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:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A ... procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that ... but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: