Treating immature mouse fat cells with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) improves metabolism and inflammation-related gene activity.
As obesity becomes more prevalent globally, so too comes the rising incidence of age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and cancer. These obesity-associated ailments go hand in hand with the diminished metabolic health of fat cells involved with these diseases. Understanding how to improve the metabolic health of fat cells could play a major role in preventing age-related diseases linked to obesity.
Mazloum and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar published a study in Scientific Reports showing that nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) treatment increases gene activity linked to enhanced fat cell metabolic function. For the first time, this study shows that treating immature mouse fat cells with NMN elevates gene activity for leptin and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), proteins that suppress appetite and maintain metabolic health, respectively. Also, NMN treatment diminishes gene activity for proteins that lead to tissue scarring called collagens. These findings from the Qatar-based research team are promising and may translate to using NMN as a therapeutic option to prevent age-related diseases in individuals with obesity.
NMN Boosts Levels of a Critical Molecule for Metabolism Called NAD+
NMN is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) — a crucial molecule for energy production and metabolic health. NAD+ is used by many enzymes to carry out their cell functions, such as the role of sirtuins — the family of proteins that includes SIRT1 — in DNA repair and metabolism maintenance.
Several studies have demonstrated a decline in cellular NAD+ levels in obesity, and strategies that replenished NAD+ by supplementation with precursors like NMN improved metabolic function. But how NAD+ is controlling metabolism and how NMN can enhance has been unclear.
NMN Increases Healthy Metabolism Gene Activity
By using NMN to boost NAD+ levels in immature fat cells, Mazloum and colleagues uncovered pieces of the puzzle for how NMN exerts its metabolism-enhancing effects. Upon confirming that NMN raises NAD+ levels in immature fat cells, which it did by 25% after 10 days of treatment, Mazloum and colleagues measured the activity of genes with known roles in metabolism. .