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Starving Fat Cells

December 14, 2011

A drug that cuts of the blood supply to fat cells resulted in significant weight loss in obese monkeys.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

How to starve fat cellsI’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When the blood supply to cells is cut off, they die and are broken down by the body. Now, researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, have developed a drug that starves fat cells of blood. Researchers Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap and their team gave the drug, called adipotide, to naturally overweight rhesus monkeys.

WADIH ARAP (MD Anderson Cancer Center. Houston, TX):

These obese primates lost an average of 11% of their weight over 28 days without diet and without exercise.

HIRSHON:

He says the monkeys also showed fewer signs of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to the development of diabetes and heart disease.

ARAP:

They required an average of 53% less insulin at the end of the treatment compared to before the treatment.

HIRSHON:

It’s not yet known whether adipotide would have the same effect on humans. But the researchers think the drug holds promise because we are metabolically similar to monkeys. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.