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Science 297 (5582): 780-781

Copyright © 2002 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

BIOMEDICINE:
A Sympathetic Defense Against Obesity

Abdul G. Dulloo

One of the most puzzling questions in obesity research is why some humans rapidly gain weight when they overeat, whereas others do not. In a compelling Perspective, Dulloo explains exciting new findings (Bachman et al.) that reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying thermogenesis, a process in which extra food is converted into heat instead of fat. As Dulloo discloses, diet-induced thermogenesis is under the control of signaling through b-adrenergic receptors of the sympathetic nervous system. This work opens the door to developing anti-obesity therapeutics that activate diet-induced thermogenesis.


The author is in the Department of Medicine, Division of Physiology, University of Fribourg, CH-1700 Switzerland. E-mail: abdul.dulloo{at}unifr.ch


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