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Researchers Identify The Third Critical Liver Hormone In Type 2 Diabetes

Update Date: Apr 04, 2014 12:08 PM EDT
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Researchers have identified a previously unsuspected liver hormone that plays a critical role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is affecting 26 million people in US and is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke and other diseases related to kidney, nerve and eye. 

In the research, it was noted that the hormone kisspeptin 1, or K1 which was known for its regulation of puberty and fertility, slowed down the production of insulin - the sugar-regulating hormone secreted by the pancreas.

According to researchers the finding is a missing link in understanding the origins of type 2 diabetes. 

"Our findings suggest that glucagon issues the command, but K1 carries out the orders, and in doing, so it appears to be the very cause of the declining insulin secretion seen in type 2 diabetes," said lead investigator Mehboob Hussain, M.D., an endocrinologist and metabolism expert at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in a press release.

"Glucagon and insulin alone never really made complete sense," Hussain added. "There was always something missing and, we feel, kisspeptin 1 is a very good candidate to be that missing part. All our findings point in this direction."

In a set of experiment, researchers fattened a group of mice by feeding them calorie-rich food. As expected the mice developed diabetes and their insulin production declined. When the livers of diabetic mice were chemically altered to make them incapable of K1 production their insulin levels returned to healthy ranges once again.

Results of the research has been published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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