Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Team uncovers link between hormone levels and risk for metabolic disease

16.08.2012
The work may pave the way for new therapies for obesity and diabetes

Working with a national team of researchers, a scientist from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute has shown for the first time a link between low levels of a specific hormone and increased risk of metabolic disease in humans.

The study, published online ahead of print in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, focuses on the hormone adropin, which was previously identified by Scripps Research Associate Professor Andrew Butler's laboratory during an investigation of obese and insulin-resistant mice. Adropin is believed to play an important role in regulating glucose levels and fatty acid metabolism.

"The results of this clinical study suggest that low levels of adropin may be a factor increasing risk for developing metabolic disorders associated with obesity and insulin resistance, which could then lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes," said Butler, who led the new study with Peter J. Havel, professor of molecular biosciences and nutrition at the University of California, Davis.

Approximately 47 million adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome, according to the American College of Cardiology. The National Institutes of Health defines metabolic syndrome as a group of risk factors, especially obesity and insulin resistance, that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Intriguing Results

In the new study, which involved 85 women and 45 men, Butler and his colleagues showed that obesity is associated with lower adropin levels. Lower adropin levels were also observed in individuals with a higher "metabolic syndrome risk factor" score, a score determined by measuring triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL, glucose, blood pressure, and waist circumference.

The scientists also observed circulating adropin concentrations increased significantly at three and six months following gastric bypass surgery in morbidly obese patients. Interestingly, adropin levels returned to pre-surgical levels at 12 months after surgery.

Another surprising finding of the new study was that in people of normal weight, women had lower plasma adropin levels than men. In addition, obesity had a bigger negative effect on adropin levels in men. Interestingly, obesity in woman was also not associated with lower plasma adropin levels. The significance of the differences between men and woman is unknown at the moment.

"But the link between low levels of adropin and increased metabolic risk was observed in both sexes," Butler said. "The impact is there, irrespective of gender."

Adropin levels were also found in general to decrease with age—the decline was highest in those over 30 years of age. As with obesity, the aging effect appeared to be more pronounced in men.

Findings in Humans Mirror Preclinical Work

The new study is an important extension of earlier pre-clinical studies using animal models published in the July edition of Obesity. In that study, Butler and colleagues deleted the gene encoding adropin from mice. The scientists found that, while normal in appearance, adropin-deficient mice have insulin resistance and, when fed diets with a high fat content, develop a more severe impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). These findings suggest reduced insulin production and attenuated response to insulin, which are the defining features of type 2 diabetes. Importantly, mice having only one functional copy of the gene encoding adropin also exhibited increased propensity for developing impaired glucose tolerance with obesity. These findings provided important pre-clinical evidence evidence that low levels of adropin are associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In other studies, Butler's laboratory observed that obese mice exhibit dramatic reductions in circulating adropin levels, and that insulin resistance was reversed after injections with a synthetic form of adropin.

"The data from these studies provide strong evidence suggesting that low levels of adropin may be an indicator of risk for insulin resistance in obesity and, consequently, an increased risk for metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes," Butler said. "We see a lot of similarity between animal model data and the new human data—low adropin levels in humans are associated with a host of metabolic syndrome risk factors normally associated with obesity and insulin resistance."

Taken together, these studies suggest the possibility that therapeutics designed to boost the supply of adropin might be useful in fighting obesity and metabolic disease.

In addition to Butler and Havel, authors of the study, "Low Circulating Adropin Concentrations With Obesity And Aging Correlate With Risk Factors For Metabolic Disease And Increase After Gastric Bypass Surgery In Humans," include Charmaine S. Tam and Eric Ravussin of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Kimber L. Stanhope and Mohamed R. Ali of the University of California, Davis; Bruce M. Wolfe of the Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland; and Majella O'Keeffe and Marie-Pierre St Onge of Columbia University.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (award numbers HL061352, DK060412, HL075675, HL09133, UL1 RR024156-03, UL1 RR024146, and 1P30 DK072476-06); the American Diabetes Association; The Novo Nordisk Diabetes Innovation Award Program; the University of California, Davis Health Care Systems Award; the Irving Center for Translational Science; and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center's Nutrition Obesity Research Center program.

Eric Sauter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.scripps.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>