x
Loading
+ -

University of Basel

29 August 2017

Obese People Lack Cells with Satiety Hormones

Individuals with severe overweight have an inhibited sense of satiation - they release fewer satiety hormones than people of normal weight. The reason: the responsible cells in the gastrointestinal tract of obese people are severely reduced. This report Swiss doctors in the journal Scientific Reports. Surgical weight-loss procedures can repair this disorder.

Tissue sections of the duodenum: cells which can release satiety hormones are marked in green. For obese patients (middle), the number of these cells is markedly lower than for lean people (top) and for overweight patients three months after surgery (bottom).
Tissue sections of the duodenum: cells which can release satiety hormones are marked in green. For obese patients (middle), the number of these cells is markedly lower than for lean people (top) and for overweight patients three months after surgery (bottom).

Researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University and University Hospital Basel and the St. Claraspital Basel together with colleagues from the University of Liverpool have studied the reasons for this reduced release of satiety hormones. They examined tissue samples of the gastrointestinal tract in 24 lean volunteers and 30 obese patients before and after weight-loss surgery.

“Unfortunately often stigmatized”

The team of researchers led by Dr. Bettina Wölnerhanssen was able to show that the number of enteroendocrine cells in obese people is significantly lower than in people with normal weight. This leads to a reduced release of satiety hormone which in turn leads to altered appetite. The obese also showed alterations in the pattern of the so-called transcription factors which are responsible for the development of enteroendocrine cells from stem cells. After surgery, the number of enteroendocrine cells and the pattern of transcription factors were almost entirely restored.

"Unfortunately, obese people are often stigmatized, and it is a common belief that the reason for obesity lies in a lack of self-control and discipline," comments Wölnerhanssern the study’s results. However, there is no doubt that metabolic factors are playing an important part. The study shows that there are structural differences between lean and obese people, which can explain lack of satiation in the obese.

Original source

Bettina K. Wölnerhanssen, Andrew W. Moran, Galina Burdyga, Anne Christin Meyer-Gerspach, Ralph Peterli, Michael Manz, Miriam Thumshirn, Kristian Daly, Christoph Beglinger & Soraya P. Shirazi-Beechey
Deregulation of transcription factors controlling intestinal epithelial cell differentiation; a predisposing factor for reduced enteroendocrine cell number in morbidly obese individuals.
Scientific Reports (2017), doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08487-9


Further information

Dr. Bettina Wölnerhanssen, University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine, phone: +41 61 328 73 78, email: bettina.woelnerhanssen@usb.ch

Thematic focal area
To top