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UT Southwestern study to determine whether leptin helps type 1 diabetes patients
Date:10/10/2010

s lab, using mouse models of type 1 diabetes, found that administering leptin instead of insulin resulted in better management of blood-sugar variability and lipogenesis, the conversion of simple sugars into fatty acids.

For the clinical study, 12 to 15 participants will add leptin twice a day to their standard insulin therapy over a five-month period. The trial will last a total of seven months and will include 11 visits an initial screening, four inpatient visits and six outpatient evaluations to UT Southwestern. The first inpatient visit will last a minimum of four days; the others will take two days each.

To be eligible for the initial screening, prospective trial participants must be between 18 and 50 years of age, have a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, and have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. BMI is a weight-to-height ratio commonly used in doctors' offices to gauge obesity. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25.

Dr. Gregory Clark, assistant professor of internal medicine and a trial investigator, said one incentive to take part in the trial is that participants might lose weight.

"Leptin is known to decrease appetite, so it's likely that participants won't be as hungry," he said. "We hope that the addition of leptin also reduces the blood levels of cholesterol, which increase the risk of coronary heart disease, one of the long-term complications of diabetes."

Dr. Unger emphasized that the goal is not to find a replacement for insulin, but to obtain stable glucose levels, something that has eluded monotherapy with insulin. The theory is that adding leptin might allow a substantial reduction in insulin dose and lower the risk of low blood glucose levels.

"If it works in humans as well as it does in rodents, it will be a major step forward," said Dr. Unger. "In rodents, it eliminated the wide swings in glucose that occur with insulin alone and lowered indices of cholesterol formation. The hope is t
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Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
kristen.hollandshear@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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