In this study, researchers have used artificial proteins (peptides) to identify a specific marker on the surface of adipose stem cells.
“This marker, called delta-decorin, is specifically expressed on the surface of adipose stem cells, which are responsible for the production of white adipose tissue,” said Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D., the study’s senior author. “This is the first prospective marker to be discovered for this particular type of adult stem cell.”
Alexes Daquinag, Ph.D., the study’s first author, said “In obesity, you have an overgrowth of white adipose tissue. It is made of adipocytes (fat cells) and one way to stop obesity is to target the progenitor cells — adipose stem cells.”
The researchers also noted that delta-decorin interacts with another protein called resistin on the surface of adipose stem cells.
“The decorin-resistin connection is particularly interesting because both decorin and resistin have been previously implicated in Type-2 diabetes and other inflammation-related disease,” Kolonin said.
So, not only are they looking at a treatment for obesity…they’re looking at treating all of the nasty inflammation related diseases plaguing our society
“The next step will involve preclinical tests to see if we can develop the identified peptide into compounds that target these adipose stem cells,” Kolonin said. “By depleting the adipose tissue progenitors, we may be able to provide long-term control of white fat.”
As a big health & fitness geek, this kind of research makes me giddy like a little school-girl.
However….we have to remember that this research is highly experimental and even if they do eventually find an effective stem cell treatment for obesity et al, that treatment is probably decades away.