Brain Chemical has a Role to Play in Treating Diabetes

When the human body is under stress, several naturally present chemicals are released in the body to restore calmness. Of these chemicals, few exist in the body till normalcy and the others show up for a brief period of time. One such chemical is the Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF).

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that this chemical has a role to play in functioning of the pancreas. It is found that this chemical helps in the production and absorption of insulin produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is the naturally present chemical substance which brings down the sugar level in the blood. It is produced by the building blocks called the beta cells. It is this new found ability of the chemical which is encouraging the scientific world. The findings can provide new sights into understanding of the disease Type 1 diabetes and may open up new doors for a potential medicine for the disease.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • It was known around 1980s that the cells in the pancreas respond to the chemical CRF.
  • But very few further studies were carried out which lead to the limited knowledge on this topic.
  • Of late, the researchers who discovered this chemical in 1980s again took up the research study to delve further.
  • The experiments were carried out on experimental rats and pancreatic cells donated by the humans.
  • The research found that the chemical CRF affects the organ pancreas because it is present there too.
  • The response of the insulin producing beta cells to the CRF chemical is two ways.
  • Firstly, insulin produced under the exposure of CRF chemicals works very effectively and can bring down very high levels of glucose in the blood with ease.
  • Cell division is a normal function for every cell. Beta cells divide along a pathway called the MAPK.
  • It was found secondly that the beta cells exposed to the chemical CRF divide quickly. even mature cell known for slow division, divide at a better pace under the influence of this chemical.
  • Such a revelation is very beneficial in treating type 1 diabetes patients in whom there is lack of the hormone insulin because of very less activity of the beta cells which produce them.

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