Malfunctioning Pancreatic

Insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas have their own biological clock that controls the production of insulin over a 24-hour period.

| Jun 29, 2010

A malfunction in the pancreas's "circadian clock*," the built-in timer found in all living things that regulates major biological processes, may be one of the reasons that people develop diabetes.

Scientists at Northwestern University near Chicago have found that the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas have their own biological clock that controls the production of insulin over a 24-hour period. If that clock is tampered with, beta cells lose their ability to produce insulin-a lack that is a known precursor to diabetes.

The researchers experimented on mice by inhibiting genes in their pancreases that they had determined control the organs' circadian clocks. Once they did so, the animals began losing the ability to produce insulin, became glucose-intolerant, and developed full-blown diabetes.  

Before blocking the genes, the scientists used bioluminescent imaging to show that the pancreas has an autonomous circadian clock. When the islet cells produced insulin, they stimulated a bioluminescent substance and gave off light. Because insulin production came at regular 24-hour intervals, this was proof of an internal timing mechanism.

While establishing that there is a circadian clock in the pancreas (along with tissue in other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, heart, and skeletal muscles), the Northwestern researchers could not say what causes it to fail or malfunction.

One next step may be to seek ways to manipulate the clock, perhaps genetically, to operate normally. That could become the basis for a therapy that attempts to restore beta cell functioning.

*Circadian is based on the Latin words circa-"about" and diem-"day" to denote a 24-hour biological rhythm.

* * *

Source:

Circadian clock in pancreas linked to diabetes

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Life/Health-Fitness/Health/Circadian-clock-in-pancreas-linked-to-diabetes-/articleshow/6067332.cms

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Beta Cells, Diabetes, Diabetes, Health Research, Insulin, Research, Type 2 Issues


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 0 comments - Jun 29, 2010

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.