Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Obese Gene and the ob/ob Mouse

Some people may think they are predisposed to being fat when their parents or siblings are obese. They feel that their genes prevent them from losing weight, even if they try.
Obesity and genetics. Visual of overweight parents with an overweight child.
It is true that genetics can affect obesity. There are situations where people who eat a lot don’t gain fat while those who eat less do. Some research resulted in the conclusion that 80% of children are likely to be obese when both their parents are obese. In the case of only the mother being obese, about 60% of children will become fat. When only the father is obese, 40%.

Photo of the ob/ob mouse or obese mouse.
Recently, more research has been done on obesity from the stand point of molecular biology. Studies first appeared in 1950, where a US laboratory discovered obesity in mice. Once the ob gene was isolated, in 1994 further research on the ob gene resulted in discovering the importance of leptin, which is mainly manufactured in white adipose tissue, as an important factor in weight maintenance. The ob/ob mouse has an abnormality in its genes which prevents the body from producing sufficient leptin. As a result, the mice continually overeat and become obese. Once treated with an injection of leptin, the mice stop getting fat.

No comments:

Post a Comment