Washington: A hormone that plays a key role in triggering insulin resistance in the body has been found by Japanese scientists in what they say could lead to new class of drugs to treat the condition and type 2 diabetes.Insulin resistance (IR) is a physiological condition in which the natural hormone, insulin, becomes less effective at lowering blood sugars, leading to the development of type 2diabetes.
They found that the liver expresses higher levels of the gene encoding "selenoprotein P" (SeP) in people with type 2 diabetes who are more insulin resistant. Blood levels of SeP are also increased in people with diabetes compared to healthy people.Further studies in mice added support to the notion that the connection between SeP and insulin resistance is causal.When the researchers gave SeP to normal mice, they became insulin resistant and their blood sugar levels rose. And when a treatment blocked the activity of SeP in their livers, obese and diabetic mice improved their sensitivity to insulin and their blood sugar levels are lowered. Misu said that SeP was known previously as a protein produced mainly in the liver where it transports the essential trace element "selenium" from the liver to other parts of the body. But the protein`s clinical significance and, more specifically, its role in glucose homeostasis weren`t known. In the development of insulin resistance, the researchers don`t think SeP acts on its own. The fat tissue is a main contributor to the development of insulin resistance by producing fat-derived hormones called adipokines, they said.PTI
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