6 July FOEDRC Continues To Lead In Studies Increasing Our Understanding of FGF21 July 6, 2017 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 DRC Director's Report, July 2017 As diabetes researchers work to identify potential new treatments for diabetes, colleagues at the FOEDRC continue to advance our understanding of how newly discovered hormones might work in ways that may lead to new ways to treat and prevent obesity and diabetes. One such hormone is fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). Dr. Matthew Potthoff recently showed in mice that this hormone critically regulates the “sweet tooth” in mice. In a recent follow up study with collaborators from Denmark and published in the Journal Cell Metabolism, it is now confirmed that FGF21 also regulates sweet preference in humans. Now, Dr. Potthoff’s team has solved another piece of the puzzle by showing how and where FGF21 might act to regulate the body’s metabolism. FGF21 is an important hormone in the body that regulates body weight and blood glucose levels. Because of these important metabolic actions of FGF21, studies were performed to identify how FGF21 accomplishes its actions to identify new therapeutic targets to treat diabetes and obesity. The research lab of Dr. Matthew Potthoff, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, recently published research in the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism which provided critical insights into the mechanism of FGF21 action. FGF21 mediates its effects by acting both on fat cells and also in the brain. In their study, Dr. Potthoff and colleagues reveal that FGF21 is able to acutely increase insulin sensitivity by communicating with specialized fat tissues, but FGF21 lowers body weight through actions on non-adipose tissues including the brain. Therefore, this work reveals that FGF21 mediates its effects on multiple tissues and provides new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. In addition to being published in a highly recognized journal, the importance of this study is exemplified by its recognition in a research highlight in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology. Related Articles American Diabetes Association Supports FOEDRC Researchers DRC Director's Report - January 2018 Three researchers from the FOEDRC received new grants from the American Diabetes Association for groundbreaking research. The ability of our members to receive these competitive awards is truly remarkable and underscores the quality and rigor of the research that is being conducted in the FOEDRC. There are few institutions that received multiple awards in this current round of ADA funding. The awards to Drs. Ling Yang, Rajan Sah and Adam Rauckhorst are summarized below. DRC Researchers Publish Major Breakthrough In Understanding How Diabetes Induces Eye Damage In the retina, diabetes damages nerves before it damages blood vessels. Diabetes is a major risk factor for severe vision loss and blindness. A condition known as retinal diabetic neuropathy causes visual impairment through the degeneration of small nerves (neurons) in light-sensitive tissue called the retina, which lines the back of the eye. Understanding How The Bacteria In Our Gut Affects Diabetes DRC Director's Report, May 2017 Diabetes significantly increases the risk for heart attacks and stroke. However treating blood sugar levels and even high cholesterol in the blood might not completely prevent these complications of diabetes. For this reason many researchers are looking for new connections between diabetes and vascular disease. FOEDRC researchers Dr. Ajit Vikram and Kaikobad Irani recently published an important discovery in the Journal Nature Communications that provides new understanding of why blood vessel inflammation and damage occurs in subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Abel Chosen To Lead One of Four American Heart Association Research Networks E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, has been awarded a four-year $3.8M grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to investigate mechanisms that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Abel will oversee a Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) of three projects in partnership with other UI departments and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School. The team will examine the relationship between novel secreted molecules from liver, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle that may directly or indirectly lead to damage of the heart and blood vessels in individuals with diabetes. Iowa Leadership welcome the Fraternal Order of Eagles Board of Trustees On Monday, August 15, the University of Iowa Foundation (UIF) welcomed the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) Board of Directors to the University of Iowa for their annual visit to the FOEDRC. Potthoff Identifies Liver-Generated Hormone Regulating "Sweet Tooth" A research team lead by Matthew Potthoff, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and member of the FOEDRC, at the University of Iowa recently discovered a liver hormone that appears to regulate sugar intake. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.