Researchers were surprised to see that the injected cells even acted like "missionaries", converting existing belly fat cells into so-called thermogenic cells, which use them to generate heat. Over time, the mice gained back some weight, but they resisted any dramatic weight gain on a high-fat diet and burned away more than a fifth of the cells that make up their visceral fat which surrounds the organs and is linked to higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Scientists took advantage of the heat-generating properties of a so-called 'good fat' in body, to cut back on the white cells that compose the visceral fat.
The engineered cells were placed inside a gel-like capsule that allowed for release of its contents without triggering an immune response.
"With a very small number of cells, the effect of the injection of this capsule was more pronounced at the beginning, when the mice dramatically lost about 10% of their weight," said Ouliana Ziouzenkova, assistant professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
"They gained back some weight after that. But then we started to look at how much visceral fat was present, and we saw about a 20% reduction in those lipids," he said.
The research has been published in the journal 'Biomaterials'.
( Courtesy: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ )