A body temperature sensor, TRPM2, promotes insulin secretion

January 4, 2011

The research group led by professor Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Kunitoshi Uchida, National institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan, found TRPM2 ion channel in pancreatic beta-cells is important for insulin secretion stimulated by glucose and gastrointestinal hormone (incretin) secreted after food intake. Their finding was reported in Diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by lack of insulin secretion from pancreatic cells, or less response to the secreted insulin, which raises the blood glucose levels, and as a result, causes serious disorders. It is said that at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from , and its incidence is increasing rapidly. Clarify the mechanisms of insulin secretion is important for the development of therapy. Here, this research group focused on TRPM2 acting as a body temperature sensor.

TRPM2 is a temperature-sensitive Ca2+-permeable channel and expressed in pancreatic beta-cells. They found that TRPM2-deficient mice have shown the higher blood glucose levels with impaired insulin secretion compared with wild-type mice. Furthermore, TRPM2-deficient pancreatic beta-cells showed smaller intracellular Ca2+ increase and lesser insulin secretion stimulated by glucose and incretin.

Professor Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Kunitoshi Uchida said, "TRPM2 may control levels mainly by modulating intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Finding the substance which stimulates TRPM2 effectively could lead to the development of a new therapy for diabetes mellitus."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Rac1 protein critical for lung development

October 20, 2016

A study by researchers from The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles reveals a promising therapeutic target for improving lung function in infants. Their study, now published online by the American ...

A vitamin could help treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy

October 19, 2016

Duchenne is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy. Because of this genetic disease, one out of every 3,500 children spends their 12th birthday in a wheelchair. This disorder progressively leads to general ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.