No Insulin: Researchers at the Salk Institute in the United States have found a hormone capable of controlling blood glucose. The discovery could be used as a basis for new treatments for diabetes.
In the study done in mice, the researchers observed that the injection of the hormone, called FGF1, reduced insulin resistance and considerably lowered the level of glucose in the blood.
FGF1 is found in adipose tissue, which stores fat in the body. Like insulin, the newly discovered hormone controls glucose by inhibiting lipolysis, the process that uses stored fat for energy.
The difference between the two hormones lies in how they inhibit this process, which would allow FGF1 to lower blood glucose in those with insulin resistance.
In people with this condition, glucose is not completely cleared from the blood, and lipolysis increases fat levels. These, in turn, speed up the production of glucose in the liver, which further raises the blood sugar level.
As a result, fat accumulates in the organs, increasing insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and obesity.
According to Salk, the discovery, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, could generate new opportunities for drug production and research focused on hyperglycemia.
FGF1 is the second molecule found capable of inhibiting lipolysis and was discovered 100 years after insulin.
For Ronald Evans, co-author of the study, the hormone can also help researchers understand how energy is stored in the body. However, there are still no results on how the hormone works in the human body.
According to the researchers, the ability of FGF1 to reduce glucose could be used as a basis for new and better treatments aimed at diabetic patients.