Researchers iron out the link between serum ferritin and diabetes

September 10, 2012

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.

Explore further: Diabetes drug side effects traced to fat action

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

Related Stories

Diabetes drug side effects traced to fat action

July 5, 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, ...

21st century bloodletting reduces cardiovascular risk

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 ...

Recommended for you

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?

August 26, 2015

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, ...

Research identifies protein that regulates body clock

August 26, 2015

New research into circadian rhythms by researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga shows that the GRK2 protein plays a major role in regulating the body's internal clock and points the way to remedies for jet lag ...

Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

August 21, 2015

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement ...

0 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.