Compound that switches off appetite in mice discovered by Hopkins scientists

in the brain. "The usual response to excess food is a decreased appetite," he says, "C75 appears to trigger this response artificially, by regulating the pathway, decreasing NPY and, thus, lowering appetite."

The C75 work comes out of the team's 14-year exploration of the abnormal fat metabolism that exists in many cancer cells. "Breast, prostate and cancer cells, for example, make a lot of fat. They have, correspondingly, a lot of constructive enzymes such as FAS," says Kuhajda. C75 was one of the chemicals the researchers created to inhibit FAS and clarify what was happening. "But it had this side effect," he adds, "that the lab animals always lost a lot of weight."

"We badly need effective drugs for weight loss," he comments. "Obesity is a huge problem. We're hoping to explore the possibilities of this new pathway."


Contact: Marjorie Centofanti
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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