Triptans, a generally prescribed class of migraine medicine, may be helpful in treating weight problems, a brand new examine by scientists at UT Southwestern suggests. In research on overweight mice, a each day dose of a triptan led animals to eat much less meals and shed extra pounds over the course of a month, the group reported within the Journal of Experimental Medication.
We have proven that there’s actual potential to repurpose these medicine, that are already recognized to be protected, for urge for food suppression and weight reduction.”
Chen Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Inner Medication and Neuroscience, examine chief, and investigator within the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Mind Institute
Weight problems impacts greater than 41% of all adults within the U.S. and will increase the danger of coronary heart illness, stroke, diabetes, and sure sorts of most cancers. Most remedies for weight problems give attention to consuming habits and bodily exercise.
Scientists have lengthy recognized that serotonin, a chemical messenger discovered all through the mind and physique, performs a key function in urge for food. Nonetheless, there are 15 totally different serotonin receptors – molecules that sense serotonin and sign for cells to vary their conduct in response. Researchers have struggled to know the function of every serotonin receptor in urge for food, and former medicine – together with fen-phen and lorcaserin (Belviq) – that focused sure particular person receptors have been withdrawn from the market as a result of unwanted effects.
Triptans, that are used to deal with acute migraines and cluster complications, work by focusing on a special receptor – the serotonin 1B receptor (Htr1b) – that had not beforehand been nicely studied within the context of urge for food and weight reduction, stated Dr. Liu.
For the brand new examine, the researchers examined six prescription triptans in overweight mice that have been fed a high-fat weight loss plan for seven weeks. Mice fed two of those medicine ate about the identical quantity, however mice fed the opposite 4 ate much less. After 24 days, mice given a each day dose of the drug frovatriptan misplaced, on common, 3.6% of their physique weight, whereas mice not given a triptan gained a median of 5.1% of their physique weight. Dr. Liu and his colleagues noticed comparable outcomes after they implanted units into the animals that gave them a gradual dose of frovatriptan for twenty-four days.
“We discovered that these medicine, and one particularly, can decrease physique weight and enhance glucose metabolism in lower than a month, which is fairly spectacular,” stated Dr. Liu.
Since triptans are typically prescribed for short-term use throughout migraines, Dr. Liu suspects that sufferers wouldn’t have observed the longer-term impacts on urge for food and weight prior to now.
To find out precisely how frovatriptan impacts meals consumption and weight, the researchers engineered mice to lack both Htr1b or Htr2c, the serotonin receptor focused by fen-phen and lorcaserin. In mice with out Htr1b, frovatriptan not might lower urge for food or trigger weight reduction, whereas chopping out Htr2c had no impact. This confirmed that the drug labored by focusing on the serotonin 1B receptor.
“This discovering may very well be necessary for drug growth,” stated Dr. Liu. “We not solely make clear the potential to repurpose current triptans but additionally introduced consideration to Htr1b as a candidate to deal with weight problems and regulate meals consumption.”
The group went on to indicate precisely which neurons within the mind have been most necessary for the function of Htr1b in mediating urge for food, homing in on a small group of cells throughout the mind’s hypothalamus.
Different researchers who contributed to this examine embrace Li Li, Steven C. Wyler, Luis A. León-Mercado, Baijie Xu, Swati, Xiameng Chen, Rong Wan, and Amanda G. Arnold of UT Southwestern; Youjin Oh and Jong-Woo Sohn of Korea Superior Institute of Science and Know-how; Lin Jia of UT Dallas; Guanlin Wang of the College of Oxford; Katherine Nautiyal of Dartmouth School; and René Hen of Columbia College.