The brain may have a previously unrecognized role in type 2 diabetes, a paper published online in Nature, suggests. Glucose-sensitive neurons may be impaired - a finding that has therapeutic implications.
It is already known that a group of nerve cells called pro-opiomelanocortin neurons are excited by glucose, but the significance of this finding has been unclear. Bradford B. Lowell and colleagues now show that mice with impaired pro-opiomelanocortin neurons develop glucose intolerance, and demonstrate that the same cells are also defective in mice with obesity-induced type 2 diabetes.
The results suggest that an abnormality in the brain's ability to sense glucose may contribute to type 2 diabetes. This problem probably coexists alongside the disease's better known features - dysfunctional insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells and an impaired ability of insulin to act on target tissues. The authors further show that the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 is somehow involved in glucose insensitivity in the brain.
Bradford B. Lowell (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)
Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.
Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.
Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking