Cholesterol Control Hormone is Identified

CINCINNATI, June 7 (UPI) — University of Cincinnati scientists say they’ve determined the circulation of cholesterol is regulated in the brain by the hunger-signaling hormone ghrelin.

The researchers say their discovery, made during a mouse study led by Dr. Matthias Tschop, suggests a new potential target for the pharmacologic control of cholesterol levels.

“We have long thought that cholesterol is exclusively regulated through dietary absorption or synthesis and secretion by the liver,” Tschop, said. “Our study shows for the first time that cholesterol is also under direct ‘remote control’ by specific neurocircuitry in the central nervous system.”

Due to the differences in the makeup of mice and human cholesterol, Tschop and his team say more work is needed before their studies can be directly applied to humans. But they say their finding adds to a growing body of evidence for the central nervous system’s direct control over essential metabolic processes.

The research is reported in the early online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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