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Women retain insulin sensitivity better than men

Date:
March 17, 2015
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
As people become overweight, their skeletal muscle develops insulin resistance that can lead to type two diabetes. Researchers found the activity of this protein, called PTEN (for Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10), is different between men and women.
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It's long been known that obese men are more likely to develop type two diabetes than obese women, but researchers at McMaster University have discovered it may be related to a difference between the sexes in the activity of a protein in the muscle.

As people become overweight, their skeletal muscle develops insulin resistance that can lead to type two diabetes. In a paper published by Scientific Reports today, the research team found the activity of this protein, called PTEN (for Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10), is different between men and women.

When PTEN is active, it prevents insulin from signaling properly in muscle, which reduces the amount of sugar a muscle takes. This 'muscle insulin resistance' increases the chance of developing type two diabetes.

"In our study, women's muscle appeared more efficient in neutralizing this protein, and this allows insulin to work better to move sugar from circulation to muscle," said lead author Dr. M. Constantine Samaan, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and pediatric endocrinologist at the McMaster Children's Hospital

"This protein is one explanation of why women are relatively protected from type two diabetes, despite having more body fat content compared to men at a given weight," said Samaan, adding that this is important as it provides a therapeutic target to improve muscle responses to insulin to treat and prevent diabetes. The team is now working on finding out how PTEN is regulated in different cells.


Story Source:

Materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Constantine Samaan, Sonia S. Anand, Arya M. Sharma, Imtiaz A. Samjoo, Mark A. Tarnopolsky. Sex differences in skeletal muscle Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) levels: A cross-sectional study. Scientific Reports, 2015; 5: 9154 DOI: 10.1038/srep09154

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McMaster University. "Women retain insulin sensitivity better than men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150317134509.htm>.
McMaster University. (2015, March 17). Women retain insulin sensitivity better than men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 15, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150317134509.htm
McMaster University. "Women retain insulin sensitivity better than men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150317134509.htm (accessed June 15, 2024).

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