Researchers seem to be close to a new therapy for obesity based on results from testing they have been conducting on mice and now monkeys.
In 2004, two Cancer Biologists, Arap and Pasqualini reported that they attached a cell-killing drug to a peptide that traveled to blood vessels in fat tissue. The treatment led to weight loss in mice.
In their most recent work that was published today in Science Translational Medicine, they repeated the experiments on obese monkeys. They used the the drug on 10 rhesus monkeys and compared them with 5 in the control group.
The conclusion they reached is that, "At experimentally determined optimal doses, monkeys from three different species displayed predictable and reversible changes in renal proximal tubule function. Together, these data in primates establish adipotide as a prototype in a new class of candidate drugs that may be useful for treating obesity in humans."
The monkeys in the group that was adminstered the dfrug lost between 7 to 15% of their body weight. The results, according to the sicentists, in mice and monkeys, is uncoventional thinking in the world of "destruction of body fat." Choking adipose tissue from the blood supply to cause weight loss goes against conventional thinking, according to a Doctor quoted in an report by Sicence Maga (http://news.sciencemag.org) because,
"although we might not view fat favorably, it serves as an important storage site for calories and nutrients—and making it disappear suddenly forces those calories and nutrients to go elsewhere, to other tissues where they can cause damage. Patients who have a rare gene mutation that leaves them with a shortage of adipose tissue, the major storage place for fat, look healthy but actually have serious metabolic problems, including fatty liver disease. "They no longer have a safe place to store their calories."
However the possibility exists that "the disappearing blood vessels could also act as a feedback loop, signaling to the animals to eat less." This supports what Arap and Pasqualini found. The monkeys in the test group did consume less of their regular food but ate just as many treats as control monkeys, suggesting that they weren't feeling nauseous from the therapy. They didn't appear to have many side effects though did experience mild dehydration due to a modest decline in kidney function that ended when the therapy stopped."
Whether the treatment is effective and safe for humans is yet to be determined. More studies will be conducted to answer these questions . Ablaris Therapeutics has licensed rights to the obesity therapy and is working with the FDA Administration to start conductin tests on people.
I'm curious how they found obese monkeys. Did they feed them McDonald's every day for a year?