26 Feb Brain Neurons That Detect Blood Glucose Identified
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sabrina Diano, Ph.D.
Professor, Depts. Ob/Gyn, Neuroscience and Comparative Medicine
Associate Chair for Faculty Development
Dept Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences
Program in Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism
Yale University School of Medicine and Graduate School
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Diano: We have been studying the intracellular mechanisms that regulate glucose sensing by the brain. We found that in a specific area of the brain (called ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus) a small group of neurons (the brain cells) are able to sense increased glucose levels in the blood via their mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of the cells. This mitochondrial change enables these neurons to get activated, which in turn, results in a reduction of glucose levels in the blood due to an increased muscles glucose utilization.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Diano: The mechanism that we described in this study is just a step to get closer to the understanding of how the brain senses glucose and, in turn, affects blood glucose levels. More studies need to be done to fully integrate these new findings in clinical use to combat type 2 diabetes.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Diano: More attention needs to be paid to mitochondrial events within the brain when chronic disorders of the body are considered.
Medical Research: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Diano: Assessing the role of this mitochondrial mechanism in patients with type 2 diabetes will help us to identify potential new targets for the cure of type 2 diabetes.
UCP2 Regulates Mitochondrial Fission and Ventromedial Nucleus Control of Glucose Responsiveness
Chitoku Toda, Jung Dae Kim, Daniela Impellizzeri , Salvatore Cuzzocrea ,Zhong-Wu Liu Sabrina Diano
Sabrina Diano, Ph.D. (2016). Brain Neurons That Detect Blood Glucose Identified MedicalResearch.com