WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Scientists have identified for 100 years that insulin is the physique’s essential mechanism for controlling blood sugar ranges, however researchers have now found a second hormone does the identical job a bit in a different way — they usually say it may very well be a brand new goal for treating diabetes.
The hormone, referred to 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 special mechanism.
Kind 2 diabetes arises when the physique turns into immune to 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 issues 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 capability to churn out glucose. Insulin additionally does these issues, however FGF1 accomplishes it through a special “signaling pathway” within the physique.
And in lab mice with insulin resistance, injections of FGF1 considerably decrease blood sugar.
“This mechanism is mainly a second loop, with all some great benefits of a parallel pathway,” stated examine creator Gencer Sancar, a postdoctoral researcher on the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif.
“In insulin resistance, insulin signaling is impaired,” Sancar stated in an institute information launch. “Nevertheless, with a special signaling cascade, if one isn’t working, the opposite can. That manner you continue to have the management of [fat breakdown] and blood glucose regulation.”
Nevertheless, whether or not the animal findings will in the end translate to folks with sort 2 diabetes stays to be seen.
One query is whether or not people who find themselves insulin-resistant would even be immune to FGF1, famous Dr. Emily Gallagher, an endocrinologist who was not concerned within the examine.
She stated it is also doable that focusing on FGF1 may very well be efficient in sure folks with sort 2 diabetes, however not others.
“Kind 2 diabetes is a fancy situation the place totally different people have totally different metabolic profiles,” defined Gallagher, an assistant professor within the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Illnesses on the Icahn Faculty 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 frequently it lessened insulin resistance within the animals.
The brand new examine, printed Jan. 4 within the journal Cell Metabolism, delved into precisely how the hormone works.
The researchers discovered that, much like insulin, FGF1 suppresses fats breakdown, which in flip helps management blood sugar. However its modus operandi is totally different: Insulin acts by an enzyme referred to as PDE3B, which units off a series of occasions referred to as a signaling pathway.
FGF1 makes use of a special enzyme — referred to as PDE4.
“Now that we have got a brand new pathway, we will work out its position in vitality homeostasis within the physique and methods to manipulate it,” stated senior examine creator Michael Downes, a workers scientist at Salk.
Gallagher stated it is “very attention-grabbing” that FGF1 can have insulin-like results in fats tissue. However way more stays to be realized.
Extra lab analysis, she stated, is required to know the long-term results of FGF1 on insulin signaling and insulin resistance.
“And in folks,” Gallagher stated, “it might be vital to know extra in regards to the systemic results of administering FGF1, as FGF1 impacts many organ programs — together with the inflammatory system — and likewise can alter tumor development.”
Whether or not manipulating the hormone, or the proteins it regulates, can be applicable in folks with sort 2 diabetes “stays to be decided,” Gallagher stated.
The U.S. Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Illnesses has extra on sort 2 diabetes.
SOURCES: Emily Gallagher, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Illnesses, Icahn Faculty of Drugs at Mount Sinai, New York Metropolis; Cell Metabolism, Jan. 4, 2022; Salk Institute, information launch, Jan. 4, 2022