Fat signals control energy levels in the brain

An enzyme secreted by the body’s fat tissue controls energy levels in the brain, according to new research led by Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, of the School of Medicine. The findings, in mice, underscore a role for the body’s fat tissue in controlling the brain’s response to food scarcity, and suggest there is an optimal amount of body fat for maximizing health and longevity.

Washington People: Shin-ichiro Imai

Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, is a professor of developmental biology and of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Over the past three decades, his research has shed light on the processes of aging and longevity as he has sought to help people maintain better health into later years.

Aging really is ‘in your head’

Researchers have identified the mechanism by which a specific sirtuin protein called Sirt1 (shown in green) operates in the brain to bring about a significant delay in aging and an increase in longevity.