Navigation Links
Leptin's long-distance call to the pancreas

Rube Goldbergthe cartoonist who devised complex machines for simple taskswould have smiled at one of leptin's mechanisms for curbing insulin release. As Hinoi et al. show, the fat-derived hormone enlists the sympathetic nervous system to prevent bone-making cells from releasing a molecule that prods the pancreas to discharge insulin.

The study will appear online December 22, 2008 ( and in the December 29, 2008 print issue of The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB).

In the fight against obesity and diabetes, leptin is one of the good guys. Mice lacking the hormone become corpulent, and their sky-high insulin levels eventually lead to diabetes. Leptin can curtail insulin release directly. But there's also a back-door route that researchers are still trying to piece together. Scientists knew that leptin nudges osteoblasts, cells known for building bone but that also manufacture osteocalcin, a protein that stimulates insulin release. Hinoi et al. tested whether leptin acts on the pancreas through osteocalcin.

Leptin channels many of its effects through the nervous system. The team thus tested whether the hormone relied on the sympathetic nervous system, the branch that pumps out adrenaline during emergencies but at other times emits a hormonal trickle to maintain a low level of stimulation. This baseline activity was lower in mice lacking the leptin receptor, indicating a connection between leptin and the sympathetic nervous system. When that connection was broken by deleting the adrenaline receptor from mice osteoblasts, insulin levels shot up.

The researchers then dosed mice with a sympathetic stimulator. Rodents lacking leptin or the adrenaline receptor on their osteoblasts turned out normal amounts of osteocalcin, but much of it was in an inert form. That result suggests leptin affects insulin release by indirectly inactivating osteocalcin. The work boosts researchers' hopes of using osteocalcin to treat diabetesa possibility some drug companies have already started to investigate.


Contact: Rita Sullivan
Rockefeller University Press

Related biology news :

1. Jefferson Department of Surgery announces new pancreas tumor registry
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Leptin's long-distance call to the pancreas
(Date:11/17/2015)... Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure ... leader in the development and sale of broadly enabling, ... worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has received ... its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the ... $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected in ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Nov. 09, 2015 ... of the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics ... --> ) has announced ... Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to ... Markets ( ) has announced the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) ... the following conference, and invited investors to participate via ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential ... bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million ... (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider ... , today announced that the company has set a new ... 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to ... and Mexico , with the establishment of an ... 2015. --> United Kingdom and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IN (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The ... newest Special Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent ... the last few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: