The unidentified hormonal defense against weight gain
Mammalian energy balance regulation has evolved to keep body fatness within a range that supports survival. During the last three decades, obesity researchers have uncovered key aspects of physiology that prevent fat mass from becoming dangerously low. In contrast, the mechanisms that counteract excessive adipose expansion remain largely unknown.
Parabiosis studies dating back to the 1950s suggest the existence of a blood-borne molecule that defends against weight gain. This presentation will highlight the research supporting an “unidentified factor of overfeeding” and theoretical models that explain its role in mammalian body weight homeostasis.
Revealing the circulating signaling molecule(s) that defend against weight gain could end a long-lasting enigma of energy balance regulation and facilitate a much-needed breakthrough in the prevention and pharmacological treatment of obesity.
Jens Lund is trained in nutrition, biochemistry, and human biology and holds a PhD within energy metabolism. He is a postdoctoral fellow working in the research group of Associate Professor Christoffer Clemmensen at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at University of Copenhagen (Denmark). Jens is interested in understanding the biological mechanisms that regulate body weight and explain why some are prone to weight gain while others resist the obesogenic environment and stay thin throughout life (see e.g. PMIDs 32097406, 32674987, 35970448 and 37291457).