Link between obesity and diabetes discovered

July 8, 2009

A Monash University study has proven a critical link between obesity and the onset of Type 2 diabetes, a discovery which could lead to the design of a drug to prevent the disease.

The findings were published today in respected journal .

The team, led by Associate Professor Matthew Watt, discovered that release a novel protein called PEDF ( epithelium-derived factor), which triggers a chain of events and interactions that lead to development of Type 2 diabetes.

"When PEDF is released into the bloodstream, it causes the muscle and liver to become desensitised to insulin. The pancreas then produces more insulin to counteract these negative effects, " Associate Professor Watt said.

This causes the pancreas to become overworked, eventually slowing or stopping insulin release from the pancreas, leading to Type 2 diabetes."

"It appears that the more fat tissue a person has the less sensitive they become to insulin. Therefore a greater amount of insulin is required to maintain the body's regulation of blood-glucose," Associate Professor Watt said.

"Our research was able to show that increasing PEDF not only causes Type 2 diabetes like complications but that blocking PEDF reverses these effects. The body again returned to being insulin-sensitive and therefore did not need excess insulin to remain regulated."

Associate Professor Watt said identifying the link is a significant breakthrough in explaining the reasons why triggers the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

"Until now scientists knew there was a very clear pattern and had strong suspicions that a link existed between the two conditions, but our understanding of the chain of events that are caused by the release of PEDF shows a causal link," Associate Professor Watt said.

"Type 2 diabetes patients will benefit knowing the two conditions are linked. We already know that weight-loss generally improves the management of blood glucose levels in diabetes patients. Researchers can now move forward knowing this link exists and we can begin to design new drugs to improve the treatment of ," Associate Professor Watt said.

Source: Monash University (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017
A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth. Their work, which ...

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

October 18, 2017
Scars may fade, but the skin remembers. New research from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

david_42
not rated yet Jul 08, 2009
This research must be suppressed, so fat people can continue to blame their lard on 'metabolite' problems.

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.