfully gained weight.

This study undoubtedly deserves the closest attention, but, unfortunately, it is too early to talk about the application of its results in medicine. Scientists have found that NAMPT can accumulate in various organs and tissues, with the result that there is a risk of dangerous side effects. Now the university team is studying the possibility of using the enzyme to treat cancer.