Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough findings by Umeå researchers link obesity to diabetes

13.04.2005


A research team headed by Professor Helena Edlund at Umeå University in Sweden has achieved a breakthrough in our understanding of how obesity causes increased levels of insulin, sugar, and blood fats leading to diseases like type-2 diabetes and liver degeneration. The findings also indicate a direct way to prevent these diseases.



Today obesity is epidemic in the industrialized world, causing disturbances in blood levels of insulin, sugar, and blood fats that lead to high blood pressure, type-2 (adult onset) diabetes, and fatty liver, which in turn conspire to cause cardiovascular disorders, the leading cause of premature death in the Western world. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of various types of cancer. Children and adolescents are becoming more and more obese and are also developing these complications. In the U.S. this has meant that the next and coming generations may be the first in modern history to be sicker and a shorter lifespan than their parents, which is considered a medical disaster.

Today we do not understand at the molecular level how obesity causes diabetes, fatty liver, and blood-fat disturbances, and we therefore also lack effective methods of treatment to prevent or cure these complications. A research team led by Helena Edlund at Umeå University is now publishing in the journal Cell Metabolism a breakthrough in our understanding of the role of obesity in this connection. Her associate at Umeå University is post-doctoral fellow Pär Stenberg, and other co-authors belong to Dr. Michael D. Walker’s team at the Weizman Institute of Science, Israel.


Obesity leads to heightened levels of free fatty acids that are stored and converted to fats in various tissues. A recently discovered surface receptor for free fatty acids, called GPR40, is in mice present solely in the insulin-producing beta cells. Mice, like humans, that eat a diet rich in calories gain weight quickly and experience disturbances in their blood levels of insulin, sugar, and fats, and they develop fatty liver and diabetes.

The findings of the Umeå team show that mice that lack GPR40 receptors are healthy and experience normal weight gain on a calorie-rich diet. These mice are, however, protected from the complications and diseases that obesity provokes. The findings thus indicate that obesity leads to increased levels of free fatty acids that stimulate the secretion of insulin via GPR40 receptors, which in turn contributes to disease development. By inactivating GPR40 function the animals are protected from these diseases.

This theory is supported by the finding that mice with an increased number of GPR40 receptors on their beta cells develop diabetes. GPR40 belongs to the class of receptors targeted by most drugs. The receptors also occur on human beta cells, and therefore substances that block these receptors are prime candidates as drugs for preventing or curing diabetes and other complications of obesity.

Hans Fällman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.umu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>