Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel approach to regulating blood sugar levels in the body

Date:
May 19, 2013
Source:
University Health Network (UHN)
Summary:
For the first time, scientists showed that targeting glucagon action in the brain may be a new frontier for regulating diabetes.

For the first time, scientists at the Toronto General Research Institute showed that targeting glucagon action in the brain may be a new frontier for regulating diabetes.

An international team led by Senior Scientist Dr. Tony Lam showed how glucagon regulates the hypothalamus' control over blood sugar.

In experimental models of obesity and diabetes, researchers determined that resistance to glucagon in the brain leads to increases in blood sugar levels, a trait of these conditions. However, direct stimulation of the protein kinase A signaling pathways (PKA) in the brain bypasses the resistance and decreases blood sugar levels.

The study, entitled "Hypothalamic glucagon signaling inhibits hepatic glucose production" was published today in the on-line edition of the international journal, Nature Medicine. It paves the way for investigation of a potentially new way of decreasing blood sugar levels in diabetes and obesity, by increasing glucagon action in the brain.

Glucagon is a hormone secreted by the pancreatic islet α-cells when blood sugar levels fall too low. It is known that glucagon functions in the liver to cause blood sugar levels to increase. However, this increase is temporary and blood sugar levels return to normal. This decrease in blood sugar is thought to occur through glucagon action in the hypothalamus.

In diabetes, glucagon's transient increase in blood sugar is impaired and levels remain elevated. Currently, insulin is the most common means of regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics.

"Studying glucagon action in the in the brain is a totally new area of investigation for potential treatment of diabetes. Drugs that aim to increase glucagon action in the brain and/or block glucagon action in the liver could regulate sugar levels in diabetes," said Dr. Tony Lam, who holds the J.K.McIvor (1915-1942) Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research and Canada Research Chair in Obesity at the Toronto General Research Institute and the University of Toronto. Dr. Lam is also Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Physiology, University of Toronto, Associate Director, University of Toronto Banting and Best Diabetes Centre and Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. "I believe that down the road, treating diabetes with glucagon therapy will be equally as effective as insulin therapy," Dr. Lam added.

The findings of this study pave the way for further investigation and will be the basis for future strategies for dealing with elevated blood sugar levels in diabetes and obesity.

The research was supported by the Canadian Diabetes Association.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Health Network (UHN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patricia I Mighiu, Jessica T Y Yue, Beatrice M Filippi, Mona A Abraham, Madhu Chari, Carol K L Lam, Clair S Yang, Nikita R Christian, Maureen J Charron, Tony K T Lam. Hypothalamic glucagon signaling inhibits hepatic glucose production. Nature Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3115

Cite This Page:

University Health Network (UHN). "Novel approach to regulating blood sugar levels in the body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130519145650.htm>.
University Health Network (UHN). (2013, May 19). Novel approach to regulating blood sugar levels in the body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130519145650.htm
University Health Network (UHN). "Novel approach to regulating blood sugar levels in the body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130519145650.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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