Scientists develop gene therapy that makes obese mice lose 20% of their weight

A group of researchers has developed a new gene therapy that “specifically reduces adipose tissue” in rats, a characteristic for which it may be thought that it may be useful for human beings as well to counteract the obesity and all the diseases associated with it, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

The same gene therapy, discussed in a study on Genome Research, seems to reverse the metabolic disease related to obesity in obese mice. The study was developed to try to overcome the side effects, which can sometimes be serious, linked to the anti-obesity drugs currently on the market.

The researchers, led by Jee Young Chung, carried out experiments on mice. They developed, through CRISPR technology, a gene silencing therapy against the Fabp4 gene, a gene that metabolizes fatty acids. In essence, they reduced their expression and therefore also reduced the storage of lipids in adipocytes.

As a result, the researchers achieved a 20% reduction in body weight of mice as well as an improvement in insulin resistance after six weeks.

The same researchers then noted other improvements such as a reduction in the deposition of fatty lipids in the liver and a reduction in triglycerides.