Various surgical methods can be used to treat obesity. Adjustable gastric banding has the advantage over other surgical methods insofar as this operation is relatively uncomplicated and is tolerated better by patients. In addition, a gastric band can be surgically removed at any time. The main disadvantage, however, is that the resulting weight loss is not as great as that achieved through other surgical methods.
As the team of scientists headed by Professor Tschöp and Dr. Habegger have now discovered, activating the GPL-1 receptor can significantly augment the effects of gastric banding in obese and insulin resistant rodent models. A combination of adjustable gastric banding and such hormone therapy produced almost the same weight loss in obese rats as a gastric bypass. “However, the type of pharmacological approach is of key importance,” Prof. Tschöp stresses.
In future the researchers aim to test similar approaches in patients and to find out whether a combination of several hormones that are formed in the gastrointestinal tract can further enhance the effect of adjustable gastric banding. “We now believe that combination therapies will be the method of choice in future in the treatment of marked obesity,” Tschöp notes. “So-called polytherapy, which combines surgical and pharmacological elements, represents a new, highly promising approach. However, this also has not yet been tested in humans.”
Habegger, KM. et al. (2013), GLP-1R Agonism Enhances Adjustable Gastric Banding In Diet-Induced Obese Rats, Diabetes 2013 Jun 17 [Epub ahead of print].
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