Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low testosterone levels could raise diabetes risk for men

07.05.2012
Low levels of testosterone in men could increase their risk of developing diabetes, a study suggests.

Scientists have found that low testosterone levels are linked to a resistance to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels.

The study is the first to directly show how low testosterone levels in fat tissue can be instrumental in the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Testosterone is present throughout the body. Low testosterone levels are linked to obesity, a known risk factor for diabetes.

It acts on fat cells through molecules known as androgen receptors. These enable the testosterone to activate genes linked to obesity and diabetes.

The research showed that mice in which the function of testosterone in fat tissue was impaired were more likely to be insulin resistant than mice in which the role of testosterone was not hindered.

The study showed that insulin resistance occurred in mice when the function of testosterone was impaired regardless of body weight.

The findings from the University of Edinburgh could also help explain why older men are more at risk of developing diabetes, because testosterone levels fall in men as they age.

Dr Kerry McInnes, from the University of Edinburgh's Endocrinology Unit, said: "We know that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to become obese, and as a develop diabetes. This study shows that low testosterone is a risk factor for diabetes no matter how much a person weighs. As men age their testosterone levels lower. This, along with increasing obesity, will increase the incidence of diabetes."

The study, funded by Diabetes UK showed that mice, which did not have androgen receptors in fat tissue for testosterone to attach to, were more likely to show signs of insulin resistance than other mice.

Researchers found that mice without androgen receptors in fat tissue also became fatter than other mice and developed full insulin resistance when both types were fed a high-fat diet.

Scientists believe that a protein called RBP4 plays a crucial role in regulating insulin resistance when testosterone is impaired.

They found that levels of RBP4 were higher in mice in which the role of testosterone was impaired.

The Edinburgh team say that its findings could lead to the development of new treatments that regulate production of RBP4 and reduce the risk of diabetes in men with lower levels of testosterone.

Researchers are now planning to study patients with Type-2 diabetes to see if their levels of testosterone correlate with levels of RBP 4.

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "We already know that low testosterone levels are associated with increased obesity and therefore with increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but this study provides evidence that there can be increased risk even when body mass is not affected. Yet while testosterone-impaired mice developed insulin resistance whatever diet they were given, the effect was considerably more pronounced on those fed on a high fat diet. This reinforces Diabetes UK advice that a healthy balanced diet is important for everyone and particularly for those already at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"Further work is needed to translate these initial findings into clinical practice, as it is important to emphasise that results in mice may not necessarily have direct relevance for humans. But good basic research such as this represents early steps towards potential new treatments and we are pleased to see research we have funded producing useful results which may benefit people living with diabetes at some point in the future."

Notes to editors

Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes. Through a range of research funding schemes, Diabetes UK supports researchers engaged in projects committed to improving the care and treatment of diabetes, preventing it from developing in those at risk and, ultimately, finding a cure. For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit www.diabetes.org.uk

Tara Womersley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ed.ac.uk
http://www.diabetes.org.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>