A body temperature sensor, TRPM2, promotes insulin secretion

January 4, 2011

The research group led by professor Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Kunitoshi Uchida, National institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan, found TRPM2 ion channel in pancreatic beta-cells is important for insulin secretion stimulated by glucose and gastrointestinal hormone (incretin) secreted after food intake. Their finding was reported in Diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by lack of insulin secretion from pancreatic cells, or less response to the secreted insulin, which raises the blood glucose levels, and as a result, causes serious disorders. It is said that at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from , and its incidence is increasing rapidly. Clarify the mechanisms of insulin secretion is important for the development of therapy. Here, this research group focused on TRPM2 acting as a body temperature sensor.

TRPM2 is a temperature-sensitive Ca2+-permeable channel and expressed in pancreatic beta-cells. They found that TRPM2-deficient mice have shown the higher blood glucose levels with impaired insulin secretion compared with wild-type mice. Furthermore, TRPM2-deficient pancreatic beta-cells showed smaller intracellular Ca2+ increase and lesser insulin secretion stimulated by glucose and incretin.

Professor Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Kunitoshi Uchida said, "TRPM2 may control levels mainly by modulating intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Finding the substance which stimulates TRPM2 effectively could lead to the development of a new therapy for diabetes mellitus."

Explore further: Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity

Related Stories

Fat cells send message that aids insulin secretion

November 6, 2007

The body's fat cells help the pancreas do its job of secreting insulin, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This previously unrecognized process ultimately could lead to new methods ...

Study pinpoints role of insulin on glucagon levels

April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009 - Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have shown for the first time that insulin plays a key role in suppressing levels of glucagon, a hormone involved in carbohydrate metabolism and regulating blood glucose ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.