Japanese scientists have discovered an imbalance that leads to the development of type 2 diabetes in mice. A gene called GCK is responsible for sensing changes in blood glucose levels. Researchers found a molecule known as insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) was shown to influence the beta cell mass increase after GCK sensed an increased in blood glucose levels.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation focused on mice with little increase in beta cell mass regardless of a rise in GCK. Researchers found, in healthy mice, the insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) was shown to influence the beta cell mass increase after GCK first sensed an increased in blood glucose levels.
Before a person becomes diabetic, his or her body tries to compensate for the increasing resistance to insulin by upping the amount of insulin secreted and the mass of insulin-secreting cells (beta cells) in the pancreas. Researchers will look for new ways of increasing beta cell mass to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Here's where I get a little confused - another study conducted a few years ago found evidence that a sucrose-rich diet (SRD) produces an increase in the pancreatic beta-cell mass in the rat. I'm neither a rat, nor a scientist - but I think a meeting of the minds behind these two discoveries might result in some forward-thinking treatments for type 2 diabetes. What compels the IRS2 to defy the command center of GCK? Perhaps another piece is missing from the balance of this equation.