The hormone leptin could help keep the body from producing too much insulin, according to a study in mice with type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes often become resistant to the effects of insulin, causing to much of it to build up in the body.
Reporting in the September issue of the journal Peptides, researchers from the University of Florida injected a gene into the brains of diabetic mice, hoping to increase the production of the appetite-controlling hormone leptin in the hypothalamus.
Insulin levels in mice that received gene therapy returned to normal – even when they were fed a high-fat diet, the researchers found. High-fat diets typically help trigger or worsen type 2 diabetes.
Mice that ate a high-fat diet but did not receive gene therapy, however, continued to overproduce insulin and have high blood-sugar levels.
“This was totally unexpected. Until now, there way no evidence that leptin action in the hypothalamus had control on insulin secretion. [With leptin gene therapy], we can re-impose that control,” senior author Satya Kalra, a University of Florida, Gainesville, professor of neuroscience, said in a prepared statement.
SOURCE: University of Florida Newsnet, news release, September 2006