August 1, 2007
Sarasota's Roskamp Institute Releases Study Defining a Mechanism for
Development of Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome, Forerunners of
Type 2 Diabetes
Findings Detailed in The Journal of Clinical Investigation
Sarasota, Fla. - The Roskamp Institute today released a study defining a mechanism for
the development of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, which are the forerunners of
type 2 diabetes. The study, led by Roskamp's Dr. Robert Farese, is detailed in the
August issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, a highly prestigious medical
While the Roskamp Institute's primary focus is on Alzheimer's disease, Roskamp
researchers have a significant interest in diabetes due to studies that suggest those who
have diabetes are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.
The study found that a deficiency in an enzyme, atypical protein kinase C, impairs the
ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake into the muscle, which produces a state of
resistance to circulating insulin. Once this occurs, the liver begins to produce excessive
quantities of fat, causing abdominal obesity and alterations in blood lipids. According to
the study, this can then lead to obesity and the metabolic syndrome, the precursors of
type 2 diabetes.
"Although this gene-knockout study was done on mice, it is particularly relevant to type
2 diabetic humans, who are known to have deficiencies of this enzyme in their muscles,"
said Dr. Farese. "The findings showed that in the mice a simple loss of one or more
genes that are responsible for the production of this enzyme could eventually cause
obesity and the metabolic syndrome which then could lead to type 2 diabetes."
Further research must be done to determine how human diabetics acquire a deficiency of
this enzyme in their muscles; however, this mouse model should be especially helpful to
further study and devise treatments for obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
"We are particularly excited about this study and the potential to develop treatments for
obesity and the metabolic syndrome, which are both global health problems," said Dr.
Michael Mullan, director of the Roskamp Institute. This study will also be helpful in
further determining how obesity, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes are linked
to Alzheimer's disease."
The study was co-authored by Dr. Farese, who led the team of Mini P. Sajan, Hong
Yang, and Sonali Nimal at the Roskamp Institute; and others at the James A. Haley
Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tampa; the University of South Florida
College of Medicine; the Joslin Research Foundation and Harvard University School of
Medicine; Yale University School of Medicine, and Research Center at Oslo, Norway.
For more information regarding this study or the Roskamp Institute, please contact Dr.
Farese at (941) 752-2949 or visit www.RoskampInstitute.com.
CONTACT: Sarah Bascom or Kristen Bridges at (850) 222-2140
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