Insulin Is not the Solely Blood Sugar Regulator

Insulin Is Not the Only Blood Sugar RegulatorBy Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2022

Scientists have identified for 100 years that insulin is the physique’s primary mechanism for controlling blood sugar ranges, however researchers have now found a second hormone does the identical job a bit otherwise — and so they say it might be a brand new goal for treating diabetes.

The hormone, known as FGF1, is produced within the physique’s fats tissue. Like insulin, it swiftly lowers sugar ranges within the blood, however researchers present in mice that it really works independently of insulin, and by a distinct mechanism.

Sort 2 diabetes arises when the physique turns into proof against insulin, resulting in chronically excessive blood ranges of glucose (sugar). Over time, that may take a toll on the physique’s arteries and nerves, resulting in problems like coronary heart and kidney illness, stroke, imaginative and prescient issues and everlasting nerve injury.

Within the new examine, scientists discovered FGF1 suppresses the breakdown of fats tissue, which reduces the liver’s capacity to churn out glucose. Insulin additionally does these issues, however FGF1 accomplishes it through a distinct “signaling pathway” within the physique.

And in lab mice with insulin resistance, injections of FGF1 considerably decrease blood sugar.

“This mechanism is principally a second loop, with all the benefits of a parallel pathway,” mentioned examine creator Gencer Sancar, a postdoctoral researcher on the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

“In insulin resistance, insulin signaling is impaired,” Sancar mentioned in an institute information launch. “Nevertheless, with a distinct signaling cascade, if one just isn’t working, the opposite can. That approach you continue to have the management of [fat breakdown] and blood glucose regulation.”

Nevertheless, whether or not the animal findings will finally translate to individuals with sort 2 diabetes stays to be seen.

One query is whether or not people who find themselves insulin-resistant would even be proof against FGF1, famous Dr. Emily Gallagher, an endocrinologist who was not concerned within the examine.

She mentioned it is also attainable that concentrating on FGF1 might be efficient in sure individuals with sort 2 diabetes, however not others.

“Sort 2 diabetes is a posh situation the place totally different people have totally different metabolic profiles,” defined Gallagher, an assistant professor within the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Ailments on the Icahn College of Drugs at Mount Sinai in New York Metropolis.

Scientists had identified one thing in regards to the workings of FGF1. In previous research, the Salk researchers discovered that it lowered blood sugar in lab mice, and when given regularly it lessened insulin resistance within the animals.

The brand new examine, revealed Jan. 4 within the journal Cell Metabolism, delved into precisely how the hormone works.

The researchers discovered that, just like insulin, FGF1 suppresses fats breakdown, which in flip helps management blood sugar. However its modus operandi is totally different: Insulin acts by way of an enzyme known as PDE3B, which units off a series of occasions known as a signaling pathway.

FGF1 makes use of a distinct enzyme — known as PDE4.

“Now that we have got a brand new pathway, we are able to determine its position in power homeostasis within the physique and how one can manipulate it,” mentioned senior examine creator Michael Downes, a employees scientist at Salk.

Gallagher mentioned it is “very fascinating” that FGF1 can have insulin-like results in fats tissue. However way more stays to be realized.

Extra lab analysis, she mentioned, is required to grasp the long-term results of FGF1 on insulin signaling and insulin resistance.

“And in individuals,” Gallagher mentioned, “it will be necessary to grasp extra in regards to the systemic results of administering FGF1, as FGF1 impacts many organ methods — together with the inflammatory system — and in addition can alter tumor progress.”


Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Degree? See Slideshow

Whether or not manipulating the hormone, or the proteins it regulates, can be acceptable in individuals with sort 2 diabetes “stays to be decided,” Gallagher mentioned.

Extra info

The U.S. Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Ailments has extra on sort 2 diabetes.

SOURCES: Emily Gallagher, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Ailments, Icahn College of Drugs at Mount Sinai, New York Metropolis; Cell Metabolism, Jan. 4, 2022; Salk Institute, information launch, Jan. 4, 2022


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