Potential new non-insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes foundMarch 25th, 2011 - 3:05 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, March 25 (ANI): Scientists have discovered a hormone pathway that potentially could lead to new ways of treating type 1 diabetes independent of insulin, long thought to be the sole regulator of carbohydrates in the liver.
Another hormone, fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19), has insulin-like characteristics beyond its role in bile acid synthesis.
Unlike insulin, however, FGF19 does not cause excess glucose to turn to fat, suggesting that its activation could lead to new treatments for diabetes or obesity.
“The fundamental discovery is that there is a pathway that exists that is required for the body, after a meal, to store glucose in the liver and drive protein synthesis. That pathway is independent of insulin,” said David Mangelsdorf, chairman of pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Naturally elevating this pathway, therefore, could lead to new diabetes treatments outside of insulin therapy.
Fibroblast growth factors control nutrient metabolism and are released upon bile acid uptake into the small intestine. Bile acids, produced by the liver, break down fats in the body.
Researchers studied mice lacking FGF15 - the rodent FGF19 hormone equivalent. These mice, after eating, could not properly maintain blood concentrations of glucose and normal amounts of liver glycogen.
Glycogen is a form of glucose storage found mainly in liver and muscle tissue. The mice were then injected with FGF19 to evaluate its effects on metabolism in the liver.
FGF19 restored glycogen levels in the mice lacking FGF15. When administered to diabetic mice lacking insulin, FGF19 also corrected the loss of glycogen.
“FGF19 does not make fat, and that’s one of the effects that separates it from insulin. Insulin also does not really have a dramatic effect on bile acid synthesis. So, the two pathways are different even though they both function in glycogen and protein synthesis,” said Mangelsdorf.
The study was published March 25 in Science. (ANI)
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Tags: bile acid synthesis, bile acids, blood concentrations, diabetes treatments, diabetic mice, dramatic effect, excess glucose, fibroblast growth factors, fundamental discovery, insulin therapy, insulin treatment, mangelsdorf, muscle tissue, nutrient metabolism, pathway, protein synthesis, rodent, small intestine, southwestern medical center, type 1 diabetes