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Darkness unveils vital metabolic fuel switch between sugar and fat

confirmed their lethargic state. Mice kept in constant dark also ate less, lost weight, and showed evidence of increased fat consumption, all hallmarks of hibernation in larger mammals.

The authors note that 5'-AMP has previously been shown to regulate enzyme activity for glucose usage and production. The brain requires glucose to function. By switching the primary source of energy in other organs from glucose to fat, 5'-AMP conserves glucose for brain function, the paper notes.

"5'-AMP is a pivotal metabolic signal whose circulatory level determines the balance of the peripheral organ energy supply between glucose, glycogen and fat," the authors conclude, raising the longer-term possibility of 5'-AMP-based therapies for obesity or type 2 diabetes.


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Contact: Scott Merville
scott.merville@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3042
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
18-Jan-2006


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