Navigation Links
New clues uncover how 'starvation hormone' works, investigators at UT Southwestern report
Date:12/27/2010

DALLAS Dec. 26, 2010 New findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers may solve a 17-year-old mystery about how the so-called "starvation hormone" affects multiple biological systems, including preventing insulin sensitivity and promoting cell survival.

The results connect multiple observations about how the hormone adiponectin functions and eventually could lead to new treatments for conditions ranging from diabetes and weight loss to heart disease and cancer.

"Until now, there wasn't really an obvious connection between all these different phenomena," said Dr. Philipp Scherer, professor of internal medicine and cell biology and senior author of the study appearing online today and in a future edition of Nature Medicine.

In this study, the researchers used models of inducible cell suicide in both pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin, and cardiomyocytes, which are specific muscle cells located in a part of the heart known as the myocardium, to determine how the single hormone could exert such different influences.

"This paper shows that the common theme among all these different activities relies on adiponectin's interaction with a specific subset of lipids known as ceramides," said Dr. Scherer, who directs the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research.

Ceramides are a family of lipid molecules known to promote cell suicide, or apoptosis. High levels of ceramides have been shown to promote diabetes by sabotaging signaling pathways induced by insulin and killing beta cells.

When the researchers introduced adiponectin into cells, they found that the hormone triggers the conversion of ceramides from a destructive force into one that helps cells survive and inhibits cell death.

"Adiponectin essentially provides a makeover of this ugly cousin," Dr. Scherer said.

Dr. William Holland, lead author and postdoctoral fellow in internal medicine, said the new findings have implications for the treatment of numerous diseases including diabetes and cancer.

"One beauty of this study is that the findings are in both animal models and in vitro," Dr. Holland said. "We were able to show using these models of apoptosis in the beta cell and the heart that we can protect those cells from cell death with adiponectin."

Adiponectin, which Dr. Scherer discovered in 1994, not only controls sensitivity to insulin but also is known to play an integral role in metabolism and obesity. Prior research has shown that when adiponectin levels are high, the body stores excess fat in adipocytes, or fat cells, to protect against possible starvation during lean times. These fat deposits lie primarily in the subcutaneous tissue.

As a person accumulates more fat, however, adiponectin levels decline. Once adiponectin levels start dropping, the body begins storing fat in dangerous places such as the heart, liver and muscle tissues where it can cause inflammation and pave the way for heart disease. That's why researchers think that adiponectin levels could be a good predictor of whether someone is at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Overall, the new findings "endorse the idea that adiponectin is very important and is probably a key manipulator of lipid levels," Dr. Scherer said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
kristen.hollandshear@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. CHOP experts collaborate in gene survey of childhood brain cancer; intriguing clues found
2. Fat yet muscular mouse provides clues to improving cardiovascular health
3. New 3-D model of RNA core domain of enzyme telomerase may offer clues to cancer, aging
4. New Clues to Possible Genetic Basis for ADHD
5. New Clues to Treating Ovarian Cancer Relapse
6. Hurts so good -- neural clues to the calming effects of self-harm
7. Long-Term Type 1 Diabetes Survivors Give Clues to the Disease
8. More Clues To Fibromyalgia Pain
9. Gene Mutation Offers Clues to Tamoxifen-Blood Clot Link
10. New Clues for Treating Ulcerative Colitis
11. Gene Mutations Offer Clues to Autoimmune Disorders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer ... they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights ... American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel ... Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The vast majority of dialysis ... facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with ... including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This ... grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many ... and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: