Navigation Links
Novel mechanisms controlling insulin release and fat deposition discovered

[PRESS RELEASE, 13 May 200] Scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have in two recent studies shown that a receptor called ALK7 plays important roles in the regulation of body fat deposition as well as the release of insulin from beta-cells in the pancreas. These findings have implications for the development of treatments against diabetes and obesity.

We have shown in animal studies that removing the ALK7 receptor improves insulin release by beta-cells in the pancreas, and at the same time decreases fat deposition in situations of high caloric intake, says Professor Carlos Ibez, who lead the two studies that are now published as back-to-back papers in the PNAS. The well-known connections between diabetes and obesity make our combined findings quite exciting.

Up to 6 per cent of the world population is estimated to suffer from some form of diabetes, either due to a reduced ability to produce insulin, or to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone required by cells in the body to absorb glucose from the blood, thereby providing them with energy. Obesity has been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes, and as overweight becomes more prevalent in the human population, so do the cases of diabetes.

The research group led by Carlos Ibez studies how signaling by growth factors and their receptors regulate different physiological functions in the body. They have recently investigated the functions of one of these receptors, called ALK7, using mutant mice (knock-out mice) lacking this receptor. They found that in the absence of ALK7, mice developed abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood, which with age led to insulin resistance and liver steatosis, a pathological condition in which the liver enlarges and accumulates abnormally high levels of fat.

In collaboration with another research group at Karolinska Institutet, led by Professor Per-Olof Berggren, they also found that Calcium signaling in pancreatic beta-cells was reduced by the actions of the growth factor Activin B through the ALK7 receptor, and that blood glucose levels regulates the expression of both Activin B and ALK7. In agreement with these results, mice lacking Activin B also developed hyperinsulinemia to a similar extent as ALK7 mutants.

In other words, our data revealed an unexpected negative feedback loop in the control of glucose-dependent insulin release, mediated the actions of Activin B on the ALK7 receptor, says Carlos Ibez.

In the second study, the scientists found that mice lacking ALK7 accumulated less fat and gained less weight than their normal counterparts when fed on a high-fat diet. They discovered that another growth factor called GDF3 could also signal via the ALK7 receptor, and that mice lacking GDF3 showed similar defects in fat deposition and weight gain as the ALK7 mutants. Intriguingly, however, mutant mice consumed equal amounts of food as their normal counterparts during the experiment.

These results show that lack of ALK7 or GDF3 improves energy balance in the body under regimes of high caloric intake, says Carlos Ibez.


Contact: Katarina Sternudd
Karolinska Institutet

Related medicine news :

1. Preliminary Results from Phase 2 Genzyme Study Highlight Potential of Novel Oral Compound for Gaucher Disease
2. Discovery of a novel mechanism for the development of colon cancer
3. TorreyPines Therapeutics Licenses Intellectual Property from Johns Hopkins Related to Novel Uses of Glutamate Receptor Antagonists for Prevention, Treatment of Stroke, Heart Attack
4. Latona Announces the Acquistion of Patent Rights and Orphan Drug Status to Novel Late Stage Drug Compound for Juvenile and Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis
5. Scientists identify novel way to prevent cardiac fibrosis
6. Registry unveils real-world data on novel excel stent
7. Researchers sharpen search for new marine medicines with novel techniques
8. Increased hepcidin expression: A novel oncogenic signalling mechanism
9. Novel discovery by Einstein scientists could lead to much-needed kidney failure treatment
10. Scripps Florida awarded $7.6 million grant to develop novel treatment for Parkinsons disease
11. Affinium Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Announces Initiation of a Phase I Clinical Trial for AFN-1252, its Novel Anti-staphylococcal Antibiotic
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at ... on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty ... Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... faced the many challenges of the current process. Many of ... option because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs ... would have to offer it at such a high cost ... to afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , ...
(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)... June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations ... Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: