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CU Researchers One Step Closer To Combating Obesity

Prof. James McManaman shows the fat gene to Kathy Walsh. (credit: CBS)

Prof. James McManaman shows the fat gene to Kathy Walsh. (credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- Researchers at the University of Colorado are one step closer to combating obesity. They’ve created a strain of mice that don’t get fat.

A team of researchers found the mice can eat a high-fat diet without getting fat because the researchers have deleted a specific gene. They believe it may be possible to replicate the effect in humans.

In a lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine some mice were fed a diet guaranteed to make them fat.

“Sixty percent of their diet was in fat compared to a normal mouse which probably 60 percent of their diet is in carbohydrates,” said CU School of Medicine Professor James McManaman, Ph.D.

Usually a mouse fed a high-fat diet would eat voraciously but not the CU mice.

“Rather than overeating they just ate a normal amount,” said McManaman.

McManaman and his research team created a strain of mice without the gene “plin 2.”

Plin 2 produces a protein that regulates fat storage and metabolism. Researchers discovered that deleting it in mice prevents them from becoming obese.