Scientists have devised a molecule that acts as an exercise mimic and may help treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Built by the University of Southampton scientists, the molecule ‘compound 14’ makes cells think that they have ran out of energy by activating the cell’s central energy sensor, known as AMPK and causes the cells to try and increase their energy levels by increasing glucose uptake and metabolism.
According to the researchers, activating AMPK with compound 14 led to a reduction in fasting blood glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance and promoted weight loss in obese mice.
In addition to this, a daily dose of compound 14 administered for a week to the obese mice resulted in improved glucose tolerance and 1.5 grams weight loss.
Ali Tavassoli at the University said that that they could selectively activate AMPK with a small molecule, it could have potential benefits in the treatment of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, by acting as an exercise mimic and increasing the uptake and usage of glucose and oxygen by cells.
The study is published in the journal Chemistry and Biology.