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In brief : Hungry hormones

点击量:   时间:2017-10-04 01:02:07

BRAIN proteins that make rats guzzle food have emerged. If there is a way to block these proteins it could lead to the development of new appetite suppressants. Masashi Yanagisawa at the University of Texas in Dallas and his colleagues stumbled across the hormones while synthesising binding proteins for brain receptors with unknown functions. They called them orexins after the Greek word meaning appetite. When orexins were introduced into the brains of rats, they consumed more food than normal. Also, if the researchers withheld food from the rats, orexin levels in their brains rose (Cell, vol 92, p 573). “The highly specific expression pattern really excites people because it implies that orexins may not have a lot of other functions,