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Nat Med. 1995 Sep;1(9):953-6.

Increased obese mRNA expression in omental fat cells from massively obese humans.

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Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Obesity presents a significant challenge to the general health of affluent nations in terms of the number of people affected, the serious associated maladies and the lack of effective treatments. While common wisdom has held that obesity results from 'gluttony and sloth', a number of studies have indicated physiological causes of underlying the pathogenesis of obesity, with the degree of adiposity having a strong genetic component. Recently, the obese gene in the ob/ob mouse was cloned, along with its human homologue. The specific production of the obese protein by adipose tissue suggested that it may function in a feedback loop from fat tissue to the hypothalamus to control energy intake and/or energy expenditure, and that it may play a role in the pathogenesis of human obesity. In this study we report that obese mRNA expression is elevated in ex vivo omental adipocytes isolated from massively obese humans in the absence of an identifiable mutation. Therefore, we speculate that this increased expression may suggest that the massively obese are insensitive to the putative regulatory function(s) of the obese gene product.

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