Energy Metabolism Screen

Coordinator:    Prof. Dr. Martin Klingenspor
Institution: Molekulare Ernährungsmedizin, Technische Universität München             Else Kröner-Fresenius Institut und Zentralinstitut für Ernährungs- und Lebensmittelforschung
Major health problems are caused by disturbances in energy balance regulation. Long term maintenance of a positive energy balance results in the development of obesity, which is frequently associated with the metabolic syndrome (including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other sequela). The increasing prevalence of obesity is a prime public health risk factor. Another serious health problem is linked to diseases associated with a negative energy balance such as certain types of cancers driving patients into cachexia (wasting syndrome). Understanding the physiological mechanisms and the underlying genetic predisposition that regulate mammalian energy balance is therefore of high clinical and societal importance and requires a coordinated multidisciplinary effort. We identified previously unknown genes related to the regulation of energy balance in the phenotyping screen of the German Mouse Clinic (GMC). About one third of all mutant lines showed general effects on body mass but in only 3% body mass and body fat content were increased. During the detailed investigation of the moderately obese Neurobeachin (Nbea) mutant line we found food intake to be increased in early life resulting in a positive energy balance and excess storage of body fat. Interestingly, in humans genetic variants of the Nbea gene could also be associated with adiposity suggesting that this gene may be a new potential candidate gen for obesity.

Additional relevant Internet links:
The German Mouse Clinic
Center for Diet and Disease
Further Coordinators:
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