Yes You Read It Right!! Scientists could use a virus to interpolate your brain to make you feel less hungry, a new study reveals.
A group of researchers at John Hopkins injected rats with a virus which inhibited the neuropeptide Y protein — linked to appetite and hunger. The result was more than just Amazing!!
The rats ate and weighted less than rats without the virus. Moreover, by giving the infected rats an insanely high calorie diet, the researchers found something unexpected: rather than the usual build-up of white fat at the base of the tail, there were indicators that the rats were forming brown fat, which is much easier for the body to burn through than the stuff that usually builds up around our bellies.
Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been implicated in control of energy balance, but the physiological importance of NPY in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) remains unclear. Here we report that knockdown of NPY expression in the DMH by adeno-associated virus-mediated RNAi reduced fat depots in rats fed regular chow and ameliorated high-fat diet-induced hyperphagia and obesity. DMH NPY knockdown resulted in development of brown adipocytes in inguinal white adipose tissue through the sympathetic nervous system. This knockdown increased uncoupling protein 1 expression in both inguinal fat and interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT). Consistent with the activation of BAT, DMH NPY knockdown increased energy expenditure and enhanced the thermogenic response to a cold environment. This knockdown also increased locomotor activity, improved glucose homeostasis, and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Together, these results demonstrate critical roles of DMH NPY in body weight regulation through affecting food intake, body adiposity, thermogenesis, energy expenditure, and physical activity.