New paper reveals how inhibition of ALK7 can be combined with simple interventions to produce longer-lasting benefits in obesity

Life- style change and anti-inflammatory interventions have only transient effects in obesity. It is not clear how benefits obtained by these treatments can be maintained longer term, especially during sustained high caloric intake. Constitutive ablation of the activin receptor ALK7 in adipose tissue enhances catecholamine signaling and lipolysis in adipocytes, and protects mice from diet-induced obesity.

In this study, we investigated the consequences of conditional ALK7 ablation in adipocytes of adult mice with pre- existing obesity. Although ALK7 deletion had little effect on its own, it synergized strongly with a transient switch to low- fat diet (life-style change) or anti-inflammatory treatment (Na-salicylate), resulting in enhanced lipolysis, increased energy expenditure, and reduced adipose tissue mass and body weight gain, even under sustained high caloric intake. By themselves, diet- switch and salicylate had only a temporary effect on weight gain. Mechanistically, combination of ALK7 ablation with either treatment strongly enhanced the levels of β3-AR, the main adrenergic receptor for catecholamine stimulation of lipolysis, and C/EBPα, an upstream regulator of β3-AR expression. These results suggest that inhibition of ALK7 can be combined with simple interventions to produce longer- lasting benefits in obesity.

The paper has been published in The FASEB Journal.

Read the full paper HERE

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Long-lasting benefits of ALK7 blockade in obesity

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