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The Skinny On What Makes Us Fat

is a disorder in which grow larger and accumulate. Certain proteins, called family proteins, function to prevent fat cell formation. However, the activity of proteins can be inhibited by secreted frizzled-related proteins (SFRPs), thus leading to fat cell generation. One of these SFRPs, SFRP5, is highly expressed during fat cell generation and increases during .

Dr. Ormond MacDougald and colleagues at sought to determine the mechanism of SFRP5-mediated obesity and found that mice lacking SFRP5 were resistant to diet-induced obesity, despite having similar numbers of fat cells as .

The results from a transplantation experiment wherein fat tissue was transferred from SFRP5-deficient mice into obesity-prone mice demonstrated that the mechanism of SFRP5-mediated inhibition of fat cell generation is specific to the tissue itself and not dependent on the surrounding environment.

The team also found that SFRP5-deficient mice showed increased metabolic activity compared to control mice.

These findings, which were discussed in a commentary by and Susanne Mandrup at the University of Southern Denmark, shed light on the mechanism of SFRP5-mediated obesity and identify the WNT signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target to counteract obesity.

TITLE: Regulation of adipocyte mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism by secreted frizzled-related protein 5 and WNT signaling

ACCOMPANYING COMMENTARY TITLE: Lighting the fat furnace without SFRP5


Journal of Clinical Investigation