Finding another key to the brain’s control over appetite and weight


In Texas, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have determined that aprosin, a recently discovered hormone that regulates blood-glucose levels, also acts on the brain, stimulating the hunger center in the hypothalamus to control appetite and body weight. This opens an intriguing possibility for developing novel treatments for overweight people, a population for whom no effective medical therapies currently exist.

Dr. Atul Chopra said, “We discovered asprosin when studying individuals affected by a rare medical condition called neonatal progeroid syndrome.  Compared with individuals with normal weight, neonatal progeroid syndrome patients have abnormally low appetite.”

Dr. Chopra continued, “Although we don’t yet understand the mechanism behind this increase, it gives us a possible opportunity to treat obesity by regulating blood asprosin levels. We developed an antibody against asprosin that can neutralize asprosin function completely. We administered this antibody to obese mice and found that the mice ate less and lost weight.”