A new way to fight obesity may have been uncovered by New
Zealand scientists, who have discovered a gene that links the
immune system with obesity.
Researchers from The University of Auckland found the gene
plays a vital part in the cell's immuno-metabolic reaction.
This connects the immune response to infection with cell
This led researchers to investigate connections between the
traditionally distinct disciplines of immunity and
metabolism, in a field of research termed 'immunometabolism'.
"We can use this to find drugs that regulate or target this
new pathway in the fight against obesity," said Professor
Phil Crosier from the university's Department of Molecular
Medicine and Pathology.
The research used live imaging within transparent zebrafish
embryos to uncover a new mechanism - the discovered gene -
that controls immune cell function and helps regulate fatty
"We believe this pathway ... may prove useful for treating
obesity-associated diseases," said Professor Crosier.
The research, led by Dr Chris Hall, was published in the
latest issue of Cell Metabolism.