Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Leptin therapy in animal models shows promise for type 1 diabetes

Date:
March 24, 2010
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Using leptin alone in place of standard insulin therapy shows promise in abating symptoms of type 1 diabetes, researchers report.

Using leptin alone in place of standard insulin therapy shows promise in abating symptoms of type 1 diabetes, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.

UT Southwestern researchers, using mouse models, found that leptin administered instead of insulin showed better management of blood-sugar variability and lipogenesis, the conversion of simple sugars into fatty acids. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells and involved in the regulation of body weight.

Dr. Roger Unger, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern, led the study whose findings are available online and in a future issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Insulin treatment has been the gold standard for type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) in humans since its discovery in 1922. Dr. Unger's laboratory found that insulin's benefit resulted from its suppression of glucagon, a hormone produced by the pancreas that raises blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.

"Insulin cells are destroyed in people with type 1 diabetes, however, and matching the high insulin levels needed to reach glucagon cells with insulin injections is possible only with amounts that are excessive for other tissues," said Dr. Unger, senior author of the latest study. "Peripherally injected insulin cannot accurately duplicate the normal process by which the body produces and distributes insulin."

People on insulin therapy tend to experience large swings in blood-sugar levels, said Dr. Unger. Other studies have shown that frequent blood-sugar variation complicates the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, which affects about 1 million people in the U.S.

Benefits of letpin's glucose-lowering action appear to involve the suppression of glucagon. Normally, glucagon is released when the glucose level in the blood is low, thanks to supervision by insulin release from neighboring cells. In insulin deficiency situations, however, glucagon levels are inappropriately high and cause the liver to release excessive amounts of glucose into the bloodstream. This action is opposed by insulin, which tells the body's cells to remove sugar from the bloodstream.

"Leptin treatment in the non-obese type 1 diabetic mouse profoundly reduced food intake, which in turn reduced body fat," Dr. Unger said. "And like insulin, leptin suppresses glucagon in the body and helps increase lean body mass."

As a countermeasure to the destruction of their pancreatic islet cells, type 1 diabetics currently must take insulin multiple times a day to metabolize blood sugar, regulate blood-sugar levels and prevent diabetic coma. They also must adhere to strict dietary restrictions.

"We hope the positive results we've had in animals can translate to people living with this disease," Dr. Unger said. "Insulin therapy has transformed a uniformly fatal disease into a livable one; however, the regimen for people with type 1 diabetes is onerous and symptoms aren't always well controlled. We hope that low-dose insulin combined with leptin will closely mimic the body's normal physiological process."

Other UT Southwestern researchers who contributed to the study were Dr. May-yun Wang, Dr. Young Lee and Dr. Gregory Clark, all assistant professors of internal medicine; and Dr. Lijun Chen, postdoctoral researcher. Researchers from the VA North Texas Health Care System, Duke University Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine also contributed to the study.

The study was supported in part by the VA and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. May-Yun Wang, Lijun Chen, Gregory O. Clark, Young Lee, Robert D. Stevens, Olga R. Ilkayeva, Brett R. Wenner, James R. Bain, Maureen J. Charron, Christopher B. Newgard, and Roger H. Unger. Leptin therapy in insulin-deficient type I diabetes. , 2010; 107 (11): 4813-4819 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909422107

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Leptin therapy in animal models shows promise for type 1 diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324094649.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2010, March 24). Leptin therapy in animal models shows promise for type 1 diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324094649.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Leptin therapy in animal models shows promise for type 1 diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324094649.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins