Diabetes

14 April 2010

Diabetes hormones tied to fertility

A new study in mice suggests that the hormones leptin and insulin work together in the brain to control blood sugar levels and, suprisingly, female fertility.

0

A new study in mice suggests that the hormones leptin and insulin work together in the brain to control blood sugar levels and, in a surprise to researchers, female fertility.

The findings also appear to suggest that diabetes and obesity aren't always necessarily connected.

"Many people, and even many physicians, think you develop diabetes that is solely secondary to obesity," study senior author Dr Joel Elmquist, professor of internal medicine and pharmacology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, said in a news release. "Our findings indicate that is not necessarily the case, at least in mice. We can make the animals very diabetic without obesity, suggesting that there may be a circuit or path of resistance to these signals in the brain that helps explain the powerful anti-diabetic actions of leptin."

Also, Elmquist said, the research suggests that people don't need to be obese in order to develop type 2 diabetes.

What the findings mean

Elmquist said the findings provide new insight into how brain cells regulate glucose and insulin. Scientists think certain brain cells play a major role in prompting weight loss by suppressing appetite.

In addition to their findings about metabolism, the researchers found that female mice with the most brain cells that couldn't process the hormones had trouble breeding and produced smaller litters.

The study findings were released in the journal Cell Metabolism. - (HealthDay News, April 2010)

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules