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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Worm study provides clues to better fat-loss therapies for humans.

Scientists have discovered key details of a brain-to-body signaling circuit that enables roundworms to lose weight independently of food intake, and there are reasons to suspect the circuit exists in a similar form in humans and other mammals. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered key details of a brain-to-body signaling circuit that enables roundworms to lose weight independently of food intake. The weight-loss circuit is activated by combined signals from the worm versions of the neurotransmitters serotonin and adrenaline, and there are reasons to suspect that it exists in a similar form in humans and other mammals. The study, published by the journal Cell Metabolism noted that boosting serotonin signaling has been seen as a viable strategy for weight loss in people, but results hint that boosting serotonin plus adrenaline should produce more potent effects .The surprising discovery was that serotonin isn't the sole driver of this weight-loss pathway, but works in concert with another neurotransmitter, octopamine -- the C. elegans version of adrenaline (also called epinephrine) in mammals.