News

AddToAny

Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

Glucose-sensing neurons regulate blood sugar

Low blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycaemia, can be a life-threatening situation, especially for people with type 1 diabetes who rely on intensive insulin therapy to prevent blood sugar from going too high.

Solutions to this problem may come from a better understanding of the basic mechanisms keeping blood sugar in balance.

US scientists have identified a group of unique glucose-sensing neurons in the brain and how they work together to prevent severe hypoglycaemia in mice.

Dr Yong Xu, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics-Nutrition and Molecular and Cellular Biology, said: “Glucose-sensing neurons sense fluctuations in blood sugar levels and respond by rapidly decreasing or increasing their firing activities. This response can trigger changes in behaviour to increase glucose levels.

“Glucose-sensing neurons also can affect the production of hormones, such as glucagon, that can directly regulate glucose production or uptake by peripheral tissues. It’s a feedback system that keeps the balance of blood glucose.”  

go.nature.com/3fVps6a

 
Picture Credit | iStock

Related Articles

Laboratory errors in transfusion 2020

Anne Lockhart, IBMS representative on the Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) steering group, explains the latest annual report.

Experimental cancer blood test

A new method of analysing cancer patients’ blood for evidence of the disease could be up to 10 times more sensitive than previous methods, according to new research.

Top