Researchers iron out the link between serum ferritin and diabetes

Iron overload increases the risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; however, the exact mechanisms that link the two are unknown.

In today's issue of the , Donald McClain and colleagues at the University of Utah report that serum ferritin levels could predict the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome in humans and were inversely associated with the expression of adiponectin, a blood glucose-regulating protein produced by fat cells (adipocytes).

Treatment of adipocytes with iron decreased adiponectin levels, indicating that adipocytes play a central role in nutrient and iron detection. Further, reduction of serum ferritin levels in human patients increased insulin sensitivity and .

This study underscores the importance of adipocytes in metabolic diseases and points to iron reduction as a possible treatment for diabetes.

More information: Adipocyte Iron Regulates Adiponectin and Insulin Sensitivity, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012. doi:10.1172/JCI44421

Related Stories

21st century bloodletting reduces cardiovascular risk

date May 29, 2012

It seems that while the practice of bloodletting throughout history had little or no effect on most diseases, and the practice was abandoned in the 19th century, new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal ...

Diabetes drug side effects traced to fat action

date Jul 05, 2011

For better or worse, a popular class of anti-diabetic drugs does more than lower blood sugar. One known as rosiglitazone (trade name Avandia) has been in the spotlight for its possible link to increased cardiovascular events, ...

How does insulin influence resistin?

date Jan 16, 2008

Obesity is a worldwide health problem directly linked to several diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Resistin is a cysteine-rich hormone mainly secreted by adipose tissues and may form a biochemical link between ...

Recommended for you

A high-fat diet may alleviate mitochondrial disease

date 17 hours ago

Mice that have a genetic version of mitochondrial disease can easily be mistaken for much older animals by the time they are nine months old: they have thinning grey hair, osteoporosis, poor hearing, infertility, ...

Cheek muscles hold up better than leg muscles in space

date 17 hours ago

It is well known that muscles need resistance (gravity) to maintain optimal health, and when they do not have this resistance, they deteriorate. A new report published in the July 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, however, sugges ...

Sialic acid: A key to unlocking brain disorders

date 20 hours ago

A new report published in the July 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal suggests that a common molecule found in higher animals, including humans, affects brain structure. This molecule may play a significant role in how brain ...

User comments

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.