Intestinal hormone secretin activates brown adipose tissue


Intestinal hormone secretin activates brown fat consuming energy

Researchers have discovered that long-known intestinal hormone secretin has an additional newly discovered function: it activates brown adipose tissue that consumes energy, causing satiety.

Brown adipose tissue helps in weight loss

Because brown fat cells consume energy, experts say they can be the key to weight loss and important for preventing obesity and diabetes. Just a few weeks ago, it has been shown that brown adipose tissue is activated by both food and cold. Now the same team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Finnish colleagues have elucidated the physiological mechanism of this activation.

A new study has shown that intestinal hormone secretin has an additional newfound function: it activates brown fat consuming energy, causing satiety. The new findings may be useful in the fight against obesity. (Image: Kurhan /

Intestinal hormone known for a long time

"Surprisingly, we have identified secretin as a key factor," reports study leader Professor Martin Klingenspor of the TUM Else Kröner-Fresenius Center for Nutrition Medicine (EKFZ) in a statement.

Secretin is a long-standing intestinal hormone. Nutritional medicine has so far assumed that this peptide as a messenger essentially fulfills gastrointestinal functions.

How to stimulate the secretion of water and bicarbonate from the pancreas as soon as the acidified chyme is released from the stomach into the small intestine.

In addition, secretin through the bloodstream as a messenger in the brain to promote satiety. As far as knowledge until recently.

Satiety in the brain

The new study, published in the journal "Cell," has now revealed, with molecular biology (transcriptome sequencing) investigations, that the secretin receptor gene is also expressed in brown adipose tissue.

"If we stimulated this receptor in brown fat cells with secretin, we could observe an immediate activation of thermogenesis without jitter," explains Prof. Klingenspor.

Fragment-free thermogenesis is the typical brown heat-forming mechanism, but not only consumes energy.

Research reveals that Shaker free thermogenesis is also the prerequisite for satiety in the brain.

Previously accepted teaching revised

As the message goes, there are three possible channels of communication of brown fat to the brain:

  1. An increase in temperature in the brain
  2. Nerve connections of brown fat to the brain, or
  3. special messengers of brown fat, called BATokine.

Professor Klingenspor considers the formation of heat as the most plausible possibility at the moment:

"Thermogenesis in brown fat leads to blood heating and a slight rise in temperature in the brain, which activates neurons that signal saturation."

The previously valid hypothesis that secretin acts directly on the brain in certain nerve cells, leading to satiety and attenuating hunger, is reviewed by these findings.

"Brown adipose tissue is brought, so to speak, as a relay station," says Prof. Klingenspor.

"The right appetizer can fill you up faster"

The newly discovered communication chain between the intestine and the brain begins with the release of secretin during feeding, the consequent activation of brown lipid thermogenesis and heating in the brain, which increases satiety.

For example, food-induced thermogenesis in brown fat consumes energy and makes you rich – both important factors in the therapy and prevention of the near-global epidemic of obesity.

So would secretin be the right "remedy" in this context? "No," Klingenspor explains. For a chronic stimulation of the pancreas would be unfavorable.

However, the scientist sees a way to naturally stimulate the production of secretin through certain foods, "the right appetizer can fill it up faster and reduce your calorie intake."

What nutrients would be considered here is the subject of further studies. (Ad)


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