Discovery Of An Antibody That Delays Sensation Of Satiety
The researchers from the Institute of Health and Medical Research have just discovered how the feeling of satiety is delayed in some people suffering from obesity. The People suffering from obesity are mostly victims of polyphagia, i.e. they have too much food intake. In principle, it is the hypothalamus that adapts the amount of food required according to the reserves of the body and its needs. In obese persons, this mechanism is disrupted, which causes them to eat in excess of their needs.
However, the mechanisms involved in this disruption remained relatively unclear, at least until now. Indeed, the researchers seem to have found the responsible for this polyphagia: an antibody that would delay the feeling of satiety. The research unit “Nutrition, inflammation and dysfunction of the intestine-brain axis” has discovered that the immunoglobulin involved in this phenomenon slows down the hormone of hunger: ghrelin. In the obese persons, the ghrelin rate remains normal, even low.
Hunger that lasts
In the study Published by the journal Nature Communications, scientists explain: “Immunoglobulins, directed against ghrelin, have particular properties in the context of obesity.” Concretely, the antibody would act by binding to the molecules, which would block the degradation of which it is normally victim. Hormone levels would therefore be higher.
Professor Pierre Déchelotte, explains that these immunoglobulins allow to get more molecules of ghrelin and to protect it against the fast degradation which usually takes place. Therefore, the quantity of hormones which will be able to be able to be released at the level of its receptor in the brain is going to be more important. As the feeling of hunger persists, the antibodies also delay the sensation of satiety, even though the real needs are already fulfilled.
The persons therefore continue to eat, which naturally results in weight gain. This mechanism has been confirmed by a double experiment (in vitro and in vivo in animals). However, other factors, including intestinal flora, may play a role. Moreover, in March 2012, American researchers had already announced that they had succeeded in identifying a gene that would push to eat more than necessary.
Treating Obesity And Other Eating Disorders
Better understanding the origins of obesity and related disorders could provide new leads to help patients. Following their discovery, the researchers hope to be able to control and regulate the antibodies identified. This would influence ghrelin levels and help obese people lose weight by decreasing food intake.
“If we can modify the properties of immunoglobulins, we will be able to decrease the intensity of hunger hormone,” Alpha MSH, says Pr. Pierre Dechelotte. But that’s not all. Other eating disorders could also benefit from this discovery. By restoring the balance between the hormones of hunger and satiety, the diseases such as anorexia or bulimia could also be taken care of.
According to the researcher, these pathologies have not only a psychological origin. Also, “we could try to restore the effectiveness of ghrelin during anorexia nervosa by manipulating these immunoglobulins,” the professor said.