By Arielle Duhaime-Ross
(Salk Institute for Biological Studies)
Scientists have discovered a novel protein-based treatment that restores normal blood-sugar levels in diabetic mice for a period of seven days. The study, published in Naturetoday, reveals a possible new therapeutic pathway for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. "We had no idea that this molecule would have this effect," says Michael Downes, a diabetes researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California and a co-author of the study. "But it appears that the molecule restores insulin sensitivity in diabetic mice."
In the study, researchers injected mice with a protein called fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1). This procedure allowed the animals to use insulin normally for a period of about seven days, without experiencing the kinds of side effects — weight gain and bone loss — typically associated with other drugs that restore insulin function, Downes says. "And it worked fine at repeated injections, over a period of about a month." ...more