Researchers have discovered a hormone that modulates the rapid release of glucose and insulin into the bloodstream in between meals.
Atul Chopra at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and his colleagues found that levels of the protein hormone — which they called asprosin — peaked in the blood during fasting in humans and mice, and is made by white fat tissue. Giving asprosin to mice boosted their blood glucose and insulin levels. The hormone bound to liver cells, triggering glucose release.
Mice and humans with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) showed elevated levels of asprosin. Treating insulin-resistant mice with an asprosin-blocking antibody lowered their blood insulin levels. Decreasing asprosin could be a way to treat type 2 diabetes, the authors say.