Insight on obesity signaling pathway

12 November 2014

A team has made progress in finding out more about how to best maintain a healthy weight, and why some people are more prone to becoming overweight or obese.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made a connection between known regulators of body mass, which could help influence future treatments for obesity and metabolic disorders.

Led by Dr Kendra Bence, the study also poses some intriguing questions about how these molecular pathways could play a role in learning, perhaps even in some types of brain cancer.

Dr Bence, an associate professor and senior author of the report, based her work on previous research where she highlighted the important role of a specific enzyme protein (PTP1B) in regulating body weight. 
In her original research, she found that PTP1B is able to counter the hormone leptin, which suppresses appetite. 

For the new study, Dr Bence turned up tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), a receptor in the brain that binds to a molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). 

They found that boosting expression of PTP1B suppressed BDNF and TrkB activity, while inhibiting PTP1B enhanced the activity of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway. 

Posted by Edward Bartel​


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...


Weight loss surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)