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Research findings may lead to new ways to study and fight diabetes
Date:2/14/2008

ors are not working. This causes some of the bodys cells to not take in glucose properly, and glucose builds up in the bloodstream, Kier explains.

Abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream can severely damage a persons blood vessels. Also, some cells in the body do not need insulin to take in glucose, and when high levels of glucose build up in these cells, it can lead to problems such as accelerated cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and damage to the retina of the eye.

Research conducted by Hostetler and her colleagues suggests that PPAR-alpha normally binds with both glucose and fatty acids in a very precise balance to regulate their metabolism. To metabolize fatty acids, PPAR-alpha breaks them up into small pieces and can then either burn them or make glucose out of them to store for later use, Schroeder explains.

When the balance is thrown off as it is in diabetics, however, the groups research suggests that the high level of glucose over-stimulates PPAR-alpha, which causes it to malfunction and turn most of the fatty acid into glucose. This causes even more glucose to build up, which makes the situation even worse.

The groups findings could also lead to the development of new drugs to prevent or reverse the harmful side effects of diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in Texas. All at once, its like a whole new ballgame, Schroeder said. The new findings open up a whole new potential class of therapeutic agents.

One possibility is a drug that would block glucose from binding to PPAR-alpha, which would prevent PPAR-alpha from becoming over-stimulated and producing even larger amounts of glucose, Schroeder said. So far, the group has tested 1,040 drugs and found five that were able to reverse the harmful effects of high glucose on PPAR-alpha and restore the compound to its normal function.

The group hopes its findings will bring scientists together and lead to studyi
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Contact: Keith Randall
keith-randall@tamu.edu
979-845-4644
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

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