Diabetic mice benefit from protein-based treatment

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found they could restore normal blood sugar levels in diabetic mice with injections of a specific protein.

Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) allowed the rodents to maintain normal insulin levels for about a week – with no side effects typically associated with insulin-controlling drugs.

"We had no idea that this molecule would have this effect," said Michael Downes, a co-author of the study. "But it appears that the molecule restores insulin sensitivity in diabetic mice."

Downes reported that repeated injections of the protein worked well for a period of about a month.

FGF1 causes reduction in appetite

Marc Prentki, director of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center, says the therapy might simply work to reduce hunger.

"A very important effect they see with FGF1 is a dramatic reduction in appetite that is transient ... and lasts about two weeks," Prentiki told The Verge.

According to Downes, further research is needed, as well as the determination of how FGF1 would affect humans with Type 2 diabetes.

"This represents another possible therapeutic pathways for pharmaceutical companies to look at," he said. "We feel that this has unique properties that need to be investigated."

Source: The Verge

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