Appetite and fertility are interrelated.
The authors of the article, scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Research, studied the system of regulation of appetite, in which the gene, designated TORC1, is involved.
“This gene plays a key role in the nervous regulation of metabolism, in particular, the formation of adipose tissue. It determines how much we eat and, as it now turns out, “can we produce offspring,” says study leader Dr. Marc Montminy.
Scientists have bred mice without the TORC1 gene. These mice were born normal, but at the age of about eight weeks they began to get fat, their amount of fat was two to three times as high as normal. A surprise for scientists was that "genetically modified" mice of both sexes were not capable of reproduction.
According to scientists, the TORC1 gene is responsible for the production of an intermediary protein, which, after eating, activates two genes, one of which suppresses appetite, and the second signals that the body is ready for reproduction. In the absence of the TORC1 gene, this mechanism does not work - the feeling of hunger does not “turn off”, which leads to obesity, and the body does not receive a signal of readiness for reproduction.
The authors of the study note that this relationship is important for evolution. If the body does not receive a sufficient amount of food, then it cannot ensure the development of offspring; therefore, a mechanism is activated that allows one not to waste energy and survive in difficult conditions. Scientists believe that the results will help create medicines for patients with obesity.
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