A team of researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) has managed to cure obesity and type 2 diabetes in mice, introducing a gene to perform various functions.
For that, the researchers introduced a modified virus (AVV) that carries a gene called Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21), which allows the genetic manipulation of the liver, adipose tissue or skeletal muscle. By inducing its production it has been proven that the animal reduces its weight and the resistance to insulin that causes the development of type 2 diabetes, reported the UAB in a statement.
In the case of obesity, the therapy has been successfully tested in two models, one genetically induced and other by diet, and scientists have observed that administering the therapy in healthy specimens has led to a healthier aging, protecting them from overweight and of insulin resistance associated with age.
The results have been reproduced by genetically manipulating different tissues to produce the FGF21 protein, from liver, muscle or adipose tissues, allowing selecting the “most appropriate “, indicated the director of the study, Fatima Bosch.
The UAB researcher, Verónica Jiménez, said that this is the first time that obesity and long-term resistance to insulin have been tackled by administering a single session of gene therapy.
Bosch has foreseen that the next step will be “to try this therapy in larger animals to then begin clinical trials in patients“, since it is an approved practice in Europe and the United States for the treatment of several diseases.
Source: Agencia ID