A Monash University study revealed that liver metabolism is disrupted in people with obesity-related type 2 diabetes, which contributes to high blood sugar and muscle loss – also known as skeletal muscle atrophy.
Using human trials as well as mouse models, the collaborative research led by Dr. Adam Rose at the Monash Discovery Institute of Biomedicine found that the liver’s metabolism of the amino acid alanine is altered in people with type 2 diabetes associated with obesity. By selectively silencing the enzymes that break down alanine in liver cells, high blood sugar and muscle loss can be reversed by restoring muscle and skeletal protein synthesis, which is a critical factor in muscle size and strength.
Research published today at Nature’s metabolism, Showed that altered liver metabolism directly affects muscle size and strength, and the underlying mechanism is driven by elevated levels of the hormones cortisol and glucagon that enhance the amino acid cycle between the liver and skeletal muscles, causing muscles to become smaller and weaker.
Along with metabolic imbalance and related complications, the common morbidity of obesity is often overlooked – skeletal muscle atrophy, which causes asthenia, and is associated with reduced quality of life and death.
“Aging-related diseases like loss of skeletal muscle and type 2 diabetes are very common and pose a huge social and economic burden. We have known for some time that aging-related diseases such as loss of muscle and skeletal system and type 2 diabetes are related but we were not,” said Dr. Rose. Know how. “
“Our studies show that the liver is a critical control point in muscle protein metabolism. A surprising finding. We believe that our new findings highlight the need to closely examine the role of skeletal muscle atrophy in type 2 diabetes in clinical groups.” Humanity “.
The study is working to establish the long-known metabolic biochemistry component, the glucose-alanine cycle, as an essential part of metabolism in health and disease.
These studies were carried out in close cooperation and with the significant contribution of the first author of the paper, Dr. Jürgen Okun of the University Children’s Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.
Read the full paper in language Nature’s metabolism Entitled: Liver alanine catabolism promotes skeletal muscle atrophy and hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes.
DOI: 10.1038 / s42255-021-00369-9
About the Monash Institute for Discovery Biomedicine at Monash University
Committed to making discoveries that will shed light on the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at the University of Monash houses more than 120 world-renowned research teams. Spreading six discovery programs across cancer, cardiovascular disease, development, stem cells, infection, immunity, metabolism, diabetes, obesity and neuroscience, Monash BDI is one of the largest biomedical research institutes in Australia. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and they collaborate with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to improve lives through discovery.
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