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Diabetes Hormone

April 15, 2016

A newly-discovered hormone could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

A new avenue for diabetes treatment. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

People born with a rare condition called NPS are abnormally thin and can’t easily store fat. Scientists have now discovered what causes the condition: a previously unknown hormone called asprosin that tells the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. In the journal Cell, Baylor College of Medicine medical geneticist Atul Chopra reports that while people with NPS don’t make enough asprosin, people with type 2 diabetes have far too much. So he and his colleagues tried blocking asprosin in diabetic mice.

ATUL CHOPRA (Baylor College of Medicine):

So in these mice, when we reduced the levels of this hormone using an antibody against it, their diabetes improved. And it happened acutely: their blood glucose and insulin values improved dramatically.

HIRSHON:

But before considering human trials, they will need to learn more about asprosin and its effects on the body. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.